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Found 25 results

  1. Another Fish Prep

    Are y'all getting tired of GRF fish prep threads yet? Well, too bad here's another one. This Diplomystus is working its way through the rotation on the prep bench. I now have a tall bench with a standard desk height left hand return table for my prep area. The magnifying lens lamp can swivel between the 2. This allows me more flexibility to lean in over a larger piece to prep areas that are hard to reach on the higher bench. Also, this allows me more room to have multiple projects going at the same time. Next step is to build a stand for the blast cabinet on the right hand side of the bench to complete the "U" shape work area. OK, back on topic. Here's how the fishy arrived And here's the fish after 6 hours under the scribe. It has some interesting taphonomy. The Caudal fin is folded over and many of the bones are displaced making for a rather interesting specimen of advanced decay!
  2. My wife and I just got back from a week’s driving tour through Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. We stopped in at American Fossil Quarry outside of Kemmerer, Wyoming, for a few hours to dig for Green River fish. It was a productive day, and we both bagged some nice finds. Seth, the owner of the quarry and a TFF member, wasn’t there that day, but his assistant, Nick, was very helpful in getting us started. I brought a bag full of tools which were mostly unnecessary. As Nick pointed out, all you really need is a brick hammer and a thin chisel, both of which they provide. I noted that since this was the end of the season and the chisels had undoubtedly seen hard use all summer, they had pretty blunt tips. I had brought my own set from Geo-Tools (http://www.geo-tools.com/fossil-rock-chisels/custom-thin-rock-splitting-chisels) and found the 1/16-inch chisel with a single bevel was particularly useful. My wife used the chisel they supplied and was quite successful. The floor of the quarry was covered with a fine powder of shale. We worked for 3 hours before the wind picked up and started blowing the powder around so much we decided to call it a day. Nick loaded our fossils onto a cart and took me over to a line of saws that can be used to get rid of the excess matrix and trim the specimens down to a reasonable size. After a quick tutorial I was happily working on my own trimming down all my specimens. I noted the saw was a Chicago Electric 10”, 2.5 HP tile saw like they sell at Harbor Freight: https://www.harborfreight.com/10-in-25-hp-tilebrick-saw-69275.html. But the blade was definitely much better than you can get at Harbor Freight. It was a 10” blade designed for dry cutting without the need for water. I was very impressed with the saw and wouldn’t hesitate to buy one from HF if I had enough need for it. But I’d look elsewhere for a top-quality blade. About 10 years ago we had visited the Warfield quarry across the road, and they had us digging right up against the rock wall where you could either split loose shale or extract your own shale right from the wall (which was a bit of a chore even at my then-younger age). At American Fossil Quarry, they extract the shale for you with a giant excavator and lay it out in rows of piles for you to access. Probably a lot safer than being right up against a crumbly rock wall. You don’t get the chance to record exact location and orientation of the fossils in-situ, but unless you are a professional paleontologist you won’t care. As Nick said, this is a commercial quarry, not a scientific expedition. The fun is in finding the fossils, of which we found plenty, even in the space of only 3 hours. I’d strongly encourage anyone to stop in at this quarry. The dirt road is reasonable for the family car right up to the descent at the quarry entrance. It’s then a bit of an adventure if you don’t have 4WD (which we fortunately did), but at the bottom there were even large travel trailers that had made it down safely. Be sure to mention that you are a member of The Fossil Forum and they will give you a 10% discount. Here are some photos of a few of our finds. My ID’s on them are tentative, so if anyone has any corrections, please let me know. Full collection after trimming: Mioplosus labracoides: Diplomystus dentatus: Small Diplomystus: Diplomystus needing more prep:
  3. I just got back from a week-long trip that included a stop to dig Green River fish at the American Fossil Quarry outside of Kemmerer, Wyoming. That was a successful venture and I will post a separate entry showing some of my finds once I get them unpacked. While I was there, I stopped in at the nearby Fossil Butte National Monument. In the visitor center, one of the rangers was doing a demo of prepping a Green River fish (a Diplomystus from the 18" layer they got from one of the commercial quarries). I didn't take any photos but I did ask a lot of questions. Before I share his answers, you might want to take a look at this video from the Fossil Butte National Monument website. It shows how they prep the fish using an air scribe and air abrasive. But be warned that what I learned isn't exactly the same as what is shown in the video here: https://www.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=9BD712EE-1DD8-B71B-0B88EC525E86D328 The setup I saw was the same as in the video. It looked like a home-made blast cabinet with a sheet of acrylic plastic on top, held on by blue painters tape. It was connected to a good dust collector. The microscope, as in the video, looked like a Leica-Wild M8 stereomicroscope with a video camera on top and an offset binocular viewing head. This is a top-of-the-line unit that probably cost somewhere between $7,000 to $10,000 (sadly, this model microscope is no longer manufactured, but you can pick them up on the used market if you have enough money). The microscope seemed to be fixed in the center of the blast cabinet, you move the specimen around under it. I didn't learn the make of the air scribe tool he was using, he said it was a specially modified one with a large rubber sheath that reduced the vibration transmitted to his hands. For the air abrasive, they had two Crystal Mark Swam Blasters model EV-2. One of them, set off to the side and not being used, was labeled "Dolomite." I asked him what abrasive he was using and he said iron powder. I was surprised because I thought that would be much too hard on these fossils, but as I watched on the screen it did a great job of removing the matrix without damaging the fossil. I probed some more and he said that while the machine could be set to go up to 80 psi, he had it set to 13.3 psi. There is also a setting for powder flow that can be set between 1 and 10. He had it set to 6, and when he is doing delicate work on the fins, turns it down to 2 or 3. He also said the nozzle was specially modified to be smaller in diameter. I was pretty impressed with the quality of his work and am inspired to make my own blast cabinet similar to theirs (but without the high-priced microscope). I thought everyone might like to know what works for this facility even though it's different from what is usually recommended here on this forum.
  4. Another Green River Prep

