Delaware offers a few sites for fossil collectors, and the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and the Pollack Farm are first two locations to check out. Much information is known about these two sites. More information is below, including references to DGS publications detailing the areas. Some other locations throughout the state also offer good hunting grounds for fossil collectors. If you know of good sites in Delaware not listed on this page, please feel free to contact us!
Chesapeake and Delaware Canal - Cretaceous Fossils
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is likely the best site in Delaware for fossil collecting. When the canal was built, several formations having fossils from the Cretaceous Period (144 to 65 million years ago) were exposed. Fossils found there represent life forms that existed for a good portion of that period of time and that lived in a shallow sea or along the seashore. The fossils include large clam and oyster shells and a pen-shaped fossil called a belemnite. The belemnite species Belemnitella americana is one of the more common fossils from this area and so was designated Delaware's state fossil. It comes from the inside of a squid-like animal that lived in the seas of the Cretaceous Period. Similar fossils are found in New Jersey and in England. Geologists can use this information to correlate geologic rock units in different areas, allowing them to link events in different parts of the world.