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Found 439 results

  1. Taken from Lund, Richard, and Grogan, E.D., 2005, Bear Gulch web site, www.sju.edu/research/bear_gulch, 14/11/2016, page last updated 2/1/2006: "Heteropetalus elegantulus is an elegantly slim little euchondrocephalan with many different tooth shapes along its jaws. It ranges to only about 4 inches in length. Skull, jaws, and dentition place it close to Debeerius. It is common in the weedier shallow water areas. Male (top) and female (bottom). There are no scales, except for a small patch at the rear of the dorsal fin of males. Lateral line canals of the head are supported by rather large highly modified scales. Heteropetalus has an almost eel-like body, a protocercal tail, rounded and very flexible pectoral fins midway up the sides of the body, and a single long flexible undulatory dorsal fin (preceded by a small fin spine). All these features indicate a maneuverer in weedy or reef-like environments as well as along the bottom. Mature males have a distinctly strengthened, hooked and denticulated posterior end of the dorsal fin; the dorsal fin of males was significantly higher than that of females. This dorsal fin dimorphism is similar to that seen in the Gouramies, modern bony tropical fish available in any pet store. Dorsal view of Heteropetalus elegantulus head They have a very small mouth, with the teeth crowded to the front of the jaws, and a variety of plucking, nipping, and crunching teeth. The jaw suspension itself is rather flexible to give it a certain amount of both lateral and fore-and-aft motion. The bright yellow spots in the dorsal view of a head are the inner ears, and the yellow is from iron oxide particles that were bio-concentrated during the life of this fish. H. elegantulus was originally described as a petalodont, but subsequent discoveries proved it to be otherwise; it is closely related to Debeerius ellefseni." This fish is clearly a male as shown by the claspers. Lit.: Lund, R. 1977 - A new petalodont (Chondrichthyes, Bradyodonti) from the Upper Mississippian of Montana. Annals of Carnegie Museum, 46 (19): 129-155. Grogan E.D. & Lund, R. (2000): Debeerius ellefseni (Fam. Nov., Gen. Nov., Spec. Nov.), an autodiastylic chondrichthyan from the Mississippian Bear Gulch Limestone of Montana (USA), the relationships of the Chondrichthyes, and comments on gnathostome evolution. Journal of Morphology, 243 (3): 219-245.
  2. I've had some luck cracking open my first trove of nodules and my students have found a few cool things too. I haven't ID'd everything yet and would appreciate any suggestions on that topic. I'll be posting more photos as I get through the material. Our collection was carried out at the end of September, 2017 as a part of the Ecology and Evolution class I teach in the Environmental Studies department of Lake Forest College. Here's a jelly from a small nodule that gave up both the positive and negative casts. Here's an awesome polycheate one of my students found. I'm not 100% sure that this is a real fossil. It popped out of the siderite matrix like this but I've seen other nodules with this lighter-colored mineral inside but not taking any organic shape. If I was to guess, this is a Pteriomorphan bivalve of some type but it doesn't look like anything else I've seen online. I sincerely doubt that I am lucky enough to have found an etacystis fossil on my first trip but this thing looks a lot like what I've seen described as such elsewhere. Plenty more to follow, I am totally hooked on this hobby. Dr. John
  3. Mazon Creek 2017 Collecting Season Mazon Creek is open for collecting fossils from March 1- September 30. The area known as Pit 11 is famous for concretions from the Carboniferous period. It is far past its collecting heyday, where concretions were very easy to find. Now this coal strip mine has become quite overgrown and difficult to collect. But there are still treasures to be found. "There are Tullys in these Hills, still" I collected Pit 11 and the South Unit about 15-20 times over the course of the summer, some trips alone, and some with friends, and one with the Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois. I posted some of my trip reports on my blog, and wanted to create a FF post to compliment them, and share photos that are not on my other trip reports. http://americanfossilhunt.com/2017/03/08/mazon-creek-fossil-collecting-opener-trip-report-3517/ http://americanfossilhunt.com/2017/04/14/mazon-creek-pit-11-collecting-report-492017/ http://americanfossilhunt.com/2017/06/23/mazon-creek-pit-11-collecting-report-5292017-torino-hill/ http://americanfossilhunt.com/2017/10/01/mazon-creek-pit-11-collecting-report-islands-braceville-hill-late-2017/ Also, below is a cool poster I made to memorialize the season. It hangs in my collecting gear closet, above all the concretions I will be freezing and thawing this winter. 2017 In spring, this wildlife area is very peaceful. Its hauntingly quiet, and a refreshing feeling to smell the sprouting plants and earth, after an always seemingly very long Chicago winter. To spend a day hiking and exploring 2000+ acres of undisturbed land is one of the more unique fossil collecting experiences as far as sites in the United States go. One of my favorite things about collecting in the early season, is finding some of the animal bones and skulls of those who didnt make it through the winter. This buck skull was one of my coolest finds from the area. When i found it, it still had some meat on it, so I took it home and tried to boil it and soak it in biological detergent. The thing reeked! even though there was very little tissue on it. After a few days of trying to clean it myself, I actually took it back to the woods, and stashed it under a fallen tree, to let nature do the heavy lifting. I returned a few weeks later, and found it very clean and bleached by the sun. It now hangs above my display case. Below is an area by Monster Lake, that I liked collecting. There is some exposed shoreline, and its not uncommon to find concretions in, or right next to, the water. Here is a mixed lot of pre-opened fossils, a couple jellyfish, fern fragments, a worn out shrimp, and corprolite. And a nice neuropteris that opened after a few freeze/thaws. Another mixed lot of pre-opened. As the summer wore on, the collecting got immensely more difficult. By May, some of my favorite collecting areas were so overgrown, they were impassable and un-collectable. My friend invested in a boat, so we can collect Torino Hill, which extended the collecting season quite a bit. Most all of my Torino finds are still unopened, and I am working through them little by little. Photos to come soon. I was going to create a longer post, but it appears I am capped at photos for this entry. I downsized them, but perhaps not enough. I will post follow-ups on this later, and likely throughout the winter, as my concretions start to open up, whether by freeze/thaw, or some days I have planned to do some hammering. til next year! But I will keep the MC posts on the blog and here coming over the next few months. I have 300lbs of concretions to go through, and keep me busy this winter.
  4. Fall Break in Sulphur

