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Showing most informative content since 10/21/2017 in all areas

  1. 16 likes
    First up, the seller of this egg stated upfront this is a replica, so this isn't a scam warning. Here, we have an oviraptor egg that could fool even experienced collectors. It looks realistic because it's made out of real oviraptor eggshells. It's even covered with a coating of matrix. This is common practice; I've seen hadrosaur eggs are faked this way, with plaster mixed in to make the egg seem round and heavy. For reference, here's a real Oviraptor (Elongatoolithus sp.) that's been professionally prepped. Oviraptor eggs are commonly faked, so four ways to get a real one is: 1) Get a prepped one, preferably with matrix removed. The eggshell should be black 2) Avoid eggs that are perfect. Real eggs have cracks, and sometimes missing entire chunks of shells. 3) Get one without a matrix base. This isn't a sure-fire method, but I've noticed many fake oviraptor eggs have matrix bases, whereas I can't say the same of those free of matrix. Perhaps the fake eggs require a matrix base for support during their construction process. 4) Price. Again, this is arguable, but the real Oviraptor eggs I've seen often comes with price tag several times that of dubious ones. Having sent some eggs for prepping in the past, this is justified because the cost and time of prepping may cost more than the actual egg. Some scammers like to lure people in with bargain prices. Chinese eggs flood the market, and for many collectors, a dinosaur egg is a must-have. There are more fakes than there are real ones, so take extra care if you seek to buy one. As always, if you're unsure, post pictures here and we will try to help.
  2. 12 likes
    Hello, and welcome to the Forum. Unfortunately, fossil preparation is not something that is easily adaptable to "hacks". There really are, as far as I know, not many 'tricks' or 'shortcuts' that can be applied. Patience, a steady hand, sharp tools, and knowledge of how the rock or matrix reacts to your tools, are the main tenets to Fossil Prep. This requires lots of practice, and some heartbreak by learning the hard way. Tips I would give : 1. Be aware that you will break fossils. Despite our best efforts, the rock doesn't always cooperate with our wishes. This seems to be a pretty common occurrence. It can happen less with more experience, but sometimes, stuff just happens. Occasionally this is repairable. Sometimes, not so much. 2. Never trim in the field. This is the best way to ruin a great fossil. Unless you have a saw, breaking a piece of matrix down to a small size can have unexpected and potentially heartbreaking consequences. 3. When removing a fossil from a larger piece of matrix in the field, put some glue (superglue) or tape over the fossils on the matrix you are trying to remove it from. This will keep the fossil from going flying off of the matrix, and keep any pieces together should the fossil break during removal. 4. Sometimes Mother Nature does the best prep. Leave fossiliferous blocks out in the elements, and let them weather. This can create natural cracks to exploit when beginning prep. This also can lessen the prep process immensely. 5. Go slow, and have patience. This is a hard one for some. Going slow will bring out the best results in fossil prep. Rushing, or hurrying, tends to lead to mistakes, mishandling of tools, and ruined fossils. "Slow and steady wins the race." 6. Do not start to learn to prep on a potentially great fossil. When you are collecting. grab some similar material so you can practice. Practice increases your skill, with handling your tools, and your knowledge of the matrix tendencies. 7. Keep bladed and pointed tools sharp. When they start to not work as well, ... re-sharpen. 8. Consider using a sandbag as a base for your fossil to rest on, while prepping. It will conform to the shape of the matrix, and still give a firm, yet softer, yielding base, that can help to absorb some shock from vibration or impacts. 9. Listen and learn from others with more prep experience. Their techniques have been honed, skills sharpened, and their mistakes have been already been made. Learn from theirs, to minimize yours. 10. When in doubt, ask The Fossil Forum. Reading and doing are 2 very different things. If you get stuck, or are unsure how to proceed, ask for advice from others. Reading every thread in the Preparation Forum, while commendable, is no substitute for the wisdom of experience. Hope this helps. Regards,
  3. 10 likes
    So, lets figure out vertebrae from the Kem Kem beds. As many of you know the Kem Kem beds has a pretty enigmatic palaeo fauna. There is some literature about it, but not a whole lot. Some of it is behind a paywall and much information is pretty scattered. So I got this idea that maybe we could combine our knowledge and information to collectively get a better picture of which bone belongs to which animal, in this case, vertebrae. I know some of you have some fantastic specimens in your collections, if we combine these in this thread we might be able to see some patterns. We probably won't be able to put a genus or species name on each type, but perhaps assigning certain vertebrae to a morphotype might be possible. With that I encourage everyone that has any vertebrae from the Kem Kem beds to share photos of their specimens and post them here so we can use this thread as a sort of library as well as an ID thread that everyone can use to better ID their Kem Kem vertebrae. So please, share your photos! And it might help to number your specimens for easier reference. I will be updating this first post as new information arises with examples to make ID easier. Theropods Spinosaurus aegyptiacus Spinosaurus is known for it's tall neural spines, which are pretty characteristic. Unlike Sigilmassasaurus, Spinosaurus does not have the ventral triangular rough plateau on the centra Spinosaurus cervical vertebrae Spinosaurus dorsal, sacral and caudal vertebrae Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis Sigilmassasaurus is a Spinosaurid that might be closely related to Baryonyx and Suchomimus. It differs from Spinosaurus in that it has a ventral keel on many vertebrae and a triangular rough plateau on the bottom back end. A is Sigilmassasaurus, B is Baryonyx Sigilmassasaurus cervical vertebrae Sigilmassasaurus dorsal vertebrae Charcharodontosaurids Due to an old paper Sigilmassasaurus vertebrae are sometimes misidentified as Carcharodontosaurid. These vertebrae should be identified on the basis of the original description by Stromer. Carcharodontosaurid cervical vertebrae Abelisaurids examples needed Deltadromeus agilis better examples needed Sauropods Rebbachisaurus Rebbachisaurus dorsal vertebrae Crocodiles more examples needed Kemkemia This crocodile is only known by a single terminal caudal vertebra. Kemkemia caudal vertebra Turtles examples needed Pterosaurs examples needed Sources Spinosaurids https://peerj.com/articles/1323/?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_campaign=PeerJ_TrendMD_1&utm_medium=TrendMD http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0144695 Kemkemia sisn.pagepress.org/index.php/nhs/article/viewFile/nhs.2012.119/32
  4. 10 likes
