MGS Fossil Gallery
MGS members are avid collectors of fossils and minerals. Part of the fun of collecting is displaying the specimens that have been newly added to your collection. The Gallery pages offer MGS members an opportunity to share pictures of those new additions or any fine specimens in their collections. We have also included many pictures of club activities in the gallery.
Gallery images from current years appear below. Images from 2018 and before are available here.
To submit pictures for the gallery pages, please email them to the Please include a brief description of what is shown in the picture and where, when, and how you found it.
Jim Stedman prepared this montage of some mollusks from the St. Marys Formation.
Dr. Victor Perez, assistant curator of paleontology at the Calvert Marine Museum, spoke at the May meeting about the evolution, ecology, and body size of Megalodon. He made a strong case that the Great White is not the evolutionary descendant of Megalodon. The screen shot below shows some of the salient differences between teeth from these two types of shark.
Dr. Perez discussed methods of estimating Megalodon body size. He reviewed the commonly used (but erroneous) rule of thumb based on the maximum size of its teeth, as well as the more rigorous methodology that initially replaced it. He concluded by delineating a new methodology he derived based on "summed crown width." The image below shows a screen-capture from his talk which summarizes the three main points he made.
The slides Dr. Perez used during his talk can be accessed in a PDF file here. His scientific paper on the topic can be accessed in full here.
Tom and Joy Piscitelli were able to safely visit North Myrtle Beach, SC, this spring and Tom found many, many fossil (and recent) treasures in the sand. The beach sand is brought in from different places and, so, the fossils can be of a variety of ages, from relatively recent to as far back as the Cretaceous or earlier. (The Dentalium shells shown here are recent and not fossils.) As you can see from the images below, the finds range from teeth to shells.
Dave Andersen sent in this picture of an impressive Cylindracanthus fossil specimen which is from a Maryland site and Eocene in age. The taxonomic history of this genus is quite complicated, perhaps raising more questions than it answers.
At the March, 2021, meeting, MGS vice president Eric Seifter spoke about the methdology for estimating the age of mammoth teeth. The talk was based on his article which appeared in the March issue of the MGS newsletter (available on the Selected Past Issues page).
The MGS held its November 15, 2020, meeting on Zoom. Here are a couple of images from that meeting. For the mineral of the meeting, Bob Farrar discussed cordierite.
Eric Seifter showed a piece of petrified "peanut" wood from the Cretaceous found in Australia. (This kind of wood exhibits bore holes created by wood-eating clams. Those holes, prior to fossilization, became filled with the shells of radiolarians.)
On May 17th, members of the MGS and the American Fossil Federation were treated to a virtual tour of MGS VP Eric Seifter's new fossil museum. This tour took place about two years after a devastating fire consumed his house and damaged many of his fossils. The breadth and depth of the specimens on display are staggering. Among the riches are mammoth tusks and teeth; dinosaur teeth, eggs, footprints, and coprolites; fossils from early plants; ancient whale skulls, vertebrae, and teeth; and seemingly innumerable Ecphora shells. This barely scratches the surface. A few screenshots from the tour appear below.
Eric is seen discussing a whale tympanic bulla.
Here a Neadertal skull (a replica) sits beside the skull of a modern human, Homo sapiens (not a replica).
The image below shows a portion of the fossils from the Calvert Cliffs and the Lee Creek Mine that grace one wall.
Finally, here's a view of a few of the Ecphora fossil shells in the museum.
During the November meeting, Junior Member Trevor enthusiastically described his experiences at a paleontology summer camp held at Stratford Hall (VA). He also displayed the various fossil treasures he found during his week at camp.
At the November meeting, MGS member Tom Piscitelli, recently returned from an extended stay at North Myrtle Beach, SC, had some beautiful finds on display. Shown below are two Great White fossil teeth (the first is quite spectacular), a third tooth that appears to be a Mako, and a molar (3/4ths inch long) that has yet to be identified. The beach sand is regularly replenished and, according to Tom, fossil finds come from various time periods: Cretaceous, Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene.
MGS member Mason Hintermeister had some fossils on display at the November meeting as well. The first picture shows a rare fish fossil from the Green River Formation. The next two photographs capture some nice fossil shark teeth and bones that Mason found at local sites.
The September meeting featured a spirited auction. Among the treasures auctioned off under the gavel of Eric Seifter were a fossil mammal bone from the Late Pleistocene (Eric is seen holding that bone in the first picture below), a dolphin skull in matrix found at the Lee Creek Mine, NC (Yorktown Formation, Pliocene), and a piece of fossilized Jurassic Araucaria wood.
New MGS member Sean Hynes had some marvelous specimens on display at the September meeting. In the first picture below, he is seen standing beside some of them. The following pictures show a stunning crinoid fossil plate, an Okenite geode, and a fossil turtle skull. These pictures were taken by Jim.
Here are some pictures from the July, 2019, meeting which was held jointly with the American Fossil Federation. Photographers included Jim and Marci.
MGS Vice President Eric Seifter had a rich array of fossil tree slabs on display. The first one pictured below is from a Jurassic tree, Araucaria miabilis, found in the Cerro Cuadro Petrified Forest, Argentina.
Here is so-called "peanut wood," a piece of Cretaceous Araucaria with borings made by the Teredo bivalve. This specimen is from Western Australia.
Eric is seen below holding up a piece of a Triassic conifer found in the Chinle Formation, Arizona.
Here is a slab of fossil fern, Psaronius cottae, from the Permian. It was found in the petrified forest of Chemnitz, Saxony, Germany.
The pictures below were taken at the May, 2019, joint meeting of the MGS and the American Fossil Federation. The first shows some of the members of the two clubs attending to the meeting's business agenda. The rest capture some of the specimens seen at the meeting. Photographers included Marci, David, and Jim.
Also at the May meeting, MGS Vice President had his recently acquired mammoth tusk on display. Trevor and David are seen below holding it. The tusk was originally found in central eastern Europe and is between 20,000 and 150,000 years old.
Some Selected Treasures From the Calvert Cliffs
Shown below are some Miocene fossils found in various years along the Chesapeake Bay's Calvert Cliffs.
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