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Trip Reports

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About this blog

Here, I will compile many of my trip reports that I post under the "Fossil Hunting Trips" topic. I hope it will be a more accessible record of my adventures, and that it would make for some good reads to binge - I enjoy myself writing, so hopefully you all will enjoy the reading :hammer01:

Entries in this blog

Two trips, some amazing fossils, and a note to the forum (Middle August, 2022)

Recently, my good friend Carter ( @Jackito ) found my personal holy grail of Texas Cretaceous sharks - Pseudomegachasma comanchensis    While I knew of the existence of the genus here in Texas, I didn't know much about the teeth themselves as I never was really that convinced I'd ever find one. But Carter's find proved it's possible, and what's better... he found it at a site we both knew of!   So, we went out together in an effort to find another. What's better is that I ha

Jared C

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Jewels from a new site (Early August 2022)

This has to be a very brief report, as I have to hop in my car soon to go hunt for my ever elusive Pseudomegachasma tooth - but I discovered a tiny, amazing site on a scout this weekend:   The trek had me running into several large homeless camps, so I was a little tense the entire time, but the results were worth it. All of these finds came from a sandstone roof above me. It was like looking up at a church ceiling mural, telling a story of some distant time, except this was a ~95 mill

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A weekend of rarity (mid July- early August 2022)

This last weekend produced probably the best results I've ever experienced while fossil hunting - these last two days will be hard to beat.   Before I get to that though, I do want to include a find from the weekend before (since this is the topic of rarity). It was a local find and a first for the species for me. Not only that, but my first real "heartbreaker". It was bound to happen at some point!   Sticking halfway out of the gravel, I instantly recognized a large Ptychodu

Jared C

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Unforgettable moments in the Hell Creek formation

(Note: I don't know why half of this is in bold, I wrote this in a google doc first and copy pasted it to here, and it defaults to bold without the ability to undo it. This tends to fluctuate. Easy to see though!)   "Dinosaurs are overrated", Mike teased to me. We were sitting together at the flooded dig site of our mosasaur in the early morning hours, having just finished a jam-packed but enjoyable conversation about his research and other matters related to paleo. Naturally, dinosaur

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Surprise on Easter weekend

Spring in my stretch of Texas is brilliantly green, with lush, heavy foliage that reaches tall. The atmosphere is warm, with humid air that has weight of its own, and the open, bright blue skies are occasionally interrupted by fleeting storms.   This season of sticky air and vibrant greenery have made me deeply nostalgic for when I was just starting to figure things out and really exert myself in the practice of fossil finding, just a year ago. I spent steamy days romping up and down i

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A walk in the Austin Chalk (two cidarids!) (4/01/22)

For whatever reason, I used to completely dismiss the Austin chalk as a formation of any interest. I viewed it almost through the same lens that I view the Edwards formation, as if it was some barren uninteresting hinderance that gets in the way of cooler formations. Accidentally finding a large Parapuzosia ammonite in it once changed that a bit, but for the most part I still ignored it...   Turns out I was just looking in the wrong places, and had very little understanding of it

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An exciting spring break

As the title implies - I had a very busy and exciting spring break. Big news first - I confirmed plans this June  to intern with a small paleo company, "Fossil excavators", in North Dakota for two weeks digging up a sub-adult T. rex, which was found right at the end of the season last year.   We'll be exploring more than just that though, as the hell creek dig sites accessible to them are rife with life. A unique Triceratops horridus specimen,  nicknamed "Alice", who's an adult missing

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First Tetragramma! (2/19/2022)

As most of you should be able to easily tell, I know virtually nothing about invertebrates, despite the good potential my area has for them. However, I was super fortunate the other day to find what ranks among my two best invertebrate finds: My first Tetragramma echinoid   While looking for flint nodules to knap, my step brother encountered a tiny little oasis of shale/clay in a vast sea of limestone. He wasn't immediately interested, but still mentioned it when he was talking ab

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A weekend of adventures in my neck of the woods (1/16/2022)

I have been experiencing the most unusual predicament for over a month now - I've been finding more artifacts than I have my target fossils. I happen to live in one of the most prolific areas in the U.S. for impressive paleoindian and other native artifacts, and while I certainly have an appreciation for these, it's like "giving pearls to swine" - since my first interest right now is firmly cretaceous vertebrates.   However, I am still regularly blown away by some of these artifacts, e

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cold front creek stomping

Recently I've been researching a late cretaceous texas shark that I've never even heard of until two nights ago. I'm already a bit of a night owl (as you might see by the timestamp, I'm writing this well past midnight already ), but these last two nights spent researching and investigating potential spots have been LATE ones, around 3 AM - I guess I've really been bitten by the bug here.   The shark in question is Pseudomegachasma, specifically Pseudomegachasma comanchensis (for my are

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a hunt with friends

I recently took two of my friends out fossil hunting, both for the first time. We've actually found a cool fossil together before, a large partial from the ammonite Oxytropidoceras (by complete chance, we were just creek stomping for fun that evening), but this is the first time they've ever been fossil hunting with intent.   It took about 30 minutes to get warmed up and start finding things - Annika was the first to see something, a point in this instance. My knowledge of points is si

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Texas Creek (Early October, 2021)

I went on this hunt about two weeks ago, but only am getting around to posting it now. It was a great day at a new spot close to my usual stomping grounds.   I was hunting under a bridge the week before when someone walking the path next to it asked if I had any luck - his name was Leo, and we actually recognized each other as both of us have posted about some of our finds on reddit before.   (PS - pardon the picture quality, most of these are screenshots from video)  

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Eagle Ford mosasaur

Last weekend was one I'll never forget... I've barely processed it, but now that I can be more coherent, here is the story of the mosasaur we found                                                                                                                                  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------   On September 11 & 12, I researched and found new fossil hunting area (to me), that exposed the Eagle Ford formation. I de

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Eagle Ford honey hole - 3rd time's the charm (9/12/2021)

Today was the best fossil hunt I've ever had. I feel like I say that every time lately, but it really is true.    Today was attempt number three at investigating the Eagle Ford.   Attempt number one, in Travis county, found me wandering into the Austin Chalk. I did get a great consolation prize though, in the form of gigantic segment of a Parapuzosia sp. ammonite.     Attempt number two was in Williamson county - the Eagle Ford is rare here, only really exposed by h

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A quick search for the Eagle Ford (9/04/2021)

Yesterday was attempt  number two at finding exposures of the Eagle Ford formation. My first attempt a month ago found me deep in the city of Austin, searching for the Bouldin Flags member of the Eagle Ford. I had to move upstream to avoid a large homeless camp, and found myself on the Austin chalk instead, where I found a large piece of a Parapuzosia sp. ammonite ( that trip is below)   While definitely a memorable hunt, with a cool fossil to show for it, it was technically still a m

Jared C

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local Ozan, 8/28/21 - a new look at an old spot

Today was a memorable outing, and our net results were the best I've ever had for a single day without driving 2 hours.   This morning started quickly. My step brother, Christian, was already knocking on my door at 9:30 - yes, that may be late in the morning for everyone else, but it's a full hour before I'm usually fully awake. I guess that's the trade off for late nights!   Yesterday we made plans to spend our day today hunting a spot that I was used to scouring but had not

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