Fossil Club

Fossil Club Displays at Patuxent River Appreciation Days

Fossil Club Meetings

Meetings are scheduled on a quarterly basis. All meetings are open to the public - you do not have to be a current CMMFC member to attend a meeting.

Various related fossil topics, club issues, etc. are discussed at the meetings, as well as updates from the Paleo Staff of the Calvert Marine Museum on recent finds and new additions to the museum's permanent collection. Whenever possible, these new items will be shared during the meeting. Whenever possible, meetings are followed by a free public lecture by a distinguished guest.

Monday, September 12, 2022 ~ 6:30-9:00 p.m. in the Harms Gallery

Monday, November 14, 2022 ~ 6:30-9:00 p.m. in the Harms Gallery

The morphology and ecology of megalodon based on 2D and 3D modelling; and the importance of this iconic species in studying shark functional diversity

Presented by Jack Cooper on Wednesday, June 15 at 6 p.m. via Zoom
Jack Cooper and the SharkModern sharks have roamed the oceans for millions of years, performing a variety of ecological roles - most famously as apex predators. Among such sharks of the past was the biggest shark that ever lived: the 20 m megalodon. Its enormous teeth have become iconic fossils in paleontology, found all over the world including in Maryland. With no complete skeletons to date, scientists are forced to use modern sharks and what little they have of the body to infer this giant's morphology and ecology. Now, a 2D reconstruction based on living sharks, and a new 3D reconstruction based on an exceptionally preserved vertebral column, have revealed unprecedented new clues about how this shark moved and ate. Are any living sharks appropriate analogues to this giant? How did its diet of whales affect its movement or energy intake? Can we even be sure what it looked like without a complete skeleton? And what does modelling an extinct apex predator help us study shark functional diversity as a whole - in the past, present or future?  

Jack Cooper Meg toothJack Cooper is a PhD researcher at Swansea University investigating the functional diversity and ecology of sharks through time using the fossil record. Originating from Scotland, Jack received his bachelor's degree in Evolutionary Biology from the University of St Andrews, and his master's degree in Paleobiology from the University of Bristol. Despite expanding his horizons to a whole range of Cenozoic sharks for his PhD, Jack continues to keenly study the morphology and ecology of megalodon; the biggest shark that ever lived - resulting in his first paper in 2020; and several more in development. This iconic shark is very often the center of Jack's outreach activities. He has appeared on several podcasts, radio and news interviews, and a documentary promoting the wide and ongoing research on this animal. Additionally, he has also worked in ecotourism and conservation in South Africa, where he has cage dived with great white sharks. Jack is funded by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles, and is a member of the Pimiento Research Group, which aims to better understand the extinctions mechanisms sharks faced in theclick here Zoom button Opens in new window past, and to use that knowledge to inform conservation efforts for today's sharks. He is also a cat person.

Meeting ID: 839 3019 7083
Passcode: 317225

“Sharks and Rays of Florida: a 45-million-year history.” 

Victor Perez provided an overview of his dissertation research on chondrichthyan diversity from the Eocene through the Pleistocene of the Florida platform. He also provided an introduction to myFOSSIL and explain how it can be used to curate personal collections.

Click here to download a copy of the lecture presentation

Fossil Club Field Trips

For all trips, contact Bob Ertman at or 410-533-4203 as soon as possible, but no later than Thursday before the trip. Remember to include your cell phone number. Please remember to call in for yourself and family members, or for another club member, on the date and time indicated. Current memberships in both the Fossil Club and the Calvert Marine Museum are needed to go on the trips. Information on directions, lodging, meeting times and meeting places will be provided at the call-in.

2022 Field Trip Schedule:

Check back for upcoming trip information

Fossil Club Elected Officers & Volunteers*

Paul Murdoch, President:
Stephen Groff, (interim) Vice President:
Christa Conant, Treasurer:
Dave Bohaska, Secretary:
Christa Conant, Membership Chairperson:
Stephen Godfrey, Editor*:
Robert Ertman, Fall Field Trip Leader*:
Robert Ertman, Spring Field Trip Leader*: