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Found 568 results

  1. A couple weeks ago I met with a retired paleontologist that specializes in Pennsylvanian cephalopods. I showed him all my finds from a certain site here in NE Oklahoma and he was kind of surprised with what I had found (and wasn’t finding). There were a couple common goniatites and nautiloids, a few uncommon ones and five specimens of one type of goniatite he didn’t recognize. He checked his book and still couldn’t match a suture pattern and told me it may be an undescribed species. He noted down the pattern and said he was going to double check, but if it ends up being the case, he would potentially try and get it written up. So, my question is, for those of you who have been through this before or do it for a living, what all does describing a new species entail?
  2. On my way out of town after a family gathering at Starved Rock State Park (it was packed like crazy with people, but I was still able to get a quiet hike in early Sunday morning with my mom. The food at the Lodge is not bad at all, also!) I made time to stop by one of my favorite sites, a roadcut near Oglesby, IL. This steep, talus-covered slope is known to produce generous quantities of brachiopods, as well as rarer shark teeth, cephalopods, echinoderms, trilobites and coral, among other things, primarily from the Pennsylvanian La Salle Limestone Member of the Bond Formation. With the wet weather this year plants had grown wildly over the slope, but there was still plenty of rock to explore. I got out of my car, jumped over the little brook running through the ditch, and made my way up the slope. As erosion slowly eats away at the bluff, fresh boulders fall away and expose new things. A large section had fallen last year, and at the top of the slope I saw another section perilously close to breaking away, so I steered well clear of it. Caution is definitely required at this site, especially because of the risk of rock fall near the overhang, but also the danger of slipping on loose rock and falling- a good sense of balance is very helpful! Working my way carefully along the cut I began to find some interesting things. First up was this hash plate- it doesn't look like much here covered in mud, but in the middle are some Archaeocidaris sea urchin spines, and it also features a number of crushed brachiopods, including some with spines, as well as crinoid stem pieces and other bits. I have started cleaning it up, so I will need to take a picture of it after I'm done.
  3. Naco Knockouts

    A few days ago I found a very productive fossil site in the Pennsylvanian Naco Formation in central Arizona. I went up to look at an interesting new track site in the Permian Coconino Sandstone NE of Payson that was found by a friend and is being studied by the prolific Spencer Lucas from New Mexico. Link The Naco Formation site that I just found, has the most diversity of sponges of any Naco site to date. It also has lots of large brachiopods. Photo 1 shows a 3.4881 × 10-18 light years (3.3 cm) long Composita subtilita brachiopod, the largest that I have seen. Photo 2: impression of exterior of a brachial brachiopod valve with spines now shown as holes (probably Exhinaria semipunctata). Shell about 5 cm wide. Photo 3: there were lots of Antiquatonia portlockiana brachiopods. This one is 5 cm across. Photo 4: impression of the exterior of a 3 cm brachiopod brachial valve. Note molds of spines below. Photo 5: this is the longest horn coral that I have ever seen from the Naco. It is 18 cm long. I am guessing that it is a Caninia sp. Photo 6: this is the largest “spiky ball sponge” that I ever have seen from the Naco. 2.6 cm across. I only find them as singles in the rock or eroded out pieces that occur by the dozens in a small area. Literature hints that they might be sponges spicules. I am beginning to wonder if they are not an entire sponge or another creature altogether. I have yet to see a spicule that has crosspieces or ridges close to the center of the ball where the spikes attach. Photo 7: here is the pièce de résistance, a giant 10 cm Wewokella sponge that only a friend has found at another site and originally identified his as a coral. I said that his was a sponge. Wewokella have spicules with an average of 3 or 4 points unlike the Regispongia of similar appearance. Link Detail of above sponge. Note spicule shape. Photo 8: a 7 cm “dot sponge” of unknown affinity. They are somewhat common in the Naco. Photo 9: a small 1.5 cm disk shaped sponge with straight radiating spines. It might be a Belemnospongia. Photo 10: there are lots of flat chert masses that contain lots of straight sponges spines, probably from a single collapsed unidentified sponge.
  4. Possible Paleoniscoid Skull Roof

