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Showing most informative content since 09/19/2017 in all areas

  1. 29 likes
    Looks like we have a number of new members who are interested in Dinosaur teeth so I thought this topic might be good for them and serves as a reminder for more experienced collectors. Let me start off the discussion by saying that identifying isolated dinosaur teeth is a challenge even for more experience collectors, so its not a trivial task. There is no one cookbook that has all the answers, just a number of technical papers and articles that provide some information on different localities or species. Many of teeth that are sold online carry identifications that dealers have historically ascribed to them but in too many cases these names are not accurate or are out of date. This is very common not only from Morocco but also North America, Europe and Asia. New discoveries can change the playing field very quickly and sellers may not be not quick to keep abreast of these changes. So let me recommend the following 1) Purchase/Trade for quality teeth, the better the preservation the higher chance you have in getting an accurate ID. Teeth missing a significant portion of serrations on one or both edges, or very worn herbivore teeth can be very difficult to properly diagnose. Avoid buying: worn, cheap or incomplete teeth, save your money on better Q ones, exception being extremely rare teeth. 2) Do not trust any identification you see on a tooth. I don't care if its from a trusted dealer, a dealer you've done business with before, a friend, a member of this forum or any auction site. You need to be the expert. 3) Educated yourself as much as possible, read papers, books or informational topics on this forum. Ask questions and post your interest here on the forum B4 you buy or trade. 4) Photos: Other than the obvious ID's you cannot look at the front and back of a theropod tooth to determine what it is, especially Triassic and Jurassic material. At a minimum photos needed are from both sides, base and closeup of the serrations. If a someone is not interested in providing you these photos, move on and purchase/trade from someone else. 5) Additional characteristics may be required and that will be dependent on what you are buying. These include serration density at the midline of both carinae, width and length of the base and how far the mesial carina extends to the base. Again if someone is not willing to provide you this information just move on. 6) Provenance is very important in trying to get an accurate ID. Teeth from North American require the following information at a minimum: Geologic Formation, State/Province, and in the US needs to include County. The county provides you a check and balance to verify that the formation provided is good. Locality information that only includes a state or province like Alberta or Montana is not adequate to identify teeth. Getting complete information from other Geographic locations can be problematic so try to obtain as much as possible. 7) Avoid restored teeth unless it minimal or done on super rare teeth. Repairs are acceptable that includes crack fill or reattachment of broken teeth.. 8) More often that not you will not be able to identify down to a species name so its acceptable to have your tooth identified to a genus or family name. examples include: Tyrannosaurid indeterminate or Daspletosaurus sp. . Be patient someday your tooth may be fully described. Here are a couple of illustrations to help understand tooth terminology if asked to provide information. From " A proposed terminology of theropod teeth (Dinosauria, Saurischia) by Hendrickx, Mateus et al (2015) "
  2. 28 likes
    The discovery of the Tyrannosaurus rex led by a team from the Burke Museum made news last year. I've attached some photos of the preparation of the skull provide by the Burke Museum to show their progress with this dinosaur They have named this animal "Tufts-Love Rex" after Jason Love and Luke Tufts, the two volunteers who discovered it. Lower Jaw is exposed from its tomb. What a beautiful set of chompers The Skull is next. Maxilla More will follow as work continues..... @Pagurus
  3. 26 likes
    Rather than writing information about coprolite identification on multiple threads, I thought I would post information about coprolite identification here so it can be referenced in ID threads (I'm getting lazy, I know). I was also thinking it might be fun for others to post coprolites in their own collections so others can use them for comparison. So here we go: IDENTIFYING COPROLITES: Not all rocks that look like poop have a fecal origin. Here are a few things to consider when trying to make this determination: 1. Location, Location, Location – If you haven’t guessed, the first and most important thing to consider is the location your rock was found. Don’t expect to find a coprolite unless you find it in geologic area/layer where other fossils are found. If you find things like bones, teeth and fish scales, or prehistoric tracks, you may just be in in luck. 2. Shape – While fecal matter can be rather freeform when exposed to the elements or when digestion issues arise, most coprolites are shaped like poo. As with modern extrusions, fossilized feces can be shaped like pellets, spirals, scrolls, logs, piles, etc. Their shape is dependent on shape of their producers intestinal and anal structure. Look for things like compaction folds and pinch marks. 3. Texture - Most coprolites are fine grained. If your specimen appears granular under magnification, it is most likely not a coprolite. There are some exceptions, such as marine creatures that feed on bottom sediments or coral. That is why knowing the location and geology of the area where it was discovered is so important. 4. Inclusions – Many times, coprolites will have visible inclusions. Things like fish scales, bone fragments, and teeth may not get fully digested, and can be visible on the surface. Some animals ingest stones for ballast or digestive purposes. These are known as gastroliths, and if present, are generally smooth. 5. Composition – Because herbivore scat tends to break a part and decompose rapidly, it rarely survives the fossilization process. So most fossil poo that is found is from carnivores. The reason for this is that their poo is usually high in calcium phosphate, the same mineral found in our bones. This mineral can appear in many forms. It can be hard and dense or soft and porous. If the potential coprolite appears soft and porous, there is a quick test that is often used in the field. If you touch to stone to the tip of your tongue and it sticks, chances are, it is high in calcium phosphate and could be a coprolite. If you are not that brave, you can also touch it with wet fingers to see if it feels sticky, but this is not nearly as fun. If the calcium phosphate takes a harder, denser form the “lick test” won’t work. In some instances, chemical analysis is required to definitively identify the mineral composition. @Carl do you have anything you want to add?
  4. 25 likes
    A number of collectors are very interested in Triassic Dinosaur tooth material, however, lots of misinformation exists, partially because little is known and dealers want to sell product. My knowledge is very limited so I tried to put together an assemblage of current information that has been published so that we can all become better versed on this topic. I'm not saying its complete but its the best I can do with my limited knowledge. Most technical papers on this subject are outdated, difficult to read for a novice and not complete enough. Fortunately a recent, legible paper was published in 2015 by Heckert & Lucas that has helped me. I've tried to extract the pertinent information, associated with teeth, since that what most collectors are interested in. First let me get on my sandbox and say that we should NOT assume that what is being sold is accurately described regardless who is selling it or how much you like a dealer. Very little is known and even less is described. If a seller insists what he has identified is accurate, have him show you the technical documents that supports his diagnosis. There are a number of theropods and archosaurs in these assemblages that have serrated teeth so identification is difficult. Triassic dealers similar to those in the Kem Kem which label everthing Spinosaurus like to label everything Coelophysis. Just be cautious..its your money. Almost all the teeth you see sold come from New Mexico so I will focus in that region. A Map of New Mexico with the Triassic outcrops shown below as well as the associated Counties. The numbers correlate to the stratigraphic formations shown below in Figure 4. Figure 4 The Zuni Mountains in West-Central NM are from the lower Chinle Group (Bluewater Creek Fm) and contain Tetrapod fossils amphibians and phytosaurs and aetosaurs. Dinosaurs are possible but nothing is diagnostic. Faunal List of the lower Chinle Group Zuni Mountains Northern/West Central New Mexico has yielded some of the most interesting Vertebrate Fossils most associated with Coelophysis at Ghost Ranch. Included in this group are the Petrified Forest and Rock Point Formation of the western counties. Chindesaurus bryansmalli, Tawa hallae and Daemonosaurus chauliodus are considered valid a dinosaurs in the Petrified Forest Fm. Coelophysis bauri is valid from the Rock Point Formation. Faunal List of the Petrified Forest and Rock Point Formation - Key on this list is Coelophysis bauri in the Rock Point Fm Northeasten New Mexico (Bull Canyon and Redonda Formations). Heckerts 2015 paper comments that dinosaur fossils remains are rare in the Bull Canyon Formation. The coelophysoid Gojirasaurus quayi has been described but its taxonomic placement is uncertain. Herrerasauridae tooth fragments have been found but nothing has been assigned to a taxon. Heckerts & Lucas 2015 Paper on Triassic Vertebrate Paleontology in New Mexico https://libres.uncg.edu/ir/asu/f/Heckert_Andrew_triassic.pdf Bull Canyon Formation 2001 Paper on Vertebrate Fauna https://nmgs.nmt.edu/publications/guidebooks/downloads/52/52_p0123_p0151.pdf Latest placement ( Hans-Dieter Sues et al 2011 ) Identifying Coelophysis bauri Teeth - There is lots of variation their teeth and I will show a few types. The Museum of Northern Arizona publication Coelophysis describes the teeth as follows: All the teeth are recurved Premaxillary teeth: rounded cross-section, smaller teeth are ribbed but smooth on larger ones. None show serrations. Maxillary Teeth: the first tooth is recurved with no serrations, second tooth has serrations only on the posterior carina. All the other maxillary teeth have serrations on both edges. Some of the teeth the serrations may be limited to the upper part of the anterior (mesial) edge. Dentary Teeth: the first seven teeth lack serrations, eight tooth serrations only on the posterior edge. Subsequent teeth have serrations on both edges. The first four teeth are elliptical (rounded) in cross-section being compressed after that. Anterior teeth may contain ridges. Serrations are very fine 8 to 9 per millimeter on the posterior (distal) edge. (other publications say 7/mm) Distal Carina Denticles Premaxillary, Maxillary and Dentary teeth shown - Dentary tooth Maxillary Tooth Anterior Denticles Posterior Maxillary Tooth Paper on Coelophsis Teeth by Currie and Buckley Coelophisis.pdf Additional images of the teeth with no supporting info Good overall paper on C. bauri but does nothing to increase our knowledge on how to describe its teeth https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292525024_The_paleobiology_of_Coelophysis_bauri_Cope_from_the_Upper_Triassic_Apachean_Whitaker_quarry_New_Mexico_with_detailed_analysis_of_a_single_quarry_block Other Theropods Gojirasaurus quayi : one tooth was described with the holotype however it was found isolated and cannot be positively assigned to this species. (Added a few pages below) Chindesaurus bryansmalli : not aware of any skeletal material Daemonosaurus chauliodus The paper does not get into detail on the teeth. See below http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royprsb/278/1723/3459.full.pdf Tawa hallae : http://www.thefossilforum.com/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=503864
  5. 24 likes
    Hi all, I am noticing an increasing number of sellers (especially those based in Asia) who advertise on Facebook, Instagram, WeChat and other social media instead of eBay. Unfortunately, many of them do not use Paypal. As you know, not every payment platform has buyer protection. To protect yourself, please carry out these checks: 1) Find out why the seller doesn't use Paypal. Is it for a legitimate reason? E.g. a Lebanese seller can't use Paypal as it's restricted there. Mainland China sellers apparently, CAN use Paypal, so take extra care if they refuse to use it. 2) Check the seller's track records. Ask friends and trusted collectors if any of them have ever made successful dealings with the seller. 3) Beware of similar photos on multiple platforms. Scammers sometimes create fake profiles that look just like a legitimate dealer, and steal their pictures as well. Perform background checks. Don't just assume that a dealer has multiple accounts, FIND OUT. Message him on his separate accounts (e.g. Facebook and eBay) and see if he notices. 4) Beware of non-Paypal platforms such as AliPay, WeChat and Western Union etc. There is little-to-no buyer protection on them. Don't send your money over unless you are absolutely sure of this deal. 5) Ask questions! Does the dealer know what shipping to use? Can the dealer take multiple photos of the fossil for you at specific angles you request? Is the dealer evasive with his answers? Is the deal too good to be true? There is no such thing as too much checking. 6) Be objective. It doesn't matter how friendly a dealer is. He could be the friendliest man on the planet, asking you about your family and work, laughing at your jokes, liking all your pictures. Most of the time, all they want is your money. Dealers who genuinely want to be your friend are rare gems, and worth holding on to. 7) Facebook mutual friends / Instagram followers doesn't matter. Scammers can make attractive accounts and add a thousand friends just to look trustworthy. I've seen a scammer FB account that shared over 100 mutual friends with me. 8) Does your credit card protect you? Assuming the dealer is sketchy, but you are somewhat sure of this deal, find out if your credit card/bank can protect you if this is a scam. Take note that AliPay doesn't work with many major credit cards. 9) If all else fails, demand Paypal. If the dealer genuinely wants business, and he operates in a country with Paypal, then it's in his best interest to use Paypal. Remember - great fossils appear every other day. Is this deal so special as to be worth the risk you're taking? Lastly, don't forget to post some pictures here at TFF; there are many experts here more than willing to share their expertise. Good luck!
