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Found 57 results

  1. Last Trip of the Season

    The snow has arrived at the elevations that I like to hike covering up the fossil beds now. These pictures are from one of my last hikes in the Talkeetna Mountains and as you can see these are oversized fossils. The ice axe next to the clam is 30". Kobuk and one to the bigger ammonites measured at 65 cm diameter is another whopper. Ok, now a Where's Waldo picture. How many ammonites do you see in the picture? I have the answer and they as still are all still there in the outcrop, some are broken. The answer is nine ammonites. Until next year happy fossil hunting!
  2. Is this a fossil?

    I have here a polar bear tooth from St. Lawrence, Alaska. I was told it was fossilized, Pleistocene to be precise. The seller had other similar teeth available on offer, in darker shades, claiming they were all fossilized and simply preserved in different ways. Ultimately, I chose this one. As far as the literature goes, it has been argued that the polar bear does go back to the late Pleistocene: Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Wiig, Øystein (2009). "Late Pleistocene fossil find in Svalbard: the oldest remains of a polar bear (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1744) ever discovered". Polar Research. 28 (3). doi:10.3402/polar.v28i3.6131 I know coloration is not the ideal determination of fossilization, and yet I also read that the burn test wouldn't work on a tooth. Is there, then, any way to confirm if this is fossilized?
  3. Quaternary mammal fossil?

    I found this bone in Interior Alaska down river of some bluffs that I know have produced mammoth bones and other Pleistocene age fossils. I am curious if anybody can identify this bone and whether it is really from the quaternary or is it more recent. There is crystallization in the holes in the bone and it feels more dense than a normal bone would. Be thankful for any thoughts and information.
  4. Hi everyone, I recently came across online Alaskan fossils. Specifically they are a Polar Bear and Walrus tooth from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. There doesn't seem to be much of a consensus on the age ranges for those teeth, and having those would be useful to me. According to a geological map, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, is Quaternary at its earliest: https://alaska.usgs.gov/science/geology/state_map/interactive_map/AKgeologic_map.html. That already puts me at a range of 2.6 million - 11,000 years, pretty wide. Initial research suggests polar bears evolved maybe 150,000 years ago, and their oldest fossils are around 120,000. I have no idea on the walrus yet. Does this mean, though, that my polar bear tooth is between 11,000 and 120,000 years old, or could it be narrowed down further? I'd love some insight from those who have knowledge of these aspects of paleontology. I would appreciate age ranged on the polar bear and walrus fossils found on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. Thank you, Bellamy
  5. Polar Bear Tooth

    I have here a tooth that a merchant claims to be a fossilized polar bear tooth, found on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. To me, it looks like it could be sea lion. Any idea? \ Then again, here's a (replica) grizzly bear tooth that looks similar to me, too:
  6. Here is the next part of my north slope trip pictures. After camping for two days I headed west and stopped on the Canning River to fish for char. The gravel bar I landed on had pieces of fossil coral and the river cut bank was of the same Kingak Shale with some large concretions. The view out of the plane shows the Ignek valley, east and west. After fishing headed west and stopped at the Kavic Camp for fuel, bring cash as avgas is $12 a gallon and glad to get it! Saddelrochit Mountains Looking west Ignek River valley Looking east Ignek River valley with Ignek Mesa behind the rear lift strut. Coral present in Canning River bed. Pingo- a feature of permafrost, ice lens buildup of up to 300/400 foot elevation. Polygons- ice lens in the soil giving the polygon shapes seen next to the pingo. No place to land here or would have checked it out. Reached the Colville River in the evening and flew all the way to the Killik River where the Colville takes a sharp bend. Killik River Colville River at the Killik River bend. Upon returning home read that there are known dinosaur track ways there and would have like to hike over and see them. Camp at Killik River ( the next day) Landed for lunch and was greeted by several bunches of caribou Kobuk and caribou bone Lignite present on most of the gravel bars. Colville River bar where fossils were seen. Bone or antler fragment.
  7. Dinosaurs' unique bone structure key to carrying weight Trabecular structure different than mammals, birds Southern Methodist University, PhysOrg, August 20, 2020 The paper is: Trevor G. Aguirre, Aniket Ingrole, Luca Fuller, Tim W. Seek, Anthony R. Fiorillo, Joseph J. W. Sertich, Seth W. Donahue. Differing trabecular bone architecture in dinosaurs and mammals contribute to stiffness and limits on bone strain. PLOS ONE, 2020; 15 (8): e0237042 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0237042 Yours, Paul H.
  8. The first juvenile dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from Arctic Alaska is presented in this paper. Paper https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0235078 Article http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology/alaskan-saurornitholestine-dinosaur-08618.html Inreresting tooth
  9. Ammonite ID Help

