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Found 120 results

  1. I thought I would share an exciting Mazon Creek fossil that I collected on March 1st of this year and just split open today. This is an extremely rare legless amphibian named Phlegethontia longissima from Pit 11. For a Mazon Creek fossil collector, this is about as good as it gets. Amphibians are extremely rare in the deposit and most collectors never find one. I have been collecting these fossils for over thirty years and can finally check it off my bucket list. It has been estimated that only one in five hundred thousand Mazon concretions will contain an amphibian. It needs a bit more cleaning and is fairly complete. The ribs, teeth and skin impressions are clear under magnification.
  2. Mazon Creek Identification Challenge

    Hello Fossil Forum friends. It has been quite a while since I posted on the forum and decided to share a find that I recently collected. This specimen was found March 1st 2017 and after three freeze thaw cycles split open last week. Unfortunately the other half shattered into several pieces. I already know what the fossil is and thought it would be a fun challenge for forum members to test out their Mazon Creek identification skills. When I first glanced at it, I thought it was a bit of plant material and almost disgarded it. I will give one hint and state that it is an animal and was collected at Pit 11 which preserves many unusual marine fossils. The concretion measures approximately 2" across. I look forward to hearing members opinions.
  3. Two Mazon Nodules

    Just popped open two concretions I collected years ago in Grundy Co, IL, via freeze/thaw method. Essex fauna. The long one appears to be some type of marine worm? The round one is the one I'm wondering about: the top half shows some detail of radiating lines. Maybe it will be recognizable to someone with more experience with IDing these. Thanks and enjoy!
  4. Mazon creek Fossil

    Got this fossil passing through Illinois at a flea market with a whole box of mazon creek fossils this is the only one I could not identify it looks like an insect any ideas thanks again Dean Sr.
  5. Hello again to everyone on the forum and can't wait to learn from you. I just joined this week and this will be my first main post. I have always been very interested in fossils and geology and finally went on an official fossil Hunting trip this past week. I went with my family the first time and we scouted out the area. I did a lot of research beforehand and read that Pit 11 was one of the most popular concretion hunting spots at Mazon, but that also means they are harder to find. After more research, I decided we should check out an area to the south called the Mazonia South Unit. I read that this area had been less collected because there is much thicker vegetation. The vegetation was very thick. We hiked for a couple miles into the Forested area and we came to the bottom of a large hill. Me and my brother scaled the cliff and saw a way down the other side. The bottom of the other side of the cliff ended right into a river. After we made it to the bottom, my father found the first fossil, a small leaf, in an open concretion. We then saw concretions everywhere around us and started collecting. We only stayed for about an hour that day because the mosquitoes were relentless. I got home and saw I had some fossils and got so excited, I went back out there by myself the very next day. I scaled the cliffs up and down and got as many concretions as I could. Not satisfied, I just came back from another trip out to Mazon yesterday. I'm still refining my technique, but I spent most of the time going up and down the cliff sides looking and picking for concretions. I had a geologic pick, and a bag as my main tools. The first couple times, I picked everything I saw. After more research, I was more picky yesterday and did a lot of cracking in the field. I am not done processing all my concretions but I will post what I have found so far. Please let me know if you can help identify any of them and if the pictures are good for your viewing. Any general tips for fossil hunting and anything is also welcome I have more than I can post in this one post, but will follow up post with rest of my current photos.
  6. Mazon/Braidwood Advice

    After reading the forums here, I spent about 10 ten hours, mostly walking around and looking for exposed spoil piles, at Mazon/Braidwood a few weeks ago and had relatively little success. While I am certainly not wishing for anyone to betray their own personal hotspot for nodules in the park, I do hope that I might be able to gather some general information that would help me on my next outing to the public use areas. I spent most of my time surface gathering on an exposed pile about a mile south of the Kankakee public boat launch on the Braidwood lake, and about half a mile north of 5000 N. Road (the road with the pull-off parking for fossil hunting, what I assume to be Pit 11. This pile was very moist, dark, and generally coal-ish. While there were many naturally open nodules in this area I only found about 10 unopened in a ten hour search. Is this the right area or should I look further to the south of 5000 N. Road? Are nodules in the area more commonly found in the coal-ish sediment or the more usual colored soil? Thanks for the help.
  7. 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 also be stopping at Kankakee River State Park later that day, if anyone has information on that park, it would also be very appreciated) Thanks, Matt
  8. I recently spent about 10 hours surface collecting in pit 11 on the south unit of the Mazon-braidwood state wildlife area and honestly didn't have much success. I'm wondering if anyone knows when Esconi plans to have their first outing to the private pile in Braceville?
  9. I've tentatively identified a number of Mazon pieces in my possession, and I was wondering if I could get some confirmations or corrections from those of you (all of you) who are more knowledgeable and experienced than I. The first (#1) based on length, fossilization curvature, and the pyritized mouth and throat slit, I believe to be Gilpichthys greenei.
  10. Mazon Creek ID Help Request