  6. 22 likes
    I wanted to wait for my "Shop" to be completely done before showing it here. Due to the fact that my oldest child will be graduating high school next month, and my shop will soon be turned in to a graduation party area I have decided to go ahead and show it unfinished. I have always loved science museums, so I decided to just make my own in my own yard. Last summer I put up a 30X50 "pole barn", put in a wood floor and walls, and now I have my own museum. Almost everything in here was collected by myself or my family. This collection is 90% Kansas stuff, but the last photo of the rikers and the glass case is what I call my "exotic" section. All of the stuff there is from other states that I either found myself, or with the aid of fellow Fossil Forum members. (A bunch of my Texas stuff is from the Waco trip that a lot of members went on many years ago.) There is also a prep room with a window (just like all the cool museums) in the corner. Its already a mess, but I hope to keep the mess confined to that area! I still have some work to do, and I doubt it will ever be completely done, but if any of you ever find yourself driving across Kansas I'm only about 20 minutes off of I-70, and if I'm home, you are welcome to stop by. I may even point you to a spot or two where you can find some of your own fossils around here.
  7. 21 likes
    Many forum members are familiar with Cookiecutter Creek in South Florida. This is a small creek that well-known forum member Jeff @jcbshark was kind enough to share with me a little over 3 years ago. Jeff had posted photos of the tiny Cookiecutter Shark (Isistius triangulus) teeth that he had found picking through micro-matrix from this creek and that started my quest to obtain a tooth from this very unusual little shark. After picking through many gallons of micro-matrix from the Peace River and some of its feeder creeks without once laying eyes upon a single Isistius tooth (but finding tons of other micro fossils), Jeff informed me that he didn't think Cookiecutters could be found anywhere other than one special little creek and agreed to take me and Tammy to collect some micro-matrix there in mid-December 2014. It didn't take long for me to find my first complete Isistius. Several more soon followed including some from the positionally rare symphyseal spot in the middle of the lower jaw. It is possible to identify a symphyseal as the thinner area where each tooth overlaps the adjoining tooth is usually found with one overlap area seen on the inner and one on the outer surface of each tooth but not symphyseals. Since these teeth overlap BOTH the tooth to the left and right (like the top row of shingles on the ridge of a roof) the overlap marks are both found on the inner (lingual) surface of the tooth and no marks are found on the outer (labial) surface. Once you know how the teeth of the lower jaw overlap and how to identify the outer (labial) side of the tooth (the enamel does not stop at a well defined line but extends down from the triangular crown and onto the square root), you can also tell which side of the jaw (left or right) that the tooth came from. Aside from the symphyseal position most of the other teeth cannot be identified to position other than the last one or two posterior positions. These teeth have the crown angled with respect to the root. Here are some of my old posts showing Cookiecutter Creek and the micro-fossils that have come from this unique locality in Florida: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/51286-collecting-cookiecutter-shark-micro-matrix/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/55298-more-micros-from-the-peace-river-and-cookiecutter-creek/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/71406-optimizing-micro-matrix-sorting/ Recently, I've been working on a project with a PhD student from the University of Florida which was initiated when it was realized that the Isistius triangulus teeth that I donated to the FLMNH were not yet recognized as occurring in Florida. Additional research revealed that specimens of Squatina (Angelshark) teeth from this creek were also not known from Florida (though I've also found this genus in micro-matrix from the Peace River). I made another collection of micro-matrix from Cookiecutter Creek as I had exhausted my supplies. A couple of flat-rate boxes of this material made their way into the hands of a couple of forum members--who I hope are having fun with this unique micro-matrix. Tony @ynot had sent me photos of another interesting find from Cookiecutter Creek. Jeff had collected some additional micro-matrix on the day that he introduced me to this site. Some of that collection was later made available to Tony as an auction to benefit the forum. While looking through this micro-matrix, Tony discovered a small specimen of what appears to be a Catshark (Scyliorhinidae) tooth. Tony is graciously sending that tooth to me so that I can pass it along to be added to the collection at the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) as this is the first record of this shark family in the Florida fossil record (and another first for Cookiecutter Creek). Tony's photo if this micro beauty: Since learning of the possibility of this taxon being found in the micro-matrix of Cookiecutter Creek, I've been searching through my remaining stash from this locality hoping to find a second Catshark tooth (no luck yet). While I've (so far) struck out in duplicating Tony's amazing find, I did have a bit of luck last week with something else new from my searching. While picking through the micro-matrix I came across an elongated item just about 10mm in length. If I'd not been familiar with this type of highly unusual shark tooth before I might have passed it by thinking it was just some unidentifiable fragment of bone. Experience and knowledge (even just a small amount) allowed me to recognize this as a tooth type that is reasonable common in another type of wonderful micro-matrix--Shark Tooth Hill (Bakersfield, CA). The unusual tooth from Cookiecutter Creek is actually quite common in STH micro-matrix. It comes from a Horn Shark (Heterodontidae). Since there is currently only a single genus described for this small family of small sharks, it can actually be identified down to the genus Heterodontus. These are placid little sharks that I remember seeing resting on the bottom during the few dives I did among the kelp forests in southern California's Channel Islands. They have distinctive ridges over the eyes and a single spike at the leading edge of their two dorsal fins. They feed mainly on hard-shelled invertebrates (crustaceans, molluscs, and echinoderms). Their name "Heterodontus" derives from the Greek meaning "different teeth" and referring to the fact that the front teeth are pointy with larger central cusp flanked by a smaller cusp on either side. The back teeth elongated with a long ridge running the length of the tooth and are adapted to crushing the hard shells of their prey items. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horn_shark Currently, most members of this family are found in the Indo-Pacific--like the well-known Port Jackson Shark (Heterodontus portusjacksoni) and only the Californian Horn Shark (Heterodontus francisci), the Galapagos Bullhead Shark (Heterodontus quoyi), and the Mexican Hornshark (Heterodontus mexicanus) are found in the eastern Pacific off the west coasts of North and South America. It's difficult to make any firm conclusions from the scant images available online but the rear teeth of the Mexican species to have a reasonable resemblance to the specimen that turned up in Cookiecutter Creek. Today, there are no species from this family inhabiting the Atlantic (or the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico regions). Devoid of any factual information but attempting a modestly educated guess, I'm thinking that one of the species of Bullhead Sharks must have extended over into the waters surrounding Florida some time before the Isthmus of Panama formed some 2.8 mya separating the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and separating the fauna on either side to either develop into distinct species (or to go extinct regionally). Since this family is not currently known from the Atlantic (eastern or western extents) it seems more reasonable to assume that the Florida specimen derived from an eastern Pacific species given the (geologically) recent connection to those waters. Fun to speculate and if Marco Sr @MarcoSr has jaw samples of extant eastern Pacific members of this family, perhaps a better comparison to the anterior teeth might be possible. Both this tiny Heterodontus tooth and Tony's find of the Scyliorhinidae will soon be headed toward Gainesville. I'm hoping to get up to volunteer at Montbrook in the next couple of weeks and plan on dropping off a few donations to expand the museum's diversity of shark teeth from Florida. Cookiecutter Creek is a special little creek and is best known for its relative abundance of Isistius triangulus teeth. The more we investigate this locality and the more micro-matrix we pick through from there the more unusual taxa seem to turn up. Seeing a perfect little Cookiecutter tooth appear from the micro-matrix is always a thrill but this creek is no longer a one-trick pony. It seems to have hidden depths (for a creek that is only knee high ) and I'm looking forward to seeing what else might appear out of the gravel in the future. Cheers. -Ken
  8. 21 likes
    Posted here are some very nice fossils for collectors just be aware that the descriptions might not be as advertised. Seller calls this a Pterosaur claw, I'm not sure what it belongs to but nothing is published to support his claim Seller list this as a superb Spinosaurus phalanx toe bone. Looks more like a hand bone, carpal or metacarpal. Also we do not know if it comes from the species Spinosaurus better described as Spinosaurid indet. Seller is describing this as a Spinosaurus caudal vertebra. Spino caudal vertebrae are typically more box shaped so I doubt it's from one. Not certain what's it's from. Seller is offering a very nice upper and lower jaw bone from the Pterosaur Alanqa saharica. I question if these are associated and if either are lowers jaw sections.. Ibrahim's reconstructed jaw shows the mandible as being much thinner than the upper and more like the offering. I also will add that isolated upper jaws may be hard to identify to a specific species and are better described as Azhdarchoid indet. since along with Alanqa the new species Xericeps may have similar uppers but it's currently unknown. Seller is offering this pair of bones as a Spinosaurus Phalanx bone and Claw. Unfortunately the phalanx is a hand bone, carpal and not associated with the claw. The claw may belong to one of the Spinosaurid's but without a ventral view it's uncertain its one. Offering for a large toe bone from a Spinosaurus. Looks more like a Carpal from an unknown Spinosaurid. Offering big money for this Spinosaurus complete foot. Unfortunately there are many things wrong with this foot. Most of the phalanx don't fit their positions and may not be Spinosaurid. The claws are undersized for the foot and cannot determine if they belong to a Spinosaurid with the photos that are provided. A foot should look like this Remind buyers that all teeth offered as Spinosaurus may not belong to that species but one of the other Spinosaurids that may be present in that fauna either currently described or yet to be identified
  9. 20 likes
    Consolidated all my informational Topics to make it easier to reference. Will keep updating since some of the reference material is outdated. Have to thank @PFOOLEY for suggesting this consolidation and it makes it a lot easier for me to access these topics as well as our members to know what's out there. General Tips in Buying Theropod Teeth Dinosaur Anatomy 101 Stratigraphy of the Late Cretaceous in North America Best Books for Dinosaur Identification Triassic Identification of Dinosaur Teeth from the Triassic of New Mexico Jurassic: Morisson Formation Identification of Theropod Teeth Tips in Buying a Sauropod Foot Claw Ornithischians from the Morisson Formation Jurassic: Europe Dinosaurs of Costal Portugal Jurassic Theropods of Germany Cretaceous: North America Identification of Theropod Teeth in the Hell Creek and Lance Formations Identification of Troodontid Teeth Identification of Tyrannosaurid Teeth From North America Identification of Ankylosaurid Teeth Identification of Acheroraptor Teeth North American Tyrannosaurids what is Described Identification of Claws and Ungals from the Hell Creek and Lance Formations Identification of Pachycephalosaurid and Thescelosaurus Teeth Tooth Features in Tyrannosaurids Dakotaraptor Teeth and Claws Hell Creek Fm Identification of Bones /Claws from Alvarezsaurids from North America Hell Creek Faunal Representation Identification of Theropod Teeth from Judith River and Two Medicine Formations . Theropod Assemblage of New Jersey Cretaceous: Kem Kem of Morocco Kem Kem Theropod Teeth Kem Kem Theropod Tooth Morphology Identification of Sauropod Teeth from the Kem Kem Tips in Purchasing a Spinosaurid Hand Claw Identification of Claws from the Kem Kem Identification of Spinosaurid Jaws from the Kem Kem Republic of Niger Identification of Theropod Teeth Cretaceous: South America Patagonia's Theropod Teeth Cretaceous: Uzbekistan: Identification of Theropod Teeth: Uzbekistan Sauropod Teeth: Uzbekistan Cretaceous: Europe Identifying Baryonyx Teeth
  10. 20 likes
    It pains me to see a resurgence of Chinese scammers on Facebook, WeChat and Instagram, as business must be good. I've been scammed by them, and so have several people I know. The fossils they advertise are incredible to the point where many of us are tempted. Here, take a look at pics taken from the walls of several confirmed-scammers. Looks amazing, doesn't it? Their price are pretty awesome too, so off you go, transferring $1000 USD to their Western Union, and.... nothing. Your money is gone forever. Here are some warning signs of the Chinese scammers. I will say it again: If these Chinese sellers refuse to use Paypal, be on guard. It doesn't matter how many likes and mutual friends they share with you, scammers can make attractive accounts and add a thousand friends just to look trustworthy. Right now, there's a scammer Facebook account that shares over 100 mutual friends with me. Someone posted on his wall complaining of a scam, and the seller removed it within a day. Check the seller's track records. Ask friends and trusted collectors if any of them have ever made successful dealings with the seller. Keichousaurus does not count! I know a case where a friend bought a single cheap Keich from someone on Instagram, and the same seller then went out to scam others with far more expensive fossils after getting the seal of approval from the first guy. Also, take note not all of them admit to being from China. I know a scammer who claims to be from USA. His fossil pictures are similar to other Chinese scammers. When my friend pretended to make a purchase, this seller gave a Chinese address for Western Union, and an Alipay account pointing to a Chinese name too. For more info, please refer to this previous thread > Remember, if it's too good to be true, it probably isn't. If you have any doubts or questions, please feel free to ask others on TFF. There are many experts here who can offer you advise. If you require more info on these scammers, feel free to PM me.
