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Showing most informative content since 12/15/2016 in all areas

  1. 35 likes
    Dinosaur skin are a highly sought-after fossil. The ones usually available to collectors are Edmontosaurus skin impressions from Lance, or Hell Creek Formation, and they aren't as rare or expensive as you might expect, fetching up to 100-200 USD per inch depending on quality. However, it is easy to mistake a bumpy piece of rock, mud sediment, septarian nodule, concretions, or a coral fossil as dino skin. Right now there are at least several of such on our favorite auction site. Here are examples of fossils/pseudofossils mistaken as dinosaur skin: And here are real Edmontosaurus skin impressions: Positives: Negatives: So how do we tell real skin impressions from misidentified ones? Honestly, it isn't always easy, but here are four basic guidelines. 1) Skin impressions come as negatives or positives. If it comes with both, even better! 2) Skin impressions are rarely ever a complete piece by themselves(not the way a tooth or an ammonite is). Instead, skin impressions are often fragments, or look like they are broken off from larger chunks 3) There should be a uniform shape to each individual scale/osteoderm. Refer to the negative pictures above 4) Most skin impressions come from South Dakota. If you get another locality, be on extra alert - it's either another species(and thus very expensive), or misidentified If in doubt, ask the forum before purchasing. There are plenty of experts here glad to help. Have fun shopping!
  2. 17 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.
  3. 14 likes
    Hi everyone, I've had a couple people lately asking me how I restored the megalodon tooth I posted about a couple years ago here. I decided to pick out a damaged tooth on Ebay for $15, and take you through it step by step. Here we go! What You'll Need: PaleoBond Sculp Hardener and PaleoBond Sculp Resin (You can substitute with epoxy putty but dries faster and is less malleable) X-Acto Knife Wire brush or any brush with very stiff bristles Any brand of acrylic paint from Hobby Lobby or Michaels (specific colors listed further below) A small paintbrush of reasonable quality Fine sandpaper and steel wool SITUATIONAL: Clear gloss used for acrylic paint Step 1: Examine the fossil and the damage. This is the bargain tooth I purchased. It's over 5 inches, and you can see it's actually in nice condition minus the chunk missing. The broken edge is still sharp and jagged, so it appears that the damage occurred recently as opposed to millions of years ago. To fix this tooth I will need to recreate parts of the root, bourlette and enamel. Since the tooth has fairly nice detail I will definitely need my razor blade to create fine lines and serrations. Step 2: Prepare and apply the putty Pull out a small chunk of putty from both the PaleoBond Hardener and Resin containers. Knead them together with your hands until the colors mix completely. Mix thoroughly otherwise the putty will be squishy in some places and will not harden properly. Once mixed, take a very small piece from your ball of putty and mash it into the damaged area of your tooth. Step 3: Building your shape Less is more when you're working with putty. Smaller pieces are much easier to manipulate, so build gradually piece by piece. You may get to a point where you're putty structure is not stable enough to continue building on. Take a break for 2-3 hours to let the putty dry and come back. When building the root of my example tooth, I had to take two or three breaks in order to get a foundation sturdy enough for me to continue building up. Pay attention to how your repair is taking shape and keep the edges of your putty level with the natural edges of the tooth. This is one of the most difficult parts of the repair, but it makes a big difference when you get it right. Wash your hands every once in a while to keep them from getting to tacky and sticking to your putty. Step 4: Begin to work in detail As your repair begins to fill out, work in natural-looking cracks and lines with your X-Acto knife and fingernails. Mimic the natural aspects of your tooth as best as you can. When repairing my tooth's root, I created fissures and cracks that matched up with the real side of the tooth. This really helped create the illusion that the repair is natural. To mimic the heavily detailed surface of the tooth's root, I gently pushed my wire brush into the surface multiple times. Try to do this when your putty is still wet because if the putty is dry it takes much more effort. ALSO, make sure to keep the putty very smooth in areas of enamel (excluding line/crack detail). Once the putty dries, take some fine sandpaper and smooth it out further. Steel wool can then be used to make the surface even smoother. (Thanks to steelhead9 for those two tips!) Be very anal retentive about this. You will appreciate it in the next step. Step 5: Paint! This is my favorite part because it's the point in this process where the repair finally comes to life! It also happens to be the most frustrating part. Depending on your tooth's coloring you will likely need the following colors in your arsenal: Umber Black White Sienna (maybe) Red (maybe) Blue (maybe) This step is where perfectionism (making the putty super smooth in areas of enamel) really pays off. Paint highlights the imperfections of your putty, so don't be disappointed or surprised if you have to start over. I started over probably two or three times. As far as painting technique, I would love to give more instruction, but that is really an entire lesson in itself. Don't be afraid to paint a little onto the actual fossil. You will need to do this in order to properly camouflage the merged area of putty and tooth. In fact, don't be afraid to overlap your putty a millimeter or so onto the tooth as well. My biggest tip though is make sure you paint in a well lit room. Painted colors can look spot-on until you step into good lighting... Step 6: Apply a finish depending on your tooth Some teeth with top-quality enamel will need a glossy finish applied in order for the repair to look natural. My tooth did not require a high-gloss coat. Either way, you ought to apply some kind of light finish to your tooth in order to preserve the repair from scratches and humidity. I have not yet found the perfect finish to do the job, and am still experimenting with spray finish, clear acrylic gloss, clear furniture gloss, low-gloss nail polish, etc. Feel free to add your thoughts and recommendations below! Below you can see my repaired tooth. The root could use a bit more texture and the enamel and bourlette are a little rough in places. Overall, I'm happy with the result though. I hope these instructions were helpful! If anything is unclear or too general I'd be glad to elaborate further. Good luck!!!! Your Fellow Fossil-Fanatic, Lauren
  4. 14 likes
    Welcome to the Forum. This looks like fish material - you can clearly see a fish vertebra in your second to last photo. The plates look like the left side of the skull, and possibly more. Neat find. You might be able to scrape away the excess matrix using dental tools. Thanks for posting this - and Welcome, again. Regards,
  5. 14 likes
    Listen and learn, Grasshopper. There is much to know; take the time to know it Please understand that an erroneous comment made here, and left uncontested, will be read by thousands of people, some of whom will take it as true. Best to stick with what you know and have verified, or to ask your thought as a question ("Is it usually difficult to classify any further than "fish" with just that much bone?").
