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Found 6 results

  1. Shark Teeth?

    Hey guys... First post here. I live around the Victoria area here in Ellis County. I've always been interested in our local history, but my interests have recently shifted to a little 'older' part of our history around here, more specifically when we were covered by warm-water oceans. I've spent a good portion of this summer walking creeks searching for SOMETHING, ANYTHING, and have came up empty handed. It's my understanding that the Sharks teeth and vertebrae will mostly be located in a specific sediment layer, and apparently I'm missing that. Can anybody help me out with identifying good places to search for these 'common' fossils that seem to be eluding me? Any help is greatly appreciated!!
  2. Tiny Aptychus or Bivalve Steinkern?

    Yesterday I hunted an Upper Santonian Austin Chalk site in Ellis county between downpours of rain. This was my first time at the site. I was looking around a pile of rocks with some boulders mixed in and found this on one of the boulders. It is tiny, whatever it is, about 1 cm wide. Now I must admit that I am more familiar with the fauna of the Upper Coniacian Austin Chalk but to me this looks more like half of the aptychus of an ammonite than a bivalve. Since an aptychus was made of calcite I believe that it would be preserved in chalk, though the actual fossilized material is gone and this is just the steinkern of what ever it was. Here is the best picture that I have of it. Sorry that the quality is poor. I took it while I was at the site and I can’t get a better picture right now. Hopfully this will be sufficient.
  3. On November 27 of this year my mother and I went hunting in a new housing development exposing the Austin Chalk in North Texas. The first and only site that we got to was covered in this rock that has been brought in from somewhere else. It was odd in that it looked like someone had just poured a bunch of it in an empty lot in no particular pattern. It was all next to a man made hole in the ground in the middle of the lot, but I don't see how that could be related. We have seen bags of this matrix in drainage ditches before and had also seen it variously thrown about at different Austin Chalk sites. I had found a few things in it that were intriguing, but for some reason I had largely (and very incorrectly) assumed that there was probably not much that one could find in it, so I never seriously hunted it. But my mother proved me very wrong! When we got to the site and I saw that much of it was covered in this stuff, I was somewhat annoyed since it was covering up some of the Austin Chalk. But we both got out anyways and began hunting. I went off towards the ditch where more of the Austin Chalk was exposed while she was looking around in the foreign matrix. I wasn't having much luck and she was commenting on how she was seeing some layered patterns in the matrix, pictured in F31. I didn't think much of it and kept hunting away from the pile of unknown matrix. Then less than a minute later my mother let out something along the lines of, "Hey! Hey! Hey! What is this?!" When she does that, I know she is not kidding around! So I went over there and saw her pick this up off of the ground. We both immediately knew that it was an echinoid. What made this specimen really special are the facts that this is the largest or at least second largest echinoid that we have ever found, the first echinoid from a formation other than the Austin Chalk, and our first regular echinoid all in one. Its a sad thing that it is so beat up, but then again its not surprising since it was probably hauled in a bag in the back of some guy's pickup for possibly hundreds of miles. Only two tubercles that have not been knocked off are visible, though perhaps there are one or two more buried under the chunk of matrix stuck to the side of the specimen. It is also missing most of its adoral side and most of its apical disc, with bits of the disc still in the depression that is left. Its test is pretty scuffed up in general, but at least most of it is still left and I don't think that it is too beat up to be identifiable. I took pictures of the site while I was there (pictures in F1-F4) and brought home a lot of matrix to experiment with and to photograph later to aide in identifying the formation from which it came. When I got home I consulted @Bill Thompson's book on Texas echinoids and I have been able to narrow this specimen down to the genus Temnocidaris for sure. I am hoping that you guys can help me find out what formation the matrix came from, which would greatly help to narrow down the species possibilities. Out of the four species of Temnocidaris listed in Thompson's book as being reported from Texas only two of them have there tests pictured, T. borachoensis and T. hudspethensis, with the other two species only described from their spines. Now I am not an echinoid expert by an stretch of the imagination, but I am personally leaning towards this being