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Found 6 results

  1. OK I thought the other two trip posts were getting a bit long. So I am creating separate post for the third trip for the Britton Formation in Collin county, Texas. The other 2 trips are here: I have to write these things in segments. I'm slow at writing sometimes since I write in between chores and such (i.e. other fossil hunting trips). Sunday I had a bit of time to work on writing the rest of the trip report. I was supposed to teach a couple scout badges this weekend outdoors, but wouldn’t you know it, it started raining. I thought I’d go hunting instead because the showers looked isolated, but when I looked at the radar future cast it looks like it will be raining much of the day across the whole area I usually hunt in. So I’ll work on writing the third segment between chores and cleaning fossils. I get so easily distracted. Here it is Tuesday and I'm just getting to post it I made a third trip out to the same spot with the Britton formation in the same week. Joe aka @Fruitbat and I had met at a local Mexican restaurant for dinner on Tuesday, I think it was. We live reasonably close to one another. When I met him for dinner I brought him a couple little slabs and a concretion of carboniferous plant fossils to play with. They were from my trip to Oklahoma at the end of April. During dinner we agreed to go hunting Saturday afternoon, provided I didn't get called in during the night and would be too wiped out to go hunting. I had told Joe I prefer to split the bill and pay for our own meals. He told me that his mother would roll over in her grave if he let me do that. I told him we would talk about that at dinner, trying to hold my ground. We did talk about it, but Joe is stubborn. While I was busy telling a story or talking or something the bill came and he took the bill before I thought to grab it and he paid for both anyway. I think I will either have to be quicker to grab the check or not go to dinner again unless the terms are agreed to up front. Am I being too modern or stubborn? I don't think so, but I am not a guy and I don't get how men think on these matters. I am trying to be practical and fair. I think its a generational gap. Joe is old enough to be. . . , well, lets just say older so as to not give his age away. I go to church on Saturday and the place is only 10-15 minutes away from my church. So the plan was I would go to church and then he would meet me up in a store parking lot near the spot we were going to hunt and we would go hunting from there. I was on call for my work. I have to stay within an hour’s drive of work at all times when I’m on call. I also have to have cell phone service wherever I go so my work can contact me. Believe it or not there are places within an hour of Dallas that I cannot get service at times. So this spot was as good as any I knew of within an hour of my work and I had great cell service there. I met up with Joe and we headed out to a construction dirt pile I wanted to check out first. I had seen it on the way to the spot last time. It was enormous. It was also part of the Eagle Ford group and probably less than 2 miles from the other spot. Sometimes I’ve found great stuff in construction piles. Sometimes they are complete duds. I'd classify this one a dud. This is a picture of the location. It was dirt taken from a new housing development right next to it. The soil was brown and there were a few plates of what appeared to be Kamp Ranch here and there, but the plates were pretty much compressed shell fragments. I'm still learning my formations. Been there, done that before. I knew there were better things waiting a couple of miles away, but I thought I would give the pile the once over anyway, just in case some gem of a fossil showed up. I guess I should have known that brown soil was probably not the best indicator for good fossils within the Eagle Ford. Maybe elsewhere. If anyone knows of brown soil in the Eagle Ford that has good fossils I'd like a little enlightening of what I might expect to find in it should I encounter brown soil in the Eagle Ford again so I don't completely discount and avoid it. I found numerous chunks of calcite and gypsum. There was the very rare very worn oyster and I found a few fragments of septarian nodules with the typical brown and yellow to white aragonite and calcite crystals in them, but these were pretty tumbled and worn down and not freshly broken open. After looking around for maybe 30 minutes we both decided that was enough of that. We headed out to the other location. We parked our vehicles. It was another blazing hot day. I had to convince Joe to bring something to drink. I was ready to put an extra Gatorade into my bag for him if he wasn't going to take one for himself. So he put one in his bag thankfully. It was over 90 degrees F. If you have read my other posts you know the issues with hydration I have had. I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. Plus the creek water out there didn't look quite so drinkable as the NSR water. That was