Monday, September 24, 2012

Fossil Hunting in Maryland with the Lumix DMC-TS3

Erosion Forces, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3
Last Sunday morning, I got up early and headed to a place on the Potomac River known as Liverpool Point, to do some fossil hunting. The video above shows the important parts of the scene - cliffs to the right, literally full of fossil material, the waves coming in from the left, day by day eroding into them. In the middle, beach, and awesome opportunities to find fossils that have washed out of the cliffs.
I packed up a Lumix DMC-G3, 14-140mm and 100-300mm zooms, and carried them in a waterproof bag on my back. I never took them out. The TS3 covered everything I needed to shoot. In fact, the TS3 did far better in closeups than I could have done with the G3 and the zooms I had. Of course, if I'd brought along the Macro-Elmarit 45mm f2.8, that would have been a different story. As it was, I just used the TS3, and never worried about getting it wet, etc.
Here's a cross-section of the cliff, showing just how dense the fossils are in places.
Cliff Cross-Section, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3
This area is known for fossilized sand tiger shark teeth. Here's one sticking out of the cliff matrix.
Sand Tiger Shark Tooth, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3
I also found a fossilized crocodile tooth - much less common. It's amazing to think that enormous crocodiles and sand tiger sharks once prowled the waters that are now the Potomac River. These ones were from the late Paleocene, approximately 55 million years ago.
Liverpool Point, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3
It is great to be able to get out and hike the shore at sunrise, collect fossils from animals that lived there 55 million years ago, and be home in time for lunch (or nearly so).

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