CFMS Ant Hill Field Trip Report
Hosted by the Conejo Valley Gem & Mineral Club
with Bob Sankovich in cooperation with CFMS
WOW! What a turnout! I didn't know so many of you were interested in
fossils. Ninety people signed in for this trip to the Miocene marine fossil
beds outside of Bakersfield. They came from one end of California to the
other and a few from Nevada. After orientation, waiver sign in and
precaution speeches we broke off to begin our uphill hike to the fossil
trenches on two hillsides. The day was partly cloudy and mild, a great day
for digging and sifting.
In spite of a 5-6 foot long Northern Pacific rattlesnake basking in the sun
while coiled in one of the trenches, everyone I saw was having fun and
finding bones and teeth from a wide variety of extinct Mako sharks and
6-gilled cow shark including a very large tooth from a Big Tooth Mako at
least 3 inches in length. I swore I heard the theme from "JAWS" echoing
through the hills. Many more people found teeth from the Hook Tooth Mako
(found now only in this one area of the world). Other teeth that I saw found
were from seals, porpoises, and rays. Some finds I couldn't identify. Among
the bones found were whale and fish vertebrae, ribs, clavicles and a nice 2
inch finger bone in excellent shape from the flipper of a whale or sea line.
Yes, a very productive day.
Thankfully, this isn't government land with its fossil regulations but real
estate land still open, for now to recreation, collecting and livestock
grazing. The downside is this area is slated for homes, mini malls and gas
stations. Thus, will close one of the richest Miocene marine fossil beds in
the world. A sign of the times.
Shep Koss CFMS Field Trip South co-chair
What a great turnout. I took my grandsons and they had a blast. Their
names are Nathan and Timmy and they found a rattlesnake along with a lot of
bone and teeth. They didn't mind all the digging and with help from Scott
and Family, Shep, and a couple of wonderful ladies, they found lots of teeth
and learned where and how to dig proper. My boys loved it so much they want
to join the club and go hounding with me. Thanks to all of you for a very
Thank you very much for hosting the dig at Ant Hill. Carol and I had a
great time and hope to go back again perhaps with our kids. We found a few
shark teeth and some bones which were very interesting. Attached is a
picture of what I am pretty sure are vertebrae. They were all in a close
line of concretions. At the end of the line was a larger concretion that may
be a head/skull. It was exciting to find it though I am not sure what it
really is. If it is a skull it seems a bit small given the size of the
vertebrae. What do you think?
I am reluctant to chip any thing off of it and would welcome any suggestions
you have. Also, do you have any suggestions on how best to preserve the
bones to keep them from shattering or falling apart over time?
This Anthill field trip turned out great. There was plenty of room for
everybody and fossils too. The weather was great and the wild flowers were
an added attraction. I was nice to be with a big group to see that the
sharks teeth were plentiful for each to find some. Plus, the guy next to me
pulled out one of the largest mako shark teeth I have ever seen. I missed
getting a picture of it, but have posted my pictures here for others to see
and even add heir's to the album too.
From: Kim Noyes
I invite everybody to check out my blog of Saturday's field trip to Ant Hill
near Bakersfield here:
The Agate Hunter
O.B.M.S. Federation Director
C.F.M.S. Co/Chair Field Trip Southern CA