    I have studying ammonite anatomy and nomenclature as well as the local geology where I have been hiking. Today I rough prepared several ammonites and feel like I can make an educated attempt to name 2 of 3 that I worked on. I am reasonably certain they are from member three of the Matanuska Formation in the Talkeetna Mountains. I have shared some pictures of where I found one on the snow at the bottom of an avalanche so pictures of that one first as it is new to me. In my effort to learn these will describe why I believe it is Gaudryceras tenailiratum; wide umbilicus, course ribs, rounded venter, pattern of major rib separated with repeating pattern of secondary ribs, the ribs are asymmetrical with the anterior side sloping in concave slope and the slopes abruptly. I did not prepare the back side as it was a double and left the mold from the other ammonite as I think it pretty cool. The next one also is ribbed and I believe is Neophylloceras ramosum and base that decision on the pictures from the Gological Survey Professional Paper 432 as well as the description. I have seen these one many times and have a few in the garden. I found that prepping them I have become quite attached as it takes time and learn the morphology as cleaning the fossil. This one had several shells in the matrix and I left a portion of one. Will make another post for the third ammonite Thanks in advance for any helpl!!!
  10. Ok, tired of AK Hiker getting all the glory for Alaska finds hehe Made a run to my local fossil spot yesterday (which includes about 3 miles driving down the beach). Try to only go down when the tide is falling to 1, give more time to explore, and 2, more time to escape when the tides rolls back in. We can have between 8 - 28 feet of tide change! During big high tides the water is to the bluff. Some of the driving is loose sand / gravel so want to make sure if accidentally get stuck have time to get the car dug out before it takes a salt bath! We're searching through the Kenai group, Beluga formation, mid-late Miocene age plants. Most of it is splitting slabs that have been weathered out sitting at bottom of bluff along beach. Most slabs have exposed fossils but they are quickly worn down so it's rock breaking time to find sharper fossils. Most I have not ID'd yet (some I have a very hard time seeing / understanding the differences) First photos are of the area searched (bluff) and the view across Cook Inlet. In 1st one you can see Mt Illiamna across the Inlet which is one of our local dormant volcanoes (3 within 100 miles have erupted in last 30 years or so. Last in 2009)
  11. Wishbone Hill by Sutton, Alaska is an old coal strip mine area so unfortunately a lot of trash, motorized recreation and shooting. Did I mention shooting? On the drive in will pass where trees have been shot so much they have fallen down, I should have taken a picture of that as for about an 1/8th of a mile 50 trees have been cut down by bullets. My wife, dogs and I did an eight mile round trip day hike first with the strip mine visible in the background. There is road access to the mine area and fossil collecting is allowed. Wishbone Hill with the notch in middle for reference later too where the plant fossil pictures were taken. Above tree line Eska Falls Day Hike. Really a nice trail but need 4 wheel drive to access the trail head. This petrified log is on the west end of the cut Petrified log Back to the truck just in time! This is the upper part of the Chickaloon Formation, a Tertiary deposit. There area multiple papers online if interested in the history and geology. These pictures were taken in a 20 minute walk. The two bigger petrified logs are visible on the middle cut. If you visit sorry about all the trash, not proud of the shape this area is in. The last time I was there was 20 years ago and not any better then. If you like to shoot bring your guns, you will fit right in!
  12. Hi all - in the hopes of attempting to reach a wider audience, and anyone who has collected possible sea otter fossils, I'm sharing the first two posts from my blog "The Coastal Paleontologist" in a short series on sea otter paleontology and evolution. The first one is mostly a bit on sea otter biology, and the second is the first one that really deals with the paleontology aspect. The third (and fourth?) posts will deal with what the limited fossil record can tell us about sea otter evolution. The sea otter fossil record is quite poor, and I'm hoping that some of you may have found some fossil specimens and might consider making them available for scientific study. Anyway, here's part 1: https://coastalpaleo.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-terrible-fossil-record-of-sea.html And part 2: http://coastalpaleo.blogspot.com/2020/06/the-terrible-fossil-record-of-sea.html Part 3: will update as soon as I get it finished! And a teaser - the left mandible of the holotype specimen of Enhydra macrodonta from the Crannell Junction locality right off of Highway 101 near Arcata, California. I spent about 3 years emailing various curators about this fossil, if they had it on loan, and I finally got a response from Dr. William Miller III at Humboldt State University in Arcata that he didn't remember such a specimen existing there. The paleontologist who named it, Dr. Frank Kilmer, who was retired, mailed me a letter indicating that the mandibles had been given back to the private collector (!!!) after the species was published - but nobody at HSU knew their name! One former student did, but would not return my phone calls. I visited HSU in 2008 when I was an undergraduate student and rifled through their teaching collection and found A mandible, but I didn't think it was THE mandible, because of Kilmer's letter, and a misplaced label suggesting it was from a different locality (and therefore a duplicate specimen rather than the original). Dr. Miller indicated I should arrange for the fossils to be transferred to a larger museum, as he was certain that the collection would be thrown in the garbage after he retired! I visited again two years later and set aside all the specimens that should be transferred and secured an agreement from HSU for the material to be transferred to UC Berkeley, which finally happened about five years later. I did not realize that this mandible was in fact THE mandible, or at least half of the holotype (the right mandible is still missing, presumably in that private collection) until I was able to download a much, much higher quality scan of the photographic plates in Kilmer's 1972 paper, and I was able to match barnacle scars between the published image and the fossil. So, we may not have the more complete of the two mandibles, but at least we have one of them, and it is my hope that there is more material in private collections and that more can be discovered in the future.
  13. There are brown bears to watch out for. As requested some scenery pictures from a previous trips in the Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska, USA . As I get more versed in the strata and fossil nomenclature will include with the posts and finds. Notice the snow still present in June of last year and I am ready to get out again weather permitting which was a no go this weekend so sat and read numerous post on TFF for my education. Love the site and will figure out the decorum and how to interact as this is new to me.
  14. Alaskan Bivalve or Tooth?