sarcasm. The NSR is not so drinkable at all. I've come across places numerous times where you could tell the wild hogs had relieved themselves in the river by the smell. I still need to get me one of those Lifestraws. I digress. Back to the trip. We started the walk to the spot. This time I brought my rubber creek boots. They are the kind you get from Home Depot that the concrete pourers use when pouring concrete. So they can handle a creek pretty well, but they are a bit hot. We got to the place where the avalanche had happened and Joe wanted to explore the little creek below where the avalanche had happen. The small creek ran along the road. I can't remember if I mentioned that there were a few trees along the creek that had been taken down by beavers. One was one of the largest trees I've ever seen taken down by a beaver. It must have been over 12 inches in diameter. It made me wonder how many beavers died in felling trees. Within the creek there were some areas the water was shallow and the banks were high with lots of exposed rock and soil. I had explored it before. We didn’t really find anything other than the non-Cretaceous oysters. Just as we were about to the other creek where the hunt would begin I got a message from my work giving me a heads up that there was a deceased donor sample coming in for a pediatric, 2 month old heart transplant. I would need to go and work on that when they knew the ETA. I can't remember if I have ever posted my profession. I work in a lab and am a Histoccompatibility and Immunogenetics Specialist. I specialize in tissue typing for organ and bone marrow transplants and also for disease associations with the tissue typing. I have been doing that for 21 years in the same lab. Anyway, my work didn’t have the ETA yet they were just giving me advance notice. It had already been delayed twice. I was pretty hot and so bright I couldn't read my messages on my phone. So I found a shady spot to be able to read my messages. I sat down on the edge of a concrete slab poured to prevent erosion. It was a peaceful little place with the water running over the rocks. A tree was perched on the edge of the bank above me. I snapped this pic of Joe while I was sitting there reading my messages, replying and waiting for the response. We went on hunting while I waited to hear back on the ETA of the heart donor's tissue. Joe was the first to find something. He found a pretty little red ammonite about 1.5 inches across with a bit of matrix still on it. It was probably less than 30 feet from where Joe is in this pic. He offered it to me. I told him no way that it was his little memento of the hunt. If he found nothing else worthy of keeping that little beauty was worthy of keeping. I didn't get a pic of it. Maybe Joe can provide one. We continued with the hunt. I am not fast about covering ground while hunting, but I definitely move faster than Joe. Shortly after we got into the creek and began to hunt I got a call from the on call supervisor at my work telling me that the sample would be there around 6:00. That meant I had maybe 45 minutes left to hunt. We’d only been in the creek maybe 10 minutes max. Since I knew my time hunting would be cut short I was trying to cover more ground. I soon left Joe inspecting an exposure and moved on to another exposure further down the creek. I found a number of ammonite fragments. I found several halves of ammonites. Here are a few of them. The two ammonite halves were within 1 inch of each other along with the baculite fragment. I assume they are both Metoicoceras of some kind. Please chime in if you know what they are. I think this one must be a Placenticeras pseudoplacenta var. occidentale. Please help educate me if I am misidentifying them. I am very new at this. Sometimes I assume a species based on what I know is in the formation if it kind of looks like it. I am doing that with this one. I don't know of another smooth genus in the Britton. I also found a few more interesting bulbous concretion. Almost all of the concretion material are flat little slabs of rock not more than ½ to 1 inch thick, but occasionally you find little odd shaped ones or bumpy ones. I picked some of them up hoping I can figure out how to expose whatever may be inside. I found a few more baculite pieces. I found the longest fragment I had found. I also found a few tiny gastropods. Very cute and tiny. Here are pics of all the baculite fragments found over the 3 days. I am probably not the idea naturalist for combining the fossils from 3 hunts within a week from the same local. The largest fragment I did find when I hunted with Joe. This is one of the fragments. When it is wet it looks like shiny copper. When dry it looks like a metallic rose gold. It is lovely piece. I have a few others that have flecks of it on them. A few have a rainbow kind of hue. OK I am trying to break up my posts for this trip so I can include more pictures. Bare with me. More is coming. Oops left out a pic description. These are a number of the fragments I found that day with the exception of the Placenticeras ones.
