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Fossil Festival 2010

I really didn’t consider that our 6 hours, or so, of sifting in the spoil piles at this year’s Aurora Fossil Festival yielded impressive enough specimens to warrant a Trip Report.
(Same for our two trips over to GMR…) :(
However, I finally caved to my desire to take a few photos…

We arrived in Aurora at around 9:00AM on Thursday before the Festival. We drove past the museum, and noted that there were 3 “excavators” over in the shady back-lot, who were already each to about chest level in 3 separate piles ! (Darn!!)
So, we decided we would dig over in the piles in the field while it was still reasonably cool.
There was one guy already sitting there, digging, in his big straw hat, and the piles looked to be ones that were ‘older’ (and well-worked), and ‘newer’ (that were still quite wet).
We broke out our shovel, sifter, trowels, and knee-pads, and proceeded to “test” a few sections. After only a few minutes, we decided that the newer piles were too wet to cooperate with our ½” wire sifter, and that the older ones just did not look very good.
So, we load all our junk back into the Durango, and drove back past the Pits of the Pungo.
In the short time we were over in the field, those three hard-working diggers had all but disappeared into their respective piles! And there were a bunch more folks who had joined them in their shaded spot, too. (Darn again!!)
So, I said to my wife, “Let’s go check the pile at the library and see how it looks.”
We pull up close to this single dump-truck load, and immediately I recognize that this pile has a definitive Yorktown component to it !!
It has weathered / dried a bit, and I see a lot of phosphatic material, along with the telltale mollusk shells ! (Chesapecten jeffersonius or Placopecten clintonius… ? I can never remember!)
My wife pretty quickly locates a “shamer” Meg, about 2 ½” long, and I later find a Galeocerdo cuvier… both of which help cement my earlier thought that we were in good matrix!
We were finally joined by an older woman who contented herself by digging with her large L-bracket in the remnants of the old pile that had been there for who knows how long.
Unfortunately, though, after only about 6 hours (my wife troweling, and me digging+sifting) the sun just really zapped me. Even with eating a decent lunch and drinking 6 bottles of water, I finally had to pack it in. Even though we’d only found a handful of small Makos, some Sandies, and a couple of large broken Hemis, leaving the pile that I had so much faith in as Yorktownish still hurt, a bit…

We didn’t hunt much, at all, on Saturday. (Friday and Sunday were GMR trips, which were also pretty much unproductive)
Instead we enjoyed the vendors, talking with old friends and meeting new ones, and catching the lectures in the museum.

What little piddling we did do with our trowels in the spoil piles that afternoon yielded a fairly nice Chub for my wife, and the tiniest cowshark tooth that I have ever found… microscreening included.

Not pictured are a little Ecphora, a well-chewed-on piece of rib bone, a nice Porcupine fish palate, a gill-raker, several shark discs, a small fish vert, and a dolphin caudal vert.

Even though it really didn’t come close to matching what I found back in Febrary, still and all it was a fun trip, and we look forward to the AFF in 2011 !
Location Lee Creek Mine, Aurora, North Carolina, USA

Date Added6/10/2010

A few of the better Makos and Sandies
Neat blades for itty-bitties!
My wife found both these shamers, the largest teeth of the trip...
She also found this pretty little Chub with the unfortunately root-ding
I can't believe that I even saw this tiny cowshark while troweling... !
Bird, reptile, or other... ?
My dolphin tooth and G. cuvier from Thursday's hunting

Living a Charmed Life
Living a Charmed Life
My Friend the Weed
My Friend the Weed

Looks like a good haul to me. - 6/10/2010
Reviewer : DeloiVarden from South Carolina United States
Total Rating : 10
The fossil hunter in all of us makes the most of every opportunity. Thanks for sharing. Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
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- 6/11/2010
Reviewer : Govinn from Virginia United States
Total Rating : 10
Hey Flex! nice finds and great report. Thanks for posting it. I'm thinking that bone looks like a dog milkbone treat... Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
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Not bad flex, not bad at all. - 6/13/2010
Reviewer : hemipristis from
Total Rating : No Rating
The mako in the second pic next to the dime (with the broken root) is a retroflexus---cool! And the questionable bone is a seal phalange--Yorktown indeed.
VOTE! Agree  Disagree 

Thanks guys ! - 6/13/2010
Reviewer : Flex68 from Virginia United States
Total Rating : No Rating
I appreciate the comments, and the help in ID'ing. That bone does look like a dog treat, lol. (It was so small that I was hoping that I might have found a bird or reptile bone, but I'll take a seal phalange)
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