March 11, 2007 - Cretaceous Fossils, Greene Co, AL

The March field trip was graced with perfect weather for playing in a creek. The morning started out pleasantly cool but was shorts and T-shirt weather by the time we got to the site.

We met at a rest area then caravaned to Greene County where we met our host who guided us to his property. We parked most of our vehicles then piled into several pickups and SUV's for the last 2 miles to the site. The site was a beautiful 80 acre parcel of high land on the Sipsey River which was underlain by late cretaceous sediment. A nice creek ran through the property and emptied into the Sipsey. The owner took us from the parking area to his camp which sits on a bluff high above the river. As we hiked to the collecting site, we observed turkey scratch marks, early blooming wild flowers, listened to woodpeckers and other birds and and then down a razor back ridge to the creek that was to be our collecting area for most of the day... a creek filled with sand and gravel bars and unknown treasures. We soon got our feet wet and split up into wandering singles and groups of hunters, assuming the bent-over position familiar to every fossil hunter. Sharks teeth were being found within moments of stepping in the creek.

Many varieties of sharks teeth were found including Otodus, Squalicorax and Ptychodus. Besides shark teeth the group found Oyster, petrified wood, fish vertebra, a mosasaur vertebra and other items of interest.

We had an "early leavers" group and an "it isn't dark yet" group; both groups stopped to enjoy dinner and continue the fossil discussions, fill their bellies, and wind down before the long drive home.

--Leisa Whitlow, Contributor

--Edited by Vicki Lais

(Photos courtest Jan Novak and Vicki Lais)

people on fossil trip
Most of the gang!

hike to creek to collect fossils
The long hike down the hill to the creek.

another young fossil hunter
Are you sure we're supposed to go here, Aunt Mel?

searching for fossils in creek
The creek was quite low, and shark teeth were immediately found.

fossil shark teeth

proud father of a young fossil hunter
Start 'um early, and they love fossils for life! (Or maybe it's just the rock throwing . . .)

fossil shark tooth in pebbles

searching for fossils in creek

Leisa discussing fossil find
The easy way to hunt fossils . . .

fossil mosasaur vertebra
Mosasaur vertebra.

searching for fossils in creek
A perfect outing for our future paleontologist!

fossil stash pile
What did you find, young lady? A nice collection of shark teeth, ptychodus teeth, petrified wood, coral, and pretty pebbles.

searching for fossils in creek

fossil ptychodus teeth

searching for fossils in creek

fossil oyster shells
Quite a few oyster shells were found.

searching for fossils in creek]

fossil skute
Appears to be a tiny crocodile scute.

searching for fossils in creek

fossil wormtube
Nicely preserved worm tube.

searching for fossils in creek

fossil shark teeth
More shark teeth.

fossil shark teeth

searching for fossils in creek

fossil from creek
Not sure what this is, any ideas?

fossil from creek
Another unidentified fossil.

fossil fish vertebra
Tiny fish vertebra.

searching for fossils in creek

tired fossil hunters
Decisions, decisions.. . . Do we want to collect in those gullies over there, or head out for supper? How about both?