The Red Hill fossil Hunt
The famous Devonian outcropping at Red Hill is a paradise for anyone interested in tetrapod evolution. The river and pond deposits
that make up Red Hill contain a diverse fauna and flora from the critical time period when vertebrates first developed legs.
Two of the worlds earliest tetrapods and a giant lobe-fin fish that is closely related to tetrapods can be found here.
Nestled among these giants of tetrapod evolution is an insignificant freshwater shark.
Fossil remains of this shark are limited to fragile comb-like fin spines. Shark fin spines are generally much more difficult to find
than other shark fossils. However, at Red Hill, these fin spines are deemed common.
It is a chance at finding one of these intact fin spines that keeps me coming back to Red Hill. In October I made a return trip to Red Hill
with the DVPS. This trip was similar to all of the previous trips in that I had found no complete fin spines, just fragments. By the
end of the collecting day I had found a couple small teeth and some scales of Hyneria (that giant lobe-fin fish), and some fin spine
fragments. Many people, however, did well at this fragmentary site. I even saw a nice hyneria tooth, that was approximately 2” in size.