  6. 13 likes
    See below from Welton 1993: Your tooth is probably Orthodont and you are seeing the pulp cavity exposed because of tooth damage. Marco Sr.
  7. 13 likes
    I'd like to announce that i have donated two pterosaur humeri to a Pterosaur expert in Dallas, Texas @ SMU (Southern Methodist University). Dr.Myers has described many of the Lone Star state's flying reptiles, so he seemed to be the best man for the job. Here's how i "found" these. I frequently will find myself on eBay trying to find good deals, fossils to prep and/or misidentified fossils. These happened to be the latter. A man had found these near Grapevine, Texas. And needless to say, he had no clue what he had found, but i did. I thought it would be a great opportunity to make a few bucks, so i bought them both for under $50. Sweet! Now to find a species to label them with for resale. Well a weeks worth of research had lead me to the simple fact that these could be (and probably are) a new species of pterosaur never found in Texas before. Ok, donation time. And I'm not going to lie, i spent a full day thinking about going to the dark side of just selling these for a crazy amount (kinda tough when you're living paycheck to paycheck to let a money making opportunity slip away). But i figure paleontology has given me SOOOO MUCH, and has literally shaped my reasoning, understanding, passion, etc. There shouldn't even be a question not to donate these to science, and the World. Time traveling and finding fossils is my therapy. And you can't put a price on that. Lol If these do turn out to be a new taxon, expect a reconstruction drawing from yours truly. And hopefully i can name it after my Son. ....and yes, i will be contacting the seller to tell him about his great finds, but only after i get more information on these. I will keep everyone updated. Charlie
  8. 13 likes
    Without visible inclusions or knowing where it was found, it is almost impossible to determine whether or not it is a coprolite. Most of the siliceous rocks identified in rock shops (especially those identified as coprolites from the Morrison Formation in Utah) are questionable. With coprolites, you want to consider the following: Shape - Is there evidence of sphincter (pinch) marks, intestinal folds, etc? Proximity - Was it found near body fossils, footprints, or a nesting area? Are there visible inclusions (bone, scales, etc.) Is it phosphatic? Carnivore coprolites primarily consist of calcium phosphate - the same mineral prevalent in bone. Does it contain backfilled burrows? Dung beetles create backfilled burrows that are sometimes visible when herbivore coprolites are cut. Does it contain undigested plant material? In my own collection, I usually classify specimens like yours as dubiocoprolites. I hope this helps.
  9. 13 likes
    I thought I would share an exciting Mazon Creek fossil that I collected on March 1st of this year and just split open today. This is an extremely rare legless amphibian named Phlegethontia longissima from Pit 11. For a Mazon Creek fossil collector, this is about as good as it gets. Amphibians are extremely rare in the deposit and most collectors never find one. I have been collecting these fossils for over thirty years and can finally check it off my bucket list. It has been estimated that only one in five hundred thousand Mazon concretions will contain an amphibian. It needs a bit more cleaning and is fairly complete. The ribs, teeth and skin impressions are clear under magnification.
  10. 13 likes
    Sorry @JohnJ. East Coaster here, so I was asleep when you asked me what my experiences are. So, here you go. I've been collecting dinosaur fossils exclusively for the past 6 years. I'm a dentist, so I like to collect dinosaur teeth by nature. I have dinosaur teeth from 18 different species in my collection. Not as many as @Troodon, but a decent collection. At one time, I had around 15 or so Nano teeth in my collection, and maybe 6 or 7 different T.rex teeth, including a tiny rooted one that is less than 2 inches. I've actually given away most of these teeth to kids and other collectors over the years. I just gave one of them to a friend of my son for his birthday, another dinosaur lover just last week. So, I'll ask you a question: Have you ever paid $1300 for a tooth that was sold as a juvenile T.rex tooth, only to learn later that it was actually a Nano, worth less than half as much? Well, I have, 6 years ago. It isn't a lot of fun when you have to swallow that pill. So, when that happens to you, you take the time to learn the differences. Unfortunately, I was asleep, and Troodon answered much of it, but I'll add a few things:. First of all, when anyone sees the words "juvenile" or "Sub-adult", especially when referring to T.rex teeth, that should bring up a red flag immediately. The serrations on this teeth are too delicate to prove that it is from a T.rex. The serrations on even the smallest of T.rex teeth, are much more robust. When going toward the root surface or base of the tooth, you can see from both photos that the tooth clearly flattens, indicative of Nano teeth. I am certain that if a photo of the base were provided, you would see that it is rectangular in shape , and not the thick D-shape that a T.rex tooth has. Anyone selling a T.rex tooth knows that a photo of the base of the tooth is imperative. No one should purchase a tooth without that photo. Sorry, but I try to be a bright spot in this hobby that is full of greed and deception at times. I wasn't going to share this in the forum, but I think it is appropriate now to share it. Last summer, a little boy, probably 8 years old from Colorado, found a 5 or 6 inch T.rex tooth while digging with Walter Stein and Paleoadventures. His Mother posted pictures on the Facebook fossil forum. I asked whether or not he got to keep the tooth, and she said that he didn't. It was scientifically important, and he had to leave it with Mr. Stein. That bothered me that he didn't have a T.rex tooth of his own. Recently, I was very blessed to be able to purchase a fully rooted T.rex tooth. So, I contacted Walter Stein, who was gracious enough to make the arrangements, and yesterday, this young boy received a very nice 3 inch T.rex tooth that was in my collection. The look on his face said it all. So , in closing, I choose to alert others and be what is right with this hobby. It's what makes me, me. .