    Hi everyone! First time posting here. I went out over the weekend to do something outdoors during the quarantine (easy to do in Alaska) and went to a spot known for marine fossils (especially sea lilies) on the Little Nelchina River here in Alaska. I was picking up fossils on an eroded cliff side above the river when I noticed this laying on top. My question is, is it a bivalve or tooth? I don't notice a hinge line or umbo if this is a bivalve, but this may be due to the deteriorated condition and the fact that I am a rookie at this. It appears to be broken in half, with the inside showing black sheeny layering. I appreciate everyone's help on this!
  15. Tooth ID

    Hi guys and gals, I've been having a heck of a time figuring out what kind of tooth I found. I live on Kodiak Island and while beach combing, in a somewhat discreet spot, I happened across it. Please see pics...any help is very appreciated.
  16. Greetings! I spent my career as a research paleontologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (Menlo Park, California) and the California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco), specializing in Cenozoic marine mollusks of the North Pacific and Arctic oceans. My summer fieldwork for 34 years was in Alaska, Siberia and northern Canada up toward the North Pole. Several times I had the indescribable thrill of being the first collector, perhaps the first human being, to visit a remote fossil site, reached by bush plane or helicopter. I was often dropped off to spend the day alone at remote sites up to 60 miles (100 kms) away. I had a number of extreme adventures, including killing an attacking grizzly with my only bullet, fending off a pack of wolves circling me, crashing in a helicopter, escaping a landslide by jumping into a passing river raft, and near-drownings in icy rivers. Of course, it was all worth it because of the fossils! My main work was documenting Cenozoic faunal and climate changes in the Arctic. However, my most notable accomplishment was solving the age-old mystery of Bering Strait’s age, which was featured on the cover of Nature. Most satisfying was discovering an unnamed river in remotest Alaska and naming it the Spirit River. I’m happy to say that my friend Warren Allmon, Director of the Paleontological Research Institution, wrote, “This memoir is a can’t-put-down page-turner, equal parts Jack London and Marincovich’s idol Roy Chapman Andrews. It is not just a rip-roaring adventure story; it also eloquently communicates both the intellectual thrill of scientific discovery and the emotional (and spiritual) energy derived from genuine exploration in some of the most challenging — and beautiful — environments on Earth.” He and other reviewers commented on the laugh-out-loud humor in my book. My book won a Bronze Medal in the Adventure category of a national book contest, and it has become an Amazon #1 Best Seller in its category. Reviews of my memoir are on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com I hope that fossil enthusiasts here enjoy reading about my adventures and research. My web site at www.loumarincovich.com has an array of photos from my fieldwork days and a list of my larger publications. Lou
  17. New Alaskan Thalatosaur

    I never knew what a Thalatosaur was before! https://earthsky.org/earth/alaskan-fossil-reveals-new-marine-reptile-species
  18. Help IDing a few rock/possible fossils.

