Castle Hayne 10-2011

On October 21, 2011 nineteen members of the North Carolina Fossil Club met at Martin Marietta Limestone Quarry at Castle Hayne, NC for the annual fall collecting trip. The weather forecast included mid-seventies with continuous soft breezes which made for excellent hunting conditions.       In spite of a rather confined collecting area, fossil finds were surprisingly abundant and varied. Linda McCall found three squid beaks, the echinoids Linthia wilmingtonensis and Eurhodia rugosa sp. and nautiloid Eutrephaceras carolinensis . For those who focused on collecting Eocene, their efforts paid off.  One notable find was George Marrier’s archaeocete partial whale vert  as vertebrate fossils of the archaeocete whale, Zygorhiza kochii are very rare in the Castle Hayne Formation. Even though many Eocene echinoids are especially plentiful in the Castle Hayne, Tracey Mayo’s Cidaris pratti was certainly a notable find as they are considered a very rare Eocene echinoid.  For those who focused on collecting Cretaceous, their efforts paid off as well.  Jim and Wesley Mahoney found two Hardouinia kellumi, which are considered a prize of the Cretaceous echnoids. Other unique Cretaceous fossils found included Trish Kohler’s Cretalamna  biauriculata and Ischyrhiza mira (Sawfish rostral tooth).  I have to say that this sawfish tooth was the finest specimen I have ever seen.  Tracey Mayo and Dave Sanderson both recovered nice mosasaurus teeth. Victor Krynicki reported a variety of fish fossils including a vertebrae and rare Enchodus jaw fragment.   Other interesting Cretaceous finds were a perfect Squalicorax pristodontus and Hardouinia mortonis (Echinoid). Other club members attending the trip were Jeff Butterworth, Mike D’aurelio and Rufus Johnson.  Jeff Cohn brought the whole family - Sandra, Matthew, Benjamin and friend Gorden Cathcary and did well hunting on the Cretaceous piles.  One father and son team found a whole bag of assorted echinoids and an early form of great white.  Great White’s are a rare find in this quarry.  Other finds by members included, but were not limited to, the following: brachiopods, drum teeth, and assortments of Cretaceous teeth.  By days end everyone was slowly migrating back to the parking area with fossils and hopes for future trips. By all accounts, a fun and enjoyable day of fossil collecting was had by all. As fall is now upon us and winter just around the corner, we look forward now to spring, seeing old acquaintances and making new friends. We owe a special thanks to Burnie Freas and the mine employees at Martin Marietta Castle Hayne.