    Here’s another torture prep. This is a little Diplomystus from the ultra hard bottom cap. This one is a bit harder to prep because there’s actually very little matrix on the fossil. So, it’s much easier to accidentally go through it with the scribe. I’m alternating between scribe and abrasive on this one.
  5. FIRST DIPLOMYSTUS PREP

    Hi all, it's my first green river fossil fish prep, i think head preped out ok, but before I start with the rest, since there are some very experience Green river preparators here, I would appreciate any tips how to preserve soft tissue parts (between ribs i.e.)!? Thank you in advance! Hope to save as much soft tissue as possible, like in example below (not sure if any colour enhancements though?). Downloaded this pic from fossilrealm web:
  6. Diplomystus dentatus

    From the album Green River Formation

    This is a 3 inch long Diplomystus dentatus. This is the first fossil fish I've ever owned and it holds a special place in my heart. These fish have an upturned mouth meaning they would have been surface feeders. The most notable feature of this specimen is the disarticulation of the skull area. You can see a large section of vertebrae has been completely sheared from the rest of the body. I believe this fish was scavenged by some sort of crustacean.
  7. Green River Fish

    Hey guys!! My UPS box of everything I brought back from my pay-to-dig trip in Wyoming came in today!! Here's what I ended up with fully unboxed. I brought home a bunch of half fish to work on my preparing skills before I tackle the complete ones. The last two big pieces at the end measure 24x18 approx and have 6 or 7 fish on them. I'll take more pictures of them tonight as I un(bubble)wrap them.
  8. Hello. Every once in a while I see these "juvenile Diplomystus" listed on our favorite auction site. The fins seem to match Diplomystus, but it would be great if someone with more GR knowledge than me could shed some light. The little guy is 1" long, tiny
  9. The Green River Formation is one of the most well-known fossil sites in the world, occupying present-day Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. This Lagerstätte has been noted for its well-preserved fish fossils, as well as numerous invertebrates, plants, and sometimes even reptiles and birds. Green River fossils are Eocene-aged, at 53.5 to 48.5 million years old. Thankfully, not only are Green River fossils attractive, they also remain affordable to the casual collector. Allow me to present my humble collection. Crocodile tooth Borealosuchus sp. Southwest Wyoming Water bird tracks (possibly sandpipers or plovers) Presbyorniformipes feduccii Vernal, Utah Bird feather Aves indet. Southwest Wyoming Crane flies & Mosquitoes Pronophlebia rediviva & Culex sp. Parachute Creek Member; Douglas Pass, Colorado
  10. Another Auction Prep

