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Red Hill Fossil Trip

Red Hill Fossil Site: Devonian Fish and Tetrapods - Pennsylvania


Red Hill Fossil Trip - June 2006

Devonian fish and tetrapods


This image shows the exact spot where Hynerpeton bassetti, North Americas first Tetrapod, was discovered.

This image shows the exact spot where Hynerpeton bassetti, North Americas first Tetrapod, was discovered.


Red Hill Fossil Trip Report

Red Hill contains a clear slice through the Devonian Period. It contains a large variety of fish, plants, and even contains two of North Americas oldest tetrapods. This makes it an ideal site for paleontologists studying the Devonian time period and for studying tetrapod evolution. This site helped rewrite tetrapod evolution.

It's an interesting fossil site to collect at. This trip was with the Calvert Marine Museum fossil club. Below are images of the trip.



Here is a view of the Red Hill road cut

Here is a view of the Red Hill road cut and some of the CMM crew that visited it. Paul is in the red shirt. He looks like he's about to flop off the cliff side. Doug Rowe is below Paul, perhaps preparing to catch him. Doug is the local Paleontologist and the one that makes club trips to Red Hill possible. Thanks Doug for letting us collect!


Here, one can see Paul, Amy, Doug, and Grenda hunkered down on the steep hillside taking a water break.

Here, one can see Paul, Amy, Doug, and Grenda hunkered down on the steep hillside taking a water break.


This is a Hyneria lindae tooth protruding from the hill.  Hyneria was a lobe-fin fish, closely related to tetrapods. It was probably also the top predator at Red Hill, as it could measure 12 feet in length.

This is a Hyneria lindae tooth protruding from the hill. Hyneria was a lobe-fin fish, closely related to tetrapods. It was probably also the top predator at Red Hill, as it could measure 12 feet in length.


Some of the fossils found at Red Hill - Hyneria teeth, Ageleodus teeth, Placoderm armor and fish spine fragments

These are some of the fossils we found at Red Hill. There are two Hyneria lindae teeth and one Hyneria lindae scale. Other fossils found were a few more Hyneria teeth, Ageleodus pectinatus teeth (teeth of an early shark), Ctenacanthus (an early shark) fin spine fragments, and some Placoderm (armored fish) armor plate fragments.





If you are interested the transition from fins to feet and Tetrapod Evolution, I strongly suggest:


Gaining Ground, Second Edition: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods (Life of the Past)
by Jennifer A. Clack

This book, full of comparative illustrations and photos, tells the story of tetrapod evolution, how it started 370 some million years ago, and goes through the different interpretations of the various early tetrapods. It is a must for anyone interested in Tetrapod evolution. If you have ever fossil collected at Red Hill, this book puts everything in perspective.



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