Celebrating the Richness of Paleontology through Fossil Hunting

Red Hill Fossil Hunt - Devonian Fossils at Red Hill, PA

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Read About A More Recent Red Hill Fossil Hunting Trip

Other Fossil Site in PA - Ambridge Plant Fossils

Red Hill
Red Hill Fossil Hunt
October 2010

The Red Hill Fossil Hunting Location
When we arrived, the road cut was partially veiled by fog, making an interesting picture.

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.

view of the Red Hill fossil site
View from the Red Hill road cut

a broken hyneria tooth sticking out of the Red Hill roadcut
Here is a broken Hyneria tooth sticking out of the rock

another broken hyneria tooth sticking out of the Red Hill roadcut
This is another broken Hyneria tooth eroding out of the matrix

Devonian Fossils Found during this Red Hill Fossil Trip

hyneria teeth from Red Hill Fossil site
Here are a few of the small/broken hyneria teeth. They are each about 1/2" in length

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