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Found 316 results

  1. I was recently asked by Forum member Carl who works at the American Museum of Natural History if I would be interested in trading some Carboniferous shark teeth I have collected in Scotland which he would put straight into the fish collections at the museum. (For which he would trade for Mesozoic and Cenozoic teeth from the US). I was delighted at the opportunity and was just going to donate some specimens to the museum but Carl has sent me some beautiful teeth from his personal collection in return for them, thanks again Carl! The teeth I donated are all from a freshwater deposit of Westphalian A age of the British Coal measures and were collected from the spoil heaps of two long closed collieries in the county of Fife. I will post photos of the rest of them in the donations gallery but here's a couple of the more interesting specimens: Ageleodus pectinatus. (labial view)
  2. Ive never posted a trip report before so thought it was about time I gave it a go! I took a trip to my favorite shark tooth site this afternoon in search of some Upper Carboniferous/Pennsylvanian shark teeth from the Westphalian A of the British Coal Measures. The site is a stretch of shoreline beneath the spoil heaps of two long closed collieries which dumped their waste material directly onto the foreshore. Blocks of the best matrix for vertebrate remains are hard to find and getting rarer, the majority of the beach boulders are basalt, sandstone and un-fossiliferous shales and mudstones. When you do find the right matrix its crammed full of fish scales, bones, spines teeth, coprolites etc but shark teeth can be hard to find. Today I came across a grand total of two small blocks of the right matrix along the entire stretch of the beach but luckily both of these contained a shark (well Holocephalian more closely related to the Chimaeras) crusher tooth! They need a lot of prep which I'll hopefully get done over the next couple of days. A shot of the the site looking rather bleak in the Scottish winter today:
  3. From the album Scottish Lower Carboniferous marine shark teeth

    Polyrhizodus sp. Lower Carboniferous, Visean Charlestown Main Limestone Central Belt of Scotland 330 mya 20.5x18mm
  4. Nothing to add.
  5. Hello all! Its been awhile since I posted on The Fossil Forum. Here are some specimens found at a local active mine. Lyginopteris or Pecopteris Fern with Lepidophylloides. Lepidophylloide whorls. Lepidodendron stem with Lepidophylloides and fern fronds. Notice near the bottom, several Lepidophylloides overlap forming a star. 3D Stigmaria cast. Stigmaria with rootlets...the first find small enough to hold in my hand. Most I'd seen were on larger stone...too heavy to carry or move! Calamite stem cast attached to matrix mixed in with fern and Lepidophylloides. Lepidostrobus (cones) Fern Rachis with fern leaves. Lepidodendron stem with Lepidophylloides and fern leaves. Sigillaria bark impression? Lepidophylloide whorls.
  6. Hello again! Here are some ichno fossils found last month. The coolest thing about finding these type fossils is most can be held in the palm of your hand. Mostly found in singles because the stone are in sheets, when they hit the ground it shatters into smaller fragments. The bigger slabs can contain one or more traces. Arthropod resting trace I'm guessing this is part of a burrow-tube? Diplichnites Not sure what this is, dunno if it is a big tetrapod or arthropod?? Multiple resting traces? Overlapping resting trace Diplichnites near the top and near the bottom a resting trace Protichnites This one is quite appears an arthropod of some type got struggled through the mud, found a dry spot and hopped away? Protovirgularia I rarely find any flora at this some that I have found. I was told this was a Cordaites Principalis? 3D Calamite Stem Cast Calamite Stem Cast A large Limulid resting trace with a diplichnites running thru the middle of it
  7. possibly useful A bit of an oldie. Haven't trundled through it yet,so I don't know if event-/chemo-/sequence-/magneto-/tephra-/biostratigraphical advances get a nod in
  8. Picture of the recent Pyrosoma atlanticum provided by Show_ryu - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Lit.: CUOMO, C., ROSBACH, S. and BARTHOLOMEW, P. (2015): INVERTEBRATES OF THE UPPER MISSISSIPPIAN BEAR GULCH LIMESTONE – A TALE OF JELLIES AND TUNICATES ? 2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015), Paper No. 327-5
  9. Lit.: Lund R. & Poplin C. 2000. — Two new deep-bodied Actinopterygians from Bear Gulch, (Montana, USA, Lower Carboniferous). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 20: 428-449. Fossil Fishes of Bear Gulch