    So I'll start here with my own Kem Kem vertebrae. Most of the are quite incomplete, which makes identification harder of course. I have a few of them figured out. But others are quite problematic. Here are the side and top views. Gimme a shout if I need to make some better photos of specific specimens. I've numbered all of them for easier reference. Numbers 1 to 3 are all clearly Spinosaurid and likely Sigilmassasaurus due to the small neural process and strong keels. Nr. 2 threw me off a bit since it's so incredibly small but the morphology seems pretty consistent with Sigilmassasaurus. Nr. 4 compared well with a Carcharodontosaurid vertebra @Troodon once posted on the forum, though I still have my doubts if my ID is correct. It's a pretty fragmentary chunk ofc. Nr. 5 looks like a croc cervical to me but it being concave at both ends is throwing me off as most good examples I can find of croc verts have a convex end as well. Nr. 6 should be identifiable as it's a complete neural arch, it seems to compare favourably to the cervicals of some crocs. And the zygapophyses on the front and back seem much to wide and oriented wrong to be Theropod. Nr. 1 Nr. 3 Nr. 7 is my largest Kem Kem vertebra, the size along eliminates a lot of animals. it's much too fat around the middle for any Spinosaurid imo. It seems quite heavily built so I think Sauropods can be ruled out as well. So the only really gigantic animals that are left are Carcharodontosaurids. Nr. 8 is a really weird one that I cannot place. It's quite fat, but also hollow in places and the centrum has one side at an angle. Due to it being hollow makes me think it's Theropod but I haven't been able to find a match yet. Nr. 9 is the back end of a sacrum. It compares pretty well to crocs, it seems fairly heavily built and the centrum is wider than tall. Nr. 10 I bought this one as a Deltadromeus vertebra. But I can't find any good reference of this animal so I dunno. Nr. 11 a dorsal vert with a rather wide neural canal, no clue really. Nr. 12 A nice little fragment, but not very informative. Don't think this can be ID'd Nr. 8 Nr. 9 Nr. 10 Nr. 13 A rather tall caudal vert that compares well with vertebrae attributed to Spinosaurids. But it's hard to find any really good reference. Nr. 14 Really latterally flat caudal vert, theropod? Nr. 15 caudal vert from near the end of the tail, also seems pretty slenderly built. Theropod? Nr. 16 and 17 Though 17 is much more damaged, the centra are the exact same shape. Also fairly slender. Nr. 18 I've posted this weird vertebra on the forum before as it's really bizarre. The centrum has a lateral pinch in the middle and directly above it there is a bulbous area that flares out to the sides. The consensus on the forum was that this is likely from a crocodile. Nr. 19 Another weird caudal from the very end of the tail. What's strange about this one is that the neural canal is really wide. I read somewhere that such a wide neural canal in this area of the tail is common for crocs. Nr. 20 A really small anterior caudal vertebra of a dinosaur. It has some hollow areas and it compares well with Theropods. But I haven't been able to find a good match yet. Judging from the size I'd say this animal was probably no bigger than 2 metres. Nr. 20 So those are my vertebrae from Kem Kem so far. I'd suggest people start posting theirs so we can compare them in the hopes that we might learn more about them.
  5. 10 likes
    Tyrannosaurus rex, the initial indication that a big beast existed. This is the first recorded specimen of a T rex tooth collected in 1874. Displayed at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, not described until 1905. Yes other than footprints, dinosaur material has been found in Connecticut. The Jurassic dinosaur skull of Anchisaurus polyzelus, Peabody Museum of Natural History. The label says it all. Type specimen described 1827. The term Dinosaur was coined 1842 by Richard Owens. Did you known that the holes in the dentary of the famous T rex "Sue" were caused by a Trichomonosis like protozoan that may have killed her. Based on other the frequency found on other specimens it's hypothesize that tyrannosaurids were commonly infected by this type of avian parasite. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0007288 Checkout paper found in Fruitbat's super library. Common Avian Infection Plagued the Tyrant Dinosaurs Ewan D. S. Wolff , Steven W. Salisbury , John R. Horner, David J. Varricchio One of the largest Edmontosaurus annectens. skulls around 50" (127 cm). Museum of the Rockies, Hell Creek Formation, Montana The forelimb of Sinornithosaurus millenii, the first described dromaeosaurid ("raptor") with preserved feathers
  6. 10 likes
    Hi Lori. I would disagree with reptile. Compare your tooth with that of the Bowfin (Amiid)...I believe what you have is small Melvius tooth. It is not often you find them with the root intact...very cool find (ants are such good excavators of tiny treasure!).
  7. 10 likes
    Great tips so far, not much I can add of value; but here is something that's helpful to me. In prepping a piece with a complex shape (e.g. an Oreodont skull) place illustrations (I prefer line drawings) of the type of fossil at your workbench. Even though you may have a mental picture of what the piece "looks like," an illustration will help with those small dips and outcrops that will be present. It will help you see "where you are," keeping you oriented as to what hidden feature is next to be revealed. Good luck, have fun with your project.
  8. 9 likes
    Nice Oxytropidoceras frag.
  9. 8 likes
    I agree that the first one is quite a find. And till now unreported as far as I know from the St Clair area. I believe the second one, which was poorly preserved and only appears more interesting than I believe it to be. Based on the lack of even a crease to show any midveins in the pinnules, leads me to believe they did not have any. The only genus which lacks a midvein is Odontopteris. And the only species of Odontopteris reported at St. Clair is O. subcuneata. I don't know that this species is that "common" there but since O. subcuneata is a polymorphic form Macroneuropteris scheuchzerii and it is a common element in this flora, so it should be readily found there. The other features that can be made out also help confirm the taxon. The first one is very rare even where it is known to exist. So much so it is only described on fertile foliage and only one example of sterile foliage is known to exist. It is called Stellatheca ornata and you have a fertile example. A brief description; The ultimate and penultimate rachis appears wide (though partially due to pinnules being slightly confluent) Each pinnule typically has three sori, but can range from two to five, and are placed near the margin. And the pinnules are generally no more than rounded lobes. Attached is a picture of a Mazon Creek example. Hope this helps, Jack
  10. 8 likes
    I'm seeing a trilobite cephalon, likely a phacopid such as Eldredgeops. Don
  11. 8 likes
    It is a hybodont cephalic clasper.
  12. 8 likes
    comparative picture from Full reference : R. W. Purdy, V. P. Schneider, S. P. Applegate, J. H. McLellan, R. L. Meyer and B. H. Slaughter. 2001. The Neogene sharks, rays, and bony fishes from Lee Creek Mine, Aurora, North Carolina. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 90:71-202
  13. 8 likes
    It is a dermal denticle from Dasyatis centroura. It is from the Pliocene Yorktown Formation. I’ll post some pictures later this morning.
