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Found 11 results

  1. The Burgess Shale

    I’ve decided to take a break from dissertation writing and write up something else instead, one of the greatest fossil hunts I’ve been on, my trip to the Burgess Shale. Its been a little while since I got to go but here is the story as I remember it. I’ll write this up in a few parts since I took a lot of pictures and I’m going through and editing them as I go. Part 1: Going on an Adventure A little bit of background to start off. When I was younger (around 12 I think) I got the opportunity to go to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Of all of the displays my favourite was a small board under glass with a half a dozen or so small dark slabs of shale, the museums display of the fossils of the Burgess Shale. I can’t remember if there actually was a Pikaia on display but I distinctly remember the Pikaia and when it came time to exit through the gift shop I went the book which had the closest looking thing on the cover. That book, needless to say, was Stephan Jay Gould’s ‘Wonderful Life’, a book which was admittedly a little above my reading level at the time but one that I was enthralled with nonetheless. I knew that one day I had to go see where they came from for myself. Fast forward to five years ago now, I had finished high school a few months previously and was one week away from starting university. For my graduation present I had been given tickets for a guided tour, my father and I were going, I was going to get to see the Walcott Quarry in the Burgess Shale. The whole trip was going to take three days, my father’s car (a beaten up red Ford Windstar which we weren’t sure was going to survive the trip) was packed was packed with tents, a small amount of other camping gear, my trusty blue backpack, and the requisite 5lb bag of trail mix and we set off on our way since the driving would take the better part of the first day. The folks at the border were a little suspicious when we told them we were going to Banff for only two days but after a half an hour or so of checking over the car we were allowed on our way again into Canada. After a few hours we started to get into the Rockies. Growing up in western Washington I’m used to big mountains but while the Cascades were large these were different. I took a few pictures out the car window, the sharp treeless peaks of some almost looked a little like teeth. After a long day’s drive we reached our campsite, just a few miles away from the parking lot where the tour would start the next day and set up camp. The next morning we were up with the sun. Our tour group consisted of about 8 of us in total, my father and I and a handful of others, mostly retired petroleum geologists. Just a few minutes up the trail and the scenery was already breath-taking with a waterfall thundering over the nearby rock face. Soon we had properly left civilisation behind and after about an hour or so of hiking, stopped at the edge of a crystal clear glacial melt water lake where the ranger went over a little about geologic time, using the ever popular calendar analogy (that humans have been around only for a few hours on the last day of the year compared to the age of the rocks we were going to see). The hiking became tougher as the incline increased, through the forest. I’d been on a fair number of hikes during my many years with scouts but I was definitely out of practice compared with the rest of the group, mostly septuagenarians, who seemed to make it up the trail like they were part mountain goat. After another little while there was a sign on the side of the trail and even though the surrounding mountains were shaded by the trees I knew we were getting closer. We stopped briefly to go over the regulations of the area, there is of course no civilian collecting in the Burgess Shale. The ranger also explained how rare the soft bodied preservation present was and passed around a map dotted with the locations of all the spots on the globe with Burgess Shale type preservation. I quickly took a picture in case I was ever nearby another one before we started on our way again. Continued in Part 2 . . .
  2. Hunting near Chattanooga, TN

    Hello everyone, This is my first post here. I live near Chattanooga, TN, and consider myself fortunate to live in this area due to its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. We've come a long way in the last 30 years, and I would encourage anyone who wants an outdoor adventure to come here and check us out. Now, fall's coming, and with that may come cooler weather, which means a great time for outdoor activities. I would like to go fossil hunting close to home. We're in a pretty geologically diverse area here, though most of the knowledge from my college Historical Geology class taken over 25 years ago seems to have deserted my brain. But we have alot of chert, limestone, sedimentary rock, mountains, rock outcroppings, and the famous Chattanooga Shale formation. There is also the drive up Hwy 111 onto the plateau. One the way up, I've seen more than a few shale outcroppings that appear to have just barely missed turning into coal. So, for those in the know, are there some good fossil hunting areas in the Chattanooga area or within an hour's drive? Finding a trilobite would be a great prize, but I've found small crinoid stem fossils in my gravel driveway. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you, -William
  3. San Sebastian Limestone