  10. Hello everyone! :) Here I show you some photos of a Carboniferous trunk preserved in its natural position. Really amazing !. It can be seen how the growth of the trunk curved the sediments of its around in its growth while pushing upwards. It is a magnificent criterion of stratigraphic polarity! It is an outcropping within a large Carboniferous Basin of Northern Spain, in Leon. Greetings! Juan
  11. These are a few of the pdf files (and a few Microsoft Word documents) that I've accumulated in my web browsing. MOST of these are hyperlinked to their source. If you want one that is not hyperlinked or if the link isn't working, e-mail me at and I'll be happy to send it to you. Please note that this list will be updated continuously as I find more available resources. All of these files are freely available on the Internet so there should be no copyright issues. Articles with author names in RED are new additions since January 25, 2017. General Papers in Paleontology Archaean Eon Allwood, A.C., et al. (2009). Controls on development and diversity of Early Archaean stromatolites. PNAS, Vol.106, Number 24. Altermann, W. and J. Kazmierczak (2003). Archaean microfossils: a reappraisal of early life on Earth. Research in Microbiology, 154. Awramik, S.M. (1992). The oldest records of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis Research, 33. Brasier, M., et al. (2006). A fresh look at the fossil evidence for early Archaean cellular life. Phil.Trans.R.Soc.Lond. B, 361. Brasier, M., et al. (2004). Earth's Oldest (~3.5 Ga) Fossils and the 'Early Eden Hypothesis': Questioning the Evidence. Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, 34. Brocks, J.J., et al. (1999). Archaean Molecular Fossils and the Early Rise of Eukaryotes. Science, Vol.285. Knauth, L.P. (2005). Temperature and salinity history of the Precambrian ocean: implications for the course of microbial evolution. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 219. Moorbath, S. (2005). Oldest rocks, earliest life, heaviest impacts, and the Hadean-Archaean transition. Applied Geochemistry, 30. Sankaran, A.V. (2002). The controversy over early-Archaean microfossils. Current Science, Vol.83, Number 1. Schopf, J.W. (2006). Fossil evidence of Archaean life. Phil.Trans.R.Soc. B, 361. Schopf, J.W. (1993). Microfossils of the Early Archaean Apex Chert: New Evidence of the Antiquity of Life. Science, Vol.260. Schopf, J.W., et al. (2007). Evidence of Archaean life: Stromatolites and microfossils. Precambrian Research, 158. Sharma, M. and Y. Shukla (2009). The evolution and distribution of life in the Precambrian eon - Global perspective and the Indian record. J.Biosci., 34. Stueken, E.E., D.C. Catling and R. Buick (2012). Contributions to late Archaean sulphur cycling by life on land. Nature Geoscience, published on-line. Waldbauer, J.R., D.K. Newman and R.E. Summons (2011). Microaerobic steroid biosynthesis and the molecular record of Archaean life. PNAS, Vol.108, Number 33. Proterozoic Eon Ediacaran Period Barroso, F.R.G., et al. (2014). First Ediacaran Fauna Occurrence in Northeastern Brazil (Jairabas Basin, ?Ediacaran-Cambrian): Preliminary Results and Regional Correlation. Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, 86(3). Bottjer, D.J. (2002). 2. Enigmatic Ediacara Fossils: Ancestors or Aliens? In: Exceptional Fossil Preservation. Bottjer, D.J., et al. (eds.), Columbia University Press, New York. Clapham, M.E., G.M. Narbonne and J.G. Gehling (2003). Paleoecology of the oldest known animal communities: Ediacaran assemblages at Mistaken Point, Newfoundland. Paleobiology, 29(4). Droser, M.L. and J.G. Gehling (2015). The advent of animals: The view from the Ediacaran. PNAS, Vol.112, Number 16. Droser, M.L., J.G. Gehling, and S.R. Jensen (2006). Assemblage palaeoecology of the Ediacara biota: The unabridged edition?. Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 232. Dzik, J. The Verdun Syndrome: Simultaneous Origin of Protective Armor and Infaunal Shelters at the Precambrian-Cambrian Transition. Dzik, J. (2003). Anatomical Information Content in the Ediacaran Fossils and Their Possible Zoological Affinities. Integr.Comp.Biol., 43. Gehling, J. (2015). First Fossil Animals - Ediacara Fauna of South Australia. Flinders Ranges Treasures. Glaessner, M.F. and M. Wade (1966). The Late Precambrian Fossils from Ediacara, South Australia. Palaeontology, Vol.9, Part 4. Grazhdankin, D. (2004). Patterns of distribution in the Ediacaran biotas: facies versus biogeography and evolution. Paleobiology, 30(2). Jensen, S. and T. Palacios (2016). The Ediacaran-Cambrian trace fossil record in the Central Iberian Zone, Iberian Peninsula. Comunicacoes Geologicas, 103, Especial 1. Knoll, A.H., et al. (2006). The Ediacaran Period: a new addition to the geologic time scale. Lethaia, Vol.39. Knoll, A.H., et al. (2004). A New Period for the Geologic Time Scale. Science, Vol.305. Liu, A.G. (2011). Reviewing the Ediacaran fossils of the Long Mynd, Shropshire. Proceedings of the Shropshire