  2. I am long overdue for a trip report considering I must have been to maybe a couple dozen places and hunted them since my last report. I’ll just give you a report on a new place I’ve been hunting three times. Repeat hunting at the same place is rare for me unless it’s the NSR. A couple weeks ago my daughter and I headed out to a spot in Collin County Texas that I had spotted on satalite images months ago that I had been wanting to check out. I had no idea what I’d find. I hadn’t looked up what formation would be there. I just knew it wasn’t the Austin Chalk of eastern Collin Co. Where I find next to nothing but clams. I found out the area was part of the Eagle Ford group. The formation was the Britton Formation. The trouble with finding sites by satellite images is that you can’t tell if it’s private property, fenced off or has “No Trespassing” signs posted. When I got to the spot I’d marked on the map there was a fence and no access. I looked for another spot nearby and it also was fenced off. While driving looking for a third access point a turkey crossed the road in front of us at turtle or I guess it was turkey speed. It was surprising, because there were apartments across the road and it was a fairly busy area. I did find an access point maybe a mile away. Yay! I’d been planning on the trip all week and kept checking the weather for the rain forecast, because rain was in the forecast. My weather app said it would be in the low 70s all week. I thought that was nearly perfect hunting weather and was looking forward to the adventure of a new place and possibilities. Saturday came and it was no where near low 70s! I realized I’d had my weather app set to where my family lives in NW Arkansas for some reason. It was 90 degrees, not the low 70s that I had joyfully anticipated. There was a little dirt road/trail at the access point where I parked my car. The road ran all the way to the designated hunting spot. I am not adventurous with my car though. I baby my car and treat her well almost any way I can, except I do load her with rocks and dirt, but she gets pretty regular baths and vacuumings. I’m glad I didn’t venture down the road in my car. The road ran along the edge of a ravine that dropped off quickly to one side. There was a steep embankment rising up on the other side. Along the road there were the remains of 2 mudslides that had occurred taking out the road in both places. There was no place to turn around either so if I’d gone I would have had to back out about 0.2 miles. I did check out the exposed material from the mud slides. The mud slide ended in a creek. The creekbed had a lot of layers exposed. The only thing I found was a variety of oyster that is new to me, but looked like it was from the Pleistocene or at least more recent than Cretaceous. I saw them along the road as well, but not in the part of the creekbed where I hunted. The road ended at a creek. Unlike many of the creeks I’ve been to in North Central Texas the access down into the creek was pretty easy at this particular point. The banks elsewhere along the creek were often steep hand high though. Traversing the creek was a different matter where the water was and where the soil was wet. It was the type of mud you sink can sink in. We got past the mud without sinking in it on the way into the place we were going to hunt. We headed up the creek. It opened up into a wide area where the actual stream trickled along the south side of the creek, leaving a wide open area that was largely free of vegetation. Where the ground was dry it was a soft flaky, and even powdery light gray clay in places. It was almost like bentonite. There were thin, flat and usually smooth, brick red concretions here and there in the creekbed that were coming from a sheet like layer 2-4 feet above the bed. The layer was in the bed in other places. There were multiple layers of red/orange concretions. Most of the concretion material was thin (1/2 inch) and flat and smooth. There were concretions that were irregular shaped, bumpy or bulbous. At first I took no notice of the concretions. There are ones that appear similar in the NSR, but nothing much comes out of them, but occasionally you’ll get something really good. So I thought these concretions were of similar nature. We walked along. There were numerous fragments of small baculites that averaged the diameter of a pencil and were 1/2 to 2 inches long. We came upon a concretion, which had split in two. It looked different so I picked it up to inspect it. To my surprise is was covered with little baculites! Squeal!! That’s my expression for excitement and delight. Later at home I realized it had at least 4 genus of cephalopods in it! I began to eye every concretion because I now understood that all the fossils were either in concretions or eroded out of them. I began to find more fossils now that I knew how to look for them. There were patches of whitish gray tidbits of stuff that appeared to have washed out of a different type and color of concretion of some sort, but I never saw where they were originating from. They were clusters of white fossils here and there. They were in a white clay like material. They kind of looked like coral or something. They were small, but look interesting. I haven’t taken the time to clean any of them to what is in them. We were only there about 30 minutes and my daughter, Gigi (short for Gisselle) started hinting at going home. She’s not the biggest lover of fossil hunting. Also, it was 90 degrees outside and she can’t take the heat very well. A few years ago she fainted on the playground at school from heat/sun