    So I went to this river thinking i was going to have a blast cannon balling into the deepest areas except I found an excellent specimen and spent the rest of my day collecting amazing fossils.
  4. PA fossil sites

    Hello everyone! Thanks for taking a minute to read this. Heading over to Maryland this weekend for some fossil hunting. I was hoping to get some guidance on some spots in PA. Which we are planning on heading to on Tuesday (June 18th). Would like to know if there are any areas where we could find some plant fossils. I know from doing some research the areas may be limited. It's our first time collecting plant fossils so any tips would be appreciated as well! Thank you!
  5. Please help to identify the fossil

    i went to wonderful sulaiman ranges of pakistan for fossil hunt. there i found many bone like fossils in late eocene succession.kindly help me to identify the fossil.
  6. Large Volume Fossil Hunting

    I have been searching around the different pay-to-dig sites and it seems to me that if they could dig enough valuable items out themselves, they wouldn't rent it out to visitors. Are there any areas in the U.S where you can fossil hunt commercially without the huge cost associated with the pay to play sites? For example one place in Maryland says they average around 10-20 trilobites for a 4 hour dig. Since each (small) one goes for around 5$ that wouldn't be the best opportunity. Any ideas for a fossil hunting adventure that has enough volume to support the adventure? Not going into the ethics of commercial fossils and what not.
  7. Hello again. So the story behind those is that I found the smaller one when I was a child.. may be around 15 years ago and I kept it to bring me memories for the adventurous spirit from those times. This year, my brother found the bigger one.. it is similar but a little bit larger so I decided for a first time to investigate the origins. I found the little one in area with trees and leafs on the ground and somehow I think I stepped and dug it from the ground cause the angle of the soil was too sheer. The area is central Bulgaria, seems like some kind of cockle ? Seen more like this ? The closest sea is 180km away... is that a proof for area being full of water may be long time ago?
  8. Its been a while since I have posted here. Sorry for the absence. Its been a crazy year. Shifting cities and jobs, with a hectic period of lab work and fieldwork for my new job. I've been living in between two cities, but things should be settling down soon! I did fieldwork for work in the Summer of 2016 in New Zealand. That's another story. 5 days in the mountains sampling alpine lakes. Boy that was hard work. If that wasn't enough - I must have had a taste for adventure as I had a series of trips to N. Canterbury in search of big old crabs and whatever else nature threw my way. I'll post some reports when I have time with pictures. I finally managed to do the trip I had been wanting to do for a while and head up the coast into coastline not often tread. I carried everything - tent, drinking water, food and collecting gear. Even though it was late summer in New Zealand, you can almost expect anything! A cold front came through and while I was out I got hit by cold weather (almost into single digits in degrees C) and heavy rain. It was surely an interesting walk on the coast after the mudstone got wet! Here's a picture that summarizes my trip. Sunscreen and sunhat - Daggy (downunder speak for not cool...) sunglasses one day, then later rain jacket and thermal balaclava......... I am still smiling under there by the way! The sunglasses are my safety glasses and I thought - hey I'm in the middle of nowhere and fossil hunting shouldn't be a fashion show.... More soon guys. Just thought I's say hi and say that I'll update everyone on what I've been up to. Sorry for the absence and if I've missed any messages. Craig .
  9. Hi everyone- Does anyone know if there are any rappelling trips in the U.S. or Internationally to see fossils? also does anyone know if one can rappell down a cliff face to view the K-T boundary? I know its exposed and visible in Raton Basin, Raven Ridge and Trinidad Lake State Park but has anyone done rappelling on a fossil hunt? looking for a combo of fossil hunting, excavation and adventure! Any really super adventurous fossil hunting trips advise will be appreciated. thanks.
  10. Prehistoric Planet: The Extinction

