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Found 6 results

  1. Belated 2019 Road Trip Fossils

    Last year, to celebrate finishing my undergraduate degree, my girlfriend and I went on a long (9,000+ mile) road trip around the western US and at long last (a little over a year since their discovery) the last of the fossils we found are out of the refrigerator and I’ve finally gotten all of them photographed. Here are some of the highlights and best fossils we found. A rough map of the route of the trip While the trip wasn’t entirely fossil centric we wanted to hunt at a few cool spots along the way. We chose to visit 5 fossil locations, the first of which was Clarkia Fossil Bowl in Idaho, a fantastic location for Miocene age leaves (Langhian Stage, ~15Mya) tucked behind a motocross track. These poor fossils have been through it all in the year between when they were found and when I finally got them dry. They’ve been soaked several times, gone mouldy twice, frozen at least once and flown across the Atlantic Ocean, all before spending the last 8 months in the refrigerator. Amazingly all but two of them survived perfectly including one of my favourite finds, a tiny flower. A maple leaf (genus Acer) still partly covered in matrix but with the stem intact. At some point I hope to get this one prepared. The best leaf find of the trip, with beautiful red coloration and mottling from fungus. A partial leaf, with beautiful vein preservation. The next spot was the American Fossil quarry in Kemmerer Wyoming to look for Eocene fish (Green River Formation, Ypresian Stage, ~53-48Mya). Splitting though the material left out by the quarry we found a few fish, primarily Knightia and Diplomystus. The best Knightia, including the best fish of the day with its head still partly covered. Some of the Diplomystus. The first needs some repair as it broke through the tail. The second has a counterpart as well and I’m hoping to frame it soon. And a mystery fish, I don’t know what species this is, it could just be Knightia or Diplomystus but it doesn’t look like the others we found. The star find came close to the end of the time at the quarry, a section of a puddle layer packed full of Knightia, at least a dozen fish piled on top of each other. The quarry manager was kind enough to let me take the blocks without splitting them thinner since the material is full of fractures and likely would not have survived. The layer as it split in the quarry (US size 13 hiking boot acting as a rough scale). The three pieces I managed to recover. The blocks are currently in a storage unit in Washington until I can figure out how to get them prepared. I am hoping the first two pieces can be reunited and the part and counterpart can be mounted side by side but I’m unsure about how to accomplish this. If anyone who prepares Green River fish has any ideas please let me know. The third locality we visited was Westgard pass in Inyo California, hunting for Cambrian archaeocyathids (Poleta Formation, Cambrian Stage 3, ~ 520Mya). We were only there a short time as there was a lot of driving to do that day, but I still managed to find one example in cross section. My girlfriend was more lucky, finding four examples. These are our favourites, particularly the third, which exhibits some dimensionality in addition to the cross-section. I’m absolutely thrilled to find anything Cambrian, and to make things even better the fossil locality is just down the road from the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, home to living trees more than 4,000 years old and one of my favourite spots on the whole trip. We also visited Capitola Beach to search for rolled cetacean bone. I found two examples with one clearly showing the cancellous internal bone texture. To cap off the trip I wanted to do a fossil hunt in my home state of Washington. Since I still don’t know where to go to look for the elusive Pulalius crab, we decided to search the West Twin River site for shrimp concretions (Pysht Fomration, Oligocene, ~22-33Mya). We found over a dozen of these containing partial shrimp. I think they are all Callianopsis clallamensis since this is a common species at this locality. The first concretion that I found after identifying the right material. Another shrimp nodule containing a large section of claw. The head of a shrimp. Two non-crustaceans, a gastropod internal mould and a beautiful white bivalve in a small concretion. A mystery concretion with something eroding out from both ends. And last, one of the strangest concretions I have ever seen. The outside is hardened but the inside is a soft clay consistency with several bits of shrimp shell, completely the opposite of the hard in the middle concretions I’m used to. In all, it was a fantastic trip. I would love to go back to all the sites we visited, and there is so much more to explore next time I’m stateside. I’m looking forward to getting out hunting again. Stay tuned for the next big trip to celebrate finishing our masters. Benton
  2. Archaeocyathid?

    This is a fossil I am looking at purchasing. I asked the seller for a better photograph and the photos below were sent to me personally, so I do not believe this is in violation of the terms of the site (though I really do apologize if I have inadvertently broken the rules and I will immediately remove the content!). I believe the round fossil in the center to be an archaeocyathid, but I would like to be more certain before I pay to have it shipped from southern Australia. Unfortunately, that is all of the information that the seller has shared with me about location, so I don't have useful information like formation. I am not certain whether the subdivisions that I am seeing are the result of recrystallization or reflect actual septa. Thank you for your feedback!
  3. Sponge or archaeocyathid?

    This is a piece that I picked up on a geology field trip years ago in eastern New Mexico. I apologize that I have unfortunately lost the field notebook that contains more specific location information, but I am hoping to get in contact with the teacher that took us there for other reasons and might be able to provide additional information if I can ask him. The section was Cambrian to Ordovician in age: it started with abundant stromatolites, then progressed into thrombolites and finally siliciclastics disappeared during the Ordovician sea level high-stand. This piece was found from amidst microbialites, so should be Cambrian in age. My professor identified it as a "sponge" at the time. I am wondering if it is perhaps an archaeocyathid based on the age and the central hole. Either way, if anyone that is more familiar with that area has thoughts on any more specific identification, I would be thrilled! Please ask if you need photos from a different angle or anything like that. Thank you very much!
  4. Adam's Cambrian

    A rangeomorph holdfast trace fossil from the Ediacara formation, Rawnsley quartzite of the Flinders Range, South Australia. This specimen is Medusina mawsoni, so called because it was until recently thought to be a jellyfish, but is now believed to be the attachment point of a fractal rangeomorph as Charniodiscus is the point of anchorage for Charnia sp. This one may have been the holdfast point for some species of Rangea. The diameter of the outer circle is 1.5 cm and the fossil is estimated to be 555 million years old.
  5. Archaeocyathid

    About 515 million years old, this archaeocyathid shows excellent specimens with both lateral and vertical sections. The internal septa separating the internal wall from the external wall can clearly be seen and the central cavity. Archaeocyatha
  6. Hello. I went on a long hike a few days ago and stumbled upon this in a large Cambrian rock. I believe most of the outcrops in this area are very early Cambrian as I find a lot of Archaeocyathids. Is this structure somehow related to the Archaeocyathids? It's about 6 inches in diameter. I have an average sized hand. Another fossil I'm trying to figure out is this.... Sorry the pic is a bit dark. I'm thinking maybe it's a priapulid with the bottom section broken off? The probiscus appears retracted on the upper right hand side, and the segmentation of the organism is clear. Thanks. Hat.
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