This object was picked up on Myrtle Beach in South Carolina by Scott Echerer.

Excerpts from some of our correspondence:

Scott wrote:

I found something "interesting" and fossilized this weekend on the shores of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina...

I searched Alta Vista with the following search key words:

+fossil +shark +beach +whale

The 51st entry was your page

This dropped me right into your "What is it?" page. After all the banter and guessing by your visitors, alas there was no picture of "it"! So I faced an equally fun reverse riddle: "Is this in my hand that which they describe?"....Well.....maybe. Half of them described this object very well...and the other half have not. There is no accounting for imagination.

That's when I decided to call for help.

When you get a second, imagine holding this fossil in your hand and then read all of the answers that you got (blindly) - having never seen the photos before. They all described what they saw and I had to try to match that to what I had. It seemed crazy and improbable. How many of these things could there be?


I have already read all about the beach re-build at Myrtle Beach and all of the fossils that have been dug up/washed up as a result. I watched it happen in front of my condo across from Barefoot Landing in NMB. (Where the "subject" was found.) They pumped sand onto the beach from a half-mile out. They pumped LOTS of sand - for weeks.

I believe it is a fossilized internal cavity of a "shell creature". (A I am an engineer and I cannot spell all the various "mussel-type" words)

It certainly looks like a tooth or a dragon claw, but it is the perfect shape of two matching, yet non-symentrical clam shells, much like are found on the beach regularly. The reason the two protrusions do not touch (most visible in the last of your photos) is because this appears to be the formation of the inside of the shell. The two corresponding areas on the shell itself would touch - this is where the "hinge" of the clam shell would be.

Million year old clam guts - I am sold on it. (Although Whale's ear certainly sounds better)

You may quote me and/or re-post my pics as you like. Post my email if you want. I will happily defend my position for the sheer fun of it, however, I will not be responsible for the broken hearts that result from the apparent truth.

Bring on the nay-sayers!

Scott J. Echerer, ME, MBA

added March 8, 1999