Geological Society, 16. Meert, J.G., et al. (2010). Glaciation and ~770 Ma Ediacara (?) Fossils from the Lesser Karatau Microcontinent, Kazakhstan. Gondwana Research, xx-xxxx. Narbonne, G.M. (2005). The Ediacara Biota: Neoproterozoic Orgin of Animals and Their Ecosystems. Annu.Rev. Earth Planet.Sci., 33. Narbonne, G.M. (2004). Modular Construction of Early Ediacaran Complex Life Forms. Science, Vol.305. Narbonne, G.M. and J.G. Gehling (2003). Life after snowball: The oldest fossil Ediacaran fossils. Geology, Vol.31, Number 1. O'Brien, S.J. and A.F. King (2004). Ediacaran Fossils from the Bonavista Peninsula (Avalon Zone), Newfoundland: Preliminary Descriptions and Implications for Regional Correlation. Current Research (2004) Newfoundland Department of Mines and Energy, Geological Survey Report 04-1. Peterson, K.J., B. Waggoner and J.W. Hagadorn (2003). A Fungal Analog for Newfoundland Ediacaran Fossils. Integr.Comp.Biol., 43. Peterson, K.J., et al. (2008). The Ediacaran emergence of bilaterians: congruence between the genetic and the geological fossil records. Phil.Trans.R.Soc. B, 363. Retallack, G.J. (2013). Ediacaran life on land. Nature, Vol.493. Retallack, G.J. (1994). Were the Ediacaran fossils lichens? Paleobiology, 20(4). Schiffbauer, J.D., J.W. Huntley and G.R. O'Neil (2016). The Latest Ediacaran Wormworld Fauna: Setting the Ecological Stage for the Cambrian Explosion. GSA Today, Vol.26, Number 11. Seilacher, A., D. Grazhdankin and A. Legouta (2003). Ediacaran biota: The dawn of animal life in the shadow of giant protists. Palaeontological Research, Vol.7, Number 1. Wood, R. and A. Curtis (2015). Extensive metazoan reefs from the Ediacaran Nama Group, Namibia: the rise of benthic suspension feeding. Geobiology, 13. Phanerozoic Eon Paleozoic Era General Paleozoic Brett, C.E. and S.E. Walker (2002). Predators and Predation in Paleozoic Marine Environments. Paleontological Society Papers, Vol.8. Eldredge, N. (1971). The Allopatric Model and Phylogeny in Paleozoic Invertebrates. Evolution, Vol.25, Number 1. Schonlaub, H.-P. and H. Heinisch (1994). The Classic Fossiliferous Palaeozoic Units of the Eastern and Southern Alps. IUGS Subcomm. Silurian Stratigraphy, Field Meeting 1994, Bibl.Geol. B.-A., 30. Smith, M.P., P.C.J. Donoghue and I.J. Sansom (2002). The spatial and temporal diversification of Early Palaeozoic vertebrates. In: Palaeobiogeography and Biodiversity Change: the Ordovician and Mesozoic-Cenozoic Radiations. Crame, J.A. and A.W. Owen (eds.), Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 194. Ye, H., et al. (1996). Late Paleozoic Deformation of Interior North America: The Greater Ancestral Rocky Mountains. AAPG Bulletin, Vol.80, Number 9. Cambrian Period Blair, J.E. and S.B. Hedges (2004). Molecular Clocks Do Not Support the Cambrian Explosion. Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol.22, Number 3. Davidek, K., et al. (1998). New uppermost Cambrian U-Pb date from Avalonian Wales and age of the Cambrian-Ordovician boundary. Geol.Mag., 135(3). Dzik, J. (2005). Behavioral and anatomical unity of the earliest burrowing animals and the cause of the "Cambrian Explosion". Paleobiology, 31(3). Hagadorn, J.W. Chengjiang: Early Record of the Cambrian Explosion. Hagadorn, J.W. (2002). 4. Burgess Shale: Cambrian Explosion in Full Bloom. Jacobs, D.K., et al. (2005). Terminal addition, the Cambrian radiation and the Phanerozoic evolution of bilaterian form. Evolution & Development, 7:6. Kirschvink, J.L. and T.D. Raub (2003). A methane fuse for the Cambrian explosion: carbon cycles and true polar wander. C.R. Geoscience, 335. Landing, E., et al. (2000). Cambrian-Ordovician boundary age and duration of the lowest Ordovician Tremadoc Series based on U-Pb zircon dates from Avalonian Wales. Geol.Mag., 137(5). Lieberman, B.S. (2008). The Cambrian radiation of bilaterians: Evolutionary origins and palaeontological emergence; earth history change and biotic factors. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 258. Marshall, C.R. (2006). Explaining the Cambrian "Explosion" of Animals. Annu.Rev. Earth Planet.Sci., 34. Mitchell, R.N., et al. (2015). Was the Cambrian Explosion Both an Effect and an Artifact of True Polar Wander? American Journal of Science, Vol.315. Morris, S.C. (2006). Darwin's dilemma: the realities of the Cambrian 'explosion'. Phil.Trans.R.Soc. B, 361. Morris, S.C. (2000). The Cambrian "explosion": Slow-fuse or megatonnage? PNAS, Vol.97, Number 9. Morris, S.C. (1993). Ediacaran-Like Fossils in Cambrian Burgess Shale-Type Faunas of North America. Palaeontology, Vol.36, Part 3. Peng, S., L.E. Babcock and R.A. Cooper (2012). Chapter 19. The Cambrian Period. In: The Geologic Time Scale 2012. F.M. Gradstein, et al. (eds.), Elsevier B.V. Phoenix, C. (2009). Cellular differentiation as a candidate "new technology" for the Cambrian Explosion. Journal of Evolution and Technology, 20(2). Plotnick, R.E., S.Q. Dornbos and J. Chen (2010). Information landscapes and sensory ecology of the Cambrian Radiation. Paleobiology, 36(2). Shu, D.