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  1. Sauropod19

    Mazon Creek finds

    Hello. I found three pieces in the Mazon Creek area that I’ve finally split open and am interested in. While there is a very good possibility that all three are just consequences of opening the concretion and not actually fossils, I figured I’d check. Image 1: I thought there was a slight possibility it was a leaf or a worm, but due to lack of detail, I imagine it is not. Image 2: Potentially the top of E. asherae or something similar. Image 3: I am actually just curious about what causes the small, light circles on the right side of t
  2. I've been to a least a few museums where they would have a part of an exhibit dedicated to the Carboniferous era (of which the Field Museum's section for that in the Evolving Planet is pretty good). But I do wonder what would it be like if a whole A grade small to medium sized museum opened dedicated solely to the fossils found in the Mazon Creek area, including the Essex Fauna. It could be located close to the Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife area and include life sized reconstructions of both the terrestrial and aquatic environments. It could also be a place where fossil hunters cou
  3. deutscheben

    My Mazon Creek Finds

    I will be using this thread to post what I have found fossil hunting in the Mazon Creek area, including the ESCONI Braceville pile, Mazonia/Braidwood, and any other sites I get a chance to explore. Although I had been to Mazonia a few times previously with virtually no luck, my first successful trip was with ESCONI last September at the private spoil pile they have access to. These first fossils are all from there. I have tried to give the best IDs I can- please jump in if you think I have anything wrong. I also forgot to put something in for scale on this first batch of photos, my apologies.
  4. Sauropod19

    Mazon Creek find

    Hello! I recently went to Mazon creek and was in the process of thawing my concretions when I saw this, and was wondering if y’all could help me ID it. I’m thinking maybe a shrimp, but am not very familiar with the fauna (or flora for that matter) of the area. Thank you!
  5. I live in Chicago and for a while I’ve been wanting to try Fossil Hunting in Mazon Creek. My first trip three weekends ago I tried to have myself prepared but still wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into. I hiked to the tipple area, there I had a really hard time telling rocks from concretions because especially in that area most of the rocks are covered in an orange rust. I collected 5 gallons of what I later realized were almost exclusively rocks. The trip was still worth it though because there were lots of these fast little lizards running around on top of the exposed coal, a
  6. Hello everyone! Today I ventured out to the Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area for my first time, and it was… something. This post is going to serve as both a journal of my day, and as a request for assistance as I try to figure out what exactly a concretion looks like. Once I got my permit outside the office (which is just down Huston Rd a bit from the IL-53 and Huston Rd intersection; this is for people like myself who struggled to find an address or location of the office), I headed to Mazonia south unit, where I went to fossil hunting site 3. There were not really a
  7. Megalodoodle

    Weed Whacker- Mazonia?

    I’ve heard that Mazonia is pretty overgrown and the fossils are difficult to get at. Are weed whackers allowed there?
  8. Megalodoodle

    Recommended Gear for Mazonia?

    So I was wondering what gear you guys would recommend bringing to Mazonia. I know the brush is insanely thick, but I know very little beyond that. Oh, I also know digging isn’t allowed. Is it marshy in some areas? Do I need muck boots or waders (the kind fly fishermen use)? Is bug spray required? What is the best month to visit? Is the collecting better or worse after it rains? Should I bring sunscreen and bug spray? Any other tips for gear would be helpful in my never-ending quest for the elusive Tully Monster.
  9. First fossil? ever found from hitting rocks with hammer... I’m afraid to try to expose any more of it. Any ideas as to what it could be. First pics with ruler for scale and then without for better detail. I found it along Monster lake in an area where the sides had very recently eroded to expose lots of coal.
  10. Hello- I am hoping to get some help with id for this concretion recently found at braidwood, pit 11. It was found already opened, unfortunately we couldn’t locate the other 1/2 of the fossil. looking at my literature, I am wondering if this is a roach? Thanks for any help with the id of this fossil! -tom
  11. Who is going to be heading out to Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife area for the start of the Pit 11 fossil hunting season on Sunday? They are forecasting a high of 58 degrees right now, practically t-shirt weather! (but watch out for those ticks) I am planning to be there Sunday and Monday, my first time trying two consecutive days. I hope to run into some other fine forum members out there.
  12. Rockpit

    Unique Mazon Creek

    After being in and out of the freezer since October this concretion opened yesterday. It is different than anything I've seen before and I haven't been able to match it to anything online or in Wittry's books. I am assuming it is fauna but I'm really not sure. Of course it could be a jellyfish but I've never seen one like this before. Could it be a cephalopod?
  13. Rockpit

    sedimentary rocks or fossils?