  14. 8 likes
    Yes, it's important to discuss, but's it's important to discuss with proper context and evidence. And on another note concerning the mentioning of the genus Arkonaster. So far, as far as I've concluded, it is not applicable in any way to the fossil in question. Showing pictures of Arkonaster and saying "it looks like this fossil" or saying that That such a specimen has not been found before in the area is not a really compelling argument, new/rare fossils are described all the time, and such starfish are known (though invariably very rare) from correlated strata" isn't something you should do for several reasons. One is that the Arkona Formation was deposited in a different time than the rocks here. You all would be right in saying that the actual formation hasn't been narrowed down, and currently we're looking at a range of almost 20 million years, 15 million of which are in late Devonian strata outside of the age range of the rocks at Arkona. It's like trying to compare the fossils at Hell Creek to the fossils at some Eocene site in the Badlands (or wherever they're found). Another is that the Arkona was deposited in different conditions from the rocks in western Maryland, so the habitat would have been very different between the two localities and host to different predator/prey assemblages. Sure, they both have shale, but what kind of shale, deposited in what kind of conditions? Some of the shale in Maryland was deposited in deeper, muddier water than the ones at Arkona and the conditions in the floor sediment, water, temperature, oxygen levels, etc. would have been completely different. These differences affect more than just rock type and Arkonaster, it affects all the other animals the genus would have a relationship with in the food chain. This could mean that aside from having a habitat not conducive to Arkonaster or similar genera, it could be lacking in prey or other food sources asteroids rely on while, conversely or not, frequented by predators of asteroids that would make a population there unlikely. I guess it's good to re-iterate that I'm inclined to believe that a seastar is a possibility, maybe even the most likely one, but that we shouldn't just come to our beliefs because they've been seemingly validated by other users on the site. Instead, we should make our decisions after arguments have been made for all options and evidence presented. This is the problem I have when I see everyone going on about what would be the first ever recorded seastar in this formation in the entire Mid-Atlantic region. Extraordinary claims (and that is what any ID presented here is without verified expert analysis) require extraordinary evidence, and thus far I have yet to see any such evidence appear. You all can post pictures about other similar looking seastars, but why do you think the animal in the picture is similar to the fossil from the OP? Why might they be different? What kind of rocks were the original fossils found in? What kind is the OP's found in? In this case we have no associated fauna, which is a huge problem for assigning an ID and should be a red flag to enter with caution into the discussion, but if we did what kind occur with Arkonaster that occur with the OP's? Which ones don't? These are the questions we should be asking as a starter for debating an ID, but yet no one has done this. Again, I implore the OP to submit the fossil to an expert to ID. Dude, dial it down a notch. Again, I should re-iterate here that the Formation information is dodgy at best, so everything is a guess. OP stated he dug it out of the road. It could have been in trucked in material from elsewhere for the road. In which case, your "argument" can be conversely applied to assigning a Formation "just because it was found in a certain area". You are assuming it is from the Formation you are familiar with/have studied. You and I have no clue exactly where this item came from. And please keep in mind, no one to this point has ID'd it as a particular sea star. Many of us have voiced opinions about what it most closely resembles. EMP, this is what the forum does. This is what we have always done, at least since I have been here. We narrow things down as best as we can. We don't always nail things down to genus or species. We do not guarantee ID's. We are a bunch of interested amateurs, avocational and professional paleontologists. ID'ing fossils from blurry photos online is tricky, at best. But we normally do a pretty decent job of it, I think. I also hope that the OP does send pictures, or the fossil itself, to a paleontologist who specializes in sea stars. We all think this could be scientifically important. And EMP, please remember to keep your language family friendly. Regards,
  15. 7 likes
    The taxa may be differentiated. Clean out the foramina and photograph them and any remaining muscle attachments. Not real close-ups, but close enough to still locate these features on the bone.
  16. 7 likes
    I was in southern Mexico for 9 days on a trip to see an amber mine I've been leasing. I wrote an article about the trip I'd like to share with everyone. Unfortunately I can't share all my photos for fear of someone bootlegging them (I have a couple of competitors), but I will share those with my face in them as I know no one is going to be bold enough to use those. All photos are mine and may be used with my permission (just ask). If I knew of how perilous the journey was, perhaps I would never have gone…but it was worth the risk and I will never forget my journey to the Amber mines of Somojovel… You see these beautifully polished pieces of amber from Mexico, but do you have any idea where they come from or how they are mined? Do you know their true story? I’ll tell you, both their story and mine, and of the people who scratch the amber from the bowels of the earth in the mines of Somojovel. Let’s start with a brief history of Chiapas amber. What we know is that it formed some 23-30 million years ago during the Oligocene. Giant trees of the species Hymanea were damaged via hurricanes, earthquakes, and other means, releasing copious amounts of sap from these giant trees. Insects, flowers, leaves, and sometimes frogs, crabs, and lizards were trapped in the sticky resin that flowed from the trees. Sometimes pieces of resin would fall to the ground, encasing other plants and animals. Through floods and other means, these trees and resin were transported to the shallow ocean, where the resin hardened, oysters grew on its surface, and eventually the resin was buried under ocean sediments. Over millions of years, with constant heat and pressure, the resin hardened into copal as volatile organic chemicals left the structure of the copal, eventually turning it to the true amber we know today. This amber was originally discovered by the Mayans, who valued this stone and even included it amongst jaguar pelts and cacao on their inventory scrolls. Eventually, it gained value amongst modern cultures as well who now demand this amber both for its beauty and rare inclusions. In 1953, an archaeologist named Frans Blom discovered the deposits of Somojovel, soon after bringing a group of scientists from the University of Berkley in California to study the amber deposits. It was not until the 1980’s that mining began taking place for amber, with production skyrocketing after the 1993 film, Jurassic Park, to meet demand for amber. This is where I come in... I've been a part of the process of bringing this amber to the United States. Not only do I acquire the amber to add to my own collection, but I also acquire scientifically significant specimens for future paleontological research. These pieces would otherwise be sold to other countries, primarily China, where the pieces would be completely lost to science. I make a point of collecting these specimens and making them available in perpetuity for research, only to be sold to a museum if sold at all. This leads to the reason for my adventure to the village of Somojovel. I’ve been leasing a mine in the rainforest near the small village, from which I’ve derived countless pieces of amber for my personal collection. From this mine and others in Somojovel, I’ve brought insects, leaves, carvings, jewelry, wine stoppers, and other things of amber to the US. Through amber, I’ve been able to support more than a dozen families in Chiapas who depend on the amber for their survival. From the miners to carvers to bead makers, they all rely on the amber and subsequently my business (and Americans purchasing the amber from me) to feed and clothe their families and to keep a roof over their heads. Regardless of the importance of this, few people know where the amber comes from or how hard the indigenous people of Somojovel work to find it. When I met all of the workers in Chiapas and spoke to them, that is what really hit home for me on this trip and one of the reasons I risked my