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Found 26 results

  1. Carboniferous fun in SW VA

    Fruits of "me time" in road cuts in Russell and Wise counties in southwest Virginia 3/25/17.
  2. Calamities Brand and Fern

    From the album Carbondale, PA

    Carbondale, PA Lewellyn Formation Pennsylvanian period 299-323 myo
  3. Calamites

    From the album Cory's Lane Fossil Locality

    Imprint of two calamites stems. Found in 2017 at the Cory's Lane fossil locality, Rhode Island.
  4. Calamites gigas???

    Hi everyone...Can this be a fossil of calamities gigas? I don't know the provenance. Thanks
  5. Greetings from Carbondale!

    This week we found ourselves headed for Carbon County, PA and looked up some places to go hunting. St. Clair was out, but there were some references to Carbondale here and there. As the name suggests, Carbondale was a coal mining town. There are active and inactive areas all over town, much of it fossiliferous. The most popular spot seems to be the one we went to, a tailings pile next to an apartment complex off of Westside Rd. The land status is unknown, but there were was nothing posted, so we ventured in as many have done before us. Our directions said to follow the gravel path between the third and fourth buildings on the right, then bear left and continue to the en of the ravel road, where you'd see a "mountain of tailings." When we parked, I looked from side to side for a pile I expected to be maybe the size of a van. From behind me, I hear my husband say, "Oh, that mountain of tailings." I looked from side to side. No, her told me, look straight ahead and up. Oh! It was indeed a mountain! The pile loomed above the rich grove. How did I miss that? (On a return trip a couple days later, I noticed it also loomed over the apartments!) A narrow trail leads through the woods to a meadow and a bare section of wall just asking to be explored. April was the perfect time to go as all the weeds were down from the winter snows and not yet regrowing much. The trees growing from the wall itself provided just enough footing for me to climb without sliding back down - until I wanted to. Whee! Once I reached the wall, it took me only seconds to spot my first bit of Calamities bark, and then another, and then a complete, 3D stalk section! After about an hour of searching I spotted a limb sticking put of the fine slate crumbs and pulled it out. It was a chunk of Calamites stalk as big as my outstretched hand. I spent a total of about 5 hours over two days scrabbling across a sheer wall of loose shale. Ferns! Leaves! Roots! Seeds! Bark of all different textures! Some of the ferns were incredibly detailed. One had all the miniscule veins outlined in red (pyrite?), while others were just extremely fine impressions in the grey rock. As it turns out, the gravel road itself runs across an overgrown tailings pile. Here and there you can find exposed rock, including bark plates bigger than dinner dishes! After spending what felt like an hour on day 2 (It turned out to be three hours!!!) I decided it was time for lunch and slid down the hill like a little kid. There at the base of the hill, was mu find for the week: a whole section of tree(?) trunk with bark all the way around the specimen. It was lying alone in the woods on some leaves, just waiting for someone to wander off the beaten path. I debated about bringing it home. It was so big! Hubby was snoozing on a nearby rock. Rocks are not his thing and bringing home piles of them doubly so, but he is so sweet that he picked that heavy thing up before I could blink and carried it to the car himself. He's a keeper! It will take quite some time to photograph all my treasures, but I will post in the comments here when I have an album together.
  6. Calamite??

    Hi, it's this a fossil calamite? Found it in besom hill Oldham uk.
  7. Calamites, but what species?

    Having only found specimens with 1-2 nodes, I was pleasantly surprised to spot this poking out of the ground after a heavy rain yesterday. Just out of curiosity (and so I can properly label it in my gallery), could anyone tell me what species of Calamites it is (if possilble)?
  8. Calamites

    From the album icycatelf's Backyard Fossils

    Calamites Hyden Formation Middle Pennsylvanian Eastern Kentucky 7.5 inches (height) I love fossil-hunting after a good rain. :)
  9. calamitous botany

    If previously posted ,all praise(if any) should go to that previous poster barryUKCalamiBrym.pdf
  10. Pennsylvanian Calamites?