  11. 20 likes
    Not all rocks that look like poop have a fecal origin. Here are a few things to consider when trying to determine whether or not you have a coprolite: 1. Location, Location, Location – If you haven’t guessed, the first and most important thing to consider is the location your rock was found. Don’t expect to find a coprolite unless you find it in geologic area/layer where other fossils are found. If you find things like bones, teeth and fish scales, or prehistoric tracks, you may just be in in luck. 2. Shape – While fecal matter can be rather free-form when exposed to the elements or when digestion issues arise, most coprolites are shaped like poo. As with modern extrusions, fossilized feces can be shaped like pellets, spirals, scrolls, logs, piles, etc. Their shape is dependent on shape of their producers intestinal and anal structure. Look for things like compaction folds and pinch marks. 3. Texture - Most coprolites are fine grained. If your specimen appears granular under magnification, it is most likely not a coprolite. There are some exceptions, such as marine creatures that feed on bottom sediments or coral. That is why knowing the location and geology of the area where it was discovered is so important. 4. Inclusions – Many times, coprolites will have visible inclusions. Things like fish scales, bone fragments, and teeth may not get fully digested, and can be visible on the surface. Some animals ingest stones for ballast or digestive purposes. These are known as gastroliths, and if present, are generally smooth. 5. Composition – Because herbivore scat tends to break a part and decompose rapidly, it rarely survives the fossilization process. So most fossil poo that is found is from carnivores. The reason for this is that their poo is usually high in calcium phosphate, the same mineral found in bone. This mineral can appear in many forms. It can be hard and dense or soft and porous. If the potential coprolite appears soft and porous, there is a quick test that is often used in the field. If you touch to stone to the tip of your tongue and it sticks, chances are, it is high in calcium phosphate and could be a coprolite. If you are not that brave, you can also touch it with wet fingers to see if it feels sticky, but this is not nearly as fun. If the calcium phosphate takes a harder, more dense form, the “lick test” won’t work. In some instances, chemical analysis is required to definitively identify the mineral composition.
  12. 19 likes
    The past few weeks at the Tucson Fossil I ran across a few fake Spinosaur claws but also was surprised how many good ones there were on the market. I also understand the issues with online claws so decided to put this topic out to help collectors gain a better understanding of them since they are very expensive. These are my opinions and welcome others since no one person as all the answers. There is no bullet proof approach you can take to insure you have a claw that is not totally fake or composited. There are some things you need to consider. - First try dealing with what I call preferred Moroccan merchants, those are typically found at big shows and a few have online or FB sites, ones that specialize in Moroccan material are the best. They typically know what to look for and can point out issues with claws. Makes life a bit harder to get one but you want a good claw don't you. This does not take you off the hook its still YOUR responsibility to know what you are buying. - Unless you are an expert never buy one from Auction site. If you see one that interest you see seek assistant from an expert, not a collector friend, or post it here on the forum we have lots of opinions here. - 2D photos are not always the best to see what is going on with a claw, I prefer handling one. Composited claws can be good and photos don't show you all the issues. - Good preservation and quality are key for making life easy in deciding if its a good claw or not. There is where it pays to focus on the better claws. Claws that are deformed, partial, compressed, beat up or have matrix on them are very difficult to insure you have a good one and especially hard for experts to positively say its good. It always best to save and wait to buy a higher end one. - As a general rule try avoid claws that have matrix glued on them or have seams with matrix. The matrix is there for only one reason to hid trouble. Matrix is a red flag, just tread carefully when looking at one of these. Ask yourself why risk it and buy a potentially problem claw, there are plenty out there that are clean. PRICE = Preservation (Quality) + Size - Repairs - Real claws are expensive, simple as that. Nice ones in the 6+ inch range can easily fetch over 1K depending on quality, 7+ inches can go over 10K . So if you see big claws under 1K there must be a reason unless its the deal of a century and they exist. Most of the claws I show are in the 1-2K range for 4-6 inches. Here are a few from the Tucson show to give you an understanding what real ones look like. Focus on shape, the articulation end, blood grooves and preservation. These two are clean no matrix, no compression may have been broken and reattached, reasonable preservation. Nice claws for any collection Higher Grade - Fatter, nice surface finish, good preservation, few if any repairs. Couple of more examples. Honest merchant shows, some repair and resto. Excellent high end claw around 7 inches very very expensive Fake Claws These two were laying in the box and the merchant said he just had them fabricated. They look pretty good to a novice both reasonable size and configuration. Probably copied from a good one. Red Flags : Check out the graining its does not follow the curve of the claw but is straight. Uniform Color and looks too clean. Finish is flat with no hit of sheen seen on bone. Super long ones are the most suspect, here are two in a box. Unusually long and thin, usually the dorsal curvature is not smooth to the tip has kinks, the preservation is odd, hard to see bone, lots of surface repairs. These may be composited, faked or combo? Who knows to risky to find out. Off an auction site - terrible fake easier to spot- 6.9 inch claw One of the hardest items to replicate is the blood groove that is on either side of the claw. The groove is the widest at the articulation end and slowly tapers to a point to form a channel at the tip that extends outward beyond the dorsal surface. Here is an example of a perfectly preserved one. Here is the tip of the claw from above and you can see the blood groove is just a channel in the claw. Another Characteristic on these claws is that when looked at from the top or bottom they are shaped like an isosceles triangle. Much bigger at the articulation end than the tip. Preservation may affect this but most should be tapered. Like most theropods, hand claws vary depending on digit so there will be variations depending on that and the number of different Spinosaurids that exist in Kem Kem. This is a big unknown and we believe these type of claws all belong to the Spinosaurid family. But here are a couple more you can check out the blood grooves, articulation and shape
  13. 19 likes
    In a large number of instances, the Admins and Mods make every effort to remove posts that encourage, or are complicit with, illegal collecting practices. It is our view that we do not condone such practices, and discourage others from flouting the laws. We do try to keep on top it, but sometimes it is not always clear that illegal collecting has occurred. There are a number of posts where questions of legality have come up, particularly around the issue of not knowing the laws, to which we provide the usual refrain: "it is the responsibility of the collector to avail her or himself of the laws of the land, and abide by them; ignorance is no defence and the consequences of getting caught far outweigh any apparent benefits of finding an interesting fossil." At other times, questions of legality are focused on the more abstract discussions on the practicality of laws. This is no way condones breaking laws, but in questioning the value of those laws or alerting other members to changes to those laws. In at least one case I can recall, there was discussion about the "ethics" of collecting with reference to public input on a proposed change to collecting laws. Debates in the abstract can be generative along the lines you suggest, with one side making a good case for protecting the fossil heritage for experts, while the other side can point to the disservice to science in allowing potential specimens to erode into nothingness. To my mind, it isn't a debate anyone can win, for paleontology also owes a strong debt in its partnership with dedicated amateur collectors (some of whom are featured in our Paleo Partners thread ). Laws and regulations do change over time, and sometimes with more knowledge, public pressure, awareness, or combinations of all three. But, as they say, the wheels of justice grind finely and slowly. That being said, breaking the law is not the appropriate route by which to change the law. It is for that reason that it is pretty much our policy here not to encourage, condone, or promote illegal activity of any kind.
