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Found 151 results

  1. The Lomita Marl Member of the San Pedro Formation is a well-known source for Middle Pleistocene marine fossils, and its beautifully preserved molluscan fauna has been treasured by fossil fanatics for decades. There are outcrops in the city of San Pedro, California, although many of the "classic" localities have been destroyed by urban development. It is well-exposed in the Lomita Quarry, located in the Palos Verdes Hills northwest of the city. It has been dated at 400,000 to 570,000 years ago, about equivalent to the Santa Barbara Formation, which occurs further north along the California coast near the city of the same name. The Lomita Marl is also an extremely rich source for microfossils, as ostracodes and forams are both very abundant and easy to extract from the matrix. Most taxa in these two groups are still extant off the southern coast of the state, but a significant proportion of the fauna appears to be extinct. (One must hedge here, as the ostracode fauna of the Pacific coast of the United States is not very well known; the forams are better documented.) A small sample of washed residues has given me the opportunity to begin study of this interesting fauna, and I hope to show some images of taxa from both groups on this blog. This first entry will look at four ostracode taxa, selected simply because they are relatively easy to identify. (Much of the ostracode fauna is known only in "open nomenclature", as in "Aurila sp. A", meaning that the species has not been recognized or is undescribed.) Bythocypris elongata Le Roy, 1943 is easy to recognize. It is common, and appears to be the only member of the genus to be found in the Lomita. It is a member of the family Bythocyprididae, which are smooth, and some would say "uninteresting" as a consequence. As is normal in the family, the anterior end of the valve is broader and a bit more inflated than the posterior end. The remaining three taxa are all members of the large family Hemicytheridae, a group with interesting surface ornamentation: Aurila driveri (Le Roy, 1943) is one of the several members of the genus to be found in the Lomita, and the only one (as far as I am concerned), that is easily recognizable. The high-arched dorsum and strong ventral flange place it in the large genus Aurila, and the prominent anterio-ventral teeth are characteristic only of this species. The caudal process is low on the posterior margin, and bears fine denticles. Australicythere californica (Hazel, 1962) is relatively large at roughly one millimeter in length, and is more elongate than most hemicytherids. There is no caudal process, but typically 3-4 large posterio-ventral teeth. The lower half of the anterior margin has some small denticles, rather worn on this specimen. The valve outline is quite distinctive for this species. Hemicythere hispida Le Roy, 1943 is probably the easiest ostracode from the Lomita to identify, and is quite abundant. This image does not do it justice, due to the lack of 3-D. Under a stereo microscope it looks almost "furry", as the entire valve surface is covered with round-ended tubercles. (The lack of 3-D here is due to the excess white matrix obscuring all but the ends of the tubercles.) This species also has a particularly prominent eye tubercle, seen here at the anterior edge of the dorsal margin -- under the microscope this tubercle appears somewhat shiny, rather like glass. (I had to sacrifice the shine to get decent illumination of the rest of the valve.) To make these images, the specimens were simply laid flat on the inside of the lid of a micromount box. Not very sophisticated, but it gives a nice black background -- at the expense of making the specimen a bit more difficult to illuminate evenly. And it's quick and simple........... That's it for this entry. I will try to illustrate some of the many forams to be found in the Lomita in a future blog entry.
  2. hey guys, I'm back and probably don't have a fossil again haha but one of these days I will! I was wondering if anyone could help me ID this. I have found many rocks that are a similar shape to this. it tends to be difficult for me to tell from online pictures/descriptions, mostly because I’ll see shale and be certain its shale, but then I’ll see a picture of basalt, a random dark colored limestone rock, piece of chert, or even a fossil sloth claw or fossil tooth and then just have no idea because it could be any of the five depending on what photo I’m looking at haha. This is actually a very common problem I am having when trying to identify many different rocks (or possibly fossils) as my interest in fossils, rocks, minerals, and geology has recently grown. Also if anyone has any recommendations for a good intro book on fossils or rocks/minerals I’d love to hear them!! Maybe something more informative/technical than average kids book but not too academic/jargon-heavy/scientific/dry like a research paper would be awesome! Sorry about the link, imgur doesn't limit my upload size and my new iPhones pictures are massive so I have to resize to less than 50% in order to attach here. hope that's ok. there are 3 different rocks in the album, they are labeled. Menlo Park, CA according to the USGS survey of the bay area, I live in the Holocene alluvial section, bordering the Pleistocene alluvial section if that helps at all? found doing yard/landscaping work. its about 5 inches long but that's not exact, I can measure if needed. thanks in advance for any help and input!! https://imgur.com/a/IplRv
  3. Hi everybody, I recently leased a piece of land that contains the round mountain silt formation (shark tooth hill). Part of the deal with the landowners was to donate a portion of the finds to museums or schools. Does anyone know of any institutions that would be interested in accepting sharks teeth and other fossils? I would need a formal letter of acceptance to provide documentation. Please let me know, thanks Jesse
  4. ID for a Newbie Please

