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Found 89 results

  1. Eldredgeops trilobites

    From the album Middle Devonian

    Eldredgeops milleri (complete or nearly complete specimens, mostly coiled) Middle Devonian Mahantango Formation Swope's Farm Turbotsville, Pennsylvania
  2. Bryozoan or Possible Sponge?

    From the album Middle Devonian

    Bryozoan or possible sponge Middle Devonian Mahantango Foramtion Deer Lake, Pennsylvania
  3. Crinoid Root Bases

    From the album Middle Devonian

    Crinoid root bases Middle Devonian Mahantango Formation Swope's Farm Turbotsville, Pennsylvania
  4. Crinoid Calyx?

    Found this little fella Monday at a Middle Devonian site near Turbotsville, PA. Thought it might be a crinoid calyx since there were a lot of crinoid stems and root bases also present. Let me know what you think, also the species if you can guess. Then again the possibility of a concretion always looms large. Rugose corals were also abundant and so were brachiopods and trilobites. Good luck and thanks.
  5. DEER LAKE TRIP REPORT - MAJOR HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION Deer Lake was our first fossil trip this year. If you haven't been there recently, the Deer Lake fossil site is totally transformed. There is major highway construction that wraps around the site and has exposed tons of Devonian rubble. It looks like an on ramp is being constructed there the way it curves around the site. Most of the areas that were previously posted are now part of the construction. There are walls of Devonian exposure, huge piles of rubble, lots of new exposures. However, in this Mahantango formation, most of the death assemblages are from the late Devonian and are confined to a thin upper layer which seems to be about less than a meter thick - the assemblages we found were in the same layer throughout the site, but hard to locate if you don't know the layer. Everything else is needle in a haystack collecting, sorting through lots of rock and inspecting the newly exposed boulders and rockfaces. We went on a weekend when there was no construction and there were no signs posted - I have a feeling that there will be no access signs at some point. We saw a few student fossil hunters combing the sides of the highway beds. This exposure is very temporary, and it's not clear what will be left to fossil-hunt after the highway is completed. We're familiar with the site and were very pleased with our finds - This is Nan examining some of the construction rubble, in front of one of the exposed faces. The accompanying photo shows all of the fossils we collected - first examination revealed trilobites (Dipleura), brachiopods, bivalve internals, gastropods, a few cephalopods - the larger rocks in the back were not chiseled open because they looked promising and I wanted to take more care and open those at home. Here are some closeups of finds from our Deer Lake trip - notable details include the large Dipleura segments. There is a nice gastropod in the lower left corner of the shell assemblage - this is one of several well articulated gastropods we found. The bivalve internal shows fine details and also two of the bivalves have the pedicle preserved.
  6. We keep saying we're too busy this Fall for more fossil trips but managed to squeeze in a half day trip to Deer Lake (PA) on Saturday, Oct. 6. We spent several hours exploring and sorting through the Mahantango formations there on Highway 61. Mostly I excavated some pieces out of the softer shale formations that were dampened by recent rains that made it easier, and Nancy cracked open the larger rocks - nothing earth-shaking, but an interesting trip. We found trilobite, shells, gastropods, cephalopod fragments and possibly a faint impression of crinoid "tentacles." One of our goals was to collect some shell assemblages that we can display as small sculptures (we drill holes in the bottom, insert stained wooden dowels, and insert the other end of the dowels into small wooden "trophy bases" we get from a craft shop. Here are some of our "assembage" pieces - none are cleaned yet so these are exactly as we brought them home: Our second goal was to verify that there are trilobites here because we keep reading about trilobites found here - so we accomplished that goal although what we found are mostly fragments. One piece may yield more after we process it a bit: After extracting some shells and trilobite fragments - which was fairly hard work, chopping out reasonably large sections from the wet crumbly shale, we spent some time inspecting the rubble on the steep slope immediatley behind Michael B's Restaurant. We found a section that had a lot of gastropods and took home a few pieces - here is an example with two gastropods: I chopped into some very hard shale from the far slope behind the "parking lot" area and from the shale, this looked like it may have been deeper water with fewer fossils and it's my impression that there could be some larger fossils there but with hammer and chisel it's always hard to find very large Devonian fossils that may have lived in the deeper ocean bed but even if they are present, trying to find and extract them runs the risk of shattering them before you even know they are there. I didn't have that problem because I didn't find anything large but I'm always wary of finding something really big that gets ruined or winds up in pieces and has to be pieced back together like a jigsaw puzzle. I pulled out the largest pieces I could excavate with hammer and chisel, and found lots of interesting oval shaped brown concretions in the grey shale, a few pieces of very large "tubes" that were a few centimeters in diameter, very few small fossils and evidence of larger structures which gave me the sense that there might be larger fossils here. Then I pulled out what looked like the pattern of soft tissue from a crinoid or other sea creature. If you look closely at the image, in the center of the photo, you can see what looks like a small piece of shell with tentacles flowing up and to the right. Then, there seems to be another impression of tentacles coming in from the top right of the photo - those larger tentacles are flowing from the left edge of the photo, toward the center. It is hard to see these unless the shale is wet. A friend of mine found a fully articulated crinoid calyx recently, so I remain hopeful of finding something like that but for now these impressions are the closest we've come: Another interesting find is a three dimensional fossil that we haven't identified yet - ideas welcome: Deer Lake is a bit more than an hour from our home so the drive is easy but finding time for fossil trips is difficult given our busy schedules and projects at work. We do have quite a few fossils that we need to examine more closely and "process" which is our winter project. Some fossils that are not easy to identify or confirm require some detailed grinding and I plan to use a Dremel for that although I haven't done this before so will probably ruin a few before I get the hang of it. We have created some displays using Riker mounts - I like the 12x16 in 1 or 2 inch depths and found that buying them online by the case is cheaper than one at a time. Nan and I also agreed to do a display booth on Carboniferous coal swamps with some of our fossils at the annual Fossil Fair of the Delaware Valley Paleontological Society next Spring.
  7. Crinoid Tentacles?

