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Found 49 results

  1. Took a little trip out to West Texas last weekend. My parents have friends who have ranches out near Balmorhea (great to have friends with ranches...everyone should have friends who have ranches!). I knew the general area was one I had wanted to go hunting for echinoids in the Boracho Formation (some very special echinoids not found in my area). I did my research on Google maps and the Texas Geology website, hoping I could pinpoint the right roadcuts! The first one we stopped at (I thought was the right formation) turned out to be a different formation, but I found some cool little brachiopods that are different than any i have encountered before and a couple of echinoids (phymosomas) and that was all for that little roadcut. Checked out a few more in the area but didn't find anything. Definitely didn't find what I was looking for! So on to our weekend at the ranch. The owner said he know of a "beach" on the ranch where "sea shells" were found. I was really surprised because on the Geology map it is all Igneous and Quaternary - nothing at all that looked Cretaceous fossiliferous. So we went driving around the ranch to the spot and to my GREAT surprise, we found an outcrop of Austin Chalk! I don't know how, but it was there! I found inoceramus clam parts and some of the most beautifully colored Exogyra erraticostata! So that was a really special spot! ( @grandpa -another "fossil that shouldn't be there!"- but it was!) The final day we were to head home, I convinced my parents to drive 30 miles further West before we headed back east for home. I knew there were supposed to be some more outcrops of the Boracho accessible so we took a little side trip and happily I found the formation I was looking for! And I was rewarded with a most LOVELY little Anorthopygus texanus echinoid! I initially thought it was a Coenholectypus transpecoensis (which was mainly what I was hoping to find -which I did not find!) but was happy to discover it was a more rare Anorthopygus! My mom found a nicely presereved Wahitaster wenoensis, so that was great too. I also found a phymosoma, but it's pretty beat up. A small section of a nautiloid and a nice bivalve which I think is a Lima wacoensis quadrangularis rounded out my day. So it was a good haul to West Texa! My best finds from Boracho /San Martine formation Anorthopygus texanus - 25 mm : Washitaster wenoensis 25 mm a not so great Phymosoma 1 1/2 inches Lima wacoensis quadragularis 1 inch From the Austin Chalk Formation on the ranch: Exogyra erraticostata 3 inches From the first roadcut which was Buda formation Kingena (Waconella) sp? what's odd about them is this "dip in the lip" so I am not sure what species it is (it is for sure Cretaceous Kingena/ Waconella and not a Pennsylvanian Composita which it very much looks like -we had a nice long post on that!) A few pics of some of the critters on the ranch: Auadad (not native, but gone native) Javelina mama and baby! A mule deer wild turkeys
  2. I was driving north on Interstate 35 near Waxahachie, Texas this afternoon. Saw pile of rock debris that were up 60 feet high near the Interstate 35 service road. I couldn't resist passing by, so I parked near the service road and walked around the debris for any fossils. Well, most of the fossils I found are small to large Inceramous clams. Not too much spectacular, but the clam attached to the matrix were near complete. Some of these clams have pyrite rust stains on them. Formation is Austin Chalk (upper Cretaceous).
  3. Ammonite Baculite

    From the album Central Texas Fossils

    Ammonite Baculites - Austin Chalk Formation
  4. Austin Chalk formation fossil?

    I found this piece of rock with strange shape in the rock quarry nearby Interstate 35 between Temple and Waco, Texas. I did't see much other fossils other than this piece. Wonder what this is? Formation is on Austin Chalk.
  5. Unidentified fossil

    I'm trying to identify a fossil I found inside a chunk of Austin Chalk or in the "Fau" Cretaceous layer in collin county. I believe it might be some sort of coral. I am leaving it for now hoping to determine what it is before trying to fully extract it. Might not ever try to remove it. Any ideas or opinions? would be interesting to see what others think. It appears to have a foot then a thin shell like skin with a scalloped edge at the base growing horizontally from the "foot" like a shute or pod. Found in creek collin county North of Dallas Texas
  6. Trinity River tiny ammonite

    Is this called ammonite or another name for these specie? I found these at Dallas Trinity river grey clay / shale layer. I think these are upper cretaceous Austin chalk formation.
  7. What is this Cretaceous sea creature?

