Southeastern Section - 68th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 44-1
Presentation Time: 1:40 PM


GALE, Ashby, Charleston Fossil Adventures, LLC, PO Box 30264, Charleston, SC 29417

Historically, many commercial paleontology operations are frowned upon by researchers since scientifically valuable specimens tend to be lost to private collections. Such actions result in the inability to record new species or occurrences, and the fossils are stowed away privately until much of the collection data is ultimately lost.

Charleston Fossil Adventures, LLC (CFA) collaborates with area museums in Charleston, South Carolina to ensure scientifically significant specimens are saved from such a fate. After initially engaging citizens with the prospect of finding “alluring” fossils such as Megalodon shark teeth or mammoth remains, CFA demonstrates that the world of paleontology is more than large shark teeth and adventure vests.

Most significantly, CFA focuses on the donation of marine vertebrate fossils to area institutions. The largest emphasis is placed on periotics and bullae of echolocating whales from the Oligocene and Pliocene. Past clients have donated such specimens as the first records of Phocoena-like porpoise periotics, one of which has already undergone CT-scanning at a major institution.

CFA is able to influence clients for item donations -- both online and in person -- by educating the public about why such study is valuable. Consequently, CFA bridges the gap between the amateur community and academics to assist with proper scientific study and collection of important specimens to research collections in the SC Lowcountry.