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C and D Canal Fossils


Cretaceous Fossil Identification

Fossil Identification C & D Canal

Warning: The canal has not been dredged in many years. Therefore, the spoil piles are severely depleted. Some people are not finding any fossils, while others are only finding a few fossils. I would not recommend large groups, such as school groups or scout groups, to go to this site.

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:



Belemnitella americana

Belemniets are a type of extinct squid like animal. They had a hard internal shell which readily fossilizes. At the C & D Canal and the Big Brook area in New Jeersey, these Belemnite internal shells are a translucent amber color.

These are parts of the internal shells of Belemnites.

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

These are fragments 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

Pelecypod Fossils

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

Extinct Pelecypod fossils are someimtes found in the dredge piles around the C and D Canal.

Exogyra costata

These exogyra costata pelecypod fossils can get somewhat larger than the one pictured here.

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

Pyncnodonte mutabilis

These Pyncnodonte pelecypod fossils come in weird shapes.

Formation: Mount Laurel Formation
Age: Late Cretaceous, ~85 - 65 m.y.
Location: C and D Canal, DE
Location: ~ 3 inches

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.

About the Author

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