    I found this fossil at DFW creek tonight. Was at the lower Cretaceous Dallas Austin Chalk sediment. I saw someone posted this similar one on this fossil forum, but forgot the name of it.
  8. Creek bed round thing?

    Found a curious circular thing on the bottom of the creek. It looks like a circular coral that I saw picture on the Internet once. Creek bed is around middle cretaceous period.
  9. Cretaceous marine reptile limb bones?

    I keep finding these that resembles bones in the Dallas creeks last few months. I have dozen of these possible limb bones. They look like small swamp reptile limb bones that may once belonged to crocks or marine reptiles when Dallas was coastal swamp or marsh. Compare to other rocks, these bones are also very hard to break. Could these be possible reptile limb bones of crocks or unknown reptile feet or leg bones?
  10. I found these two in the Dallas area creeks today. It was washed down from upstream lying with other creek rocks. First one looks like coral and second one looks like rudists. I will let someone ID this for me since I'm new to marine fossils.
  11. Silly Season

    It’s that time of year... Ancient Marine Fossils Unearthed in Plano, nbcdfw.com
  12. Ive recently started donating some important Mosasaur finds of mine to Mike Poclyn at SMU for his continuious research of Mosasaurs. I donated Russellsaurine premaxilla from the Austin Chalk formation in a creek in Dallas County and then a rare Halisaurine dentary which is the only Halisaruine skull piece Mike has ever seen from the North Sulphur river. Mike is truly a awesome guy and I am looking forward to continue working with him in contributing rare finds for research.
  13. Micro teeth? Not sure

    Found in Atco formation in Texas, Coniacian age. Looking in my Welton Farish book and I can’t find anything similar. Maybe spines of some sort? Kind of looks like teeth and kind of not. Lost on this one. Scale is in mm.
  14. Found this digging through my micro gravel. It comes from the late Cretaceous, bottom of the Austin chalk, top of Eagle ford, Atco formation area. It is 3mm in length and I would say 1ish in width. Internal mold of something, crustacean maybe? Really not sure.
  15. Edwards Check Dams