  14. 18 likes
    I think that criticism of unnamed TFF members over their imagined offenses reeks of pomposity. Danthefossilman has been spending too much time with professional paleontologists . . . he's beginning to sound like one. Perhaps the tension between amateurs and professionals (and their institutions) remains more infectious than generally realized. A clue to the scope of the problem may be found in the procedings of the 1987 annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontologists. At that meeting, the vast majority of professionals voted to reject the recent recommendations of the National Research Council on regulating paleontological collecting. The NRC recommendations are a blueprint for reconciling the interests of professionals, amateurs, and even commercial collectors. For most of us, it is hard to find fault with the insights, the logic, and the compromises recommended by the NRC panel of experts; but, the SVP professionals manage to do so. The SVP has consistently lobbied for the most restrictive laws and regulations. What motivates vertebrate paleontologists (and their institutions) to reject compromise, to want it all their way? Their argument is well known: "There is a Sacred Duty to collect, curate, and interpret the limited vertebrate fossils resources in order to add to the pool of human knowledge." Whether or not they believe in the Sacred Duty concept, some professionals (and institutions) seem to find it a convenient rationale for exploiting amateurs. In the professionals' view, amateurs are usually a necessary evil, sometimes a curse, rarely an asset; amateurs and commercial collectors are the competition! The reality is that professional careers are built on acquiring significant fossil material. Significant material means institutional prestige. It also leads to publishable research; publication leads to a better job, tenure, grant money, status among peers, travel, and other good things. Getting significant fossils can mean the difference between being curator at a prestigious museum or teaching earth science at a community college. Considering the importance of significant fossils to the professional, it is understandable that he may perceive amateurs as unreliable and undesirable competition. In this light, it becomes clear just how useful to an ambitious professional the "Sacred Duty" rationale can be: it is at once the moral high ground AND an excuse for actions which would be unthinkable in another context. Holding this self-erected moral high ground and driven by ideology or career ambition, perspective and sense of fair-play can become distorted. Fossil collectors, both amateur and commercial, may be seen as the forces of chaos and destruction which must be defeated or, at least, controlled (permits). Compromise may be viewed as a victory for evil. I think these are the notions which may cloud the judgement of professionals and their institutions. Despite the Sacred Duty demagoguery, there may still be professionals who try as best they can to deal honestly and equitably with collectors. There will always be misunderstandings and misperceptions in this arena of conflicting interests, but a totally predaceous professional probably is as rare as a collector motivated solely by greed. Collectors must seek out the cooperative professionals and institutions to share information, sites, and fossils; and they must avoid the predaceous ones! Unfortunately, the good guys are not always readily distinguishable from the bad guys in this arena. A collector should SHOP for a professional paleontologist as he would for any other professional, say like an automobile mechanic. How has he dealt with other collectors? Is he accessible? Does he perform as promised? Is he honest? An auto mechanic who does not earn a good reputation gets FEWER NEW CUSTOMERS and NO REPEAT BUSINESS. So it should be with the professional paleontologist and his institution! Collectors should apply this free-market strategy relentlessly in their dealings with professionals. When getting access to significant fossils becomes more clearly tied to reputation for fair-play, professionals will be more inclined to enter into cooperative, non-exploitive relationships with collectors. There is, after all, a duty which transcends the professionals' "Sacred Duty." That transcendent duty is usually called the Golden Rule.
  15. 18 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.
  16. 17 likes
    Hello all, My good friend Jeffrey P and I were finally able to coordinate a day out hunting together in our favorite Devonian spot upstate, as well as one I hadn't visited yet. ( The Briggs Road site!) Both are Moscow Formation, Hamilton group Middle Devonian sites. I haven't been out much this year, and so I decided to take a floating holiday to make it happen. We had missed the opportunity of collecting together when we were both in Western NY during the 4th of July week. This is usually a really fun get together, and while I did OK at our usual haunt, I did miss my frequent collecting partner's company. Anyway, as stated, ... I took a Monday off of work to make the trip to see Jeff last Monday, ... July 16th. Jeff generously offered to drive to the sites. Deep Springs Road is about a 4.5 hour trip for me to make from my home. But with Jeff driving, I only had to drive an hour to meet him at a commuter lot off of I-84 in New York. We met up at 6:00 AM, moved my gear to his car, and off we went. The 3.5 hour drive to the site was full of good conversation and tales of his adventures, and our hopeful find list for this trip. Jeff had brought his I-pad with him, so that I could peruse photos of his recent fossil finds and vacation adventures, (here, and abroad.) during the trip. The weather forecast was calling for a partly cloudy day, with a high of 89. The slight chance of rain that was forecast never materialized. We arrived at the first site between 9:30 and 10:00 AM. Briggs road is a small roadside quarry. Lots of broken rock was around - evidence of other area hunters. We spent about 40 minutes here, Jeff working some slabs, while I did my wander and split thing. I was unlucky enough to flip over a rock and find a yellow-jacket nest. Luckily, I got away without being stung. It definitely agitated the yellow-jackets, though. I picked up a few things, here and there. Mostly 3/4partial Eldredgeops rana, missing the cephalons. Nothing worth photographing. With the Yellow-Jackets guarding the productive layer, we headed over to Deep Springs Road. *************************************************************************************** By this time, the sun was getting higher in the sky, and it was starting to get hot. Deep Springs Road Quarry is like a parking lot. The gray matrix gets hot to the touch, and there is little shade. After about an hour of poking around, and 2 20 OZ bottles of water later, I decided to try to find some shade. I was finding some cool things here and there. I took shelter under a thorn bush that provided a bit of respite from the heat. I pulled rocks over and split them as I sat on a kneeling pad and rested my elbow on my bandana, drinking water now and again. Hydration is important. Jeff was a trooper, and spent most of his time in the full sun, lifting out blocks and splitting them down. Moving about the quarry from spot to spot. He said that he was in "training" for his trip out to Texas later this summer. I broke for lunch, and a cold seltzer refreshed me, and gave me a second wind. I made a number of good finds, and was happy, as this was only my 3rd time out collecting this year. Life has been busy, so it was nice to make up for lost time. Jeff did not do as well, although he found some interesting pieces things. My luck was with me, and a number of my finds were found just by looking at the ground. I'm not a real motivated digger when I don't have to be, and am content finding what others have missed. I like to split things down until there is no chance that a fossil is hiding. Anyway, these techniques worked in my favor this time. The day went on, and shade started to appear. Jeff took a break, and recharged himself with some time in the shade. By nearly 5:00 PM we decided we were done. We packed up our gear and finds, and headed out on the road. I enjoyed the conversation with Jeff, and his eclectic taste in music. Always relaxing and interesting music of all varieties coming from his car stereo/ipod hook-up. Actually made some notes on bands to check out when I had the chance. We arrived at the commuter lot at around 9:25 PM, said our goodbyes, and I headed for home. With traffic and all, I reached home at about 10:40 PM. Thanks @Jeffrey P, for a great day out hunting. ****************************************************************************************** I ended up having quite the day with phyllocarids. I ended up with 10 partialphyllocarids - 2 Echinocaris punctata, and 8 partial Rhinocaris columbina . Only a few trilobites - 1 enrolled Eldredgeops rana, one enrolled Greenops sp., one prone partial Greenops sp., and 3 Dipleura dekayi pygidiums. A host of gastropods, bivalves, and brachiopods found their way home with me as well. First - a grouping of my finds. and some close ups ... Trilobites: Dipleura dekayi pygidiums Eldredgeops rana Greenops sp. Greenops sp. Phyllocarids: Rhinocaris columbina Rhinocaris columbina Echinocaris punctata Gastropods: Paleozygopleura hamiltonae covered with bryozoan. Paleozygopleura hamiltonae "squish-out" with a Glyptotomaria capillaria and another Paleozygopleura hamiltonae. Retispira leda Glyptotomaria capillaria Brachiopods: Rhipidomella penelope Athyris spiriferoides Lingula spatulata Pelecypods: Grammysioidea alveata Cypricardella bellistriata Paleoneilo emarginata & Paleoneilo filosa Pholladella radiata Modiomorpha concentrica, Cypricardella bellistrata, Nuculoidea corbuliformis, +2 unknown Unknown Pteriomorpha bivalve: Leiopteria conradi?? Pseudoaviculapecten sp. a Assorted other finds: First item is unknown,.. possibly a hyolith. Plant fragment, orthocone cephalopod, possibly Spyroceras sp.. Tornoceras uniangulare unknown Thanks for reading.
  17. 17 likes
    Anytime you can go collecting fossils its a good time and I would like to share my spring trip to South Dakota and Montana. My South Dakota site is in the upper Hell Creek Formation and full of the hadrosaur Edmontosaurus annectens. I've been collecting this site for over 20 years and its still delivering. We are on the edge of a bluff and the fossil layer can be between 2 to 4 feet. Lots of good bones are to be found but we also have lots of punky or junk bones and about 70 % is collectible. The site is quite large and like I said last year we have no idea of its size but it contains scores of hadrosaurs, all disarticulated. No skulls are found but all the elements that make up a skull can be found. I like collecting in the section where smaller bones, unguals-toe-carpal-verts, are more typical while others like to go after larger limb bones. My trip to these areas takes me through the Chile Capital of the World, Hatch, New Mexico. Greeting me is Mr Rex a good start to my trip. I hear he is harmless... all show no action Some pictures of the South Dakota site The collecting zone is between the white lines a layer of 2 to 4 feet. The layer is shown below. The top is very crumbly and full of concretions. My Collecting gear consists of a tool box with everything I need to collect My glue field consolidant, orange bottle, without strength but is easy to prep and my structural glue, red. Activator to accelerate curing which rarely used. Tips for the glue Basic Tools I like to use No its not a beach day but temperatures approaching 90 degrees (32C) can get pretty hot so some protection is needed
  18. 17 likes
    Just a heads up to anyone hunting the Potomac (especially) or Calvert cliffs. Stay away!!!! Do not even think about coming for at least a week and better off at 2 weeks or so if you value your life at all. Folks that know me know the area where I usually hunt and in the last 3 days here we've had 16+ inches of rain. It's been biblical. Out of curiosity (and after promising my wife I wouldn't go hunting) I peaked at the cliffs this am between storms and they are torn up as bad as I've ever seen. Hundreds of trees down with 1000+ ton land slides all over. In the 15 minutes I was there watching from a safe location I saw one giant slide and heard another. It is terrible and won't be stable enough to be safe to hunt for some time to come. Beyond that the mud will take a while to wash out. Seriously.... If you value your life stay away and don't be tempted. At my most obsessed I wouldn't have even tried it and that says a lot. Literally anyone that tried to go out today probably would have had a better than average chance of dying and a tooth isn't worth your life. I can't stress enough how bad it looks and it will take a few weeks of dry weather and some good wind to know down the loose stuff and for things to sort out anyways. Just my 2 cents but I've been doing this a while and know with so much material is down it will take months to sort out so a great summer is ahead. Don't rush it and you'll be around to enjoy it. Literally a year or two worth of erosion in 3 days. After thought.... I did hunt the small beach in front of our house some this am while playing with the kids. It almost never produces anything nice (99% small tigers, hemis, bulls, etc) as we are down stream from the formations but this am was different with the river pumping. 3 cows, 3 good makos (biggest almost 2 inches), and 3 nice hemis (biggest two right at 1.5 inches). Not a bad am for a beach where I might find 2 cows on all summer. Good luck to all. It's going to be a great summer if you stay patient and hunt safe/smart.
  19. 17 likes
    Yesterday I signed over my prized crinoid (my avatar) along with 20 other specimens to the University of Michigan, Museum of Paleontology. With this crinoid I donated 7 other prized crinoids, 2 blastoids, 4 Tully Monsters, 2 brachiopods, 1 Mazon insect wing, 2 corals and a Cooksonia. These will then be loaned to the Museum of Natural History to go on permanent display in the new museum to open in 2019. Hardest part was parting with my avatar crinoid. It is what I consider the finest example of an Arthroacantha from the Arkona Formation at Arkona, Ontario. Not that parting with 4 exquisite Tullys wasn't hard. Hey, I offered and they came and took. I just wanted the museum to open with very nice examples of fossils.
