Fossil hunting is not just for paleontologists. Although it doesn’t hurt to bring one along. We had an excellent one accompany us when we made our first fossil-finding foray. His name is Ashby Gale and he is the owner of Charleston Fossil Adventures, which conducts tours in South Carolina to uncover fossils in places where you wouldn’t expect to find them.
In our case, we scoured the beach in Edisto Beach State Park. There are millions of shells littering the beach, or course, but if you keep your eyes open and know what to look for, you can find quite a few fossils hiding among them – or in some cases, in plain sight. Ashby helped us learn to spot them and identify them, and we were able to keep all that we found! They ranged in age from about 11,000 years to over a million years old. We even found some bits of Native American pottery, and some glass from a Nineteenth Century vacation retreat on a little island that sat just offshore but now has vanished (it’s like South Carolina’s own version of Atlantis). And we saw some interesting creatures that are still living – some dolphins surfacing not far offshore.
A fascinating and informative afternoon in our science classroom on the beach. A big thank you to our teacher and guide, Ashby! We’re eager to go looking for fossils again, and we’re confident that sooner or later we’ll discover an unknown species.
Have you ever found a fossil? Do you have a favorite one? Leave your comments below.
Special thanks to Charleston Fossil Adventures for providing the adventure.