Celebrating the Richness of Paleontology through Fossil Hunting

Presenting at the SE-GSA Meeting and Fossil Hunting in the South Carolina Lowcountry

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Recommended Book:

Shark Tooth Hunting on the Carolina Coast
By: Ashley Oliphant, 2015

GSA Meeting and a Lowcountry Fossil Hunt

Short Video of the Fossil Hunt in South Carolina

Fossil Hunting in the Lowcountry of South Carolina

The GSA Conference in Columbia, SC

The Fossil Project, based out of the Florida Museum of Natural History, invited me to speak at the South East Gological Society of America meeting at the end of March in Columbia, SC. This was the first time the speakers at a session were mostly avocational fossil hunters. My presentation was on the value of amateur websites in the field of paleontology. I think my presentation as well as everyone else's went over well! After the session, we were fee to listen to all the other presentations at the two day conference. It was a great learning experience.

It was nice to meet and hang out with new people in the field and place faces to familiar names that I have communicated with through the website. I would like to thank Eleanor and Victor from the Fossil Project for inviting me down to speak. It was a wonderful experience! Oh, He-Man says "Hey-Hey-Hey"

Presenting at the Geological Society of America Conference in Columbia, SC

Presenting at the Geological Society of America Conference in Columbia, SC

Lowcountry Fossil Hunt

Of course, no trip to South Carolina would be complete without heading to the beautiful southern city of Charleston. So, after the conference I headed down to Charleston for a few days. Here, I would indulge on Carolina Cup Oysters, Red Rice, Palmeto Amber, Softshell Crabs, enjoy the warmth and sun (it was still snowing were I live), oh, and fossil hunt while munching on Boiled Cajun Peanuts out of the back of trucks. What more can one ask for.

Enjoying what Charleston has to offer.

Enjoying everything Charleston has to offer.

Mace Brown Museum

The first day in Charleston, I met up with some really nice fossil hunters, Chuck of the Friends of the Aurora Fossil Museum, and Walter of Paleoadventures. We were invited by Bob and Sarah of the Mace Brown Museum to take a tour of this museum in downtown Charleston. It is a beautiful museum nestled inside the College of Charleston. They have great displays that include an array of local fossils, Pleistocene animals, mosasaurs, Oligocene mammals, to dinosaurs. The highlight for me was the cetacean evolution room. It's probably the best series of displays I have ever seen on whale evolution. I would highly recommend visiting the Mace Brown NHM if you're in downtown Charleston. Thank you Bob and Sarah for giving us a tour!

Mace Brown Museum in Charleston.

Walter, Sarah, Bob, and Chuck in the prep lab.

Cetacean evolution room at the Mace Brown Museum in Charleston.

The Cetacean Evolution room at the Mace Brown Museum in Charleston.

Fossil Hunting

Originally I was supposed to go diving with Lee and Chuck, both from the Friends of the AFM, however, the conditions just wouldn't work out. The rivers were flooded one day, the winds were too high another day, plus the gators we saw looked extra hungry. Other plans to fossil hunt were also cancelled. Anyhow, stranded without fossils to hunt, we did manage to make some very last minute connections and get into some fossil areas. The highlight of the trip was a near perfect Great White shark tooth, my first Parotodus benedeni, and some pieces of Giant Ground Sloth teeth. It was a pretty good fossil trip! The video at the top of this page shows it all.

Below are pictures and fossils from the fossil hunt:

My fossil finds from South Carolina.

Fossil Finds from South Carolina

Great White Shark Tooth

Great White Shark Tooth sitting on the shovel

Great White Shark Tooth

Great White Shark Tooth

parotodus shark tooth - as found

The Parotodus benedeni shark tooth when found.

Parotodus Shark Tooth

Parotodus benedeni shark tooth - These Oligocene specimens sometimes have small cusps. Normally they do not have cusps.

carcharocles angustidens Shark Tooth when found

This C. angustidens fossil shark tooth was found with just the root lobes sticking out.

carcharocles angustidens Shark Tooth

This is one of the better Carcharocles angustidens shark teeth that was found.

fragments of a giant ground sloth tooth

Fragments of a Giant Ground Sloth tooth. This is probably from the Wando Formation.

Recommended Book for Carolina Fossil Collecting:


Shark Tooth Hunting on the Carolina Coast
by Ashley Oliphant, 2015

This is a great field guide for locating and identifying fossil shark teeth on the beaches of North and South Carolina. It's great if your interested in finding shark teeth in the Carolinas. It is filled with clear photographs and easy to read descriptions.
There's not too many books about North and South Carolina Sharks teeth. This one is pretty good!