    Hi! This teacher is spending the last day of Fall Break Christmas shopping - fossils for my students! Found a few beauties for teacher, too... I think this may be part of a trilobite... thoughts? More pics in comments of other mystery finds as I find them! Thanks in advance!
  5. Siphonodendron junceum

    Strikingly preserved in an iron-rich hump on a grey limestone, one of the commonest Mississippian corals in the British Isles, France, Belgium, Germany and Russia. Not known from Asia, Africa, Australia or the Americas. Frequently found as an erratic on many parts of the British Isles coast. The simplest and narrowest Siphonodendron species (typically 2.5 - 3.8mm), easy to identify as it has no dissepiments. Central columella present in most corallites, with dome shaped or conical tabulae. Usually sixteen major septa. (14-18 possible) Minor septa may be present. The calcite filling in the voids is transparent and the specimen is varyingly coloured with presumed haematite, highlighting the structure visible below the surface.
  6. Hi, I've started to do a little exploring around the lower Hunter. Started off with some of the more well known sites mention elsewhere in this forum, also some of the fossil localities marked on the 1;100,000 geological series (Camberwell, Dungog, Bulahdelah) http://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/miners-and-explorers/geoscience-information/products-and-data/maps/geological-maps/1-100-000 The explanatory notes focus on geology, but also give a little info on fossils. Some localities yield very little, others more rewarding. My first Trilobite (Pygidium?), from the Williams River, (Bonnington Formation, early Carboniferous, 340Ma). Not that easy to find, took a lot of rock splitting. On the left, fragmented Crinoids, from the Williams River. On the right, Crinoid (arm with pinnules?) and a Bryozoan, from Cedar Tree Creek,(Ararat formation, early Carboniferous, 350Ma). Williams River has quite a bit of marine fauna, but it is mostly fragmented or crushed. In some rocks it forms a layer 5mm thick. I could use a little help with this one! On the right is a "piece of shell" I picked up at Cedar Tree Creek, it was unattached on a sandy/pebbly bank. I was going to pass it by, thinking it a modern species. But not being sure, put it in my bag ïncase". On the left is a specimen from Kitchener, (Branxton formation, mid Permian, 265Ma). Uncanny resemblance! Is there enough of it for ID? If it is the same, is it likely to have made it thru the extinction event to modern times? My best guess is Spiriferid, (Neospirifer??), but only based on the size and fine plications. Most Spiriferid became extinct at the end of the Permian. Cheers, Mike.
  7. A team from Harvard were in luck, finding tetrapod bones that could add to the story of life. =) http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/harvard-fossil-find-cape-breton-1.4311303
  8. Yogoniscus gulo Lowney, 1980

    From the album Vertebrates

    Yogoniscus gulo Lowney, 1980 Early Carboniferous Heath Shale Formation Bear Gulch Montana USA Not sure if this fish is Yogoniscus (saw this fish in the Museum of Natural History in Vienna) or Wndyichthys lautreci (Poplin and Lund: The rhadinichthyids (paleoniscoid actinopterygians) from the Bear Gulch Limestone of Montana (USA, Lower Carboniferous)
  9. Sussex Field Work (2015)

