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Found 598 results

  1. Hi all. This is my first post to the ID forum. I'm stumped on this one. It was found near Kingston, NY. Comes from Middle Devonian Hamilton Group (probably Marcellus Fm). Matrix is a brownish-gray shale. It's a mold of something with small branching (or budding) tubes, dense transverse rings, terminating in cone-shaped depressions. My first guess is some form of branching rugose (horn) coral, where each terminal cone is a corallite. But I wonder if it might also be a sponge -- though sponges usually don't preserve like this, right? In the pictures below, the scale bar has divisions of 1 cm, and in the last photo there is a penny in the background for scale. Thanks for any ideas... Bob
  2. 400 million year old gigantic extinct monster worm discovered in Canadian museum University of Bristol, February 21, 2017 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170221095643.htm https://phys.org/news/2017-02-million-year-gigantic-extinct-monster.html http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2017/february/giant-worm-fossil-.html Mats E. Eriksson, Luke A. Parry, and David M. Rudkin, 2017, Earth’s oldest ‘Bobbit worm’ – gigantism in a Devonian eunicidan polychaete. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7: 43061 DOI: 10.1038/srep43061 http://www.nature.com/articles/srep43061 Yours, Paul H.
  3. I know I've been told in the past what this is. I found this one today in a new (to me) spot - Old Port/Onandaga Formation, Devonian.
  4. Fossil Hunt Leads University of Chicago Professor to Antarctica Paul Caine, WTTW, Chicago, February 14, 2017 2:48 pm http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2017/02/14/fossil-hunt-leads-university-chicago-professor-antarctica Yours, Paul H.
  5. Lit.: Upeniece, I. 2001 The unique fossil assemblage from the Lode Quarry (Upper Devonian, Latvia). Mitt. Mus. Naturkd. Berlin, Geowiss. 4, 101-119.
  6. Hello, I found this fossil a couple of months ago. It's devonian and I think it's a xystostrophia. What do you guys think? It measurers about 5 cm. Found in Vierves-sur-viroin.
  7. Hi Folks, I did not take a true before picture so I am sorry, but here is my work on a branching stem. The sandstone matrix is very hard and breaks very randomly. In this case, I think due to winter freezing and thawing with moisture, there was a natural crack where the rock split and another that can't be seen in the photo that greatly aided the prep. I used a dremel with a carbide burr to ensure the crack would end where I wanted to and not spread into the already exposed fossil. I also have the counterpart to this fossil so I wanted to see what I could get. The first photo is the fossil with the removed pieces put back on. Second is the revealed branch, and third is a close up of the other fossil that showed up in the split. Some kind of textured bark impression or larger branch.
  8. Lit.: W. Erich Schmidt (1934) Die Crinoideen des Rheinischen Devons. Abhandlungen der Preußischen Geologischen Landesanstalt. Neue FolgeHeft 163, pp.1-148 C. Bartels, M. Poschmann, T. Schindler & M. Wuttke (2002) Palaeontology and palaeoecology of the Kaub Formation (Lower Emsian, Lower Devonian) at Bundenbach (Hunsrück, SW Germany) Metalla (Bochum) 9.2, 2002, 105-122 G. D. WEBSTER & C. G. MAPLES (2006) CLADID CRINOID (ECHINODERMATA) ANAL CONDITIONS: A TERMINOLOGY PROBLEM AND PROPOSED SOLUTION. Palaeontology, Vol. 49, Part 1, 2006, pp. 187–212
  9. From the album Vertebrates

    Stensiopelta pustulata Janvier, 1985 Early Devonian Dniester Formation Ustechko Zalishchyky Raion Ternopil Oblast Ukraine
  10. Hi Folks, Was wondering if you could help me ID these two fossils. Both were found in Schoharie creek and are Devonian from, I think, the Gilboa formation. The first I think is a bryozoa but someone mentioned it could be a gyracanth fin spine due to the bone-like texture. I could the best photos I could using a tripod and a nikon 3300D