    ---Prologue--- Milky Way Galaxy 25,000 years ago A spiral galaxy, one of the billions of islands of stars moving across the dark matter that is known as the universe, it rotates like a huge galactic wheel, pulling countless stars within its titanic gravitational pull. This particular galaxy is known as the Milky Way, 100,000 light-years across and 1,000 light-years thick. Like a grain of sand pulled by an ocean current, an asteroid races through the galaxy. The asteroid measures nearly seven miles in diameter, and has been moving through the galaxy since the dawn of time, passing planets and other asteroids. It is now on a collision course with a medium sized planet. The planet is still millions of miles away, but the asteroid is approaching quickly. The planet is warm and tropical, and also has an abundant source of water, oxygen, and life. The asteroid hurdles towards Earth, nothing can stop it. When it impacts, it will cause world-wide destruction and chaos. The countdown to extinction has begun.
  11. Prehistoric Planet

    Prehistoric Planet, a land lost in time. Multi-millionaire Dennis Cooper has been researching the Bermuda triangle for years, then he finally realizes where the different ships and planes have disappeared to; they have been sent back in time. After years of work, he finally accomplishes his dream, a time portal that leads to the age of Dinosaurs. Cooper has set up base on an island, he calls it, “Prehistoric Planet” but only known to the Public as “Project X”. After years of research, and all the latest technology, something has gone terribly wrong. Someone inside Prehistoric Planet is pulling some dangerous strings, and it’s only a matter of time before the time portal closes, forever... (Excerpt from Prehistoric Planet) Jonathan has noticed that the climate is slightly warmer, and more humid than before the flash occurred, but maybe it was side effects from whatever had just happened. The boat finally comes to a complete stop beside the dock, and they begin to unload. As they get off the boat, Dennis points out a gas powered jeep, “We will be riding in those” He said Jonathan looks in the direction Dennis is pointing, the jeeps are light brown in color with designs of leaves and trees around the edges. Inside, the seats are covered in water proof leather, six seats in all. Jonathan glances around the car, it has state of the art technology, and bumper to bumper it is covered in many electronic devices that he has never seen before. He sees the Jeep has an automatic shift, with a touch screen between the drivers and passenger seat, and in some of the pockets he can see multiple field guides. He takes a closer look at the books, and notices they are field guides to dinosaurs, prehistoric animals and plants, and prehistoric environments. He flips through one of the books, they are full of notes jotted down, it looks like they are correcting the books in some way. But why would they need to correct these books, it was all rather odd to Jonathan. Jonathan continues to inspect the car, and his eyes are drawn to the large off-road tires, “Wow” he said in shock, he’s never seen such off-road tires before, they look like they could be used for virtually every kind of environment the Earth would have to offer. Jonathan especially impressed with how strong the metal was on the outside of the car, it felt like titanium, and yet, the two inches of titanium had dents in it. Jonathan looks at the dents, trying to figure out what could have caused them. Lex and Dennis are already in the car, beckoning him to join them. Jonathan hops into the car and takes a seat beside Lex in the back of the jeep; a pair of binoculars hangs from the seat in front of him. He looks at Lex, who is looking behind her; a sleek metal case sits comfortably in the trunk, it is covered in several warning labels. She looks at the driver in confusion, whose face is covered in freckles, and his red hair can be seen sticking out of the edges of his Atlanta Braves baseball cap. She taps him on the shoulder, and he looks at her through a pair of dark sunglasses, “What’s this?” asked Lex, gesturing to the box “That”, said the driver over his shoulder “is a tranquilizer gun” “What’s it for?” “Protection” he said with a smile Jonathan looks back at the case with the tranquilizer inside, he notices one of the labels says that it contains wildnil, a fluid used to sedate animals as large as elephants, but the dosage listed on the label