    Collected this yesterday (Oct 6) at Deer Lake - Mahantango/Hamilton Grp. Are these impressions crinoid tentacles, or some other soft bodied creature? The arrows show the stem and tentacles of what looks like a tiny piece of the top of the stem with some tentacles attached, flowing to the right. Farther toward the top right, it looks like tentacles from another crinoid extending from the right toward the center. Here is the same photo with a ruler to show the size.
  8. These are the gastropods we found at the Juniata site...3 in an arrangement (one looks like a cashew nut) and one embedded in the green shale substrate...not sure of the ID's... I believe the gastropod at the far left in the group photo looks like cyclonema. Update: Assume the other two are Platyceras.
  9. This is the 5th in a series of fossil ID questions - this one relates to two stick shaped fossils collected on our Sept. 16 trip to the 380 million year old Devonian site in Juniata County, PA. Devonian plants and trees are hard to find in Pennsylvania because so much was underwater however there were sticks and twigs and stems that did sink into the mud and get preserved. The question is, did we find two of those during our Juniata trip? Are these stick shaped fossils from plants or trees, or something else? Opinions, please... This stick shaped sample has a long thin piece extending at the bottom which appears to be part of the main fossil, which may (or may not) offer a clue: Here is another fossil from the same site/trip which has a similar form factor - it is in green shale - this bulges out a bit at the base:
  10. This is the 4th in our "Juniata" series of fossil ID posts. The primary goal of this trip was to find a Dipleura trilobite. I had found one previously, at Tully NY and we have 4 different species so far. It's difficult to find a fully formed trilobite and in most cases the tail section (called a pygidium) is found. Nancy found the head section of this Dipleura - you can see the "face" and the two eyes looking straight into the camera, in these photos. In addition, we found another partial fossil (2a) and several trilobite parts (3a-d). Our question is, do the parts all look like they came from Dipleura, or other species? This site and formation has several species of trilobites. Is it possible to tell if there are other species represented, from just these fragments?
  11. This is the third in our Juniata trip series - this one is a trace fossil that Nancy thinks represents water drops that hit the mud eons ago and were preserved. We'd like more opinions. We collected this piece because of the artistic pattern and the really great green color of the shale. There is a bit of trivia involved in this piece, by the way - the orange blotch in the upper corner looks to us like a bit of trilobite skin and when the full "blotch" is visible, the texture and pores are more evident. We did in fact collect some trilobites and "pieces" on this trip and will share those in the next in this series.
  12. This is the first in a series of fossils from our Sept. 16 trip to an exposed 380 million year old Devonian site in the Mahantango Formation in Juniata County, PA (we'll do a trip report in the coming week or so). Most of our samples raised ID questions that we hope some of our friends and colleagues can help answer. The first two samples are what I call "pearly shells." This raises the issue of what can be learned from original shell material that is preserved? These first two samples are shells that have quite a bit of the original shell (white color) attached. Pearly Shell 1 - The best ID I can find online suggests that this is a brachiopod called Devonochonetes. The white shell is especially clear and well preserved. Pearly Shell 2 - Squalicorax identifies this as Tropidoleptus and I included a link to a paper that I found on this species. The shell on this specimen is much more "pearly white" than the photographs suggest - the color is actually bright, pearly white and the lighting/camera angle distorted the colors a bit. The shell is shiny and gleaming with a pearlescent quality and much whiter than it looks in the pictures. This shell bears some faint markings that may indicate the original pattern. Sometimes (but rarely of course) the original patterns show up in the fossil, or the original unmineralized shell material is preserved, which makes fossil shell collecting especially interesting. Here is some additional information on fossil shells that I recently found: There are two broad types of fossils - ones composed of the actual material the original creature was