Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences Dedman College Research Earth Sciences Faculty News

Ancient Marine Fossils Unearthed in Plano


Originally Posted: August 8, 2019

Construction workers in Plano unearthed ancient marine fossils from a time when the city was under the sea.

Crews found the fossils while working on the future Plano police substation at McDermott Road and Robinson Road.

Steve Stoler, with the city of Plano, said crews only dug about seven feet into the ground before they found the fossils in a single 50-pound rock.

“I don’t know how many people realize this: in ancient times, this was an ocean. When you dig into the limestone shelf, it’s not uncommon to find sea creatures and sea shells,” Stoler said.

“At the time these rocks were deposited, about 85 million years ago, Plano was submerged under a large inland sea,” said Mike Polcyn, director of the Earth Sciences Lab at SMU in Dallas.

“The fossils you see are marine pteriomorphian bivalves, related to modern oysters. In some places you can even find fossil pearls associated with these bivalves,” Polcyn said. READ MORE