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Found 190 results

  1. Hello everybody, My new museum tour focuses on the Geological and Palaeontological Museum of the University of Padua, Italy. I have visited more than 30 institutions in Italy, but this one remains my favourite. And it is generally acknowledged as having the most important collection of all the Italian universities. After seeing the pictures, I think that you'll agree with me!! The origin of the museum can be traced back to 1734 when the son of a professor donated his dead father's collections that were housed in a brand new natural sciences museum. in the following decades many more scholars helped to expand the collections. The museum moved in the present location, a XVII building decorated with frescoes, in 1932. After having been closed for many years, it reopened to the public in 2018. Unfortunately the whole invertebrate collection (more than 45.000 fossils) has been stored due to the building restoration. That's why only the plant and vertebrate collections can be visited, but nevertheless it is not short of surprises and amanzing specimens!! In this post I'll show you only the plant section. It is housed in a single large room and specimens are displayed like the XIX c. collections, but with modern equipment. It does nothing but enhance the astonishment. Padua is located 35 km west of Venice and 55 east of the Pesciara di Bolca, that is undoubtedly the most famous Italian palaeontological site (you can see specimens in the New york and Washington D.C. museums for example). it dates to the early Eocene and has yielded exceptionally well-preserved fishes, palm fruits and terrestrial and acquatic leafs. Most people don't know that around Bolca there are other important lagerstatten sites, with a similar age, that have yielded very different assemblages. For example in the Purga di Bolca, complete or isolated palm trunks and leafs have been found, as well as crocodiles and turtles. In the nearby province of Vicenza, an Oligocene outcrop preserves even more spectacular palm trees! I would have liked to explain in more detail the history of research in this areas and a description of flora and ancient environment, but it would take too long. If you are interested, I suggest you to read the most comprehensive and up-to-date work about the Bolca lagerstatten. You can download it for free from many sources. "CARNEVALE, G., et al. The Bolca Fossil-Lagerstätten: A Window into the Eocene World. 2014." Back, to Pauda, in the center of the room, plant specimens dating from the Carboniferous to the Pleistocene age and coming from all over Italy and other countries are exhibited. Now it's finaly time for the pictures!!! Let's start with two complete views of the room! It's impressive, isn't it? In the first case that I show you, you can see a wide range of plants from the Pesciara of Bolca, another outcrop near Bolca and from the province of Viceza: conifers, angiosperms, indeterminate specimens and horsetails. The close-up images are those of two conifers and of a horsetail. Next an undetermined plant showing inflorescences. In the Pesciara di Bolca, spectacular palm fruits can be found, some of them more than 30 cm (12 inch) long!! And now the amazing and almost breath-taking palm fronds! There are so many that you cannot take pictures of all of them, it would take so long!! Found from both in the Verona and Vicenza province, they show different stages of the growth of palms and and come from different parts of the plant. Of all of the aforementioned palm fronds, one stands out above all. It is actually a whole palm tree, 3 m (10 ft) tall. Definetely one of the most amazing fossil specimen that I've seen in any museum of the world. It belongs to the species "Latanites maximiliani" and was found in the Chiavon valley, Vicenza province. The next picture shows me (1,8 m or 5'9" tall) for size comparison. In the next post I'll explain to you the other plant exhibit. But first, enjoy this part!!
  2. Centralia's Bright White Ferns

    Deep in the heart of Pennsylvania's coal country runs the Carboniferous Lewellyn Formation. Once a vast tract of swampland, the area was home to 100 ft. tall Calamites (an extinct relative of modern herbaceous horsetails), giant tree ferns and other enormous plants, plus proportionally large insects. The conditions during the intervening millennia were just right for the plants to break down into iron-based minerals, including pyrophyllite and kaolinite, leaving a coating of white powder over the impressions in the rock. In rare spots, the iron minerals come in yellow, orange or red, too. All this makes the fossils stand out in sharp contrast to the dark, gray shale matrix. This is not a place for the timid. The shale is on a steep, slick slope covered in loose scree. The trees that look like good hand-holds are dead and rotten. Below the surface, fires burn in the coal veins, creating a sinkhole hazard all over the ghost town and on to the neighboring towns. However, the place I was hunting is definitely a beaten path these days, so there is probably a low risk of invisible disaster. I always say that no rock is worth your life, but that doesn't stop me from living a little dangerously. I went there for the first time last month. It was a short stop close to dusk. The fog was thick and the rocks were wet. The white powder was hard to make out in the gloom. Today, the light was good, the rocks were dry and the hunting was good!
  3. Daring to Hunt Centralia Ferns

