Trove of sea turtle and other marine fossils found along ancient new jersey coast

June 10, 2011, Drexel University

Paleontologists have discovered numerous marine sea life fossils at a dig site in Sewell, N.J., including sea turtles, crocodiles, other reptiles, and fish.

A remarkable 3-foot-wide fossil of the extinct predatory Taphrosphys, the largest fossil ever found of its species, was extracted from the site and transported to Drexel this week. It will eventually become a museum piece.

The site in Sewell offers the best exposed Cretaceous-age rocks between Spain and Montana. At the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, when these fossils formed, this location was under water, approximately 5 miles from the coast.

The fossil dig is a joint project of Drexel, the Academy of Natural Sciences, and the New Jersey State Museum. Dr. Ken Lacovara, director of the Paleontology and Geology program and an associate professor of biology at Drexel, led the which included Drexel students and representatives from the partner institutions.

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