    @holdinghistory was the winner of the most recent prep auction that I held to support our great community here. He sent me a Diplomystus from the Green River Formation 18” layer. I finished up some other preps and got started on this today. Here’s how this started out:
  11. Fish fossil help!

    I found a REAL BARGAIN online... but not identified. I am thinking Diplomystus sp. ??? What are the diagnostic features of this Genus? The odd mouth I have seen on Diplomystus - but also on Knightea!
  12. American Fossil Quarry

    Well I haven't had much time to go fossil hunting since we made an offer on our home. We are moving in on Saturday. I'm so excited. Two weeks ago my wife allowed me to take an excursion for fish fossils in Wyoming with her cousin Luke. Little did the twelve year old boy know what he was getting into. This would be his first fossil hunting experience but he also experienced the following: first off roading experience, first taste of beef jerky, first time to Wyoming, and first time to a Sonic drive through. Being in the middle of Wyoming I diligently followed Google Maps which led us off roading. I have done some crazy stuff in my lifetime (i.e. sky diving) and have been really worried. This was one of those times. The off roading experience started us off on a dirt road with deep tracks from tires with chains for getting through snow. At one point I had to keep my left wheel in the middle of the road and my right wheel was off road with the right side of the vehicle slamming into rocks and sage brush. Thankfully we made it out. The quarry was amazing. Here are a bunch of pictures going back to our trip to my parents cabin in Island Park near Yellowstone and the new home. Heading out for date night at a nearby ski resort in Utah. Here we are at the Sundance ski resort for an outdoor play. My wife insisted we take a selfie. You can tell that I'm not a big fan of selfies. This is Bear World located in Rexburg, Idaho. We stopped here on our way up to Island Park. Bear World is a zoo for wild animals native to North America. Cute little fawn. American Bison. This Black Bear decided he didn't want to move so we had to wait for a few minutes. Big Grizzly Bear waking up after an afternoon nap. This is my brother Spencer holding my daughter Clara. He has a little son and I can tell he really wants a daughter. The Caldera pots of Yellowstone. The sulfuric smell was horrible but the sight was interesting and pleasantly warm. This may look like an inviting hot tub but is dangerously hot. Having our picture taken near the falls. Old Faithful My dad and I went to his secret spot near the cabin for some fishing on Saturday morning. I ended up catching thirty rainbow trout but only kept three. My father caught a bunch but only kept a few. We had enough fish to feed our families for lunch (keep in mind not everybody had trout as there were hamburgers). Clara loves the great outdoors. My mother really enjoyed spending time with her only granddaughter. My four young nephews really adored her as well. I had to share this one. A few weeks ago I came home to see my young daughter smiling up at me. That made up for the long day I had at work. This is where I decided it was time to turn the Subaru back. That hill was rather steep with loose gravel and even with X-mode and Incline mode set I couldn't make it up and the other side of the hill didn't look promising. Almost ran down into this deep crevice. It's a good thing I was going really slow. As you can see there are no roads up here. Luke is being a good sport, but he was a bit nervous about the whole ordeal as was I. Thankfully we made it out. We ended taking another dirt road and coming to this sign. Definitely turning back this time. Bad road! This was the "bad road." Doesn't look to rough but over the bend it could "evolve" into something nasty. Despite the rough start Luke is still looking forward to getting at those fossil fish. Almost there! That sign notes that off roading is illegal. I'll keep that in mind for next time as I was unaware. I notified Luke that he couldn't keep anything over 100k. And we are here! Within the hour discovered this massive Mioplosus