September 27, 2003 - Sumter Co, AL

This month BPS took to the water. There are chalk bluffs along the Tombigbee that can only be reached by boat. Dr. Charlie Smith has done many years of research on this site, and provided a wonderful lecture and handouts to a group of eager amateurs. A number of straight cephalopods, gastropods, and even ammonites were found. A fish jaw, with teeth, was found on the scouting trip, but the water covered that layer on the actual field trip.

After a quick afternoon thunderstorm, several members and guests went further south to Epes. Numerous marcasite and calcite crystals were found. But the find of the day was a plesiosaur limb bone found by Ron, that appears to have been chewed on by a shark. How exciting to have found a possible relative of Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, right here in Alabama!

(Photos courtesy Claire Smith and Vicki Lais)

Getting ready to head down the river.

View of the bluffs from the water.

Eager students listening to Dr. Smith lecturing on this site. He has published numerous articles on the Arcola Limestone Member (Upper Member of the Mooreville Chalk), and the nannofossils found in it.

One of the very nice gastropods found at this site.

Slippery when wet...

Lunchtime slowdown..
Some of you may get a little wet. . . ..

After the afternoon shower, some members and guests decided to head south to Epes.

Ron found the specimen of the day! James Lamb, Curator of Paleontology at the McWane Science Center, personally examined this specimen and identified it as a plesiasaur limb bone, with some shark teeth bite marks. It is the elbow joint of the humerous.