stroke and she hasn’t taken heat very well since. We hunted 10 minutes more. While out hunting I came across this. It is a little over 2 feet across. You can see it on the right of the pic above of the red concretion layer and see how it stands out from everything else. It was very weathered though. Initially I thought it could be the remnants of an ammonite or something. I had no idea. I picked up one of the concretions, but didn’t see anything. It was pretty flat too and I doubted much could be inside so I left it. Over the next couple days I kept thinking about how I wanted to be certain about it. It went from large to small. So it wasn’t just random. So I planned to return before the end of the week, because we were expecting rain. There was quite a lot of evidence that raccoons frequented the creek. Piles of fish bones lay here and there. I found some pre-coprolite (scat) material left by raccoons. I thought the fish bones looked kind of cool. We see a lot of fish vertebra around these parts, but they’re usually only the central disk. It’s a good example of what some coprolites looked like before fossilization. There were fish bones and crawfish (crustacean) parts in the scat. I could tell my daughter was getting worn out by the heat. There wasn’t much shade in the area. I found a mesquite tree on the bank. We sat in the meager shade it offered, very thankful for the little it did give. We drank some Gatorade and rested a few minutes. Mesquites are not the best shade trees because they have very slender leaves and the foliage isn’t dense. Here’s a pic of mesquite leaves. I left her and my bag sitting in the shade for a bit and hunted nearby. I found more of the same. I found some fat little concretions that made me curious. So I picked them up to take home. In all I found the oysters that aren’t Cretaceous, and numerous clam fragments of at least 2 kinds, both Inoceramus genus I believe. Some fragments still had bits of the original shell present. They were a deep reddish brown. I also found a cool impression of an ammonite that looked a bit like Botticelli’s Birth of Venus clam shell or a soap dish. Sorry Botticelli for the soap dish analogy. There’s a clam I had found just above it. I found the fragmented remains of another ammonite. I found 4-5 of the baculite hash plates A couple were quite small though. One plate I picked up because of the large clam fossil on the top side. When I turned it over the other side was covered with baculites! I also found many baculite fragments all over the place. It is a rare thing for baculites to be the most frequent fossil found, but that was the case there. The place was winning me over one baculite piece at a time. Gigi got up and came over carrying my bag, ready to go. I told her I’d finish hunting this one patch of concretions and then we’d go. I split my last Gatorade with her for the trip out and rearranged our bags. I hadn’t come well prepared. My small collection bags were still full of fossils from my last trip so were were using plastic grocery bags that weren’t holding up well. I was certain there were more types of fossils to be found. I knew this was going to be a repeat local. Very few locals do I ever return to. Even if I came away with a good haul. A place has to hold the promise of further discovery of more treasure yet undiscovered for me to return again. The treasure is usually better quality or diversity of genus or species. Sometimes it is the trill of the adventure I have or how much of a challenge the place was for me. The NSR is my #1 favorite for the adventure and the treasure diversity as well as challenge. I don’t think it could ever get old for me unless it were to be developed or something. I do take family, friends or other people who are visiting to hunt at places I thought were good, but didn’t hold the allure for a 2nd personal trip. On my return trip out of the creek one of my feet sunk down in the mud about 8 inches. When I tried to pull my foot out my boot stayed. Needless to say I got quite muddy. My daughter got out unscathed by the mud. I’ve a wonderful daughter that is the greatest delight to be around. We were walking back to the car, I had mud all over me, I’m soaking wet with perspiration, it’s running down my face, my hair was pulled back to get it out of my face while collecting and it was matted down with sweat. My face was red from the heat. We stop in the shade of a large tree along the road for a short rest. She turns and looks at me and says “Mom, you’re so beautiful!” I’m thinking I look a pathetic mess, but she just sees beauty. I love that about her. She is such a blessing and delight to me. She has been that way since she could talk. She sees beauty in everyone. It’s like she has people specific rose colored glasses. She sees past the physical form of a person and to the beauty within, but within her eyes it translates to physical beauty somehow too, no matter how uncomely someone may be outwardly, she still sees beauty. It’s beautiful to see people and the world through her eyes. We finished walking back to the car and headed to Braum’s. It’s an ice cream, burger and fries kind of place with real ice cream, not just the soft serve. I always get mint chocolate chip ice cream and she gets chocolate. I have to sweeten the fossil hunting trip with something to make it worth it. So we always get ice cream after every fossil hunting trip. We went through the drive through of course since I was covered in mud and looking . . . “Beautiful” as Gigi said. I went back to the location 2 more times the same week. I’ll post stuff from the other trip.