that shattered upon extraction. I had no clue it was in the limestone. The stuff is so brittle it just popped right out in pieces. I left it out in the open for the brave preparer who would try his hand at this heart breaker. I keep forgetting to take pictures of fossil extractions on site. Managed to snap this photo while heading out. The car definitely needs a good washing inside and out. The serenity of Wyoming. A heard of Antelope running up the gorge. Here is Luke's amused face. The preservation on this Knightia oceana pair isn't great but what's interesting is that they are inverted against each other. Another pair. The bottom fish is well preserved. Close up. Another K. oceana. This is a K. oceana but looks like a miniature Piranha. Excellent preservation. Another K. oceana. A K. oceana and what I believe is a Diplomystus bottom right that needs some preparation. This will be the location for a new fossil preparation bench. The space looks small on camera but is surprisingly large at 7ft wide by 3 ft deep. Lots of fossil fish. More fish. One of the plates had seven K. oceana but I had to cut that one down (too big). I'm not sure what species the fish is bottom right but it's about the size of a dinner plate. Here is a decent Mipolosus that should prep out well. @Ptychodus04 this is the specimen I told you about. What would you recommend for this fish in terms of exposing it. Any other feedback from TFF members is welcome. The big plate sized fish. K. oceana K. oceana A plate of K. oceana. This is a beautiful Priscacara. @sseth father helped me to extract it and he said that this was one of four found that day. Unfortunately it was already split from the first hammer hit but I do have the other half. @Ptychodus04 recently you worked on a GRF fish that needed to be glued back together. Mind if I send you this project? I'll pay you or add some new features to the website. I'm a bit worried about messing this one up. The spikes look really neat and I do have the complete half that goes with it. Should turn out to be a rather neat looking fossil. This Diplomystus was a trip maker. It's not that large but has fine detail. I applied an air scribe from the rock quarry to the back portion as the tail was covered in limestone sediment. This one is currently on display at my office at work. All of my coworkers are green with envy. Measuring out the work bench. Picked up a large shelf for storing fossils on in the garage. Here is the backyard. The neighborhood is built against a mountain so the backyard is a hill with terraces. I'll plant a garden and trees on the terraces. I can't wait to move in this Saturday. View of Utah Lake from the backyard. Right next to the lake is the city of Lehi. These sunflowers grow well in the desert region of Utah and require very little water. @SailingAlongToo here are some pictures for you. I ordered these fine paintings from the Annapolis Marine Art Gallery in Annapolis. They weren't cheap but should look really nice. This painting is the HMS Surprise the British frigate featured in Master and Commander. This is Beyond the Mark and one of the most famous paintings by Willard Bond. The painting depicts the abstractness of a regatta race. Mr. Bond frequented Maryland to witness these ships racing each other. He is considered to be one of the greatest ship painters of our modern day. This is one of my favorites and depicts a sail boat returning home from a day in the bay. In the background is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge linking the western shore to the eastern shore. At one point in time the bay bridge was the largest man made bridge in the USA. To this day it's one of the older bridges in the country and was built in 1952. I have fond memories of this area from my Calvert Cliff days. I also spent countless weekends in Annapolis. If you ever get a chance to visit the east coast the Chesapeake Bay is a must see. Neat picture of Lone Peak mountain right outside my wife's parents home. It was overcast that day and the clouds sat right on top of the mountain. Close up of the Mioplosus. Another shot of the backyard from the top. I'm in love.
  13. Is this an aspiration plate?