life to go where no other “gringo” has gone before—to the heart of this precious stone—to the mines of Somojovel. I needed to tell Their story. The day started early…about 6AM. My friend, a native from Tuxtla Gutierrez, and myself left via taxi to the bus station to start our journey to the mines. The trip started out uneventfully…maybe an hour and a half ride to the next town from which we needed to take another bus to our final destination. Cramming into the small 8-person bus now loaded with 10 people, my friend begins to explain everything to me…now that we are at the point of no return. He first explains the arrangements he made weeks before. He had to ask for the blessing of the village chief and the elders to take a “foreigner” to see the mines… after explaining who I was and my intentions, and a contribution of course, they agreed to allow me to visit the mines for just this day. Then the owner of the lands had to be consulted, who luckily also gave his blessing upon an explanation and another contribution. Lastly, the manager of the land, a friend of my friend, would meet us and escort us around the mines to further guarantee my safety. Next, my friend began to tell me stories of how other foreigners had not been so fortunate after visiting just the town on their own. About five years ago, the Chinese first started visiting the town of Somojovel to buy amber, but the people grew angry with these foreigners and their tactics (basically bullying) to get the lowest prices possible from the people. Things are not so cordial as they once were. A South Korean man had driven to the town just a month before, setting out a table with about 12 million pesos on one side and a loupe, flashlight, and blue light on the other half… After all the villagers had sold him all the amber they had, he left and began his journey out of the town. Unfortunate for him, the villagers had set up a road block to prevent him from leaving. They promptly took his amber and remaining money at gun point…at which point they allowed him to return to San Cristobal crying, where I was told he drowned his sorrows at a local bar while still crying and telling his plight to anyone who would listen. Just three months before, three Chinese men had visited the town to buy amber as well. Upon their insulting bargaining tactics (throwing amber across the table and calling it trash that they wouldn’t pay more than 1/5 the price for), they were promptly ran out of town with bullets following closely behind them. About a year ago, a Polish man was similarly robbed as the South Korean, with his unfortunate mistake being to refuse to give up the amber, at which point he was promptly shot in the stomach and the amber still taken. Another story was told to me about a Chinese man disappearing over a year ago in Somojovel, but you get the point… in the town of Somojovel, the police cannot help you if you upset the people. As my friend finished his stories, he continued to tell me how dangerous the journey is with many people being killed by car accidents on the road…by falling boulders and rock/mud slides from the mountain, and by running off the cliff into the valley below. He further tells me how lucky I am to be going on that day, as the workers had just finished rebuilding the road the day before. It’s at this point I look to the right and see a large section of roadway that had sloughed off the side of the mountain in the last earthquake…no embellishment here…the entire roadway just “fell” off the side of the mountain… It’s at this point I truly became terrified of the journey…. The driver was driving Fast, constantly passing other vehicles on a two lane road, swerving around pot holes and parts of the roadway that had crumbled and fallen over the mountain side…around boulders, stalled vehicles, fallen trees, and remnants of mudslides we went. At one point we were nearly hit head on by a vehicle passing a stalled truck in the opposite lane. The driver did nothing other than a small Hail Mary and a laugh. I’m glad I used the restroom that morning… After seemingly endless twists and turns on this death trap of a road, we arrived at the village of Somojovel. Upon exiting the cramped bus, we met the friend of my friend who manages the land. We were escorted to the edge of the rainforest, passing villagers who stared at me intently as I walked by…I must have been a strange sight, being pale skinned and a foot taller than anyone in the village. We proceeded to follow a small dirt path into the rainforest, along which I felt like a child. I was captivated by the wild orchids growing on trees, an ants nest of a species I’ve never seen on a nearby tree (whose sting I discovered feels and looks more like a Burn than a fire ant bite), countless banana trees, and coffee bushes (from which I savored a few coffee fruits). We followed the path for maybe two or three miles until it narrowed along the mountain side. I distinctly remember a point at which the path narrowed to maybe a foot in width with a sheer drop of a few hundred feet for anyone who lost their footing. If this was not terrifying enough, there was a gap of maybe two or three feet where this path had been washed away…jumping across such a gap is not an easy task while your legs are shaking from fear of the height. After a long trek, we finally reached the first of the mines with an amazing view of the valley spread before us. The first mine was not by any means the most impressive, yet I was as excited as a dozen childhood Christmases combined. I eagerly asked for permission to enter, at which point I was told no and shown the overhanging rock that was ready to fall at any moment… my heart dropped a bit, until I was told I could enter the next mine. You see, millions of years ago, the amber was deposited where this mountain now stands. One side of this strata was uplifted, causing a diagonal stratigraphic trend of approximately 140 degrees from my estimates. The mines had been dug along this diagonal strata with one mine being followed perhaps 15 vertical feet below the last and 30 yards down slope. The second mine was not currently being worked—lucky for me as I carefully entered what looked like the home of a prehistoric mole at first glance. I gleefully pulled a 365nm UV flashlight from my backpack (the same one I later gave to my friend for his birthday) and proceeded to sweep the floor and walls for amber. The amber pieces shown like stars in the pitch black mine and I happily scooped them up, regardless of their small size. It was the first amber I had found in my life…a childhood dream finally come true…a dream laughably originally implanted in me since watching “Jurassic Park” as a 4 year old. I was shown the dump pile where mine tailings were thrown for children to later break apart the clay to find smaller pieces of amber. I again found some amber in matrix, which my friend promptly put in my backpack, remembering that I needed some amber in-situ for educational purposes. We continued on to several other mines where I was able to frolic in this geological playground and find more amber…passing a couple of mines that had previously caved in…a stark reminder of the dangers of these mines. After passing a few more mines, we came to one that was being worked at the time. Upon first approaching this mine, I could hear the faint sounds of picks on clay walls…then the sound of an approaching miner from within the bowels of the mine. A child of maybe 12 emerged from the mine, a wheel barrow preceding him, loaded with clay. This miner proceeded to run to the end of the small path from the mine and dump the contents of the wheelbarrow before running back into the mine. It was at this point that the manager of the lands asked if I would like a picture with the boy, explaining that the miners only knew Cecile, an indigenous language, and that he would have to ask the boy for us. I was told I needed to pay the boy for the picture, maybe 50 pesos. I happily agreed, at which point the boy was stopped on his next round and asked if he would like to have his picture taken. The manager translated that the boy was excited to have his picture to be taken, and that he exclaimed with joy that he “would be famous in America”. He also added that I was “as big as a bear”. After a picture, we proceeded into the mine, where the manager explained that this one was about 300 meters long, but others could go up to 400 meters into the mountain. The mine is no fun place to be past the entrance…it gets Dark…pitch black…and cramped, narrowing from 5 feet to maybe 3 feet in height in some places—just tall enough for the wheel barrow to make way. The width of the mine is again maybe 4 feet at most. I’m told they keep them small to prevent cave-ins, as there are no braces or ceiling anchors to stabilize the mine shafts. I continued down the shaft, the humidity and heat causing me to sweat profusely…the floor was wet