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C and D Canal Fossils

FOSSIL IDENTIFICATION FOR THE C AND D CANAL

Cretaceous Fossil Identification


Fossil Identification C&D Canal

NOTE:The Us Army Corps of Engineers will be dredging part of the Canal soon and will deposit the material at the Reedy point area. Unfortunately, this new dredge material has no fossils. It may be some years before the fossil bearing dredge piles become available again.

Cretaceous Fossil Identification of Delaware

This fossil location is mainly a place to find Belemnite fossils.

Click on the type of fossil or scroll down to browse:




Invertebrates





Ammonite Fossils


Ammonites can be found at the Canal, usually they are small pieces. The key to identifying them are the suture patterns separating the chambers. Usually they break along these suture patterns. The image below shows examples of the suture patterns.



Ammonite

These are two pieces of Ammonites. The one on the left is how they are more commonly found. Usually the fragments are an inch or less in size. These two pieces were found by Dirtman & Cori Eppig.



Belemnites



Belemnitella americana

Belemniets are the state fossil of Delaware. They are a type of extinct squid like animal. They have a hard internal shell (rostrum) that readily fossilizes. They are common at the C&D Canal and the Big Brook area in New Jeersey. At these sites, the Belemnite rostrums are a beautiful translucent amber color.


These are parts of the internal shells (rostrums) of Belemnites. Typically at this location, they are found broken. Occasionally one can find a mostly complete one in the range of 3-4 inches. The ones on the left are split in half to show the internal structure.

Formation: Mount Laurel Formation
Age: Late Cretaceous, ~85 - 65 m.y.
Location: C and D Canal, DE



This is a sampling of the type and quality of Belemnite fossils one can find at the Canal.





Gastropod Fossils


A few species of Gastropod (snail) fossils can be found at the canal. These fossils are generally small and broken. Fragments can be difficult to ID to a specific genus. A few common genus include: Gyrodes, Calliomphalus, Xenophora, and Margaritella.



Gyrodes sp.

This is a piece of a Gyrodes gastropod fossil.

Formation: Mount Laurel Formation
Age: Late Cretaceous, ~85 - 65 m.y.
Location: C&D Canal, DE





Pelecypod Fossils (Mullosks)


Pelecypods are bivalve mollusks. Common examples today include clams and oysters.

A variety of Pelecypod fossils are common in the dredge piles around the C&D Canal.



Exogyra cancellata

This is an Exogyra cancellata oyster fossil from the C&D Canal in Delaware. These are some of the larger and more ornate oyster fossils one can find in this area.

Formation: Mount Laurel Formation
Age: Late Cretaceous, ~85 - 65 m.y.
Location: C&D Canal, DE



A sampling of exogyra cancellata pelecypod fossils from the C&D Canal.



These exogyra cancellata pelecypod fossils are some of the more ornate mollusks found in these Cretaceous formations.

Formation: Mount Laurel Formation
Age: Late Cretaceous, ~85 - 65 m.y.
Location: C&D Canal, DE




Ostrea falcata

Ostrea are tiny oysters. Although very small, they are ornate with large ridges.

Formation: Mount Laurel Formation
Age: Late Cretaceous, ~85 - 65 m.y.
Location: C&D Canal, DE




Pyncnodonte mutabilis

Pyncnodonte oyster fossils are some of the larger and more common fossils found at the Canal. Their two valves are almost always found separated. This image shows the two valves of the oyster.


Formation: Mount Laurel Formation
Age: Late Cretaceous, ~85 - 65 m.y.
Location: C and D Canal, DE


These Pyncnodonte oyster fossils are some of the larger and more common fossils found at the Canal. The upper right one has bore holes from predatory gastropods. These are the larger and more convex left hinges of the oyster shells.


These Pyncnodonte oyster fossils are some of the larger and more common fossils found at the Canal. The upper right one has bore holes from predatory gastropods. These are the smaller and flatter right hinges of the oyster shells.




Recommended Books for more Information:




Delaware Geological Survey Special Publication No. 18 "Cretaceous Fossils from the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal: A Guide for Students and Amateurs"
by E.M. Lauginiger, Copyright 1988, Delaware Geological Survey


This is a great publication for the Canal. You can download it by going to the Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) Publications Website and doing a search for the name.



101 American Fossil Sites You've Gotta See
By Albert B Dickas, 2018
This is a great updated fossil sites book with at least one fossil site in each state. Each site is broken into 2 pages. One has detailed information, such as directions, GPS coordinates, formation information, etc... The other is dedicated to images of the site and the fossils found there. It also gives information on fossil 'viewing' sites such as dinosaur trackways, museums, and active excavations.

This book is great for both beginning and expert fossil collectors. Beginners will find fossil hunting much easier with this book and experts will find it to be a great reference.
Plus, my fossil photos are peppered throughout this book!

Here is a link to my Review of the book.




When Dinosaurs Roamed New Jersey
by William B. Gallagher, 1997

Thisis a great book to learn about New Jersey Paleontology (Similar to Delaware Paleontology) and the geologic history of New Jersey. It is very accurate, as the author is a scholar in the field of paleontology. There is even a section that describes fossil hunting sites in New Jersey.



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