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Found 8 results

  1. Help with cambrian Trilobite ID

    Hi there, I have an old trilobite that I bought 20 years ago as a pre-teen that I have now completely forgotten all details of. I remember it was from a US locality, definitely a cambrian age trilobite. It's pretty small, measuring about 7 - 8 mm. Looking at it now I think it's a Zacanothoides or Olenellus but I cant be sure. It has a long genal spine and what looks to be an impression of another spine at the tip of its pygidium. As a bonus, if anyone recognizes the locality from the look of the matrix that would be awesome. I was thinking Pioche Formation in Nevada but could be wrong.
  2. Anyone been to the Marble Mountains in Southern California recently to search for trilobites? I know how to get to the dirt access road out of Cadiz but I was wondering about the condition of the road to the site, and also whether anyone has had much luck there in the recent past. I might head out there sometime in April if conditions are good.
  3. I recently acquired a nice large Olenellus trilobite. I haven't done much prepping and only use hand tools (dental pick, needles, etc), and occasionally a Dremel engraved. Most of the trilos I've prepped have been rollers from Oklahoma, and they are not too hard since they tend to be a very different color from the surrounding matrix and are not flat. I'm wondering how I should go about starting on this guy. Not sure whether its a partial not, but would like to investigate. My problem is that the trilo is nearly the same color as the surrounding matrix and very flat, making it hard to know if I've hit more fossil or not. Any tips would be appreciated.
  4. Need help with trilobite morphology

