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Found 34 results

  1. The Mazon Creek deposit records one of the best representations of Pennsylvanian aged millipedes. A variety of different types have been found representing several different orders. This is one of the rarer and lesser known types belonging to a relatively new order named Pleurojulida. Pleurojulus lacks spines and has body segments that consist of an upper and lower plate. It is one of the smallest millipedes that can be found in the Mazon Creek deposit.
  2. Mazon Creek Research Help

    Hello, I am a local undergrad geology student working on a research project dealing with Mazon Creek's Braidwood and Essex Biota. As part of this research, I am required to collect specimens and data on both of these assemblages present. I have been informed that any access to the Fish and Wildlife areas in the Mazonia-Braidwood South Unit is prohibited due to the Illinois DNR's indefinite closure of all fish and wildlife areas, so I am taking this time to research and inquire about access to both assemblages for future reference. That being said, my questions are as follows: Are there certain areas within the public access sites that I should specifically be searching within that may contain a large diversity of specimens available for collection? Are there any landowners within the Braidwood Biota that are easy to contact and willing to allow people to collect on their land? Are there any public access sites to the Braidwood Biota or to the Mazon River itself for collecting? Are there any papers or articles I can reference that may aid me in my research? Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer!
  3. Who is going to be heading out to Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife area for the start of the Pit 11 fossil hunting season on Sunday? They are forecasting a high of 58 degrees right now, practically t-shirt weather! (but watch out for those ticks) I am planning to be there Sunday and Monday, my first time trying two consecutive days. I hope to run into some other fine forum members out there.
  4. Jellyfish? Folded Annularia?

    I found this concretion already opened and heavily coated with dirt and minerals. The few parts I could see poking through gave me hope something was preserved. Now that I have cleaned it up, I am still trying to figure out whether or not the concretion contains a fossil. It can look very different depending on the way you position it. I see a jellyfish looking mantle but the tentacles look different from what I have seen before. Positioned vertically, I start to lose the jellyfish and wonder if it is a partial annularia. Or maybe it is just a lumpily split concretion.
  5. sedimentary rocks or fossils?

    Last time I was hunting fossils at Mazonia I picked up some rocks I found interesting. I don't know if they are fossils or not. The first is full of tiny holes I thought might have been caused by animals-or water .
  6. Sphenophyllum?

    I have two different nodules from September that I think may be Sphenophyllum. Both nodules were found open, one had one half heavily covered in minerals. I did a short rinse in vinegar to clean that off.
  7. New Mazon Creek Collection

    Hello everyone! I've been inspired by so many good Mazon Creek topics in this forum, I thought I would start my own. I'll post my own finds, which so far don't include anything as exotic as a Tully Monster, but maybe I'll get lucky on page 134 or so... I have to credit my kids with getting me interested in fossil collecting. I was always interested in rocks and fossils but when my 10 year old son had his dinosaur phase it really sparked my interest again. I wondered if an ordinary person like me could go out and find fossils? So I Googled fossil collecting and found out that not only could I search on my own, one of the world's best sites for amateurs was just 3 hours away! The date I discovered Mazon Creek existed was 9/10/2017. I know that date because earlier in the day was the last ESCONI trip to the Braceville spoil pile for the year - I just missed it! So in May 2018 I finally went on that trip and was hooked. Since then I've gone to Braceville several times, the I&M Canal trip once, and a handful of trips on my own into Pit 11. I want to thank too many people to list for helping me learn about this new hobby. Everyone I've met on the field trips has been so friendly and helpful. And if you have posted something about Mazon Creek on this forum, I've read it. Special thanks to Nimravis for his Sometimes You Have To Whack It thread, which he started the day after my first trip to Mazon Creek - it has taught me so much and I'm so impressed at what a genuinely nice person he is. And Andrew Bach's book from his American Fossil Hunt site is wonderful, so so helpful. With that, onto the fossils (and lots of questions from me). I thought to start I would show some of my jellyfish, all Essexella asherae, I believe. I find it interesting that they are all so different, although they tend to fall into various "types" - some have a distinct "head", others are just faint outlines, some are just cylindrical shapes. #1-3 below are all from Pit 11 - the first two have a distinct head and the other is more cylindrical. For anyone who hasn't heard of Mazon Creek, these fossils are found in siderite concretions from the mid-Pennsylvanian epoch of the Carboniferous period, from roughly 305-310 mya. Cheers! Chris
  8. Note that this was not found inside of a nodule.
  9. Ricky’s Mazon Creek thread