    Hi all, This specimen was found in a black shale layer that lays directly and uncomfortably upon the Duquesne Limestone, which is Late Pennsylvanian age. It was found in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. Both the shale and limestone are filled with vertebrate fossils, especially the scales, teeth and spines of paleoniscoid fish. As far as I know there is no species list from the shale but Elonichthys has been reported. I know skull roofs can be very diagnostic so any rough estimates of genus would be very helpful! I apologize for the picture quality, my phone is a brick.
  5. Got excited by some of the recent (and recently revived) threads on Centralia so I decided to take a ride over last weekend to take a look around. The graffiti highway was packed and there were a few ATVs riding around the dirt trails but I had the strip mine to myself for the afternoon with the exception of a couple families exploring the area that stopped by to chat. It was very warm on the exposure, but I look forward to getting back there as it cools down so I can try to find some premium specimens as the white ferns were just as bright as any I previously saw at St Clair. Here are some of the finds:
  6. Acid Prep?

    I have found this coiled cephlapod in Pennsylvanian age limestone in Missouri. I believe it to either be a temnocheilus or cooperoceras. I was wondering if there is anyway to tell if this fossil was silica. And if it was could it be prepped by using acetic acid. TIA!
  7. Hi everyone, I haven't been able to post much lately as I've been ill for a few months so haven't been getting out hunting as much as I'd like but I've had some good luck when I have been able to get out so wanted to share some finds! All are from the Carboniferous of the Midland Valley of Scotland from several formations, I haven't gotten round to photographing everything yet so I'll post some more stuff over the next few days. First some finds from the Lower Carboniferous/Mississippian marine Blackhall Limestone. Undescribed jellyfish, Fife Coast, 3cm across. Apparently a paper describing these is about to be published very soon. I'm told this ones a male, the bumps in the center being the male reproductive organs. This is by far the more common form, there is a second spotty form known from this formation which I found a specimen of a few weeks back and will post shortly.
  8. Last Saturday, I finally got my chance to hunt for Pennsylvanian age plants from the Pottsville formation in Durham with PAG (Paleontology Association of Georgia). Interestingly enough, the spot turned out to be roughly where I expected it to be, just to the northeast of Cloudland Canyon. After getting there a little late (Ride from Milledgeville to Durham is not short) and figuring out where the rest of the group had parked, I looked towards our search area, and what I saw was promising: Listening to the hammers hitting chisels had me pumped and ready to start searching. About 5 steps in, I look on the ground, and find my first piece of Calamites (no image). Then as I was heading up the hill, I picked this up: My first good frond of the day, and I made sure that it wasn't the last. Already having a couple of nice pieces in tow, I crested the top of the hill with some effort, where I started splitting some pieces with our trip organizer, Hank. While I was there, I noticed that the Calamites bark was very, VERY common here. Some of the splits we made had nothing but calamites bark in them, covering the entire surface area of the split in multiple layers. I also witnessed hank split out an absolutely drool-worthy frond from a large block absolutely full of plant debris. Having not found a frond in a minute, I decided to move to another section on top of the hill. Safe to say, it paid off quite handsomely: Really thrilled with this frond. At this point, I already had racked up quite the impressive haul, but I needed a little something more. After all, It will probably be some time before I get another opportunity to hunt here. After we had split a lot of plates on the top of the hill with spotty success, we all went to the far side of the hill from the parking area, headed in separate directions. I went straight down the hill, with most everyone else peeled to my left. As fate would have it, I stopped just short of the bottom when I ran across this absolute jackpot: Cont.
  9. My wife and I went for an afternoon drive Saturday to see if we could find a few places I had been reading about a couple hours away. The first stop was Mcintyre Mountain, a Pennsylvanian plant fossil location looking through the tailings from a large but long abandoned mine town, like 150 years abandoned. The drive in was a 4 mile dirt road up the mountain. Luckily for us the majority of it was well maintained and the scenery was beautiful.
  10. I have some brachs I recently collected just outside of Swissvale, CO. I believe I have a some Rynchonelida, Strofomenida, Orthida, and possibly some poorly preserved that could be spiriferids though I'm not really sure. Although I can identify them to the level of order, I have no reference for brachiopods in my meagre library so I'm hoping someone here may be able to help out. I'd like to maybe identify some to better than order. The formations in the area of this age are the Belden and Minturn fmts, I don't know which the fossiliferous mudstone these came out of belongs to. It's very fossiliferous. I also saw some chunks of what looked like a limestone with fossils, though they were too large to collect. I still have a bag of loose matrix to sort through for small fossils. These are just the little ones, and loose brachs I found already eroded out. I have some more larger ones waiting to see a little prep. The entirety of the tiny collection, including partial brachs and my few token crinoid columnals below.
  11. I just made my third trip to northern New Mexico in pursuit of Pennsylvanian fossils. I love this area and I’m especially interested in the Carboniferous periods, and I usually hit a new location on each trip in addition to my favorite location, San Diego canyon near Jemez Springs. But I am always eager to find new locations to hunt! I visited two locations on this trip. I will post my finds from this trip and follow up with another report from previous visits. 1) I spent a few hours at Fossil Hill near Taos. I had little information to work from at this site and had only a little success, but enjoyed the hiking nonetheless. I walked up and down the hill for a few hours, only finding one area with a significant quantity of larger crinoid stems. I also found a single brachiopod and a single Gastropoda. The longest crinoid stem in the image is 1.5” long. This location was near the top of the hill. The fossils were all loose in dirt. I could not find the source layer unfortunately. If you have any good experience at fossil hill, please message me!
  12. Unusual fossil.

