Sherman Creeks Field Trip – Wrap-up by Roger Farish
It’s never too hot to go wading, right? With the promise of finding shark teeth without sweating your brains out, about 50 DPS veterans and quite a number of new members ventured north to see what the creeks around the Sherman/Denison area had to offer.
Although we are collecting in the Eagle Ford Shale, the shark teeth found in these creeks is roughly equivalent to those found in the quarries around Midlothian, Texas – from the basal Atco member of the Austin Group of the Upper Cretaceous. These strata have long been eroded away but have been redeposited into the creeks. There are also teeth coming directly from some sections of the Eagle Ford, as well. Long-time researcher, Shawn Hamm along with David Cicimurri, published a paper on this Atco Formation identifying the 29 elasmobranch taxa present. I can provide you a copy of this paper upon request.
After a brief orientation to the conditions we would be encountering, hold harmless agreements signed and viewing a collection of Florida fossils provided by new member Michael Purvis, we headed two exits north on Hwy. 75. We had previously arranged creek access through the Grayson County Equipment Company property who unlocked their gates for our convenience. These folks have a business to run, so we ask you not to bother them with access requests, please.
Even though the very urban Post Oak Creek is heavily collected, our troop managed to find hundreds of shark teeth and tooth fragments by surface collecting as well as screening with various devices. Almost everyone found at least one Ptychodus whipplei. P. mammallaris, P. latissimus and P. atcoensis were also observed as well as the bladed teeth of Cretalamna, Cretodus, Cretoxyrhina, Scapanorhynchus and Squalicorax. Gastropods, bivalves and other associated fauna were abundant as well as a few coprolites. A number of Pleistocene mammal teeth were also given new homes. Crystal Fickel and Michael Purvis have been having success finding micro teeth in bulk sampled material.
Following lunch at Dickies BBQ, we visited the largest collection of shark teeth in the county at the rural home of Ron and Cindy Basserman. Their home could well be a museum showing not only thousands of shark teeth collected along local creeks, but hundreds of attendant arrowheads as well as an array of mounted wildlife trophies.
The afternoon’s outing to Iron Ore creek by a few brave souls resulted in not only difficult access to the gravel bars, but few treasures. Nicole Wilson’s husband David did find a nice arrowhead to go with her two whipplei and Cretalamna teeth.
See the attached photos. The teeth on the green card below were found within a 20’ radius from where we dropped down into Post Oak creek. Sorry I didn’t capture the names of the people figured or if you had notable finds that I didn’t record, please let me know who’s who and we’ll get them in the next newsletter.