    Hello, I am a new member as of today but have been reading for a while. My son and I have recently gotten into rock collecting. We haven’t gone fossil collecting yet but hope to do so soon. We found these in Inland Southern California in the foothills of the Big Bear area. The site was next to a river or what’s left of it this time of year anyway. I have tried to rule out pseudofossils and different types of rocks. These also remind me of what a ranger described to me as jellyfish fossils while visiting the Bristlecone Pine area in CA. Similar samples were also on display. The second (larger rust colored spotting) might be igneous but I believe the first is sedimentary. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  5. ID please

    Hi my friend gave me this last year as a joke. He noticed a picture of some small Gastropods form Florida I got from @Nimravis (maybe you may know about this Ralph ) and said he had a nice little one I could have if I had the room . I said yes please . He sent it in a massive box 24inches by 12inches . When I opened it , I found a Huge Pilocene Gastropod from California . If anybody can help with an ID I would be very grateful . thanks Bobby
  6. Capitola

    Took a short trip to capitola California during a blowout tide. “King tides” I think they are called. Anyway, there were tons of whale and I think seal fossils exposed. Hope you enjoy, Conor
  7. Hello again! Finally took some pictures of the rocks I was referring to in previous posts. These are the reason I asked for help ID previous rocks. I never new what coprolite was until I tried to find a reason why these rocks look the way they do. In person, they look like they contain chunks of turtle/lizard/fish/eggs/shellfish/etc type stuff, I believe what is referred to as inclusions. But it could just be some funky conglomerate. Either way I’m hoping someone can explain why they look the way they do! There’s about 20 or so of these on my property, just grabbed some and snapped some photos. I wish I had better lighting/camera so detail could be seen. Thanks for your time in advance! And if you have any thoughts please let me know! Property is located in residential Menlo Park, California (between San Francisco and San Jose), very close to the San Francisquito Creek. some were just laying on top of the ground, others were below and found when doing some yard work digging. Easier to to see the individual parts when rocks are wet as the colors pop, as supposed to blending in as a slightly reddish brown mud. Some seem to have a “skin” if you will around them, like a layer that can be rubbed off, allthough i have noticed once i rub it off the inclusions, a couple days later the colors seem to have faded. Also many of The inclusions that stick out of the rock give the appearance that they have been scratched off or bitten off, possibly just from hitting other rocks as well. The black inclusions are the easiest to see in the photos, however they are only a small fraction of the reptilian/crustacean/fish/ i dont know shapes that you can see
  8. Possible coprolite? #2