    A few weeks ago my mother, Stella (dog), and I went to a old-reliable heteromorph site in the Atco. After I dragged all my equipment to the part of the site that I was going to work, she went walking with Stella to look at some of the check-dams full of brought in Edwards limestone, chicken wire bags full of the brought in matrix put in the ditches for sediment control. In 2017 while we were at the same Atco site she was looking at a dumped pile of the Edwards and found a rare cidarid (see thread here) that compares well with Temnocidaris (Stereocidaris) hudspethensis. The sight of seeing that bizarre looking fossil just laying on the ground was quite a shock for both of us and motivation to hunt the dams more, and since then she has been casually looking over every check-dam hoping for another one. But because this Atco site is also rich in heteromorphs, I tend to focus all my attention on the chalk and neglect the Edwards dams, in these cases to my slight ire but also amazement at what she found with Stella. She did it again on the 9th, and found another cidarid that appears to be the same species as the last one from 2017, though from a different dam. I was at my Atco pile when she came over and showed it to me, completely blowing away all my finds in a very welcome way. The brought in Edwards is early upper Albian in age (about 107.6 mybp) and is a very fossiliferous crystalline limestone jammed packed with rudists and Chondrodonta sp. as well as the occasional gastropod. It makes for quite the sensory overload when trying to look for other things amongst the fossiliferous morass. The limestone is also interspersed with somewhat softer red sandstone that infills crevices in the much harder limestone and is more quickly weathered away in older exposures. I have tried so-far unsuccessfully to isolate the quarry from which the matrix originated to ask them permission to get a chance at the fossils before they are dumped in bags and hauled tens of miles to sites, damaging them. The problem is that there are multiple quarries in the nearest counties that expose the Edwards, namely Hood and Johnson counties. I have seen this matrix at sites all over North Texas, but I don't know if all that matrix is from the same quarry as the matrix from my Atco site since the Edwards is heavily quarried for fill all over the state. For now we are left to dig though the jumbled, knocked around bagged matrix, but even so the limestone is extremely hard so the fossils are not usually completely destroyed. And the site is big with lots of busted open bags. This latest cidarid is in about the same condition as the first, that being not so great but not so bad. Both specimens are missing most of their adoral sides and their apical plates are gone, leaving their circular apical scars. But they are still quite nice and intricately detailed, and also preserve some of their big mamelon tubercles, with the first specimen preserving 2 and the latest preserving 5, though there could be more under the globs of matrix stuck to them. This latest is also bigger. The first had a diameter of 52 mm at the ambitus and a preserved height of 37 mm, while the latest is 59 mm at the ambitus and 45 mm in height, though keep in mind that since they are both missing most of their adoral sides they would have had more height in life. The apical scar on the first specimen is 19 mm in diameter and on the second is 21 mm, with the crushed calcite fragments of the apical plates seen in the cavities left behind on both. I really didn't expect her to find another specimen of this rarity again, but apparently this matrix is a honey hole brought in by the truck load, making this site two honey holes in two epochs. Then on Wednesday I went by the same check dam from which this latest cidarid came and found what really appears to be a belemnite, but that is for another topic in the ID forum. Hopefully I can post that find soon. Since new Atco exposure at the site has temporarily slowed down I have an excuse to take a good hard look at the Edwards dams tomorrow afternoon. If we find anymore from the dams I will post it to this thread, so hope to see more In the mean time, here are the pictures of the echinoids, the check dam from which this latest specimen came, and a nifty Chondrodonta sp. she found in said dam. I welcome any other finds that anyone has found in the Edwards or its equivalents and any tips on how to prep limestone as hard as crystalized concrete. Also, sorry for the picture quality. My Nikon decided to die a few months ago for some reason and I have yet to get it fixed, so if anyone knows a camera repair shop that fixes Nikons in the DFW area, I am all ears. *Pictures incoming, computer acting up*
  16. I found this Phlycticrioceras trinodosum heteromorph specimen in June of 2018 whilst hunting the middle/upper Coniacian Atco formation. It is the largest fragment of this species that I am aware of, having a whorl height of 51 mm as opposed to 47 mm of the largest fragment I've seen published. This genus is a bigger, rarer, and (mostly) younger cousin of Allocrioceras. I sent pictures of it to Keith Minor and he pointed out that there was also an echinoid sticking out of the specimen, something which I had totally missed! With much of the echinoid still stuck in the living chamber it is hard to get a definitive ID. But because it has such a shallow anterior ambulacra, which gives the anterior end a more smooth rather than definitive heart shape, he ruled out both Mecaster texanus and batensis. He suggested Micraster since the site has a strong European component in both the bivalve and ammonite faunas, and because the periproct side has the right shape. From finding other, although not as well preserved specimens that show similar morphology he appears to be right. I have yet to confirm this ID with Andrew Smith, but either way I think the piece is worth showing. And reading this thread got me thinking about how this could have happened and what effect it could have had on the echinoid's preservation. My thought is that because irregular echinoids lived and today still live most of their lives burrowing in the sediment it is unlikely that it would have crawled into the living chamber, but instead that it was blown into it post-mortem via currents that had dredged it out of the sediment. I already know that this site was a high energy environment from my other finds here so this seems the most likely possibility to me. But because of the fact there is still at least one spine still attached to the specimen it could not have been swept up from the sediment too long after death or all of its hairlike spines would have blown away. I do, however, find it interesting that it is positioned anterior first with its posterior towards the aperture, the position I would expect to see it in if it had indeed crawled into the shell. The specimen is also the best preserved echinoid from this site so far. Despite the ammonites being generally well preserved and not too crushed, most of the echinoids that I have from the site are terribly crushed, flakey, and often infested with rotting pyrite. I think being encapsulated in the chamber very much reduced those effects. Even though the ammonite and the echinoid are a bit crushed, the echinoid would have probably been worse off otherwise. The heteromorph fragment length is 70 mm and the whorl breadth, being a bit crushed, is 13 mm. I would think that this specimen, with its open planispiral coiling, would would have been at least over a foot in diameter when complete. It is the robust (female) morph of the species with a rib index of 5½. For comparison in Fig. 1 I pictured it with my most complete P. trinodosum specimen. From the part of the echinoid that is exposed I can measure 25 mm in length, 25 in width, and a thickness of 8 mm. I have also found abundant yet scattered fish remains at the site, so perhaps one day an ammonite-fish will come my way. But until then, anyone else got ammonite-echinoids to show? Fig. 1. Fig. 2.
  17. Crab carapace?

