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Found 7 results

  1. Ammonite Mortoniceras

    From the album Central Texas Fossils

    Cretaceous Ammonite Mortoniceras - Georgetown Formation
  2. So I picked this guy up on Labor Day weekend. Didn't think I would be able to prep much, as the matrix appeared to be very hard. However, last weekend I noticed a hairline fracture...so I pulled out my hammer and cold chisel and gave it a little whack...
  3. I had the day off of work on Memorial Day and I didn’t have my kids, but I was on call. So once again I couldn’t go too far. I decided to head back over to the Benbrook site. It was going to be another scorcher. So I brought along about 40 ounces of fluids. I drove the hour over to west of Benbrook Lake to the new subdivision going in, turned into the development and parked near where I had found the 2 smaller ammonites the previous Tuesday. Before getting out of my car I covered my exposed areas with sunscreen. Sun damage will age you quicker than almost anything and also increase the likelihood of getting skin cancer. Now that I had my sunscreen on I got out and started hunting. I walked around a few undeveloped lots for a bit and was only finding partial ammonites. I found one small echinoid urchin and nothing else of note. I walked back to my car to get a drink and my bag. Then I searched on the opposite side of the street. I didn’t find anything there either. I guess the first trip I was just lucky to find 2 decent ammonites within 5-7 minutes. Since I wasn’t finding much in that particular area I walked down the street a bit and then crossed it heading towards a rock pile. The lots in this area had not been smoothed over yet. The back side of the lots sloped downward. More rocks had been pushed over the edge of the slope. I had stepped up on the curb and walked maybe 15 feet when I found what looked to be a small Mortoniceras about 5 inches across imbedded in a larger chunk of rock. You can just see the edge of it poking out of the rock below my hand. I didn’t have my hammer with me. I put my bag down by the rock and I walked back to my car to get my hammer. I couldn’t find it. It dawned on me that I had taken it into my house, shoot. I keep most of my hunting tools in my trunk with my rubber boots and a pack at all times. You never known when you might see some spot that needs investigating. So, no worries I had my little sledge hammer and some chisels along with a number of other tools. I was dripping wet from the heat and losing a lot of fluids. The humidity was at 70% and it was 94 degrees. I can take the heat, but I don't do well with high heat and high humidity. The humidity is what does me in. I got the tools and walked back to where the ammonite was. The limestone there was kind of chalky and reasonably soft. Within 2-3 minutes I had it popped out of the rock. One side free of matrix, but the other still had a little on it, but at least I wouldn’t have to carry the whole 40+ pound rock back to my car. The side that was free of matrix looked like it had a touch of pyrite disease. You can see how it is kind of flat on the bottom edge and reddish from oxidation. This is just another chunk of rock with 2 Morts in it. They look like fragments so I didn't bother with trying to get them out. It looks like there is a third fossil between them and possibly another small one below them that is hardly noticeable. I am not sure what this is. It looks a bit like some burrows, but the other burrows I was seeing were 3 to 5 inches in diameter. It may be a little burrow of some other creature, but there is something else going on there too, but not sure what. it almost looks like large leaves fanning out to the top and bottom. the burrow overlays whatever is fanning out. The burrow to the bottom left looks kind of like it is a corkscrew patterns. Then there is a burrow looking thing above those that has a ribbed pattern on it. Hum, now that I think about it, this did not look like the other rocks. There were building a stone wall nearby with sandstone blocks. This may not even be from the formation. This is just another fragment with the septa showing. It is about 8 inches across. This is one of the little Morts that was just laying around. I thought the thing below it was an urchin. Turned out to be a pebble with concrete on it. I just gave the ammonite away to the guy who came and fixed my AC unit today. He is the grandfather of a couple kids my kids were friends with. We actually kind of hunted a little together back in March when I took a group of scout kids, my daughter and his granddaughter out on a little hunt. He had never found fossils before or been hunting for them. He walked over as I was finding echinoids, gastropods and ammonite fragments. He was immediately sucked into the hunt and fascinated with them. This ammonite was kind of cool, because the matrix on the edge had the impression of another little ammonite. It is about 6 inches across. I'll be back in a few with more of the story.
  4. I went hunting Tuesday before last to a new place over in Benbrook, TX about an hour away. A newer TFF member, Cory had blind messaged me telling me about a place over near Ft. Worth. He thought I might be interested in seeing them. He invited me to come check it out. I get messaged a lot on social medial by complete strangers. So that part was nothing new. I don’t respond to the majority of the messages. With all of the messages I have gotten I have never had a stranger invite me to meet him somewhere, but that was basically the scenario. Sounds like the perfect scenario for something bad to happen though. So I was a bit leery. I didn’t intend to go, but I checked out his post to see what he was finding at the site. It was a lot of the typical Duck Creek ammonites and echinoids. The echinoids intrigued me. I had quite a few of that kind, but the quality was better than what I had. Also, the Mortoniceras ammonites were of good size and quality. The ones I have are fairly small. I have more Eopachydiscus than any other ammonite. So those did not hold much appeal. In his post he had invited other people to come check the place out so that made me feel a bit better. I'm still not sure how he found me or why he messaged me. Maybe it was one of my posts from a fossil hunt over in Ft. Worth he had seen. I had requested the day off work for that Tuesday weeks before to run some errands and go to an event, but the event got canceled so I had some extra time I didn’t expect to have. I was bummed that the event got canceled. Nature and the outdoors are my happy places. Fossil hunting cheers me even