and slippery with mud…as I approached the end of the shaft where the miners were working, the air was thin and stale. I could only stay for a few minutes before nearly passing out, and which point I needed to get out while I could. Every second I was in that cave I kept thinking of the collapsed mines…there was no rescue if a cave in occurred…the mine could also serve as a grave. Upon exiting the cave, I was greatly relieved, as if I had escaped from Hades itself…I inhaled the fresh air with zealous and relished the sunlight that I had been robbed of for seemingly an eternity. A few minutes later, my friend emerged with the land manager and the other miners. They were all fascinated by me and I by them. I was told that other foreigners had visited the village to buy amber, but none had ever visited the mines nor shaken hands with the miners…all the others only cared about the stone, not how it was found nor for the people who found it. I felt honored by this…granted that Richard Attenborough (John Hammond in Jurassic Park) had been my hero as a child, I had now met the true heroes of the story, without whom we would not have this precious stone. Out from the mine was lastly carried a small gourd bowl with a shoe string handle. This bowl contained all the amber found that day for the workers, maybe 200 grams of amber (which would later be maybe 160 after polishing). I took the amber and paid the workers more than what is usual for these workers, in appreciation for their hard work. It was at this point that I realized how hard these people work and couldn’t help but wish they were earning more. We continued on to the neighboring mine, and I was told that this is from where my amber was coming. The workers came out to greet me and to show me their finds for the day. These miners were not what you would expect. No special tools, bare feet to keep from slipping, no shirt as it was too hot for one…only shorts, a hand pick and an ancient flashlight strapped to their heads. This is how all the miners work in Somojovel, with the exception of some still using candles instead of flashlights. The miners were kind and jovial despite the harsh working conditions…the work was hard but they were happy to be able to provide for their families. I couldn’t help but think of how miserable and complaintive someone in the US would be of working in such conditions for so little pay. The workers first presented me with a gift of a high quality piece of amber, after which they showed me all of their other finds from the day. After paying the workers what they had earned for the amber, I paid them more still to take a photo with me in front of the mine. They happily agreed and posed with me in all their mining gear (shorts). After telling them goodbye, we continued down the mountain, myself darting from mine entrance to mine entrance looking for whatever scraps of amber the workers had left behind…these scraps were of little monetary value, but regardless I was savoring the hunt. After reaching the last mine, the land manager tells us that it would be easier to continue down the mountain rather than back up... meaning we still needed to cross the creek, and hike to the road where we could get a ride in a taxi…if only it were as easy as it sounded! The descent was Steep and treacherous…again, narrow paths along the mountain with a couple of washed out gaps that I had to jump over and pray that I landed on my mark…too short and I would fall…too far and I would fall too. We finally reached the edge of the mountain near the creek, at which our then guide, the land manager, proceeds to rappel down vines and tree roots down the cliff side onto slippery boulders in the creek. I would be lying if I said it was easy, or even halfway within OSHA regulations to get down that way…but climbing and clawing my way down the side of the cliff, I finally touched my feet on the rocks below. Then a hop, skip, and a jump across the rocks in the raging creek and I was home free to the road…or so I thought. A taxi stopped for us surprisingly soon as we arrived at the roadway…with 3 passengers in tow. One of the passengers crammed into the front seat with the other, with now four of us squeezing into the back like we were in some clown car on the way to a circus. With a third try of closing the door after being told “Mas Fuerte! (Stronger), I finally slammed the door with a sound that startled everyone in the car…they should have been more specific on how much stronger... The driving began crossing the creek with his now human sardine can of a car…slipping and sliding over rocks in the creek….one rock rolling under the car with such violence that I could feel the rock with my feet…scratching and bending the bottom of the car….the car struggled to cross the creek and I began to see water come into the floorboard…it’s not a good feeling seeing water enter a car when you’re crammed in it with 6 other people… Finally we crossed the creek and were back safely in the village for now. Next we were invited to the land managers house to look at some amber he had to sell. We entered the small house…it had windows but no glass; a blue painted concrete floor, orange adobe walls, and a tin roof. The man asked his wife to fetch some fresh orange juice for us while we talked business. As we drank together, the man dumps out maybe three kilos of amber for us to sort through and to select the pieces we wanted. Many pieces were of common insects but a few struck my eye…a giant ant, millipedes, an ant with fungus, a termite filled with water, a large wasp, a flower, and a few other pieces struck my fancy. The man told me what prices he wanted for the pieces and joked with my friend about how he usually wouldn’t give such good prices, but he would for me. I bought the pieces for a decent sum of pesos, after which the man agreed to drive us to the next town to catch the bus, as there would be no more coming to Somojovel that day. Don’t think the story is over so soon…we are almost there! You see, it was getting dark at this point and Foggy…and I was getting a bad migraine too (maybe from the altitude), not that this point matters. The way down the mountain was even more terrifying than the way up…which seemed impossible before. With the darkness and dense fog, I could no longer see the road, cliff, boulders, road washouts, or hardly anything else. It terrifies me to think about the probable…that our driver couldn’t see these things either…that he was driving mostly from memory of the treacherous road and had remembered every death trap along the way. The most I could do was to frantically wipe the condensation from the windshield to help him to see whatever he could and hope that he didn’t forget an inch of that unforgiving road….in the darkness and dense fog… We finally made it to the next town to catch a bus…after a three hour, perilous journey. On the way back I saw two more buses that had crashed head on…I was extremely thankful that it had not been us…we were very lucky to have made the journey safely despite all of the dangers. I have some final thoughts I want to share while I still have your attention. I want you to think about the people of Somojovel and about the amber they toil for. I used to work in the oilfield as an instrumentation specialist and it was a miserable job…working 12-20 hours a day…14 days straight, sometimes up to 140 hours in a week when things went awry…carrying heavy equipment in horrible, dangerous working conditions. I used to complain all the time about that job…until I met these workers. They have far worse working conditions than you or I ever had…they get paid much less too, yet they are happy because they can provide for their families. Why do they get paid so little? Because people will only pay so much for the amber... After paying the workers, leasing fees, monetary conversion fees, money sending fees, Mexican government taxes, labor fees to my friend for polishing the amber and managing operations, shipping fees, income taxes, and other overhead, there isn't a lot to make…but I don’t do this for the money; I do this because I love amber and now that these families depend on me, I can’t let them down. So next time you look at a piece of amber, don’t just look at the stone, think about the people who are sacrificing so much to bring this stone to you…when you think a piece of amber is expensive, think about what you would ask if you were the one who had to dig for it. Some additional details about the journey of the amber after the mines: After the amber is mined, it is washed, windows are polished to see if insects are inside and to check the quality of the amber. Pieces with insects are polished and sold as-is. Tiny pieces are used as chip beads, small pieces for other types of beads, medium sized pieces for small carvings and pendants, and large pieces primarily for carvings. If you have questions please feel free to contact me.