  11. Went out to Schoharie creek today. It is about a two hour drive and I left at 8:15. Arrived at the site at 10:15 and parked at the road closed barrier on Stryker rd. It was about twenty degrees and windy and I walked down the road to get my bearings and scope out the site since I had never been there before. I figured out a good way down and it was much warmer down in the river valley. I saw some really eroded fossils and decided to try and split some rocks to find some fresh stuff. Right away I found some broken and jumbled black stems and other unidentifiable stuff. I kept going and found some cool stuff. There was snow on the ground and that made things much more difficult. So I did what I could and here is what I found. this branching stem:
  12. Lit.: W. Erich Schmidt (1934) Die Crinoideen des Rheinischen Devons. Abhandlungen der Preußischen Geologischen Landesanstalt. Neue FolgeHeft 163, pp.1-148 C. Bartels, M. Poschmann, T. Schindler & M. Wuttke (2002) Palaeontology and palaeoecology of the Kaub Formation (Lower Emsian, Lower Devonian) at Bundenbach (Hunsrück, SW Germany) Metalla (Bochum) 9.2, 2002, 105-122 G. D. WEBSTER & C. G. MAPLES (2006) CLADID CRINOID (ECHINODERMATA) ANAL CONDITIONS: A TERMINOLOGY PROBLEM AND PROPOSED SOLUTION. Palaeontology, Vol. 49, Part 1, 2006, pp. 187–212
  13. From the album Invertebrates

    Parisangulocrinus zeaeformis OPITZ, 1932 Hunsrück slate formation Kaup member Early Devonian Early Emsian Bundenbach Heap pile "Grube Herrenberg" Germany
  14. Here is one that has me perplexed. I am always on the lookout for strange and new trilobites, especially from North Africa. I picked this one up in Tucson. At first I thought it may be just a fake, but it was from a trusted friend. After inspecting it under magnification, it is the real deal. It is nearly 4 inches long. It is Devonian in age from Morocco, and I can not find mention of anything in the literature and wondered if anyone out there might have an idea.
  15. Years ago when I was active on the Paleolist fossil discussion list a member posted images of a large enrolled Parahomalonotus planus planus Devonian trilobite from Morocco. He said he picked it up in Tucson. LINK At the time I remember doing a Google search and saw images of flats of these huge enrolled trilobites at Tucson. Didn't go to Tucson this year...However, I was there the previous 2 years and didn't see any. Anyone know of any dealers on the Net offering these "Holy Rollers" for sale? Maybe they were fakes? Comments? Barry
  16. Lit.: Nardin, E. and Bohatý, J. 2013. A new pleurocystitid blastozoan from the Middle Devonian of the Eifel (Germany) and its phylogenetic importance. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 58 (3): 533–544.
  17. Drove up to NY for my first trip hunting. Thanks to Dave (darctooth), I managed to get to the Sangerfield roadcut without any problems for what eventually turned out to be a very pleasant day. Things were a bit rough starting out as the fog was heavy early heading out from PA and a balmy 35 degrees Three hours later it was sunny and breaking into the mid-40's as I pulled up to the days target location I took about half a dozen steps when I spotted my 1st trilo head staring up from the loose shale before I even made it up the hill From that point on I kept up a steady pick of pieces and parts throughout the day, unfortunately I couldn't manage to find any that were whole. I also managed to find some other interesting pieces. Nothing particularly special, but considering I had only ever found a single trilo head on a previous trip it was a good day for me. If nothing else it gave me a bunch of pieces to practice prep on for the day when I finally get a complete specimen
  18. I have a number of mortality plates that I collected from the middle/upper Devonian Hamilton formation near Ithaca New York. In case the photos aren't clear, it's mostly brachiopod and crinoid hash. Would be interested in trading for any vertebrate material. Or invertebrate that lies outside the Devonian (maybe a similar mortality plate from the Ordovician or Silurian, so I could compare). Anyone interested? Make me an offer. Matt
