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Found 27 results

  1. Note that this was not found inside of a nodule.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Worm? Plant? Nothing?

    Any ideas on this? I am wondering about the long, thin, bent looking part on the left.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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."
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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?
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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'
  18. 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!
  19. Mazon Creek Finds

    This is my first year hunting Mazon Creek and I've found some cool stuff so far. I'm starting this thread not only for myself but for others to show off their personal Mazon Creek finds that you're proud of. I will be continuously adding to this thread to show pictures and i may need help with IDs. We all love pictures, so don't be shy. Show us what you got! And someone please correct any mistaken IDs (that's how we learn) Edit: IDs added Pecopteris mazoniana-Pit 2 Alethopteris serli-Pit 2 Lobetelson partial Shrimp-Pit 11 Achistrum (Sea Cucumber)-Pit 11 Rhaphidiophorus hystrix (polychaete worm)-Pit 11 Achistrum (Sea Cucumber)-Pit 11 Achistrum (Sea Cucumber)-Pit 11 Achistrum (Sea Cucumber)-Pit 11 Essexella asherae-Pit 11 Essexella asherae-Pit 11 Essexella asherae-Pit 11
  20. a book review of: "Richardson's Guide to the Fossil Fauna of Mazon Creek" by Charles W. Shabica and Andrew A. Hay (editors). 1997. Northeastern Illinois University. 308 pages. Original suggested retail price: $70? One tributary of the Illinois River has become an important landmark in the world of paleontology. Fossils are found along and within many waterways but they are almost always isolated shells, teeth, and bones and even these more durable elements are often worn down to unrecognizability. The miracle of this tributary, Mazon Creek, is that the remains became encased within hardening sedimentary structures, nodules, approximately 305 to 310 million years ago. Some of these nodules contain those usual isolated hard parts but the conditions of the environment also allowed a percentage of them to preserve impressions of soft tissues and even whole soft-bodied organisms - a level of preservation rarely allowed by the elements across time. Though these nodules are found at other localities in the same general region from the same rock layer, the Francis Creek Shale, "Mazon Creek" stuck as the nickname for all the nodule-bearing sites and their fossils. "Richardson's Guide to the Fossil Fauna of Mazon Creek" was the first attempt to comprehensively review the known animal fossils from the Late Carboniferous deposit. The Mazon Creek plants had been similarly documented already. This book was born from a project started by Dr. Eugene S. Richardson Jr., a curator at the Field Museum of Natural History still fondly remembered as a leading Mazon Creek researcher and amateur-friendly museum representative. His untimely passing in 1983 left his work unfinished but also inspired a rare collaboration. Dr. Charles W. Shabica and Andrew A. Hay, acted as the book's editors overseeing 33 chapters written or co-written by several authors including themselves. Shabica was a graduate student of Richardson. and at the time of the book's publication. was a Professor of Earth Science at Northeastern Illinois University. He was the one who set out to complete Richardson's project. Andrew A. Hay is a retired geologist and book editor who continued to maintain a relationship between private collectors and scientists in the wake of Richardson's passing. An apparent all-star cast of experts compose the other chapter authors. I have to confess ignorance of many of them but I knew Rainier Zangerl's name because he wrote the Paleozoic Elasmobranchii volume (Chondrichthyes 1) of the Handbook of Paleoichthyology series and Frank M Carpenter, who wrote Chapter 13A but died three years before this book was published, was one of the foremost authorities on insects. Following a preface partly written by Richardson, the first chapter offers a general overview of what it was like collecting fossils at Pit 11, an area of an Illinois coal mine known to produce some rare Mazon Creek forms. Before a series of chapters reviewing the fossils (sometimes by scientific group; sometimes by convenient grouping), several others cover a number of connected topics: local history of coal mining; geology of the area; distribution of fossils; relative abundance of organisms; preservation of specimens; reconstruction of the living environment and significance of the deposit. Three appendices offer the most efficient techniques of splitting the nodules, a faunal list with additional notes, and a list of taxa named after collectors, professional and private. There are also pages providing a brief background on each of the authors and a list acknowledging the chapter reviewers. The writing drifts from casual to technical in the early chapters, but even in the taxon descriptions, I think the intermediate-level enthusiast can follow along. By the mid-1990's, Mazon Creek collectors had been waiting for a book like this for decades. While it is true that much of the information already existed in the professional literature, those articles were often published in less-accessible journals out of even the virtual reach of most university libraries. Some of the chapters (e.g. Bivalvia) open with a generous amount of background information (basic anatomy, chronologic range, etc.) which gives the novice a good level of grounding before having to tackle the description and interpretation of sometimes rather indistinct impressions. Other chapters (e.g. cartilaginous fishes) dive right into the taxon descriptions. I think the editors should have pushed for more introductory information to be inserted in those less-prefaced chapters, but for a book with multiple authors, it all seemed to fit together well enough. I liked the chapters that discussed how the Mazon Creek fauna fit into the larger Late Carboniferous world - similarities to faunas known from Oklahoma, Indiana, and western Europe. The reader learns that the fauna was unusual even its own time, previewing a trend of the distant future. In Chapter 5A the reader sees a paleogeographic map of that time showing the major landmasses almost clustered together with the last pieces of the Pangaean puzzle near assembly. Chapter 14B adds further analysis. It looks into the origin of flight in insects with notes on the origin of metamorphosis as well - transitions not often addressed in mainstream publications. Wing development occurred perhaps 20-50 million years before the time of the Mazon Creek fauna but some of the rare insect specimens offer clues to which anatomical structures evolved into wings - evidence largely absent elsewhere in the fossil record. The discussion adds another claim to fame for the deposit beyond its astounding level of preservation, great diversity of forms, and first (or only) appearances of various groups. The illustrations, other than the front cover, are in black-and-white. I have been told that some specimens show some startling color but the vast majority seem somewhat lighter or darker than the reddish-brown nodules that contain them. Some of the contrast is often best perceived in the texture of the fossil impression. Therefore, the lack of color photography or figures does not subtract from the value of the book. The photography is excellent, well-lit and angled to capture the depth of a faint imprint. Many fossils are paired with handrawn reconstructions of equal quality. In the drawing the reader sees the what the researcher knows or has deduced from several specimens, some showing a certain anatomical feature better than others. One thing the novice learns from this book is that each nodule is less like a box of Cracker Jacks and more like a lottery ticket. We see so many nicely-articulated specimens at shows and in books (including the spider on the cover of this one), that it can come as a surprise that almost two-thirds of the hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of nodules that have been collected turned out to be "duds" - nothing inside. Sometimes, just a whitish haze or disconnected hash of fragments is all that's left of whatever was encased. "Richardson's Guide to the Fossil Fauna of Mazon Creek" is one of the most complete reviews of any deposit I have read. It was well-conceived, structured to address a spectrum of related topics, and well-executed, assembling all the relevant details efficiently. It brings an understanding of arguably the most remarkable fauna in the fossil record from a time when life, fanning out on land and establishing complex ecosystems, would have seemed unstoppable. Jess
  21. Same Shell

