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Pittman Creek Fossil Bed EarthCache

Hidden : 11/16/2007
1.5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

The access this Earthcache, park along Springbrook Drive on the east side of the creek.
Please note that at times this location will unavailable due to the creek being full of flood water.

In the chalky creekbed of Pittman Creek are several fossilized salt water clams, also called inocermids.

Inocermids could be considered the "dinosaurs of the bivalves", as many species were huge measuring 5 feet across. Paleontologists suggest that the giant size of some species was an adaptation for life in the murky bottom waters of the inland sea that covered much of what is now North America, with a correspondingly large gill area that would have allowed the animal to cope with oxygen-deficient waters. Giant clams were also very abundant, dominating marine shoals in both number and diversity (some thriving colonies were as deep as 5,000 feet!). They ruled their kingdom for 100 million years, and just like the dinosaurs, were completely and unequivocally driven into oblivion by the K-T extinction event that marks the end of the Mesozoic Era.

Also found in the area is the fossil of an ammonite, another highly successful form of Cretaceous sea creature. This specimen is meagre, but some species did get huge - almost 5 feet in diameter. And just like the inoceramids (giant clams), the entire group became extinct at what Peter Ward refers to as The Second Event.

In order to log a Find on this Earthcache you must complete the tasks outlined below >>

You will need the following items to complete the tasks:
  • GPS receiver
  • tape measure
  • compass
  • broom for sweeping away debris from the fossils(optional)
1) Send an email via my profile with answers to the following questions:

   1a. What is the width in inches of the largest inoceramus ground zero? Do your best to find it - it may be covered by debris.
   Meaure at the widest point.

2) Upload an image of yourself in the creekbed among the fossils. A fossil in the background would be most excellent but is not required.

3) Log your find. Tell us what you learned from this Earthcache what the ancient sea might have been like in your log.

4) When emailing be sure to tell me which cache you are referencing! Logs without verification emails will be deleted.

Special thanks to krazykatzen for turning me on to this area and for some of the text used in the description.

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