  19. These are a few of the pdf files (and a few Microsoft Word documents) that I've accumulated in my web browsing. MOST of these are hyperlinked to their source. If you want one that is not hyperlinked or if the link isn't working, e-mail me at joegallo1954@gmail.com and I'll be happy to send it to you. Please note that this list will be updated continuously as I find more available resources. All of these files are freely available on the Internet so there should be no copyright issues. Articles with author names in RED are new additions since January 25, 2017. General Papers in Paleontology Archaean Eon Allwood, A.C., et al. (2009). Controls on development and diversity of Early Archaean stromatolites. PNAS, Vol.106, Number 24. Altermann, W. and J. Kazmierczak (2003). Archaean microfossils: a reappraisal of early life on Earth. Research in Microbiology, 154. Awramik, S.M. (1992). The oldest records of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis Research, 33. Brasier, M., et al. (2006). A fresh look at the fossil evidence for early Archaean cellular life. Phil.Trans.R.Soc.Lond. B, 361. Brasier, M., et al. (2004). Earth's Oldest (~3.5 Ga) Fossils and the 'Early Eden Hypothesis': Questioning the Evidence. Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, 34. Brocks, J.J., et al. (1999). Archaean Molecular Fossils and the Early Rise of Eukaryotes. Science, Vol.285. Knauth, L.P. (2005). Temperature and salinity history of the Precambrian ocean: implications for the course of microbial evolution. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 219. Moorbath, S. (2005). Oldest rocks, earliest life, heaviest impacts, and the Hadean-Archaean transition. Applied Geochemistry, 30. Sankaran, A.V. (2002). The controversy over early-Archaean microfossils. Current Science, Vol.83, Number 1. Schopf, J.W. (2006). Fossil evidence of Archaean life. Phil.Trans.R.Soc. B, 361. Schopf, J.W. (1993). Microfossils of the Early Archaean Apex Chert: New Evidence of the Antiquity of Life. Science, Vol.260. Schopf, J.W., et al. (2007). Evidence of Archaean life: Stromatolites and microfossils. Precambrian Research, 158. Sharma, M. and Y. Shukla (2009). The evolution and distribution of life in the Precambrian eon - Global perspective and the Indian record. J.Biosci., 34. Stueken, E.E., D.C. Catling and R. Buick (2012). Contributions to late Archaean sulphur cycling by life on land. Nature Geoscience, published on-line. Waldbauer, J.R., D.K. Newman and R.E. Summons (2011). Microaerobic steroid biosynthesis and the molecular record of Archaean life. PNAS, Vol.108, Number 33. Proterozoic Eon Ediacaran Period Barroso, F.R.G., et al. (2014). First Ediacaran Fauna Occurrence in Northeastern Brazil (Jairabas Basin, ?Ediacaran-Cambrian): Preliminary Results and Regional Correlation. Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, 86(3). Bottjer, D.J. (2002). 2. Enigmatic Ediacara Fossils: Ancestors or Aliens? In: Exceptional Fossil Preservation. Bottjer, D.J., et al. (eds.), Columbia University Press, New York. Clapham, M.E., G.M. Narbonne and J.G. Gehling (2003). Paleoecology of the oldest known animal communities: Ediacaran assemblages at Mistaken Point, Newfoundland. Paleobiology, 29(4). Droser, M.L. and J.G. Gehling (2015). The advent of animals: The view from the Ediacaran. PNAS, Vol.112, Number 16. Droser, M.L., J.G. Gehling, and S.R. Jensen (2006). Assemblage palaeoecology of the Ediacara biota: The unabridged edition?. Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 232. Dzik, J. The Verdun Syndrome: Simultaneous Origin of Protective Armor and Infaunal Shelters at the Precambrian-Cambrian Transition. Dzik, J. (2003). Anatomical Information Content in the Ediacaran Fossils and Their Possible Zoological Affinities. Integr.Comp.Biol., 43. Gehling, J. (2015). First Fossil Animals - Ediacara Fauna of South Australia. Flinders Ranges Treasures. Glaessner, M.F. and M. Wade (1966). The Late Precambrian Fossils from Ediacara, South Australia. Palaeontology, Vol.9, Part 4. Grazhdankin, D. (2004). Patterns of distribution in the Ediacaran biotas: facies versus biogeography and evolution. Paleobiology, 30(2). Jensen, S. and T. Palacios (2016). The Ediacaran-Cambrian trace fossil record in the Central Iberian Zone, Iberian Peninsula. Comunicacoes Geologicas, 103, Especial 1. Knoll, A.H., et al. (2006). The Ediacaran Period: a new addition to the geologic time scale. Lethaia, Vol.39. Knoll, A.H., et al. (2004). A New Period for the Geologic Time Scale. Science, Vol.305. Liu, A.G. (2011). Reviewing the Ediacaran fossils of the Long Mynd, Shropshire. Proceedings of the Shropshire Geological Society, 16. Meert, J.G., et al. (2010). Glaciation and ~770 Ma Ediacara (?) Fossils from the Lesser Karatau Microcontinent, Kazakhstan. Gondwana Research, xx-xxxx. Narbonne, G.M. (2005). The Ediacara Biota: Neoproterozoic Orgin of Animals and Their Ecosystems. Annu.Rev. Earth Planet.Sci., 33. Narbonne, G.M. (2004). Modular Construction of Early Ediacaran Complex Life Forms. Science, Vol.305. Narbonne, G.M. and J.G. Gehling (2003). Life after snowball: The oldest fossil Ediacaran fossils. Geology, Vol.31, Number 1. O'Brien, S.J. and A.F. King (2004). Ediacaran Fossils from the Bonavista Peninsula (Avalon Zone), Newfoundland: Preliminary Descriptions and Implications for Regional Correlation. Current Research (2004) Newfoundland Department of Mines and Energy, Geological Survey Report 04-1. Peterson, K.J., B. Waggoner and J.W. Hagadorn (2003). A Fungal Analog for Newfoundland Ediacaran Fossils. Integr.Comp.Biol., 43. Peterson, K.J., et al. (2008). The Ediacaran emergence of bilaterians: congruence between the genetic and the geological fossil records. Phil.Trans.R.Soc. B, 363. Retallack, G.J. (2013). Ediacaran life on land. Nature, Vol.493. Retallack, G.J. (1994). Were the Ediacaran fossils lichens? Paleobiology, 20(4). Schiffbauer, J.D., J.W. Huntley and G.R. O'Neil (2016). The Latest Ediacaran Wormworld Fauna: Setting the Ecological Stage for the Cambrian Explosion. GSA Today, Vol.26, Number 11. Seilacher, A., D. Grazhdankin and A. Legouta (2003). Ediacaran biota: The dawn of animal life in the shadow of giant protists. Palaeontological Research, Vol.7, Number 1. Wood, R. and A. Curtis (2015). Extensive metazoan reefs from the Ediacaran Nama Group, Namibia: the rise of benthic suspension feeding. Geobiology, 13. Phanerozoic Eon Paleozoic Era General Paleozoic Brett, C.E. and S.E. Walker (2002). Predators and Predation in Paleozoic Marine Environments. Paleontological Society Papers, Vol.8. Eldredge, N. (1971). The Allopatric Model and Phylogeny in Paleozoic Invertebrates. Evolution, Vol.25, Number 1. Schonlaub, H.-P. and H. Heinisch (1994). The Classic Fossiliferous Palaeozoic Units of the Eastern and Southern Alps. IUGS Subcomm. Silurian Stratigraphy, Field Meeting 1994, Bibl.Geol. B.-A., 30. Smith, M.P., P.C.J. Donoghue and I.J. Sansom (2002). The spatial and temporal diversification of Early Palaeozoic vertebrates. In: Palaeobiogeography and Biodiversity Change: the Ordovician and Mesozoic-Cenozoic Radiations. Crame, J.A. and A.W. Owen (eds.), Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 194. Ye, H., et al. (1996). Late Paleozoic Deformation of Interior North America: The Greater Ancestral Rocky Mountains. AAPG Bulletin, Vol.80, Number 9. Cambrian Period Blair, J.E. and S.B. Hedges (2004). Molecular Clocks Do Not Support the Cambrian Explosion. Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol.22, Number 3. Davidek, K., et al. (1998). New uppermost Cambrian U-Pb date from Avalonian Wales and age of the Cambrian-Ordovician boundary. Geol.Mag., 135(3). Dzik, J. (2005). Behavioral and anatomical unity of the earliest burrowing animals and the cause of the "Cambrian Explosion". Paleobiology, 31(3). Hagadorn, J.W. Chengjiang: Early Record of the Cambrian Explosion. Hagadorn, J.W. (2002). 