  3. Unusual concretion.

    I know this is a concretion, but I think it is so cool looking. It has weathered so differently than almost any other concretion I have ever seen. Most layers of this type of material come off in a lot thicker layers. It is possible that is just how it weathered, but I am wondering if there is more to it than that. The layers are so thin and fine. I found yesterday while out hunting in a new favorite spot in the Britton Formation of the Eagle Ford group in Collin county Texas with Joe AKA @Fruitbat. The area I found it in is full of concretions. Many of them have fossils inside of them, but they’re a dark, brick red. The fossils are generally cepholopods, both ammonite and baculite, Inoceramus clams, other pelecypods and gastropods. This concretion is from a layer above the brick red concretion layer I think. I have concretions from all over. Some are cool colors and shapes and some have fossils inside, like my Mazon fossils and also Carboniferous ones I collected in Oklahoma. Also those that I’ve collected in the North Sulfur River and Britton Formation, but this one is unique it it’s own class. Any thoughts on it would be appreciated. It seems like concretions come up so often we ought to have a concretion section on TFF. Of course most of them come up in the fossil ID section. Anyone know the term for this type of concretion? I assume it formed by repeated thin layers being added on slowly over time, which now are eroding away. Thing is I didn’t find any others like it. I’ve been to the area 3 times in the last week. Why would just one concretion be like that? Side 1 Side 2 One of the long edges. The other is flat and solid looking rock, kind of like the bottom end of this one. End 1 different angle that looks a lot like wood, but must be just cool layering and weathering effects. End 2 the typical layered concretion look.
  4. Brachauchenius

    Brachauchenius lucasi finds are more based in Kansas, but examples in Eagle Ford Texas have been found, most notably Willison's 1907 second B. lucasi skull which has been found in the same area. There is a possibility that this tooth could actually be Polyptychodon hudsoni which have been also found in Eagle Ford, but based on the morphology of the tooth (especially the root part near the crown), I think it is more likely B. lucasi.
  5. Texas Pliosaur and Mosasaur teeth

    So I've gotten myself into an extremely rare deal- a mosasaur and pliosaur tooth both in the US for a small fee of 130 bucks or so (95 british pound) The goodies arrived today, and I might as well show em off. First off, we have a mosasaur tooth from the Ozan Formation of Fannin County. Knowing that the NSR flows inside Fannin County and is also part of the Ozan Formation, This tooth is probably also from the NSR itself. Although the seller didn't have time to do a full ID on the tooth and simply labeled it as unidentified, by extensive comparing with other mosasaur teeth from the area, I can promptly assume that this is cf. Tylosaurus proriger, meaning that after 11+ years of my life, I finally have a T. proriger tooth . Unless someone decides to be a donkey and counterID it. Next, we got a tooth that has been sought out for by countless collectors- a north american pliosaur tooth. As with other Texan pliosaur teeth, this one was from the Britton Formation near Dallas. Again, the seller labeled it as an unidentified pliosaur. This time though, IDing is difficult. Based on my knowledge, the two possible candidates are Brachauchenius lucasi and Polyptychodon hudsoni, which both have been found in this area. But as its hard to tell the difference between the two in teeth, I can't make a solid pinpoint. Maybe I'll just be biased and label it as cf. Brachauchenius lucasi because brachs are more iconic to me and due to the unstableness of the polyptychodon taxon. Although not as large as other's tylosaurus teeth, this one still kicks over 4 cm which is still pretty big to me. The pliosaur tooth is just over 2 cm, making it quite small but worth due to its rarity.
  6. Another Fish Prep

    Steven and his dad have been aggressively collecting a site that has produced high quality fish for me for the last 15 years. Their hard work is starting to pay off. Here's an Apsopelix sp. that I just finished prepping for them Before...
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