    Hey everybody, I’m new to the forum and was hoping some of you have some thoughts on a few rock/fossils I have. I found all three of them on a gravel bar on a river in Interior Alaska. I believe the geology of the area is mostly quaternary. I believe the first specimen is part of a mammoth tooth. (A friend of mine found a mammoth scapula on the same stretch of the river.) A sedimentologist at the university in town is also leaning towards the opinion that it’s part of a mammoth tooth. I’ve never seen mammoth teeth have that type of coloration before though. The second sample looks to me like it could be a very weathered and replaced bone? The third specimen I’m really not sure about. It just looks very suspicious to me. I know it’s not one but It almost looks like a belemnite and is oddly polished and shiny for a rock in that area. Any thoughts and ideas would be great.
  19. This paper came out today. For those who saw my post of the palm leaf in both Alaska and the Smithsonian... this explains what I was doing in Fairbanks. I was up there for a total of five weeks stretched out over five winters. Yes, Winter in Fairbanks. I was hoping to see minus 40 degrees, but it never quite made it. I am "a fossil preparation specialist worked in two-week stints over the course of several years to get the fossil cleaned up and ready for study" https://news.uaf.edu/new-thalattosaur-species-discovered-in-southeast-alaska/?fbclid=IwAR0f-Lg4vDgE5MVuxP7wOL1V_CV3v142uy7Y9slvyNdH-xfE0t0AiZpp5Uw There is a paragraph about it Kirk Johnson and Ray Troll's latest book... "Cruising the Fossil Coastline"
  20. Alaska Fossil Sites

    Hoping to head up to Alaska this next summer and would love to hunt for fossils. Does anyone know of a list of sites to start looking? Thanks!
  21. Denali hwy fossil

    Found this a few years back. Didn’t know what it was so I took it to the local rock hounding club the retired geologists that attends said he didn’t know what it is and suggested possibly fossil due to the holes. the rock is oddly lightweight about 4 inches by 6 inches.
  22. Last week took a short drive (11 miles of road and 3 on beach) to our local fossil area. 99.9% of our finds are plant parts. Mostly Alder and Willow leaves with some Meta Sequoia tossed in. Some times a birch leaf will find its way in. In the right rocks I've found a number of what I believe are alder cones as well.. After I get back home I'll start working on IDs. Unfortunately the literature is scant but was given one that has some local info. Some planes will have single leaves in good shape. While others are stacked on top of each other but the leaves are damaged. It looks like they preserved after they started to rot. There are other areas with a wider selection of leaves but you have to take a boat. And with our tide changes (between 7-25ft) it can take some planning. I will add more once back home and can work on more photos
  23. Lambeosaurine Bones from Alaska

    The First Definite Lambeosaurine Bone From the Liscomb Bonebed of Upper Cretaceous Prince Creek Formation, Alaska is presented in this paper. Nothing spectacular just from a cool place Article https://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/197034.php Paper https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-41325-8?fbclid=IwAR0RTstNFgb9CWp6GdNEmGxb52k-44JZ5WfQMds2KgmFjY_mQc8wLF0BoP8
  24. Leaf or shell?

    A friend picked up a fossil on the beach at Fossil Island, Alaska about 15 years ago. He's always thought it was a leaf, but I think it looks more like a shell.
  25. Pachyrhinosaurus Frill Morphology

    Cool paper for those interested in the Ceratopsian, Pachyrhinosaurus Darren Tanke "This was discussed some time ago and of interest to several artists awaiting the "new look" of Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum. Paper on revised frill morphology of Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum by Tykoski et al., 2019 here. Well, it turns out the "new look" is much like the "old look" in other pachyrhinosaurs; the frill looks much like that in P. lakustai and that speculated on in P. canadensis." Tykoski 2019 Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.pdf
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