4. Burgess Shale: Cambrian Explosion in Full Bloom. Jacobs, D.K., et al. (2005). Terminal addition, the Cambrian radiation and the Phanerozoic evolution of bilaterian form. Evolution & Development, 7:6. Kirschvink, J.L. and T.D. Raub (2003). A methane fuse for the Cambrian explosion: carbon cycles and true polar wander. C.R. Geoscience, 335. Landing, E., et al. (2000). Cambrian-Ordovician boundary age and duration of the lowest Ordovician Tremadoc Series based on U-Pb zircon dates from Avalonian Wales. Geol.Mag., 137(5). Lieberman, B.S. (2008). The Cambrian radiation of bilaterians: Evolutionary origins and palaeontological emergence; earth history change and biotic factors. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 258. Marshall, C.R. (2006). Explaining the Cambrian "Explosion" of Animals. Annu.Rev. Earth Planet.Sci., 34. Mitchell, R.N., et al. (2015). Was the Cambrian Explosion Both an Effect and an Artifact of True Polar Wander? American Journal of Science, Vol.315. Morris, S.C. (2006). Darwin's dilemma: the realities of the Cambrian 'explosion'. Phil.Trans.R.Soc. B, 361. Morris, S.C. (2000). The Cambrian "explosion": Slow-fuse or megatonnage? PNAS, Vol.97, Number 9. Morris, S.C. (1993). Ediacaran-Like Fossils in Cambrian Burgess Shale-Type Faunas of North America. Palaeontology, Vol.36, Part 3. Peng, S., L.E. Babcock and R.A. Cooper (2012). Chapter 19. The Cambrian Period. In: The Geologic Time Scale 2012. F.M. Gradstein, et al. (eds.), Elsevier B.V. Phoenix, C. (2009). Cellular differentiation as a candidate "new technology" for the Cambrian Explosion. Journal of Evolution and Technology, 20(2). Plotnick, R.E., S.Q. Dornbos and J. Chen (2010). Information landscapes and sensory ecology of the Cambrian Radiation. Paleobiology, 36(2). Shu, D.-G. (2008). Cambrian explosion: Birth of tree of animals. Gondwana Research, 14. Shu, D.-G., et al. (2009). The earliest history of the deuterostomes: the importance of the Chengjiang Fossil-Lagerstatte. Proc.R.Soc. B, published online. Valentine, J.W. (2002). Prelude to the Cambrian Explosion. Annu.Rev. Earth Planet.Sci., 30. Valentine, J.W., et al. (1999). Fossils, molecules and embryos: new perspectives on the Cambrian explosion. Development, 126. von Bloh, W., C. Bounama and S. Franck (1963). Cambrian explosion triggered by geosphere-biosphere feedbacks. Geophysical Research Letters, Vol.30, Number 18. Yang, B. (2014). Cambrian small shelly fossils of South China and their application in biostratigraphy and palaeobiogeography. Ph.D. Dissertation - Freie Universitat Berlin. Zhang, X.-L. and D.-G. Shu (2013). Causes and consequences of the Cambrian explosion. Science China - Earth Sciences, 57(5). Ordovician Period Brocke, R., et al. (1995). First Appearance of Selected Early Ordovician Acritarch Taxa from Peri-Gondwana. In: Ordovician Odyssey: Short Papers for the Seventh International Symposium on the Ordovician System. Cooper, J.D., M.L. Droser and S.C. 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Emlen, D.J. (2008). The Evolution of Animal Weapons. Annu.Rev.Ecol.Evol.Syst., 39. Fedonkin, M.A. (2003). The origin of the Metazoa in the light of the Proterozoic fossil record. Paleontological Research, Vol.7, Number 1. Gans, C. (1989). Stages in the Origin of Vertebrates: Analysis by Means of Scenarios. Biol.Rev., 64. Ghaffar, A., M.A. Khan and M. Akhtar (2009). Predator-Prey Relationship (Cervidae & Carnivora) and its Impact on Fossil Preservation from the Siwaliks of Pakistan. The Journal of Animal & Plant Sciences, 19(1). Harris, J.D. (2004). Confusing Dinosaurs With Mammals: Tetrapod Phylogenetics and Anatomical Terminology in the World of Homology. The Anatomical Record Part A, 218A. Heim, N.A. (2008). The Spatial Structure of Biodiversity in the Fossil Record: Contrasting Global, Continental, and Regional Responses to Climate Change. Ph.D. Dissertation - The University of Georgia. Holland, N.D. and J. Chen (2001). Origin and early evolution of the vertebrates: new insights from advances in molecular biology, anatomy, and paleontology. Bioessays 23.2. Hunt, G. (2010). Evolution in Fossil Lineages: Paleontology and The Origin of Species. The American Naturalist, Vol. 176 