Happy New Year, and more from the collections

I hope everyone has had a pleasant holiday season. I’m still on vacation, but return to work for a very busy period next week. The museum’s annual Dino Day festival is scheduled for January 10, which is also the day that the Boxley stromatolite goes on exhibit. I also have to start some of the detailed planning for upcoming excavations at Carmel Church and Wyoming, and for the 2009 meeting of the Southeastern Association of Vertebrate Paleontology (there is a link to the meeting information on the blog home page, but the site is still under construction).

In the interim, here’s another specimen from the collections. This one’s from Carmel Church, and was collected by Paul Murdoch in 2003. This is a partial dentition of the eagle ray Myliobatis, like these modern examples of M. californica at Sea World:

Fossil Myliobatis teeth are fairly common on the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The remarkable thing about this specimen is that it remains the only definite Myliobatis specimen ever found at Carmel Church, even though the rays Aetobatus and Aetomylaeus are fairly common.

This entry was posted in Carmel Church Chondrichthyans, Carmel Church Quarry, Chesapeake Group, From the Collections Room. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Happy New Year, and more from the collections

  1. Doug says:

    Is that the same specimen as this: http://www.calvertmarinemuseum.com/cmmfc/finds/finds_2003_vmnh_carmel_church.html

    Also (although i will probably find out soon enough): how do you exhibit a 5 foot 2 ton stromatolite?

  2. Alton Dooley says:

    That is, in fact, the same specimen.

    I’m going to do a post on Dino Day, including the stromatolite, next weekend. I haven’t actually seen the mounting frame yet, but my understanding is that it weighs about a ton.

  3. Doug says:

    That is what I thought but I wanted to make sure first. In light of your answer, that is the biggest ray plate I have ever seen (and the site said it was incomplete).

  4. Alton Dooley says:

    It’s very incomplete–less than half of it is preserved.

    This is the thickest plate we have, but we have Aetomylaeus specimens that are longer than this probably was. I’ll do a post on those at some point as well (so much to do!).

  5. Anonymous says:

    Happy New Years!!!

    What a way to start off the new year – getting one of my “old” finds out out on the blog and made a new find this weekend – a string of 10 articulated porpoise vertebra in the beach clay along the Potomac river. The freeze thaw had totally “popped” them out of the clay and they were found being rocked in place by the low wave action. They seem a little small for Eurhinodelphis but the epiphyses were fused so it was an adult, whatever it is.

    Thanks for posting this find Butch!


  6. Doug says:

    Really? Less than half? Whoa! Now, is it just relatively big for a small ray, or does the large toothplate translate to an equally large ray?

  7. Alton Dooley says:

    I suspect it was a big ray, as Myliobatis goes, but I don’t have a lot of modern comparisons to base that on. It seems that, if complete, it would have been narrower than our Aetomylaeus specimens, but thicker.

    Paul, some of the kentriodontids in the Calvert are tiny, even smaller than Xiphiacetus (Eurhinodelphis); there are probably other very small odontocetes as well.

  8. Doug says:

    Oh, there are smaller. Apparently Howell Thomas found a skeleton along the coast of Vandenberg Air Force Base (here in California) which may represent the smallest adult dolphin ever recorded.

  9. Paul says:

    I tried to paste in a picture of the verts but no luck. The total length of the column is 20″; smallest vert has a 1″ centrum, largest a 2″..

  10. Anonymous says:


    Have been out pof touch for a while. Here is my e mail


    Tell me when in the next few months you would need some help at Carmel Church;

    They rat plate is a great specimen. Colpete ones from the Calvert Group are quite rare where in the Aquia sediments they are more common

    Do take care


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