    This specimen was a surprise to me. At first glance, because of the delicate fibrous appearance and the wood color, I thought it was a modern piece of wood embedded in the middle of a boulder. Closer examination, however, revealed what you see in the pictures. This specimen is from the Winterset Limestone Member in the Kansas City Group, Pennsylvanian subsystem. It is about 1 cm long with a short branch off to the side. The specimen is split in half laterally and the pictures show the two halves that fit together. There were various brachiopods and half of a nice four-inch involutely coiled nautiloid (at least I think that is what it is) in the same boulder. The fossil is siliceous and has well-preserved, tiny fibers which are the color of wood. Although, it may be that the color is actually the same dusty red-brown or dusty purple as some other fossils in this member (mostly brachiopods). From the scant resources I have on hand for plant identification, I have guessed that it might be a Calamites. Any help with identification will be appreciated. Russ Russ
  11. Calamites sp.

    From the album Plants

    Calamites sp., Carboniferous, Offerton, Lancashire, UK
  12. Exploded Calamites?

    Hi All. I recently had an invitation to some private property in Greenup County Kentucky to identify the fossils in the creek bed and surrounding hills. Based on the KGS, the property is in quadrangle G54 and the creek and hills are Lower and Upper Mississippian and Lower Pennsylvanian. There were definitely some Calamites and other plant fossils up on the ridge and marine invertebrate fossils down at the base of the hill beside the creek. The hills have Pennsylvanian and the road and creek sides have Mississippian. Obviously, the creek bed is a mix. There is one large type of fossil the property owner was finding in the creek that I'm not sure is identifiable, but he found a number of these, so perhaps someone else has seen them and knows what they are. See the attached photos. These specimens do not have a texture that leads me to identify them, and they are completely mineralized and probably exploded from the original size of the fossil. The specimens belong to the property owner and I did not find one myself, so I can't take more photos to show. My first guess is exploded Calamites, but then again it could just be concretions or burrows that have exploded over time. Please send your thoughts on these. All leads are useful in my research of a good identification. Thanks! Bill
  13. Joggins, Nova Scotia - October 2014

