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  1. Hello, I'm considering purchasing some unopened Mazon creek nodules to open for fun, since I'm unable to hunt fossils myself. I'm inexperienced with the material so I wanted to ask if there is a rule of thumb for judging if a nodule is going to be good or potentially contain some rare stuff? Here is an example batch I'm considering. The nodules range from 4-8 inches. My gut tells me the very long thin ones are most likely the common plants like Pecopteris, and that I should try to get more of the round/oval ones?
  2. ClydeElledge

    Cephalopod in Limestone

    Hello. this one I found as part of fill on a dirt road in Illinois near the Mazon Creek area as I was looking for concretions. Part of the fossil was covered by a "hood" of limestone that I ground off with my dremel tool. I think this actually saved it from being really torn up on the road.
  3. Runner64

    Tully monster?

    Hey all was outside today at Pit 11. Came across this piece open. Possibly the back half of a tully monster? Will try cleaning more once home if it will help. Thanks in advance. @Nimravis@RCFossils@connorp @Mark Kmiecik
  4. connorp

    Mazon Creek Flora

    I've been spending a lot of time lately studying the Mazon Creek flora, and am continuously astonished by the diversity and quality of specimens that can be found. I don't think we see enough plants on the forum, so I figured I would go ahead and share some of my favorite finds. First is a specimen I recently shared, and a fitting start to the thread. This is Crenulopteris acadica, the most common true fern found in the Mazon Creek flora. It has been the most common plant I find, accounting for probably half my finds. Next is a favorite of mine. This is a s
  5. As I have been researching large ctenacanthiform sharks from North America, I've been wondering if there are any known globally that are currently unnamed. I definitely know of the large Ctenacanthiformes Saivodus stratus (found in both what is now North America and Great Britain), the large Ctenacanthiform from the Permian Kaibab formation in Arizona, and the 'Texas supershark' (a likely large species of Gilkmanius) from the Pennsylvanian Texas Graham formation (all three as larger or larger than an adult Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)). But are there any large ctenac
  6. Yesterday I had the pleasure of getting out for one of the nicest opening days of the fossil hunting season at Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area that I’ve experienced. The sun was shining, the ground was relatively dry and temps were in the 40s-50s. And I only encountered 1 tick! I ran into a few other collectors over the course of the day, including @connorp. The park was mostly quiet as usual, with the sounds of birds and passing cars nearby, as well as the distant rumble of trains and planes. My hunting area for this trip was south of Monster Lake- after getting
  7. deutscheben

    My Pennsylvanian Shark Teeth

    Over the last two years I have been able to collect a small but diverse group of shark and other chondrichthyan teeth from Pennsylvanian deposits in Illinois. Actually, all but one of the teeth are from one exposure of the La Salle Limestone of the Bond Formation- the other tooth was found in some roadside rip rap limestone in Central Illinois which seems to share many species with the La Salle, but unfortunately I have no way of determining the exact origin. Here is the first tooth, this is the one collected from rip rap in northern Champaign County. It is a cladodont type tooth,
  8. 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.
  9. i’ve been doing some research on places i could go fossil hunting around illinois and sugar run looks really interesting. But admittedly i don’t know a whole lot about it or really about fossil hunting in general, so any tips or advice y’all have, like any particular road cuts or other locations that i should go to, or what places i shouldn’t go to, would be cool. more importantly though, from what i’ve read, fossils from that formation generally aren’t eroded out of their matrix, which will be my first time dealing with this. Is there any way to know like which rocks to split, or
  10. i’m pretty novice when it comes to my fossil hunting experience, i’ve done a few trips but nothing crazy. During most of those trips, i always had the goal in mind of finding a trilobite fossil, but, as of now, i haven’t had much success other than a partial pygidium. i think the main problem for me is that i don’t really know where to look. When i try to do research online i don’t really find much. the most pat payoff i’ve had is looking through old geology surveys. I know that finding a trilobite, let alone a complete one, is very rare, but are there any places in p
  11. One of the nice things about collecting Mazon Creek concretions is that most specimens don't require any prep - they open up and are good to go. This however was not one of those cases. This concretion exploded during freeze thaw last year into hundreds of pieces, and on most pieces the fossils were still covered by sections of shale. It took around 25 hours in total to reassemble the concretion and prep out what wasn't exposed. Big thanks to Kris @Ptychodus04 for helping to finish the prep work. This is a large frond of the rare fern Mariopteris nervosa.
  12. I collected this trilobite pygidium in the Galena Group (Upper Ordovician) of Illinois. I don't immediately recognize it, especially since it is just a mold. It is fairly large. My best guess is Isotelus but I was hoping one of the trilobite experts here might have a better idea. Thanks for any help.
  13. I am planning a visit to the Oglesby site over the next few weeks. This will be my first trip where fossils aren't already eroded out of their matrix. Does anyone have any advice for me? Should I spend time attempting to break rock on site, or try to observe fossils already exposed? Are there any concerns with bringing tools to sites like this? Hammering rocks doesn't quite feel like surface collecting, and I would very much like to avoid getting into any trouble with any authorities. Let me know your thoughts. Im excited to give this a shot and will post any of my finds!
  14. (Edit: properly formatted below.)
  15. connorp