    I purchased the following fish plate from the Warfield Fish Quarry gift shop while on a family fossil fish dig many years ago. It looks to be a mid-sized diplomystus (about 8 inches long) swallowing a knightia. The unusual thing about this situation is that the knightia seems to have been caught tail-first!? I have never seen this before... I would like some expert opinions on whether this is an unusual aspiration or if it's just a mega coincidence where two fishes happen to be preserved overlapped in just the right position to appear that way. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.
  14. Hi all, I saw this Diplomystus online for sale. I was surprised by the prize: 20$! But then I started to get a little suspicious. Though most fakes are mosasaurs and keichousaurs, I heard that fossil fish from the Green River formation are often re-painted so that they look more splendid. Though I am pretty sure that this specimen here was originally 100% real, I think that it might have been painted on. Is my suspicion right, or is this one 100% natural? Here is the info they gave: What do you think? Thanks, Max
  15. Fossil as Art?

    I have a basic Diplomystus dentalus from the Green River Formation, Wyoming, U.S.A. that I want to mount in my bathroom - more as an art piece than anything else. What precautions do I need to take for humidity, etc. Thanks
  16. Green River - June 3-4, 2017

    On June 3rd and 4th I ditched my regular hunting grounds for the opportunity to meet up with a forum member @Seve78 at one of the Pay to Dig quarries in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Tom chose to spend Saturday at Warfield Quarry and Sunday with me at American Fossil (AKA Fish Dig) which is run by our very own TFF member @sseth Tom was an absolute pleasure to dig with and he filled his suitcase with literally tons of treasures to take home, I would meet up again in a heartbeat! I arrived at 9:30am on Saturday and spent about 4 hours helping to prep the site for Tom on Sunday. I split down some of the larger blocks that had been pulled from the wall to allow them to dry. For those of you that have not been to Kemmerer for fish yet, the rock has to be AS DRY AS POSSIBLE, or else it is just a mushy mess that WILL NOT split! Dry rocks are near impossible to achieve with just 1 day of digging! Upon Tom's arrival at around 8:00am of Sunday we got to work! Here is Tom starting his search through some of the rock that had been pulled! Here is a picture of the area I was working. I brought my long chisels and a couple of short ones for good measure. Along with 3 hammers and nippers for trimming down my finds. Both halves of a nice multi plate presented themselves for me about 3 hours in! Once all the rock had been pulled it was time to trim them up for transport. Trusty old table saw, the fastest way in the west to lose a finger! My haul after just 6 hours of total digging time was pretty impressive. All trimmed up and laid out on the table ready to go home, these finds were all delivered to the Morrison Museum of Natural History in Morrison, CO. I wanted them to have some fish for their collections and left everything as found so they could try their hands at prep! The big fish on the front of the table is a 90% complete Phareodus. This is a relatively small one, they could reach up to about 25 inches in length! I left this one with Patrick to give to Seth, maybe he can make something of it! My find of the day though was also my smallest...a Juvenile Amphiplaga brachyptera... This is the RAREST fish the Pay to Dig quarries will let you keep, and only my second one ever found in 4 years of digging Green River fishies. They do not present in the 18" layer I usually dig, only the split fish layers. I found a full grown adult measuring in at just over 5 inches and now this juvenile to add to my collection. I don't usually post much for FOTM, but this guy is headed that way! Whether he wins or not though, he has made me one happy digger! If anyone else is down for a meet-up shoot me a PM! I will be heading back to Seth's quarry on June 24-25 and always love to meet fellow TFF members! Hope you all enjoyed my trip report, see you soon! -Blake As I was leaving the quarry, we had some furry guests waiting in line for their turn to dig up some fishies!
  17. Is this a Diplomystus?