-G. (2008). Cambrian explosion: Birth of tree of animals. Gondwana Research, 14. Shu, D.-G., et al. (2009). The earliest history of the deuterostomes: the importance of the Chengjiang Fossil-Lagerstatte. Proc.R.Soc. B, published online. Valentine, J.W. (2002). Prelude to the Cambrian Explosion. Annu.Rev. Earth Planet.Sci., 30. Valentine, J.W., et al. (1999). Fossils, molecules and embryos: new perspectives on the Cambrian explosion. Development, 126. von Bloh, W., C. Bounama and S. Franck (1963). Cambrian explosion triggered by geosphere-biosphere feedbacks. Geophysical Research Letters, Vol.30, Number 18. Yang, B. (2014). Cambrian small shelly fossils of South China and their application in biostratigraphy and palaeobiogeography. Ph.D. Dissertation - Freie Universitat Berlin. Zhang, X.-L. and D.-G. Shu (2013). Causes and consequences of the Cambrian explosion. Science China - Earth Sciences, 57(5). Ordovician Period Brocke, R., et al. (1995). First Appearance of Selected Early Ordovician Acritarch Taxa from Peri-Gondwana. In: Ordovician Odyssey: Short Papers for the Seventh International Symposium on the Ordovician System. Cooper, J.D., M.L. Droser and S.C. Finney (eds.), The Pacific Section Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), Fullerton, California, USA. cocks, L.R.M. (1985). The Ordovician-Silurian Boundary. Episodes, Vol.8, Number 2. Connolly, S.R. and A.I. Miller (2002). Global Ordovician faunal transitions in the marine benthos: ultimate causes. Paleobiology, 28(1). Cooper, R.A., G.S. Nowlan and S.H. Williams (2001). Global Stratotype Section and Point for base of the Ordovician System. Episodes, Vol.24, Number 1. Elliot Smith, M., B.S. Singer and T. Simo (2011). A time like our own? Radioisotopic calibration of the Ordovician greenhouse to icehouse transition. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 311. Farrell, U.C., et al. (2009). Beyond Beecher's Trilobite Bed: Widespread pyritization of soft tissues in the Late Ordovician Taconic foreland basin. Geology, 37. (Thanks to piranha for finding this one!) Finnegan, S., S. Peters and W.W. Fischer (2011). Late Ordovician-Early Silurian Selective Extinction Patterns in Laurentia and Their Relationship to Climate Change. In: Ordovician of the World. Gutierrez-Marco, J.C., I. Rabano and D. Garcia-Bellido (eds.), Cuadernos del Museo Geominero, 14. Fortey, R.A. and L.R.M. cocks (2003). Palaeontological evidence bearing on global Ordovician-Silurian continental reconstructions. Earth-Science Reviews, 61. Havlicek, V. (1989). Climatic changes and development of benthic communities through the Mediterranean Ordovician. Sbor.geol. ved, Geologie 44. Melott, A.L., et al. (2004). Did a gamma-ray burst initiate the late Ordovician mass extinction? International Journal of Astrobiology, 3(1). Miller, A.I. and S.R. Connolly (2001). Substrate affinities of higher taxa and the Ordovician Radiation. Paleobiology, 27(4). Miller, A.I. and S. Mao (1995). Association of orogenic activity with the Ordovician radiation of marine life. Geology, Vol.23, Number 4. Niocaill, C.M., B.A. van der Pluijm and R. Van der Voo (1997). Ordovician paleogeography and the evolution of the Iapetus ocean. Geology, Vol.25, Number 2. Rasmussen, C.M.O. and D.A.T. Harper (2011). Interrogation of distributional data for the End Ordovician crisis interval: where did disaster strike? Geological Journal, published on-line in Wiley Online Library. Silurian Period Calner, M. (2008). Silurian global events - at the tipping point of climate change. In: Mass extinctions. A.M.T. Elewa (ed.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin and Heidelberg. Calner, M. (2005). A Late Silurian extinction event and anachronistic period. Geology, Vol.33, Number 4. Cronin, T.C. (1971). A Study of the Silurian System and a Silurian Reef in West Texas and Southern New Mexico. Masters Thesis - Texas Tech University. Woodcock, N.H. (2000). Chapter 1. Introduction to the Silurian. In: British Silurian Stratigraphy. Palmer, D., et al. (eds.),Geological Conservation Review Series, No.19, Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Devonian Period Anderson, J. (2008). Reconstructing the Aftermath of the Late Devonian Alamo Meteor Impact in the Pahranagat Range, Southeastern Nevada. Masters Thesis - Idaho State University. Brame, R.I. (2001). Revision of the Upper Devonian in the Central-South Appalachian Basin: Biostratigraphy and Lithostratigraphy. Ph.D. Dissertation - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Brett, C.E. and G.C. Baird (1996). Middle Devonian sedimentary cycles and sequences in the northern Appalachian Basin. Geological Society of America, Special Paper 306. (Thanks to xonenine for finding this one). Elliott, D.K., et al. (2000). Middle and Late Devonian vertebrates of the western Old Red Sandstone Continent. Cour.Forsch.