Identification of Fossils that can be found at the Big Brook area, New Jersey - Fossil Identification - Shark Teeth





Return to Big Brook Fossil Location Page




Big Brook Fossil Collecting Location Page:
Big Brook Area, NJ



View Collecting Trip Reports from the Big Brook area



Printable Identification Fossil Sheets for the Big Brook Area, NJ



Shark Tooth Collecting Location:
Calvert Cliffs of MD



Shark Tooth Collecting Location:
Potomac River, MD



Shark Tooth Collecting Location:
PCS Mine, Aurora, NC



Fossil Shark Gallery



Mosasaurs
All About the Great Marine Reptiles



Parts of Sharks that Fossilize



Cretaceous Fossils Found in the formations at Big Brook and nearby brooks, New Jersey

Fossils here include: Mosasaurs, Sharks, Skates/Rays, Bony Fish, Invertebrates



Mosasaur Fossils


Mosasaurus ?conodon (Cope 1881)
Great Marine Reptile

The Mosasaur was a great marine reptile that thrived during the Cretaceous. It was a top predator of the seas. The most common species of Mosasaur found in Monmouth County is M. conodon, a medium sized Mosasaur.
To learn all about these Great Marine Reptiles of the Cretaceous, go to the Mosasaur Gallery.



Click to view the mosasaur fossil as found
This is my first mosasaur from the Big Brook area. It is chipped up, but most of the enamel is in great condition. Another storm or two in the brook and it probably would have split apart.

Notice the cutting edge in the top center view. The cutting edge is the easiest way to distinguish mosasaur teeth from crocodile teeth.

Click on the image to see it as found.


Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • ~1.125" (~ 28mm)
    Date:
  • July 2010 TRIP



  • Shark Fossils

    Archaeolamna kopingensis (Davis 1890)
    Extinct Mackerel Shark



    fossil cretaceous shark tooth
    The above is an example of a Archaeolamna kopingensis lateral tooth

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • ~.94" (~ 24mm)
  • fossil shark tooth
    These are more examples of Archaeolamna kopingensis teeth


    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • In and around Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • Largest is ~1.12" (~ 28mm)
  • Cretolamna appendiculata (Agassiz 1843)
    Extinct Mackerel Shark

    Cretolamna appendiculata looks like a small Cretaceous version of the Paleocene and Eocene Otodus obliquus. It is thought by many that Otodus obliquus evolved from Cretolamna appendiculata sometime in the late cretaceous.

    This species became extinct sometime in the Paleocene, while the genus became extinct in the Eocene.
    fossil cretolamna shark tooth
    The above is an example of a Cretolamna appendiculata lateral tooth

    Cretolamna teeth are wider and flater than Archaeolamna teeth.

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • ~..75" (~ 19mm)
  • fossil cretolamna shark tooth
    These are more examples of Cretolamna appendiculata teeth


    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • In and around Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • Largest is ~1" (~25mm)
  • Scapanorhynchus texanus (Romer 1852)
    Extinct Goblin Shark

    Having a flat snout that protrudes from the head, Goblin sharks look odd. This species became extinct near the end of the Cretaceous, while the genus lasted into the Eocene. A different genus of goblin shark still lives today, the deepwater Mitsukurina genus, although it is rarely seen.

    Goblin teeth are probably the most common cretaceous teeth found in the Big Brook area of NJ.
    They can also reach sizes of over 2".
    The above tooth is a an example of an anterior tooth.
    It still has some iron attached to it.
    A defining characteristics of goblin anterior teeth are their striations on the lingual side of the tooth that continue onto the root (in unworn specimens).

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • ~1.75" (~ 44mm)
    Date:
  • Aug. 2009 TRIP
  • fossil goblin shark tooth - lateral
    The above tooth is a an example of a lateral tooth.

    Notice how different the lateral teeth are compared to anterior teeth. Lateral teeth are significantly wider and flatter, they often have a cusplet or two, and the striations have all but vanished.

    The tip is chipped on this specimen.

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • A Brook near Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • ~1.12" (~ 28mm)
    Date:
  • Aug. 2009 TRIP
  • examples of fossil goblin shark teeth - Scapanorhynchus texanus
    Here are several examples of anterior and lateral teeth

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin & Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • Largest one is ~ 1.6" (~ 41mm)
  • Squalicorax
    Crow Sharks

    This well known group of extinct sharks have distinctive teeth. The genus was only present in the Cretaceous. Out of the numerous species of squalicorax, two are represented from the Cretaceous of New Jersey.
    Squalicorax kaupi (Agassiz, 1843)
    Crow Shark

    This species is smaller than S. pristodontus, and has a distinct notch on the distil shoulder of their crowns.
    fossil crow shark tooth - squalicorax kaupi

    This is a profile, lingual, and labial view of a S. kaupi tooth

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Near Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • ~.6" (~15mm)
  • fossil crow shark teeth - squalicorax kaupi

    Above are more examples of S. kaupi teeth.

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Near Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • Largest is ~.6" (~15mm)
  • Squalicorax pristodontus (Agassiz, 1843)
    Crow Shark

    This species have larger teeth than S. kaupi, and does not have a distinct notch on the distil shoulder of their crowns.
    fossil crow shark tooth - squalicorax

    This is a profile, lingual, and labial view of a S. pristodontus tooth

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Near Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • ~.95" (~24mm)
  • fossil crow shark teeth - squalicorax

    Above are more examples of S. pristodontus teeth.

