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Found 8 results

  1. An Autumn Road Trip

    In September, the desire to collect the Burlington Formation, Mississippian of Iowa got the best of me, “forced” my truck to make a little road trip down that way. The trip was about 4 hours, necessitating an overnight stay. Covid was running rampant, compelling me to sleep in the back of my pickup and eat out of a cooler full of food instead of motels and restaurants. This left a 64 year old man a bit stiff in the morning. The nice thing about the Burlington, it did not tax my body too much, allowing me hunt my allotted 8 hours with ease. Normally the Burlington is searched for crinoid specimens, but on this trip, my goal was to find the fish layer and come home with shark specimens to prep out. Success was had and I even stumbled on a few nice crinoids too, as a forum member found out The stark contrast of the dark fish parts can be seen against the whitish matrix FULL of crinoidal debris in this chunk. Extracting the teeth was very difficult due to their fragile nature. Many nice specimens were ruined as a result of my inadequate techniques. But I am proud of what I salvaged! After completing my preps, I placed the teeth in some plastic sleeves. However, I developed such a liking to the teeth that I couldn’t just bag them and file them away in my barn. So I decided to make an Iowa tooth display out of them, something that I can hopefully use on occasion for educational purposes. The result of my project is shown in the next photo. I used a red blanket from under the Christmas tree as a background. Not sure I like the Santa red so included another without it. Plus, as always, I forgot a scale!! Now I will show closeups of most specimens and attempt a CRUDE ID on them. First Cladodus???
  2. The colder days of late has allowed me to work on the Burlington matrix that I brought home this summer. It has revealed some real treasures, at least for me. But I am stymied on a few finds and look for some opinions of forum members. 1. A few questions on the first piece. My goal was to clean up a large piece of ??? Shark spine? While cleaning, two teeth were uncovered. Here is the "backside" tooth. Now the "front side" tooth Initially just the tip of the tooth was showing, but as I progressed with cleaning, this "moustache" was exposed with the tooth at the very tip. I am very curious to understand this as well as what the long linear specimen is above it. 2. Looks like a trilobite eye but I will venture some type of shark tooth?? 3. The matrix where these specimens were found is white. So any time a dark spot is seen, a fossil exists, at least most of the time. Here is a dark item I assumed when I started its exposure was a tooth of some kind. But I concluded, just a "rock". After seeing it sit on the workbench for a few days, I kept thinking about the LACK of any matrix that wasn't white. So my thoughts went to the possibility of a coprolite. I will tag @GeschWhat for her opinion too. 4. Open to suggestions on this SMALL tubular structure. 5. I couldn't find a confident ID on this tooth. 6. Again, I have no clue on this one. It looks like Mickey Mouse ears, but I can't believe it since this was no where near Disneyland!
  3. Burlington limestone fossil IDs

    Hey all, hope it's ok to do 2 for 1 here. Both of these were found in a creekbed in Pike County Illinois while hunting for chert in the Burlington limestone formation. The first looks like urchins I've seen from other places but with a lot less detail. Possibly a crinoid impression below it. The second I don't even know where to start. It's a split rounded cobble with....something going on inside it. Mostly used to finding crinoids and horn corals in the area so these really took me by surprise. Thanks for looking.
  4. Help!!! I lost a good reference for IDing Burlington limestone crinoids and blastoids. I spent all last night fruitlessly looking for it. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good reference??? Mike
  5. A fossil hunt for. . . geodes?

    Sometimes, when you go on a fossil hunt, you find more than just fossils. Some friends and I traveled to southeastern Iowa in Spring '18 to scour the Mississippian for fossils, but while there, we noticed that many of the homes that we drove by sported geodes in their front yards. Intrigued, we decided to investigate for ourselves. As it turns out, the area is well-known for its geodes (Iowa's state rock is the geode), so we promptly decided that we had to collect some for ourselves. We eventually found a privately owned piece of property where we could fill a bucket with geodes for about $20, descended upon a stream cutting into the bedrock, and filled a bucket in short order. Then, on a return trip to Iowa a month later, we found another outcrop of geodes along the Mississippi River. Once again, we collected handfuls. Then, once we got back, we split them with a geode cracker. They varied in quality; some were stunningly beautiful, and others were less so. They were filled with all manner of minerals: some had chalcedony fillings; others had quartz crystals, and still others had minerals that I didn't recognize. The colors varied, too: pink, white, light blue, red, and brown. As it turns out, we were a little overzealous in our efforts; we collected about 50 pounds of rocks. We've given them away to as many friends would like them and have only just now run out of them a year later. Pictured below is a fraction of the haul. If you happen to find yourself in this neck of the woods, then remember: the Osagean of Iowa and Illinois has more than just crinoids. If you would like more information on them, where you can hunt for them, or even the annual Geode Fest, then check out this link. http://keokukiowatourism.org/geodes/index.php
  6. Unknown find

    Hi all, I hope everyone's out enjoying their summer. I know I am, as Ive finished and mapped out a couple more spots to hunt with all this high water Missouri has. I found this recently at a new location, and I believe it to be from the Burlington Formation. It looks to me kind of like a Straparolus gastropod. If anyone else could help confirm or deny that, I thank you ahead of time! Found in Henry County, Missouri.
  7. Fossils And Football

