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Shark Teeth, Decapods, and Otoliths - Oh My!

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

The APS enjoyed a beautiful collecting day in January. We hit the road to Northeast Mississippi to collect in the Cretaceous Coon Creek member of the Ripley formation. The winter has been a wet one and the sight was a slippery and muddy with quite a bit of water around, but the fossils were contrasted greatly by the dark wet matrix. This site is excellent for its variety of vertebrate and invertebrate fossils including several varieties of crabs, shark and fish teeth and vertebrae, all kinds of shells, and fish otoliths or literally "ear stones". Below is an otolith on the surface just above the point of the knife and a lot of other fossil bits.

Here are some of the surface finds from various members including a good sampling of much of the fauna from the site.

Note all the predation bore holes in the shells at the bottom of the above picture. This is an interesting feature of many of the fossils from this site.

And then there are more crabs...

More teeth...

And other stuff!

Hope to see you in the field with us soon.

Jim Braswell

APS President

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