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Found 20 results

  1. Trilobite hypostome ID

    Any idea what species of trilobite this comes from? (Or correct me if I’m wrong in my assumption that it is a trilobite hypostome) Tully, NY
  2. Did I find a Devonian fish scale?

    A find at Tully NY the other day was bizarre compared with the usual stuff. Looks like a fish scale to my eye. Image was first hit on Google for images of “Devonian fish scales”. Example D and E look similar.
  3. Having struck out over an hour, I decided to turn over “just one more” slab, and bam! Nearly had a heart attack!
  4. More unidentified MC fossils

    So we have yet another unidentified mazon creek fossil. I see two possible specimens here but I’m not convinced either are proper fossils or even what they could be. The larger one looks like wood to me, and the smaller one looks darker and oddly shaped. I first thought maybe a flat worn?
  5. coral?

    Today I went down to fossil hunt in Tully, New York. I stumbled across this and thought it was a horn coral, but I hadn’t been finding any corals. I had been finding a bunch of crinoids so I was considering a crinoid calyx, but I still had no clue. Any insights are greatly appreciated!!!
  6. I just emailed Secretary of State Jesse White, urging him to consider a Tully Monster/Mazon Creek specialty license plate for Illinois. If you think this is a good idea, please send him a message as well (he's got a great Facebook Page, and you can contact him here: http://www.facebook.com/jesse.white.14203?fref=ts)... Feel free to send him this letter: Dear Secretary White, First, keep up that great work - my family and I are grateful for all you do for Illinois. Also, the Jesse White Tumblers are the highlight of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which we look forward to seeing every year (those kids are amazing)! So, we have a lot of different license plates available here (like The Cubs, Route 66, Peace, etc) - but we really need one to correspond to the State Fossil; the Tully Monster. This fossil has been found only in Illinois and nowhere else. I've included the story below... Some Paleontologists believe the Mazon Creek Fossil Deposits are the 2nd most important in the world, just behind the Hell Creek Formation (where numerous dinosaurs, like the famous 'Sue' T-Rex were found). I think we need to have a License Plate that recognizes this vitally important fossil and the Mazon Creek Fossil Deposits. The Mazon Creek deposits are located in Will and Grundy Counties. They are some of the most important fossil deposits in North America because the soft parts of many organisms are preserved. The Tully Monster was designated as the State Fossil in 1989: The Tully Monster was a soft-bodied animal, and was probably an active, swimming carnivore... It is preserved as outlines and flattened forms in nodules of ironstone from several areas in Illinois. It lived in the ocean that covered much of Illinois during the Pennsylvanian Period (about 300 million years ago). The Tully Monster was first found by Mr. Francis Tully in 1958; he took the specimens to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The specimen defied identification and became known as the Tully Monster. The name stuck. When Dr. Eugene Richardson formally described the new animal, he gave it the name Tullimonstrum gregarium. Here is a photo of a Tully Monster: http://www.prehistoricstore.com/newitems/m1648.jpg Thank you for your consideration, and have a great day!
  7. Megastrophia Concava

    I found this guy in a lump of Tully limestone that had broken and weathered out… the rim was visible above the matrix, so I knew it was a big one, and on the other side it was peeking through, though there was no way to tell for sure it was the same fossil. At home, I tapped lightly on it with the handle of a screwdriver and the matrix slid off. I flaked as much as I felt comfortable off, but the remaining piece sticking out is much harder than the rest was and I have neither the confidence nor the tools to take it off at the moment. But it looks pretty cool to me as is I thought it may have been Strophodonta demissa, but Steve P on the FB Devonian group was kind enough to point out the dimensions better suited M. concava. Megastrophia concava Mid-Devonian Hamilton Tully limestone (way at the top of the exposure per Baird/Brett) from Tully Center NY location 2.75" by 2.25" (with matrix 2.5") right profile "head" on
  8. Well Articulated But What Is It?

