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  1. I was able to get out for the first mountain hike this season recently after being held back due to storms. The weather had been too hot the last several weeks to get out in the mountains due to afternoon thunderstorms building up making it hazardous for hiking and to leave an aircraft exposed at 5,000’ elevation. Most of the large pictured ammonites are Pachydiscus sp. so here we go, a photo trip in the Matanuska Formation, Member 3. Yes, it is as steep as it looks. Not for the faint of heart. This particular ammonite has been exposed for three seasons now and to
  2. I finally made it to Alaska and was able to go to coyote lake in Sutton, Alaska. It is described as being a half mile of dirt road after the pavement ends that is passable in dry weather. It had not rained for more than a week, and there were burn limits so I thought I would have a chance. I drove maybe 10 feet onto the path where a stream was running down the road before I backed out. At the end of the payment were a couple of houses, with the expected rusting cars on their lots and the no parking signs. Slightly further back there was a pull-off for parking.
  3. AK hiker

    Alaska Penninsula Trip

    I made two trips this spring down the Alaska Penninsula and will share some photos from these trips. The first are from the Pacific side taken last week of petrified wood from volcanic ash coverage, fossilization and subsequent exposure. Currently the biggest “trees” there are stunted alders with a tall one reaching 8’ in height. Brown bears use the beaches for travel and while searching for food. Their trails are unique in that they will step in the same spot and leave foot sized depressions as well as compact paths. A partial view of Aniak
  4. Mammoths and other large animals survived in the north much longer than previously believed. New DNA research indicates that the climate, not humans, led to the demise of these large creatures, Norway Science, January, 2022 The open access paper is: Wang, Y., Pedersen, M.W., Alsos, I.G., De Sanctis, B., Racimo, F., Prohaska, A., Coissac, E., Owens, H.L., Merkel, M.K.F., Fernandez-Guerra, A. and Rouillard, A.,2021. Late Quaternary dynamics of Arctic biota from ancient environmental genomics. Nature, 600(7887), pp.86-92. It concludes t
  5. val horn

    alaska

    I have the opportunity to go to alaska in late may early june. I have never been to alaska before. I have seen several published sites, and some conflicting information on legal rules. I was thinking about ammonites at slide mountain, leaves at coyote lake and wishbone hill. possibly collecting near Homer on the beach. If anyone has experience at these places I would appreciate their feedback. I really dont want to get myself arrested.
  6. andoran

    Coral from Alaska

    I purchased this from a store in Alaska. I have no information about it at all. It looks similar to what I'm seeing online about Stingray Coral, but I can't find out anything about what that actually is. Does anyone have any idea what this might be?
  7. I have been in contact with the head of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Museum for a couple years showing some of my better plant fossils from my area. Miocene age, Beluga Formation, This last week I had a Masters Degree student come and visit my collection and my local site. She is going to do her thesis on the local miocene flora. There are papers on plants presumed to be older and younger but none from this section of the formation. I donated approximately 100 lbs of specimens to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum of the North to be used by her then pu
  8. AK hiker

    New Boot Ammonite Hike

    The hike started with a group photo with Kobuk and a band of Dall sheep, ewes with lambs. Appropriate start to the hike as the Greek ram horned god called Ammon is the basis for the name ammonite. I returned to an exposure I had visited in the past that was particularity steep with new boots to safely negotiate the steep siltstone. The geology is Matanuska Formation member 3 which I have posted some trips in the past. Multiple new ammonites had been exposed with many molds present and some of the ammonites already lost to erosion being washed down to the bottom gully
  9. Rocketmandane

    Alaska Fossil Sites

    Hoping to head up to Alaska this next summer and would love to hunt for fossils. Does anyone know of a list of sites to start looking? Thanks!
  10. I got a weather window and some time to get out for a hike to the Talkeetna Mountains near my home recently. It is an hour long flight to where I went this time and beautiful scenery on the way there. The Nelchina caribou heard uses this area in the spring through fall with their trails from eons use evident in some areas like this mountain. Alaska’s state flower is the Forget Me Knot with many in full bloom. This is at 5,000 foot elevation and the alpine flowers are just now greening up. The caribo
  11. With more nice weather and low tides a friend and headed down the west side of Cook Inlet to dig clams. The island in the background will be explored for fossils after getting some groceries from the tidal flats. It was a weekend day so lots of people out in aircraft and boats digging clams. The boats come across Cook Inlet from the Kenia Penninsula and stay for the full low tide cycle. Kobuk stayed in the plane so I did not have a messy passenger for the rest of the trip. The quarry are down in the sand
  12. Troodon

    Polar Dinosaurs - Alaska

    A new study reveals that nearly all types of dinosaurs that were present in the Arctic reproduced in the region, and remained there year-round. These dinosaurs encountered ~4 months of darkness per year, temperatures below zero, and snow https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(21)00739-9?utm_source=EA
  13. My wife and I recently traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska for a mini vacation and toured the Museum of the North on the University of Alaska, Fairbanks campus. It brought back some old memories as I completed my undergraduate training there in 1986. Here are a few pictures from the displays that I found interesting. The hadrosaurs display is fairly new and in the entryway Mammoth display Dinosaur interpretive displaysRay Troll art. Enjoy! AK Hiker
  14. Neanderthal Shaman