  20. 17 likes
    Let's talk a little about Brazil For some years now I would like to talk a little about Brazil here at TFF, and I think the best opportunity has finally come! In fact, Brazil has not only banned exports, but also banned the commercialization of fossils even within the country, and Brazilians can not collect fossils from their own country, as they can take many years in prison! And with so much banning, even world-renowned Paleontologists (I'm a big fan of this great scientist) pterosaurs experts wrongfully get arrested by mistake: http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/ciencia/2013/12/1389270-paleontologo-brasileiro-que-foi-preso-processa-governo-em-r-1-milhao.shtml And currently a new law is being created in Brazil to make it even more criminal (with more years in prison), to have Brazilian fossils in a collection, to sell or to buy! Meanwhile, trillions of tons per year of Mesosaurus tenuidens fossils are being crushed and turned into dust by Petrobrás, in Irati, Paraná, Brazil, for the exploration of oil, gas and sulfur. The Brazilian government knows that in this process trillions of tons per year of Mesosaurus tenuidens fossils are being destroyed, but even so it grants authorization! The Santana Formation is located in the state of Ceará, Brazil. It is extremely rich in pterosaurs, dinosaurs, crocodiles, fish, insects and other fossils, mainly due to the clear condition of excellent conservation. An amazing beauty! But the State of Ceará is also the poorest in the whole of Brazil, even in many regions there is not even water to drink, many months without rain and also there is nothing to eat, being a population that in these regions lives in the most complete misery; On one side, a miserable population, without food and without water, literally living on an incalculable fortune of dinosaurs, pterosaurs, fish and many other fossils that are common in that region, that is, they do not represent any novelty for science, and often to have something to eat, some even challenge hard laws to sell a small fish fossilized at US $00,25! And meanwhile, on the other side of the rope, the Federal Police of Brazil seize fossils, and arrest people on charges of: Crime of usurpation of Union good and crime of qualified reception! And meanwhile, tons of fossils that are not unpublished, but rather common and old acquaintances of science are accumulating in the holds of the Brazilian Federal Police... And meanwhile, in Brazil, sensationalist newspaper articles publish the following: "Fossils of great scientific value seized in operation of the Federal Police..."! But as incredible as it may seem, the Brazilian government authorizes the commercial exploitation of rocks from the Santana Formation to make slabs of pavements and wall coverings, where the fossils will simply spray and disappear with the passage of time between rains and sun strong; And if you are a Brazilian, you can have your fish fossilized or any other beautiful fossil spoiling with the action of the time on the floor of your house or lining the walls and walls, after all, you bought the lage, paid for it and have invoice , but if you decide to cut the rock and fondly keep this fossil inside your house to protect it, you'll be arrest in the act! In this process, mountains of fossils are destroyed... In the cities of Assistência, Ipeúna and Piracicaba, in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, the fossil of the aquatic reptile Stereosternum Tumidum Cope is very abundant: But in these quarries, billions of tons of Stereosternum Tumidum Cope fossils are exploded and milled a year to be transformed into lime, used in agriculture and cement for civil construction. And all this with authorization from the Brazilian government! And if you visit one of these quarries and try to save from destruction one of these Stereosternum Tumidum Cope skeletons, you'll be arrest by the federal police in the act! I'm forgetting something to close this post with the golden key? Oh yeah! One of the most beautiful dinosaur footprint in the world is in the city of Araraquara, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil! But the footprints are dynamited and explored to make lages for the pavement of the City and that region! And now where are these footprints that have been saved from the dynamite? On the sidewalks of the whole city and the whole region, where people step on and the action of hot sun and rain, and the very friction of people trampling over, gradually destroys what time has taken millions of years to conserve! And before I forget, the "Museum in the open" was created, the only museum in the world that you can see the footprints and jump out and trampling on them the way you want! But if you want to get one of these footprints in the quarry and take it home and keep it with affection, you go to jail in flagrante by the Federal Police of Brazil! You are only allowed to put on the sidewalk of your house and destroy the footprints trampling over them with your own feet or with the tires of your car! Unfortunately unlike many first world countries, in Brazil the people are prevented from working honestly of what the earth gives! And if you want to work you can be arrested by the police. These harsh laws about the "fossiliferous heritage" do not favor the people, who, even in a miserable state, tread and live on top of the riches they can not reach... The sale of common fossils, already known by science, could bring billions of dollars a year to the Brazilian people. Paleontologists could be hired to inspect what could leave Brazil and unpublished materials that should remain... And the current harsh laws are also not at all favorable to Brazilian Paleontology, since the Brazilian Federal Police does not have the resources to watch over the Santana Formation, which is so huge that it borders on three Brazilian states: Ceará, Piauí and Pernambuco . And with the harsh current laws, only the stone flake remain for Brazilian paleontologists, while the complete fossils of scientific interest go to private collections around the world. Like this rare skull of Pterosaur Ludodactylus sibbicki that was auctioned in Paris: I could give hundreds more examples, but I will limit myself to just giving this example of the rarest pterosaur Anhanguera santanae that was sold on our favorite auction site for 200 Thousand Dollars! And in the midst of this crossfire, as I mentioned earlier, even internationally renowned paleontologists are arrested by mistake... People can not buy, people can not sell, otherwise they can be arrested for several years by the Federal Police. Paleontologists do not have the money to carry out scientific expeditions within their own country ... The harsh laws are not protecting the fossils, they are not protecting their people and they are not protecting the Brazilian Paleontology either. I wonder who this is benefiting... If you did not know the reality of the Brazilian Warrior People and their spectacular fossils, I hope this post was informative!
  21. 17 likes
    Hi all, there are many dinosaur eggs being sold online now, especially on our favorite auction site. One of the most prominent egg dealers there is known for selling composite or fake eggs, mixed in with real eggs. We have TFF members who've fallen victim to him already. This hadrosaur egg here is a composite of real eggshells stuck onto what seems like mud/matrix, then molded into the shape of a real egg. This is what a true hadrosaur egg looks like: As you can see, there's no matrix between the eggshells. You can see lines running throughout the egg, and most importantly, the eggshells look as though they can be pried out. Dino eggs are one of the most desirable fossil in the market, but also among the most commonly faked one. Take your time, and do proper research. If unsure, post here in TFF, and we will do our best to help you identify it. Good luck. @HamptonsDoc
  22. 16 likes
    Here are some pictures of some of the concretions that I collected. I shot these so you can see how they are found in the dirt and also in the shale. An opened Essexella asherae Jellyfish- My haul for the day-
  23. 16 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 Indeterminate Spinosaurid vertebrae Not a whole lot has been published yet, so some bones can probably not be ID'd on genus level. Spinosaurid caudal vertebrae From Paleoworld-101's collection 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 Deltadromeus agilis better examples needed Abelisauroids Indeterminate Abelisauroid distal caudal From LordTrilobite's collection Abelisaurid dorsal vertebrae From Troodon's collection Sauropods Rebbachisaurus garasbae Not a whole lot is known about this titanosaur, as only a few bones have been found. Notice that the vertebrae are very extensively pneumaticised. Rebbachisaurus dorsal vertebrae Unnamed Titanosaurian mid caudal vertebra Crocodiles more examples needed Kemkemia This crocodile is only known by a single terminal caudal vertebra. Kemkemia caudal vertebra Turtles examples needed Pterosaurs Azhdarchids Azhdarchid (probably Alanqa) posterior fragment cervical vertebra Azhdarchid Mid cervical vertebra 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 Sauropods Jeffrey A. Wilson & Ronan Allain (2015) Osteology of Rebbachisaurus garasbae Lavocat, 1954, a diplodocoid (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the early Late Cretaceous–aged Kem Kem beds of southeastern Morocco, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 35:4, e1000701, DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2014.1000701 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304214496_Evidence_of_a_derived_titanosaurian_Dinosauria_Sauropoda_in_the_Kem_Kem_beds_of_Morocco_with_comments_on_sauropod_paleoecology_in_the_Cretaceous_of_Africa Kemkemia sisn.pagepress.org/index.php/nhs/article/viewFile/nhs.2012.119/32 Pterosaurs https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thefossilforum.com%2Fapplications%2Fcore%2Finterface%2Ffile%2Fattachment.php%3Fid%3D432009&fname=journal.pone.0010875.PDF&pdf=true https://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/RIPS/article/view/5967
  24. 16 likes
    This is a huge announcement I have to make. It has been under wraps for quite a few months now and some of you may recall my damselfly find from the July 2017 Fossil of the Month contest. Well a HUGE thanks is in order for @oilshale for pointing me in the direction of one of his friends to help identify this beautiful specimen. Turns out this is not just a new species, or even genus, but an entirely new FAMILY that will soon be published!!! This damselfly will be labeled as the type specimen (Holotype) for the Family, Genus, AND Species. I donated this beautiful bug to my friends over at Fossil Butte National Monument where staff has been working to catalogue and name many of their unidentified insect specimens. This Damselfly will be a great addition for them as they build a new exhibit focused on insects of the Green River in the next year or so. This bug was a very special find for me, and knowing that it was going to be the type specimen adds even more to it. I haven't been able to post this in part because it was meant as a Christmas present for my wife. She was speechless to find out that the species will be named after her. I have no idea how I will ever up myself from this, but here's to trying. This has definitely been a highlight in my fossil career and I can't imagine ever finding another type specimen. I am happy to know that you all will share in my excitement and when the paper is finally published I will make sure to share it here as well! Attached is a copy of the letter from Fossil Butte National Monument, edited of course, and if you read it you will see why!
  25. 16 likes
    Hello all! Recently I have been obsessed with cephalopods and realized there is a real lack of reconstructions of the color patterns on extinct nautiloids and ammonites! This led me to compile a list of known fossil color patterns on cephalopods. After a year of on and off research, I found about 90 species of cephalopods retaining official or undescribed, original patterning on their shells. These are the first 15 species on my list. The color markings are based both on descriptions and photographs of the fossil material. The shades of the markings are based on the fossils, but also inferred. I Hope you will appreciate my work!
  26. 15 likes
    This is a great fossil forum. A wealth of information. Lots to educate the passionate collector. I want to share a few more of my latest finds with members of this fossil forum. I hope you all enjoy the pics. These are some of my best discoveries made in my Hastings Wealden bonebed collection this past week. First off is this lovely Dromaeosaurid tooth. It took me a few hours, but I managed to prep out both sides. My best find in a while.
  27. 15 likes
    Here is my first try for FOTM: found on the Isle of wight on 08/08/2018 the tooth of an Ornithocheirid pterosaur. ( like caulkicephalus or Coloborhynchus ) early Cretaceous Atherfield ( IOW )
  28. 15 likes
    It has been a few years since I posted an update on my woolly rhino composite skeleton. Due to regulation change, not a whole lot of bones are fished out of the North Sea these days. So I haven't gotten many new bones in recent years. But last week I got a whole bunch of extra bones so I got the rhino out of the many boxes I have it stored in for the most time and so it's time for another progress update. For those who've missed my previous posts. I have been collecting wooly rhino (coelodonta antiquitatis) bones for over a decade now ever since I got a few leg bones for my birthday. One thing spiraled into another and before I knew it I was trying to make a complete skeleton. Almost all the bones are from the North Sea where only isolated bones are ever found. So none of the bones have any context, which is why a composite skeleton is the only option. Of course this brings it's own problems, besides spending years trying to find all the correct bones, but also getting bones that actually match nicely. So some bones aren't an exact match but every once in a while I replace bones that don't match that good with better ones. And by now I have just over a hundred bones plus change for the extra bones I have doubles for. The skeleton is quite massive. Woolly rhinos were around the same size as modern African rhinos. Carrying over a hundred rhino bones up and down the stairs was also a good workout The only bone that isn't real is the skull, which is a replica cast. Only two bones come from different locations, one from a quarry in the Netherlands and the other from Hungary. All the other bones come from the North Sea. The neck is complete and I'm only missing one dorsal vertebra. I've got a partial sacrum with the front missing. I don't have any tail vertebrae. I've got a few ribs but not nearly enough and two large hip fragments. I've got all the big long bones except for the fibulae and one shoulder blade. By now I've got the hands fairly complete. I've got all the wrist bones, all the metacarpals. The phalanges however are harder to get and I don't have any unguals. On the hind legs I now also recently got the kneecaps as well as a few missing ankle bones. I'm only missing two ankle bones on both feet. I got all the metatarsals and the phalanges here are a similar story, I have the first phalanges, and one of the second. But again, no unguals. A beautiful humerus that now replaced a less complete dinky humerus. Left front hand of the rhino and my right foot for scale. And lastly there's this really nice nasal fragment where the horn would attach in life. It's just a small fragment, but the preservation is really quite nice. Some of the sutures can also be seen really nicely.