    Hey guys, thanks for all the responses and info in my first post! Here is another. Located in Menlo Park, Ca. Found in yard, have been doing yard work , digging holes, weeding, etc. This was originally covered in thick, what i thought to be brown mud. I havnt removed this layer completely, you can still see a bit of it as i left some on. Its the poo brown color mud still on parts of it, the second picture shows the most of it. (best description of color I have, sorry) The one side looked like a face actually and its the only reason I decided to pick it up. After looking at it for a minute I noticed what appeared to be a shell or something of the sort sticking out the one side. Got sidetracked, didnt think much of it and put it down for about a week before I came across it again. Decided to brush/scrub off some 'mud' to see what was underneath. This was not very easy, didn't come off very well, and it also had a slight unpleasant odor, a new smell for me actually, from the fine dust that was slowly brushing off in the air. I did get it wet at one point and gave a scrub with an old toothbrush as more was revealed, as I was trying to figure what the it was. The brown stuff was not nice when wet, very mucky, but not like mud. I probably should not have removed as much as I did but curiosity got the best of me and I kept "cleaning" as it started to reveal more. The one side started to show visible, what I believe to be, decay, with burnt reds, yellows, and browns. Although again apologies, as I really am a newb to all this stuff and really dont know anything to be honest with you. I dont know how it could be turtles or what the shell type thing is or how this would possibly be on my property. and from when it could possibly be from and still be in this condition. there are many different locations of what seem to be reptile skin, and also several roundish oval turtle shell looking pieces? Theres no turtles in the immediate area. and if it is poop, theres also nothing big enough to excrete this around here. Strictly residential area, biggest creatures being raccoons and dogs but this cold come out of them. But then again who knows. If anyone could help me with this I'd greatly appreciate any feedback or thoughts! I wish the pictures were better but its as good as I can do. Let me know if theres any spot I can take another shot or two of close up or whatever. I really am curious what this is, as there are many more pieces I have questions about as well. This one just seemed more "fresh" if you will, where as the others seem like rocks with inclusions. Thanks in advance! Also, please just let me know if Im crazy and seeing things haha.
  9. Is this a coprolite?

    Hello all, Thanks for letting me post my inquiry. I was wondering if any of you could give your input on a large "rock" that I found in my yard. I live in Menlo Park, California which is about a mile north of Stanford University in the San Francisco Bay Area. Please excuse my ignorance when it comes to the fossil world. I have zero knowledge in this area, but i must say that after only a few days of investigating websites and forums I find it quite fascinating. And also a massive black hole lol.. I have spent all of my free time looking into the topic the past couple days. so many hours!! (not complaining, its been awesome!) Anyways I will attach pictures below. The only reason I think it is a coprolite is because of the many other "rocks" that I have also found on the property, about 20 or so, that fit many pictures I have seen on the internet. But this one doesn't really look like any of the others and is quite large, at least double the size of the others. At first glance I thought it to be chunk of a wood round, as i have found petrified wood on the property, at least what I believe to be petrified wood. When I picked it up I noticed that it was very heavy, probably 30+ pounds, so definitely not fresh wood as this is way to dense to be so. Gave it a knock and its rock hard. On most of the outside there are small flakes of something shiny, some metallicy and some more clear, some faintly yellow/green.. I dont know if its crystal or something else but they seem to be thin pieces of something, some layered on top of each other. What struck me at first was the green that was viewable in some spots. This is the reason I picked it up in the first place to investigate further. The one green spot is mostly white now actually. After I noticed the green I had a piece of sand paper handy and I gave a quick rub on the white part to see if more green was under it and there was. However a day later the green has gone back to white. Not sure if thats from oxygen exposure or possibly the abrasiveness of the sandpaper causing scratches which turned white with time. The outraged just looks really really old is the best way I can sum it up. There was a small section that was slightly sticks out and cracked a bit so I knew it would come of easy. Gave it a wack with a chisel and it popped off. I will attach pictures of that as well. I have scraped at a couple sections, trying to see what was inside, and it seems to be green and brown in most. Parts have a serpentine look to them, which was my second guess after wood. But the rock just seemed to be to "living" if that makes sense. There are vertical and horizontal cracks throughout some with some sort of white lining in them. I really want to crack it open as I think it might be quite beautiful, based on the weight and density. Anyways I could go on but I will just post some photos and hopefully you can help me out a bit, because at the end of the day I really have no clue and don't pretend to. Also, another question I have.. Is it possible to have undigested chances of reptiles/fish/eggs inside a coprolite? not this one, but many of the other pieces I have found seem to have pretty clear inclusions of things like turtles and other things. I could be crazy also, but some of the inclusions seem to have something like skin still on them, which after research i noticed could be just lichen, but its strange that the lichen would just be on the inclusion and be a believable color as well. There also appear to be many many bite marks or teeth marks on them. My understanding is that my part of California would have been under water, and wouldn't be possible for dinosaurs to leave the coprolite. And based off the inclusions in the other rocks, it would seem to be a water beast anyways, or possible a large bird, ore maybe just something that lived by water. but not sure because like I said my area was below the sea back then. It just seems so large for it to be from a sea creature and I would have thought if something pooped in the ocean. would not most of it disperse and break apart in the water before it sunk and was covered up? Again, i have no clue haha Let me know if you want to see some of the inlusion pieces or more1 photos of this one. Photo #4 shows what i thought to be skin on this one, but other pieces are more clear. But again I have no idea Thanks for your time and I hope that a least one of you can help me out a bit! Have a great day!
  10. Fossil of extinct species of sea cow discovered on Channel Islands YourCentralValleyCom, November 28, 2017 http://www.yourcentralvalley.com/news/fossil-of-extinct-species-of-sea-cow-discovered-on-channel-islands/866912236 Ancient sea cow remains discovered on California island Scientists estimate giant mammal lived around 25 million years ago Tom Embury-Dennis, independent, November 29, 2017 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/sea-cow-remains-discover-ancient-california-channel-islands-santa-rosa-a8081616.html Yours, Paul H.
  11. Is it a hoof?