    Sussex is an interesting region in terms of geology and paleobiology. An amalgamation of different formations crisscrossing the larger Moncton Basin, this area was the target of study by local and foreign interests. Sussex is known for its potash mines, but one shouldn't forget the importance of the rich fossil localities doting the region. One such discovery was probably evidence of Canada's oldest forest, which is of significance. Matt Stimson, along with other professionals in the field, did some work in the area. I've had the chance to assist on occasion in a few field trips. The work done in this region is still ongoing and soon to be published. This time around we decided to target an area I've never gone or attempted to go yet. I'm used to quarries, but this time we would be spending the day at a road cut. Me and my braids Matt getting ready It was a few days after the Christmas holidays so it was kinda cold. The wind was nippy but we were lucky that ice hadn't formed yet on the ledges and that snow hadn't blanketed the area. The day started kinda grey but by the afternoon, the Sun had come out. It was a welcome event as the wind was freakin' cold. We made our way to the center cut. Traffic wasn't much of a factor as you can see cars coming from miles away, and plenty of space to park my car off the road. Area of Research: The rocks here are comprised of several units of interbedding sandstones and mudstones. Within these units, some several meters thick, are shale layers. Within these layers are indications of both plant and aquatic biota. Traces of fish material, scales, teeth, bone, are contained in some of the layers, forming some small limestone lenses and strata. Other areas along the cut feature plants. In all this mix, there are trackways. The work in the area is ongoing so all the data hasn't surfaced yet until publication sees the day. The cut showed signs of faulting, backed by folding. This looked promising We found many invertebrate trackways such as diplichnites and rusophycus. Most were very well preserved, even though exposed to the elements. From traces to scales and teeth, the record showed a high level of activity, condensed. The work goes on. We reached a spot where we encountered plants. I don't remember if these were referenced or cataloged previously. The preservation was fair, and we were able to find a good number of specimens. The New Brunswick Museum lab will have new specimens to work on by the end of the day. One of many specimens Root system Plant specimen showing shoot/stem and leaves We've covered only a small portion of the area. Different zones have been targeted for future study. Having done work for the past Summers, I can see why Sussex and its surrounding localities have been visited. The amount of fossils in the around is astounding, especially when talking about trackways. The work continues... - Keenan
  10. Found this piece of large (for the location) orthocone yesterday in a Brigantian (Mississippian) mudstone. The thin bits of surviving shell are apparently pierced through with many small round objects, mostly circular, 0.3 - 0.5 mm in diameter. Each one is now a very low cylinder (like a watch battery) with apparently vertical sides and depressed centre. Many are filled with pyrite. They have left impressions on the mudstone internal mould - the whole shell fossil is covered with them, both the living chamber and chambered phragmocone. Ostracods came to mind but these seem to go right through the shell and the spacing is quite regular so was whatever they were growing there? Orthocones and many other types of shell are common from this location but I've never seen this before. And one more:
  11. Pennsylvanian Illinois

    Hi, I found this fossil last year on a trip to the Starved Rock Clay Pit. I didn't find out what it was until just recently: a spine from a shark/eel-like creature called Listracanthus. My question is what is on the other side? Looks like a zig-zaggy impression of some sort. Thanks for any help.
  12. Some of you have been following my unique fossil finds for some time now, and others have provided amazing help in trying to identify what I have found. It appears that my collection is both unique and important to science in the study of Carboniferous fossils, so rather than keep them under a tarp in my yard, I decided to find them a permanent home. The Smithsonian came and packed up (5) 4'x4' crates and they have now been transported and officially donated to them. I also look forward to seeing the paper that is being written on them published, and thank you Paul for all your work! What an amazing journey, and hope that it is not over yet.....
  13. Carbondale Pa

    An enjoyable and productive outing with Jeffrey P, my first to the carboniferous. Id's welcome. Gordon See pattern to right of coin
  14. Hi all, During the Fossil Fair of Ede in March 2017, some of you might recall that I bought a big box full of different fossils. Well, here are some of them. Some spiriferid brachiopods (Punctospirifer kentuckyensis) from Breckenridge, TX, USA; from the Pennsylvanian of the Carboniferous. Collected in 1969! Now, as there are quite a few, I already gave a few, and will give a few more, away in trades with fellow forum members. Now, even though this is a nice amount of info, when I search up "fossils breckenridge Texas", I don't get any relevant results supplying more info on the location... So, anyone know more about this place? Thanks in advance, Max
  15. Fossil ID brachiopod

    Hi all, I am hoping to know what type of brachiopod this is below. It is found in Lower Carboniferous limestone in the NW of Ireland. The fossil appears to have possibly short ridges on the costae? This is the best example I could find. Thanks
  16. Trace fossil ID

    Hi all, I am hoping to identify a trace fossil found in the NW of Ireland, Lower Carboniferous limestone. The trace is 24cm in length in view, 2cm in width, and on across bedding plane surface. Any information would be great thanks.
  17. Plants in Kansas?