  29. 15 likes
    I have not gotten out much locally this summer due to a few issues. Forced myself to step away from my current stresses and hunt some fossils along the Minnesota Iowa border. Found some nice brachs, cephalopods, rugosa coral, gastropods, and fisherites. Nothing special, but it was nice being out again. When I returned home, I was going to hammer a little matrix away from a few of my collections. A large slab had a worn cephalopod in it and I was going to break it out and put it in with the fossils I take to the children's sand pit at a local park. With one swing of the hammer, I decided this one was NOT going to the park! It is amazing how often this happens to me. I wonder how many nice fossils have been left behind only because I quit breaking the rock. Two beautiful Maclurites and a Hormatoma laid hidden underneath the matrix surrounding the cephalopod.
  30. 15 likes
    My father was an artist who did quite a bit of sculpture in wood and stone. Unfortunately I did not inherit his ability to draw and sculpt. He always said that he basically knew what was hiding in the piece of wood or soapstone from the time he saw it. He said the animal or abstract work was always in there it was just waiting for him to take the crud off what was obstructing the view. Well prepping trilobites is very much like that . You need to figure out the best way to present the bug really before you start the prep. You need to visualize the end product. Here is a Platteville isotelus that I received from a client in a 2 to 3 pound hunk of matrix. Not a lot to see at first but definitely a bug that is just screaming "Let me out of here"..... Also a bug that is desperately in need of a prep. Any time you can see an eye or better yet two eyes on an isotelus you pretty much know that there is a good chance that it will be complete I started by trimming the matrix down to a size and shape that would be condusive to prepping and wound have a nice asthetic shape when complete. I wanted the bug to be 3D when complete so I use a dremel to make a grid pattern around the fossil. These pedestal islands then just pop off with my ARO scribe leaving a matrix that is not just square edges. Square edges look horrible on a complete fossil, just not natural looking. This takes all of 5 minutes as opposed to perhaps a good hour if I had used just a scribe. I also minimize the potential for the matrix to fracture through the fossil by doing it this way. Just be careful not to cut too deep As per usual this was prepped under a scope using a comco MB1000 unit and a variety of scribes (Aro, Seally, 9361 and a Pferd) The abrasion material was previously used 40 micron dolomite with mostly a . 030 and . 018 nozzle tip. This is about 45 minutes into the prep The extra pygidium on the bug was removed and will be added back beside the bug at the end of the prep. Progress is being made about an hour into prep About 15 minutes later it is starting to get 3D Almost done at this point Pretty much finished except for adding that extra pygidium back beside the bug then final cleanup to remove any tool marks and packing up to ship There is zero restoration or gluing on this trilobite, although the right eye is dis-articulated it is 100% complete. Total time invested ... about 2 hours ...............cost to client $45 US plus shipping. Original estimate was $50 so pretty close. The finished bug is 35 mm long from nose to end of pygidium. The matrix now weighs about 1 1/2 pounds which is always important to watch out for. Anything over about 4 pounds is stupid expensive to ship from Canada. The suture on the right side of the eye has dis-articulated a bit from the bug but it is all there and shows how clean the sutures can come apart.
  31. 15 likes
    How an Amateur Collector Changed Paleontology Forever To those of The Fossil Forum, I wish to share with you the story of Maiasaura peeblesorum and Marion Brandvold, both good mothers. Maiasaura was discovered forty years ago in June of 1978; this is the month and year of the Maiasaura. Marion and her son, David Trexler, found fossils fascinating long before Jurassic Park popularized dinosaurs. They would often take a vehicle out and go prospecting in their backyard geologic formation known as the Two Medicine. One hot summer evening when walking back to the vehicle, Marion took a small detour and came upon some tiny fossilized bones. In 1937, the Trexlers had opened a rock and jewelry store, and over the years had created a successful jewelry manufacturing and wholesale business along with their ranching interest. However, Marion's heart was always with the land and the animals, and when her husband passed away, she opened a retail store for her merchandise rather than try to keep up with the wholesale business. That way, she still had time for the ranching and rock hunting that she loved. Marion and David had discovered a partial dinosaur in 1971, and they traveled the State of Montana to compare it to all the wonderful previous discoveries they had read about that had been made in Montana. To their surprise, the only dinosaur on display in the entire State was in a little museum in the basement of the high school in Ekalaka, Montana. It had been assembled by a couple of ranchers who had worked with paleontologists from elsewhere who had come to the State, collected, and left. Chagrined that nothing was left behind when professional work was done, they decided to start a small museum in the back of the family store. The goal was to display a dinosaur skeleton from their local area. After all, if ranchers from Ekalaka could do it, so could they. As far as professional training was concerned, Marion had to rely on her familiarity with the ecology of the modern world, as she had no formal education on the subject. However, a ranch foreman when she was young had taught her the art of tracking, and had shown her how each organism interacted with other organisms and its environment. So, when looking for fossil skeletons, Marion expected to see very young and very old animal pieces, but not much in-between. On the fateful evening mentioned previously, Marion, Dave, and Dave's wife, Laurie, were out collecting what they believed to be a fairly complete duckbilled dinosaur skeleton. It is a long, tedious job collecting all the bones present in a dinosaur, and they had uncovered 15 or so at that point. As tools were being put away, Marion went for a little walk, and when Dave and Laurie caught up with her, she was sitting on a small mound of dirt with a big smile on her face. She said, "look what I found!" She was holding several baby dinosaur vertebrae. Within a few minutes, they had found many more, and Dave had found a piece of a jaw with obviously duckbilled dinosaur teeth attached. However, the entire jaw section could be covered by a nickel! They had a baby dinosaur to go with their adult in the museum. Bill Clemens, a mammal paleontologist from Berkely, had stopped in Marion's shop on his way to dig on fossil fish with some colleagues, and was impressed with what had been done in creating a fossil museum without any formal training. At the fish site, he encouraged Jack Horner, then a fossil preparator at Princeton, and Jack's friend Bob Makela, a high school teacher from Rudyard, Montana, to stop at Marion's shop and see the displays. A few days later, Jack and Bob left the fish site and visited Marion's rock shop and museum. Jack introduced himself to Marion, and for the next few hours, they had a wonderful time going over the specimens Marion had on display. Jack then asked if she had anything else, and she showed him a couple of the vertebrae she had picked up from the baby site. Jack's interest was immediately piqued, and he asked if she had more. Marion directed him across the street to where Dave was reassembling the baby bones they had collected. Jack realized immediately that Marion and Dave had something they didn't understand. He asked, "do you know what you have here?", and Dave replied, "Obviously not, since you are so excited." The concept of babies and old animals dying and being preserved in the fossil record, it turned out, was only partially correct. While that cycle probably did occur, baby bones were generally not preserved in the fossil record. The bones Bob and Jack were staring at turned out to be the first baby dinosaur remains known from North America. Jack asked to be allowed to borrow the fossils in order to write them up in a formal publication. The bones were carefully wrapped and placed in a coffee can, and Jack transported them to Princeton. A visit to the site was also in order, and Marion and Dave took Jack and Bob out to the site. Dave also showed Jack a poorly preserved skull that Laurie had discovered, and Jack offered to try to remove it and clean it up for display in Marion's museum. However, after a few years and the specimen was recovered and prepared, it turned out to be the type skull for Maiasaura, and Laurie donated it to Museum of the Rockies, where Jack was working by then. Baby dinosaurs together in a nest past hatching showed a totally different picture of what dinosaurs were thought to be. Jack returned for many years, and eventually the Museum of the Rockies purchased the land where the babies were discovered. The area has become a mecca for paleontological research. The discovery of all this led to a massive shift in the view paleontologist and indeed science as a whole had for extinct animals and modern reptiles. A realization occurred that dinosaurs were truly living, breathing, majestic animals who cared for their young, much like the life we often see around us today. Hungry and thirsty, often looking for a mate, just trying to stay alive in an unforgiving world were the dinosaurs. Far from terrible lizards, they were much like animals and we humans are today. All this came from Marion’s tiny little find. It was her tiny find which led to a surge of interest and public attention. It was her tiny find which started Jack Horner’s career. It was her tiny find that indirectly caused Spielberg to help create Jurassic Park which in turn inspired many into paleontology and many more into other sciences. Those she indirectly inspired have contributed a near inconceivable amount to mankind through science. They range from medical researchers curing diseases, to those looking for extraterrestrial life, and all the way down to myself. A great many started their interest in the sciences with an early love of fossils and dinosaurs. A love Marion Branvold started and continues through her past contribution. Sadly, I never had the opportunity to meet her and she passed away in 2014, at the age of 102. Over the course of my short time in paleontology, I had the honor to stand where her tiny find was made. As the search for more discoveries continues I have been privileged to search with both Jack Horner and Dave Trexler. In the great quest for knowledge, she played her part well, now it is for us to carry on with the next act. What a massive contribution from an amateur and so tiny a find. As others ogle over the next major discovery, keep all this in mind and tell us more of your own tiny find. Eric P. Made with great assistance by David Trexler
  32. 15 likes
    Most everything you see sold on the commercial market as far as Sauropod teeth, from the Kem Kem of Morocco, is label Rebbachisaurus garasbae or Rebbachisaurus. Are they identified correctly is the topic of the day. Feel free to add your teeth to show variations. What do we know of Sauropod teeth from this fauna? - very simple answer, very very little in fact less than we know of Theropod material which is very little to begin with. I have seen nothing published on isolated sauropod teeth from this locality to base any ID on. In the Kem Kem there is one described species a Diplodocoid, Rebbachisaurus garasbae and evidence of a large Titanosaurid. That evidence on the Titanosaurid is based only on a single caudal vertebra. The holotype that described Rebbachisaurus contained only one complete dorsal vertebra, parts of another vertebra, some neural spines, rib fragments, ischium, humerus and a few more fragmentary material but NO skull, NO teeth. Like many Theropod dinosaurs we have teeth but no skull to identify them against and label them to a family level. Why should we not do the same with sauropod teeth there is no difference. The other fact that I find interesting is Rebbachisaurus once thought to be a large bodied Sauropod has been redescribed to a smaller animal and the Titanoaurid from this fauna is a very large one. I used some of the sauropod teeth in my collections to look at the variations across teeth. Are these just due to jaw to jaw variations, positional variations, growth cycles, evidence of multiple sauropod species, preservation, environmental factors, sampling...etc... No answers but there is variation and to label all sauropod material as one genus I believe is not appropriate at this point. There are two groups one with small teeth and the other that are significantly larger. The first smaller group show variations with all of them and I call them Morph Type 1 to 4 Does not look like a Diplodocoid tooth, peg like more Titanosaurid? This tooth is faceted all around the crown. Very round This tooth includes a base with enamel on it Large Teeth Typical Diplo type tooth, weak cutting edge Two very crisp cutting edges and very rough texture in the enamel, no wear facet maybe sign its an unerupted tooth. Have not see the texture on any other tooth. Very pointed Crown - positional? No cutting edges More peg like, no cutting edges This tooth shows wrinkles around the shaft. No its not a Spino no cutting edges Felt sorry or these two orphans just added them to the mix. Positional, no cutting edges
  33. 15 likes
    First off- here is my bucket of finds for the day: As I was making my way around the back side of the fill, a woman approached me from the sidewalk and asked if I was fossil hunting. I told her I was, and she proceeded to tell me how she and her husband used to collect Mazon Creek fossils themselves in the 1970s and 1980s. She wished me luck, and I continued searching. A little while later she stopped by again and said "My huband still has some buckets of unopened nodules that have been sitting in the garage for years. Would you be interested in them?" I said yes, of course, if he really wanted to get rid of them. She said he would be happy to, and he would be home from work in a little bit, so to just stop by on my way out of the subdivision. I thanked her and told her it would be my pleasure, then continued collecting for a little while more. Once I had made my way completely around the site, I loaded my car and drove over to their house. There I met the husband, who pointed out the buckets of nodules he was giving to me- one nearly full bucket of nodules from Chowder Flats: And a smaller container full of nodules collected from the banks of Mazon Creek itself: But there was more- He said "The rocks are great, but I have something else I think you will really appreciate," and led me into his garage. There, he had a pile of fossil guidebooks and scientific literature, and he told me about the significance of the works before offering them to me as well! I could not believe his generosity and told him much I appreciated it. That he was willing to share his collection with a younger hobbyist was truly heart warming, and made me happy that I have returned to fossil collecting after taking many years off. But to make the day truly, truly special, he then regaled me with tales of his best finds, including a nearly complete whip scorpion and a gigantic Tully Monster. He also told me how he met Francis Tully collecting in the field! He asked me about my best finds as well, and we talked about the dwindling number of collecting sites in the area. Finally, I thanked him and his wife again and got ready to leave. What an amazing day- I drove up not knowing whether I would find anything at all, and I finished with an experience beyond my wildest dreams.