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Near Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • Largest is ~.95" (~24mm)
  • Squatina hassei (Leriche 1929)
    Angel Shark

    S. hassei is the Cretaceous species of the Angel shark.
    Like all species of Angel Shark, the teeth are tiny. They are often less than 1/4" (6 mm).
    fossil angel shark tooth - squantina hassei


    fossil shark tooth - angel shark - squantina hassei
    This is a stream worn specimen

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin & Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • ~ 0.16" (~ 4mm)
    Date:
  • Aug. 2009 TRIP
  • fossil shark vertebra - angel shark - squantina hassei
    This is a vertebra from a squantina hassei. Angel shark, for some reason, always seem to have either the cartilage or the prismatic cartilage marks all over them (those are the little hexagon dots all over the vert in the image).

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin & Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • ~ 1.5" (~ 38mm)
    Date:
  • Aug. 2009 TRIP



  • Skates & Rays

    Ischyrhiza mira (Leidy)
    Sawfish
    rostral teeth (the teeth that stick out of the sawfishes' snout) can be found on occasion at Big Brook.
    These are three teeth that were found within a couple inches of each other on a gravel bar.

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin & Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • largest one is ~ 1" (25mm)
    Date:
  • Aug. 2009 TRIP
  • This is a root to one of a rostral tooth.

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin & Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • ~ 3/8" (9mm)

  • Brachyrhizodus wichitaensis (Roemer)
    Myliobatoid Ray
    Isolated teeth from this ray are fairly common at the site. This image shows 3 views of a tooth that attached to the side of the ray plate.

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin & Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • ~ 3/8" (9mm)



  • Bony Fish

    Anomaeodus phasolus (Hay)
    Pycnodont Fish, an early Drumfish
    Drumfish have 2 distinct types of teeth. They have a battery of flat crushing teeth that enabled them to feed on crustaceans and mollusks. Two of these are shown in the center of the image. They also have oral teeth that look like very thin transparent claws. These are shown on both sides of the image.
    Drumfish crushing teeth can easily be confused with some of the worn gravel in the area. However, the bottoms of the crushing teeth are hollowed out. This is shown in the top crushing tooth in the image.

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin & Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size: Crushing teeth can grow to around ~1" (2.5cm), while the oral teeth are much smaller, with a max size of ~.4" (1cm).
  • Enchodus petrosus (Cope)
    Saber-Tooth Salmon
    You've heard of Saber-Tooth Lions of the Pliocene, but have you ever heard of a Saber-Tooth Salmon from the Cretaceous?

    These large monster salmon are a predecessor to modern salmon. However, they had large saber-like teeth that could reach over 3" long. Enchodus became extinct in the Paleocene, which is good... I would hate to go fishing and catch one of those!
    The awesome Oceans of Kansas site has an image of an Enchodus skull from the Sternberg Museum of Natural History. Scroll down about 1/2 way, and you should see the specimen.
    These are two sabers from the salmon. The larger one is a bit beat up.

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin & Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size: ~3/4" (19mm) & 1.5" (38mm)
  • Fish Vertebra
    Fish vertebra can be common in the sediments. They are usually smaller than this example.

    Formation:
  • Wenonah?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Campanian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin & Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size: ~7/8" (22mm)




  • Invertebrates

    Ammonite Fragments
    Fossilized Ammonite fragment
    Ammonite fragments are a somewhat common find. They are easy to identify due to the suture patterns.
    Whole ammonites are very difficult to find.


    Formation:
  • Navensink?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Early Maastrichtian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • Fragments are usually less than 1" (2.5 mm)
  • Belemnites
    Belemnitella americana
    A Belemnite is a type of extinct cephalopod. It looked kind of like a squid. The amber colored belemnite fossils found here are the internal shells of these squid like animals.
    Belemnites are scarce if collecting at Ramanessin Brook. However, at certain spots along Big Brook, they can be found by the bucket load.

    Formation:
  • Navensink?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Early Maastrichtian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • Usually 2 - 4" (~50 - 100 mm)

  • Protocallianassa mortoni (Pilsbry, 1901)
    Ghost Shrimp


    Ghost Shrimp Borrows - Trace Fossils

    Some layers in the Navensink trench are chalk full of fossilized borrows from invertebrates.
    Fossilized Ghost Shrimp Borrows
    The long tube like structures are fossilized invertebrate borrows. They are probably from Ghost shrimp. Their borrows filled in with iron rich sediments.


    Formation:
  • Navensink?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Early Maastrichtian; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Ramanessin Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:
  • Around 6 to 12 inches long (150 - 300 mm)

  • Ghost shrimp claw fragment


    Fossilized Ghost Shrimp Borrows
    The most common remains of Ghost shrimp are thier claws. The claws were more robust than the rest of the shrimp.
    Fragments are common to find. Whole claws are more rare.


    Formation:
  • Navensink?
    Age:
  • Late Cretaceous, Late Mass; ~67-74 m.y
    Location:
  • Big Brook, Monmouth Co., NJ
    Size:





  • Back to Big Brook page