  11. 13 likes
    Continuing further down my diminishing stack of sifters, we are now at the 1/30" mesh size and the amount of material at this level is pretty small. I had tried to remove most of this fine material by using a 1/20" mesh size window screen as my bottom sifter when collecting the micro-matrix. This smaller material is just what was holding onto something larger while wet or didn't get completely cleared in the field during collection. There is so little of this that I ditch my methodical method of laying a ring of micro-matrix around the edge of the plate and just dump it into a pile in the middle of the plate. Some shaking and tapping spreads this out well enough and I switch to my higher magnification photo loupes (a 4X or a 10X) and do a quick visual scan to see if anything interesting pops out. Here is what it looks like zoomed in with my camera. Mostly, we are approaching the sand grain size at this point so it is mostly sand, fine shell hash, and a few tiny bits of black phosphatic material. A quick search did come across a tiny little oddity that looks like a microscopic version of something Queequeg would have launched at Moby Dick. Anybody recognize this? The tip of my dental pick for scale--it's tiny whatever it is. Below this, the remaining screens down to 1/100" mesh just pick up tiny amounts of what is basically dust. You can see from the coloration that this is mostly composed of a tan silica sand with a peppering of black phosphatic dust. The greater amount of sandy material at this granularity tends to inhibit searching for anything novel but I'm assuming if my micro-matrix contained something like very fine shark dermal denticles that they might start appearing at this level (or the one above). So far nothing of interest has appeared at this ultimate dregs level in the sifting process. It is quite nice to have this sandy material removed from interfering with the previous coarser sifting grades. It takes a bit more time to run the micro-matrix through the stacked sifters and collect each grade in turn for searching but I believe that effort is more than made up for by the efficiency gained in searching through the micro-matrix one size-class at a time. The chances of missing a tiny fossil being obscured by a larger piece of the micro-matrix are mostly eliminated by this pre-classifying before sorting through each grade in turn. I'm happy with my purchase and I believe it will not only aid my sorting through micro-matrix as a diversion when I get tired of typing long posts on TFF but it may also help me in the field while I'm collecting micro-matrix. I'm thinking of using the 1/50" through the 1/100" mesh screens instead of my 1/20" piece of window screen mesh. Though I will likely end up taking back home more sand in the process, I'm hoping that I might discover some interesting truly microscopic micro-fossils that I've been missing up until now. Hope this illustrated accounting of my new optimized micro-matrix sorting may be of some use to others on the forum who know the joy of tiny prizes hiding out of sight in a plastic Solo cup. Cheers. -Ken
  12. 12 likes
    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.
  13. 12 likes
    Hello, and welcome to the Forum. Unfortunately, fossil preparation is not something that is easily adaptable to "hacks". There really are, as far as I know, not many 'tricks' or 'shortcuts' that can be applied. Patience, a steady hand, sharp tools, and knowledge of how the rock or matrix reacts to your tools, are the main tenets to Fossil Prep. This requires lots of practice, and some heartbreak by learning the hard way. Tips I would give : 1. Be aware that you will break fossils. Despite our best efforts, the rock doesn't always cooperate with our wishes. This seems to be a pretty common occurrence. It can happen less with more experience, but sometimes, stuff just happens. Occasionally this is repairable. Sometimes, not so much. 2. Never trim in the field. This is the best way to ruin a great fossil. Unless you have a saw, breaking a piece of matrix down to a small size can have unexpected and potentially heartbreaking consequences. 3. When removing a fossil from a larger piece of matrix in the field, put some glue (superglue) or tape over the fossils on the matrix you are trying to remove it from. This will keep the fossil from going flying off of the matrix, and keep any pieces together should the fossil break during removal. 4. Sometimes Mother Nature does the best prep. Leave fossiliferous blocks out in the elements, and let them weather. This can create natural cracks to exploit when beginning prep. This also can lessen the prep process immensely. 5. Go slow, and have patience. This is a hard one for some. Going slow will bring out the best results in fossil prep. Rushing, or hurrying, tends to lead to mistakes, mishandling of tools, and ruined fossils. "Slow and steady wins the race." 6. Do not start to learn to prep on a potentially great fossil. When you are collecting. grab some similar material so you can practice. Practice increases your skill, with handling your tools, and your knowledge of the matrix tendencies. 7. Keep bladed and pointed tools sharp. When they start to not work as well, ... re-sharpen. 8. Consider using a sandbag as a base for your fossil to rest on, while prepping. It will conform to the shape of the matrix, and still give a firm, yet softer, yielding base, that can help to absorb some shock from vibration or impacts. 9. Listen and learn from others with more prep experience. Their techniques have been honed, skills sharpened, and their mistakes have been already been made. Learn from theirs, to minimize yours. 10. When in doubt, ask The Fossil Forum. Reading and doing are 2 very different things. If you get stuck, or are unsure how to proceed, ask for advice from others. Reading every thread in the Preparation Forum, while commendable, is no substitute for the wisdom of experience. Hope this helps. Regards,
  14. 12 likes
    These are pseudofossils; nodules slickensided by burial compaction: Guilielmites
  15. 12 likes
