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Havelock

With a brief lull in my daughter’s volleyball schedule and my wife working I found myself in the unusual position of being able to fossil hunt on back-to-back weekends. My daughter was away on a mission trip in Costa Rica which left my son and I with the whole day to ourselves. Wanting to try some place new, we decided to make the trip out to Havelock. We arrived at the parking lot at around 12:30 and were immediately greeted by the sounds of juvenile ospreys in a nest about 200’ from the car. After watching them in the binoculars for a couple of minutes, we geared up for our 2 mile walk out to the site. The walk took about an hour and follows along the beach on the Neuse River. The walk is mostly on the sand but there are a couple of areas where you have to veer into the woods. About half way we had to pass directly under another osprey nest and the parents didn’t seem too happy with us. We walked by as fast as we could and continued until we came up to a small stretch of beach that had cypress knees coming up through the sand; it was very cool looking (see picture below). We reached where the formations were exposed and almost immediately I found a small piece of mammal tooth that while too partial to ID appeared to come from a much larger tooth (later ID’d as a piece of mastodon tooth). Soon after, I picked up approx. 1/3 of another mammal tooth which looked to be part of a horse tooth. The adrenalin of the two quick finds soon wore off though as the pickings seemed to dwindle as we moved along the beach. After about two hours Nolan brought over a small piece of what looked like bone but seemed almost too heavy/dense. We packed it for future ID (it was later ID’d as the tip of a Dugong rib) and not two minutes later does he come with another smaller rock looking item that I almost had him toss away (this was later ID’d as a periotic bone of a toothed whale). Shark teeth were few and far between with a small but pristine lemon shark tooth being the best find in that category. After Nolan’s finds we focused a little of our effort inspecting the various bone pieces laying in the sand. 99% of them were non-descript but we did find what I believe is some sort of porpoise or whale fin bone, a very small piece of a baleen whale jaw and a piece of fossilized antler. One particular piece of bone had some very unusual features and almost looked like a hoof though there appeared to be too many spots where processes had broken off (this has been tentatively ID’d as part of a porpoise or whale axis vertebra). At around 5:30 we decided to call it a day and began the trek back to the car. Right about where the cypress knees were popping up out of the sand we saw a large bird take off from one of the pine trees and could immediately see it was a bald eagle. We watched it go out over the river and circle back flying just above the tree tops over our heads – it was very cool. A week after the trip, Nolan and I attended our first NC Fossil club meeting at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. We met some great people at the event and were able to get some help ID’ing our finds including input from the Curator of Paleontology Vince Schneider. Mr. Schneider also took the group on a behind the scenes tour of the paleo side of the museum which was simply unbelievable. Thanks to all the NCFC folks for their hospitality and a great time!

1 available
Location Craven County, North Carolina, USA

ID4177
Memberxiphodan
Date Added8/3/2014

The day's haul.
This was ID'd as a piece of mastodon tooth.
Nolan's piece of Dugong rib.
Baleen whale jaw fragment
Shark teeth were few and far between. This lemon shark tooth was the shark tooth of the day.
Nolan's toothed whale periotic bone.
A partial horse(?) tooth and fossilized antler.
Aside from having a face that looks like the creature from the black lagoon, this piece of bone had me befuddled. After looking through many websites and books I did finally find a picture of an axis vertebra that had a very similar structure. This would only be a small piece of the whole vert.
Nolan amongst the cypress knees.
  

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