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    Thank you! I truly enjoy the wilds of New Mexico and try to portray that joy through my photos...terribly happy that you all like them as well. I stopped by the museum this morning...I spoke with both Spencer Lucas and Robert Sullivan regarding this specimen and the both agreed that it is a caudal vertebra, most likely from a Hadrosaur. Fossils from the Menefee can be scarce so even a specimen like this one can be important. A passionate Dinosaur researcher friend of mine, Sebastian, is going to remove what matrix he can...I will try and post a pic when that process is complete.
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    Courtesy of Dan Cooper from the Facebook Trilobites group, a rare Isotelus eye with lenses preserved. The claim for this specimen is ~1000 eye lenses, but with all due respect, much closer to ~5000 lenses. Do the math! table from: Rose, J.N. (1968) The eyes of Isotelus and Nileus. Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 74:178-185
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    Welcome to the forum. Nice piece. It looks like the bark of a fossil fern/tree. I'm sure some of our plant fossil experts will see this and let you know which species this is.
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    Great specimen! - I think it's a concretion with a counter-septarian structure as in fig. D, this paper. Seilacher concretion morphologies (Sorry, thought that was the actual link but the pdf is on the forum somewhere - just click the "fossil forum" search result if you want it.) (We've seen similar things on here before. e.g http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/64412-looking-back-at-one-of-my-older-fossils-distorted-root-or-siderite-nodule/ )
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    The plate structure is clearly indicative of a multi-armed starfish. That such a specimen has not been found before in the area is not a really compelling argument, new/rare fossils are described all the time, and such starfish are known (though invariably very rare) from correlated strata. It's hard to think of a site more heavily collected than Arkona, yet the multi-armed starfish Arkonaster is known from probably fewer than half a dozen specimens. On the other hand it is unfortunate that the actual source formation may be in question, as I think it likely that this is a scientifically important specimen. Don
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    Some of my Vertebrae Turtle? Cervical 5" long (12.7 cm) Caudal of unknown Theropod Croc or Theropod? Caudal Vertebra
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    Wow, just saw this thread (I've been in the field all weekend here in SC - it's finally down into the 60s and comfortable outside!). Sorry I'm late to the party. Some various thoughts: 1) Folks who have answered above and failed to identify any anatomical features identifying this as a bone collectively have centuries of experience in avocational AND professional paleontology. I'm one of the professionals on here, have seen quite a lot of bones - and I see a rock. 2) What testing are you referring to? Hardness? Chemistry? These have nothing to do with vertebrate fossil identification and are completely spurious aspects of the physical properties of the object. You claim that nobody here is doing any testing, therefore casting doubt on the relevance of their opinions - but I ask - what relevant observations do you have? 3) As a followup to that, if you already have your mind made up, and don't want/care to hear what the good folks on this forum have to say, then why are you here asking us? Sorry to be so frank. 4) Lastly, I'll place the burden of proof back on you where it rightfully belongs (since it's your hypothesis you're trying to support). What proof do you have that this is bone? What specific anatomical features tell you it is bone? Does it have a marrow cavity? Does it have primary/secondary osteons? What kind of bone is it, histologically speaking? Where are the classic surficial features indicating that it is in fact a bone (e.g. pores, foramina, articular surfaces, sutural surfaces, etc.)? Which bone in the body is it? Which species does it represent? What synapomorphies are obvious that lend themselves to your identification? Please answer these questions carefully for us. A well-articulated, informative, and thoughtful presentation of this information is the best way to propose a hypothesis like yours. We all look forward to your answers to #4 and I guarantee all of us will listen to you without prejudice.
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    I was bothered by the idea that I've never seen a septarian nodule having this kind of shape, then I remembered where I have seen it. Maybe, the specimens in question are not to be considered septarian nodules (?), although they present septarian propagation craks. They might be of a similar geologic formation named Thunderegg . To be more specific, there is a variety of Lithophysa core described as "triconoid". See reference . Unfortunately, there is only an external view of a specimen, but the description reveals the other side. Try to search in this direction. (another white night for me)
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    There are a lot of different types of "sandstone". Some are very frail while others are quite stable. It depends on the mineral makeup of the "sand" and of the bonding mineral/method. What type of metal "wire wheel" are You using? (brass, iron, other) Your method to determine "hardness" is flawed and will not give any reliable results. Google "mohs hardness test" to learn about mineral hardness. This method is used for mineral specimens and does not work for most rock types because they are made of several minerals. As others have said, this forum has a lot of experience with rock and fossil. Some pieces are easy for Us to identify because We have seen a lot of it. That does not mean We are not open minded, just experienced. Check out this thread to see how "open minded scientific" The Fossil Forum can be. Kind regards, Tony
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    Young, G.C. (1978) A new early Devonian petalichthyid fish from the Taemas / Wee Jasper region of New South Wales. Alcheringa, 2(2):103-116 Young, G.C. (1979) New information on the structure and relationships of Buchanosteus (Placodermi: Euarthrodira) from the Early Devonian of New South Wales. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 66(4):309-352 PDF LINK Young, G.C. (1981) New early Devonian brachythoracids (placoderm fishes) from the Taemas-Wee Jasper region of New South Wales. Alcheringa, 5(4):245-271 PDF LINK Young, G.C. (1984) Further petalichthyid remains (Placoderm fishes, Early Devonian) from the Taemas-Wee Jasper Region, New South Wales. Journal of Australian Geology & Geophysics, 9(2):121-131 PDF LINK Young, G.C. (2004) Large brachythoracid arthrodires (placoderm fishes) from the early Devonian of Wee Jasper, New South Wales, Australia, with a discussion of basal brachythoracid characters. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 24(1):1-17 PDF LINK Young, G.C. (2009) New arthrodires (Family Williamsaspididae) from Wee Jasper, New South Wales (Early Devonian), with comments on placoderm morphology and palaeoecology. Acta Zoologica, 90(1):69-82 PDF LINK Hunt, J.R., & Young, G.C. (2011) A new placoderm fish of uncertain affinity from the Early–Middle Devonian Hatchery Creek succession at Wee Jasper, New South Wales. Alcheringa, 35(1):53-75 PDF LINK
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    Definitely a ganoid scale, Lepidotus or Dapedium sort of thing.