-Inst. Senckenberg, 223. George, D. and A. Blieck (2011). Rise of the Earliest Tetrapods: An Early Devonian Origin from Marine Environment. PLoS ONE, 6(7). (Read on-line or download a copy.) Marynowski, L., M. Rakocinski and M. Zaton (2007). Middle Famennian (Late Devonian) interval with pyritized fauna from the Holy Cross Mountains (Poland): Organic geochemistry and pyrite framboid diameter study. Geochemical Journal, Vol.41. Sandberg, C.A., J.R. Morrow and W. Ziegler (2002). Late Devonian sea-level changes, catastrophic events and mass extinctions. Geological Society of America, Special Paper 356. Stigall, A.L. (2010). Invasive Species and Biodiversity Crises: Testing the Link in the Late Devonian. PLoS ONE, 5(12). (Read on-line or download a copy.) Ziegler, W. and G. Klapper (1985). Stages of the Devonian System. Episodes, Vol., Number 2. Carboniferous Period Heckel, P.H. and G. Clayton (2006). The Carboniferous System. Use of the New Official Names for the Subsystems, Series and Stages. Geologica acta, Vol.4, Number 003. Permian Period Basu, A.R., et al. (2003). Chondritic Meteorite Fragments Associated with the Permian-Triassic Boundary in Antarctica. Science, Vol.302. Benton, M.J. and R.J. Twitchett (2003). 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Intercontinental Dispersal Routes for South American Land Mammals: Paleogeographic Restraints. Long, J.A. and M.S. Gordon (2004). The Greatest Step in Vertebrate History: A Paleobiological Review of the Fish-Tetrapod Transition. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 77(5). McMillan, M.E., C.L. Angevine and P.L. Heller (2002). Postdepositional tilt of the Miocene-Pliocene Ogallala Group on the western Great Plains: Evidence of late Cenozoic uplift of the Rocky Mountains. Geology, Vol.30, Number 1. Morris, S.C. (1993). The fossil record and the early evolution of the Metazoa. Nature, Vol.361. Motani, R. (2009). The Evolution of Marine Reptiles. Evo.Edu. Outreach, 2. Nudds, J. and P. Selden (2008). Fossils explained 56. Fossil-Lagerstatten. Geology Today, Vol.24, Number 4. Peters, S.E. and N.A. Heim (2010). The geological completeness of paleontological sampling in North America. Paleobiology, 36(1). Pojeta, J. and D.A. Springer (2001). Evolution and the Fossil Record. American Geological Institute/The Paleontological Society. Racki, G. (2012). The Alvarez impact theory of mass extinction: limits to its applicability and the "great expectations syndrome". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 57(4). Raia, P. and S. Meiri (2006). The Island Rule in Large Mammals: Paleontology Meets Ecology. Evolution, 60(8). Schultze, H.-P. (1995). The Origin of Tetrapods - Past and Present Hypotheses. Vertebrata PalAsiatica, 33(4). Shu, D. (2003). A paleontological perspective of vertebrate origin. Chinese Science Bulletin, Vol.48, Number 8. Sole, R.V. and M. Newman. Patterns of extinction and diversity in the fossil record. Staples, L.W. (1965). Zeolite Filling and Replacement in Fossils. The American Mineralogist, Vol.50. Steele, T.E. (2003). Using Mortality Profiles to Infer Behavior in the Fossil Record. Journal of Mammalogy, 84(2). Taylor, P.D. and M.A. Wilson (2003). Palaeoecology and evolution of marine hard substrate communities. Earth-Science Reviews, 62. 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  12. WHAT WE LEARNED IN OUR FIRST FOSSIL HUNTING SUMMER This is a short recap of what we learned on our fossil trips this summer, in our first 3 months as very new fossil collectors. This week, Nancy and I gave a slide presentation on our summer fossil hunting experiences, to the Delaware Valley Paleontological Society. We didn't realize it ourselves but in 3 months we visited 8 sites in Pennsylvania and New York including: Antes Creek, Deer Lake, Red Hill, Juniata County, McIntyre Mountain, Montour and St. Clair in Pennsylvania, and a very productive trip to Tully, NY. We visited St. Clair 4 times, which has become our home site. At St. Clair, we were astonished by the diversity of species - we collected well articulated samples of more than a dozen species including: Alethopteris, Annularia, Asterophyllites, Cordaites, Cyclopteris, Eusphenopteris, Lepidophylloides, Neuropteris, Odontopteris, Pecopteris, Sphenophyllum, Sphenopteris, and numerous Seeds, Bark, Roots. Most notably - I learned to pronounce all of these without stuttering! At St. Clair, we spent one trip looking exclusively for seeds trigonocarpus), and one trip looking just for roots (stigmaria). Our most significant finds have included very large (2 foot long) display pieces covered with well articulated orange ferns, an alethopteris seed attached to a leaf stem, and many Carboniferous leaves that have different shapes from traditional ferns. What we learned this summer has really helped us find some interesting fossils - here are a few things we did that helped a lot: 1. DOING OUR HOMEWORK. It helped to study each site in advance using Internet websites and books on fossils (Dave's "Views of the Mahantango" and "Louisville Fossils" are among the best, imho). Several universities also have great educational sites that bring each era to life in very creative and interesting ways, with lots of illustrations and photos. I like the UC-Berkeleyand University of West Virginia websites. 