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Edisto Death Hole

Its that time of the year again - where the thoughts and fancies of fossil fantatics like myself turn to the river. The Edisto is warm enough now to accomodate divers, so da fossz and I headed out to try our luck. It was beautiful weather - radiant sun with no clouds whatsoever. With such bright sun, we had fantastic visibility. We explored new areas and found all kinds of great fossils laying out in the open, ripe for our eager plucking fingers. Like always I brought my underwater camera, but I guess I didn't push in the sd card enough and I only had about 60 seconds of video time. What a day to be limited! I saw some incredible things today.

Within minutes of my first dive, I was back at the turtle I described in my past post. I have stumbled upon a really cool place in the Edisto river. In one tiny area, around 10 feet in diameter, there are remains of at least three marine animals in close proximity. This video shows 2 of those animals. The first part of the video shows the plastron of a really big turtle. I briefly put my hand in the video to give you a size reference. Directly next to the plastron is the carapace which is far more intact and exposed in the river. I estimate it is several feet long and wide at a minumum. This appears in the video as a black "blanket" of roughly hexagonal / rounded plates. Each of them is about as big around as a golf ball. Again, I put my hand in the video to serve as a reference. Finally, the last few seconds of the video is a whale skull. Unfortunately my camera died here so this part of the video is brief. The final extinct animal whose remains I found in this spot is a dugong, a manatee like creature. It is not pictured because collected it several years ago. A couple of weeks ago I recovered another piece of that dugong. The age of all of these extinct animals is about 30 million years old. There are other smaller isolated fossils in the same area, but there is no indication that they are related. The other fossil remains include shark teeth, ray crusher plates, and other fish fossils like vertebrae.

After all that great stuff, only 20 minutes of my dive had passed and I still had a long time to hunt! My first major find - an amazing whale tooth. It looks like an archaeocete but its much younger. I have heard them called archeo mysticete, and it makes sense since it is likely related to both eocene archaeocetes and oligocene and miocene mysticetes. The tooth is about 2/3 complete, but it is the most complete one I've ever found. da fossz found two of these same archaeo mysticete teeth from a dive in the Edisto in the same spot a while back. Since they are so rare and we found them so close to each other in the river, the teeth are most certainly from the same individual. Just a little way down the river, I would say less than 5 yards I found another whale tooth, this one a long straight one incisor or canine. Is it one of the archeo mysticetes? I don't know. Jedi master found a skull from one of these with like 24 of the teeth, so next time I go over there and see what his whale's teeth look like and then I'll know.

Next came the shark tooth finds. First a massive angustidens - 4 inches. It has a nasty tip ding but the color is fantastic. I saw it laying on the bottom all by itself. No gravel or sand, laying all by itself in the middle of the oligocene formation. It must have rinsed out relatively recently. Just a few yards away I found an immaculate parotodus benedeni. It is by far the best I've found in the Edisto and that is saying a lot. Twice I found complete ray crusher plates.

da fossz racked an impressive rack as well. His post is forthcoming and is in itself most droolworthy.

Location Colleton County, South Carolina, USA

ID3679
Memberdw
Date Added5/28/2010

The total haul from the river today.
shamer huge angustidens!
great color too!
two ray crusher plates
back view
the 4 inch whale incisor / canine
  

Links
Keep on Rackin in a Free World
Keep on Rackin in a Free World
Oligocene Archeo Mysticete Whale Tooth
Oligocene Archeo Mysticete Whale Tooth
Edisto River Parotodus Benedeni Shark Tooth
Edisto River Parotodus Benedeni Shark Tooth
  

Comments
Who can keep up with dw - 5/28/2010
Reviewer : DeloiVarden from South Carolina United States
Total Rating : 10
Great finds dw. I have found a lot more teeth than I have posted, but I must admit that even though I live in the Charleston area too, I can't keep up with you. Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree 

- 5/30/2010
Reviewer : t$ from
Total Rating : 10
I love that whale tooth! By the way your youtube video is set on private and it says I can't view it unless we are friends. Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree 

Video is now public on Youtube - 5/31/2010
Reviewer : dw from Summerville South Carolina United States
Total Rating : No Rating
Sorry I forgot to set that correctly!
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keeps getting better - 6/1/2010
Reviewer : fossil1111 from
Total Rating : 10
It is fascinating keeping up with your posts. Can't wait to see what you plan to do with the turtle. That may be a really significant find! Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree 


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