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    I agree . . . looks like 'gator.
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    The UO invert specialist agrees it is Tentaculites. Q: Found in Maquoketa Fm associated with a conulariid. It looks like Tentaculites, or is it something else? A: Yes, it looks like Tentaculites scalariformis. Q: Why are some tentaculitids bifurcated? I have seen this in other examples but have never found an explanation. A: Some are crushed and broken down the midline by burial compaction, so presumably had soft tissue inside that excluded sediment fill. That seems likely in this case.
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    I think these are now I.D.'d as Meristodonoides cf novojerseyensis It is a Hybodontiforme. The place RickNC refered to here they are relatively common. I often find 5 or 6 hooks / parts of hooks on a trip. Teeth are a little more scarce, but not uncommon.
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    I have similar specimens from the Latham Shale - Olenellus nevadensis
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    Looks like a pyrite sun, to me. Naturally formed.
  36. 6 likes
    Here are a couple that I found at Lee Creek. I've seen many from Greens Mill Run that are black like Joyce's.
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    Hey Guys, It's been a year since I was out fossil collecting because I was busy moving house. I finally got out to collect this past weekend and found the fossil of the trip on the first day. It's an enrolled Phacops Eldredgeops iowensis southworthi from the Hungry Hollow member of the Widder Formation from Hungry Hollow (Arkona), Ontario. I found it at the feet of our own @crinus as he was chatting with @middevonian. You can bet he was a tad jealous. @Malcolmt did a terrific job of cleaning the matrix off the piece to his exacting standards and the specimen looks gorgeous! He was also able to settle the argument that Crinus and Middevonian had over whether the pygidium was still in place. As found: After cleaning: A closer look at the glabella The left eye is mostly intact... ...but the right eye has been folded upon itself. Very happy to have found this. It is bigger than the one I found last year too!
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    Hi all, Back in 2005 we first found these fossils, very small and few of them. After 12 years, we finally nailed down exactly what they were. The answer was completely unexpected. Read on gentle reader. For over a decade, this particular fossil gave us a lot of trouble when trying to identify its affiliation. We had listed it as "problematica" and until more fossils could be obtained, even its phylum was in doubt. Recent collection of large amounts of material from the Fort Apache Limestone at the Highway 260 site has enabled us to nail down this obscure fossil. At first, we had considered Tentaculitids or Cornulititids however the morphology wasn't quite right, and the fact that they were extinct in the late lower Permian made this untenable. I still felt strongly that this still was some type of bizarre scaphopod, so I contacted a well known Scaphopod expert at the Museum of Natural History in Rotterdam in the Netherlands for help. Jordy van der Beek (jordyvanderbeek.com) was glad to help us and so we sent him more information and lots of photos of what we had. A few days later, he responded and knew exactly what we had found. These were the juvenile portion of a growing scaphopod known as a "Teleoconch". They are seldom fossilized, however the unusual conditions in the Fort Apache Sea greatly favors the preservation of very tiny and juvenile mollusks. Here was something new and quite unexpected! Now lets explain what a teleoconch is, and discuss its features. So exactly what is a "Teleoconch"? Scaphopods have three growth phases out of the egg. First, a protoconch is a tiny ovoid shaped microscopic animal which swims in the plankton and feeds on even smaller micro plankton. Then it settles down to the bottom and starts to grow its cone shape. This phase, called the "teleoconch" is curved, has slightly angled transverse ribbing and is very small indeed - usually less than half an inch. Finally, the little scaphopods "program" changes and it switches to the adult phase. The transverse ribs stop forming and are replaced with the smooth or linearly ribbed adult exterior pattern. At some point, the teleoconch breaks off and leaves the small end open to allow the current to flow through the mollusk for its final configuration. And you can find the the juveniles and discarded teleoconchs preserved in the sediments as these small curved cone shaped fossils. Explanation Diagrams and photos Adult scaphopod at left here, at the top of the curving shell is the transversely ribbed teleoconch region, which in most cases is lost when the adults are full size. Not all scaphopods have such a distinct teleoconch, some are smooth. Plagioglypta had the ribbing. Protoconchs on right and several phases of teleoconch seen here as it changes to the adult phase on the left. (Steiner) SEM images of several teleoconchs of scaphopods. Clearly, there is a rapid growth phase after the protoconch settles down followed by the generation of transverse ribbing. (Steiner) SEM images of extant scaphopods in their teleoconch phase. In reality, these conchs are nearly as transparent as glass. (see below image) An extant juvenile scaphopod living in the sea today, this teleoconch is transparent and the internal animal can be seen clearly. Note the transverse ribs on the exterior. Our recent Finds Our techniques for collection of fossil material is to first, collect limestones that show a visible traces of internal silicified fossils on their surfaces starting to dissolve out. Those will always contain more within, and these are collected and packed out on our backs for several miles back to the Jeep. Back in our paleo lab, we dissolve the limestone in large plastic tubs with a dilution of 10% muriatic acid obtained at ACE hardware store in town. The next day, the acid fines are washed and sorted with three or four different size sieves and dried in flat Teflon coated metal pans in the sun. Sorting is done one teaspoon at a time of the fines, under a stereo microscope. Specimens are picked out with needle fine tweezers, or wet toothpicks. The s found are always less than half an inch in size, and most are broken fragments of the tubes which contained the animal. However, a good number of them were found complete and are stunning to see with a good LED high intensity side light under the scope. They are hollow, thin walled and are preserved as complete casts of the original conch in a white amorphous silica. Their exterior is covered with numerous transverse rings at a slight angle to the conch, all touching with no space in between, however one did show the transition to the adult smooth configuration. Juvenile Scaphopod Morphology Here is one specimen which shows the transverse rings on the left side in the teleoconch changing to the more smooth exterior shell of the adult phase on the right. The Images Photos of our specimens were taken with an AmScope trinocular zoom microscope and an AmScope 10 megapixel color CMOS camera. A dozen or more images of each specimen were obtained with varied focus, and the image sets were focus stacked with Picolay for the final sharp image. Final touch up and the scale addition were done in Adobe Photoshop. The magnification is listed on each image next to the scale. A gaggle of a few of the more complete specimens. Most are less than 1 cm long, and represent juveniles or early adults. 7x 20x close up of one of the more complete specimens. Some of the smallest ribs are worn off on the left, but they continue in force on the right. Note how the conch is curved and the transverse ribs are skewed. 45x close up of the transverse rings morphology in the above specimen. End on view at 45x shows the wall thickness of an average sized specimen. It is filled with sand and has no internal partitions. Compare a pin head above to the average size we found at both sites. Thats this weekend report of our latest finds from the Fort Apache Limestone from the site 20 miles east of Payson in Arizona. It has been a long journey, but what a fantastic one!
