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Paleogene Period

The Paleogene is made up of three epochs:
  • The Oligocene Epoch(not found in New Jersey)
  • The Eocene Epoch
  • The Paleocene Epoch
During the Paleogene, extensive erosion of upland areas occurred in northern New Jersey as southeastward-flowing streams carried large quantities of sediment to coastal areas. Sea level fluctuations continued to influence the sedimentation and environmental habitats in the coastal plain of southern New Jersey. Early Paleogene deposits are rich in bryozoans, corals, and echinoids, typical of warm, shallow waters. Fossil shells of brachiopods are found in Ocean and Burlington Counties, while shark teeth are a common find in Shark River Park in Monmouth County. Bone fragments and teeth of both marine and terrestrial mammals have also been found, but are less common. Fossil traces of burrowing shrimp are well preserved in southern New Jersey, while microfossils, such as foraminifera and diatoms, are widespread and often used to determine the age of Tertiary marine deposits. This map indicates that the primary exposures of Paleogene rocks are in central New Jersey and south.

The Paleogene formations of New Jersey include Upper Hornerstown, Vincetown
Paleogene Fossils of New Jersey can be broken down into the following phyllums.
  • Porifera - Sponges
  • Cnidaria - Corals
  • Annelida - Segmented Worms
  • Echinoidea - Sea Urchins and Sand Dollars
  • Brachiopoda - Lamp Shells
  • Mollusca - Snails, Clams, Mussels, Squid
  • Arthropoda - Crustaceans
  • Chordata - Vertebrates
See Paleogene Invertebrate New Jesrsey Species for summary list of species.