    Two weeks ago my wife and I experienced a wonderful a trip to Iowa for fossils and football. We started the weekend off great by attending the Iowa /Ohio State football game. We are buckeye through and through and being a visitor at sporting event such as this just adds to the ambiance. In preparation for our game, I created 10 necklaces out of buckeyes interspersed with scarlet and grey beads. They were heavy on my neck as I enter the stadium. But each was created for the purpose of finding 10 special individuals to place them on. So by games end, my neck feels the lightened load. My favorite recipient was a rabid Iowa fan whose wife insisted on getting a picture of him with the buckeye beads draped around his neck. This gentleman and I decided to make this necklace a traveling trophy. He keeps it if Iowa wins the next time. If OSU wins, he must find a buckeye fan to carry on our new started tradition of passing the necklace to the victor. Hopefully future recipients can enjoy the camaraderie that the two of us did. I do want to congratulate all Iowa fans for a game well played! The better team (Iowa) won that day. Here is a view of the buckeye trees on my farm in Minnesota that donated their nuts for the necklaces. Spruce trees outline the buckeyes spelling "Go OSU". The primary purpose for putting my football report in with my fossil excursion is to publicize what Iowa does during the time out between first and second quarter. A children's hospital was recently built next to the stadium and a Hawkeye student, through social media, has gotten the fans to take the time during this "intermission" to turn and wave to all of the children pressed against the glass on the 15th story of the hospital. It brought tears to my eyes seeing 78,000 fans providing such pleasure to the many who peared down upon us. Even the Buckeye football players, who are supposed to be discussing football strategy, got caught up in it!!! I am proud of them. My plan initially was to stay in town and participate in our fossil club's trip to a local quarry the next day. But motel rooms that my wife would accept staying at were all booked. As a replacement for some good old Devonian hunting, we elected instead to head to Burlington in search of Mississippian crinoids the next morning. Lodging was not a problem there. Up early, I headed to a quarry site mentioned in some of the research I had done the previous night. It sounded promising on paper. But upon arrival at the quarry , it became apparent visitors were NOT welcomed, unlike what my research said. A sign saying "No Trespassing, Violators will be Prosecuted" greeted me. A sign a little further up the access was visible so I strolled up to see what it said. "You are now on video surveillance" gave me some butterflies in my stomach. I looked further down the lane and a third sign was present just before the gate into the quarry. Of coarse I had to see what it said. To my surprise, the final sign said Take Another Step, The Bead of My Shotgun is on You. Wow!!! I pity anyone that took that next step. My steps were backwards, and I retreated to the truck. As I sat there deciding where to go instead, a smaller sign was peaking out of the weeds next to me and it had the owner's name (Puc) and phone number on it. Do I dare call this owner very early on a Sunday morning? Of coarse!! I think I made the call just to talk to the creator of these unique no trespassing signs. After 4 or 5 rings, long enough for me to second guess my decision to call, someone in a deep baritone voice picked up. I explained who I was and why I was interrupting his weekend. After a long pause he replied that "the government" would stick me with a $20,000 fine if I allowed you into the quarry. Then for the next 10 minutes, he entertained me with what he meant by "the government" and it wasn't good. Quite suddenly, he quit his rampage and exclaimed, give me 5 minutes and I will be down there. I was going to target practice with my pistol anyways. That was a long 10 minutes as I sat in my truck wondering am I going to get to fossil hunt or is he coming to put the bead of his pistol on me. You must know the outcome since I am here to tell the story. A beat up pickup arrived slightly later than expected and a tall strong shouldered weathered man stepped out without pointing a gun though he carried it in his hand. That was a good sign. He reminded me of Jed Clampett on the Beverly Hillbillies Show pictured here for you young bucks who may not recognize him. I was invited into the scale house as he told me about the quarry's history and his gun collection and a little more about politics. No exaggeration, an hour later, Puc finally said I will show you the quarry's rocks. And away we went. My own private hunting grounds with a guide!! Here are some of my finds: After 2 hours, I was enjoying myself tremendously but needed to take a break. Leaning against a 6x6x10 ft rock, I took a swig of cold coffee and as I sat the cup down, I noticed something on the underside of this large boulder. It was a nice crinoid!!! I just had to extract it from its matrix. I thought this will be easy, as I tried to fire up my ancient cement saw. No go! I anxiously waited 10 minutes and tried to fire it up again. No such luck. So out came my chisels and hammer. After 30 minutes of banging away, Puc came over (he was target practicing) to see what the commotion was. I showed him the specimen I was attempting to release from this boulder. My suspicions were that he had no idea what it was, but he sensed how important it must have been to me. I was instructed to quit pounding and he will be back in a bit. A few minutes later, I hear the roar of an engine and then a LARGE yellow piece of equipment came towards me. It was a jackhammer on wheels, dwarfing my pickup as it approached!! Puc asked me to point out the location on the boulder again and then had me step back. With precision, he whittled that rock down, eventually breaking the fossil free without a bit of damage. What a day!! What a find for me. And most importantly, what a new friendship was made. One lonely man and one fossil freak! I promised him that I would be back.
  8. Smashed crinoid calyx?

    Hi esteemed forum members, I have several finds I need help identifying, but I'm going to do them in separate posts/threads/topics/whatever. I found this one in some Burlington Limestone in central Missouri. It's super brittle. You can see areas where pieces have just flaked off. The lines you see going across the front of it are raised. The leading theory on this so far is that it's a Rhodocrinites calyx that flattened during diagenesis. I've also attached an image of the small matrix it came off of (I found the calyx, if that's what it is, in situ unattached, just laying there on top of the matrix). Let me know. And stay tuned for other, and probably less exciting, ID requests. Thanks!