2. LEARNING FROM TRIP REPORTS. We read trip reports from other groups and individuals to see what they reported - sometimes this helps us stumble across new places to visit such as the site at Tully, NY and Deer Lake. 3. SETTING GOALS AND TARGETS FOR EACH TRIP. For each trip, we establish specific goals - for example we may look for seeds, or roots at St. Clair, or trilobites or shell assemblages at a Devonian site. Our interest right now is in looking for things that are scarce or rare, and fossils that are extremely well articulated (which is also rare!). We also like solving puzzles so eventually we would like to find things that help add to the fossil record in areas where there are still questions or missing links. 4. DISPLAYING WHAT WE FIND. Personally, Nancy and I like collecting larger fossils that we can display in mounts and frames, and we are also looking for larger pieces that we can display like sculptures - we have a few pieces that we drilled holes in, inserted wooden dowels that we stained, and then drilled/inserted the dowels in wooden trophy bases - all available from a craft store. This allows us to display thicker fossils esp. assemblages, like sculptures, and you can turn them around and look at all sides when they are mounted like this. 5. WE AVOID FOSSIL HORDING. We both agreed that we would NOT become "fossil horders" putting hundreds of rocks in boxes and sticking them away in the basement or garage - instead, we focus on finding display-quality items, and rare or scarce finds which we are slowly putting in frames. 6. DOCUMENTING OUR FINDS WITH CLOSEUP PHOTOS. We photograph everything we find as soon as possible after returning from a trip, using a digital camera with a closeup attachment - many times we find new discoveries while taking closeup photos and some of our best finds came AFTER we returned from the trip and inspected our fossils. I usually put the finds on a white background on an ironing board and use window light, nothing fancy, but it works. 7. FOSSIL ID. We post anything we can't identify on the Fossil Forum and are EXTREMELY grateful for the terrific response from our friends on the site! We are also accumulating a growing library of fossil books (some modern, some from the 19th and early 20th century) so we can identify more fossils ourselves without having to post on Fossil ID. 8. WRITING ABOUT OUR EXPERIENCES GIVES US NEW INSIGHTS. We report everything that interests and excites us about fossil hunting on Fossil Forum to share our experiences - and we find that writing about what we're doing helps us learn more and gain insights, just from writing about it. We have also started videotaping some of our adventures and are thinking about the best place to post some of these. 9. WINTER PLANS: COPING WITH CABIN FEVER. Our winter plans are to visit one or two more sites, then go into "fossil hibernation" and organize, identify and label fossils we haven't processed yet. We have a Dremel to do some light preservation work where needed. We are not planning to become "chemical conservators" - using chemicals to dissolve limestone and so forth - that's a bit too ambitious for us at this point. We may get involved in some interesting activities by local universities that are using 3D printing to process and replicate large dinosaur bones. We are also planning to provide an exhibit (on Carboniferous plants and trees/coal swamps) at a fossil fair in April. 10. RECOMMENDED READING: I enjoy reading fossil books - I'm currently reading with great interest a small book entitled "Leaves and Stems from Fossil Forests" by Raymond E. Janssen (1939) which I bought last night at the DVPS meeting, and a textbook entitled Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record by Benton and Harper (2008) (excellent book). The book that has been the most useful to me so far is the classic book "Fossil Collecting in Pennsylvania" by Hoskins et. al. (3rd ed. 1983). I am constantly re-reading the Hoskins book and find something new each time as my knowledge grows. A book that impressed Nancy and me is a large beautifully illustrated book entitled "Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth" (published by Dorling Kindersley, 2012) UPDATE (Oct 11): Nancy is taking some college courses which are