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The world of Devil's Toenail fossils

We made it to Central Texas to visit my sister and have a few adventures. There's much we didn't film since we were there for pleasure and not work. However, the lines get blurred when your profession of adventure is also your hobby, so I feel the need to share some of it here. There's just so much to talk about our time there. Like the look of wonderment on my sister and niece's faces as they toured our tiny home on wheels that got us all the way from the Northwest corner of our country all the way down here to the South. Not to mention the nature trails they showed us, the majestic Texas Longhorn cattle, a town where an alien was buried and the walls of taxidermy animals from around the world- unlike any we'd ever seen. This story, however, is all about the fossils. Even though I want to tell you about Texas tea too. Maybe another day...

The Texas landscape for the most part was flat, so we had a good laugh as my sister and brother in law brought us to Eagle Mountain to explore a park there. "Mountain? I don't see no mountain?" I chuckled, but the joke was on me. Though there were no grand monuments of stone we hiked through trees spotted with giant vultures and as the earth below my feet caught my eye I swooped down to gather some in my hands. "Fossils, by golly, I think I just found a fossil!" I exclaimed to the bunch. Charlie took it from my hands to inspect closely and nodded in agreement. Once we spotted them we were seeing them everywhere. We were literally on an ancient sea bed full of extinct oysters.

Devil's Toenail (Gryphaea) are gnarly looking creatures that seemed to have once flourished here. They preferred the comfort of fine grain sand in shallow, inland seawater. An easy beachside snack for any vacationing dinosaur back in the upper Jurassic days- somewhere around 150 or more million years ago. Imagine holding that kind of history in your hands. This is why this planet continues to amaze us. There's stories hidden in the dirt. Footprints of adventurers past. And speaking of feet, sometimes adventure is right where you stand. There's an old Irish proverb that says "Your feet will bring you to where your heart is." This I know is true.

Watch our latest video here (more footage of these amazing fossils too!):

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