Pipsico Fossil Hunt
October 27th - 28th, 2018

Surry County, Virginia

Photos by: Richard Jacquot

This was my best collecting trip so far to the Pipsico camp where we hunt for fossils on the banks of the James River. The last trip, I found a 4" megalodon tooth, but I found so much more this trip.

The weather was cloudy and a little rainy on Friday, but it was nice and cool and great for digging. Tony Bradley and I spent the first part of the day searching for fossil conglomerate plates of shells and hopefully some bones. I walked till I came to this cypress grove.

A red thing growing on a log.

Some beaver construction skills.

Here are a few shots of the largest specimen I brought home. I would call it a death plate, where a bunch of sea life was feeding on a deceased whale. It weighs 150+ pounds. Measures 3 ft. wide x 2 1/2 ft. tall x 1 ft. thick. It has one big complete whale vert, 6 1/2" x 4 1/2". There is another vert trapped under the big one in the shells, two more just below and a rib bone. There are other smaller pieces of bone also showing.

Big whale vertebra.

Another vertebra trapped under the shells below the big vert.

Above and below, two more smaller vertebra.

Rib bone covered in shells.

Ecphora shell, Muricidae

That afternoon, we were searching another area when I spotted this nice whale vert in the mud. Measures: 7 3/4" x 5 1/2" x 4 1/4".

Tom Leary Saturday morning.

The usual suspects, lots of fossil scallop shells and shell clusters.

Various pieces of bone and vertebra.

My last find of the trip. This cervical whale vertebra was stuck in a shell bed. It was removed in four pieces. The last piece (top piece) was recovered by Tom Leary using his new fossil hunting geiger counter type thing. Thanks Tom! Measures: 9" x 6 1/2".

I pieced the vert back together with Elmer's Glue All, then coated it with a 50/50 mix of glue and water.

The dark brown spot in the middle of the vert is where the following piece was attached. I am still piecing this back together and will attach it later. It appears to be another vertebra? It is not like any I have found, it has many layers.

A couple of parting shots by Tony Bradley.

Can't wait till the next trip.