    Last time I was hunting fossils at Mazonia I picked up some rocks I found interesting. I don't know if they are fossils or not. The first is full of tiny holes I thought might have been caused by animals-or water .
  14. Praefectus

    First Time at Mazon Creek

    Hello, I am planning on going to Mazon Creek for the first time this weekend and was wondering if I could get some advice. I have fossil hunted at the Peace river and Shark Tooth Hill, but despite living in Illinois, I have never been to Mazon creek. I am not sure where I should start looking. I have read some of the trip reports on the forum and most seem to suggest either around Pit 11 or south of W 5000N road. How long does it usually take to get to productive spots? I read that some people have to hike for an hour before finding fossils. Also, where should I park my
  15. I'm back in IL for spring break this week, and thought it was about time I went down to Mazon Creek. I've never been there before, but have read quite a lot of trip reports others have posted and felt prepared. I parked right off of 5000N at Monster Lake to start. I walked around the lake for about an hour, but found nothing resembling a concretion. There were an insane number of rocks eroding from the slopes, but I saw nothing of interest. I then headed about a third of the way down the gravel road and decided to check out the area near a "Fossil Hunting Area" sign. I
  16. On my holiday trip from Ohio back to Minnesota, I thought of taking some time and searching the Braidwood area for fossils. I overnighted in the area, jumped out of bed at the crack of dawn with anticipation and headed to the Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area. Unfortunately, the park was gated off and access was only allowed for hunting (animal) purposes. On top of this, light snow began to fall making it hard to see anything on the ground. I did manage to look under some trees outside of the gated area and found what looked like a few nodules. It is common knowledge to open thes
  17. Rockpit

    Flora or Fauna?

    Another nodule I found already split. I thought it might be plant matter because of the dark color but the shape reminds me of a lamprey picture that I can no longer find. Probably wishful thinking and imaginative viewing.
  18. Rockpit

    Mazon Creek Bone Fragment?

    I found this nodule already open and thought it was a fossilized piece of wood. However, it is not the usual black color of most of plants I have found. Could this be a bone fragment?
  19. CBOB

    Mazon Creek ID help

    Hey Everyone! Happy new year! A nodule from South Pit 11 Mazonia area split and can't figure out what it is? Millipede? Shrimp tale? I have the Wittrey book I've been looking through and I see similar features on multiple animals from his pictures. Thanks for your help!
  20. Rockpit

    Sun Pyrite?

    I went on my first ever fossil hunting trip at Mazonia Lakes last week. I found a few fossils in what I think is limestone and chert (?) and a few possible concretions. I hit this one with a hammer and it opened easily. I have been trying to identify what it is by looking online. Thanks for your help.
  21. Me and my girlfriend are heading to Chicago this weekend for a last minute museum trip and Sunday we're completely dedicating to hunting around the mazon area. We've never been and would love if people wanted to join especially if you know where the good stuff is . From researching it seems around monster lake is a good area, so as of now that's where we're heading!
  22. Hello everyone, I will be visiting the Mazon Creek area next week, and I'm seeking some advice in the meantime. Our destination for the day will be the Mazonia-Braidwood Fish and Wildlife Area. I've never visited the area, so all of my planning is based on trip reports, topographic maps and satellite images. I'm aware of the caveats (ticks,vegetation, picked-over areas), but I feel as though it's probably something everyone in Illinois or anywhere else should do at least once. If anyone has any advice on how to make my trip/hunting more efficient and worthwhile, I would love to hear it. (I'll
  23. I had this weekend completely free, and with Fossil Hunting season having just started March 1 at the Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area, I decided to head up early this morning and look for some Pit 11 nodules. I had tried last year in April, but on that trip I got lost on the way and took a 1 1/2 hour detour (I ended up in Kankakee!), then wasn't sure where to look in the park once I got there. It was a beautiful day, so I still enjoyed being outdoors, but out of the 15 or so nodules I found, the only recognizable fossil was a poorly preserved Essexella. After a year of research
  24. Chrisalyne

    I Have No Idea What These Are!

    Help! I'm not sure if these are fossils or not. I'd like to think they are, just no idea what they are. I'm also freeze thawing a few still. We didn't find much while we were there. But did find just a few nodules.
  25. Hey y'all! I made my very first trek to the Mazon Creek area last Friday. I didn't find very much due to the ground being quite frozen, but I did find a few concretions. I have been freeze/thawing the majority of them over the past couple of days. Here are the ones that have opened up. I could really use some help with these due to the fact that I am a total novice when it comes to Mazon Creek goodies! 1. 2. 3.
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