• "Celebrating the Richness of Paleontology through Fossil Hunting"

Aurora, NC Fossil Trip - 2007


Please note, the Mine is CLOSED to collecting - This is an older trip report from 2007. Please don't call the mine or museum asking to fossil hunt in the mine. You can still fossil hunt at the mine tailings in front of the museum. Go to the Aurora page for more information.




Aurora Fossil Trip Report from back in 2006
Megalodon Fossils and a Dolphin Skull



Fossil hunting area at the mine in Aurora, North Carolina

This season, old and new collecting areas have been combined to give access to virtually the entire pit, minus an area being reclaimed.


March 4th was the scheduled date that Amy and I had been given to collect at the PCS Mine. However, due to a series of unfortunate events, circumstances, and schedule clashes, Amy could not make it. Alone I headed, on my 9-hour drive to Aurora; to the Pliocene and Miocene bone beds.

For the fall 2006 season, old collecting areas had been combined to produce an area nearly the size of the pit. There are miles upon miles of collecting area. It is nice to have everyone go into the mine, disperse, and in a few minutes not see anyone around. What a huge collecting area it is!

As I quietly disappeared into solitude, into the past, toward an un-hunted ridge in the distance, an eerie feeling came over me. It was unusually quite as I am use to Amy accompanying me. However, when I made it to the ridge, un-scoured by humans, I quickly found a perfect 2 1/4" excinct white shark, and I started to forget how strange it was to have Amy not accompany me. Then minutes later, on the same ridge, after finding another perfect 2 3/8" shark tooth, I began asking myself "Who is she?" The name Amy was but a distant memory. As I picked up large prehistoric teeth, questions such as "What was her name?" ran through my head. Soon the distant memories of her completely vanished as I found a beautiful 3 7/8" fossil megalodon shark tooth.

Later, I found a fossil Dolphin skull in a huge block of Pungo Limestone. While chiseling it into a manageable chunk (a 70 pound chunk) I was thinking, "I wish she was here to help me carry it a few miles back to the entrance". Alas, Amy was not with me. I had to lug this thing over numerous ridges, around numerous lakes, and through numerous gullies from one side of the mine to the other. This was done in 50-foot increments, before needing to rest due to exhaustion. It took hours, for every step I took; the mine seemed to grow in length by another two steps. Plus I had to go back to pick up my collecting equipment that I could not carry with the skull. I eventually made it though, wishing every second Amy were here to help me lug it!

By days end, even though I was sore and exhausted, I had done quite well. In fact, this was the best collecting trip I have had to date. A nice megalodon, lots of nice exctinct white sharks, a skull, whale teeth, a worn squalodon tooth, a marlin beak, and some dolphin arm bones that fit together quite well; collecting just couldn't get any better. Most other collectors were very pleased, having megalodon teeth, and other fossil rarities and oddities of their own.

Thanks PCS for allowing us to collect! We all greatly appreciate it!






Below are the fossil found from the mine in Aurora, NC


Many sections of the pit are now overgrown as this image shows.

Many sections of the pit are now overgrown as this image shows.


Here are most of the finds for the trip, including some nice fossil Megalodon teeth.  I forgot to scan the marlin beak.

Here are most of the finds for the trip, including some nice fossil Megalodon teeth. I forgot to scan the marlin beak.


Close-up of the nice fossil megalodon shark tooth. It has a 3 7/8 inch slant length.

Close-up of the nice fossil megalodon shark tooth. It has a 3 7/8 inch slant length.


Close-up of a chipped C. subauriculatus (chubutensis) shark tooth. The megatooth shark has a 3 inch slant length.

Closeup of a chipped C. subauriculatus (chubutensis) shark tooth. The megatooth shark has a 3 inch slant length.


Here are two large C. plicatilis extinct white shark teeth that were found. They are both slightly over 2 inches in length.

Here are two large C. plicatilis extinct white shark teeth that were found. They are both slightly over 2 inches in length.


A nice little fossil cow shark tooth.

A nice little fossil cow shark tooth.


Two small thresher shark teeth

Two small thresher shark teeth


A fossil sperm whale tooth (it was in 3 pieces when found, and 9 when I got home!) It glued together nicely though.

A fossil sperm whale tooth (it was in 3 pieces when found, and 9 when I got home!) It glued together nicely though.


Here is the fossil dolphin skull.  It is hard to see at this point since it is unprepped and mostly in the matrix.

Here is the fossil dolphin skull. It is hard to see at this point. Most of it is still in the limestone, which is good. It means it is probably well preserved. The snout is broken off a few inches below the nostrils. This is before it was prepped.


Here is the near perfect megalodon shark tooth when found.

Here is the near perfect megalodon shark tooth when found.


The smaller chipped megalodon shark tooth.  Sitting on a matrix pedestal.

This is a smaller chipped megalodon shark tooth. Sitting on a matrix pedestal.


A cow shark and a contortus fossil shark tooth lies where found.

A cow shark and a contortus fossil shark tooth lies where found.

Here is the whale tooth, in 3 pieces initially. It was in 9 pieces after it made it home.

Here is the whale tooth, in 3 pieces initially. It was in 9 pieces after it made it home.


A 2 3/8 inch C. plicatilis extinct white shark tooth hiding in on hillside.

A 2 3/8 inch C. plicatilis extinct white shark tooth hiding in on hillside.


A 2 1/4 inch C. plicatilis extinct white shark tooth lying on top of a ridge.

A 2 1/4 inch C. plicatilis extinct white shark tooth lying on top of a ridge.





Recommended Books for North Carolina Fossil Collecting:



** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **
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 is filled with clear photographs and easy to read descriptions.
There's not too many books about North Carolina Sharks teeth. This one is pretty good!




** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **
Fossil Shark Teeth of the World

A great book for identifying all those teeth. This book is laid out "as simple as possible." It's ease of use and small size makes it great to carry during collecting trips. This book shows teeth from around the globe, but all the North Carolina teeth can be found in it.




Seal/Dolphin ~ Phoca/Stenella: A Skeletal Comparison of Two Marine Mammals

by John R. Timmerman, 1997

This is a very good book if you want to attempt to identify the numerous bone fragments encountered at this site.
This book can be purchased through the North Carolina Fossil Club - When at their website, click on the publications tab.




Recommended Link

ELASMO.COM

The best site on the web for fossil shark teeth! It's dedicated to Aurora and many other sites!


Get Your Very Own Megalodon Tooth:

These are Authentic Megalodon teeth sold by Fossil Era , a reputable fossil dealer (that I personally know) who turned his fossil passion into a business. His Megalodon teeth come in all sizes and prices, from small and inexpensive to large muesum quality teeth. Each tooth has a detailed descriptions and images that include its collecting location and formation. If you are looking for a megalodon tooth, browse through these selections!



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