Little Stave Creek, AL
We made a couple of visits to Little Stave Creek in Alabama between 1985 and 1990. The section we visited is on private property exposing one of the better sections of the lower Cenozoic rock in the Alabama-Mississippi-Louisiana area. It presents an outstanding outcrop of the Gosport Sand formation, considered to be at the top of the Middle Eocene Era. At the base of this outcrop is a greenish clay where shark teeth are found. Above this is a mass accumulation of silt, sand and shells. It appears that this was the site of a huge deposit and burial of shells, probably shoved into a bank or reef by a storm some 45 million years ago. The diversity of species is quite high. Clams and snails are the most abundant and afford the widest varity of species. Also to be found are scaphopods, corals, barnacles, fish bones, shark teeth, worm tubes, bryozoan and echinoids. On occasion a mammal bone may be discovered. Over the years collectors have undercut the cliff, in search of shark teeth, leaving a deep trench. I feel this will soon, if it hasn't already, colaspe. When I collect here I bring a kitchen colander and scoop the fallen debris into it then dip it in the shallow creek and begin sifting to find the treasures.

The property owner passed away several years ago and I lost contact with the family. I do not know if the family allows people to visit the site anymore. I remember his wife telling me that the children wanted them to stop letting people go there. Please do not email me requesting directions to the site.

Photos scanned from original photographs.

It was a nice walk through the woods to get to the creek.

What an amazing sight! A beautiful aera.

Fossil collectors have cut a huge cavern in the cliff in search for shark teeth. This left the cliff in danger of collasping. Here I was inspecting the area not realizing the danger I put myself in.

Here we are searching the debris from the cliff diggings.

There was plenty to be found in the debris. Just take a scoop to the creek and pan it out with a kitchen colender or sifter.

It was a good day in a beautiful aera.

Crassatella texalta

Venericardium alticostata

Turritella carinata palmerae

Turritella spp.

Buccitriton sagenum

Athleta sayanus

Calyptraphorus velatus

Agaronia alabamensis

Lacinia alveata

Pseudoliva vetusta

Cornulina armigera

Pseudoliva vetusta


Caryocorboca alabamiensis

Crepidula lirata

Endopachys maclurii,
Dendrophylliina, Scleractinia, Cnidaria

Tons of tinies and micros.

I'm in the back, so I have no idea who took this photo.

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