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Found 9 results

  1. Bison bone ID

    I have a few mystery bones from my bison that I don’t know what they are. I’m hoping some of you will know. I found this Monday in situ with bones. It doesn’t have the same texture as the other bones. It feels very different. It was found near the scapula if that is of any help. It kind of has an epiphyseal feel to it so I’m wondering if it’s ossified cartilage, but from where I’m not sure. These are all pics of the same thing from different angles. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  2. Bison Bonanza part 2

    Today was Martin Luther King day. I had the day off of work. So I slept in and then I got ready, packed my gear and headed back out to the bison site. It was bright and sunny, but 40 degrees with the wind blowing hard. Thankfully I would be down in the creek and the wind would not be much of an issue. There were a few more exposed bones I wanted to collect. One exposed bone was long and thin. I thought it was part of a thoracic vertebra. Just to the right of it was the edge of a very wide and flat bone. The first bone lay diagonal across part of the top of the second bone. I began to remove dirt and realized the wide flat bone was very fragile and broken in many places. This was not going to turn out well for that bone. Here is a pic of the situation. I don't think you can see all the breaks, but they’re there. The long thin bone is to the left. It started about 1.5 to 2 cm wide and 0.5 thick, but quickly broaden and got thicker. I couldn’t tell what it was. I think both scapula may be present, but I didn’t expose them to try to figure that out. I assumed the wide flat bone was a scapula, but I’m not terribly familiar with bovid anatomy so I wasn’t completely sure how long and wide it was supposed to be. I kept digging back into the bank to excavate it, but it seemed unending and quite large. This is the cavity after digging a while. The humerus on the left and the scapula on the right. I think they were actually articulated together, but at a distorted angle. I traced the other bone back and hit another large bone behind it. I tried to go around the other side of the scapula to pedestal it, but I hit bone there too. I am a complete novice with using Butvar 76, but I had received some on Saturday in the mail. Before I left home I decided to make a 50% solution to use to hold stuff together in the field rather than the cyanoacrylate. I knew the bond wouldn’t be strong, but hoped it would help hold stuff in place for transporting back to my house. I knew the scapula was not going to go well at all. It was fractured in dozens of pieces. I chose to pour the 50% solution over it and let it dry before attempting to move it. I walked over to there the end of the tibia was sticking out of the bank. This is the end of it in pic below. The femur was at a 90 degrees angle to it and articulated. I removed the femur on 1/13, but knew I’d have to come back for the tibia. There was another bone to the right of the tibia. I couldn’t tell what it was until I removed it from the bank. It turned out very cute little caudal vertebra. Ugg it is telling me I cannot upload more pics. I sent myself 7 pics and chose 1.8 mb for size. I'll post more in a minute.
  3. Bison ID

    Does anyone have any info for how to determine a species of bison? I have a mandible with teeth and many of the other bones. I have the full skull too, but no horns. I haven’t prepped the skull yet. That’s going to take me months probably. Here is a lower right mandible with a radius. A view of the teeth. Thoracic vertebrae. The longest is about 22 inches. Some cervical vertebrae and rib fragments and unknown bone fragment. The atlas and axis vertebrae. A metacarpal Skeleton in situ.
  4. My Texas Bison Bonanza