    October of 2014 saw a few storms that rocked the coast of Joggins pretty good. In sites like these, the day(s) after a storm is the best day to see if nature revealed more of its secrets. I invited my friend Ray to come down South to Nova Scotia with me for a little trip and boom, on the road with good company! For people that don't know what or where Joggins is by now (look up my previous posts or just search for it on the 'InTeRnEtS' via a search engine), you'll find out that this UNESCO site plays a crucial part in trying to understand our past, before the domination of giant diapsids, aka dinosaurs. This place touts having discovered some of the (if not the) oldest reptile ever found, which most remains are lodged inside fossil trees which Joggins is reknowned for. The area that we usually like to walk to is a section along the Joggins Formation, located between Lower Cove and Shulie. The formations North/North East of the targeted section, Boss Point/Lower Cove, are older. The cliffs are set as classic layer position, although tilted for a few kilometers, where the older rock is at the bottom, and topped with younger strata. There is a nice spot to park near the small bridge in Lower Cove. From there, you make your way down and start heading South. It only takes a few hundred feet before you start encountering the exposed cliff strata. Calamite within another plant fossil(square on scale=1cm) Walking a few meters more we noticed this while looking up... As we saw some of the sandstone slabs and boulders slide down the cliff, or just hang there precariously, we came up upon this slab. These had wonderful tetrapod tracks running on one side of the slab of sandstone, running from the bottom, and running off on the left side. These prints are not bad, well preserved, and can easily make out the manus and pes (hands and feet) of the track-making animal. The average height of these prints are between 3 to 4.5 CM, with a width of 4 to 4.5 CM. I have many more photos that offer different angles and exact scale measurements, which I didn't post. And yes I realize that the scale on these 3 pics obscure an actual print. My bad. Ray playing the role of the human scale Trying to figure out from which layer this dropped from Being observers without a permit, we had to leave the tracks untouched where we found them. Unfortunate as these are most probably shattered in pieces, carried by the strong tides. We that, we moved on. The remainder of our walk is what is considered a typical Joggins walk, seeing trees, roots, plants, and the occasional fern. Tree cast with coal Close up Stigmaria Mass of ferns Tree cast Calamite There might be changes coming and the chance to save these type of fossils could be made a little easier with positive collaboration with invested entities such as the Joggins Fossil Center. In the future, I and others will have to be more careful in capturing relevant data, flagging the specimen(s), record the coordinates, and try to flag someone who has the power to extract said so fossil(s). This way the chances to save something like the trackways found that day from the ravages of time and nature would be more favorable. Time will tell. Till the next adventure! - Keenan
  14. Dear all, It was difficult, very difficult to wait with posting, since I am very, very excited about this fossil find. However, I also wanted the Dutch magazine version to come out first. Well, it finally did this Tuesday, so here is some info in English, along with a couple of the figures. During a visit to the Piesberg near Osnabrück (Germany) in 2010, I found a stem fragment of Calamites decorated with strange, elongate-oval structures [Fig. 1]. While those features were unusual and quite remarkable, it proved difficult to find information about them and the fossil consequently went into my collection as unidentified. Last January, however, I stumbled upon a research paper that could shed light on the matter. The elongate-oval structures turn out to be one of the oldest-known examples of endophytic oviposition, i.e. egg-laying inside plant tissue, by insects. Fig. 1. The fossil specimen is atypical in several respects [Fig. 2]. The stem fragment doesn’t show the longitudinal ribs one usually sees on the internodes of Calamites. This is because we are looking at a preservation of the epidermis (outer layer of the stem), not at a cast of the central pith, which are more commonly found. Fossils of the epidermis (sometimes referred to as Calamophyllites) typically have internodes with a smooth surface (though it may be lightly striated or wrinkled), leaving few diagnostic features. Nonetheless, due to the presence of a characteristic nodal line with large, circular branch-scars [Fig. 2, shown on schematic in green], the fossil fragment can be identified as Calamites (subgenus Calamitina) with reasonable confidence. Below the nodal line with branch-scars, about eight elongate-oval structures can be observed [Fig. 1]. They are all orientated roughly parallel to the axis of the calamite stem and vary in length from 6 to 16 mm. A foreign nature with respect to the plant tissue is suggested by the gümbelite film in which the epidermis is preserved (gümbelite is a hydromuscovite and responsible for the well-known silver-grey colour of the fossils from the Piesberg). Note how this thin film of mineralization does not extend across several of the elongate-oval structures, which may indicate that the plant tissue there is either missing or damaged. Their exact origin, however, remained a mystery to me. Until recently. Fig. 2. While looking for information on some Carboniferous localities in France, I happened upon the research article ‘Earliest Evidence of Insect Endophytic Oviposition’ by Olivier Béthoux et al. (2004). The paper describes insect egg-laying structures, called oviposition-scars, found on two stem fragments of Calamites cistii from the Upper Carboniferous (Stephanian B/C) of Graissessac, Southern France. These scars are elongate-oval structures, orientated parallel to the axis of the stem, occurring on a preservation of calamite epidermis [see their Figures 1 and 2]. Careful preparation of three of these scars yielded small spherical cavities, which the researchers interpreted as imprints of the eggs themselves [see their Figure 2b]. The oviposition-scars from Graissessac vary in length from 5 to 38 mm and are surrounded by a thin film of organic material [see their Figure 2c]. Given the strong resemblance with the Piesberg-material, it didn’t take long to make the link with the mystery markings I found years earlier. Now, after confirmation by email from Olivier Béthoux and in person from Han van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, I can with reasonable certainty say that some sort of Carboniferous insect has laid its eggs in the calamite stem I found in the Piesberg quarry. This type of trace fossils is quite rare, so I am very happy I brought this one home. As a nice bonus this specimen comes from the Westphalian D, and is thus somewhat older (about 4 million years) than the published material from Graissessac (Stephanian BC), which is still cited as the oldest occurrence in recent literature. So you can really say this specimen from the Piesberg is one of the oldest examples around! Hope this was as fun and informative as this fossil has been for me, Tim
  15. Detail Calamites bark section

    From the album Carboniferous from PA.

    Calamites bark section (detail) Pennsylvanian Llewellyn Formation Carbondale, PA.
  16. Tynemouth Creek (Gardner Creek)