  34. 15 likes
    First of all, the list of fish found in Madagascar - there are more than 30 species! So many that I can't treat all of them (and I've never seen some of them). There is relatively old, but good literature on it - Lehman has written one of the most comprehensive publications on this subject: J.-P.Lehman (1952) Etude Complementaire des Poisson de L'Eotrias de Madagascar. Kungl. Svenska Vetenskapsakademiens Handlingar. Fjärde Serien Bd 2 No 6 (in French, 244 pages, 340MB!) Australosomus merlei Piveteau, 1934 is easy to recognize: Small to medium size fish (~ 10 to 15cm / 4 to 6"), fusiform body, relatively small head with a slightly rounded snout. Its dorsal fin is located in the posterior fourth of the body. Caudal fin divided with wide lobes. Scales on the flanks are noticeably stalk-shaped. Ecrinesomus dixoni Woodward, 1910 Small fish with a rounded, laterally flattened body. Snout flattened. Dorsal and anal fins broad based, attached behind the body's midpoint. Caudal fin large, deeply divided (very rare to see). Bobasatrania mahavavica White, 1932 There's quite a confusion between these two fish. Even in publications the same reconstruction (the same drawing!) is sometimes labeled as Bobasatrania and sometimes as Ecrinesomus. In the first publication about Ecrinesomus, one Bobasatrania was mistakenly mixed in between. Bobasatrania has a crooked diamond-shaped body – while Ecrinesomus's anal and dorsal fins start directly opposite. Boreosomus gillioti Priem, 1924 Small to medium sized fish (10 to 20 cm / 4 to 8"). Slender body, dorsal fin small, located before the body's midpoint. Caudal fin divided. Strong, rectangular scales. Parasemionotus labordei Priem, 1924 Small fish (up to 15cm / 6") with a rounded body, somewhat thickset appearance. Broad but short head. Dorsal fin attached to the posterior half of the body. Pectoral and anal fins small. Caudal fin moderately divided. Eyes remarkably large. Teffichthys madagascariensis Piveteau, 1934 (=Perleidus madagascariensis) Medium sized fish with a somewhat thickset appearance. Bulky head. Its dorsal fin is located in the posterior third of the body. Pteronisculus cicatrosus White, 1934 Small to medium fish with fusiform body (less than 15cm / 6" ?). Small dorsal fin, located slightly behind the midpoint of the body, diagonally opposite the anal fin. Big eyes. Relatively long and broad pectoral fins. Comparatively small scales. Pteronisculus macropterus White, 1933 In his 1933 paper, White described two new Pteroniscoids from Madagascar: Pteronisculus cicatrosus , which is rather common and the somewhat rarer Pteronisculus macropterus. According to White, P. macropterus is characterized by an "elongate-fusiform body; maximum depth rather less than length of head with opercular apparatus, and equal to one-quarter total length to base of caudal fin. length of pectoral fin exceeding distance between tip of snout and hinder margin of maxilla. Origin of dorsal fin above fortieth scale-row from pectoral girdle approximately. Scales in more than seventy vertical rows to base of caudal fin, and ornamented with oblique rugae only." Paracentrophorus madagascariensis Piveteau, 1940 Small fish (up to 15cm / 6") with a rounded body, somewhat thickset appearance. Dorsal fin attached to the posterior half of the body. Pectoral and anal fin relatively large. Anal fin starts well behind end of dorsal fin. Caudal fin moderately divided. Eyes remarkably large. Icarealcyon malagasium Beltan, 1984 Icarealcyon can be easily mixed up with Parasemionotus; characteristic are the huge pectoral fins. Due to its enormous pectoral fins, Icarealcyon malagasium was described by Beltan as a "poisson volant" - a "flying fish" - in the family Semonotidae (not related to what is now known as "flying fish" - these are Exocoetidae in the order Beloniformes). You would expect flying fish to be fast swimmers - the rather thickset appearance of Icarealcyon more likely hints to slow swimmers with relatively high maneuverability (comparable to Albertonia from British Columbia). Fig. C is Icarealcyon - the reconstruction is not quite correct. Saurichthys madagascariensis Piveteau, 1945 Medium sized fish with elongated, streamlined jaws. Head elongated. Dorsal fin almost at the end of the body, opposite the anal fin. Small scales. Whiteia woodwardi Moy-Thomas, 1935 Massive body. Pectoral fin attached slightly before the first dorsal fin. Piveteauia madagascariensis Lehman 1952 More slender body. Pectoral fin attached well before first dorsal fin lobe. Ventral fin opposite to first dorsal fin lobe. Have fun Thomas PS: If you are interested in Lehman's paper send me a PM with your email address (remember - 340MB!)
  35. 15 likes
    The internet is full of improperly identified dinosaur material, not only on auction sites but from very trusted dealers. Remind everyone that the best way to avoid being disappointed is do not assume what is written is accurate, educate yourself in what your interest are or post items here on the forum for feedback. Most of the discrepancies I see are not intentional just lack of knowledge on the part of the seller/dealer or believing what the digger told him. Lets start with the Hell Creek Formation- again Dromaeosaurus is not a species you find in this or the Lance formation, they are all over the web. Dromaeosaurus come from an older deposits, Campanian. Most all the teeth I see sold appear to be Nanotyrannus. The only two Dromaeosaurid teeth in this age are Acheroraptor and Dakotaraptor. A tiny example of what I currently see sold, these look like Nano teeth This individual is selling a Troodon claw. Troodon or now properly called Stenonychosaurus look nothing like this claw and I've provided images of what they should like. This is a reptile claw. The real deal foot claws These vertebra are described from Dinosaur raptors. They are from Crocks or other reptiles, definitely not dinosaur Kem Kem material - I could fill up this site with all the improperly identified material. Please post your interests here before you buy. Reminder we do not know what Rugops or Deltadromeus teeth look like and Rugops is not a species that is described from the Kem Kem deposits its known from Niger. The same is true for Dromaeosaurus that species does not exist in the fauna. Most believe a Dromaeosaurid like dinosaur exist but identifying its teeth is still uncertain. Most of the teeth sold that look like this with the distal edge perpendicular to the base are Abelsaurid indet. not Dromaeosaurid or Rugops etc I saw this tooth being sold, its a huge Carcharodontosaurus tooth 16cm. Please use caution, the seller just talks about slight glue and dirt in some areas but to me there appears to be lots of work done on that crown. Hard to tell whats going on but its more than slight glue and dirt. Just be cautious there is more there than meets the eye and it can get very expensive.
  36. 14 likes
    This is a porcupine fish skeleton - those are the spines. If this is from NC, it is probably a striped burrfish (Chilomycterus schoepfi).
  37. 14 likes
    The Twitter Paleontology World post cool images of fossils on Friday so I'm happy to steal from them and share some dinosaur ones with this forum Holotype specimen of the short-faced dromaeosaur Atrociraptor from the Horseshoe Canyon Fm of Alberta - ROM Oviraptorid Skull, Mongolia, Rinchenia mongoliensis AMNH Protoceratops andrewsi 3 Year old Tarbosaurus, Mongolia Skeleton of Baryonyx Amargasaurus, from Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio, Patagonia, Argentina is a Sauropod. Diabloceratops holotype skull natural history museum of Utah Daspletosaurus maxilla -Tyrrell
  38. 14 likes
    Hi all, Just thought I'd share my ichthyosaur which I discovered near Lyme Regis in Dorset, UK. Best fossil I've ever found! Cheers, Matt
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    A recent interpretation of the fossil remains Spinosaurus aegyptiacus proposed that it was specially adapted for a semi-aquatic mode of life—a first for any predatory dinosaur. To test some aspects of this suggestion this study developed a three-dimensional, digital model of the animal that incorporates regional density variations, lungs and air sacs, and the flotation potential of the model was investigated using specially written software. It was found that Spinosaurus would have been able to float with its head clear of the water surface, although it was laterally unstable and would tend to roll onto its side. The conclusion is that Spinosaurus was not highly specialized for a semi-aquatic mode of life. Furthermore, the floating characteristics of the Spinosaurus model were similar to those of models of other predatory dinosaurs, indicating that there was nothing special about the buoyant characteristics of this animal, and that other theropods could have successfully taken to water to the same degree as well. So Spinosaurus may have been specialized for a shoreline or shallow water mode of life, but would still have been a competent terrestrial animal. Interesting paper, very reputable and a big deal considering the source, The Royal Tyrrell Museum. Newspaper Article: Royal Tyrrell Research Blows Swimming Dinosaur out of the water https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/royal-tyrrell-research-blows-swimming-dinosaur-theory-out-of-the-water https://peerj.com/articles/5409/ Henderson DM. (2018) A buoyancy, balance and stability challenge to the hypothesis of a semi-aquatic Spinosaurus Stromer, 1915 (Dinosauria: Theropoda)PeerJ 6:e5409 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.5409
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    Well I also thought that and then I ran into Sue at the BHI and was in for a surprise. The recently added replica skull gave me an opportunity to have a close-up look at her teeth. Actually stuck my head into her mourh and lived and noticed that the dentary tooth position #1 looked exactly like a Premaxillary tooth. Pete Larsen was there so I asked him how do you differentiate between the two since they looked the same. He said it was easy the dentary tooth has a much longer root than the pre-max tooth. My follow-up Q was well most of us normal folks do not have teeth with roots then how can you identify a crown between the two. The surprise answer was you cannot. He then proceeded to tell me a story of when they were prepping the Skull of Stan. They finished the prep and wound up with two additional Premaxillary teeth and set them aside. It was not until they prepped Sue a few years later that they realized that those two teeth were dentary. Pete then took me over to see the real skull of Stan which is displayed in their museum and pointed to the empty sockets in position 1 on the dentary, the teeth had never been added. However, since that point the hundreds of replica Stan skull they sold have had those teeth included in them. Always something to be learned and nothing should come as a surprise. Sue dentary Sue Premax @-Andy- @jpc @Dracorex_hogwartsia
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    These are all real. See:
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    Well, following up on my theropod ID topic... Really shocked...in under 8 hours, Tyrannosaurus rex expert Pete Larson gets back to me with this response regarding my fossil being T.rex or not...I guess after 20 buying mistakes, eventually good things do happen ...feels surreal... here’s his response to me: (last picture) Now officially one of my most prized possessions, and maybe the most for that matter..