    I'm starting to sort through the trilobites I found at Oak Springs and need some help. My degree is in electrical engineering, which means when I was in college I never had to take any of those pesky courses in biology, zoology, etc. But that puts me at a disadvantage now as I read through the descriptions of the candidate trilobites and try to make sense of them. There are a fair number of papers published on the trilobites of the Cambrian in California and Nevada. To help identify what I have collected I'm using this one: Carrara Formation. Here is where I am having difficulty. The descriptions in this paper include features that don't appear on the diagrams I have of trilobite morphology. I have compiled one example here: Gilberti.pdf (reproduced as a low-res JPEG below). The color photo at the top is the specimen I'm trying to identify. I think it might be an Olenellus gilberti, so I have pasted that description below the photo, along with three photos of O. gilberti from the paper. (Below those photos is a diagram of trilobite morphology I pulled from the Internet.) The description of O. gilberti includes at least two features that don't show up on the morphology diagram: occipital ring (is this the same as occipital lobe?) and intergenal spine (I don't think this is the same as genal spine?). More concerning to me is this part of the description: "Glabella elongate, separated from frontal border by preglabellar area as wide or wider than anterior border." In my novice opinion, the examples in photos 6-8 from the paper show glabellas that extend pretty much all the way to the anterior border. In my specimen the preglabellar area is much wider, which would seem to be more consistent with the written description. Any help would be appreciated. Of course I'd like to identify the specimen, but what I'd really like are pointers on how to interpret the morphology descriptions. Maybe I've got an O. fowleri instead of O. gilberti, but if I don't understand how to interpret the descriptions I won't be successful in identifying it. Is there a book I should lay my hands on?
  5. My wife and I just got back from a 1700-mile road trip from our home in Northern California to do some trilobite hunting in Utah and Nevada. It was a 5-day trip, with a total of about 8 hours of digging spread across 2 days, but well worth it. I will give you the highlights here. After driving across California, we spent the first night in Reno, then headed out on Highway 50 toward the U-Dig fossil quarry out of Delta, Utah. We spent the second night in Ely, Nevada. Along the way, we stopped in Austin for lunch and helped the owner of a nearby trading post identify an unknown fish fossil they had for sale (you can read about that here). We got to U-Dig mid-morning of the third day and spent half a day there. The last 20 miles is a drive along a well-maintained dirt road (good enough that with my stock 4WD SUV I could drive 50-55 mph along most of it). Other people on this forum have posted about their experiences at U-Dig, so I won’t spend a lot of time repeating the basics. We were pleased with the support we got from Gene and if you’ve never been there, I would recommend it. This was my second time there (the first was 8 years ago), and my wife’s first time. I have to say we weren’t as successful as on my last visit, but still got a good haul. Most, however, were only molts or partials, we got very few full trilobites. I’ve included some photos below. Lots of prep work still remaining, and I’ll probably split several of the slabs again to see what else I might find. If you go, one word of advice. They will provide you with a chisel-edge rock hammer, a 2-lb sledge and large chisel, and a bucket to hold everything you find. I brought all my own stuff and am glad I did. They show you how to split the shale with the chisel edge of the hammer, but I found that to be a fairly coarse way to do it. I found it much easier to use thin rock-splitting chisels like these. They are cheap, so I’d recommend you take one or two along. The next day we headed out to Caliente, Nevada, to dig at the Oak Springs Trilobite Site just off Highway 93. There is no fee to dig here, which means there is no one to advise you, you’re on your own. This is another Cambrian site with the possibility of finding several species of Olenellus trilobites. We got there just after lunch and spent the afternoon there. The parking area is about a quarter mile from the highway down a good dirt road (but not a 50-mph road!). Most people park there and walk a quarter mile along a developed path to the dig. If you’ve done your homework, though, you’ll know you can continue another short distance and park just at the base of the swale where the trilobites are. That makes it an easy walk, especially if you are carrying a lot of tools. in addition to my tool bag, I was carrying a Harbor Freight pry bar and my brand new Estwing PaleoPick, so I was happy to shorten the walk. You can tell when you are at the site because it is littered with broken pieces of shale and there are potholes all around where people have been digging. We spent the first couple of hours without any luck as I moved from one location to another. Then I moved to yet another location and immediately saw a cephalon so I knew my luck was changing. It turned out to be a mini mother-lode of cephalons but no full trilobites, which apparently are very rare. While we found a few cephalons among the loose pieces of shale, I had much better success digging out larger slabs and splitting them. I haven’t yet gone through them in detail to make good identifications but they look primarily like Olenellus species, which are what you will predominantly find. Some sample photos below. Given that I didn’t have to pay to dig and it took considerable effort to find anything, I have to say this was the more enjoyable day of digging. But if you go, be aware that many people who go there don’t find anything. The day we were there I only saw one other person. (He tagged along with my success to dig nearby.) On the way home, we took Nevada Highway 375, known as “The Extraterrestrial Highway” because it runs close to the infamous Area 51. We stopped in the tiny hamlet of Rachel to visit the Little A’le’Inn, a souvenir shop, diner, and motel. If you get the chance, be sure to stop in. On my last U-Dig adventure I spent a night there, which was quite an experience (you can read about it here). I don’t think it has changed much in the last 8 years except there were more tourists there this time. Overall, we had a great time. Once I sort through everything I will post a few samples for help with identification. The sign along US Highway 6: U-Dig office: Steve digging (friendly dogs belong to another digger): The haul back at home: Elrathia kingii (I think it's a molt): Small Elrathia kingii: Peronopsis (needs more prep):
  6. Early Cambrian BC Trilobites

    Hi all! I would really appreciate some help identifying these trilobites. Early Cambrian, Eager Formation, near Cranbrook, BC. Cheers, Marc 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
  7. Hello y'all fellow fossil heads. First of all my sincere apologies for being a bit absent as of late. Life has been a bit too chaotic here on a personal level to be involved in fossil stuff but I am hopefull I can get back to the fun & games from now on. I was wondering if there is anyone around here on this great Forum that can help me to some nice Study Grade Olenellus trilobites. No need for mint perfect ones, just a handfull recognisable heads & tails would do. Of course I will cover any international shipping Happy to trade for them. Thanks in advance! Pat
  8. Is there a way to recognize the Olenellus subspecies by looking at the cephalons only? -Arild
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