|New Stuff that's being found In the Area!|
|Marlboro dentist finds dinosaur bone in stream
by The Associated Press
Wednesday February 25, 2009, 6:48 AM
The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia has confirmed Paul Kovalski's suspicions about his latest find -- that a 3-by-3-inch brown disc laying on the banks of Big Brook in Monmouth County is in fact from a dinosaur.
The Marlboro dentist said the innocuous-looking find -- discovered in December a few miles inland from the central Jersey Shore -- is likely a leg section from a duckbilled dinosaur called a hadrosaur.
The bone is a rare find in New Jersey, Kovalski said, even though the Big Brook area is billed as one of the top fossil-finding sites in the nation.
|Treasure hunter's find may be prehistoric
By Kim Predham FREEHOLD BUREAU December 14, 2008
FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP - Glenn Harbour lives for the treasure hunt.
Antique bottles. Shark teeth. Arrowheads. Harbour spends his days searching for pieces of the past, casting about for the next great thing.
"Treasures are everywhere. You just have to be . . . persistent enough to keep on going," said Harbour, a wiry, energetic man who can talk for hours about his many passions.
Harbour, 50, of Freehold Township, is an amateur fossil hunter and historian.
Harbour delivers medical supplies for his regular job. But in spare time, Harbour said, he is a hard-core collector who goes the extra mile in pursuit of his treasure.
Harbour wades through cold creeks for hours in hopes of finding another artifact for his extensive collection.
He drives hundreds of miles for a dig and scans local riverbeds after a long day at work.
And Harbour's diligence may have paid off.
A long bone Harbour said he discovered in October could be from a mastodon, a large elephant-like mammal that roamed the earth until about 10,000 years ago.
Harbour said he stopped by Big Brook in Marlboro, a popular fossil-hunting site, after work on Oct. 11.
He took a quick walk along the riverbed and found a few shark teeth and an arrowhead. Mindful of the twilight descending, he started to head home when he said he saw something poking from the mire.
"I thought, "Whoa, that's the biggest cow bone I've ever seen in my life!' " Harbour said.
After conferring with another collector, he said he soon discovered it was no cow bone.
The bone clocks in at roughly six pounds and is 22 1/2 inches long by 12 inches wide. Based on its weight and fossilization, Harbour said he believes the bone may be 12,000 to 15,000 years old. The bone's owner was likely alive during the last Ice Age, Harbour says.
The New Jersey State Museum in Trenton has several mastodon bones in its possession, including at least two from Monmouth County. The area is rich in fossils, so Harbour's claim could be legitimate, said David Parris, the museum's natural history curator. "It's perfectly plausible. . . . They (mastodon bones) are not extremely rare," Parris said. Parris examined pictures of the bone and said it probably is from a mastodon. He cannot say for sure without seeing it in person, but he said it appears to be a neck vertebra.
Harbour said he ordinarily keeps his finds. He said believes he will keep this bone for a while before giving it to a museum. He sells less valuable bones or fossils at flea markets for small money. If Harbour can verify the mastodon bone, it will be one of several highlights over nearly four decades of digging up the past.
His passion for collecting started as a teen in Holmdel, a period when he says antique bottles were popular.
"Everyone dug antique bottles," Harbour said. "It was like streaking: It was a craze."
Ten years ago, a fellow collector turned him on to fossil-hunting, he said. Not one to do anything halfway, he started learning everything he could on the subject. Harbour memorized the relevant call numbers at the library and read everything he could. He pored over hobby magazines and befriended hunters more knowledgeable than himself, Harbour said.
Harbour has often thought of going back to college to study archaeology (he already has a degree in music composition), but finances have held him back, he said.
"I'm a working guy. I've got bills to pay," he said.
Facing this obstacle, Harbour said he resolved to pursue fossil hunting as a serious hobby instead. And a decade later, the hunt for fossils and other historical relics has become an overriding passion. He writes and lectures on the subject. Books like the "Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs," "Civil War Collectibles," and the "Big Book of Marbles" line his bookshelves, and a tall glass case in his townhouse is filled with cloudy glass bottles, smooth round marbles and a photograph depicting what he believes to be a Lenni Lenape Indian skeleton found in Middletown.
So immersed has Harbour become in his hobby that he has even taken to painting the animals whose fossils he's found, imagining them as they may have appeared in life.
In one, he has sketched a large Cretaceous Period sea turtle being attacked by a mosasaur, a sea-dwelling reptile that could reach lengths of nearly 60 feet. Harbour said he is at work on a new painting of a mastodon.
When Harbour gets out in the field, he forgoes fancy tools in favor of his eyes and a shovel to find his artifacts.
He is driven, he said, by the never-ending desire for treasure.
That quest for treasure is universal, though the object of desire varies for each person, Harbour said.
"To one person, (the treasure) is a pile of money. To another, it's the latest gadget. To another, it's a beautiful woman or man," Harbour said. "Me, I'd rather be digging," Harbour said. "I just want to put my shovel in the ground and see what goodies come out."
|Glenn Harbour holds up what he believes is a mastodon bone he found on the banks of Big Brook in Marlboro. (STAFF PHOTO: BRADLEY J. PENNER)|
|A Possible Mastodon Vertebra found in LBI
March 19, 2009
William B. Wood and Kathleen E Lake were walking down the beach in Holgate Beach, looking at what the waves had tossed up onto the shore on March 7 of 2009. By the jetty, they found two bones that were black. The first was a single back bone (Vertebra), but very large. The second looked like a leg bone from a pig or horse. They both didn't know what this bone could have come from, so they bought them to the experts. Dave Parris, Head Curator at the New Jersey State Museum was able to identify the large vertebra as a possible Mastodon vertebra. This bone was found on the Beach, a very weird locality for a mastodon. During the last Ice Age (Pleistocene), the Beach was another 50 miles from its present location. So the ice age elephant wasn't swimming, but walking on dry land some 12 to 20 thousand years ago. You never know what New Jersey has to offer.
|Update: The vertebra that was found by William B. Wood and Kathleen E Lake was later found to be a rare Giant Ground Sloth vertebra. This identification was confirmed by Dr Dave Parris, Head Curator at the New Jersey State Museum. This is one of only four that have ever been found in the Garden State.|