    Last June 2018 I stumbled upon the skeleton of a bovid in a creek that was quite old considering it was down 5 feet or so in a bank. I thought it was a cow. I collected the bones that had fallen and a couple that easily came out without any real digging. I brought them home and washed them up and most have been sitting out on my patio under a bit of cover. Last Wednesday night I went to the monthly Dallas Paleontological Society meeting. While there I bought a book on cow and bison fossils. This past Saturday I had a busy morning and afternoon and got home a little after 3:00. I sat down to read the book. It named 3 notable differences between cow and bison bones. I was reading in suspense. I wanted to know if it was cow or bison. Of course I wanted it to be bison, but assumed it was cow. I got to page 10 and the one distinguishing bone I had was a metatarsal. I went and got it and I suddenly realized it was a bison bone!!! ! I had a sudden rush of excitement. My adrenaline was flowing as I flew around the house to change clothes and gather stuff I may need. I did not know what I’d find. For all I knew everything had washed away already. It had been over 7 months. We’ve had lots and lots of rain and numerous flooding events since last June. So I was skeptical. The place is about 40 min from my house. By the time I got everything ready and got there it was almost 4:30. It is about a 10 min walk from where I park my car. I’d never been to the creek in wet season so for all I knew it would be under water. I put on my hip wanders just in case. I got my pack and my garden hoe/claw digging tool. I headed out to the spot. The area above the creek is a flood plane. There was lots of standing water everywhere. When I got into the woods there were 2 nice 8-10 person tents there which appeared to have been vacated rapidly. They were in the flood plane and looked liked they had actually been flooded. No one had returned to take them down. There were hog tracks all over the place and the odor of hog excrement in the air. The forest floor was very mucky. I meandered through the trees and fallen limbs. The forest was fairly wide open with very little underbrush. I came to a point where I had to turn right to be able to find a point of access to the creek. The banks are 10 to 20 feet or more high depending upon where you’re at in the creek. The bank edge is a straight drop down into the creek so you can’t enter just anywhere. I came to a spot where there was a 3 foot drop with a tangle of roots where I could get down to a lower level and then into the creek. Then there was a hill so I sat down to scoot over the edge and then walked carefully down the hill. From there it was a short distance to the creek. Then I turned to walk down steam. I came around the bend in the creek and saw this. If you look closely you can see a large whitish object. That is the bison skull. To the left were thoracic vertebra and to the right were cervical vertebrae. Go figure that one out. Then there were some ribs and the edge of other bones and then another 5 feet down on the right was a femur. It was pretty chilly. In the low 40s with a stiff wind. Although down in the creek I was protected from the wind. I put down my pack and took out my gloves and a chisel to probe the dirt with and pull some of it away. The base of both horns were present, but no sign of the whole horns. A tip of a horn was broken off and sitting in the cavity of the other horn on the right. Otherwise both horns were gone. I carefully lifted the horn tip out and set it aside. Here is the skull with the horn tip on the right. These are thoracic vertebra. There are 6 visible behind the roots. These are cervical vertebra. I think 5 or 6 of them exposed. I uncovered part of the skull to its condition. There were a couple tree roots growing through it and the skull was split in two front to back about where the upper sinus cavities were. There were cracks all over the back and side of the skull. The atlas vertebra was in place with a bone that looked a bit like a broken rib sticking out of it. I didn’t know what was going on there. It seemed fixed in place as if it belonged there. After seeing all the cracks I decided to go back to my car and get the bottle of cyanoacrylate, my head lamp and something to drink. I grabbed a couple plastic bags and a small plastic box. I hurried back to begin the task of excavating the vertebrae and begin pedestaling the skull. I was in for a lot of work and sunset was only 30 minutes away. But I was really hyped about the whole thing. It was more fun and play than work in my eyes. I’ll post more of the story and pics tomorrow.
  5. Pleistocene mammal mandible ID

    I found this today along with a full bison skeleton in Collin County Texas north of Dallas. It is a Pleistocene lower mandible of a mammal, but I’m not sure what kind. Any thoughts? It is partially mineralized. More so than my bison. Any help would be appreciated.
  6. Bovid ID?

    Ok as if the clam wasn’t enough excitement for the day, not that this is exciting I also found what I believe is a very old, but modern cow skeleton, which I believe is most likely fully articulated. I just want to confirm it is cow. I went fossil hunting yesterday, which was almost a complete and total bust for me. Rarely happens, but that was the case fossil wise. However that does not mean I didn’t find some really cool, very, very cool, want so badly kind of stuff, but I couldn’t carry them out because they were too big and heavy. Anyway, it was miserably hot. I believe I found the hardest, most difficult, poison ivy overgrown path I could possibly find into the creek. First attempt was a 25 foot drop straight down into the creek. I scouted a small section of the creek out, found lots of very cool stuff, but only a coupe of oysters and that was it fossil wise. I was hot and wanted to check out another place before dark so I looked for an easier way out. I found one I thought I could manage. Problem was I was in my flip flops. I had no traction. If I’d been in my boots I’d had no problem at that spot. I couldn’t make it so I went further up creek. The creek water was like warm bath water and offered no relief from the heat. I came to a spot in the creek where a pool of water was divided off from the sandbar. I stepped into it and too my surprise the water was cool and sooooo refreshing. I splashed it all over myself to cool down and walked on. I walked maybe 10 feet and saw this on the edge by the creek bank. It seemed to have recently fallen about 4.5 feet from the middle of the creek bank above. There was a large clump of bank to the right that had more bone in it. I have to mention that I was a few hundred yards from a cemetery so it gave me pause. I had to process it a moment and determine that these were not human bones. Wouldn’t that be horrible! The cemetery could be 100 yrs old. The creek changes course over the years and encroaches upon the cemetery and graves start washing out into the creek!! Yikes! I’m sure it must have happened somewhere once upon a time. Didn’t happen here though. Moving on. This was embedded in the bank about 4.5 feet from the portion of the creek I was standing on and about 5 feet down from the top of the bank. No way it could have been redeposited since it seems largely articulated. I’d been seeing concretions in the bank of the creek so initially I thought the ball to the right was a stone. I was taking a pic of the broken bone. Rib maybe? The ball and one above it I think are heads of femur or something. Here is the bank. You can’t really see the other bones in the bank in this pic. They are there though. Bad quality pic, but I removed some of the dirt from the bank to expose the bone. There is more bone to the right and left. Some of the bones that had fallen from bank. A vertebra Anyway, do you think it is cow or could it be bison? That’s about all the pics I have. It’s modern, but I’m curious. I am assuming the cow must have gotten stuck in the mud and died. The cool water in the creek had to be coming from an underground spring. This was maybe 10 feet from there. Maybe it made the soil very soft and contributed the the bovid’s demise. I have come across cow skeletons on numerous occasions that died in a field and are completely disarticulated from wild animals scavenging them. That didn’t happen here. It must have been mud or something.
  7. Giant Inoceramus clam?