T. borachoensis from the Boracho Formation of Upton county or a nearby county in West Texas. My reasoning is twofold: First, to me its test much more resembles T. borachoensis than T. hudspethensis in two ways. They are that the interabulacrum tubercles are closer together than T. hudspethensis and that its test is a bit more squat than T. hudspethensis, even if it still had its base. Coincidently, just a little over a month ago @KimTexan posted for identification a Temnocidaris specimen from the Edwards Formation of Johnson county that very much resembles mine, though I can't say for sure it is the same species as mine since her specimen is missing much of its aboral side while mine is missing much of its adoral side, making a comparison between them a bit difficult. Second, from what I have seen the matrix most closely resembles the San Martine member of the Boracho Formation. If I want to learn a bit about Texas paleontology that I didn't know before I will usually look up one of @Uncle Siphuncle's Fossil hunting reports. Here is one which contains pictures of a lot of matrix and a few fossils from the Boracho formation, starting with Figure 91. The most striking resemblance I see is that the matrix has a lot of red/orange matrix streaks running through it like mine does. But because I have never hunted in the Boracho Formation other than possibly this brought in matrix, I don't know for sure. I also noticed what appears to be the same layered fossil shown in F31 in Figures 136-138. After seeing this post, I tend to think that it is oyster related material. This matrix is a lot more dense than the Austin Chalk that I am used to, making it noticeably heavier. It bubbles when I put vinegar on it indicating that it is limestone, though perhaps not as vigorously as vinegar on the Austin Chalk. I scraped some matrix with a dentist's pick in the places weakened by vinegar and places I didn't treat with vinegar, and while it did scratch the limestone matrix, the untreated matrix was harder than untreated Austin Chalk. I have tried to see if the sandy red/orange matrix bubbles, but my experiments were inconclusive because the limestone is always nearby, skewing the results. I would assume that it does not bubble on its own. After cleaning the echinoid, a few other fossils, and chunks of matrix, the toothbrush fibers had turned orange indicating that the sandstone it is not that hard, at least when wet. Also the limestone matrix is just packed full of calcite crystals, which is very noticeable in direct sunlight! The specimen its self, excluding any matrix, is 53mm in diameter by 36mm in height, though it would be taller if it still had its base. It appears to me that it is only infilled with the sandstone while there is an actual limestone chunk stuck to the side of it, shown specifically in F12. Notice the red patch on the matrix, a characteristic not unique to this chunk but seen on another chunk of matrix shown in F32. All of the pictures were taken in sunlight, so the color that you see is how it really looks. Thanks for any help in advance. F1-F4. On site photos. F2 F3
  4. In March of this year I found a heteromorphic ammonite that has had me curious ever since. So yesterday I finally sent an email about it to a local ammonite expert, Ron Morin, who is associated with the Dallas Paleontological Society. I had a correspondence with him in May of this year as it related to him identifying my Phlycticrioceras trinodosum heteromorphic ammonite which I recently added to 'Collections'. That's when I first talked to him. Then at the Dallas Paleontological Society's Fossil Mania event in October, I was talking to Roger Farish about my unidentified ammonite. He recommended that I contact him again for identification. Here is the email and the pictures that I sent him yesterday. I will post an update to this thread when he responds, which from my experience might be weeks. I have edited it to remove any slightly sensitive information like my name and more specific location information (I'm paranoid), as well as to fix any grammatical errors and to add relevant reference designations in between the < and > symbols: "Hello! I am Heteromorph, the one who contacted you to identify my Phlycticrioceras trinodosum specimen in May of this year, and I was wondering if you could help me identify another heteromorphic ammonite from the Upper Coniacian stage of the Austin Chalk. This specimen was found on March 23 of this year in a creek in Ellis county. It is, in fact, within half a mile of where I found the last specimen that I sent to you for identification. The stratigraphy of this area is the Atco member of the Austin Chalk, Prionocycloceras gabrielense zone. My problem is that even though it resembles P. trinodosum, there are differences that would make me reluctant to indenify it as such. To date, I have not found one like it. It is similar to P. trinodosum in that the whorl section is compressed, it has ventral tubercles, and it has an open planispiral shape. But it also has 3 key