Supplement. Jablonski, D. (2005). Evolutionary Innovations in the Fossil Record: The Intersection of Ecology, Development and Macroevolution. Journal of Experimental Zoology (Mol.Dev.Evol.), 304B. Kowalewski, M. (2002). The Fossil Record of Predation: An Overview of Analytical Methods. Paleontological Society Papers, Vol.8. Labandeira, C.C. (2007). The origin of herbivory on land: Initial patterns of plant tissue consumption by arthropods. Insect Science, 14. Labandeira, C.C. (2002). Paleobiology of Predators, Parasitoids, and Parasites: Death and Accomodation in the Fossil Record of Continental Invertebrates. Paleontological Society Papers, Vol.8. Lawver, L.A., et al. 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  20. WHAT WE LEARNED IN OUR FIRST FOSSIL HUNTING SUMMER This is a short recap of what we learned on our fossil trips this summer, in our first 3 months as very new fossil collectors. This week, Nancy and I gave a slide presentation on our summer fossil hunting experiences, to the Delaware Valley Paleontological Society. We didn't realize it ourselves but in 3 months we visited 8 sites in Pennsylvania and New York including: Antes Creek, Deer Lake, Red Hill, Juniata County, McIntyre Mountain, Montour and St. Clair in Pennsylvania, and a very productive trip to Tully, NY. We visited St. Clair 4 times, which has become our home site. At St. Clair, we were astonished by the diversity of species - we collected well articulated samples of more than a dozen species including: Alethopteris, Annularia, Asterophyllites, Cordaites, Cyclopteris, Eusphenopteris, Lepidophylloides, Neuropteris, Odontopteris, Pecopteris, Sphenophyllum, Sphenopteris, and numerous Seeds, Bark, Roots. Most notably - I learned to pronounce all of these without stuttering! At St. Clair, we spent one trip looking exclusively for seeds trigonocarpus), and one trip looking just for roots (stigmaria). Our most significant finds have included very large (2 foot long) display pieces covered with well articulated orange ferns, an alethopteris seed attached to a leaf stem, and many Carboniferous leaves that have different shapes from traditional ferns. What we learned this summer has really helped us find some interesting fossils - here are a few things we did that helped a lot: 1. DOING OUR HOMEWORK. It helped to study each site in advance using Internet websites and books on fossils (Dave's "Views of the Mahantango" and "Louisville Fossils" are among the best, imho). Several universities also have great educational sites that bring each era to life in very creative and interesting ways, with lots of illustrations and photos. I like the UC-Berkeleyand University of West Virginia websites. 2. LEARNING FROM TRIP REPORTS. We read trip reports from other groups and individuals to see what they reported - sometimes this helps us stumble across new places to visit such as the site at Tully, NY and Deer Lake. 3. SETTING GOALS AND TARGETS FOR EACH TRIP. For each trip, we establish specific goals - for example we may look for seeds, or roots at St. Clair, or trilobites or shell assemblages at a Devonian site. Our interest right now is in looking for things that are scarce or rare, and fossils that are extremely well articulated (which is also rare!). We also like solving puzzles so eventually we would like to find things that help add to the fossil record in areas where there are still questions or missing links. 4. DISPLAYING WHAT WE FIND. Personally, Nancy and I like collecting larger fossils that we can display in mounts and frames, and we are also looking for larger pieces that we can display like sculptures - we have a few pieces that we drilled holes in, inserted wooden dowels that we stained, and then drilled/inserted the dowels in wooden trophy bases - all available from a craft store. This allows us to display thicker fossils esp. assemblages, like sculptures, and you can turn them around and look at all sides when they are mounted like this. 5. WE AVOID FOSSIL HORDING. We both agreed that we would NOT become "fossil horders" putting hundreds of rocks in boxes and sticking them away in the basement or garage - instead, we focus on finding display-quality items, and rare or scarce finds which we are slowly putting in frames. 