more. So I thought of places I could go. I had to be back by 5:00 though to pick up my daughter. So I couldn’t heard out to NSR. I decided to take a chance and head over to the place in Benbrook. I PM'd Cory on TFF and he sent me the address and his telephone number. I messaged someone to let them know where I was going and what time I planned to leave. It was in an open construction area and other people would be around so that helped put my mind at ease. I don’t tend to be paranoid about harm from strangers, but I like to be safe. I am a person of faith and I tend to hold the philosophy that if it isn’t your time to go nothing will happen to you. If it is your time to go, there is nothing you can do to stop it. I know a lot of women who limit themselves in where they can go and what they can do out of fear of what may happen to them if they go somewhere alone. I don’t fit in that category of not going out of fear. It may put me at greater risk, but so far I haven't come to harm only by the grace of God I am sure. Since the place was a new development it didn’t come up on my map apps. I had to wing it and used the satellite view to find the general area under development. I pulled into the development. It was quite large. Between the 2 sections it looked like it could easily be 150 acres if not more. Maybe only about 20% of the lots had homes on them. I had no idea where Cory was or how to find him. I was ok hunting without bothering him at work. I was still uneasy about it, but I thought I should meet him to thank him for letting me know about the site and inviting me. I am a pretty shy person. Breaking the ice is the hardest thing for me. I feel awkward and am afraid I won't know what to say, I'll say something stupid or I'll say something and there will be one of those awkward silences. But I let the rules of proper social decorum motivate me to break the ice and go meet him. He had also said he had a lot of questions about the fossils. I told him I wasn’t sure I could answers his questions, but I’d try to answer what I could. I wanted to keep my word. I parked my car on a corner surrounded by vacant lots. I messaged him to let him know I was there providing him with the street names on the signs on the corner. I got out and walked around. Within the first 5-7 minutes of walking around I found 2 decent little ammonites, which I believe are both Mortoniceras. One has more prominent tubercles than the other. Here’s the first I little ammonite I found on top of a fragment from a large Eopachydiscus. I am holding them my hand, but the fragment is so big you can barley see my hand is there. The little ammonite is 9 cm across. About that time he messaged me back and then tried to describe how to get to him. I told him I’d hunt where I was a bit longer and then come over to where he was. While I hunted around I snapped pics of the flowers and plants. Here are a few. This looks a little like phlox, but I’m not sure if it is since phlox was out in early April. Also, these are on a single stalk densely covered with small leaves. The phlox I know don’t look like that Not sure what this, but it looks cool. The leaves are fuzzy. The shoots are 12-15 inches tall. This is a Texas thistle. Believe it or not this is my favorite wildflower. The blooms can be up to 2 inches across and occasionally 2.5. They look a bit like pompoms, but aren’t quite so round. The color is just a bit off in the pic though. They are slightly more of a fuchsia color. They’re pretty cool looking. The plant is very prickly as you can see in the pic. They are difficult to pick. I usually have to take thick rubber gloves and use garden clippers. The look is not what made them my favorite flower though. It is their behavior and movement that I find so intriguing and mysterious. The first time I picked a bouquet of these I arranged them in a vase and made a nice rounded bouquet. When I got up in the morning they were completely rearranged. I asked my kids if they had played with them. They had not. I rearranged them into a nice rounded bouquet and went about my day. A couple hours later I noticed it was rearranged again. I don’t know what makes them move. It is not phototropism or the typical type of chemotaxis. They will move themselves at night and may move as much as 2 inches in 8 hours. It is astonishing and quite remarkable to me. I love it! They have an independent spirit, kind of like me. I remember we had a form of these growing on the edge of the forest in the clearing where our house was when I was a girl living in the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. The bears use to come into the clearing to eat these. They look like they would be very painful to eat, but the bears seemed to love them for their sweetness. I’ve never eaten one, but they smell delightfully sweet almost like honey.
  5. Last Saturday I took a break from the Austin Chalk experiment that I am conducting. I decided to go hit a Lower Cretaceous-aged, Washita Group, Pawpaw formation site I have not been to in a while. It was pretty successful. I was able to find many near complete and partial examples of crabs, mostly of the genus Xanthosia. I believe I found 2 species of that genus. I got one nice Cretacorina (may have butchered that name) and a few examples of an elongate crab as well. There were also a few partial examples of lobster, Linuparis. Add in a couple of Leptostyrax macrorhiza and Cretolamna appendiculata shark teeth, and a few fish vertebrae, and it was a pretty good trip. There were even a couple of dwarf ammonites present, which is fairly rare for this particular site, though not really that rare in the Pawpaw. On the way home I passed right by a Duck Creek Formation site my father and I collected together probably 20 or 25 years ago. I did not believe there would be any fossils there, but remembering the times he and I had, I stopped anyway. There were a few Mortoniceras ammonites there, and at the bottom of the hill someone had apparently highgraded a large but partial example of an Eopachydiscus marcianus ammonite. I left it there for the next guy. I found one of the morts in a block of Duck Creek limestone. I took a picture of it as I found it. Then there is another picture of what it looked like when I removed the matrix block from around the ammonite. It was almost complete and not nearly perfect, but a reminder that sometimes these ammonites only show you a little and have a lot more hiding underneath the matrix. I have included a lot of images, some of the fossils as they looked in the field and some group shots as well.
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