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Norcross, GA 30093-3059

GMS Field Trip

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Lots of Sharks' Teeth!

GMS Field Trip
Marine Fossils in Alabama
Sunday, September 29, 2013

Many thanks to Thad and Jeff from the Montgomery Gem & Mineral Society for helping us with this trip! Thad explained the geology and paleontology of the area. Plus, he directed us to the best places to dig, how to dig, and what to look for.

After we trekked across a grassy field, then traversed a treacherously slippery slope, everyone jumped into the water and started digging. Almost immediately people began finding shark teeth. Some locals who were there offered some tips and tricks as well.

The water was nice and cool and the sun was shining, though the temperature was surprisingly comfortable. Yilan had to keep an eye on Jeremiah while she helped remove “hitchhikers” from all over me. Still not sure how I got into so many! Bill was amused by our simian-like activity as we plucked dozens of little nasties from my clothes and shoes, but unlike the monkeys we resembled, we had no desire to consume any of those sticky little creeps.

Jeremiah and Celesta had a grand time playing in the water, as did all of the other children. Normally they would be the ones covered in dirt at the end of the day, but this time the grown-ups were as muddy and happy and tired as the kids, so I would venture to guess that everyone slept well that night.

Bonney Weathers used a clever portable scaffolding to work his screen so he could work standing up instead of stooped over. He found an incredibly detailed vertebra. Thad sat on his bucket of sand and reached in every now and then to fill his screen. He found a beautiful drum fish mouth plate.

The sand there is very interesting, so we bagged up a good sample of that. As we screened the sand, we looked for teeth and usually got a few per screen. Then we saved the concentrate so we could look through it more carefully later.

What a fun day! It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip and I am looking forward to going there again!

Lori Carter, on behalf of
Charles Carter, GMS Field Trip Chair
Photo by Lori Carter

Bonney Weathers (left) using his clever screen while Mary and Doug Gurney search old school style
Photo by Lori Carter

It was a perfect day for fossil hounding
Photo by Lori Carter

Yilan and Bill while they were still relatively clean
Photo by Lori Carter

The sand there is loaded with curious black blobs
[Update: blobs have been identified as glauconite -- webmaster]

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