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Fossil Hunting at the Red Hill Devonian Fossil Site


Red Hill Fossil Site: Devonian Fish and Tetrapods - Pennsylvania

Fossil Hunting at the Red Hill Devonian Fossil Site: Hyneria Teeth and Scales

A view of the Red Hill Fossil Site in Central PA

A view of the Red Hill Fossil Site in Central PA
They don't call this fossil hunting site "Red Hill" for nothing.

Red Hill Fossil Trip - Hyneria Teeth and Scales

Although I have never had much luck at Red Hill and the fragmentary fossils it contains, the thirst for a nice shark fin spine or a large Hyneria tooth makes me return.

Where else can one find these types of Devonian vertebrates? Usually the Devonian Time period is synonymous with Trilobites and other invertebrate fossils. It's rare to find a place that contains a plethora of vertebrate remains from this time period.

This time I had my sites set high... It was all or nothing. Armed with a huge breaker bar and some pretty big sledges, I planned to give the road cut a full out assault. After meeting up with fellow collector Larry, I scaled the wall and found a large section to pry out. After about an hour, the all out assault ended in failure, as the section would not budge. I then set my sights a little lower, and tried to pry out a smaller section... After this one wouldn't budge, I hunkered down and started excavating an even smaller section. Needless to say, I didn't find much in the way of fossils. I now however, have a greater respect for this road cut and have better plans for it when I return.

Some day I will find something nice from this place! It's just a matter of time...

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.

Below are pictures and fossils from the Devonian Red Hill fossil hunt:

I'm looking for those Devonian fossils at Red Hill. Actually, at that moment I was thinking about bringing a sled next time, so I can sled ride down the hill.

This is a view from the road of a section of the formidable Red Hill road cut.

This was my best find. A group of scales from the giant Hyneria fish. A devonian monster at Red Hill.

Larry found this outstanding fossil Hyneria tooth. It has a nice black color, unlike the more common red color.

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