differences that make me think it is either a different species or it is very pathological. I list these below. First and foremost, the main difference is the lack of any ventrolateral tubercles, which are one of the defining characteristics of P. trinodosum. On both the specimen itself and its negative, it appears to be free of any ventrolateral tubercles. The only tubercles that I can see are the ventral tubercles which are something that P. trinodosum has as well. Second, the ribs are shaped differently than P. trinodosum. While P. trinodosum has rectiradiate ribs, this specimen has ribs which are rectiradiate until about half way up from the umbilicus, at which point it bends. Due to the fragmentary nature of this specimen, I have a hard time determining whether it bends abapically or adapically. Third, the ribs are more costate on this specimen than any of the twelve P. trinodosum specimens that I have found in the Austin Chalk. It has a rib index of 7, while the most costate specimen that I have found and know for sure is a P. trinodosum specimen only has a rib index of 5. While this is not unheard of for this species, with specimens of this species having rib indexes of up to 8 (Emerson et al. 1994), yet from my experience it is apparently very unusual for this part of the Austin Chalk. The closest thing that I have seen to my specimen is illustrated on Plate 11, fig 2 of Young, 1963 (as P. sp. cfr. douvillei), the similarity being the fact that they both have rib indexes of 7. After that, though, the similarity ends in that P. sp cfr. P. douvillei still has ventrolateral tubercles and rectiradiate ribs. I also found a very small P. trinodosum negative in the same creek just a few feet away. It has ventrolateral tubercles and a rib index of 4. The ribs are rectiradiate. A photo of it is not attached here. My specimen is 87mm long including its negative and has a whorl height of 34½mm. The oval whorl section is compressed like P. trinodosum. It is shown first in the attached photo DSCN5355. Aside from the specimen in question, for reference I have also attached photos of two P. trinodosum specimens that I have found. They are both from within 5 miles of the creek site, so they are on roughly the same stratigraphic level. What I am calling P1 is shown first in the attached photo DSCN5281 <F13> in comparison with the specimen in question. P1's negative is shown first in the attached photo DSCN5394 <22>. The positive is 69mm long when both pieces of it are measured together but 53mm when just measuring the largest piece. It has a whorl height of 31mm and a whorl breadth of 9mm. Rib index of 4. It was found within a quarter of a mile of the creek site. Because it is has just a slightly shorter whorl section to the specimen in question it is a good comparison piece. The specimen which I am calling P2 is shown in the attached photo DSCN5361 <F27>. It is only a negative but I am attaching a picture of it here because it is the specimen that I referenced earlier with a rib index of 5. It is 23mm long and has a whorl height of 15mm. It was found about 4-5 miles to the south-west of the creek site. For reference, here is a post I made about the P. trinodosum specimen that I sent you a picture of in May. I thank you very much for your help in advance. Sincerely, Heteromorph" I have given an alphanumerical designation to each picture for ease of reference. I guess it is probably kinda silly to have so many pictures that this is necessary. If this is stupid, than I extent my apologies to the Mods. I will patiently receive correction. Thank you to everyone in advance. F1 F2 F3 F4
  5. This heteromorphic species is characterized by an open plain spiral shape with slightly rursiradiate ribs and 3 sets of tubercles, 2 sets of ventrolateral tubercles, and 1 set of ventral tubercles. The whorl section is compressed and does not have constrictions in United States specimens but does have constrictions in many European specimens. The distance between ribs is roughly the same as the width of a rib. As far as I know, there are only two species reported for this genus, with the other being Phlycticrioceras rude from the late Santonian of France (Kennedy 1995). P. trinodosum is the only species reported in Texas. This species has two distinct forms, with the more commonly found robust form having a lower rib index and the less commonly found gracile form having a higher rib index, both being found at the same stratigraphic level. This possibly indicates very definite sexual dimorphism within this species, perhaps with the robust form being female and the gracile form being male. This particular specimen is a robust form with a rib index of roughly 3 1/2, but some gracile specimens of this species have been known to have a rib index of up to 8. (Emerson 1994). The highest rib index of a P. trinodosum specimen that I have found is 7 on a fragment of a very mature gracile specimen. That specimen (seen here) shows very weak ventrolateral tubercles, probably due to it being the gracile form since I