    Periodically you see theropod material offered for sale from Patagonia and to a collector that's awesome. Typically its specimens obtained before the embargo laws went into affect from Argentina. My experience in looking at what has been offered is that it's often mis-identified as to locality, age and species. Sellers put commonly known dinosaurs identification tags to their specimen like Carnotaurus with complete disregard to the actual age and locality of where that dinosaur was described. That may simply be the information provided to them but they don't verify it and it's easy to do. The reality is that theropod diversity in Patagonia is huge, over vast collecting areas, several provinces, numerous formations and ages. Understanding theropods from this region is just beginning and little is understood, sound familiar Identification of isolated teeth unless there is something diagnostic about the tooth is virtually impossible. I have a difficult time accepting the notion that local diggers knew all the science around what they were collecting, maintained accurate records and provided detailed information to foreign buyers. It was all about the Peso. A recent publication sheds some light on discoveries and I've attached a couple of images to help with diagnosis of the locality and age of specimens you may see offered for sale. Material from this region is very cool but be careful, don't let emotion take over. Just make sure it's was legally acquired and be prepared to identify it as Theropod indet. and don't be fooled that the name offered is valid. Be happy you're just having the opportunity to acquire such a rare specimen. Evolution of the carnivorous dinosaurs during the Cretaceous: The evidence from Patagonia Fernando E. Novas, Federico L. Agnolín, Martín D. Ezcurra, Juan Porfiri, Juan I. Canale
  16. 12 likes
    With the new data, the Paleozoic machaeridians could be excluded. I think, they might be fragments of Trachyceras multituberculatum ammonites, or plant material like Ctenozamites, Equisetites, etc., as they are mentioned in WANG XIAOFENG et al. THE LATE TRIASSIC BLACK SHALES OF THE GUANLING AREA, GUIZHOU PROVINCE, SOUTH-WEST CHINA: A UNIQUE MARINE REPTILE AND PELAGIC CRINOID FOSSIL LAGERSTA¨TTE. Palaeontology, Vol. 51, Part 1, 2008, pp. 27–61.
  17. 11 likes
    I have just attained a goal of mine here at The Fossil Forum; my number of community reputation points has equaled 50% of my total content points: 440 out of 878 content points. So far currently, I know of only two other people with a moderate number of total points who have achieved that honor: phylloceras and painshill. They both beat me by a mile, congratulations. Painshill has a ratio of content points to community reputation of 62.5% while phylloceras has an amazing ratio of 71.2%. If you want to earn more community points do what works best for me. Help a poster to ID their fossil finds or answer questions by researching on the internet or in your personal library. I like to find a picture or some literature to give to them. If you do find some good paleontology literature that is legally posted on the internet, consider helping to build Fruitbat's library of paleontological documents. Fruitbat has accumulated the best paleontological library on the internet. See: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/14728-fruitbats-pdf-library-table-of-contents/ Thank you to everyone on The Fossil Forum for making this such an awesome website. John
  18. 11 likes
    Traditionally these small coiled attached shells have been identified as Spirobis, a polychaete worm. More recently, studies of the shell microstructure suggests that these are only superficially similar to Spirobis, and they actually belong to the Microconchida, an extinct order possibly related to the lophophorates. Nice specimen! Don
  19. 11 likes
    After and result This Ichtyosaurus present one pathology, he have 6 fingers and normally this specie have 5... Work time : 150h (for two-tree guys).
  20. 11 likes
    I'm pretty sure you are looking at the cross section of a rudist. They were strange looking colonial bivalves that formed reefs — some of which are part of the Edwards formation found south of Glen Rose, TX.
  21. 10 likes
    This appears to be a juvenile domestic pig maxilla, with the first adult tooth (m1) already erupted.
  22. 10 likes
    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 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.
  23. 10 likes
    So, lets figure out vertebrae from the Kem Kem beds. As many of you know the Kem Kem beds has a pretty enigmatic palaeo fauna. There is some literature about it, but not a whole lot. Some of it is behind a paywall and much information is pretty scattered. So I got this idea that maybe we could combine our knowledge and information to collectively get a better picture of which bone belongs to which animal, in this case, vertebrae. I know some of you have some fantastic specimens in your collections, if we combine these in this thread we might be able to see some patterns. We probably won't be able to put a genus or species name on each type, but perhaps assigning certain vertebrae to a morphotype might be possible. With that I encourage everyone that has any vertebrae from the Kem Kem beds to share photos of their specimens and post them here so we can use this thread as a sort of library as well as an ID thread that everyone can use to better ID their Kem Kem vertebrae. So please, share your photos! And it might help to number your specimens for easier reference. I will be updating this first post as new information arises with examples to make ID easier. Theropods Spinosaurus aegyptiacus Spinosaurus is known for it's tall neural spines, which are pretty characteristic. Unlike Sigilmassasaurus, Spinosaurus does not have the ventral triangular rough plateau on the centra Spinosaurus cervical vertebrae Spinosaurus dorsal, sacral and caudal vertebrae Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis Sigilmassasaurus is a Spinosaurid that might be closely related to Baryonyx and Suchomimus. It differs from Spinosaurus in that it has a ventral keel on many vertebrae and a triangular rough plateau on the bottom back end. A is Sigilmassasaurus, B is Baryonyx Sigilmassasaurus cervical vertebrae Sigilmassasaurus dorsal vertebrae 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 Abelisaurids examples needed Deltadromeus agilis better examples needed 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
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    Yes indeed it is! That periotic is from the sperm whale Aulophyseter morricei.
