Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fossil Hunting!

The summer campers at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest spent the morning hunting fossils at the nearby Lafarge Cement facility. Campers caught a ride on the Lowcountry Environmental Education Program's (LEEP) colorful, biodiesel bus for the short ride to Harleyville.

Once at Lafarge, campers received an orientation to the facility, including its mission and the geology of the site. It was no surprise that all of the fossils the campers found belonged to ancient marine life. The ocean once reached to Columbia in the middle of the state and the marl being mined by Lafarge has its origins in the calcium structures of the marine life that were deposited on the ocean floor over time. Sharks' teeth topped the list of fossil finds, but turtle scutes, whale bones, and various shells also made their way back to Beidler Forest.

You thought it was hot where you were today? The campers also learned something about the reflective power of light-colored objects (like the nearly white marl), especially when those objects are quarry-sized!

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