    I found this the other day. At first look it just looked like a normal rock. Then I found another one same detail, size, and all. Then this one was preserved with silica to make it even weirder. Any ideas as to what this is. It came from a rich Carboniferous period. The weird part is the 2 pieces didn't seem like they belonged with rest of shale fossils.
  13. I am excited to share with my friends on The Fossil Forum a significant discovery that I made last week. In 1870 an unusual spine like structure was described from a Pennsylvanian aged black shale site in Illinois. The fossil was believed to belong to an unknown chondrichthyan (shark) that is unlike anything anyone has ever seen. For over 150 years, these denticles have shown up in sites around the world. This animal ranges from the Pennsylvanian to the Triassic meaning that it survived the Permian extinction. Researchers have been perplexed and frustrated as aside from a few patches of scales, no articulated material has ever been found. Dr Rainer Zangerl spent many years extensively collecting black shale sites in Illinois and Indiana. He claims to have found a specimen in Indiana only to have it disintegrate in front of him. He described it having had an eel like body covered in the feathery denticles. I am pleased to announce that I have found what appears to be a complete well preserved specimen. For almost 20 years, I have been searching several black shale sites in North central Illinois. The shale is very similar to the Mecca Quarry black shale found at sites in Indiana.I have posted pictures in the past of various other fossils that I have found at the site. The denticles are relatively abundant but I have never seen any other signs of this mystery shark. Last week, I made a last minute trip out to a site that I occasionally collect and spent a few hours splitting slabs of shale. I was not having much luck and getting ready to call it a day. I decided to open one last large slab. I took a whack and it split perfectly. There in front of me was probably the most scientifically significant fossil that I have ever found. I knew almost immediately what it was but could not believe what I was looking at. A small shark like animal with an elongated eel like body and various spines. The majority of the fossil is covered by a thin layer of black shale so it does not look that impressive. Once prepped, the preservation should be fantastic and similar to other fish that I have shared from these shales.. I am in the process of searching for a researcher who wants to describe it. The fossil appears to be relatively complete from head to tail. I will keep this thread updated as things progress. Without further delay please enjoy being some of the first people to ever see what Listracanthus looked like.
  14. Yesterday I went on a combined field trip with ESCONI and LOESS to the Starved Rock Clay Products pit in Utica, Illinois. ( @connorp was there too!) This open pit exposes the Pennsylvanian Mecca Quarry black shale, Francis Creek shale, Colchester Coal, and an underclay below the coal- an assembly of strata that have produced world-renowned fossils elsewhere, including Mazon Creek fossils further east and complete sharks from the Mecca Quarry Shale in Indiana. At this location, unfortunately, the concretions are almost all blanks but the black shale does produce isolated fauna including bivalves, brachiopods, cephalopods, and shark teeth and scales. The underclay also contains petrified and pyritized wood and root traces. About 30 of us gathered at a nearby McDonalds before heading to the pit- dark clouds on the horizon brought intermittent hard rain that kindly let up by the time we reached the pit floor. My interest for this trip was in the black shale, with hopes of finding shark material in particular. With the recent rains everything was muddy, and the black shale could be found in chunks strewn along the slumping highwall. Some folks were splitting the shale, but I did not have any luck with that-all of my finds were already exposed. The mud really made it hard to see whether or not there were fossils in the exposed black shale, but I was happy to be able to find a few pieces worth taking home- as often seems to be the case for me when fossil hunting, I found my best stuff in the first hour and virtually nothing the rest of the time I was there.
  15. Mecca Quarry Shale finds