have found multiple robust specimens of about the same maturity that have very clearly defined ventrolateral tubercles. P. trinodosum shows considerable variation in ornamentation between forms. It was broken in two when it separated from the rock shown in the last photo, with its outer whorl being shown in the 4th and 5th photos. The outer whorl is 53mm long, and at the top where the whorl height is measurable, it is 16mm. You can see in the photos of the main part of the specimen, the impression of where its outer whorl once was. The complete specimen would be about 65-70mm in diameter if its outer whorl was still connected. Mine shows a bit of pathology in some places, with two examples being the large gap in between two ribs shown in the 4th and 5th pictures, along with two ribs being very close to each other, which is shown in the 2nd picture. Here are a few references, with the hyperlinked references being underlined. The first 4 references that I have hyperlinked are open access, while the 5th is not open access but can be obtained online without having to request the text from the authors. The 6th reference has to do with the species Phlycticrioceras rude, the only other species in this genus. I have added additional links to sources with information about this paper due to the fact that it is not open access and must be requested. The 7th and 8th references are not open access and are not hyperlinked because I cannot find any way to obtain them online. The last hyperlink is an open access stratigraphic reference for the Austin Chalk and has no information about this genus. When applicable and needed, I have put the relevant pages for information, plates, and text figures at the end of references: Ulrich Kaplan und William James Kennedy (1994). Ammoniten des westfälischen Coniac. Geologie und Paläontologie in Westfalen, Heft 31, 155 S. Pages 53, 54; Tafel 37, Figures 2-4, 9-15 on pages 142, 143; Tafel 43, Figure 3 on pages 154, 155. Zdenek Vašíček (1990). Coniacian ammonites from Štíty in Moravia (Czechoslovakia). Sbornik geologickych ved, Paleontologie 32, Pages 163-195. Pages 177, 179; Plate VI with its explanation is on page 193. Young, K. (1963). Upper Cretaceous Ammonites from the Gulf Coast of the United States. University of Texas, Publication 6304, 373 pp. Pages 45, iv, 39, 47, 371; P. sp. cfr. douvillei on pages 45, iv, 23, 26, 29, 371; Plate 4, figures 2, 3 on pages 150, 151; Plate 11, figure 2 on pages 168, 169; text figure 7 f, h on pages 156, 157. W. J. Kennedy (1984). Systematic Paleontology and Stratigraphic Distribution of the Ammonite Faunas of the French Coniacian. Palaeontological Association, London, Special Papers in Palaeontology, No. 31. Pages 136, 137; Plate 32, figures 4, 11 on pages 140, 141; text figure 42E on pages 146, 147. David L. Clark (1963). The Heteromorph Phlycticrioceras in the Texas Cretaceous. Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 429-432. W. J. Kennedy, M. Bilotte and P. Melchior (1995). Ammonite faunas, biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy of the Coniacian-Santonian of the Corbieres (NE Pyrenees). Additional links to information concerning this paper can be found here and with the species Phlycticrioceras rude, listed here. Kennedy, W.J. and Cobban (1991). Coniacian Ammonite Faunas from the United States Western Interior. Palaeontological Association, London, Special Papers in Palaeontology, No. 45, 96pp. Barbra L. Emerson, John H. Emerson, Rosemary E. Akers and Thomas J. Akers (1994). Texas Cretaceous Ammonites and Nautiloids. Paleontology Section, Houston Gem and Mineral Society, Texas Paleontology Series Publication No. 5, 438 pp. Pages 285, 286, 388, 422. Ulrich Andrew S. Gale, William James Kennedy, Jackie A. Lees, Maria Rose Petrizzo and Ireneusz Walaszczyk (2007). An integrated study (inoceramid bivalves, ammonites, calcareous nannofossils, planktonic foraminifera, stable carbon isotopes) of the Ten Mile Creek section, Lancaster, Dallas County, north Texas, a candidate Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point for the base of the Santonian Stage. Acta Geologica Polonica, Vol. 57, No. 2, pp. 113-160. The 1st, 2nd, 4th and 8th papers also contain information on the genus Tridenticeras which is found in the Austin Chalk alongside P. trinodosum, just in case anyone is interested in that genus as well. A big thanks to DPS Ammonite. This is my first post to 'Collections' and he helped me get it all straight.
  6. Hunting for the Niobrara Chalk

    This Sunday my father and I were hoping to take a trip to the Niobrara chalk and check that out and see what we can learn from it. Is there anything you guys can relay to me in terms of places to look or getting land permission? I'm just looking to try to find people to call, places to go, etc. just trying to get a feel for fossil hunting outside of the Fort Hays Limestone and Greenhorn Shale. Thank you so much for any and all info, even on just general paleontology in Kansas
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