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Trove of Sea Turtle and other Marine Fossils Found Along Ancient New Jersey Coast

June 9, 2011

Dr. Ken Lacovara with his team at the fossil dig site in Sewell, N.J.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 marine turtle 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 excavation team which included Drexel students and representatives from the partner institutions.

Read more about the fossil dig and view a video and photo slideshow from the Philadelphia Inquirer. More information is also available on the New Jersey State Museum's blog.

Photos of the team at the excavation site available for download: [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Photo 5]

News Media Contact:
Rachel Ewing, News Officer, Drexel University Office of University Communications
215-895-2614 (office), 215-298-4600 (cell), or

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