September 22, 2018 - Cretaceous Fossils, Dallas and Perry County, Al.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, a nice-sized group of BPS members and guests gathered in anticipation of a gully and creek exploration and discovery.  The day was predictably hot but spirits were high – fossils out there, waiting to be found!!  After a brief orientation and explanation of potential finds, the group moved into the gullies and began searching.  Finds from this site included shark and enchodus teeth, shark and fish vertebrae, shell fragments, worm tubes, shrimp burrows, and ubiquitous, sparkly pyritized organic material (still hard for me to resist).  While talking to another member, James spotted a string of shark vertebrae (5-6) on an adjacent gully which he carefully collected and wrapped for transport.  Still really spectacular and incredible to me that an animal used those vertebrae to swim around and live his life and here we find them 80 million years later.  And, they are still in pretty good shape (considering)!

After a lunch break, we moved to the second site (my personal favorite) which is the very productive creek in the next county.  After the hot gullies, a cool wade through a very fossiliferous creek is just what the group likes!  Before we made it to the creek, I had the opportunity to meet the owner and express gratitude for his hospitality and generosity in allowing us access to this treasure on his property.  He told me he was glad we were enjoying it and that he was also glad that so many fossils were being found and appreciated.  Me, too!!

In the creek, my first screen yielded 5 shark teeth!  How can this not be a favorite location?!?!  James and several others went upstream to find gravel bars and while some stayed at the downstream spot that seemed to be yielding nice and plentiful teeth and bone fragments.  Also found were 3 ptychodus teeth of unknown species, 1 Ptychodus polygyrus tooth (way to go LEISA!!!) a piece of Native American pottery (also Leisa) and other interesting fossil, geofact and late hominid artifacts (vintage glass, metal, pottery mostly).  If someone leaves this site empty-handed, it’s because he or she chooses to do so!  There’s something here for everyone!  So, a little before daylight started dimming, the group called a halt to the searching, changed into dry clothes and shoes and bid the lovely creek site good-bye until next time.