Downeast Seniors hear from palentologist

Published 7:14 pm Friday, August 3, 2018

The Down East Seniors Club held its Aug. 1 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Gary Brinn led the meeting. The singing of “God Bless America” was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Charles Smith gave the invocation, and Ed Hamrick read factoids for the date in history.

Mike Gwynn introduced George Powell, amateur paleontologist, who spoke about fossils. Powell has pursued paleontology as a hobby for 59 years. He has donated about 5,000 items to museums and colleges over the years and has about 15,000 items in his personal collection. He said sharks’ teeth are the most collected fossil because such a large number of them exist. To get an idea of the potential number of sharks’ teeth, multiply the following shark statistics: 500 species of sharks x 2,500 sharks per specie x 2,500 teeth per shark’s lifetime x 420 million years (the length of time sharks have existed). Powell once found a very rare set of shark’s teeth which he donated to the Smithsonian. Back when he was allowed to search in the local phosphate mine, among his findings were fossilized whale bones, walrus bones, a toe from an extinct three-toed horse and several new species.

Bill Cates won the 50/50 drawing.