Posts Tagged ‘bone’

A Rare Find

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My son was stationed at Fort Riley, and took my husband and I fossil hunting in the Niobrara Chalk of Kansas in October of 2003.

The chalk formed from an inland sea that divided North America during the age of dinosaurs.

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This is my husband. We found jaws, teeth and bones either sticking out of the chalk and laying about.

Keith had told me that if I found anything good that was embedded in the chalk, to leave my fossil bag by it, and come and get him. Otherwise I’d never find the fossils again. (Besides, I had no idea how to safely remove fossils from the chalk.)

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Luckily, he told me that, otherwise I definitely wouldn’t have found these 31 vertebrae again. The chalk had eroded down enough to completely separate them from it.

(The biggest one measures an inch in diameter.)

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What makes them so rare is that they’re shark vertebrae.

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 Shark vertebrae are made of cartilage, not bone, and are rarely preserved.


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When I went to find Keith, I found him 15 feet high on a small ledge cutting out a protosphyraena  fin (swordfish). Obviously, I had to wait until he was done.

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Later after cleaning the fossil and reshaping the chalk, he gave it to me on Christmas. The fin measures 11 1/2 inches long. It’s now displayed on a bookcase in my living room.


Anyone wanting more information on the chalk and fossils of Kansas might visit:


 for protosphyraena:


River Gravel Finds

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My mother (above ) and I used to hunt for rocks and fossils in gravel dredged from the Ohio River.  The gravel is sorted by size and piled for sale.

My best friend went with us on this trip.We hunted the smaller size gravel.

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I hunted for fossils and interesting rocks. I arranged these above as a sampling of what fossils could be found.

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These fossils, plus arrowhead,  made sure they got my attention.

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I knew this was a piece of a mammoth tooth when I found it.

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It was something I never expected to find. The piece measures 1 1/8 inch long.

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  There’s no telling how far this arrowhead traveled down the river before being dredged out. It measures 2 7/8 inch long.

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This bone was in no way expected. Ones that have seen it say it’s human. I have no idea and don’t know how to tell. It’s 3 inches long.

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It feels like stone. It’s heavy like stone.

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I brought this one home because of the colors, having no idea what it was.

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It turned out to be a piece of mammoth tooth too and measures 1 1/4 inch at the widest.

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My opinion differs from others on this last stone. It measures roughly 1 1/4 wide wide and is 1/2 inch tall at the tallest. It is a rock. To me it looks like a slice of bone. It’s relatively smooth on the outside. Areas on the inside appear slightly porous.

Obviously, I had a GOOD day!

Luckily, I drove, otherwise,  I probably would’ve been walking home.


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I didn’t find this last arrowhead until 2 summers ago when I was cleaning the river gravel along the side of my moon garden. Since it’s sandstone, I thought it might have been made by maybe someone learning how to chip arrowheads. It measures 2 1/2 inches long.

Ice Age Fossils

Aaron, my grandson, just finished a blog of the rocks he found in the river gravel I have in my gardens. It reminded me of 3 items I found a few years ago. My mother, my best friend and I were at Shawneetown, climbing around on a large pile of river gravel dredged from the Ohio River. The place sold the rock. We’d rock hunt, then picnic at the river and finish the trip off with hunting for driftwood. This one particular trip I found an arrowhead, a partially fossilized bone and a piece of mammoth tooth.

That’s how you know you’re having a good day!

The arrowhead is almost 3 inches long

The bone is 3 inches long. The few people that have seen it says it’s human. I have no idea.

I knew this had to be a piece of mammoth tooth.  It may only be 1 1/4 inch long, but it’s a” big thing” for me.

 Last summer I took the river gravel up from beside my moon garden and put new landscaping cloth down. I found this arrowhead in the process. It’s made from fine sandstone, instead of flint. I think it might have been one made by a young person that was learning to make arrowheads. It’s 2 1/2 inches long.

Several years ago, my oldest son took me up the Ohio River, north of Shawneetown, to the mouth of the Wabash River. The river level was overly low, and this made for sandbar after sandbar. Keith hunted for ice age fossils. I’d get sidetracked with rocks and not cover anywhere near as much territory as he did.

I found the bone on the right. He found the rest. The middle bone and the jaw are from bison. He even found the lower jaw of a young beaver … with the teeth still in it. He has the knack!

There has to be a gene that compels a person to collect rocks. My Mother has it. I have it. Keith has it, and now my grandson Aaron has it too.

It’s a fun thing to have!