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My first NJ Eocene/Miocene hunt - The luck of the 1/4 Irish

I decided take my first venture into the Eocene/Miocene streams of NJ, needing a change from the Cretaceous formations I've been hunting up until now. Having never collected at the area I was going, I decided to try and cover as much of the stream as possible, moving frequently if I didn't find anything. The first 75 yards were fairly unimpressive - a couple of Carcharhinus teeth and one Carcharias blade. After not finding much for about an hour I finally came to the spot that would yield two of the rarest finds in my fossil collecting career. On my second screen I came up with my first Hemipristis tooth from NJ (not necessarily rare). It was 13/16" tall and had some slight wear; but was completely intact and was a really nice tooth overall - my day was made. After a couple more screens in the same spot, I found a tooth that I would not be able to ID for another 4 months. It was about 1/2" long and had the blade of a Carcharias species, but the root was short and rotated to the side - figuring it may have been some sort of para-symphyseal tooth, I placed it into my container and continued on. After finding a nice Carcharias tooth (taurus?), I came up with the next rarity of the trip. Recognizing the distinctive shape of C. catticus, I realized that this was going to be a day to remember. The root was mostly gone, but the main blade along with both cusps were completely intact and in very nice condition. I knew this was a rare tooth in most locations and I hadn't ever heard of one coming out of NJ (although I'm sure there must be a few more out there). My next notable find in this spot was my first NJ mako tooth - a 1 7/16" desori tooth with about a third of the root missing, but again a nice blade - I didn't care, at this point it was super gravy. The last notable find in this unbeleivable 5' by 5' patch of stream bed was a really beat up cow shark tooth - another NJ first for me. After not finding much of anything in the next hour I decided to resume my initial plan of attack and start moving on. I had about an hour left, and I figured there must be more unbelievable locations like this one. In the next 75 yds, the only item to come up in my screen was an absolutey pristine Striatolamia tooth. While I could see my day was coming to an end, I was again rewarded with a nice mammalian molar (Llama or Camel?) sitting high on top of a gravel bar, waiting to be swept away with the next heavy rain - what a day! Getting back to that odd tooth that I thought was some kind of para-symphyseal - if you can remember back that far: After doing some internet searches for New Jersey teeth back in November, I came across the "Tooth of the week" page at Black River Fossils which has one Tooth from NJ in it's long list. The tooth was submitted by Rob on 11/6/02 and is an awesome looking Xiphodolamia ensis tooth. I had seen this tooth of the week posting about 8 months before, but decided to check it out again. As soon as I saw the shape of the root I knew that my mystery tooth was also a Xiphodolamia ensis tooth - What more can I say.(be sure to check out Rob's tooth, it's much nicer than mine. - I'm a little jealous)
Location Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA

Date Added7/8/2004


1 5/8" Long-Legged Llama tooth
1 5/8" Long-Legged Llama tooth
3/4" Striatolamia macrota tooth
3/4" Striatolamia macrota tooth
3/8" Reef Shark tooth
3/8" Reef Shark tooth
Snaggletooth shark tooth
Snaggletooth shark tooth
Xiphodolamia ensis
Xiphodolamia ensis





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