    My wife found this very well articulated fossil that looks like a bivalve internal - found in the Tully formation (Devonian) in central New York. Would appreciate help with an I.D. This piece is very striking and is going on display in my office. This is how it looks in my office, on the shelf - as you can see, it's a large piece and very artistic:
  9. DEVONIAN BRYOZOAN or PLANT or SOMETHING ELSE? We were searching for trilobites (will post our finds soon) - and were removing large slabs of shale from the substrate at the lowest section of a slope-shaped Devonian shale formation. I cracked open a slab of shale to find this stunning branch-shaped bryozoan - is this a plant or bryozoa or something else? Can anyone tell from the visual clues and morphology? Shown here are the full shale piece with the covering piece also shown, and some closeups - the long main piece is about 14 centimeters long - the accompanying piece on the left is the top half of the shale piece:
  10. WHY ARE THESE DEVONIAN MARINE SHAPED LIKE FERN LEAVES? These fossil marine creatures were found on our trip to our favorite Tully formation site in central New York and they look like Neuropteris leaves, although they have to be a marine creature because they are on a very large (18 inches long) rock covered with marine fossils. Will post more after I clean it up but wanted to get these online so someone can take a crack at identification. We were lucky this trip to find three of these small fossils with very delicate features, preserved in the rock, and this is one of them. There are three specimens on this rock, all close to each other. This is from Devonian shale found in an area in Central NY in the Tully formation, where there were quite a few trilobites (I'll post those in a separate thread). Any ideas what these Neuropteris-shaped creatures might be? FOSSIL 1A FOSSIL 2A-B-C FOSSIL 3A I'll post more pix after cleaning these. This is a large rock and may have more inside.
  11. Are These Crinoid Pinnules?

    Are these crinoid pinnules? My wife (the one in our family with the "fossil eye") found this on August 10 on our trip to central New York - we were looking in a very low strata (about 20 feet lower (deeper) than the Devonian "Tully limestone" strata) - this lower strata was a thick (15 foot) layer of very hard blue-grey and orange rock (lots of iron in the shale). There were very few fossils in the layer, a few shells and crinoid stems. We had given ourselves 10 more minutes and I told Nancy, "Let's try to find something really special before we go." A few minutes later she came up to me and said, "How about this?" Again, her keen fossil eye had found something unusual. These look like a really good preservation of crinoid pinnules, but I would appreciate confirmation.
  12. Plant, Creature Or Radial Patterns?