    Mazon Creek pollen organ

    This concretion opened up recently and I'm pretty stumped. My best guess is that this is a lateral view of some sort of pollen organ, but I haven't been able to find a match in literature. I was hoping someone here might have an idea? @paleoflor @RCFossils @fiddlehead
  16. so just recently i was going on a trip to look for fossils, trilobites specifically. On the trip i was able to find plenty of goodies; brachiopods, bryozoa, etc… But i never found any trilobites—well, except a possible pygidium. I did my digging at Savanna, IL, which from what I could find was known for finding lots of trilobites; and complete ones at that. Was I doing something wrong on my trip? I guess what i’m asking is there some way to more easily find trilobite fossils? Like, is there a way to tell what areas are likely to have trilobite fossils or what rocks wou
  17. Yesterday I took my second trip of the year to do some collecting at Pit 11. A little chilly, but once the sun came out it was a nice day. An idea of how overgrown it is, even this early in the year. The first find of the day A productive hillside A nice handful of concretions I broke my personal record and was able to collect about 3 gallons in the 6 hours I collected. Not many open finds, although I did find this fairly nice
  18. I'm new to fossil hunting myself. So let me add a few things that I haven't seen in the forums for finding sites. First off, I kinda took the long approach. I'll give the steps I have taken. I tried to jump to the "point me to a site to dig and find a fossil", litterally only 1 site in Illinois <where I live> is famous and openned to all for part of the year... Mazon Creek <which unfortunately is a day trip away for me> So started using google. Everything still pointed to Mazon Creek or Rockford area <even farther away>. Now Mazon creek fossils are famous and worth the tr
  19. Hello, I have two slabs that I would like ID help with, one is a hash plate with trilobite cephalons and pygidiums, the other has a crinoid calyx/crown. I'm told they were collected in Reynolds County of Illinois, USA. I did some googling and I don't think there is a Reynolds county in Illinois, but there is a Reynolds village in Rock Island/Mercer County Illinois which is what I'm guessing the seller meant. Anyways, assuming this info, the geological map of Illinois suggests that this locality consists of the Tradewater Formation which is Pennsylvanian in age:
  20. Sauropod19

    Mazon Creek ichnofossil?

    Hello. I found this piece during my first visit to Mazon last year and just got around to asking about it. I believe it may be tracks of some sort, as they look vaguely like other arthropod ichnofossils. I was wondering if anyone may be able to confirm my suspicions and possibly ID what kind of animal it could be. I understand this second part is difficult without anything else to go off of, and I apologize for lower camera quality than the other images I’ve seen here. Thank you!
  21. Recently, I've been thinking about conducting an exploratory fossil hunting trip in the St. Louis area of Missouri. I've never been there before, but I've heard there is a lot of caves and limestone outcrops near the city. I've also heard there is a decent amount of Ordovician and Mississippian fossils in the area. I'm just wondering if anyone's been fossil hunting in the St. Louis area before and what fossils can be found there?
  22. Hey all, I believe I found a fossil. I came across this while rockhounding. I found this in Monroe County, Valmeyer, IL in the USA. I found it in a stream bed, with running water. Chiefly, and this may help, I found many imprints of seashells on rocks. I also found a complete bivalve (I think that is the term for both top and bottom) seashell that had crystallized into quartz. I have pictures at this link, along with a picture that has measurements in 3 forms. I tried to upload to the forum but there was issues doing so. If it matters, the surface feels bump
  23. I found this along the Fox River in Elgin, IL. At first I thought it was a stromatoporoid fossil (I find them everywhere in this area), but upon closer inspection I couldn't see anything that looked like pillars or laminae. Someone suggested chaetetid sponge, or a stromatoporoid that was distorted by silicification. I can't find any photos that look like my spec. except dino bone and we don't have those in northern Illinois. Is it a natural formation, crazy looking oolites? I'm totally stumped! More pics
  24. The Ctenacanthiformes are an impressive group of prehistoric sharks, emerging in the Devonian period before surviving the two Devonian extinction events that gave rise to the Carboniferous. During the Carboniferous, the Ctenacanthiformes diversified rapidly, even becoming some of the Carboniferous Oceans Apex Predators. But of all the members of this impressive (yet almost unknown to the general public) group, two species stand out as especially impressive and awe inspiring - Saivodus striatus and the Graham formation Gilkmanius (this species currently doesn't have a name yet). Du
  25. My dad found this skull in the Mississippi River on a gravel island that has since disappeared. He says it was identified as a cave bear skull from the pliocene Era but he is not quite sure if that's what the person said as it was a very long time ago. Any help identifying this would be greatly appreciated
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