    Unknown fossil. Found just below a tidal deposit and above a deep water lime deposit. In this layer there are a lot of good sized amonites, and a smattering of pelecypods and scallops and oysters and protocardia and urchins that become much more common just up the rock sequence. Just a bit deeper are fairly common trace fossils of burrowing shells.
  18. Bone like fossil with cuts

    Found this bone like fossil while exploring the creeks in far north Dallas. This area I believe is part of the Austin chalk formation. whats odd is the two small cuts and what looks like worms fossilized on the underside. It’s hard like rock.
  19. Giant Inoceramus clam?

    I am a bit excited and probably rash in my thinking on this. I’m sitting in a creek and I believe I’m sitting on the remains of the largest clam I have ever seen. I’m having a hard time processing it and don’t know how to confirm my suspicions of how large this beast is. Would anyone even be interested in checking this out? Here are some pics. If I am correct this clam goes at least from a foot to the right of the black thing to at least 3 feet to the left of my hammer. This is is a layer of shell across the top of it. More shell Sounds like I may have an overactive imaginations, but I’m not sure how to explain it otherwise. What do you guys think?
  20. Tiny Aptychus or Bivalve Steinkern?

    Yesterday I hunted an Upper Santonian Austin Chalk site in Ellis county between downpours of rain. This was my first time at the site. I was looking around a pile of rocks with some boulders mixed in and found this on one of the boulders. It is tiny, whatever it is, about 1 cm wide. Now I must admit that I am more familiar with the fauna of the Upper Coniacian Austin Chalk but to me this looks more like half of the aptychus of an ammonite than a bivalve. Since an aptychus was made of calcite I believe that it would be preserved in chalk, though the actual fossilized material is gone and this is just the steinkern of what ever it was. Here is the best picture that I have of it. Sorry that the quality is poor. I took it while I was at the site and I can’t get a better picture right now. Hopfully this will be sufficient.
  21. Dust Masks

    So far the only prep tools that I have are different types of picks. Because of this there isn’t that much chalk dust being put into the air at one time. I currently wear surgical masks which are less restrictive than other dust masks but they seem to be ok for what I am doing. If at some point in the future I start using tools that generate more dust, such as air scribes, would these kinds of masks work or would I need more restrictive ones? What do you use? Thank you all very much for the help that I have received. I am just beginning to prep fossils and I am trying to learn as much as I can.
  22. I have a Tridenticeras peramplum ammonite steinkern from the Austin Chalk that has part of it incrusted with algae/moss from sitting in a small creek where I found it. What would be recommended to clean moss off of chalk fossils, not just ammonites? What ever the method that is recommended I would first try it out on a fossil-less chunk of chalk to make sure that the process wouldn’t be detrimental to the matrix. I also don’t want to scratch the fossil by scrubbing it with something overly abrasive since the matrix weakens when wet. I usually use a soft bristled toothbrush for cleaning dirt off of specimens. Would that enough? Thanks in advance!
  23. Austin Chalk fossil

    I got off work early last Friday and had about 90 minutes to kill before picking my daughter up from school. So I decided to see if I could find anything in a local nature preserve with Rowlett Creek running through it, which consists of the Austin Chalk formation. There were lots of Inoceramus clam shell fragments. One fragment that I found was over 10 inches wide, but still only a tiny fragment of what must have been an enormous clam. As I was exploring I came across this rock which I though was unusual. When I first saw it I thought someone had gotten might bored and sat there hacking away at the rock to make all the hash marks, but upon closer inspection I realized the hash marks went more than surface deep. It has to be a fossil of some kind, but I’ve never seen anything like it. The only thing I can think of is maybe it is some type of a cast of a pile of shells that were together. The marks go about 4 mm or so into the Chalk so maybe it is what is left of clam fossils and the rest of the fossils have eroded away. Do any of you know what kind of fossil this is?
  24. Cracking Open Chalk Chunks

    Right now I am almost exclusively hunting in the Austin Chalk Formation. I am curious what tools I would need to crack open chunks of it to look for fossils. What kind of chisel and hammer would be recommended? Is that all that would be needed? The matrix that I am working with is medium hardness.
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