Fossils of Poricy Brook
The Poricy Brook Fossil Beds are well known to fossil collectors in the Northeast in Middletown, New Jersey. The fossils are from the Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic era, 145 to 65 million years ago. Although the dinosaurs were at their peak, the first mammals and birds had begun to appear. Tree ferns, ginkos, and pines were being joined by flowering plants like oak, magnolia, and grass.
During the Cretaceous period, the area of Poricy Brook in New Jersey, and the rest of the Atlantic Coastal Plain was a shallow ocean. When the ocean animals died, they were buried in the bottom. While their soft parts decayed, the harder parts, like bones, teeth, and shells, were preserved. Over millions of years, the ocean level rose and fell to form different layers of deposits with the remains of different animals. The layer exposed by the cutting action of Poricy Brook is called the Navesink Formation and is approximately 72 million years old.
Although fossils of many animals have been found in the Poricy Brook Fossil Beds, most are of shellfish.
Visiting the Fossil Beds
The Poricy Park Fossil Beds are located on Middletown-Lincroft Road in Middletown, NJ across from Crawford Road. There is no access to the Fossil Beds from the main entrance to Poricy Park on Oak Hill Road.