Discovery Days: Exploring Thru Time
Photos by: Rick Jacquot
We had a fun weekend in Charleston, SC this past weekend. I met with Brenton and October, Rick B. and Charlene, Rob Stine and Derek and Mary on Friday afternoon at the Ashley River Bridge. The plan was to hunt fossils Friday and visit the fossil show in Moncks Corner on Saturday. The area at the bridge is now a park. paved road and parking spaces with a nice fishing pier. They left the beach alone so the hunting remains the same, although quite picked over as compared to years past.
October and a new friend hunting fossils.
Brenton and October on the beach.
Charlene, Rick B., Maggie and Rob on the hunt.
My big finds of the day, a pair of glasses, some phosphate and a little fishing line. The hunting is much harder these days as so many people visit this spot.
Saturday at the show.
If you have any doubt about the quality of finds that can be made by diving, check this out. Fossil diver Joe Harvey and his son found this just a few months ago in the Cooper River. A mammoth or Mastodon tusk section, 3-4 ft. long and weighing about 75 pounds. He said this was just laying on the bottom, not even buried in the sand. He also said it took 2,000 pounds of air and everything he had to get it to the surface. Joe and his son are the main fossil and artifact contributors to the Berkeley County Museum.
Fossil teeth, a crab and a huge fossil Marlin fish vert. This fish must have been over a thousand pounds!
Fossils for sale. This is just one room, there were several rooms filled with many top quality fossil dealers.
The show also held history demonstrations from the Pirate era, the Civil War, Colonial times and more. Above is the local pirate expert, that is a real 1756 flintlock pistol he is sporting on his belt.
One of the pirates brought along his bird.
This was my favorite find/purchase of the weekend. This is a large whale vert, not particularly attractive and it was being used to prop up the lid of another display at one table. I asked the dealer what he wanted for it and bought it. He had found it in the Cooper River years before, now retired from diving, he was selling off some of his old finds.
I wanted the piece for one reason, the obvious bite damage done to the vert. If this is not a Megalodon bite, it is some odd pathology, but everyone I showed it to agreed it was definitely bite damage. I have seen many fakes over the years like the one pictured below. These things are many times sold to amateur unknowing fossil collectors claiming the vertebrae was found with the shark tooth imbedded in the vert. These are all fakes, at least all the ones I have seen. The one I have is the only one I have ever seen that has actual damage. Of course I do not have the tooth that did it and I doubt the tooth even came out of the sharks mouth, the damage was likely caused during a feeding frenzy with numerous sharks stripping the whales carcass and bones for any meat still attached. I think I might be able to find a broken meg somewhere to fit the hole!
Fake/constructed specimen of whale vertebra with shark tooth.
A couple close ups of the bite damage, you can still see the river gravel in the hole.
When I got to one of the buildings at the show, an older gentleman was laying out a pile of river bones to give away to the visitors. I asked him if he had any dugong skull caps in the pile, he said he didn't think so. Later he approached me and gave me this bone, he said it looked like a skull and asked if I wanted it. I took it. It is a giant ground sloth bone, likely the end of a leg or arm bone. Pretty cool.
The show was great and it definitely got me primed for the upcoming dive season in the Cooper, Edisto and other South Carolina rivers!