6. DOCUMENTING OUR FINDS WITH CLOSEUP PHOTOS. We photograph everything we find as soon as possible after returning from a trip, using a digital camera with a closeup attachment - many times we find new discoveries while taking closeup photos and some of our best finds came AFTER we returned from the trip and inspected our fossils. I usually put the finds on a white background on an ironing board and use window light, nothing fancy, but it works. 7. FOSSIL ID. We post anything we can't identify on the Fossil Forum and are EXTREMELY grateful for the terrific response from our friends on the site! We are also accumulating a growing library of fossil books (some modern, some from the 19th and early 20th century) so we can identify more fossils ourselves without having to post on Fossil ID. 8. WRITING ABOUT OUR EXPERIENCES GIVES US NEW INSIGHTS. We report everything that interests and excites us about fossil hunting on Fossil Forum to share our experiences - and we find that writing about what we're doing helps us learn more and gain insights, just from writing about it. We have also started videotaping some of our adventures and are thinking about the best place to post some of these. 9. WINTER PLANS: COPING WITH CABIN FEVER. Our winter plans are to visit one or two more sites, then go into "fossil hibernation" and organize, identify and label fossils we haven't processed yet. We have a Dremel to do some light preservation work where needed. We are not planning to become "chemical conservators" - using chemicals to dissolve limestone and so forth - that's a bit too ambitious for us at this point. We may get involved in some interesting activities by local universities that are using 3D printing to process and replicate large dinosaur bones. We are also planning to provide an exhibit (on Carboniferous plants and trees/coal swamps) at a fossil fair in April. 10. RECOMMENDED READING: I enjoy reading fossil books - I'm currently reading with great interest a small book entitled "Leaves and Stems from Fossil Forests" by Raymond E. Janssen (1939) which I bought last night at the DVPS meeting, and a textbook entitled Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record by Benton and Harper (2008) (excellent book). The book that has been the most useful to me so far is the classic book "Fossil Collecting in Pennsylvania" by Hoskins et. al. (3rd ed. 1983). I am constantly re-reading the Hoskins book and find something new each time as my knowledge grows. A book that impressed Nancy and me is a large beautifully illustrated book entitled "Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth" (published by Dorling Kindersley, 2012) UPDATE (Oct 11): Nancy is taking some college courses which are prerequisites to enter grad school, so I am doing most of the fossil reading and ID. I read several books at the same time and other books I purchased that I am currently reading are: Paleobotany: The Biology and Evolution of Fossil Plants (second edition) by Thomas Taylor; and Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record by Benton and Harper. I guess you can tell from this that I'm reading up on fossil plants - my main interest is not just to understand the evolution and fossil record, identification tips, etc. - but also to try to figure out where the missing links and gaps are so if we come across something that adds to the fossil record, we will be able to recognize the value. What is most surprising is that there is a lot missing from the Carboniferous record - partly because after this period, many of the oceans and swamps apparently dried up and there were ice ages and other factors that caused mass extinctions. Here are some interesting things I have learned this summer about Fossil Plants and Trees: 1. More Carboniferous insect fossils and evidence of insects are needed (by the way, there are some GREAT current discussions about insects on this forum!). 