composed of, and ones where the original material has been replaced by some mineral after the original material completely decayed or dissolved (technically a "fossil" is the remains of an organism at least 10,000 years old. Some fossil shells are actual shells, even with the delicate aragonite material intact. Plain aragonite is chalky (think of the exterior of a clam shell). In a complex arrangement with calcite and protein (called nacre), aragonite takes on the mother-of-pearl appearance seen on the inside of mollusk shells. Aragonite is unstable over geologic time and inverts to calcite. [source: Various websites including: "Fossil Preservation" - http://www.csus.edu/indiv/k/kusnickj/Geology105/pres.html]
  13. Nancy and I made a two hour stop at the Devonian borrow pit/rubble slopes at Deer Lake, PA on Sept. 1, on our way to St. Clair (along Route 61). These are very steep rubble-covered slopes, a bit tricky to climb and navigate. There are several locations. The mining slopes are posted so we avoided them. There are slopes behind two restaurants, and slopes next to a parking lot although some of the back slopes are posted. I spent most of my time at the top of the slope and Nan cracked shale rocks at the bottom. Nan found a 8 cm long cephalopod which is discussed and pictured in the Fossil ID section (http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php/topic/31741-devonian-cephalopod-from-deer-lake-pa/page__hl__%2Bdeer+%2Blake ) The Deer Lake site is described by several sources as having an extremely large and diverse variety of Devonian fossils, from ammonoids and brachiopods to cephalopods and trilobites. We found no ammonoids or trilobites - however, I found some very impressive "death assemblages" that confirmed the variety of fossils here, including a nice internal spirifid brachiopod that later separated from the substrate. The shell in Image 10.1 seems to show the pattern (and possibly color) of the original shell (look at the brown and beige stripes that cut across the contoured grooves). Also, Image 11.1 looks like a portion of an Orthonata shell although it could be something else. Some of the assemblages are artistically arranged and are very cool. The iron content creates some bright orange fossils and the shale tends to come in purple and orange colors, including some olive green shale. This orange and purple coloring is very impressive. Our goal is to find a much larger "death assemblage" in order to collect a specimen that would be suitable for display. On the way to this site, we stopped at a local roadcut near our home that we had been eyeing and found a lot of olive green colored shale. In a very quick 10 minute look, we found some trace fossils but nothing significant although if we find anything that is well defined it will be impressive because of the unique color of the shale. We plan to spend more time at the Deer Lake slopes, on a future visit. Nancy wants to crack open some of the larger rocks and I want to extract some larger slices of shale, to get a nice display piece. We have not had time to go through the fossils to identify them - we have a large collection of Devonian shell fossils from several different sites and I plan to spend the winter identifying these. If anyone would like to offer identifications for any of these now and save me some time poring over the fossil books this winter, you're welcome to do so - I've numbered the images for easy ID.
  14. Devonian Cephalopod From Deer Lake Pa

    I would appreciate confirmation that this cephalopod is Striacoceras. It is well articulated and comes apart in segments which allowed me to take some photos of the individual "puzzle pieces." This comes from the Devonian slopes at Deer Lake, Pennsylvania(Hamilton Group, Mahantango Formation). Back Story: On Labor Day weekend, Nancy and I stopped for 2 hours at a Deer Lake borrow pit on our way to St. Clair. While I scrambled on the steep slope checking rubble and excavating substrate, Nan decided to chisel open some large pieces at the bottom of the slope. She segmented a large piece of shale twice and the shale was totally blank - normally that would be enough, but Nan decided to give it one more whack and was delighted to discover this large, well-articulated/segmented cephalopod. I should mention that most of her best finds have come from chiseling open pieces that were left in plain site and overlooked by other collectors. I'll post some of the brachiopods found at Deer Lake in the Trips forum - also some very exciting Lepidendron finds at St. Clair.
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