    I read @rachelgardner01 's trip report* recently on the fossil forum telling about St. Clair-style white fern fossils and how the ghost town was once again being visited by more than just the most reckless of thrill seekers. Not long ago, extremely few people dared to go beyond the new bypass for fear of falling into flaming sink holes. The place has become unregulated like the Wild West, with tourists coming from all over to see the “Highway to Hell” and ride their ATVs. The fire was reported to have burned out in town and moved down the coal vein. Clearly, no one is worried about sink holes. After a couple hours enjoying every ride with no lines at Knoebels Amusement Park on a very foggy, soggy day, we drove to Centralia for a little fun. What could be cooler than a ghost town on a foggy October day? And, by the way, after enjoying the romantic setting, maybe we could find the quarry. Rachel's trip report included a handy aerial map with the slope marked in red. It was a short walk from on of three cemeteries that are still maintained in town. All we had to do was follow the ATV tracks. We met a microbiologist while we walked. She was looking at the bacteria, comparing soil samples from places where the fire was out with samples from some hot spots above a fire that still exists deep below town (with surface soil temps around 80F). The bacteria present in the hot spots are out of balance. There is an overabundance of the wrong sort. However, in the spots that have cooled down, the balance has returned surprisingly quickly. And, by the way, she had a permit to be there. The town is still considered too unsafe for the general public, but it isn’t patrolled. Two lessons should be learned from this: 1. Nature always finds a way. 2. If the rocks I’m examining seem kind of warm, find someplace else to prospect! We found the quarry about an hour before sunset. We found ourselves at the top of steeply sloping walls covered in scree over smooth, slick, carbon shale. I watched my step, kept my center of gravity close to the ground, and tread carefully. I like sliding down scree-covered slopes, but not when I do it unintentionally. The fossils were plentiful! I saw calamites and lepidodendron all over the place. Some were bright white while others were gleaming gray on matte gray shale. Some had a single fern frond and others were a riot of plant textures. A few were coated pale yellow. The hard part was picking out the nicest ones to take home. I have been to this formation before. I made several trips to Carbondale, to the NE, over the last couple years. I missed my chance to go prospecting at St Clair ( a few miles to the SE ) as they closed the site to all but school groups a few years ago, but I do have some pieces that others collected before they closed. St Clair and Centralia both have the white ferns. Carbondale has the most detailed preservation. The ones there that are colored are yellow to deep red with a few that have iridescent spots. Centralia’s stone is the most crumbly and delicate, especially when damp. Although Centralia, St. Clair and Carbondale are all part of the Lewellen Formation and reasonably close to one another, there is a distinct difference in the stone at each locale. St Clair and Carbondale have firmer shales. I wanted to find things that I did not already have represented from Carbondale. That proved tricky in the short time I had, but I did find some nice white ferns to take home. Plus, I have a plan for another trip at some point with more time – maybe with some simple rappelling gear? Coincidentally, this month’s speaker for the Delaware Mineralogical Society was a geologist who participated in a study of the mineralization of St Clair plants. Here, then, are some of the highlights after I thought to take notes. Time period: Pennsylvanian Sub-period, 320-290 million years old The environment was a swampy area where the sediments settled slowly. The plants were minimally compressed during preservation, so the impressions are more or less the same size as the original biomatter. The silvery-gray material coating some of the plant impressions is graphite while the white is a combination of pyrophyllite and kaolinite after pyrite. When the swamp was buried, the thicker parts of the plants pyritized. Heat and pressure then transformed the pyrite into the white minerals, which settled to the bottom. The upper surfaces retained the carbon and became coated in glossy graphite. So, what one sees loose on the ground are a mix of upper and lower surfaces. *
  4. I went today for a new carboniferous hunt,a lot of water but no rain,very nice day! A carboniferous heart?
  5. From the westphalian of Northern France,I would trade these large plates for other fossils i still not have:) A Lepidodendron trunk imprint and a stem
  6. Hi everyone, I haven't been able to post much lately as I've been ill for a few months so haven't been getting out hunting as much as I'd like but I've had some good luck when I have been able to get out so wanted to share some finds! All are from the Carboniferous of the Midland Valley of Scotland from several formations, I haven't gotten round to photographing everything yet so I'll post some more stuff over the next few days. First some finds from the Lower Carboniferous/Mississippian marine Blackhall Limestone. Undescribed jellyfish, Fife Coast, 3cm across. Apparently a paper describing these is about to be published very soon. I'm told this ones a male, the bumps in the center being the male reproductive organs. This is by far the more common form, there is a second spotty form known from this formation which I found a specimen of a few weeks back and will post shortly.
  7. back from the future:end-Permian events

