Sunday, November 6, 2016
Stratford Cliffs / Stratford Hall Plantation
483 Great House Road, Montross, VA 22520, Montross, VA (edit map)
Directions and exact meeting spot will be given to participants closer to event date.
The Calvert Formation cliffs along the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River rank among the most important fossil research sites in the Mid-Atlantic region. Fossils found here are composed of compacted marine plant and animal matter dating from the Miocene Epoch–approximately 17 to 10 million years ago.
But most of the land along the shoreline is privately owned, and public access is severely limited. We’re pleased that John Nance, Paleontology Collections Manager for Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Maryland, will lead field trips to two outstanding locations.
Field Trip #2:
On this field trip we’ll visit a different section of the outstanding Calvert Formation: We’ll hunt for fossils at Stratford Cliffs, Virginia (on the south side of the Potomac River, adjacent to Westmoreland State Park. This property was the plantation home of four generations of the Lee family. The estate encompasses 1900 acres of farmlands and forests on a high bluff overlooking the Potomac River. Fossilized remains found at this site indicate a sea filled with primitive shark-toothed porpoises, salt-water crocodiles, sea cows, gopher turtles, rays, whales and sharks. Thousands of shark teeth found along this area attest to the frequency of the sharks, largest among them being Carcharodon megalodon, or Giant White Shark, with teeth measuring 7 inches or more.