Updated: Nov 24
These gullies are part of the Mooreville Chalk rock unit, however these are more accurately marls. It was about 75 degrees in general that day, but the sun reflecting all around when one is down in these gullies makes it about 10 degrees warmer, so quite warm for November! We had a big turn-out for this much anticipated return to a classic Alabama fossil site, where so many incredible fossils have been found.
The APS was hosted to the University of Alabama owned site, specifically, by the curator of Paleontology at Alabama Museum of Natural History, Mr. Adiel Klompmaker. He provided a short history and guidelines for the site before turning us loose to explore acres of gullies.
Everyone found fossils to include: "many teeth from a variety of shark species, a rare ray tooth, numerous fish teeth, several mosasaur teeth, a probably mosasaur bone, several turtle bones, tons of bivalve shells, worm tubes, several fish jaw elements, many fish vertebrae from tiny to a rare 2" one, other fish bones, barnacle plates of various shapes, burrow infillings, shipworm (=clam) borings, driftwood, sea urchin plates, fossil dung (coprolites), a rare crab claw, and ammonite jaws (multiple species). One member even found a belemnite fossil (squid-like cephalopod)" -Adiel Klompmaker.
Below are some of the fossils:
Fish Vertebra (one huge one!):
Mosasaur teeth and Bones (the one imaged comes from paddle/hand):
Here is a typical day's variety from this amazing late cretaceous site. One can expect various shells (bottom left = Agerostrea), worm tubes (top right), bone pieces (middle right), teeth (top left = mosasaur, upper middle = Enchodus fish, and middle left = various shark), barnacles (middle bottom), fish vertebra (middle left), fish poop (middle bottom = coproplites), and many other incredible items.
Enchodus fish tooth and Scapanorhynchus or "goblin" shark tooth.
Coprolite, vertebra, and bivalve; shark teeth (bottom right = Squalicorax or "crow" shark), shark vertebra, and fish vertebra; and a barnacle (Arcoscalpellum).
"How can you tell a great fossil hunter...
....he is always out standing in his field." Well the quote works better for "farmer" but good enough for fossil hunters too.
It was another great day looking for fossils, hope to see everyone at the next monthly meeting or outing.
Jim Braswell, APS President