Paleontology and geology
Continued erosion of the Appalachians carried sediments to the North Carolina Coastal Plain. In eastern North Carolina, the sea repeatedly encroached upon the land and then retreated, leaving deposits of sand and limy mud that eventually consolidated to form limestone. These sediments are rich in molluscs (clams and snails), bryozoans, and sea urchins. Shark teeth and whale bones can also be found. This map indicates a small exposure of Tertiary rocks in the northern portion of the state.