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    Hi all! I've been away from the site for a bit - I taught my first historical geology lecture this spring, and ended up spending three nights a week working on a lecture til the wee hours of the morning, and so the last month has left me without enough time to follow up on the forum. I'll try to get caught up over the next few days. I have a bazillion missed messages from people, so I'll get through them ASAP! This weekend I wrote a new (and very long) blog post about the geology, paleontology, and history of the Ashley Phosphate Beds in the Charleston area - a must read for anyone confused about our stratigraphy! http://coastalpaleo.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-ashley-phosphate-beds.html
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    Here is a fun collage I slapped together for all the Trilobitaphilatelists.
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    The preservation is consistent with other Silurian algae, something similar to Buthotrephis or Inocaulis. Here is an excellent paper: LoDuca, S.T., Bykova, N., Wu, M., Xiao, S., & Zhao, Y. (2017) Seaweed morphology and ecology during the great animal diversification events of the early Paleozoic: A tale of two floras. Geobiology, 15:588-616 PDF LINK
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    I know there have been several threads on TFF that talk about storage cabinets for fossils, but since they are all a bit old I will start a new one to describe the storage cabinet I am in the process of making. It's not done yet but I thought I would show progress as I make it. A few things about the design. First, I wanted it to look at least somewhat presentable so I wouldn't have to stash it in some out-of-the-way location in our house. To keep the cost down I am going with oak-veneer plywood for the outside case, not solid oak. I'm using ordinary sanded plywood for the drawers, with solid oak dress panels at the front. The overall dimensions were driven by a couple of factors. First, I don't own a table saw or miter saw, so it had to be something I could make by just using my handheld circular saw. (I use a guide to make long straight cuts.) Also, I don't have a pickup truck so I had to have the 4x8 plywood sheets cut in half at Home Depot so they would fit in my SUV. That limited the maximum dimension to somewhat under 48" (Home Depot saw cuts are pretty atrocious on plywood). I decided to go with a design that had 10 drawers whose inside dimensions are 20x17". The lower two drawers are an inch taller than the rest. I also decided to use drawer slides for a smoother operation when opening the drawers. That meant the overall cabinet design was just about 36" high by 24" wide by 20" deep. Since I'm an engineer by training I felt it necessary to design the entire thing in Visio and use an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the dimensions of each piece, taking into account the exact measured thicknesses of the plywood. Here's what the design looks like: I've been leisurely working on building it for the last couple of weeks and estimate I still have about a week to go. Here's what it looks like so far: Partially assembled, held together by clamps and screws: Drawer design. Note that I have done a somewhat unusual design. Instead of using 1/4" hardboard that is held to the sides by dado cuts (which would be OK if the drawer was for storing lighter things like clothes or towels), I used much more solid 1/2" plywood screwed to the sides. You might question this design, but look closely at the drawer slides and you will see they have "L" shaped ledges that screw to the underside of the drawers. So the drawer slides are supporting the drawers by their bottoms, not their sides. This design is better for holding heavy objects like fossils. To keep the cost down I used inexpensive drawer slides rated for 50lbs each, which should be sufficient for the invertebrate fossils I collect. Now I need to finish gluing and ATTACHING all the sides together, add the top, install the dress panels around the top and bottom, cover the screw holes with wood plugs, cut the drawer dress panels to final size and mount them, stain everything, and add a clear polyurethane coat to finish it off. Should be done by Christmas.
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    I have not posted in a while and wanted to share an amazing fossil that i collected in December of 2017. Sharks usually do not come to ones mind when discussing Illinois fossils. Many collectors are not aware that you can find complete shark skeletons. Illinois is fortunate to be one of the few places in the world to find complete Pennsylvanian aged sharks. The vast majority of these fossils are found within siderite concretions in the Mazon Creek deposit. These rare sharks are always found as immature individuals. Illinois also has limited exposures of black shale similar to the Mecca Quarry Shale of Indiana. This shale was extensively studied by Rainer Zangerl in the 1960s and 70s and is known for the variety of sharks that he uncovered. I have been collecting a small exposure of this shale for the past 20 or so years finding a variety of bivalves, crustaceans, nautiloids and occasional fish. Most of the fish are fragmentary and usually not well preserved. I have shared pictures of a few of the specimens I have collected in past posts. One of the most interesting fish that I have collected is a little known group of sharks called Iniopterygians. They are also referred to as flying sharks due to the unusual placement of the pectoral fins mounted high up on the shoulder. It is believed that these fins would have functioned similar to the fins in modern flying fish. They have large eyes, club like tails and very unusual tooth batteries. There are several described types mostly known from fragmentary remains. Since preservation in black shale is usually poor, most of the described specimens are x-rayed rather then prepped to help identify bones and bone structures. The specimens that I have collected have all been relatively small ranging from five to six inches. This new specimen is by far the largest and best preserved example that i have ever seen. The specimen measures a little over a foot in length. Due to the quality of preservation, I had a friend spend nearly 40 hours prepping out the fish. It appears to be quite a bit different from other examples that I have found. If anyone on the forum knows of any researchers who work with these sharks, please let me know. Enjoy!
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    We cannot be a repository for all laws concerning fossil collecting, for all states or countries. It's just not feasible. We also have no ability to investigate posts for the legality of hunting at a certain location. It is assumed, and we trust, that the people reporting their collecting experiences here have the necessary permissions to collect where they do collect. If a member posts something that is questionable in any way, then the party recognizing the alleged violation should alert the Admins/Mods of possible legality concerns. There is a report button to make this an easy step. I personally have no issue calling someone out when they are suggesting illegal measures. But we should also bear in mind that they may not have mentioned it, but they may have permission from the state, county, city, township or federal government to collect where it appears to be state or federally owned land. This happened recently, with a whale skull that was collected on park lands in the presence of park rangers. People were jumping to conclusions, not having read the posts properly. There is also the issue of beating a dead horse. How often must we mention legality? It is incumbent upon the collector to know the laws and abide by them. From the Forums Rules and Community Standards: The analogy to a publishing house ends here: The Fossil Forum is not a publisher. You alone are responsible for the content of your submissions. Any opinions stated are not to be considered those of the administrators/moderators, and by posting any text or image, you are attesting that you have the copyright or permission to do so, and that you agree to the following rules: Prohibited on The Fossil Forum, including private messages and the chat room (transcripts of which are recorded and monitored) are: Pornography, obscenity, illegal acts and expressing disregard for the law, flaming (personal attacks designed to disparage, berate, or insult), offensive or discriminatory remarks (racial, ethnic, sexual, theological, political, etc.), threats, defamation, providing links to any of the above, Spamming, posting of the same text again and again, nonsensical posts that have no substance, or bumping a post for the same effect. Multiple memberships are not allowed. Violators of the above are subject to action up to and including banishment. Our position is stated clearly here. Bottom line ? We don't want it posted here if it is encouraging trespassing, breaking laws, or violating standards set by legitimate collection groups.
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    Posted are a few concerns I found wandering through the internet. These are but a few examples of the type of issues you may encounter. I send this out as a reminder if you're shopping for fossil presents of any kind. Sellers mis-identify material simply through lack of knowledge but it's up to the buyer to know what they are looking at. Don't hesitate to post interests BEFORE you buy. BUYER BEWARE when it comes to fossils of any kind. Seller wants huge money for this Saurolophus osborni lower arm from the Two Medicine Formation. Looks like a nice arm but some of his facts are incorrect. This species is not found in the Campanian of the Two Medicine Formation but the early Maastrichtian age of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation. Another key point is that it's very difficult to determine taxons from post cranial bones of Hadrosaurs especially in an fauna where multiple species exist. Nice lower arm from somewhere and from some unknown Hadrosaur. What's this seller thinking the "2 Medicine Man Formation" really attention to detail not one of his strong points. Someone tell him its the Two Medicine Formation. Maybe he watches lots of Westerns Seller describes this as Pachycephalosaurus in my opinion it's Thescelosaurus Seller is properly describing this beautiful jaw as Ornithischian but in detail description adds that it was discovered where many Pachycephalosaurus fossils were found giving one the impression it's Pachy. In my opinion it's Thescelosaurus. Teeth of these two species look similar inquire before you buy. I see a lot of these being offered or sale, nice Christmas gift. For those of you that are new to collecting the only thing real here are the crowns. Nice gift Seller is offering this Claw and Identifying it as Velociraptor from the Hell Creek Formation. It's a very worn Anzu wyliei hand claw.
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    In April Forum member @Sagebrush Steve posted an account in the "Fossil Prep" section detailing construction of display stands for some of his collection. He employed a slightly different approach and interested readers would be well served to view that post as well as this one. I do believe that the use of attractive display techniques can enhance the "decorator" value of fossils as well as allowing them to be viewed in a manner far better than resting on a shelf. A short while ago I posted a prep series on a pair of Halisaurus jaw sections. That post concluded with discussion of the display stands employed. Rustic bases made from salvaged wild cherry wood were the support for brass rods bent to hold the pieces. Here is one of those pieces. That project led to the idea mounting other fossils in a similar style. To this end I acquired a box of assorted blanks from an exotic woods dealer. I believe those slabs were intended for turning on a lathe to produce small bowls. I chose them for use as stable, heavy bases. The natural beauty of the various wood was also a factor. Here are some of the blanks. the are partially dipped on wax to seal them for storage. They are: Bubinga, Purpleheart and Yellowheart. Here is an assortment of wood that has been subjected to an orbital sander in preparation for finishing. They are: Ambrosia Maple, Canarywood, Bocote and Jatoba Here is a block of African Mahogany, that will serve as a base for the first stand. Shellac, mixed from flakes and denatured alcohol is applied to the unstained wood. A cloth dauber is utilized for application. Holes for mounting the brass rods have been pre-drilled in designated spots. Here is the project prior to assembly. The blue strand of flexible, electrical wire was used to form the approximate desired shape needed for the brass rod configurations. In that manner a measure could be established for the placement of bends. A simple jig was used to make the bends. It is, however, more difficult than one would imagine. Well, at least is was for snolly. Visible are the fossil specimens to be mounted. Here are a couple views of the finished project. This was a fun experience and the other blanks will be utilized to mount other medium sized specimens. Triceratops sp partial chevrons Hell Creek Formation Powder River Co, Montana