    From the album Laha

    Same shell as previous picture. This is size comparison with a Dime.
  22. Mazon Creek Il Fossil Mystery

    I got out to the Braidwood fauna area last week. I found this half nodule just as it was and wondering what this is? Bark impression? I definitely found a lot of petrified wood and plant stuff where I went so thought the bark idea. But haven't seen anything like this before... Here's the finds for the day.
  23. Unknown Mazon Creek Fossil

    Hello Everyone: I have been a fan of the Fossil Forum for sometime now. Love the posting and sharing of information. It is always exciting to see all of the finds here. I have been collecting at ESCONI hill outside Braidwood, Illinois several times this past year. I have been freezing and thawing numerous nodules but only finding wood fragments. Did find some nice smaller cordaites. However, a couple of weeks ago, I cracked the attached nodule and it produced a nice 3d fossil. However, it has me puzzled. I have been searching through "The Mazon Creek Fossil Fauna" by Jack Wittry, 2012. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  24. Mazon Creek Ids Needed (Braidwood)

    I went through some of my previous finds to pull out things I had yet to successfully ID. Any thoughts on the below are appreciated. 1) Stem and branch of pecopteris given how many varities of pecopteris I find in the same location 2) bark/tree or root element 3) Looks like stigmariodes bumps 4) perhaps C. Goepperti 5) Neat piece of a branch with leaf scars and some leaves
  25. Hi Folks- Having a hard time identifying this one....if I had to wager a guess...I'd say Mariopteris next to a branch. Evan
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