Fossils of Poricy Brook
If you will be attending a community fossil bed hunt, please meet at the Nature Center first for directions and to check in.
The Poricy Brook Fossil Beds are well known to fossil collectors in the Northeast. The fossils are from the Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic era, 145 to 65 million years ago. Although the dinosaurs were at their peak, the first mammals and birds had begun to appear. Tree ferns, ginkos, and pines were being joined by flowering plants like oak, magnolia, and grass.
During the Cretaceous period, the area of Poricy Brook and the rest of the Atlantic Coastal Plain was a shallow ocean. When the ocean animals died, they were buried in the bottom. While their soft parts decayed, the harder parts, like bones, teeth, and shells, were preserved. Over millions of years, the ocean level rose and fell to form different layers of deposits with the remains of different animals. The layer exposed by the cutting action of Poricy Brook is called the Navesink Formation and is approximately 72 million years old.
Although fossils of many animals have been found in the Poricy Brook Fossil Beds, most are of shellfish.