  39. 6 likes
    Perhaps an encrusting bryozoan on a Bactrites type cephalopod? One of my Bactrites.
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    I almost tripped over this log today while out on the Brazos River. So my question is...Is there a way to differentiate mammoth femur from mastodon femur. I can post more pics after I clean it up a bit. Right now all I know is that it weighs 52lbs, 17 inches wide and 30 inches long. It was fun carrying up the bank and back to my car. And wondering if I would dive in after it if I swamped the kayak on the trip back.....
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    @Prey4Me Well, you would not be able to conclude that a particular mindset does not exist on the forum simply on the basis of how you interpret replies in one or two threads. That would be to commit a fallacy. Absolute statements are easiest to invalidate by locating just one counterexample. That aside, the advice so far provided is on the basis of comparison with known types of rock, and the geologic formation in which certain rocks are found. If there is a strong basis for comparison, we can at least reasonably assume that our experienced members who have a wealth of knowledge can say that something is closer to probability 1 or 0. You have been given a few opinions that it is silicified quartz sandstone. Do your tests confirm or deny this? Are your tests the right ones to do this? What has your research on the geologic formation and the silicified rocks told you thus far?
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    Okay, everyone should have recieved an address now. Assuming I kept to my list (which I did check twice) everyone should have a package on the way soon!
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    These are equine horse teeth, the first is a partial lower, the last is an upper.
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    This didn't seem to be mentioned,yet(31 Mb or thereabouts)
  46. 5 likes
    A very welcome, temporary respite from heavy essay grading (it's that time of year ) came in the post recently from the kind and generous @Nimravis. Members might recall his recent trip to Georgia and the Conausaga Fm where he managed to find a lot of Aphelaspis brachyphasis. Along with a few lovely specimens of a new specimen for my collection of bugs, he also gifted me with some matrix to play with. And perhaps it is a blessing in disguise that I don't have hardly any time to spare this month due to work, as it means I'll have some rock to split when the snows come. Here are some pictures of the already showing trilobites that hardly do these justice, and I suspect there will be more (and maybe one of those tiny, uncommon agnostids) once I have a chance to play with the matrix. I suspect some of these will look even more spectacular once I can set aside the time to photograph them under magnification. The smooth, slick feeling of the matrix is quite interesting, as it feels like soapstone!
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    A portion of the hinge of the bivalve Inoceramus.
  48. 5 likes
    As these kind of problems go this is an easy one. In the Kinston & Jongmans, 1917 monograph (by for the most comprehensive on this subject) their Calamite schutzeiformis clearly conforms to what we have pictured here. They do not even describe Calamites approximatus as a separate species, it is only mentioned in the synonymy lists for C. schutzeiformis. As far as the Plate 1 Figure 6 in Lesquereux's 1879 figured plates, like Paleoflor mentions, they did not make a determination on it. But Kinston & Jongmans did agree that figure 16 in this plate from 1879 was C. schutzeiformis under Lesquereux's name Calamondendron sp. http://www.georgesbasement.com/LesquereuxAtlasP/Lesquereux-Plate75.htm Not that it matters, but Lesquereux agreed as much in his text, calling it likely a C. approximatus. What has also been missed is the fact, most, if not all of Schlotheim (1820) species names are now illegitimate according to International Code of Nomenclature ruling, do to vague descriptions and lack of any type specimens, i, e., Pecopteris arborescens Schlotheim 1820 is now changed to Pecopteris arborea. The short version is the name C. approximatus is now accommodated in the name C. schutzeiformis, and that is what you have. The odd vertical rib is found on many different species of Calamites and is a mystery to me, but it is not a diagnostic feature. Hope this makes things a little clearer. Jack
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    Apologies in advance, for what follows below probably doesn't. Yet, I reckon it might be of interest. As I had never heard of Calamites approximatus before, I went through some literature to learn about it. From what I can find, the species epithet appears to be in disuse and may no longer be valid. The species Calamites approximatus was erected by Von Schlotheim (1820, p. 399 = 230/251 of this PDF). Von Schlotheim did not figure any material, only mentioning six specimens coming from various localities in Germany. He did write that the species shows great resamblance to Calamites cannaeformis v. Schlotheim 1820, but with narrower ribs. Von Schlotheim 1820, p. 399 Unfortunately, as is discussed at some length by Jongmans (1911, p. 60, 176-177 = 82/516, 198-199/516 of this PDF), both Calamites cannaeformis and Calamites approximatus are rather poorly described and characterized by Von Schlotheim. Jongmans 1911, p. 60 Jongmans 1911, p. 176-177 Over the years, the vague descriptions of Von Schlotheim caused/allowed authors to assign specimens of quite different affinities to the two species. However, many of the specimens thus assigned to Calamites cannaeformis and Calamites approximatus were later considered to either belong to different species or to be too poorly preserved to be assigned to any species (see Jongmans 1911, 1915, Kidston and Jongmans, 1915-1917, Jongmans and Kukuk, 1913). The most complete review can probably be found in the monumental monograph on Calamites by Kidston and Jongmans (1915-1917). Unfortunately, this work is not freely available online (real pity, for this is an absolutely great reference). Luckily, however, during the preparations for the monograph, Jongmans published a "List of the species of Calamites with enumeration of the figures as far as they are doubtful or indeterminable or belong to other species", which can be found online. The specimen figured by Lesquereux 1879-1880, Plate 1, Fig. 5, is considered indeterminable (Jongmans 1915, p. 4 = 4/41 in this PDF).
  50. 5 likes
    I have a couple of glass cabinets from IKEA that I use to display my fossils. With the optional lights the were under $100 each. Others here have also used them, do a search on IKEA. (This is an old photo, they have a lot more in them now and I need to buy 2 more!)
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