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    So I'll start here with my own Kem Kem vertebrae. Most of the are quite incomplete, which makes identification harder of course. I have a few of them figured out. But others are quite problematic. Here are the side and top views. Gimme a shout if I need to make some better photos of specific specimens. I've numbered all of them for easier reference. Numbers 1 to 3 are all clearly Spinosaurid and likely Sigilmassasaurus due to the small neural process and strong keels. Nr. 2 threw me off a bit since it's so incredibly small but the morphology seems pretty consistent with Sigilmassasaurus. Nr. 4 compared well with a Carcharodontosaurid vertebra @Troodon once posted on the forum, though I still have my doubts if my ID is correct. It's a pretty fragmentary chunk ofc. Nr. 5 looks like a croc cervical to me but it being concave at both ends is throwing me off as most good examples I can find of croc verts have a convex end as well. Nr. 6 should be identifiable as it's a complete neural arch, it seems to compare favourably to the cervicals of some crocs. And the zygapophyses on the front and back seem much to wide and oriented wrong to be Theropod. Nr. 1 Nr. 3 Nr. 7 is my largest Kem Kem vertebra, the size along eliminates a lot of animals. it's much too fat around the middle for any Spinosaurid imo. It seems quite heavily built so I think Sauropods can be ruled out as well. So the only really gigantic animals that are left are Carcharodontosaurids. Nr. 8 is a really weird one that I cannot place. It's quite fat, but also hollow in places and the centrum has one side at an angle. Due to it being hollow makes me think it's Theropod but I haven't been able to find a match yet. Nr. 9 is the back end of a sacrum. It compares pretty well to crocs, it seems fairly heavily built and the centrum is wider than tall. Nr. 10 I bought this one as a Deltadromeus vertebra. But I can't find any good reference of this animal so I dunno. Nr. 11 a dorsal vert with a rather wide neural canal, no clue really. Nr. 12 A nice little fragment, but not very informative. Don't think this can be ID'd Nr. 8 Nr. 9 Nr. 10 Nr. 13 A rather tall caudal vert that compares well with vertebrae attributed to Spinosaurids. But it's hard to find any really good reference. Nr. 14 Really latterally flat caudal vert, theropod? Nr. 15 caudal vert from near the end of the tail, also seems pretty slenderly built. Theropod? Nr. 16 and 17 Though 17 is much more damaged, the centra are the exact same shape. Also fairly slender. Nr. 18 I've posted this weird vertebra on the forum before as it's really bizarre. The centrum has a lateral pinch in the middle and directly above it there is a bulbous area that flares out to the sides. The consensus on the forum was that this is likely from a crocodile. Nr. 19 Another weird caudal from the very end of the tail. What's strange about this one is that the neural canal is really wide. I read somewhere that such a wide neural canal in this area of the tail is common for crocs. Nr. 20 A really small anterior caudal vertebra of a dinosaur. It has some hollow areas and it compares well with Theropods. But I haven't been able to find a good match yet. Judging from the size I'd say this animal was probably no bigger than 2 metres. Nr. 20 So those are my vertebrae from Kem Kem so far. I'd suggest people start posting theirs so we can compare them in the hopes that we might learn more about them.
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    I agree that the first one is quite a find. And till now unreported as far as I know from the St Clair area. I believe the second one, which was poorly preserved and only appears more interesting than I believe it to be. Based on the lack of even a crease to show any midveins in the pinnules, leads me to believe they did not have any. The only genus which lacks a midvein is Odontopteris. And the only species of Odontopteris reported at St. Clair is O. subcuneata. I don't know that this species is that "common" there but since O. subcuneata is a polymorphic form Macroneuropteris scheuchzerii and it is a common element in this flora, so it should be readily found there. The other features that can be made out also help confirm the taxon. The first one is very rare even where it is known to exist. So much so it is only described on fertile foliage and only one example of sterile foliage is known to exist. It is called Stellatheca ornata and you have a fertile example. A brief description; The ultimate and penultimate rachis appears wide (though partially due to pinnules being slightly confluent) Each pinnule typically has three sori, but can range from two to five, and are placed near the margin. And the pinnules are generally no more than rounded lobes. Attached is a picture of a Mazon Creek example. Hope this helps, Jack
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    For those collectors that love Moroccan dinosaur material I have some good news and some not so good news. The good news is that we finally have an Abelsaurid described from Morocco its called Chenanisaurus barbaricus . The not so good news is that its NOT from the Kem Kem Beds but from the Maastrichtian Phosphate Mines in the Ouled Abdoun basin. . I reported about this theropod back in 2015 and a jaw, with teeth, was subsequently found which enabled paleontologists to describe this new species. This is what is lacking in the Kem Kem Beds. We should have a march in Morocco to protest lack of Jaws.... Two teeth from my collection Now that we have a name I raise the red flag with all collectors to be cautious of individuals trying to sell Carcharodontosaurus teeth from Kem Kem as this species. The best way insure your getting the correct locality is to have it on a matrix slab. Phosphate matrix is very different than the Kem Kem's. These teeth have been quite rare and I acquired the only two I've seen but now we have a name that always seems to attract entrepreneurs in Morocco . Dentary teeth should follow typical Abelsaurid morphology with the distal side being very perpendicular to the base. Paper: An abelisaurid from the latest Cretaceous (late Maastrichtian) of Morocco, North Africa Nicholas R. Longrich, Xabier Pereda-Suberbiola, Nour-Eddine Jalil, Fatima Khaldoune, Essaid Jourani http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667116303706
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    We have read many posts of members wanting to know the age of a bone found in a river because it looks really old, only to be shot down with the news that it is a modern bone. So I decided to conduct an experiment to see just how long it would take for a bone to take on an aged look enough to look like fossil bone. This past winter, we had some tremendous storms that our shores haven't experienced in a long time which deposited many things upon the beach including a bloated beached whale and many dead cattle along with their bones. As I was walking the beach I came across several cow bones and gathered a few. I took a nice white vertebra and wanted to do the experiment on it. All it took was a small plastic tub filled with water and a handful of dead leaves. The vert was placed in the tub, along with the leaves and water. It was then sealed with the lid, left sit for a month and shabam! An instant fossil. So the purpose of these little test was to prove that it doesn't take very long for tannic acid to do its thing and change the look of modern bone. Hope you enjoyed this project, I did. The last picture has another leg bone showing what the vertebra looked like originally.