    Hi all, I've been collecting a lot of late Pennsylvanian invertebrates (mostly from the Virgilian Series) in the area surrounding where I live (Manhattan, KS), which is in the NE part of the state. I was wondering if any of you have found plant fossils in Eastern Kansas, as I want to start collecting some of those as well. I read that Clinton Reservoir's outlet does have some shale and limestone layers that have insect and plant fossils, but I am sure that area has been picked through thoroughly. Do any of you all have suggestions? Thanks a ton!!!
  18. Tainoceras sp.

    From the album Collection

    © fruitoftheZOOM

  19. Orthocone

    From the album Collection

    © fruitoftheZOOM

  20. Tainoceras

    From the album Collection

    © fruitoftheZOOM

  21. Carboniferous fun in SW VA

    Fruits of "me time" in road cuts in Russell and Wise counties in southwest Virginia 3/25/17.
  22. Somerset UK quarry ID

    I was having a wander in a disused quarry in Somerset (Stocker Hole, near Radstock) which is known for carboniferous fossils. Aside from one nice crinoid block, I didn't find much - but I did come across a large pile of rock which didn't look to me as if it were from that quarry. There are many quarries in the area, and it's possible that this material is spoil which was dumped in the disused quarry, but I'm not sure. Can anyone offer any thoughts on the ages of these rocks? The area is known for carboniferous rock, but also contains Triassic and Jurassic layers. I examined quite a few of these rocks and didn't see any ammonites. Not sure what this might be.
  23. This post is prompted by finding a near complete specimen of Cornuella cf. ornata, Brigantian, (Mississippian) shale above the Four Fathom Limestone. Co. Durham, UK. Apart from one fragment from the early 19th century I can find nothing comparable in the UK literature.. Fine specimens have been found in Russia from the Serpukhovian Stage (upper Mississippian, slightly later than this one). See at the end of the post for both of these. I previously had just a single, small fragment which was a mystery. A friend then gave me another fine 3D fragment from Scotland and this was kindly identified by a Russian collector on another forum (@valh on here, thank you Valerij!). Details on TFF here: ornamented orthocone, scotland Here's my new specimen which was in a wet, disintegrating mudstone. I held it together in the field with cyanoacrylate then dried it for a few days. Prepping was with a scalpel under a 20x microscope, consolidating the matrix and shell with 5-10% paraloid as I went along. (Took about 25 hours I think.) It's too fragile to risk air abrading - the shell was already gone from the living chamber and barely attached to the rest of it. As collected: The first UK reference is Orthocera rugosa, Fleming 1828, a fragmentary specimen with a description only. This was figured in 1835 in Phillips "Illustrations of the Geology of Yorkshire" Vol. 2, plate 21, no. 16 naming it as Orthoceras rugosum Fleming. I can't find another figured specimen in UK literature. (Phillips simply gives "Northumberland" as the locality - the next county up from Durham.) Below is the plate of Russian Cornuella ornata (Eichwald) from Shimansky, 1968. (Shimansky, V. N., 1968: Kamennougolniye Orthoceratida, Oncoceratida, Actinoceratida i Bactritida (Carboniferous Orthoceratida, Oncocerida, Actinoceratida and Bactritida). Akademiia Nauk SSSR, Trudy Paleontologicheskogo Instituta, vol. 117, p. 1–151, pls. 1–20. (in Russian). And here's my original mystery fragment:
  24. Large Pecopteris sp. Section

    From the album Cory's Lane Fossil Locality

    Large imprint of Pecopteris sp. Found in 2017 at the Cory's Lane fossil locality, Rhode Island.
  25. The Ferns are Growing!

    Well... I seem to be turning into a Rhode Island native at this point. This past weekend I was able to head down to Cory's Lane for an afternoon of digging. Here's my latest find from the Carboniferous period. This fern still needs to be cleaned up a bit and I'm still trying to nail down an exact ID. At just over 3 feet long this is now my biggest and most complete find to date (1-upped myself again). More pics to come once I finish cleaning this guy up. P.S. This was definitely not fun to carry back to the car . I couldn't save the entire second half of this fern as it was partially destroyed when I ripped up the 8 foot slab of rock this fossil was on. I did manage to save the middle section at least!