    Taken from my blog post: http://redleafz.blogspot.ca/2013/08/tynemouth-creek-gardner-creek.html I've been tallying up a list of new sites I wanted to visit and Tynemouth Creek was on the top of that list. The Tynemouth Creek coastlines, located in Southern New Brunswick between Saint Martins and Saint John, has been the site of newly discovered trackways which had been few before. The formations of this site are about Lower Pennsylvanian (Carboniferous) in age, with the occasional sliver of Pre-Cambrian rock crossing some of the local rock, and Triassic sections further East towards St. Martins. Triassic cliffs at St. Martins Driving there isn't too bad. From Moncton you drive towards Sussex, then head South through St Martins. I took the time to stop in town to check the beach and take a few pics before heading out. I wanted to go down the beach at Giffin Pond but access wasn't easy, so I turned back and made a quick stop at the light house to enjoy the scenery early in the morning. I made it back to St Martins and continued on to Bains Corner, taking a side road South of there to Tynemouth Creek. Same thing here about access. I could have gone down but access wasn't easy to spot. This wasn't also the site I really wanted to check, so I hopped back in my car and headed West towards Gardner Creek. Gardner Creek is kinda split in two where the bridge acts as the divider. The West section has these preserved, unaltered fossils and trackways from the Lower Carboniferous. The East section of these cliffs are more twisted, folder, and faulted, with Carboniferous formation slapped beside Triassic rocks, similarly found further East at St Martins. I chose to walk the East section first. I immediately came upon stigmaria roots and other plant material. The further East I went, the less fossils I would find. Here's a few photos showing folding and faulting. Mini fractures Folding with smaller folds under the contact zone The above pic shows the top strata, or rock layers, at an horizontal position, and the bottom section folded. Exposed fold Fault hidden from view (center), layers changing angle, and folding (far right) West of the bridge at Gardner Creek, heading towards Wallace Beach, the sandstone yielded more fossils and trackways than the previous spot I went to. Most of the layers are not eroding at a fast pace, making the exposed trackways not so well detailed. What's cool about these layers of sandstones are the calamites and other tree-like plants in situ, at a vertical position as they would have been when this place was a forest. The calamites are numerous and concentrated at certain spots. Calamites in growth position Calamites 'stumps' Fern-like plant, very weathered Arthropleura tracks The pic above shows diplichnites, possibly made by a good size arthropleura (a kind of giant millipede). There were reports of some being found in this area and this slab had two sets of these tracks crossing each other. The other set is not as well defined as the other set but you can still make out the direction. Two sets are intersecting at the bottom The site was very interesting and I wished I had stayed longer. Next visit I will have to explore further West towards Wallace Beach/McCoy Head, and attempt to check the cliffs directly at Tynemouth Creek and/or Giffin Pond. That's it! Till next time! - Keenan
  17. Today we were allowed into a Pennsylvanian Period Strip Mine in NW Alabama to collect and had a wonderful day, a little hot, but nice to be out finding many nice fossils. I forgot my straw hat today so my ears are a little red now. There were many high piles of tailings to search and we found many of the typical Pennsylvanian plant flora, Calamites, Lepidodendron, Stigmaria, ferns, and one interesting type of fern with thorns??? on the stem. We saw many of these in an area with many many layers of them some 14-16 inches thick in the blocks. The Strip Mine Calamites below Pyrite replacement Stigmaria below Fern with Thorns??? on stem Look close at the thorns on the top and bottom.
  18. Pennsylvanian Calamites Mystery