is almost twice as much. Jonathan continues looking at the label in confusion, what kind of animal needs that much wildnil? The cars continue to drive along the dirt road that leads into the jungle. Lex looks around; this jungle is much different from jungles she has seen in the past. Her grandfather had taken her too many jungles around the world, yet she didn’t recognize many of these plants. The Island had a tropical environment, with lots of exotic plants. The jungle was alive with sound, hoots and squeals from different animals, she has even noticed in some places steam is simply raising from the ground. “Why is there steam coming out of the ground in some places?” asked Lex “Ahh yes, the Island is Volcanic” Said Dennis, “This part of the island has some steam vents, but other parts have more steam, and a few geysers” “Volcanic?” Said Jonathan in worry “Don’t worry”, Said Dennis calmly, “The volcano hasn’t been active in a couple hundred years, there’s nothing to worry about” The cars continued along the dirt path that seemed to cut right into the jungle, Jonathan can see that the road has been cut as level as possible, and covered nicely with a layer of gravel, the ride is still quite bumpy. Now I know why they needed those tires, thought Jonathan with a smile. “Take us to the prairie” Dennis said to the driver, “There should still be some there” what should be there? “So where exactly are we?” asks Jonathan “You’ll see soon enough” Dennis replies with a smile. The jeep continued along a path, and then took a right turn. The climate has begun to change a little since they first arrived, a majority of the island was tropical, but now it was changing to a more savanna like ecology. The trees were becoming more spread apart, and they could see the open grassland just beyond the trees. As they drove through the last of the trees and into the grassland, the car slowed to a stop. Jonathan looks around, the grassland stretches for miles, and in the distance he can see mountains, covered in a heavy fog. To the east, rising above the palm trees, Jonathan noticed a single trunk with no leaves, just an enormous, twisted trunk. Then the stump began to move, and then it twisted around to face the new arrivals. They realized they were looking at the long, curving neck of an enormous animal, rising fifty feet into the air. They were looking at a Dinosaur. - - - - - “Wow” Lex said softly the first thought that occurred to her was how beautiful and extraordinary the creature was. Dinosaurs were normally portrayed as dumpy, frightening animals, but this long-necked animal had gracefulness in all its movements. The sauropod peered alertly at them and made a low moaning sound, rather like a whale. As if in reply, more heads appeared above the treetops, a third, and then a fourth! The animals were huge! Big as a house! The Dinosaurs continued to graze amongst the tree tops, and with their long, moaning cries. Jonathan began to laugh “What is it?” asked Dennis in worry, “Is something wrong?” Jonathan just shook his head; he was astonished by the fact that he was actually seeing a dinosaur. He was still laughing when a fifth and a sixth head rose above the trees. The Sauropods watched the people arrive; they reminded Jonathan of oversized cows. They had the same pleasant, rather clueless gaze, and stood there, grazing in the trees. From the distance, they heard their long, graceful calls again, echoing through the air. “There beautiful” whispered Lex One of the juvenile Sauropods approaches them cautiously, gazing at them through its large brown eyes. Jonathan is amazed at the size, even though it is still an infant, it towers above them, and Jonathan estimates the height to be about twelve feet tall. It makes a short trumpeting cry as it continues to inspect the humans. One of the adult dinosaurs replies, beckoning it back to the herd. The young sauropod glances at them one more time, then slowly, but gracefully, lumbered back towards the herd. Lex watched as the adults gently welcomed the juvenile back with nudges and sniffs. Johnson quickly made his way towards Lex and Jonathan, “Guys, we should probably proceed to the compound” “Yes, it’s about time” The group climbs back into the Jeep as it begins to drive back into the jungle. Lex and Jonathan continue to watch the dinosaurs, until they can see them no more. Jonathan looks up as the jeep passes under a large, steel archway with bold letters that read, “Prehistoric Planet”