Photos from the Catskills (and Haddonfield, too)

1 10 2007

I’ve been a little slow uploading the photos from the past two weekends, but here are some of the recent shots that turned out halfway decent, both from my brief (and disappointing) trip to the site where the first known Hadrosaurus was discovered and my camping trip with Tracey this weekend.

Hadrosaurus plaque

Hadrosaurus plaque

Plaques commemorating the (near) site of discovery of Hadrosaurus foulkii, sitting about three feet from the curb down a dead-end suburban street. The streambed below is full of trash, and sprawl has seemingly covered up the actual site of discovery.

Toy Dino Altar

An “altar” of toy dinosaurs near the plaques. Tracey said that I should bring a “sacrifice” the next time I visit in order to ensure success in fossil hunting.

And now on to photos from this weekend…

Dead ferns

Morning Trail

Trail top

Black Racer

On our way back down the trail, Tracey and I happened across a very large Black Rat snake.

Black Rat

Black Rat Snake


We also saw a juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk, which we had scared off it’s lunch (pictured above). The frog leg was still twitching when we saw it, so it must have been caught shortly beforehand. In fact, we saw many juvenile red-tails in the forest over the weekend, and I wonder why the juveniles seem to live in the forest, often flying between the trees.


Turkey Vulture

Near the top of the mountain, the Turkey Vultures were very close overhead…

Turkey Vulture

… sometimes skimming right over the tops of the trees going between thermals.



Reading up on baby dinosaurs. Notice how small the “two person” tent is.


The comics section of the Rutgers newspaper, The Daily Targum, provided excellent fire-starting material.


Making tools, in this case skewers, like a good hominid.

Fading Light


Mammal remains

Bones of the small mammal we found (one half of the lower jaw, a rib, a leg bone, a molar, and a canine). I haven’t had time to positively identify it yet, but I’ll write more about it when I have time to look at all the bits again.

And as with all good picture posts, a shot of the cats is needed to close things off…


Bea (left) and Charlotte (right) apparently like mint chocolate chip ice cream.




5 responses

1 10 2007

Wauw, I am green with jealousy. What a country you live in!

1 10 2007
Zach Miller

Something I’ve never understood: How did dinosaurs get over to New Jersey? Especially something like Hadrosaurus, a Cretaceous animal. And as we know, the Sundance Sea was well in place by the Cretaceous.

1 10 2007

That’s what I’m wondering, too, Zach. I’ll have to look at things in a bit more detail (check out Gallagher’s When Dinosaurs Roamed New Jersey [Dr. Gallagher was actually my paleo and dinosaurs professor here at RU]) but most of the fossils are from marine deposits, being washed into near-shore environments about 100 feet deep and filled with mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and marine crocodiles. I’ll have to look at the placement of New Jersey and the sea during that time, but I wonder if Pennsylvania has any Maastrichtian terrestrial deposits, and if there are, if more complete specimens of Dryptosaurus, Hadrosaurus, and other dinosaurs could be found. New Jersey is problematic because it is so developed and many of the formations are covered by forests or sediment, but at the same time, there is very little work being done in the state outside of occasional visits to one marl pit (there are others that have been closed and become overgrown, but could still yield fossils). The main areas in which Cretaceous fossils are found are in southern New Jersey, not far from Philadelphia, PA, so I’m wondering if Pennsylvania and Delaware might yield some clues as to the Cretaceous east-coast dinosaur fauna.

2 10 2007

Wow – I’ve suddenly been reminded how poor my knowledge of the geology of the USA is. I’m not bad on the Triassic basins, and anything on the East Coast prior to that is fairly comparable to the UK (but you guys have much much more Carboniferous…). Your description does sound like our Wealden Supergroup (which is full of marine stuff and a few gazillion Iguanodon among other things), but I suspect Darren can shed more light on this. As my geological field area was actually the Ordovician of the Lake District (with some funky Iapetus suture stuff) I’m not very well-placed to comment.

2 10 2007

I’m actually working on a post that I’ll get up today about the Late Cretaceous dinosaurs and why they’re found in marine deposits. My knowledge of the geology isn’t the best, but there is a definite trend of succession. From what I understand, New Jersey was almost entirely submerged during the Cretaceous, but the seas started dropping after the K/T and the places where many of the Maastrichtian beds are now are pretty far inland for NJ, being near the PA border (they were 100 feet underwater during the end-Cretaceous).

I was actually just thinking that beds in Gloucester County sound a lot like Wealden, Julia, especially given the fragmentary nature of many of the specimens. I suspect that there may be more remains of end-Cretaceous dinosaurs to the west of NJ, but I don’t have a clue as to where one would start looking.

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