    While I was putting away my Pennsylvanian Plant Finds from a couple of weeks ago I came across this Calamites with some unusual structures on it, ah maybe an insect under the top layer???? Any suggestions???
  19. On our third half-day trip to the St. Clair fossil fern pits, we changed our goals from display quality and size fossils, to exploring for rare and scarce fossils, which produced fewer specimens and took more time and patience, but resulted in some really cool finds (some of them are included in the images below). We recommend these St. Clair Collecting Strategies: We should mention that there are several strategies for exploring St. Clair. Strategy 1) You can whack away at the formations in the ground including pits left by previous collectors - this usually results in large piles of fragments and a few fossils worth keeping and is often wasteful. If you do this, focus on trying to extract large sheets or plate rather than destroying 100 fossils to get one you can keep. Strategy 2) Inspect the pieces left behind by pit excavators - there are piles around every pit - this trip we sorted through hundreds of discarded pieces and cracked open the thicker pieces to reveal some really exciting finds - some of our finds came from simply turning over rocks left scattered on the ground. Strategy 3) Find some large rocks or formations you can extract, then patiently crack them apart, one layer at a time - this is the "Cracker Jack" strategy we have favored in the past and gave us our largest and most attractive display fossils. Strategy 4) Read about the fossils you can find in the Pennsylvanian period - what kinds of exotic extinct plants and trees grew in the Carboniferous swamps including the exotic patterns of bark on fern trees as well as fern leaves, seeds, and patterns - then, with those images in your mind, inspect the piles of discards for rare specimens (which, we have discovered, many collectors toss away because they focus mostly on "traditional" fern leaves). These strategies apply to many "fossil-rich" sites. The RESULTS can be fascinating. Here are just a few examples of the "Strategy 4" discoveries we made on our August 11, 2012 visit which was our 3rd trip to the site. I should mention that we saw no bears or bear signs but I did see a very large 6-7 foot black snake (not poisonous) on the side of the trail leading to the site. It was curled up like a cobra but not aggressive, but disappeared when we approached. It probably came down to drink from the pools of water that had formed on the trail after a rain. One of our goals was to find better articulated fern seeds which are somewhat rare. The fossil seeds we found so far were obviously seeds but not well defined - as usual, Nancy turned up some terrific seeds (I found one) - including a really amazing seed with the seed stem attached to the fern! This is especially cool because I read recently in a book from the 1870s that reported that "no Alethopteris fern seed had been found that was actually attached to the fern" - only a century ago, paleobotanists were still looking for this exact type of sample (seed attached to Alethopteris fern). Of course our sample is not a discovery but it is somewhat rare and as you can see, we accomplished this goal for our trip, finding several good seed fossils. We were also looking for an Odontopteris fern which we had not discovered yet and examples are included here. One of the most impressive finds was an iridescent section of Calamites bark which shimmers in different colors including blue - nearby was another sample that has a coppery color and shimmer. Hard to capture with a camera but I think you can see the effect in the photos. We won't get back to St. Clair for awhile, maybe not again this year - but we were VERY pleased with the results of focusing on just a few hard to find targets, settling for fewer fossils but better quality. We are AMAZED how many different species are included at this site, almost every major type of Pennsylvanian plant fossil in the major fossil books are found in this fossil pit, all very close to each other. This area must have been tremendously diverse. Also, if you're seeking to identify your fern fossils, Monte Hieb has created an EXCELLENT site on the plant fossils of West Virginia that provides photos and details on identification for each species - great site, highly recommended: http://www.geocraft....ableOfCont.html On this trip, we came away with an important lesson. It's not the quantity of the fossils from St. Clair, it's the quality that counts. Many rare species are found in the cast-offs around the dug-out pits scattered around the site. It helps to have a hammer and chisel because fracturing open even the smaller pieces can reveal lots of exciting surprises. Nancy's best seed (the one with the stem) came from "fracking open" a piece of shale (see Alethopteris 1c below). We are now examining our St. Clair fossils with a closeup camera lens, inspecting smaller pieces to see what we have. This morning Nancy pointed out a very small cone-shaped fossil on the edge of a larger piece of shale that she says "looks like a fish tooth" - it's probably just a small branch or stem but it does have some intriguing qualities that pose some ID challenges - I'll post several views in the Fossil ID section and see what the site experts have to say. As you can see if you've read our previous posts, we're really having fun with this and in addition to displaying our finds, we hope to do something one day either in a small e-book guide for new fossil hunters, or on a website, or both - maybe in a year or so when we have enough samples and knowledge. We're finally starting to zone in on how to quickly identify fern leaves and hopefully can share what we learn in the future when we get more organized. Our most important insight I think is this: we never imagined that plant fossils could be so interesting!