    Hi Everyone! I found this today digging in an outcropping of the San Mateo formation in Oceanside, California. I have found horse teeth at this site before. Not sure about this one, but I am wondering if it could be a hoof? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated! Thanks
  12. California Petrified Wood

    What is this late Miocene petrified wood found east of San Francisco, California in a watershed with Orinda, Moraga, Siesta and possibly Mulholand Formations. It is about 1.5 inches across in the photo with my fingers for scale. The other photo is taken thru microscope lens.
  13. We found a couple of sand dollar fossils in a hard matrix. From what I have read today I can’t get the hard matrix off without some special air tools. What should I do to preserve the specimens?
  14. Possible skull material, Capitola

    Hey everybody! It’s been a handful of years since I posted on here, but I was in Capitola recently and I picked up this fossil. The low tide wasn’t very low that day, (3.7 I think?) so...not the best day for collecting, but I drove in from AZ so I went anyway. On my way back to the car (giant toddler in one arm, heavy bag of fossils/shells/rocks in the other, I tripped over this guy. I didn’t get a chance to really look at it but It looked like it might have had bone in it so I threw it in the bag thinking maybe it was a partial vert or something. But now that I’m home and unpacked and have had a chance to actually look at it, it seems like it might be some part of a skull? Does that seem right? (Can you tell I mostly stick to invertebrates? Ha!) Also, sorry if this picture ends up being huge this is my first time posting from my phone and I can’t figure out how to change the size. It will only let me attach one photo, so I’m assuming the size is the issue. thanks in advance for your help! Edited to add Capitola makes this Purisima Formation, Neogene Period so Miocene/Pliocene. Marine fossils. (Forgot all the important information!)
  15. Need help identifying what I have

    Thanks for looking, I am a very amature hunter. My collection is majority fossilized clams, snails, and such. But this last Monday while hunting at my favorite private beach. I came across something interesting, I’m trying to stay calm Because in all actuality I don’t really know what I have. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Happy hunting! Marcus
  16. Is this a walnut or ?

    Hello - I'm new to this forum. I appreciate any information that you ladies and gents could provide! Thank you in advance! I've had this object all my life - I found it in Northern California when I was a child. I always thought it looked like a walnut. Perhaps it is, or perhaps it's just an unusual rock. It is rock-like in terms of its weight & feel. The middle "band" goes all the way around - similar to the band that seperates the two halves of a walnut. Thanks!
  17. California now has a state dinosaur

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-me-ln-california-state-dinosaur-20170923-story.html California decided that it needed another state fossil and chose Augustynolophus morrisi to be it, mostly because it was only found in California for now. Its a pretty nice hadrosaur, but what intrigues me is that they are only found in the Moreno Formation, which is usually a Cretaceous ocean zone famous for their mosasaurs. Decided to fish this one out after one of my classmates did a current event report on it
  18. Bakersfield Fish Teeth?