    I've purchased 'The Mazon Creek Fossil Fauna' by Jack Wittry, and have been fascinated, and nearly overwhelmed, by the wealth of information presented. With the great descriptions and photography, I've been able to identify quite a number of pieces in my collection, but it has been difficult for many of the specimens. I'm certain that this is the normal course of education that most of you have undergone over a period of years, and I'm sure that experience and familiarity will help. I'm requesting your help with identification on some of the more difficult pieces I've run into so far. The first one may simply be a seed pod or some other type of flora that wouldn't have been in the book, but on the chance it might be a coprolite, I'm asking for help: There are two 'pods' in the concretion. Each measures approximately 3/16" x 5/16". The photos are of the positive and negative of one of the pods. Second image in next post.
  11. I've gone through the galleries (some of, anyway) of Mazon Creek flora, and have a question on two concretions in my possession. Specimen # 1 resembles]pictures of Lepidostrobus, but I am uncertain.I could not find a photo of anything exactly like specimen #2, but it resembles a Neuropteris leaf with a round object at one end. Is it just another small leaflet?
  12. Which one would you choose? Please help
  13. Stromatolites?

    Hi guys, When I look online, I see mostly photos of fossil with solid cross sections, with all of the banding, or else the living stromatolite examples in Australia. However there was one publication through the University of Wisconsin extension by Neme and Bemis (2002) that has a rendering of a stromatolite that looks similar to this one which I found at Mazon in the South Unit: Do you think this is one? Next, I found these two specimen in the same gully on Easter Day, in Richland County, Wisconsin. There is a similar fossil in the member collections... http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/gallery/image/8447-cryptozoon-rosmontensis/ Right next to that, I found this large laminated-looking, hollow rock thing. Is it possible that this is a stromatolite that has not been recrystalized? Can stromatolites be hollow? Thanks very much for looking, Jann
  14. I'm concerned that I'll ruin these if I continue to freeze and thaw on these two nodules, but I thought I should ask a Mazon expert regarding this. We dug these up in the fossil campground near Braidwood where we stayed on the April Fools' Day Mazon trip. There are ten concretions that came from the same matrix, close together in a small volume. The first one that split open for me this morning, fell into six pieces. Another one split unevenly, on the far left: Then the outer layer of two more nodules started to come off, and revealed parts of flora sticking out of the nodule as shown in the first two photos. Can I continue to freeze/thaw these unopened nodules, or should I try some other method at this point since there is something revealed? I appreciate any guidance and advice you can give, and thanks for reading. Jann
  15. P1030374edit

    From the album Collection

    Belotelson magister (Shrimp Molt)
  16. Hi all, A couple of months ago, I acquired a small box of unopened Mazon Creek nodules via the forum. After reading whatever I could find on the freeze-thaw method (too many TFF topics to cite here), I started doing the following. First, I submerged the nodules in water (in 6 cm deep trays, fully submerging the nodules, which were placed next to each other, not stacking them) for one week (I was on vacation). Subsequently, I put the trays in freezer until frozen solid (1 day). I repeated these steps (duration 1 day each) until nodules popped open/could be opened by hand. Most of my nodules have opened by now (two to go still) and this is what I found: Some of the nodules seem to contain bits (e.g. the ones on lower right - any ID suggestions?), but most are empty, at least to my untrained eye (have zero previous experience with Mazon Creek material). I've read the "content" of the nodules varies from site to site, and general estimates range from 1/4 to 1/10 nodules yielding something fossiliferous. However, most others who obtained nodules from the same source reported nice finds in their batches. Given this, I was wondering whether I did something wrong method-wise. Also, is it worthwhile to re-split nodules, i.e. put them back in the freezer and try splitting them along a parallel plane? P.S. During the freeze-thaw cycling, many of the nodules started to "peel"; the outer parts started to disintegrate in somewhat onion-like fashion. Is this normal? Thanks for your input, Tim
  17. Now that I found my first mazon shrimp, I've been starting to learn a little about these non-decapod shrimp-like crustaceans. Looking to learn more. Like how many legs did they have and how do they relate to modern shrimp. Post any info or pics of your Mazon shrimp finds and other paleozoic shrimplike crustaceans. Here's mine a bit cleaned up from the other day. Jack Wittry told me Friday night that he thought it was a peachocaris strongi.
  18. Freeze/thaw Problems...

    Hi everyone! SO... I placed my concretions in water for 3 days, and then froze them. I left them in the freezer for 1 week. I then proceeded to pull them out and give them like 5 or six taps each (W/ a metal hammer and the other part of the rock on concrete). But the fossils seemed 'soft' when I hit them, just rubbing material off on the ground.... I so far, haven't even been able to open one of my concretions am I doing something wrong?? -Pecopteris
  19. Mazon Fossil ll

    Here is another 3D fossil in a Mazon nodule. I am intrigued by the squared-off "stem." Does anyone know what it is?
  20. Mazon Fossil

    Here is a fossil that I believe to be a pair of Annularia whorls. It was a small nodule. Grid is 1", bold to bold. The nodule resisted repeated efforts at freeze/thaw opening. Finally the "whack and hope" method was employed. It is very 3D on one half, while its counterpart displays a more typical impression. Is there another interpretation or a more precise one, as to the ID? Has anyone had experience with "3D" preservation in the Mazon nodules? Thanks