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It has been a while since we went to my favorite hunting spot near Chimay in Belgium, so I was realy eager to go back when we got there we had a little surprise, the whole back of the quarry was transformed in a motor cicle trail, apparantly this sunday there wil be a race and a lot of the bikers were prospecting the trail on foot in preparation of the race. luckily this didnt hinder us on our search, and this opend even opportunities since they dug through some of the stoone piles to make the trail thus revieling new material to go through, although we were careful not to dammage the trail. my first find was a strange large nodule covered in mud, at first vieuw it looked to be a big goniatite, and since it was found near the car I directly put it in the trunk without giving it further ispection. after looking on the sides of the new tracks we went to the big scree where we usually hunt, the heavy rains from the past few weeks cleared a lot out and we did find a few very well preserved goniatites. On the top of the scree pile Natalie found a huge specimen: a goniatite of around 40cm an not far from it I found a 2nd large one . we had a very sccesful field trip today with great wether conditions ( mabey a little to hot ) and excelent finds. my biggest surprise was when I drove home, I stopped at a self carwash to clean of the mud of the big specimens with a high pressure cleaner. The first mud coverd nodule that I put in the car wasn't a goniatite, but a nodule with 3 nautiloids on it, 2 incomplete, but a big one in the center. A vieuw on the race track: A toad hiding in the rubble. Natalie at the spot where she found the big goniatite: the huge specimen she found: and a 2nd one : A lot of life in the pools in the quarry: A realy nice Manticoceras sp waiting for me more shales and limestone to go through: A stop for water and snacks after the hunt, and of course a lot of local beers on sale "Chimay" beer: the large specimens after the high pressure cleaner: the surprise Nautiloids after the mud was removed: I still have alot of unpacking to do and prepp work in the next few days. I'll post updates in this post.
Yesterday I visited my favoriet hunting spot with a few friends. Since the weather forcast was realy good we made sure to bring a portable bbq, meat and drinks. Me and my girlfriend were the first at the location, we made a quick prospect for devonian cephalopods, but there hasn't been a lot of activity in the quarry since our last visit. Once the group was complete we tried our luck in older parts of the quarry, but only a few cephalopods were found. At lunchtime we set up our little bbq and equipment and enjoyed our lunch ( this was fossil hunting in style ) the afternoon we continued our search for fossils. only one extra large goniatite was found by a friend, on the other hand, my girfriend made an exellent discovery, she found a large piece of placoderm that is likely to belong of the same specimen we found last year, it wil soon join the rest of the pieces that are being preped at the museum now. On the way home we made a quick stop for prospection in an other quarry, but appart from a few nice calcite cristals we had no luck here. Still, we had a realy fun day one of the 2 goniatites I found that day: Lunchtime Hexagonaria next to the BBQ: the placoderm fragment found by my girlfriend ( Natalie81 ) The large goniatite of my friend calcite crystals from the next spot:
Last weekend was a fieldtrip to my usual spot the late Devonian in the area of Chimay in Belgium. And of course hunting for the prized cephalopods. Althoug the usual deposits are depleted due to the activity in the quarry, there are now new deposits that can be prospected. A lot of Matagne formation is now exposed, here a lot of small but wel presereved fossils can be found , mainly brachiopods, but in the correct layer and with a little patience a few pyritized cephalopods can be discovered, mainly: Bactrites sp. , multiple kinds of Gephuroceratina ( Manticoceras..) and Tornoceras. The day was cold, rainy and even a few snowflakes, but it was wel worth the trouble. Thx to Anthonie Hellemond (President Belgian Paleontological Association 2018) for the pictures in the field ( and the extra goniatites ) Bactrites: Manticoceras on bottom and a little Tornoceras on top. Oh and in contrast to all the little pyritised fellows there was this one ( also credits to Anthonie for the discovery ) It wil take a while to prep .... Cheers, Manticocerasman