    Hi Everybody, I found this interesting little piece the other day. It is from the round mountain silt formation in Bakersfield CA. I think it is part of a fish mouth but I am not sure, I cant believe I found such a small piece in all the silt. Sorry for the lack of scale, its about the size of half a dime. I thought I would let the experts weigh in and help educate me. Thanks for the help! Jesse
  19. Southern California???

    I'm down in the Palmdale/Lancaster Area on business for the next month and a half or so. Really want to get out and do a hunt or take a peek at some collections. I'm planning on hitting up the Ernst Quarry this month, but I'd love to get out in the field with a few collectors. I'm also a sucker for collections and love taking a look at what people have found. I understand not many people want to be giving out locations to people so i'm not asking for anything like that, heck I'll wear a blindfold to a location, I just enjoy getting out there and hunting with new friends. If anyone wants a tag along please let me know!
  20. Work has me in CA for the weekend so I struck off to Bakersfield to hunt for some teeth. Ernst Quarries was open this time so I signed up there, my first trip to this site. Strangely enough I was the only person to show up so I had the entire site to myself. (Strange that no one else would want to chisel compacted dirt all day long in the sun on a barren hill in Southern CA at the end of September but me?) Ernst Quarries supplies some hand tools (hand sledge and a point chisel) and has a f ew screens. Eight and a half hours later of pretty solid chiseling/ digging my results are below. No Meg for me but I understand 20 some Megs where pulled from this hunting ground over the last year. Bones & Matrix. Not sure what the bones are, probably whale, the vert wasn't complete but interesting, not sure what vert it is but it seems too "short" for whale & it has several divots in the sides.
  21. Work has me in Sunnyvale CA but I have Sept 30/Oct 1 free to fossil hunt. I'm not bring dive gear but I'll bring a hammer & chisel if anyone has any suggestions. Trilobites or Shark teeth or similar. Thanks, Calvin
  22. The apparent demise of the best California, Utah and Nevada area paleontology website is premature. Inyo.coffeecup.com (created by a former TFF member) is up and running. Check out his great write ups with pictures about trips to many sites many now under protection by state and Federal governments. http://inyo.coffeecup.com/site/cf/carfieldtrip.html#fossilspages Download his fieldtrip guide: http://inyo.coffeecup.com/site/fieldtripbook.pdf Here are two of my favorites sites: Red Rock Canyon State Park in the California Mohave desert http://inyo.coffeecup.com/site/redrock/redrockfossils.html and see the magnificent silicified insects from the Miocene lake deposits near Barstow, CA http://inyo.coffeecup.com/site/barstowfossils/barstowfossils.html Thanks to TFF member @John for alerting us that his wonderful website was down. In a related matter, I would hate to see Inyo.coffeecup.com dissapear if the creator is incapacitated or runs out of money to support the site. Besides The Internet Archive AKA The Wayback Machine, I wonder if any institutions would be willing to archive a version for posterity. Books are archived in libraries; where should websites be saved? I wonder if The Fossil Forum would be willing to archeive copies of significant paleontology websites. Have we made plans to carry on and archive The Fossil Forum in case disaster strikes? Maybe geology libraries and paleontology departments at colleges/universities should store and archeive quality paleontological websites. Sometimes quality websites such as Mindat.org (minerals and occasion fossils) find institutions to preserve and support their continued operations. Mindat has Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Has The Fossil Forum ever considered forming a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization to support our activities or finding an institution to partner with? As an added bonus donations to TFF would be tax deductable. Cheers, John
  23. Camel jaw

    From the album Collection

    © fruitoftheZOOM

  24. Hi Guys

    I'm not sure how long it's been but I've been gone awhile going through some life changes. Now o have time to be active again on the forum. I've missed my old friends here and am looking forward to making some new ones. I'm no real expert in anything but I've collected a lot of places and look forward to discovering more. Looking forward to catching up with you all.