    I've been sorting through some fossil fish I dug on a trip to Kemmerer, Wyoming (Warfield fossil quarry) about 10 years ago. All my specimens were taken from the split-fish layer. I discovered this piece I had wrapped up that day and never uncovered until now. Referring to my copy of Gary Glass's Paleontology of the Green River Formation, Bulletin 63, I have tentatively ID'd the one full fish as a Diplomystus dentatus, primarily because of the extended anal fin (I count about 38 anal rays, it's a little hard to tell for sure). I know it's on the small side, but am I correct? As for the two partials, I don't know, unless we use "guilt by association" to assume they are the same. What do you think? I'm thinking about mounting this slab on an oval-shaped piece of oak for display. Fossils from the split-fish layer are notoriously fragile, pieces of bone break off easily. Should I coat this with something for protection? I've read about Paraloid B72, Elmer's glue, etc., but haven't used any of them. Any recommendations?
  18. Green River - May 15, 2017

    Made my first trip up to Wyoming to visit the fish quarry this weekend. Everything went well, but the rocks are still a bit wet. We spent most of the time removing junk to get to our good productive layers! The main mission of the trip was not to dig, but to see how the winter had treated us! Below is a picture of the quarry Our digging platform for the split fish is right behind that truck and trailer. We moved the trailer up this year to house our finds and our gear! Of course....being such a gorgeous day and only about 16°C or 17°C we couldn't help but dig up some fish! After just a couple of hours of digging we had a pile of nice fish to bring back home and after trimming them up you can see our spoils! The real catch of the day though took us by surprise! It was a perfectly preserved bug!! Not uncommon in the Green River layers, but one like this has never been seen before! It is headed over to Fossil Butte to be examined by the Curator there and hopefully he has some fun news for us! If you look close you can see one wing spread out, all the legs preserved and even big, long, gorgeous antenna! This is one primo bug! Hope you guys enjoyed my report (I know it is short) but keep your eyes peeled for more Green River Adventures! -Blake
  19. Newest Fish Panel

    I just had to show this one off! I saved the Notogoneous from a terrible fate of never being prepped! My buddy thought he was missing part of his head after he roughed it out so he set it aside. Notogoneous is my favourite fish so I took a gamble and had it prepped out, to my surprise it was all there with a wide open mouth! Notogoneous: 24 1/8 inches (61.28cm) Diplomystus: 15 inches (38.10cm) Knightia: 7 inches (17.78cm) Cockerellites (Priscacara): 5 3/4 inches (14.60cm) Entire panel measures 63 1/2 inches (156.21cm) wide by 22 inches (55.88cm) tall.
  20. Random Assortment

    From the album My Collection

    This is the final shelf in my display case. This is a complete random assortment of fossils (Basically, whatever didn't fit on other shelves due to space got put here). This shelf features everything from Megalodon teeth to a cave bear digit
  21. Green River Fish Panel

    Prep was just finished on this lovely panel. All three fish are 100% natural. NO INLAY! NO PAINT! Wonderful panel with three fish. Notongoneous (long skinny guy) Diplomystus (big fat one) Priscacara (spiny one) This panel measures 34 inches tall x 45 inches wide.
  22. Diplomystus dentatus Cope, 1877

    Lit.: Grande, L. (1982): A Revision of the Fossil Genus Diplomystus, With Comments on the Interrelationships of Clupeomorph Fishes. American Museum Novitates, Number 2728, pp. 1-34, figs. 1-38.
  23. Diplomystus dentatus

    Common fish from the Green River Formation in Wyoming.
  24. Diplomystus. dentatus

    From the album My fossils collection

    Diplomystus. dentatus from Eocene period Green River Formation in Wyoming USA
  25. Hi Guys, Just thought id get an opinion or two on my fossil fish from the Green River's "18 inch layer". It's an 8 and a half inch Diplomystus Dentatus that i bought for 75 bucks from an ebay seller who prepares all his fossil fish himself. There was no mention of paint/restoration in the description and the guy seems very reputable but i can't help question if it has been painted. I would ask him myself but it's a bit weird to say "hey mate, you know that fish i got from you like 6 months ago? Yeah, um, was it painted?". So that's why i am asking here. What do you guys think? I've put close up pics of the whole fish as well as a full body shot.
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