    I had a great time hunting with ESCONI at the Starved Rock Clay Pit. It exposes the Pennsylvanian aged Francis Creek Shale and Mecca Quarry Shale. There were tons of concretions lying around, but we were told they are usually empty and rarely split well, so I didn't bother. I was really there for the black shale anyways. I found a bunch of bits which may prove to be more interesting after prep, but here are the more exposed finds of the day. I am not familiar with this fauna, so I was hoping to get help with IDs. #1) I found a few similar specimens. Best guess is coprolite. #2) Not sure if this is a fossil. Maybe coprolite or an arthropod carpace. Or just a mineral stain.
  16. Mazon Creek Unknown

    This is my first non-Essexella find so far. Or at least non-indistinguishable-blob find that is. That said, I have absolutely now idea what it is. It looks vaguely familiar but I can’t put my finger on it. I hope the pictures are decent enough, if not I can try again. I uploaded some with a contrast boost as some of the details are faint.
  17. Our new Shark Education Displays

    Pictures first, full descriptions will follow Paleozoic Sharks and “Sharks”
  18. ESCONI recently announced a field trip to the Starved Rock Clay Pit in IL on 8/17. The layers are, from top down: Mecca Quarry Shale, Francis Creek Shale, Colchester No. 2 Coal, and paleosol. I was lucky enough to see the post in time to get on the list before it filled up. Anyone else here going? Also, I know ESCONI has been there before. Have any of you been there previously and have any tips you could share? This is my first trip to a quarry so I'm not sure what to expect.
  19. Carboniferous Arthropod?

    Evenin' all! Am I going a little bit doolally, or is this impression a fossil? It's situated between a couple of thin plant fossils either side, on a piece of siderite from Duckmantian Carboniferous deposits in North Wales, UK. I've played with the lighting a bit to try and bring the details out.... It's not noticeable to the naked eye, but the photos seem to be showing up spines/protrusions in one area? It's probably nothing, but worth a double check. Cheers!
  20. Unknown Mazon Creek

    Hi! I just recently found this piece for sale, with no identification. The bumpy texture made me think of Arthropleura, but could also be something like a Stigmaria root. Please let me know what you think!
  21. I found these bits in the LaSalle Limestone member of the Bond Formation (Pennsylvanian). They were in a huge boulder and I could not remove them unfortunately. No clue what they could be. Any thoughts?
  22. Late Carboniferous Oyster or Clam II

    A second large Clam or Oyster? I dug a huge piece of limestone out of the hill and split it into three with a sledge hammer so that I could actually pick pieces up. After the heat this weekend, they were easy to pick apart once I got them home. Yesterday, I found the first piece. This is the one I found today. When it came out of the rock I was a bit shocked at how large it was. I carefully tapped around the specimen and was able to remove most of the surrounding rock carefully. This is the larger of the two pieces I found this weekend. I have less confidence in identifying it as has less features than the first piece. You can see shell material flaking off in the 3rd and 4th photos below. The fossil after I found it: Then, once I removed it from the rock:
  23. Late Carboniferous Oyster or Clam

    I love and hate finding large fossils. They are really interesting and striking to look at, but I have a hard time getting an ID on them. I dug a huge piece of limestone out of the hill and split it into three with a sledge hammer. After the heat this weekend, they were easy to pick apart. Yesterday, out popped this piece. There is another one I found today that I will be posting after this one. This piece has several wavy ridges. The shell material looks pearly, and perhaps some calcite replacement has happened. There was a piece of shell stuck on the mold portion as well. I'm seeing about 6 distinct ridges. Anyone know what it might be? Before I removed it from the rock: Several views after removing, trying to show the ridges:
  24. Worthenia perhaps

    While working on a specimen, this little gastropod fell out. Its measures about 7mm wide. Is it a Worthenia or something else? Being so small, I'm not sure it looks like the classic examples I find on fossil plates. Ruler is in mm. Found in the Glenshaw Formation. Pennsylvanian in age.
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