    Devonian Radial Structures from Tully Formation (NY) This is a radial patterned fossil I collected during our 4th of July trip to Tully, NY. Would appreciate input as to whether these radial structures are random, marine creature, or plant. In one closeup, there appears to be some branching. I included full view and closeup images to help with the ID. Since we found some fossils that appear to be Devonian tree shoots in what is mostly a shallow marine environment this could be a creature, or plant, or just a random pattern in the rock. I was hoping some of you could spot some clues to solve this mystery. Thanks! 1A - FULL VIEW 2A - FULL VIEW 3A - FULL VIEW 4A - CLOSEUP 5A - CLOSEUP 6A - CLOSEUP - Arrows show where one structure appears to branch
  13. Two Nautiloid/Ammonite Shaped Fossils During our 4th of July fossil trip I was looking for something a bit different and found these two nautiloid shaped fossils. One appears to be a large ammonoid which is poorly defined, and the other is a smaller ammonoid impression in shale. Would appreciate any comments.
  14. 4th of July - Trip Report (sneak preview) Just got back from our 4th of July fossil-fishing trip - will do a full trip report soon but in the meantime here are a few quick pix of our trip. We went to Tully NY and found a few fossils but fairly notable - hopefully getting identified in the Fossil ID section. Nan found 2 trilos at Tully, then we went fossiling and fishing at Lake Cayuga and spent half a day collecting lots of trilobites at a company-owned site where they give permission to collect. Here's a very quick preview: The first pic shows Nan with a trilo found at our normal Tully NY site - we didn't crack shale because of the rain so we picked thru rubble and she found this. The second shot is from Lake Cayuga where we discovered a trilo near a pocket where someone had extracted a concretion. The last pic shows the Cayuga site. More pix coming and a full trip report soon...
  15. UPDATE: August 20, 2013 - A new site for Wattieza - the world's oldest known tree Since posting this, the debate about "orthocone" versus "Devonian tree" has been settled. The Devonian tree experts have weighed in and confirm that these are Devonian tree shoots. They were growing in a swampy shallow marine environment similar to how modern mangroves grow. Since our original discovery - which represents an entirely and previously unknown site for Devonian Wattieza trees - my wife and I have collected more than a dozen separate fossils including some with surrounding substrate, from this site. I have cleaned most of the specimens and am taking closeup photos from all perspectives, now, to show such things as the central tube (called a stele) that runs through the core and the texture of the outer covering. In addition to Wattieza we have also discovered a separate Devonian plant species which we are attempting to evaluate and identify. Here is a photo from our SECOND site visit that shows the actual small Wattieza stump fossil that we collected, placed in front of a photo of the same fossil in the substrate as we found it. You can also see the adjacent "stick" which we currently believe is NOT part of the Wattieza stump - a separate closeup of the stick is included. We are currently looking at our several "stick" fossils and planning to cut one to look at the cross-section pattern, to try to determine the plant species. We feel that these finds have the potential to add new information about Devonian trees and plants, from this new site. It is also significant that we found these in a Devonian site where there are normally only marine fossils so we appear to have found a rare "island" of ideal conditions where young mangal Wattieza trees were growing in a paleosol where the conditions allowed fossilization. Geologically, these fossils are at the lower end of the "Tully limestone" formation. Our Devonian tree/plant finds confirm our thinking as "advanced amateur" paleontologists that as amateur fossil hunters we all can and should be using our time and knowledge to discover new sites and add to the fossil record. The small "army" of fossil hunters represented on The Fossil Forum have a unique opportunity to look in places where scientists may not have an opportunity - or inclination - to search. Once in awhile we discover something important, which seems to be the case here. OUR ORIGINAL POST Before I write our 4th of July trip report, I asked for some ID help with 3 tube shaped fossils we discovered at Tully, NY (Devonian, Hamilton Group) - the first opinion I received is that these are orthocone cephalopods. A contrary view is that these are Devonian trees! I modified the description slightly from the original post to reflect the current debate which has made this a "hot" topic. Have to admit, it's kind of cool that our first major fossil trip this year has sparked such an interesting discussion! Nan and I found these in situ sitting vertically in the substrate of a new construction site. I had found a few very large (2 inch diameter) cylinder shaped segments in the rubble that looked like cephalopod pieces and they were the largest we have seen to-date, so we were intrigued and started pulling away the substrate in the vertical walls exposed by the bulldozer. The first two fossils were found about a meter apart and the third was found about 300 meters away over a hill, but in the same level strata and depth. I'll do some minor cleaning, take better pix of the recovered fossils and segments, and add them soon - there appears to be a siphuncle structure running through the center, and other clues to the identity. Here is a quick view of how and where they were found - of course we realize it's very rare to find this type of fossil vertically embedded in the substrate. Nan found the first one, I found the next two and excavated all three - will provide more photos soon but hoped to get an ID first. The third sample had about 2/3 with the bottom portion missing. The first two appear to spread out slightly at the bottom. Several people suggested these could be trees and a few said other creatures but most people I talked to before posting this seem to agree they are orthocone cephalods. Aside from their size and shape (which is unusually large for the Tully shale so these are rare especially found in situ) - the primary convincing evidence is the siphon (siphuncle) protruding from the tip of the top of one of the specimens. This structure runs like a worm through the center - the other segments show holes in the center where the "wormlike body" ran through it. This argues against trees or other creatures but a few people claim that Devonian trees did have a similar center structure. The most confusing aspect is the lack of hard shell which should be present if this were a cephalopod - so what does that suggest? Another type of creature? Did they moult their shells and is this the "soft shelled" phase? Or is this a tree? Here is the top segment from the best specimen which clearly shows the siphuncle protruding at the center. In addition to the segmented tube shaped structures (they are all about the same diameter and length) there appear to be tentacle shaped structures on the left side although I didn't recover those when I extracted the tubes. Of course if this is a tree, then it is possible that those structures could be shoots. The tentacles or shoots were not recovered and are only shown in the photo which unfortunately limits the analysis. Here is how the debate seems to be shaping up: Pro Orthocone Cephalopod - These 3 specimens were found in what appears to be a Devonian marine environment where all of the fossils found there have been marine fossils. They have a small center "worm like" structure running through the center that looks like a siphuncle (siphon). They are all segmented and all the same approximate length and diameter. One was partially collapsed and distorted (some segments bulging outward). No one has suggested a cephalopod species that this might represent. Pro Devonian Tree - The horizontal strata where they were found contained very few if any marine fossils so they could be small young trees growing in the water. There is no trace of any shell fragments which is unusual if this is a cephalopod and the segments don't resemble cephalopod shells. There is a thin outer "skin" which could be consistent with ancient horsetail type bark. In the cross section of the segments, there are no concentric circles - in early trees there was pith, not traditional wood with concentric growth circles and some people have indicated that the first Devonian trees did have a similar center structure. The center core that looks like a siphuncle would be a core structure called a stele. Piranha suggests that this could be Wattieza sp., a prehistoric cladoxylopsid tree from the Middle Devonian that was discovered in Gilboa, New York which would be consistent with the location which was the Hamilton Group near Tully, NY. This genus has been called the earliest known trees. One of our goals for this fossil trip was to find something larger and distinctive/unusual and apparently we've done that. Another goal we've had since last year was to find a Devonian plant of some sort and it would be cool if that's what this turns out to be. I'll be just as happy if these are orthocones. The debate is hot on the ID for these and with all the attention and help from everyone, we should zone in soon. I'll take some more closeup photos this week and post them here. These are some of the largest fossils Nan and I have found so far and certainly the largest we have found in situ - it's fascinating that we found these exactly where they died and were preserved, 385 mya. I have to admit I felt like RomanK, who finds a lot of stunning in situ fossils and I have to admit, I was consciously trying to think like Roman and inspired by his example while searching for these fossils, which involved a lot of "excavation." UPDATE: NEW PHOTOS/CLOSEUPS At the end of this blog (page 3 and 4) I posted some new closeup images.
  16. Red Hill Fragment - Fish Part Or Shell?