prerequisites to enter grad school, so I am doing most of the fossil reading and ID. I read several books at the same time and other books I purchased that I am currently reading are: Paleobotany: The Biology and Evolution of Fossil Plants (second edition) by Thomas Taylor; and Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record by Benton and Harper. I guess you can tell from this that I'm reading up on fossil plants - my main interest is not just to understand the evolution and fossil record, identification tips, etc. - but also to try to figure out where the missing links and gaps are so if we come across something that adds to the fossil record, we will be able to recognize the value. What is most surprising is that there is a lot missing from the Carboniferous record - partly because after this period, many of the oceans and swamps apparently dried up and there were ice ages and other factors that caused mass extinctions. Here are some interesting things I have learned this summer about Fossil Plants and Trees: 1. More Carboniferous insect fossils and evidence of insects are needed (by the way, there are some GREAT current discussions about insects on this forum!). 2. Many categories of lycopsids and other Carboniferous trees and plants do not have verified associations between the leaves and seeds, or leaves and trunks/stems. Many trigonocarpus (fossilized seeds and "fruits") are found with leaves, but examples of seeds actually ATTACHED to leaf sprigs are rare (we have found one example of a seed attached to Alethopteris). 3. More Leaf and Bark Verifications are Needed. Another interesting thing I learned is that there are more than 30 different types of "scale tree" patterns but only half a dozen leaves for these trees - suggesting that a lot of different species had the same leaves - or - there are a lot of missing leaf types or the existing leaf types have not been matched to the bark patterns yet. 4. Another peculiar revelation is that most Carboniferous leaves that do not fall neatly into classic fern shapes seem to be lumped together as "sphenopteris" - we have many "non-traditional fern" leaf fossils that are VERY different from each other and obviously different species, but when we go online to ID them, they all seem to be grouped as "sphenopteris!" Maybe some of these leaf types match up with the bark patterns I mentioned. 5. Last but certainly not least is the insight that fern trees could have 2 or 3 different types of leaves on the same tree! This was really interesting. Also, some leaf types can come in different shapes - for example, Neuropteris can be round at the base of a stem and elongated along the stem and at the tip...AND...some paleobotanists now classify cyclopteris - the round fan shaped leaf - as a form of Neuropteris. This definitely adds to the confusion. I'm still reading and trying to understand all of this and these are only my initial impressions, which are still forming and there may be explanations for some of these questions that I haven't discovered yet but these are the questions that I am trying to answer by reading, and of course, by fossil collecting. I hope that many of our new friend (and I should add, VERY COOL new friends!) on the fossil forum will help clarify some of these interesting questions. Hope this is helpful.
  13. I received this relatively large fossil about 4 years ago as a Christmas present from a friend. All the information I have about this specimen is that "it comes from the Carboniferous", it was bought from a peddler at the local Christmas market without asking for the provenance. Now I am trying to definitively identify it. I compared it to all my fossil ferns and to many pics online, and some photos of Pecopteris polymorpha are particularly similar in shape. ^This is one of the images I found online. There is a surprising similarity even with the surrounding matrix, could my fossil come from the same formation? My specimen measures about 180 x 140 mm.
  14. I bought this specimen many years ago in a small museum in Austria. The fossil itself is a very fragile flat piece of coal, was collected locally and sold by the same paleontologist who works in the museum itself. I cleaned it by myself since it was not prepared and covered in soil fragments, the real shape of the fossil had remained hidden behind a black layer of dust. When purchasing, I was told that it probably was a bark fragment from Alethopteris, but looking at it now I have the heavy suspect that it is instead a small Lepidodendron branch (excluding all the surrounding undefined plant material). More detailed information: found on mount Königsstuhl in Nockalm, southern Austria dated 330 million years, Middle Mississippian, Carboniferous measures approximately 21,7 x 14,2 cm This additional photo can be found on my Deviantart page, (am I allowed to post this link here?)