    Hey everybody! Welcome to my Mazon Creek thread, where I’ll be posting pictures of various Mazon Creek finds! I’ve been hunting there for upwards of 10 years, so I have piles of uncracked nodules just waiting to be opened. So as they open, they’ll find their way here! Feel free to jump in and add your own and keep this thread going! And I’m sure there are many that have gone unidentified, so I’ll probably need some help from the experts!
  10. Fossil hunting season at Illinois's Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area, the iconic Pit 11, runs from March to September every year. I didn't make it to the park at all last year, so I wanted to get out there on day 1 this year. I took the day off work and thankfully the weather cooperated- it was cloudy and in the 30s for most of the day. I picked up my rental car at 7:30 in the morning and hit the road for the 90 minute drive north. I wasn't the first one at the park, though- I saw a few other folks heading out on the trail with buckets in hand as I pulled into the parking lot off 5000 N Rd. Although I have been to Mazonia about 6 times in the last 5 years, I am still finding my way around the overgrown landscape of the park. I started out with an area I had been to before, and had some early success. Unfortunately, I followed that by wandering off to explore a new area, lugging my heavy bucket through heavy brush for 2 hours with almost no success. That (and the fact that I was in the early stages of a head cold) led me to taking it easy in the afternoon. I was only able to add a few more concretions to my bucket, but the sun did peek out briefly towards the end of the day resulting in some lovely panoramas from up on top of a ridge. I was able to chat briefly with another fossil hunter when I got back to the parking lot about the joys and tribulations of fossil hunting at Mazonia- we discussed the hard work necessary in order to have a chance to open an incredible window into a 300 million year old world, and how we wouldn't trade that chance for anything. I finished the day at the former tipple on the western side of the park, wide open ridges of dumped waste from the former mine that remain inhospitable to plant life to this day. It is an alien looking world, and usually has not been a great spot for finding fossils. However, it is easy to access at least and I was actually happy to come across a few rough bark impressions in sandstone that I picked up. The sun was getting low, so I decided to call it a day. I only collected about 1 1/2 gallons of concretions, but I was still glad I could get out to the park and find something. I will put my finds in the next post.
  11. Worm? Plant? Nothing?

    Any ideas on this? I am wondering about the long, thin, bent looking part on the left.
  12. Mazon Creek ID

    An unknown I found at Braidwood, IL, Mazon Creek material. Forgot scale but about 2" wide and 1" long. It was in a marine area.
  13. Tiny Mazon plants

    I collected some small nodules last week and when I tried to open this one the top split to reveal this. I decided to hit the larger part one more time to see if I could uncover the rest. Instead the larger piece split in half and this is what was inside the same nodule. Are these annularia? They are very different from the other fossil I found in the right picture which I am pretty sure is annularia.
  14. Braidwood Iron Concretions

    I FINALLY got something recognizable that didn't flake or crumble and now I don't know what it is. It was collected near Monster Lake in Braidwood. According to my identification book it may be a Cyperite, however, the book also says that these are "uncommon in most areas."
  15. I am new to the fossil collecting hobby and am attempting to open my iron concretions collected in Braidwood, IL using the freeze thaw method. I am doing it in my freezer in a single layer in a plastic shoe box. When they are thawing at room temperature the outer layers are crumbling. The nodes have not split yet. Is that normal or am I doing something wrong? Thanks.
  16. Went out this afternoon hunting for Mazon Creek fossils in Mazonia-Braidwood. We spent about three hours searching for concretions without a lot of luck. We did find a couple of small ones. I wanted to check out one more area before we left and we ended up finding the attached. It is the largest one I have ever seen (in person or on the internet). It is hard to tell, but that is a quarter on it. When I went to pick it up, the nodule on top detached from the lower half. That nodule is probably the largest one I have ever collected. It is clear by looking at it that it used to be one large piece. My question to the group is, has anyone found anything this large? Should I try to open it myself (freeze/thaw) or try to find someone more experienced?
  17. Mazon creek fossils ID

    Hello everyone, I recently purchased a lot of Mazon creek concretions for an extremely low amount of money. From this and the picture I assumed it meant most were just concretions, but I could see two ferns so I bid for it and easily one. I'm not familiar with Mazon creek flora and fauna, so I decide to ask all of you if they are just rocks or fossils, and if they are fossils, what type. There's sixteen so I'm going to post two a time (perhaps two a week depending on how fast they are identified) as to not overload all of you. First up is the two I know are fossils, both of which I think are ferns. Species or genus might not be possible to find out, but it's worth a try.
  18. Mazon creek gem

    Hi all haven't been on in for a bit even forgot password lol. Love to get your insight,on all I find. Found this in braidwood strip pit area,probably one of the best gem like ones I found.Think petrified wood but,when found thought in was a piece of steak.
  19. Mazon/Braidwood Advice