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    Tyrannosaurus rex, the initial indication that a big beast existed. This is the first recorded specimen of a T rex tooth collected in 1874. Displayed at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, not described until 1905. Yes other than footprints, dinosaur material has been found in Connecticut. The Jurassic dinosaur skull of Anchisaurus polyzelus, Peabody Museum of Natural History. The label says it all. Type specimen described 1827. The term Dinosaur was coined 1842 by Richard Owens. Did you known that the holes in the dentary of the famous T rex "Sue" were caused by a Trichomonosis like protozoan that may have killed her. Based on other the frequency found on other specimens it's hypothesize that tyrannosaurids were commonly infected by this type of avian parasite. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0007288 Checkout paper found in Fruitbat's super library. Common Avian Infection Plagued the Tyrant Dinosaurs Ewan D. S. Wolff , Steven W. Salisbury , John R. Horner, David J. Varricchio One of the largest Edmontosaurus annectens. skulls around 50" (127 cm). Museum of the Rockies, Hell Creek Formation, Montana The forelimb of Sinornithosaurus millenii, the first described dromaeosaurid ("raptor") with preserved feathers
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    Hi Lori. I would disagree with reptile. Compare your tooth with that of the Bowfin (Amiid)...I believe what you have is small Melvius tooth. It is not often you find them with the root intact...very cool find (ants are such good excavators of tiny treasure!).
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    Great tips so far, not much I can add of value; but here is something that's helpful to me. In prepping a piece with a complex shape (e.g. an Oreodont skull) place illustrations (I prefer line drawings) of the type of fossil at your workbench. Even though you may have a mental picture of what the piece "looks like," an illustration will help with those small dips and outcrops that will be present. It will help you see "where you are," keeping you oriented as to what hidden feature is next to be revealed. Good luck, have fun with your project.
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    PART 2. So there are some adverse effects that I have noticed to using potassium hydroxide. The first is that it can bleach fossils. In one plate, I had a small brachiopod that had a flake put atop it. After about four hours the flake had dissolved, and revealed that the brachiopod underneath had lost its color, going from black to a milky clear color. Another effect is that this reaction can produce a white residue atop some fossils that is almost impossible to wash off. Superficially, it looks like the fossil is bleached, as was the case with a few trilobites I had tried this on, however it seems like it is a salt that is produced as a byproduct of the reaction. I don't really know what causes it to be honest, but there is a way to fix it. Out of curiosity I put some hydrochloric acid on the "bleached" trilobites to see what it would do, and interestingly, it removed the residue. The trilobites went from a flour white to a chocolate brown again. Pictured below is another Pentremites conoideus which has the white residue coating it. Depending on what the sediment contains in terms of siliciclastics or pyrite, there can also be some interesting effects. The plate that had the trilobites I experimented on was actually the counterpart, or underside of a plate that had a crinoid holdfast that grew on the trilobite molts. This plate had a bryozoan growing over the holdfast, and atop of it, a pyrite mat. Like the organics in the shales, the KOH will also oxidize pyrite and any other iron bearing minerals in a rock. Pictured below is the holdfast, showing the deterioration of pyrite evidenced by red/orange staining. The photo isn't the best, but illustrates the point. Also, just to show it off, here is the trilobite plate that attaches to the underside of the holdfast: The last thing I have noticed is that a KOH treatment can discolor sediment. This effect is really inconsistent, in some cases it is clear that the sediment has been oxidized, and will show more red or yellow that presumably can be abraded off. In other specimens however, the effect is the opposite of brightening the sediment, and it will in fact darken the matrix up. This may be due to the removal of a weathered surface, but it is hard to say. I hope this post has helped anyone. Potassium hydroxide can be bought easily off of amazon or other places online. I got a 1Ib container for roughly 20 USD.
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    I posted a portion of a shark braincase in this sub-forum on June 7th of 2014 that I had sent to the American Museum of Natural History in November of 2011. Dr. John Maisey is their curator of fossil fishes and the leading expert of Paleozoic sharks so I thought he should be the one to have a look. When he proposed writing a paper on it I donated it to the museum collection. That was September of 2012 and he has just now gotten past peer review with the paper and it will be in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology soon. It is already available in their digital edition. Over 5 years has been a long time to wait but I am very glad I got the chance to make this contribution since it appears to be from the largest known shark of it's time. We still don't know which shark it is but there have been some very large teeth found at the Jacksboro Texas Lost Creek Dam site where this was found so maybe someday we will. A search for shark brain case will bring up some related posts on TFF. The paper is titled: A Pennsylvanian ‘supershark’ from Texas , John G. Maisey, Allison W. Bronson, Robert R. Williams & Mark Mckinzie. Edit: You can view the contribution on the second pinned page at the 15th post.
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    This morning I had an unexpected day off from work and decided to head to Gainesville's creeks. I've done this many, many times before as I've been hunting fossils most of my life- Today I was approached by a member of City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. I had only just arrived and started to dig below the waterline as I always do; but she educated me that there is a rule within the municipal city limits of Gainesville, stating that "no designated city park should allow creek access or digging in creeks within park boundaries." This is part of a larger conservation and erosion control effort by local habitat management. I made sure to be very cooperative and polite (as you ALWAYS should be), and I left after a very pleasant conversation with her. She agreed to research the issue and find out if there are ways to get access to the creeks within park boundaries via permit etc. Meanwhile, I called the number listed on my Florida fossil hunting permit and verified that the information I had been given was correct. The only "public access" to any Gainesville creeks is from the roadside at any point where the creeks intersect the road. From there, you can access them without touching private property. You must not go on the banks on either side as that IS private property. You may wade the creek and hunt, but never within a city park or private property without permission. I am literally posting this while I sit in a parking lot reviewing maps for alternate access. In the spirit of responsible hobby-hunting, conservation of Florida's wetlands and education, I wanted to share this information with you all. Happy Hunting!