    VAIMCLOUH End-Permian (252 Mya) deforestation, wildfires and flooding—An ancient biotic crisis with lessons for the present Vivi Vajda,, StephenMcLoughlin, Chris Mays, Tracy D.Frank, Christopher R.Fielding, AllenTevyaw, Veiko Lehsten, Malcolm Bocking, Robert S.Nicoll Earth and Planetary Science Letters 529(2020)115875 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NB: 7,3 Mb editorial note: Having some pre-existing knowledge of organic petrology,palynology,geochemistry would be helpful
  8. Hello I'm a newbie fossil collector (and newly active member) who happens to several interesting fossils for a decent price from our favorite auctions sites 1st is are Knightia. The seller claims that they are not restored or enhanced 2nd set are 4 Spinosaurus teeth. The seller claims that cracks have been repaired, but no restoration or composition has been made (Pictures 2-9 of teeth in pairs) 3rd is a Lycoptera which the seller claims is not restored or enhanced 4th are plates of Elrathia Trilobites from Wheeler Formation 5th are Fossil Ferns from Llewellyn Formation 6th is a Hyracodon jaw fragment I would like to ask if the sellers' description of the items are accurate and/or if they are restored, enhanced or composites. Cheers!
  9. My dad and I recently took a trip to collect plant fossils at two locales near Centralia, PA. Given that St. Clair is no longer accessible to collecting, we found that this area offered the next best option for collecting similar fossil ferns. We came away with a lot of large samples of Calamites sp., including several pith casts that just fell out of the rock. We also found a fair amount of Annularia, Neuropteris, and Pecopteris. Here are only a few of our best finds. I hope you enjoy. If you disagree on an identification, please let me know; I am still trying to identify everything. Some Neuropteris from Centralia What looks to be the bark of Sigillaria
  10. My wife and I went for an afternoon drive Saturday to see if we could find a few places I had been reading about a couple hours away. The first stop was Mcintyre Mountain, a Pennsylvanian plant fossil location looking through the tailings from a large but long abandoned mine town, like 150 years abandoned. The drive in was a 4 mile dirt road up the mountain. Luckily for us the majority of it was well maintained and the scenery was beautiful.
  11. It was a very hot day today,but it was not the Sahara only Northern France!
  12. Fossil lichen?