    After reading the forums here, I spent about 10 ten hours, mostly walking around and looking for exposed spoil piles, at Mazon/Braidwood a few weeks ago and had relatively little success. While I am certainly not wishing for anyone to betray their own personal hotspot for nodules in the park, I do hope that I might be able to gather some general information that would help me on my next outing to the public use areas. I spent most of my time surface gathering on an exposed pile about a mile south of the Kankakee public boat launch on the Braidwood lake, and about half a mile north of 5000 N. Road (the road with the pull-off parking for fossil hunting, what I assume to be Pit 11. This pile was very moist, dark, and generally coal-ish. While there were many naturally open nodules in this area I only found about 10 unopened in a ten hour search. Is this the right area or should I look further to the south of 5000 N. Road? Are nodules in the area more commonly found in the coal-ish sediment or the more usual colored soil? Thanks for the help.
  20. Hello everyone, I will be visiting the Mazon Creek area next week, and I'm seeking some advice in the meantime. Our destination for the day will be the Mazonia-Braidwood Fish and Wildlife Area. I've never visited the area, so all of my planning is based on trip reports, topographic maps and satellite images. I'm aware of the caveats (ticks,vegetation, picked-over areas), but I feel as though it's probably something everyone in Illinois or anywhere else should do at least once. If anyone has any advice on how to make my trip/hunting more efficient and worthwhile, I would love to hear it. (I'll also be stopping at Kankakee River State Park later that day, if anyone has information on that park, it would also be very appreciated) Thanks, Matt
  21. I recently spent about 10 hours surface collecting in pit 11 on the south unit of the Mazon-braidwood state wildlife area and honestly didn't have much success. I'm wondering if anyone knows when Esconi plans to have their first outing to the private pile in Braceville?
  22. I've tentatively identified a number of Mazon pieces in my possession, and I was wondering if I could get some confirmations or corrections from those of you (all of you) who are more knowledgeable and experienced than I. The first (#1) based on length, fossilization curvature, and the pyritized mouth and throat slit, I believe to be Gilpichthys greenei.
  23. Mazon Creek - Is This Bone?

    Hi FF- Does anyone else think this looks like bone? May be wishful thinking on my part. Any thoughts appreciated? Evan
  24. My Mazon Creek Cabinet

    I'm wrapping up the finishing touches on my Mazon Creek cabinet. I made custom lexan shelves. Wrapped the backer with basket weave vinyl. And mounted rope lighting around it. One problem is the plastic doors. They're shot and i need to replace them with good ol' fashioned glass. I also made all of the custom mounts for my collection. I tried to utilize as much space as possible, so i made the mounts all different sizes. All of the mounts are cut lexan. I still have to make a few more, but 99% are done. And if i ever have the luxury of finding better examples of the specimens i have now, i can just keep cycling them into my main large display case. These are just my best finds to date. Flora side. Mainly pit 2. Fauna side. Mainly pit 11. Let me know if you have any questions on who, what, where and how. Thanks for lookin'
  25. I and other members will be heading to Fossil Rock campground to hunt pit 2 on Sunday October 19th 2014. Hopefully the weather will corporate and we can get our buckets filled! Come and join us. It doesn't matter if you've never done it before, i will be happy to teach you what to look for and how to be successful in your 300mya scavenger hunt. We will meet at the Shell gas station in Coal City @ 8-8:30am. It's just west of rt.55 on 113. Hopefully this link will help http://goo.gl/maps/z6m7q Supplies you need and may want. -shovel, pickaxe, rockhammer (basically a good and sturdy digging device). We will be digging through hard shale. -a pair of gloves to keep from collecting blisters -a pair of extra clothes and boots/shoes definitely helps on the ride home. -a bucket, backpack, rock bag (anything that will handle about 5lbs-50lbs worth of rocks) -water is a must, water, water, water -snacks and food is up to you -hiking boots, old pair of shoes, etc. They will get dirty. -i would say bug spray, but being so late in the year hopefully they won't be too crazy. -also it's $5 a person to dig at the campground. This pit is great for very well preserved plants, wood, insects and horseshoe crabs. I have found some awesomely preserved stuff there. These are some of the hardest nodules you will collect anywhere in the Mazon Creek area, and sometimes they take over 30+ freeze/thaw cycles to pop. As i stated above, we WILL be digging, so eat your Wheaties. You can hike around and try and surface collect, but since the spoil piles aren't that tall it may be a waste of time. Here's a live weather link to check the weather for that day. http://m.accuweather.com/en/us/coal-city-il/60416/weather-forecast/332818 Hope to see you there!
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