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SATURDAY & SUNDAY, MAY 25 & MAY 26, 2024

Times for Meeting up both days to be finalized


On this Field Trip we will visit 3 or 4 quarries in the Catskill area of New York. All of the sites are in the Helderberg Group (Lower  Devonian) and are rich in marine invertebrate fossils, including cephalopods and trilobites. This trip may also include a free visit to an underground cave and  museum (The Cave House Museum of Mining and Geology).

The Field Trip Leader and Coordinator will be  Chris Marotta

Note: All those attending must be members of the New York Paleontological Society.


PLEASE NOTE:  YOU MUST BE AT THE MEET UP POINTS BY THE REQUIRED TIMES (still to be finalized). We will be traveling to several sites in several locations which are locked closed. Our facilitator will not go back to the Quarry Gates for people who are late. If you are late, you miss the morning’s activities.


This trip is a go for the Saturday and Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend. However, as of this writing, which quarries will be visited and the exact meeting-up times is still being worked out. Also, whether we visit the cave and/or museum and when must also be determined.

            Those who register will be sent complete details of the sites visited, their directions and meeting times.

            The Catskills represents a diverse range of Paleozoic phyla. Some of the more notable items found are the Hindia sp. (Sponges that look like golf balls) and Platycerus gastropods that come in a wide variety of morphologies. Crinoid “hold fasts” are also common in several layers.  This site has an enormous variety of brachiopods and some trilobites have been found. Recently, vertebrate (fish) coprolites have also been reported. The limestone formations found at this site are Early Devonian, ranging around 400 million years. Crystals may also be found in this rock.

            In addition to fossil collecting, we may also see a museum and go into an underground cave ( all free to people on this trip).


A field guide will be available for those attending at approximately cost.


For more information, contact the Field Trip Leader at chrismarotta@nyps.org





SATURDAY            May 4, 2024


            The Northeastern U.S. is known for its Paleozoic fossils, but Mesozoic sites are relatively rare in this region. Although there are some Triassic and Early Jurassic locations in the area, the East has few opportunities to collect dinosaur age fossils. But when it comes to accessibility for collecting, you can’t do better than the marine formations from the very Late Cretaceous in New Jersey. Here, on the inner coastal plain, small streams and brooks meander through these formations, exposing fossils from the end of the age of dinosaurs.

            Note, our Society has not visited Ramanessin Brook for 3 years, so it’s time to go collecting!

            It has been a rainy Spring so far here in the Northeast, and the more rain the more fossils weather out of the formation into the Brook for collectors to find.


            The Brook continues to produce a wide variety of fossils for first time collectors and veterans alike. Geologically and paleontologically, the site represents a marine environment from the Late Cretaceous (Campanian). The fossils date from a few million years before the great extinction that ended the age of the dinosaurs. For those not familiar with the site, collecting here is different from most other fossil sites. Instead of hammers and chisels to free fossils from rock, here one sifts the stream sediments for fossils - as if panning for gold.

            The site produces a wide range of fossils. Most common (and popular) among these are fossil shark teeth and vertebrae, and the teeth and bones of a wide variety of Cretaceous fish. Rarer vertebrate fossils include parts of bone from huge sea turtles, teeth and bone from crocodiles and periodically the teeth and bone of the extinct marine reptiles - plesiosaurs and mosasaurs. Invertebrate specimens, although rarer, include fossil snails, ammonites and belemnites (extinct, nautilus-like and squid-like creatures), and parts of bivalves such as Exogyra and the brachiopod Choristothyris. One can also find parts of crustaceans like crab pincers, lobsters (Hoploparia) and the burrows of Ghost Shrimp (sometimes with the shrimp inside).

            Although most fossils here come from the Cretaceous Period, fossils of much more recent Ice Age mammals and birds are not uncommon.


            The Field Trip Leader and Coordinator will be Donald Phillips


            Copies of our comprehensive, award winning field guide to Big Brook will be available. This guide also applies equally well to Ramanessin Brook.


                 Note: All those attending must be paid up members of the New York Paleontological Society.


            For more information, contact Donald at  president@nyps.org





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