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Onward Carcharocles Soldiers

Saturday morning finally arrived and I drove out to the PCS meeting area trying to keep my right foot from pushing the peddle through the floor. I arrived at the parking lot at about 6:30 which gave me plenty time to chew the fossil fat with the other hunting lunatics. It’s always great talking fossils with people who collect in different areas of the country and hearing about their experiences. We boarded the bus and while the ride to the collecting area is only 3 or so miles, it seemed like an eternity to get there. The collecting area was huge with quite a bit of water scattered throughout. Our group waited just outside the collecting area while the bus went back to shuttle in the remainder of “The Friends”. While we waited, no-one wasted any time as most began scouring the ground with their eyes. I picked up a small Sand Tiger, and saw a couple of decent makos get plucked. One lucky lady found a beautiful croc tooth. The bus arrived with the remainder of the group and we all headed into the pit. I headed over to a good looking pile and within minutes found a nice squalodon tooth minus the root - my first squalodon and even without the root I was elated. I spent some time carefully searching the area but nothing else notable showed up and I decided to move on. The morning grew very hot and I decided to pass on a couple of decent whale vertebrae being as I didn’t want to carry them all day in the heat. By 11:00 I picked up a nice porpoise periotic bone, a couple of sturgeon scutes and some nice tuna and shark verts, but my tooth count wasn’t nearly what I had hoped. At 12:00 I decided to make my way towards the far end of the pit and started walking a fairly fresh bulldozer trail that appeared to extend all the way back along a high ridge. The bulldozer trail yielded a bunch of broken teeth and will surely reveal some nice teeth once a little rain falls. I walked the trail for about ½ a mile until to my horror, I saw the trail make a sharp downward slope into about 6 feet of water and rise back out just as fast - I realized that I was not going to make it to the back of the pit on this day. I made the best of it and checked out the erosion trenches on the walk back, hoping that a nice meg might be sitting in one of them, but none showed up. My only large tooth came from a patch of exposed Pungo - a nice mako which while not pristine was a very welcomed sight. I spent the remainder of the day in the area which produced most of my nice teeth from last year’s trip. The area was very overgrown, but knowing how productive it had been, I figured there must be at least a couple of nice teeth sitting in the vegetation. I worked my way through the weeds not finding anything until I brushed back some undergrowth to expose a really nice ray scute - not the meg I was after, but another nice first. 2:30 came and I made my way back up towards the bus, somewhat disappointed that a the larger teeth had eluded me, but equally satisfied that I made some great first finds. The large area has tons of potential for the collecting weeks to come and from what I heard while waiting for the bus, it had received only three inches of rain since the previous season’s conclusion. One really good rain storm could rejuvenate the pit back to opening day conditions for some lucky group. You never know.
Location Lee Creek Mine, Aurora, North Carolina, USA

Date Added3/12/2006

A couple of nice Tuna verts and a shark vert.
My first ever Squalodon tooth.
A cool looking ray/skate denticle I found under some brush.
Two sturgeon scutes.
Crab claws are so numerous, I usually don't pick them up. For this monster however, I made an exception.

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