Beach Fossil—Again

September 25, 2013

rives far rockaway fossil clam snail beach mehling carl

This little honey is the first fossil I’ve ever found without the help of a trained professional. A whole mess of scallops and snails in a sandstone matrix, right from the shores of New York City. Potential fossil hunters: this is the cement-like gray you want to look for.

I was out solo, but hardly alone: it was a couple of weeks ago at Far Rockaway, just a trot down from the busiest stretch of beach at the level of 116th Street. The thought of crowds of unsuspecting people walking by a fossil mixed in with some shells on the sand does something for me. The rating on this one is 7,000-12,000 years old. So either older than agriculture, or older than any surviving architecture. I’ll take it.