Saturday, June 02, 2012

Fossils on the Beach

I've been fossil hunting for many years now, asking the universe to allow me to find real fossils with my own eyes and my own hands. My first find was in my own front yard. Tom's grandparents, who built our house in the 60's, had two huge boulders brought into their front yard for landscaping. One of them is laden with oyster shell fossils.

I can't remember my very first find in the mountains. It was sometime after the Jesusita fire and the rains the following winter. I was SO excited when I found my first fossil rock, small enough for me to carry home. Many hand carried rocks (laden with 60 million year old oyster shell fossils) later, that year, on an eclipse tide, I utilized all my knowledge of bone development and formation to identify a large bony fossil on Hendry's beach. It was distorted to an unidentifiable shape, recognised only as a bone.
Trebecular and cortical bone in what appears to be a joint curve. This fossil is only identifiable as bone, but not "which" bone. Maybe a pelvis that has been reshaped through time?

Yesterday, I lit my candle of the moon for June, SERENDIPITY asking for just that. 
 I felt compelled to take a walk on the beach where I found this:

Appears to be either vertebrae or phelanges. Seems to have growth plates. Measuring at about 8 inches per bone.

Notice the joint space and the growth plates.

And this:

This may have been a ribs or a long bone like a femur or tibia/fibula combo that have been flattened in the rock.

The Eclipse tides have been extreme and just enough to clear the sand away. I squealed with delight at my first discovery. I had no one to share it with, except through text.  My family called for a crane.

This morning, I returned. My original discovery was re-buried but I found this:


And this:

This :

this looks like a vertebra


this looked like a long bone or possibly a scapula. The tide today (Wednesday, June 6) revealed more on the underside of the rock.



And this:

This looks like the base of a skull or the first vertebrae. I wish I knew a Vertebrate Paleontologist!

It was as if my eyes were programed to pick the fossils out of the rocks. It was all for me. Serendipity.

How did I get so lucky?

I asked for it. I asked to find fossils, I felt passion for the rocks, I looked and watched, with perseverance. I am a paleontologist. Me.

Joyous serendipity.

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