On May 15, the APS headed back to a familiar location near Montgomery. The group of about 15 was blessed with a beautiful, though a very warm for May day, and low creek levels due to the lack of rain for several weeks. The creek itself was quite cool, which helped keep the temperatures somewhat comfortable along the banks. Even though the creek was low, it was still murky enough where seeing the bottom was impossible, and the very rough bottom with loose rocks and potholes made crossing to the collecting site a challenge. The site is very accommodating for groups as it is quite large and has several layers and sediment types that are fossiliferous depending on what the collector wishes to focus on and what techniques to employ.
The age of the rocks at this site are Upper Cretaceous (Santonian Stage) or about 83 mya and the site exposes a Tombigbee Sand Member of the Eutaw Formation. It is marine sediment and has a wide range of fossils present to include echinoids, shark, fish, marine reptile, bivalves, occasional ammonites, and other less common finds.
One of the prizes and luckily an abundant fossil from this site is a beautiful echinoid, hardouinia bassleri, that weathers out of sandstone in the above picture. Below are several of these echinoids in the matrix along with many fragments of bivalves.
A few examples of both the echinoids and oysters collected on this trip are shown below.
With some careful searching in the sand there is a large variety of teeth that can be found as well. These include various shark, fish, and even marine reptile teeth. Examples of each of these types teeth are shown below.
Hope you have enjoyed the post! We look forward to seeing all of our APS members at upcoming events and for those who are not APS members, if you are interested in paleontology as an amateur, professional, or just as a curiosity we would encourage you to reach out to us.