    Saw this at a rock shop. Reminds me of lichen. Thoughts?
  13. How to ID Fossils

    So I've been collecting fossils for a few years now, i have a bunch of ammonites, sea urchins, mollusks and plants but I have no idea where can i learn what exact species they are. I'm wandering if there is any books or sites to which you can point me so I can gather some knowledge . I know there is an ID section in this site but I want to be able to tell what species I have found, myself. By the way I'm from Europe.
  14. I am originally from Black Forest just north of the Springs, but I've never really gone fossil hunting in the area. I've certainly done my share of hunting in road cuts and public lands as a kid on roadtrips and camping with my family, but that was years ago and I don't remember really where any of those places were (aside from Dotsero; that'd be difficult to forget). Regardless, I'll be heading there late this summer in August to visit family for maybe a week or week and a half. Reading strat columns and geologic maps is no problem; I have a pretty good idea of the rocks that could outcrop on the front range and the Denver-Julesberg Basin. I just don't know where to look exactly for fossils. Anyone know of some sites on public land in the region to do some hunting? I have plans for some rockhounding in the Pikes Peak Batholith but I'd be thrilled to have a fossil site or two to visit as well. I'd love to find some plant fossils or ammonites/other marine inverts. But I'm not picky about type or age. I'm really just starting to collect, so I'm not after anything in particular. I'm willing to drive a couple hours to somewhere. Also northern Colorado closer to Fort Collins into southeast Wyoming would be great, if anyone knows of something there. I live in Laramie, so sites near there are welcome, too.
  15. Prior to today, the sites I have checked out were from the Devonian in the Mahantango Formation, but had heard of a spot around Centralia (yikes) PA, and decided to venture out. Carboniferous, not sure what formation? These were the most interesting items I found and wasn’t there for a very long time. Any help at ID would be great, there is a lot of leaf patterns in the slabs but they, for the most part seem identical, and also what appears to be a stem or bark of some sort. Thanks!
  16. Hello again! I'm almost ready to label my Carboniferous fossils, and since I know pretty much nothing about plants fossils, I was hoping to get some help Specimen #1 from Pennsylvania, USA: Specimen #2 from Illinois, USA - each half of one nodule: Specimen #3 from New Brunswick, Canada: Specimen #4 from New Brunswick, Canada: Specimen #5 from Poland: Specimen #6 from England: Thanks in advance for your help! Monica
  17. June Fishing Trip

    My friend kris, Ptycodus4, and I planned a trip to the fish quarrys last september. Kris is very much like me and would rather prep out the fossil fish that in much harder rock than all the 'split fish' rock. I had to make a few phone calls but got us into a quarry that had some 18 inch material and some bottom cap stuff. The 18 inch where we were digging was in places a bit weathered and wanted to delaminate but we still got some very good stuff. The bottom cap was much more dense and in one place had some extraordinarily super duper preserved fish! We arrived at what is now 'In Stone Fossils' after a 7 1/2 hour drive and set up camp. Then the boys started lifting rock and in no time came across a very nice palm leaf! Dean, the quarry owner was quite happy. Had steaks over a fire with baked taters that had garlic onion and bacon all wrapped in tin foil and sat along the edges of the fire for 3 hours. Oh, the texas boys showed up that evening too. Put down a few drinks and had a blast just shootin the poop. Got up early the next morning and my middle son found a very nice Diplomystus right off the bat. Everyone was finding fish. The texas boys seemed a little slow and then realized they were not used to the altitude but they still gots lots of really nice fish. I think Kris was in heaven. he and I both are going to be quite busy preppin for a long time to come. My boys also uncovered a fossil that is extreamly rare and extreamly valuable but was asked by the quarry owner not to post anything about it till later. Once I get permission from him this mystery will be told. My youngest son is coming over today and we are going to go through these slabs and I will get a few more pictures to post here. I have to prep out some of the best of these for my sons and their freind, but then I get to keep all the rest. Woooooooop woooooooooop!!! RB Nice palm leaf. The missing stuff on the right is in another rock and will be saved and put back together. My youngest son either making a relief cut or cutting out a fish. My middle sons very firs fish of the trip and early in the morning too. A nice way to start the day. You can see the delaminating in this picture. A milk crate full of very nice fossil fish. Just need a lot of prep time. Back seat of my truck full of some very nice fish slabs!
  18. Entire collection of unknown fossils found

    I live in lexington ky. While filling in a pond for a lady i found a dino tooth, as i loojed aroynd it seemed lije it must have been a fossil bed they got the rock from. I have a small collection of about 150 fossils, ive notices alot of embedded teeth, complete heads (mainly reptile i belueve) to be honest im a gem and rock hound anyway so knowing we had to bury these again in the pond, has made me very ill. Where is a small overall photo. I will inquire individually. Thanks in advance
  19. Is this a fossil?