  20. On our 4th visit to St. Clair, we set a goal to find some of those iconic "scale trees" we keep reading about - the now extinct lycopsid trees with the pock-marked "scaled" trunk and roots. The bark is pock marked with scars left by the leaf stalks and rootlets when they fall off. Did we find Scale Trees? Boy, did we ever! In addition to the samples we collected, Nancy and I found some incredibly cool samples embedded in large boulders, on the floor of the quarry, even on the trail - these are either fragile or positioned on boulders so they can't be extracted without shattering them, so they are there for any visitors to photograph and enjoy! We have had wildlife encounters on every visit - a 6 to 8 foot long black snake coiled near a water pool on the trail, fresh black bear tracks on the trail and scat (and a sighting by MZKLEEN the same day we were there), and on this trip a very large spider on the trail (see image). Fossils On Boulders! - The first "embedded" scale tree fossil (Stigmaria - root with rootlets clearly visible) was located on top of a huge boulder - Nancy discovered it and excitedly called me over to see it. It was bright yellow and very well defined as you can see from the picture. I had to climb on other boulders to reach this one, and took a photo with my rock hammer to show the size and scale (Image 1). It was extremely well preserved but it is exposed to the elements and the top of the boulder is very brittle so it is impossible to extract - if someone tries, it will almost certainly be destroyed. The second sample I discovered on a boulder at the other end of the quarry (Image 2 - you can see my boot on the boulder), and Nan discovered a third which I photographed to show the surrounding woods (Image 3). Finding these and just looking at them was thrilling, like touching history. We hope other collectors leave these as monuments for everyone to enjoy (and don't destroy them by trying to whack off some fragments). NEW QUESTION: Most of the fossil samples we see online show the scale tree bark with "leaf scars" but very seldom show the leaves attached. How do we know when the samples are roots and rootlets, or branches and leaves? Some of the Stigmaria we collected look like branches or small trunks with leaves but most people are telling me that these are all roots. Would appreciate clarification. What do the scale tree branches with leaves attached look like? We also saw extremely large trunks of Calamites and Lepidodendron beginning to show through the floor of the quarry near the boulders - this is very dramatic and as more shale wears away the erosion will reveal more of these really large trunks (this is up the slope directly above bottom area with all the large boulders, behind the large boulder covered with white crystals). It was really cool to find these white and golden yellow-tinged scale tree fossils in plain sight on large boulders - it really brought these trees to life, showing the leaf scars and rootlets that look like thorns spreading directly out from the trunk). Ironically, we didn't notice these scale trees on our first three visits - we did collect a few Calamites and Siggularia bark pieces then, but nothing special. Making Scale Trees (Lepidodendron) our TARGET forced us to focus on this and suddenly, we noticed that they were concentrated in certain areas that we never noticed before. Nancy found the last embedded scale tree (Stigmaria) fossil right on floor of the quarry trail - it was going to be destroyed by traffic so I checked it out and saw that it appeared to be loose and to my surprise, it popped out in two pieces - this is a cool piece because the pattern is white like most St. Clair ferns. The first photo (4a) shows the fossil embedded in the trail - it doesn't look like much and is actually hard to see (Nancy's keen eyes spotted it right away) - the second photo (4b) shows the recovered fossil. Collected Samples - We excavated some samples to bring home, and also found some nice samples that other collectors had discarded from fossil pits - you can see how interesting the patterns are. The roots with rootlets attached are not easy to find - as you can see, all of our samples have rootlets attached) - they make nice displays (Images 5, 6 and 7). The two fossils in Image 7 were revealed after segmenting a piece of shale. Annularia and Calamites - The last Image shows a single rock specimen that shows up in two different colors. It looks like two separate pieces but they are actually attached - the top part shows Annularia including a unique fossil that is a cross-section showing the stem in the center and the leaves radiating out like a star, and lots of smaller fronds. The bottom section shows pieces of the Calamites bark associated with Annularia. This makes for a nice display piece. We will display these fossils and also use them as illustrations for future articles and maybe a book - we also reinforced our strategy of setting specific goals for each trip, such as looking for a specific type of fossil species, or category, or even just agreeing to aim for a large size display fossil. This determines how we approach each site, where we explore, and even how we excavate. After 4 visits to St. Clair, we still find it to be new and exciting even as it gets more familiar on each trip - we're sure that you probably feel the same way about your favorite sites, especially if they are close to your home.
  21. Despite The Heat