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    Not sure if this was the correct part of the forum to post. If not, my apologies. Buyer Beware! Perfect example of an unethical seller on a mainstream auction site. Selling this mammalian carnivore lower canine as a Nanotyrannus tooth. I wrote seller a few days ago explaining that it is not and to please correct listing. Seller has not responded and continues selling under misrepresentation of fossil. There are slready several bids on it. Sent a second email to seller today saying: "Shows how dishonest you are when you've been shown what this tooth really is and yet you continue to post it without the correction."
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    This is actually the basioccipital of a juvenile baleen whale. The two tubercles in the first photo are the basioccipital crests - which are thickened in baleen whales. The basioccipital is a bone in the basicranium that connects to the exoccipital posteriorly and the basisphenoid anteriorly. Here are figures from Mead and Fordyce (2009) showing the basioccipital in a juvenile bottlenose dolphin.
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    So I didn't know where to post this, but figured fossil hunting trips would be a good spot since the kids were doing an indoor fossil hunt! Today I did my annual class for the Western Interior Paleontological Society (WIPS) Kids Club. It is always a hit, but due to scheduling I was unable to make the February class and did this one in May. May tends to be a smaller group because of the nice weather and vacations, but we still had a great time! The adults even wanted to get in on this activity and I was more than happy to help! The worst thing that happened was I forgot to take lots of pictures! I took (2) 5 gallon buckets of matrix, one bucket from Peace River, FL and the second bucket from Aurora, NC. I talked to the kids about how fossils in different locations can be similar (ie. shark teeth!) and we explained the importance of labeling your finds! Each person was given (1) 5-ounce cup of matrix from Peace River, and (1) 5-ounce cup of matrix from Aurora. We set up microscopes and laptops an allowed the kids to photograph their 5 favourite finds. We set out books, posters, and print outs to help with the identification part. They then loaded these photos on to a USB and have some very nice detailed photos to take home with all of their finds. That's right, I let them keep EVERYTHING! One kid found a cookie cutter tooth, full root and all! I don't even have one in my collection yet! Aside from keeping everything they found I made sure to send each kid home with a small 125mL bag of each matrix, and 5 various fossils from my Peace River hunting trips ((3) 25mm+ shark teeth, a dugong rib, and a turtle piece.) I shared with them my preferred methods of hunting and encouraged them to try their own! All in all it was a great day with lots of very nice finds! Thanks again to @Sacha for sending me Peace River matrix for my classes!
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    I think they're spiny brittlestar arms. Something like this but with longer central ossicles:
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    Yes, there certainly are leaves there, but if they're at all fossiliferous, then definitely not very old, at the oldest Holocene, I'd say. It looks like they originate from a sinter deposit similar to the one in the photo below which is only a few decades old.
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    The UO paleobotanist commented: The Morrison specimen looks like a fruit, but probably a new one. It seems to be a spiky endocarp, and perhaps seed fern or cycad.
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    It appears to match well with Haskinsia (=Drepanophycus) colophylla Grierson, J.D., & Banks, H.P. (1983) A new genus of lycopods from the Devonian of New York State. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 86(1‐2):81-101
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    Your Ray barb is actually a dorsal spine of a chimaera (ratfish). It's a nice find.
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    Back in October of last year I donated some Cookiecutter Shark (Isistius sp.) teeth to the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) after learning that this taxon was absent from their collection. I soon learned that this genus of shark had not been previously (scientifically) known from Florida. Amateur collectors and members of this forum have known (for some time) that Isistius teeth could be found with regularity at the locality we refer to as "Cookiecutter Creek" on TFF. The initial donation sparked the interest of a PhD student at UF who is interested in writing a paper about the Florida locality for this shark genus. In an effort to provide additional specimens beyond those I originally donated back in October I recently returned to the creek to collect at different locations and kept track of the specimens I found in 1000g samples of the micro-matrix to get a quantitative idea of the density at different gravel patches at this locality. Last week my wife Tammy and I managed to find some free time in our busy schedules to join the FLMNH and volunteer at the Montbrook dig site (trip report coming soon). I was able to hand deliver to Dr. Richard Hulbert another 137 specimens of Isistius from my recent micro-matrix sorting (many complete but also all of the fragmented specimens). All of the other associated micro fossils found while sorting over 72 kg of micro-matrix were donated as well to provide an understanding of the associated faunal assemblage. When I have some time I hope to return to the creek to collect some of the finer sediment in an effort to locate an upper Isistius tooth. These are even smaller than the tiny lowers and being only 0.5 x 1.0 mm in size are at the same scale as the sand in the creek. It will definitely be a needle in the haystack type of a search with long odds and a near zero chance of success but I'm always up for a challenge. I had also contacted Dr. Roger Portell (Collection Director, Division of Invertebrate Paleontology, FLMNH) to inquire if any of the Lovenia woodsi echinoids I was fortunate enough to collect and export (legally) near Melbourne, Australia would be of interest as comparative specimens for the collection. Roger said he would appreciate some of these upper Miocene echinoids so I picked out 10 nice specimens and was able to add something to the invert collection at FLMNH as well. I kept a few specimens for myself so I'll always be able to remember a fun fossil-collecting side trip during our trip to Australia. It is nice to know that someone studying Miocene echinoids in the future may benefit from our collecting efforts. Here's a link to our Beaumaris trip report for those who have not seen it: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/70070-quick-trip-to-beaumaris-cliffs-australia/ Cheers. -Ken
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    It is a dorsal fin spine from a hybodont shark. You might be able to identify it to species.
