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I took my family across the river to Clarksville Indiana today to visit The Falls of the Ohio State Park. It was very hot with a high in the 90s, but we had a good time walking the Devonian fossil beds and visiting the Interpretive Center . The river was down enough to get onto the upper limestone beds, but the lower beds were still underwater. They are typically exposed during the months of September and October and occasionally in the summer when there is little rain (not this year!). The river is at 20 ft right now. The lower beds become dry around the 13.5 ft mark. Their official website has a page that monitors the river levels and tells you when certain areas and strata are exposed. I suggest checking that out before making the trip to visit the park. https://www.fallsoftheohio.org/current-ohio-river-conditions/ The Interpretive Center houses the main indoor exhibit, gift shop, a river viewing room, and bird/wildlife viewing room, along with friendly staff. The main exhibit has fossils and interactive areas for the kids. Not only are there fossil on display, but also sections regarding the Native Americans that lived in the area, the current wildlife, and information regarding the Lewis and Clark expedition. A piece of fossilized wood just outside of the center on the backside by the parking lot. It is roughly 4 feet in length and 2 feet wide. When you walk into the main foyer of the Interpretive Center this boulder is on display. It is about a meter across and half as thick. I don't want to spoil the trip for everyone so I'm just going to post some pictures of a few of my favorite pieces. I thought this was interesting. It's labeled as orange chert, which I assume it is, but it also has a horn coral right in the middle of it. A sampling of the fauna found in the fossil record here. There was also a small exhibit on mammoths as evidence of a few have been found in the surrounding area. Presumably crossing the Falls to get to the salt licks in Kentucky. This was a comparison of a mammoth and mastadon tooth. The interior exhibit is nice, but for me the best part of the Falls of the Ohio is outside. Its the fossil beds that you can walk on and explore. I've been here a few times and find something new each time I come. Remember folks, it's against the law to collect here. Leave the fossils alone for others to enjoy! No matter how tempting... . If you just have to collect something, the park usually has a couple of dump truck loads of material near the back of the parking lot that they allow you to search through. Seriously. Here are some of the fossils that me and the family found while walking around the fossil beds. A word of caution, if you want to get to certain areas there is some climbing that you must do. A lot of the strata has fissures or large boulders that must be climbed, or walked around to move farther down the coast. This is on the fossil beds themselves. You can stay higher on the slope and circumvent a lot of the really strenuous stuff, but the fossils are not as good the higher up you go. Here are a some of the more impressive horn coral that I found. They actually call these larger ones "tusk coral" because the are so large. I'm not certain what these coral are, but Siphonophrentis and Cystiphylloides are common here. I know a hand isn't the best for scale, but it's all I had at the time. lol From the tip of my index finger to where my thumb connects is just over 5 inches. Some mainly brachiopod hash plates. A large favosites. Crinoids Lace Bryozoan This was my favorite find. A large colonial coral. It is over a meter in diameter. What is commonly called a Pipe Organ Coral. Eridophyllum I think that is all for now. It was a great day of discovery and fun with the family. If you are in the area and have a couple of extra hours, I highly recommend you stop by and check out the sights for yourself. You won't be disappointed. Just remember to check the river water levels and be ready for a little exercise!
I was collecting fossils in Clarksville, Indiana today at a site I typically find a large amount of Devonian fossils. Some recent rain had washed out a number of small fossils to easily collect. I collected this fossil without thinking twice, but since cleaning it up I realized it doesn't match any in my identification guide. I originally thought it was part of a crinoid stem, but I can't find any documentation to support that. I've spent the last several hours researching and cannot find a match for it. Now I'm at a bit of a loss and would love some input. Thank you!
Oxytropidoceras posted a topic in Fossil News4th Annual Falls Fossil Symposium: Devonian Fossils August 12 and 13, Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Speakers) Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Field Trip) Falls of the Ohio State Park, Clarksville, Indiana http://www.fallsoftheohio.org/special_events.html http://www.fallsoftheohio.org Cost: $20 per person Related web pages: Falls of the Ohio State Park http://www.fallsoftheohio.org Identifying Fossils on the Fossil Beds http://www.fallsoftheohio.org/fossils.html http://www.fallsoftheohio.org/fossil_id.html Fossil Brochures http://www.fallsoftheohio.org/PaleoSocietyBrochures.html Yours, Paul H.