    We have had quite hot weather here last one and half month. One rain only all this time. But... it doesn't matter for fossil hunting. So, this afternoon I found Calamites Lepidodendron
  22. This trip report complements MZKLEEN's report - we were there the same day except we mostly collected orange and yellow fern leaves. We did not see or hear the bear although we saw the signs the bear was in the area while we were there. This was a 90 minute drive for us so when we heard about the possibility it might be converted to a landfill, we made this a priority visit. St. Clair is an abandoned strip mine that looks like a broad saucer shaped depression with smooth shale covering the floor, surrounded all around by wooded hills. It's a fairly long walk through the woods to get there, but extremely scenic. Some of our photos show the layout and fossils scattered on the ground which is impressive and a little startling the first time you see this. Note: I added a few more pictures and here is some additional ID info: Most of the orange leaves are Alethopteris, some neuropteris and others here and there. The clover shaped leaves are Sphenophyllum (we also found Annularia and Calamites trunk fossils but most of these non-ferns are colored except for No. 5b below). The bark photo that I added is Sigillaria - a really interesting pattern, must have been impressive looking. The golden yellow image (just added) is Sphenopteris. There is also a reddish-orange sprig added to show that some of the specimens are almost red in color. The last image is a "stick" or stem found by Nan in a nicely articulated form. We had 3 goals for our trip: 1) collect a large specimen we could display on the wall or like a sculpture, 2) find some out of the ordinary fossils, and 3) see if there might be some insects along with the plant fossils. Goal 1: We explored places that didn't look like previous collectors had been there and excavated a very large rock that included a peek-a-boo glimpse of a layer covered with orange and yellow ferns. It took some effort to chisel away the layers of non-fossiliferous shale to free the fossil portion but when the shale fell away with the last chisel blow, wow, our eyes grew as big as saucers. The specimen turned out to be a large piece of shale 25 x 15 inches and several inches thick, covered with beautifully arranged, nicely articulated orange and yellow fossil leaves including many different types. Hiking back to the car was a challenge, given the awkward shape, jagged edges and weight of the sample but we accomplished our goal. A closeup of a small portion is included here and you can see how dense the fossils are! We also collected smaller pieces and one very nice one foot long sample covered with orange leaves. Goal 2: Nancy has a keen eye for out of the ordinary patterns and designs - she is expert at finding sphenophyllum, annularia, calamite bark and so on - we accomplished this goal also and learned a LOT about the plants and trees that exited during this period. Goal 3: No insects, but we still believe there must be some insects here, somewhere, since so many of the leaves are in perfect shape - not dried, curled or rotten - they look like they were buried in a mudslide or something, since there is almost no deterioration. This suggests there must have been some insects trapped somewhere. We plan to return soon to continue our exploration. There is a lot here to learn about and find. Hopefully we'll find more cool fossils (and no bears with cubs!). UPDATE: We revisited the site Aug. 4. You can read see our 2nd Visit trip report in a separate "orange fossil" post (no bears this time). We also posted some of our unusual finds in Fossil ID under "St. Clair 2nd Visit - Pennsylvanian Plant Fossils and Seeds" - many of the "unknowns" turned out to be fossils we did not see on our first visit. We pretty much doubled the number of species from this site, in our second visit, showing the diversity at this site. We think we accomplished a lot in 2 half-day visits.
  23. These fossils are from our second visit to St. Clair (Aug 4) - several are fossils we haven't seen before so we appreciate help with IDs. Special thanks to Fossildude19 for the excellent starting points. Note: some of the images are out of order when you look at the photos below, because I am renaming and reposting them as they are being identified: 1 - Pecopteris Squamosa - This is small and the leaves are very close together and parallel - based on Lesquereux - amazing that some of the best fern identification sources are from 1879! 2 - Calamites Stem Fragment - A thin Calamites branch. 3 - Unidentified Plant - Nancy calls this a "flower" - of course it isn't, but it seems to be a different shape from others we collected at St. Clair. 4 - Alethopteris and Annularia - Included this because it makes for a nice artistic layout. 5a-5b - Asterophyllites equisetiformis - This interesting pattern appears over a large area several meters square in one part of the St. Clair site, and covers the surface of a very large flat boulder in one area of the site. (source: 6 - Siggilaria - This is our second Siggilaria trunk impression. Some of the trunk and branch fossils (Calamites, Siggilaria) are very exotic and interesting to collect. 7a-7c - Trigonocarpus (Seeds of the Alethopteris Fern) - The same shape appears in three different samples collected on our two trips and according to our friends on the site and reference materials, they appear to be Trigonocarpus seeds, which is very exciting because we keep reading about seed ferns but these are our first fossil seeds. One reference describes Trigonocarpus as the seeds of Alethopteris (which is the most common fern found at St. Clair) - other sources give these the nickname "fossil pecans" because of their physical resemblance. 8a-8b and 9a - Cyclopteris - Fan Shaped Leaves - Some of the reference books show round fan shaped versions of some common ferns but this looks like something separate so we're going with Cyclopteris. We'll try to find a separate, more articulated sample on a future trip. 10 - Unidentified Fern. 11 - Assume this is Sphenopteris. 12 - Assume this is Neuropteris - Where Neuropteris sometimes has rounded leaves (??) 13 - Sphenophyllum - Including just for fun. I'll update the names in this list as the IDs are confirmed. One of our goals continues to be, finding scarce specimens we haven't come across yet, as well as articulated fossils, designs and larger pieces for display. As you can see, we're already making great headway identifying these. Thanks to everyone who helped us ID our finds in the past 2 months, and especially for helping with these...we're really surprised how many different species there are at this single site, all very close together.