    I am a bit excited and probably rash in my thinking on this. I’m sitting in a creek and I believe I’m sitting on the remains of the largest clam I have ever seen. I’m having a hard time processing it and don’t know how to confirm my suspicions of how large this beast is. Would anyone even be interested in checking this out? Here are some pics. If I am correct this clam goes at least from a foot to the right of the black thing to at least 3 feet to the left of my hammer. This is is a layer of shell across the top of it. More shell Sounds like I may have an overactive imaginations, but I’m not sure how to explain it otherwise. What do you guys think?
  8. OK I thought the other two trip posts were getting a bit long. So I am creating separate post for the third trip for the Britton Formation in Collin county, Texas. The other 2 trips are here: I have to write these things in segments. I'm slow at writing sometimes since I write in between chores and such (i.e. other fossil hunting trips). Sunday I had a bit of time to work on writing the rest of the trip report. I was supposed to teach a couple scout badges this weekend outdoors, but wouldn’t you know it, it started raining. I thought I’d go hunting instead because the showers looked isolated, but when I looked at the radar future cast it looks like it will be raining much of the day across the whole area I usually hunt in. So I’ll work on writing the third segment between chores and cleaning fossils. I get so easily distracted. Here it is Tuesday and I'm just getting to post it I made a third trip out to the same spot with the Britton formation in the same week. Joe aka @Fruitbat and I had met at a local Mexican restaurant for dinner on Tuesday, I think it was. We live reasonably close to one another. When I met him for dinner I brought him a couple little slabs and a concretion of carboniferous plant fossils to play with. They were from my trip to Oklahoma at the end of April. During dinner we agreed to go hunting Saturday afternoon, provided I didn't get called in during the night and would be too wiped out to go hunting. I had told Joe I prefer to split the bill and pay for our own meals. He told me that his mother would roll over in her grave if he let me do that. I told him we would talk about that at dinner, trying to hold my ground. We did talk about it, but Joe is stubborn. While I was busy telling a story or talking or something the bill came and he took the bill before I thought to grab it and he paid for both anyway. I think I will either have to be quicker to grab the check or not go to dinner again unless the terms are agreed to up front. Am I being too modern or stubborn? I don't think so, but I am not a guy and I don't get how men think on these matters. I am trying to be practical and fair. I think its a generational gap. Joe is old enough to be. . . , well, lets just say older so as to not give his age away. I go to church on Saturday and the place is only 10-15 minutes away from my church. So the plan was I would go to church and then he would meet me up in a store parking lot near the spot we were going to hunt and we would go hunting from there. I was on call for my work. I have to stay within an hour’s drive of work at all times when I’m on call. I also have to have cell phone service wherever I go so my work can contact me. Believe it or not there are places within an hour of Dallas that I cannot get service at times. So this spot was as good as any I knew of within an hour of my work and I had great cell service there. I met up with Joe and we headed out to a construction dirt pile I wanted to check out first. I had seen it on the way to the spot last time. It was enormous. It was also part of the Eagle Ford group and probably less than 2 miles from the other spot. Sometimes I’ve found great stuff in construction piles. Sometimes they are complete duds. I'd classify this one a dud. This is a picture of the location. It was dirt taken from a new housing development right next to it. The soil was brown and there were a few plates of what appeared to be Kamp Ranch here and there, but the plates were pretty much compressed shell fragments. I'm still learning my formations. Been there, done that before. I knew there were better things waiting a couple of miles away, but I thought I would give the pile the once over anyway, just in case some gem of a fossil showed up. I guess I should have known that brown soil was probably not the best indicator for good fossils within the Eagle Ford. Maybe elsewhere. If anyone knows of brown soil in the Eagle Ford that has good fossils I'd like a little enlightening of what I might expect to find in it should I encounter brown soil in the Eagle Ford again so I don't completely discount and avoid it. I found numerous chunks of calcite and gypsum. There was the very rare very worn oyster and I found a few fragments of septarian nodules with the typical brown and yellow to white aragonite and calcite crystals in them, but these were pretty tumbled and worn down and not freshly broken open. After looking around for maybe 30 minutes we both decided that was enough of that. We headed out to the other location. We parked our vehicles. It was another blazing hot day. I had to convince Joe to bring something to drink. I was ready to put an extra Gatorade into my bag for him if he wasn't going to take one for himself. So he put one in his bag thankfully. It was over 90 degrees F. If you have read my other posts you know the issues with hydration I have