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    Here are examples of real hadrosaur eggs Example of a hatchling window. Most hadrosaur eggs have this "hidden" with a matrix base 1) There must be eggshells present. If an egg is completely smooth, then it isn't real. These eggshells should have a pebbly texture, and look like they can be pried out (not that you should try to). Real example below: 2) There should be cracks within the egg. Certain factories in China have mastered the egg of crafting fake eggs, but their cracks are shallow or drawn. Real example below: 3) There should be imperfections within the egg. I am talking about deformities, crushed shapes, inconsistent colors, cracks running through it, patches of repairs, or with hatchling windows. Also, true eggs are never perfectly spheroid. Real examples below: 4) True eggs have nothing to hide. Fake eggs may have a thin layer of matrix scrubbed over the surface to seem as though there are fresh off the ground. Prepped eggs have the matrix removed. Unprepped eggs may have a crusty matrix on the top which may require special tools to remove. Real example below: After prep 5) No two eggs are exactly alike. If an egg you are considering looks as if it has an exact clone elsewhere, it's probably fake. China factories churn out these things by the hundreds.If in doubt, ask the forum before purchasing. There are plenty of experts here glad to help. Have fun shopping!
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    Today in online shops and auction sites, we see listings that are outright fake or with wrong IDs. Often, the first thing that comes is anger. "Why would he sell theropod indet. as raptor?" "That Keichosaurus is obviously fake!" "That's horn coral, not a T-Rex tooth..." etc. And in our anger, or need to prevent others from falling into the trap, we might post on the forum or spread it all over FB to warn others of this seller. Yet have we given the seller the benefit of the doubt? What if he/she made a genuine mistake? Recently I posted a thread filled with sarcasm and rage-humor on how a coral was marketed as an expensive sea bird fossil. It was too easy to ID the seller from my title and pictures. The mods thankfully closed the thread. Fossildude19 then contacted the seller, and reported the listing on the auction site. In 2 hours time, the listing was taken down, and the seller apologized for his mistake. The problem was solved quick and clean. I do not deny there are plenty of sellers out to scam. I do not advocate mercy for them, but I wish to tell you guys(and to remind myself) that some sellers are guilty of ignorance, not malice, and we should give them(and the auction site) a chance to remove their listing first. I know some of you are thinking - dealers have an even bigger responsibility to do their due research, and their laziness or mistakes causing buyers to lose $$$ isn't to be taken lightly. I agree. But we don't need to start witch hunts for them. All in all, I used to think reporting listings on eBay didn't work, but Fossildude19 proved it does. So give it a try guys; you can refer to this thread on how to do it >
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    This appears to be a preserved shrimp burrow. Ophiomorpha, traditionally one of the most revered environmental indicators among trace fossils, is by no means an unambiguous entity in facies analysis and palaeoecology. Callianassa major, the best known modern analog for the Ophiomorpha-organism, is itself variable ethologically and ecologically, and it is only one of several species of thalassinidean shrimp that routinely construct knobby walled burrows. Other analogs presently known include not only additional species of Callianassa but also certain species of Upogebia and possibly Axius. Each species has its own peculiar range of habits and habitats. The collective result, in both recent and ancient settings, is a broad spectrum of burrow morphologies and environmental distributions. Each occurrence therefore must be evaluated independently, in terms of the specific evidence at hand. Only in this light is Ophiomorpha a valuable aid in environmental interpretation. The gross morphology of Ophiomorpha overlaps with that of such ichnogenera as Ardelia, Gyrolithes, Teichichnus, and Thalassinoides, yet these burrow forms should be retained as separate taxa. Reconized species of Ophiomorpha, also somewhat intergradational, include O. borneensis Keij, O. irregulaire n. sp., and O. nodosa Lundgren. Taxonomic criteria are based upon modes of wall construction rather than upon burrow configuration. Contribution No. 330, University of Georgia Marine Institute, Sapelo Island, Ga., U.S.A.
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    Super easy - this is a walrus (Odobenus) humerus. Angel, where was this dredged from? It could potentially be a pretty important specimen. The deltoid insertion laying off to the side of the deltopectoral crest is the slam-dunk feature.
  49. 10 likes
    The new law covering public federal lands does not "block all fossil collecting on federal land". In fact it establishes in law that people have a right to collect invertebrates and plants. Previously local BLM managers (and Forest Service managers) could block collecting on a whim, now they can't do that. Certainly, some limits are imposed, you can't open up a large quarry. Also vertebrate fossils have been off limits without a permit for a long time, this law does nothing new in that regard. Anyone who has been collecting vertebrate fossils without a permit from federal land has been breaking the law for many years. Regarding the new National Monuments, would you say those areas have nothing worth protecting? Existing grazing and even oil/gas permits will be grandfathered in, so no rancher who depends on that land will be put out of business. Existing use of the land for gathering herbs and for religious ceremonies by Native American tribes will also continue. It has been reported that there are significant archeological sites that have been illegally looted for years, so maybe some additional resources will be available for the proper study and conservation of those sites. On the other hand you won't be able to open a giant open-pit mine or build a subdivision in those areas, that is true. Don
  50. 9 likes
    The best way to tell the difference between a theropod bone and all others is that they are hollow and thin walled. The book Dinosauria second edition is a great source of information covering all families of dinosaurs The Dinosauria David B. Weishampel (Editor), Peter Dodson (Editor),Halszka Osmólska (Editor) If you collect locally these are the two best books
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