  15. From the album Vertebrates

    Bourbonnella fourrieri POPLIN, 2001 Upper Seams Formation (assise des carrières) Late Carboniferous Late Pennsylvanian Gzhelian Montceau-les-Mines Département Loire et Saône France Lit.: Perrier, V., Charbonnier, S., The Montceau-les-Mines Lagerstätte (Late Carboniferous, France). C. R. Palevol (2014), C. Poplin (2001) Le genre Bourbonnella (Actinopterygii, Aeduellidae) : révision et description d’une nouvelle espèce du Stéphanien (Carbonifère supérieur) de Montceau-les-Mines (Massif Central, France) Le genre Bourbonnella Actinopterygii Aeduellidae revision et description d'une nouvelle espece du Stephanien Carbonifere superieur.pdf
  16. From the album Invertebrates

    Liomesaspis laevis RAYMOND, 1944 Late Carboniferous Duckmantian Pennine Middle Coal Measures Formation Coseley, Clay Croft open-cast works Staffordshire West Midlands United Kingdom
  17. From the album Vertebrates

    Schizolepis manzanitaensis GOTTFRIED, 1992 Carboniferous Late Pennsylvanian Early Kasimovian Atrasado Formation Kinney Brick Quarry New Mexico USA Length 8cm / 3"
  18. The deep-scaled, fusiform-bodied actinopterygian Schizolepis manzanitaensis is the third most common fish at Kinney (Gottfried, 1992; Williams and Lucas, 2013). The deep scale morphology of Schizolepis formed a stiff “jacket” for locomotion stability for efficient caudal action and suggests the tail was the main organ of propulsion (Gottfried, 1992). Lit.: Precise age and biostratigraphic significance of the Kinney Brick Quarry Lagerstätte Pennsylvanian of New Mexico.pdf Lucas, S. G. and Sullivan, R. M., eds., 2015, Fossil Vertebrates in New Mexico. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 68. Edited by Jiri Zidek: Geology and paleontology of the Kinney Brick Quarry, Late Pennsylvanian, central New Mexico. New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources.Bulletin 138. M. D. Gottfried (1992): A new deep-scaled 'palaeoniscoid' from the Kinney Quarry, Late Pennsylvanian of New Mexico. New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Bulletin, No. 138 1992: 189-203.
  19. From the album Vertebrates

    Schizolepis manzanitaensis GOTTFRIED, 1992 Carboniferous Late Pennsylvanian Early Kasimovian Atrasado Formation Kinney Brick Quarry New Mexico USA Length 7cm / 3" Precise age and biostratigraphic significance of the Kinney Brick Quarry Lagerstätte Pennsylvanian of New Mexico.pdf
  20. Lit.: Hook, Robert W. and Baird, Donald (1988): An Overview of the Upper Carboniferous Fossil Deposit at Linton, Ohio. The Ohio Journal of Science. v88, n1 (March, 1988), 55-60. R.W. Hook and J. C. Ferm (1985) A depositional model for the Linton tetrapod assemblage (Westphalian D, Upper Carboniferous) and its paleoenvironmental significance. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 311, 101-109 (1985) Robert W. Hook and Donald Baird (1986) The Diamond Coal Mine of Linton, Ohio, and its Pennsylvanian-age vertebrates. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Vol. 6, 1986, pp. 174-190 Westoll, T. Stanley (1944): The Haplolepidae, a new family of late Carboniferous bony fishes : a study in taxonomy and evolution. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 83, article 1 dshamilla: Identifying Linton Paleoniscoid Fish
  21. Found this the other night while looking for points. Any input would be appreciated. Austin, Texas
  22. I found this rock in France at a fossil site called Graissesac and it seems to have two strange spots on it (maybe a third one too, but it is faded). The texture of the spots is smoothe unlike the surrounding matrix, and their colour is brownish. Any ideas on what this could be?
  23. Lit.: Hook, Robert W. and Baird, Donald (1988): An Overview of the Upper Carboniferous Fossil Deposit at Linton, Ohio. The Ohio Journal of Science. v88, n1 (March, 1988), 55-60. R.W. Hook and J. C. Ferm (1985) A depositional model for the Linton tetrapod assemblage (Westphalian D, Upper Carboniferous) and its paleoenvironmental significance. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 311, 101-109 (1985) Robert W. Hook and Donald Baird (1986) The Diamond Coal Mine of Linton, Ohio, and its Pennsylvanian-age vertebrates. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Vol. 6, 1986, pp. 174-190
  24. This is from the Wabaunsee Group (Phanerozoic | Paleozoic | Carboniferous Pennsylvanian-Late [Virgilian]) Includes: Wood Siding FM, Root Shale, Stotler Limestone (base ST), Pillsbury Shale, Zeandale Limestone (base Z), Willard Shale, Emporia Limestone (base E), Auburn Shale, Bern Limestone (base BR), Scranton Shale, Howard Limestone (base H), and Severy Shale. Found these unknown objects attached to the interior of a myalina clam shell. This is a marine environment but I'm not sure which layer of the Wabaunsee Group this is from. I've never seen this before so would appreciate any help with ID. I'd be happy to furnish more photos of layer and fossil. Thanks
  25. Can someone help me read this beautifully hand written note to describe these Blastiods please.