had. I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. Plus the creek water out there didn't look quite so drinkable as the NSR water. That was sarcasm. The NSR is not so drinkable at all. I've come across places numerous times where you could tell the wild hogs had relieved themselves in the river by the smell. I still need to get me one of those Lifestraws. I digress. Back to the trip. We started the walk to the spot. This time I brought my rubber creek boots. They are the kind you get from Home Depot that the concrete pourers use when pouring concrete. So they can handle a creek pretty well, but they are a bit hot. We got to the place where the avalanche had happened and Joe wanted to explore the little creek below where the avalanche had happen. The small creek ran along the road. I can't remember if I mentioned that there were a few trees along the creek that had been taken down by beavers. One was one of the largest trees I've ever seen taken down by a beaver. It must have been over 12 inches in diameter. It made me wonder how many beavers died in felling trees. Within the creek there were some areas the water was shallow and the banks were high with lots of exposed rock and soil. I had explored it before. We didn’t really find anything other than the non-Cretaceous oysters. Just as we were about to the other creek where the hunt would begin I got a message from my work giving me a heads up that there was a deceased donor sample coming in for a pediatric, 2 month old heart transplant. I would need to go and work on that when they knew the ETA. I can't remember if I have ever posted my profession. I work in a lab and am a Histoccompatibility and Immunogenetics Specialist. I specialize in tissue typing for organ and bone marrow transplants and also for disease associations with the tissue typing. I have been doing that for 21 years in the same lab. Anyway, my work didn’t have the ETA yet they were just giving me advance notice. It had already been delayed twice. I was pretty hot and so bright I couldn't read my messages on my phone. So I found a shady spot to be able to read my messages. I sat down on the edge of a concrete slab poured to prevent erosion. It was a peaceful little place with the water running over the rocks. A tree was perched on the edge of the bank above me. I snapped this pic of Joe while I was sitting there reading my messages, replying and waiting for the response. We went on hunting while I waited to hear back on the ETA of the heart donor's tissue. Joe was the first to find something. He found a pretty little red ammonite about 1.5 inches across with a bit of matrix still on it. It was probably less than 30 feet from where Joe is in this pic. He offered it to me. I told him no way that it was his little memento of the hunt. If he found nothing else worthy of keeping that little beauty was worthy of keeping. I didn't get a pic of it. Maybe Joe can provide one. We continued with the hunt. I am not fast about covering ground while hunting, but I definitely move faster than Joe. Shortly after we got into the creek and began to hunt I got a call from the on call supervisor at my work telling me that the sample would be there around 6:00. That meant I had maybe 45 minutes left to hunt. We’d only been in the creek maybe 10 minutes max. Since I knew my time hunting would be cut short I was trying to cover more ground. I soon left Joe inspecting an exposure and moved on to another exposure further down the creek. I found a number of ammonite fragments. I found several halves of ammonites. Here are a few of them. The two ammonite halves were within 1 inch of each other along with the baculite fragment. I assume they are both Metoicoceras of some kind. Please chime in if you know what they are. I think this one must be a Placenticeras pseudoplacenta var. occidentale. Please help educate me if I am misidentifying them. I am very new at this. Sometimes I assume a species based on what I know is in the formation if it kind of looks like it. I am doing that with this one. I don't know of another smooth genus in the Britton. I also found a few more interesting bulbous concretion. Almost all of the concretion material are flat little slabs of rock not more than ½ to 1 inch thick, but occasionally you find little odd shaped ones or bumpy ones. I picked some of them up hoping I can figure out how to expose whatever may be inside. I found a few more baculite pieces. I found the longest fragment I had found. I also found a few tiny gastropods. Very cute and tiny. Here are pics of all the baculite fragments found over the 3 days. I am probably not the idea naturalist for combining the fossils from 3 hunts within a week from the same local. The largest fragment I did find when I hunted with Joe. This is one of the fragments. When it is wet it looks like shiny copper. When dry it looks like a metallic rose gold. It is lovely piece. I have a few others that have flecks of it on them. A few have a rainbow kind of hue. OK I am trying to break up my posts for this trip so I can include more pictures. Bare with me. More is coming. Oops left out a pic description. These are a number of the fragments I found that day with the exception of the Placenticeras ones.
  9. Big tooth Cow or Bison?

    Found this huge tooth today in a Texas creek. Not sure if cow or first bison. The tooth is very large compared to the cow teeth and jaws I have. The enamel is over 50mm in length. Thanks for any help. It is a pretty tooth whatever it is.
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