Stingray dental pavements are common vertebrate fossil finds.

Stingray dental pavements are common vertebrate fossil finds. These fascinating bits of stingray have long been a favorite and were some of the first vertebrate fossils I ever found.

Location: South Florida

Collector: Scott Stepanski

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Rating: +2 (from 6 votes)
The smallest fossil scute caught my eye while collecting in Florida

While collecting some phosphate mine spoils in South Florida, my eye caught sight of this tiny scute from some long dead stingray or other marine animal. The scute is less than 1/4 inch wide, but I loved the amazing details on it's surface. A really big find will really make a fossil collecting trip, but sometimes a very small find will do just as well.

Location: Polk County, Florida

Collector: Scott Stepanski

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Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
Big Brook Fish bones from the time of the dinosaurs.

Small Cretaceaus fish vertebrae are commonly screened up in the sediments at Big Brook. Though less showy than fossil teeth, they are no less interesting to fossil collectors wanting to get a glimpse of the fossil past.

Location: Monmouth County, New Jersey

Collector:: Scott Stepanski

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Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
Bull and Dusky shark fossils from Florida.

Bull and Dusky shark tooth fossils collected on Karen and Laura Roraffs expedition on the Caloosahatchee River in Florida.

Mako shark tooth from Florida

A mako shark tooth collected on the same trip.

Photo: Courtesy Mark Rentz
Location: Caloosahatchee River, Florida

Fossil Expeditions

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Micro shark teeth from a New Jersey well drilling.

Shark teeth through the looking glass. Well drillings can provide a micro-sized snap shop into fossil formations not available on the surface. This well drilling in Richwood, New Jersey punched into the Cretaceous Mount Laurel/Navesink Formation more than 100 feet below the surface.

Tiny fossil obtained through a well drilling

The fossils were carefully sifted with window screen from the glauconite-rich "green sand" brought to the surface. Fossils in the sample included shark teeth, shark and ecinoderm spines, encodus fish teeth and dermal denticles.

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Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)