    Mystery Bone

    Another piece from my grandmother's collection. It is labeled "Fossil Tusk or Horn, Shop in Anchorage" August 1985". It is rather small, measuring almost exactly 3 inches in length. It appears mammalian, and if it's from Alaska, I assume it's probably Pleistocene in age. Although she had it labeled as a tusk or horn, I'm more inclined to believe it's part of a bone, especially considering there is a foramen visible on one side. Anyone have an inkling?
  15. Texrig

    Brooks range fossil

    Looking for a bit of assistance in identifying a few items... this one was found while hunting the brooks range.. they could be found everywhere at our drop off site.. mountainous valley with creek beds... Close to Happy Valley Camp
  16. Ankle Pick

    Quaternary mammal fossil?

    I found this bone in Interior Alaska down river of some bluffs that I know have produced mammoth bones and other Pleistocene age fossils. I am curious if anybody can identify this bone and whether it is really from the quaternary or is it more recent. There is crystallization in the holes in the bone and it feels more dense than a normal bone would. Be thankful for any thoughts and information.
  17. The snow has arrived at the elevations that I like to hike covering up the fossil beds now. These pictures are from one of my last hikes in the Talkeetna Mountains and as you can see these are oversized fossils. The ice axe next to the clam is 30". Kobuk and one to the bigger ammonites measured at 65 cm diameter is another whopper. Ok, now a Where's Waldo picture. How many ammonites do you see in the picture? I have the answer and they as still are all still there in the outcrop, some are broken. The answer is nine ammonites. Until next year happy fossi
  18. Hi everyone, I recently came across online Alaskan fossils. Specifically they are a Polar Bear and Walrus tooth from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. There doesn't seem to be much of a consensus on the age ranges for those teeth, and having those would be useful to me. According to a geological map, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, is Quaternary at its earliest: https://alaska.usgs.gov/science/geology/state_map/interactive_map/AKgeologic_map.html. That already puts me at a range of 2.6 million - 11,000 years, pretty wide. Initial research suggests polar bears evolved maybe 150,
  19. BellamyBlake

    Is this a fossil?

    I have here a polar bear tooth from St. Lawrence, Alaska. I was told it was fossilized, Pleistocene to be precise. The seller had other similar teeth available on offer, in darker shades, claiming they were all fossilized and simply preserved in different ways. Ultimately, I chose this one. As far as the literature goes, it has been argued that the polar bear does go back to the late Pleistocene: Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Wiig, Øystein (2009). "Late Pleistocene fossil find in Svalbard: the oldest remains of a polar bear (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1744) ever discovered". Polar R
  20. BellamyBlake

    Polar Bear Tooth

    I have here a tooth that a merchant claims to be a fossilized polar bear tooth, found on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. To me, it looks like it could be sea lion. Any idea? \ Then again, here's a (replica) grizzly bear tooth that looks similar to me, too:
  21. Here is the next part of my north slope trip pictures. After camping for two days I headed west and stopped on the Canning River to fish for char. The gravel bar I landed on had pieces of fossil coral and the river cut bank was of the same Kingak Shale with some large concretions. The view out of the plane shows the Ignek valley, east and west. After fishing headed west and stopped at the Kavic Camp for fuel, bring cash as avgas is $12 a gallon and glad to get it! Saddelrochit Mountains
  22. Dinosaurs' unique bone structure key to carrying weight Trabecular structure different than mammals, birds Southern Methodist University, PhysOrg, August 20, 2020 The paper is: Trevor G. Aguirre, Aniket Ingrole, Luca Fuller, Tim W. Seek, Anthony R. Fiorillo, Joseph J. W. Sertich, Seth W. Donahue. Differing trabecular bone architecture in dinosaurs and mammals contribute to stiffness and limits on bone strain. PLOS ONE, 2020; 15 (8): e0237042 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0237042 Yours, Paul H.
  23. The first juvenile dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from Arctic Alaska is presented in this paper. Paper https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0235078 Article http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology/alaskan-saurornitholestine-dinosaur-08618.html Inreresting tooth
  24. AK hiker

    Ammonite ID Help

    I have studying ammonite anatomy and nomenclature as well as the local geology where I have been hiking. Today I rough prepared several ammonites and feel like I can make an educated attempt to name 2 of 3 that I worked on. I am reasonably certain they are from member three of the Matanuska Formation in the Talkeetna Mountains. I have shared some pictures of where I found one on the snow at the bottom of an avalanche so pictures of that one first as it is new to me. In my effort to learn these will describe why I believe it is Gaudryceras tenailiratum; wide umbilicus, course ribs, rounded vent
  25. Ok, tired of AK Hiker getting all the glory for Alaska finds hehe Made a run to my local fossil spot yesterday (which includes about 3 miles driving down the beach). Try to only go down when the tide is falling to 1, give more time to explore, and 2, more time to escape when the tides rolls back in. We can have between 8 - 28 feet of tide change! During big high tides the water is to the bluff. Some of the driving is loose sand / gravel so want to make sure if accidentally get stuck have time to get the car dug out before it takes a salt bath! We're searching through
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