Fossil Hunt Takes OU Students On the Road

Dr. John Cramer examines fossil finds with two OU students.

Ten Oglethorpe students in the sciences recently ventured to Perry, Georgia on a fossil hunting expedition in search of Georgia’s naturally-preserved past. What did they find? Fossils that date back about 20-30 million years, according to Louisa Barama ’12

Led by Dr. John Cramer, professor of physics, the Society of Physics Students traveled to a limestone quarry two hours south of Atlanta to find and study sand dollar deposits and shark teeth impressions. The most common fossil by far was Periarchus pileussinensis (the Chinese hat sand dollar) but they also found a Chlamys spillmani (a scallop). A bonus was the discovery of a small cave and a seam of very clear to translucent calcite crystals which the students mined.

“There were fossils everywhere, and most of them indicate that all of this area was covered in water before,” said Louisa, a biology major who hopes to pursue geophysics after college. ”It was neat to actually experience what we study in class right in your hands.”