2. Many categories of lycopsids and other Carboniferous trees and plants do not have verified associations between the leaves and seeds, or leaves and trunks/stems. Many trigonocarpus (fossilized seeds and "fruits") are found with leaves, but examples of seeds actually ATTACHED to leaf sprigs are rare (we have found one example of a seed attached to Alethopteris). 3. More Leaf and Bark Verifications are Needed. Another interesting thing I learned is that there are more than 30 different types of "scale tree" patterns but only half a dozen leaves for these trees - suggesting that a lot of different species had the same leaves - or - there are a lot of missing leaf types or the existing leaf types have not been matched to the bark patterns yet. 4. Another peculiar revelation is that most Carboniferous leaves that do not fall neatly into classic fern shapes seem to be lumped together as "sphenopteris" - we have many "non-traditional fern" leaf fossils that are VERY different from each other and obviously different species, but when we go online to ID them, they all seem to be grouped as "sphenopteris!" Maybe some of these leaf types match up with the bark patterns I mentioned. 5. Last but certainly not least is the insight that fern trees could have 2 or 3 different types of leaves on the same tree! This was really interesting. Also, some leaf types can come in different shapes - for example, Neuropteris can be round at the base of a stem and elongated along the stem and at the tip...AND...some paleobotanists now classify cyclopteris - the round fan shaped leaf - as a form of Neuropteris. This definitely adds to the confusion. I'm still reading and trying to understand all of this and these are only my initial impressions, which are still forming and there may be explanations for some of these questions that I haven't discovered yet but these are the questions that I am trying to answer by reading, and of course, by fossil collecting. I hope that many of our new friend (and I should add, VERY COOL new friends!) on the fossil forum will help clarify some of these interesting questions. Hope this is helpful.
  21. Found here in Blair County PA - Tonoloway Formation, Devonian/Surilian. I'm not sure what this might by any ideas?
  22. the title says it all Fu JOP2017ichno14.pdf
  23. Lit.: Volume 16: Fossil Fishes of Great Britain. Chapter 6: Mid-Devonian fossil fishes sites of Scotland. Site: JOHN O'GROATS, CAITHNESS (GCR ID: 353) Emma Jude, Zerina Johanson, Anton Kearsley and Matt Friedman(2014): Early evolution of the lungfish pectoral-fin endoskeleton: evidence from the Middle Devonian (Givetian) Pentlandia macroptera. Frontiers in Earth Science, 2014, Vol. 2, Article 18
  24. The little fish, Palaeospondylus gunni, from the Middle Devonian of Achanarras, Caithness, is perhaps the most widely known of all problematical fossils. Ever since it was first described by Traquair in 1890, it has attracted the attention of a very large number of workers. Nevertheless, its affinities have not yet been convincingly demonstrated. The phylogeny of this bizarre fossil has puzzled scientists since its discovery in 1890, and many taxonomies have been suggested. Traquair and the majority of writers have considered Palaeospondylus to be related to Cyclostomes. However, other workers proposed that Palaeospondylus was a larval lungfish, a larval tetrapod, an unarmored placoderm, an agnathan or a chimera. In 2016, Tatsuya Hirasawa, Yasuhiro Oisi and Shigeru Kuratani proposed that Palaeospondylus was a primitive hagfish. Lit.: J. A. Moy-Thomas (1940): The Devonian Fish Palaeospondylus gunni Traquair. Philosphical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 1940, Volume 230, issue 573 Tatsuya Hirasawa, Yasuhiro Oisi and Shigeru Kuratani (2016): Palaeospondylus as a primitive hagfish. Zoological Letters 2016, 2:20 Volume 16: Fossil Fishes of Great Britain Chapter 6: Mid-Devonian fossil fishes sites of Scotland. Site: ACHANARRAS QUARRY (GCR ID: 351) Achanarras Quarry