    1. Any ideas what this Red Hill fragment might be? I just discovered this in the red shale from our Red Hill trip in June. This is an odd but well defined fragment from the 361 million year old Devonian site where tetrapods crawled onto land - not sure if this is shell material or part of a Devonian fish - about 1 cm - any ideas? 2. Is this a trilobite or shell? (Devonian/Mahantango/Juniata County PA) - about 5cm long: 3. I previously posted this but since found this oblong shell in a reference book - believe it is the bivalve Nuculites - I identified this bivalve after posting - this oblong shell is about 2 cm and retains some of its striking iridescence - from Tully NY (windom/moscow formation):
  17. Trilobite Pygidium?

    This is a fossil from our Tully NY trip - is this a trilobite pygidium (tail section)? Would appreciate help confirming this. Thx. By the way, we're still examining our fossils and finding new and unexpected things. We don't have a lot but what we have is fairly dense and sometimes we find that we focused on one side of a rock with a nice fossil but overlooked the other side which had an even nicer find!
  18. Here are a few perplexing fossils from our recent Tully NY trip. Any suggestions? T1a and b. Some sort of X shaped matrix. T2. A Nautiloid shaped fossil/pattern - about 1 cm in size. T3. Iron filled patterns - plants or corals or...? T4a-c. Something dark lurking in the shale. Maybe a curled up trilobite?
  19. On the way back from Tully NY, we stopped briefly to look at a roadcut about 45 miles south of Tully - the shale is grey and exceptionally hard. Didn't find any distinct smaller fossils, everything seemed indistinct and not well defined - I turned over a block of shale and discovered a "large branching fossil" that is 15 inches long. Part of the main stem is broken off horizontally along the stem. I outlined the shape in image 1.4 with a black broken line. This is our largest fossil to-date and was an unexpected discovery. UPDATE (7/15): The consensus is that this is the filled in "burrow" of some Devonian creature. Hm. What creature makes burrows this large and extensive? We are more intrigued than ever since this was a quick find during a 5 minute stop at a road cut.
  20. This is a "first look" at a few of the interesting specimens we collected last week at our visit to Tully, NY. The owner of the property was kind enough to give us permission to do some collecting so we gave it a concerted effort and these are just a few of the dozens of samples. Here is a list of samples included here (more coming soon) - Note - those items that are tentatively identified/confirmed are updated with the ID: 1. Crinoid and Crinoid Disk - this is a beautifully articulated 7 centimeter long crinoid stem which Nancy found attached to the shale substrate exactly as shown in the photo. Also, a small crinoid disk was associated with the stem, located immediately next to the crinoid shaft as shown. Any ID information on this? 2. Mediospirifer - 1a, 1b and 1c is beautifully articulated and was extracted intact as shown. This we've learned is the "internal" view of this creature without the shell, which is fascinating. I've also added two views of a spirifer shell fragment we collected intact but this was identified in another post as probably Mucrospirifer. It's interesting to compare the spirifer without the shell and the spirifer shell fragment. Still not sure if these are two separate spirifers (medio and mucro) or the same. 3. Spyroceras 1a and 1b (side view) (Devonian Cephalopod) - Nancy found this section of a stem and as you can see from these two images (1a and 1b) it is flattened. 4. Glyptotomaria or Cyclonema? - This Devonian gastropod is nicely defined but buried in the shale. We believe this is Glypto rather than Cyclonema because Glypto has been reported at the Tully site. A full jpg sheet of the gastropods we found at Tully is included in the Members Gallery. 5. Chronetes - Brachiopod - This is a familiar shape and common at Tully. 6. Delthyris- Devonian Brachiopod. 7. Greenops Pygidium - Trilobite - I found this at the bottom of the shale formation behind the Best Western Hotel, just lying exposed below a small eroded gully. Any idea what flavor of trilobite this might be? Thanks everyone for identifying these specimens.