    Hello everyone, new member here My 8 year old son is very interested in fossils and is always looking for them even though I don't think there are many in our area. He dug this piece out of our yard in Spokane, Washington. I have my doubts but I can't tell what it is so thought I better ask. Appreciate your help!
  20. I've recently become aware that there has been Pennsylvanian plant material found in the vicinity of Lansing, MI (Saginaw Formation I believe). All academic papers I've found on the subject are quite old, and I've read conflicting reports from here and other websites as to whether these localities are productive at all. Has anyone had experience hunting these areas?
  21. Kelowna Fish Fossil

    Hi all, Found this fish fossil in some slate in Kelowna. Not sure of the rock member yet, as I'm unfamiliar with Okanagan geology (besides the White Lake member). The fossil is close to a foot long, and was found along side fossils of Metasequoia occidentalis leaves as well as an unidentified deciduous branch. I imagine this is probably a fossil of Eosalmo driftwoodensis. The fossil has preserved a somewhat squished 3d rendering of the spinal/head material that is extremely fragile. Is it valuable to maintain, and if so how?
  22. This report is long overdue, but I thought might be worth posting based on the response to the rolling auction items currently up for bid... In the early summer of 2017 my family and I set out on a 7000+ mile roadtrip through 21 states. The trip gave me the opportunity to collect at a couple of famous sites like the Kemmerer's green river formation and wheeler shale in Utah, but one stop combined fossil collecting with some of the most beautiful countryside I've had the opportunity to experience. Big Cedar Ridge is a late cretaceous deposit near Worland, WY. The plant fossils are plentiful but delicate in a light gray matrix, I say "in" rather than "on" because the fossils were the result of a large ash fall that buried the foliage where it stood so the fossils are often in 3 dimensions rather than simply found on horizontal planes. To say it's off the beaten path is an understatement, but it's well worth the effort. Make sure you pay attention to the weather, pack appropriately and make sure your spare tire is in good repair... just in case. We started out early from a bed and breakfast at the base of Devil's Tower (thanks to @minnbuckeye's recommendation). After a 3+ hour drive we got to a spot where I thought the road should be a little past Ten Sleep, but there were no road markers to be found. We went a little further before turning around and taking the unmarked dirt road we initially passed. We didn't see another car once we made the turn so make sure you have everything you need. The drive is 15 miles of dirt roads through BLM cattle grazing land.
  23. Last week took a short drive (11 miles of road and 3 on beach) to our local fossil area. 99.9% of our finds are plant parts. Mostly Alder and Willow leaves with some Meta Sequoia tossed in. Some times a birch leaf will find its way in. In the right rocks I've found a number of what I believe are alder cones as well.. After I get back home I'll start working on IDs. Unfortunately the literature is scant but was given one that has some local info. Some planes will have single leaves in good shape. While others are stacked on top of each other but the leaves are damaged. It looks like they preserved after they started to rot. There are other areas with a wider selection of leaves but you have to take a boat. And with our tide changes (between 7-25ft) it can take some planning. I will add more once back home and can work on more photos
  24. What is it?

    Hi. I’ve been going through and preparing some old fossils that I’ve had. I got these about 20 years ago at a rock show so sadly I don’t have much info. The seller said they were found near a fish skull I’ve also been working on. When I got them there was just a small patch showing. Any ideas? Thank you in advance. There was also what I believe to be a small amphibian jaw in the matrix also.about 1/2”-1” long that you can’t see in this pictures. But that’s for another post LOL!
  25. I went last weekend for a new carboniferous hunt with few nice finds