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Found 40 results

  1. Archisymplectes is an enigmatic worm from the Essex portion of the Mazon Creek Deposit. It is always preserved as just a color difference within the concretion. Specimens are nondescript preserving a basic worm shaped body without segmentation or any other obvious structures. Some specimens preserve an everted proboscis. This proboscis is what led the original author to classify it as a Nemertean or ribbon worm. There are no clear Nemerteans known in the fossil record however there are possible candidates dating As far back as the Cambrian. Ribbon worms are fascinating creatures and hold the distinction of being possibly the longest animal known to exist. One specimen was measured at 197 feet while being less than an inch in circumference. This measurement has been questioned as their bodies are quite stretchy which makes measurements difficult. Their proboscis fills with fluid and shoots out of the oral cavity similar to the finger on a rubber glove. This is used to capture prey. Most modern ribbon worms are predators feeding fish, crustaceans, Gastropods and other worms. Some Modern ribbon worms are poisonous containing tetrodotoxin which is the same poison as in some pufferfish. Sections of the body can break off when stressed. Many ribbon worms have the ability to regenerate. It is possible to chop up a ribbon worm into many pieces forming new smaller individuals. It has been estimated that If cut up, one 6 inch worm could form as many as 200,000 individuals. Archisymplectes is rare in the Mazon deposit.
  2. Chitons are the most primitive of all living mollusks. They belong to a class called Polyplacophora (bearer of many plates). There lineage extends as far back as the late Cambrian. There are over 430 described species in the fossil record. Almost all are only known from individual body plates or valves. The Mazon Creek deposit is one of the only sites in the world where complete examples have been collected. Modern chitons have changed little from Glaphurochiton concinnus. The basic chiton body plan consists of 8 valves made of Aragonite. The front plate is named the cephalic plate and the rear plate the anal. The plates have fine ornamentation which is a key feature in differentiating species. Modern chitons can roll into a ball when threatened. The muscular body is known as the girdle. This girdle is covered with tiny spicules that are sometimes preserved on Mazon specimens. Most modern chitons use this girdle to attach themselves to rocks. To feed, the animal has a radula that can have over a hundred rows of denticles. Each row consists of 17 each. Most modern chitons attach to rocks and feed on algae. Glaphurochiton was a mud dweller feeding on detritus. Like all chitons, Glaphurochiton is strictly marine and is only found in the Essex portion of the deposit. Glaphurochiton is rare but 2 concentrations of chitons have been found. The areas have been termed “chiton hills”. It has been noted that modern chitons have a homing ability to return to there same resting spots despite lacking eyes. This first example is the largest chiton that I am aware of that has ever been found in the Mazon Creek deposit. Not including the skirt, the animal measures 70 millimeters. The typical size is usually between 30-40 millimeters.
  3. Mazon Creek Research Help

    Hello, I am a local undergrad geology student working on a research project dealing with Mazon Creek's Braidwood and Essex Biota. As part of this research, I am required to collect specimens and data on both of these assemblages present. I have been informed that any access to the Fish and Wildlife areas in the Mazonia-Braidwood South Unit is prohibited due to the Illinois DNR's indefinite closure of all fish and wildlife areas, so I am taking this time to research and inquire about access to both assemblages for future reference. That being said, my questions are as follows: Are there certain areas within the public access sites that I should specifically be searching within that may contain a large diversity of specimens available for collection? Are there any landowners within the Braidwood Biota that are easy to contact and willing to allow people to collect on their land? Are there any public access sites to the Braidwood Biota or to the Mazon River itself for collecting? Are there any papers or articles I can reference that may aid me in my research? Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer!
  4. Fossil horse tooth

    Is this likely to be a fossil tooth from the age of the London Clay. Rather than a modern horse tooth? Found at Maylandsea beach. Many thanks for advice!
  5. Help with ID please!!

    I found this today at Walton-on-the-Naze, UK. It’s pretty small and I’m really struggling with identifying it. Might be something cool but maybe not even a fossil? It was found on the beach and is likely from the London clay (Eocene - Ypresian stage). It’s really common to find plant matter in this, I came away with loads of fossilised wood. So I’m thinking possibly some sort of plant fossil? Maybe a seed or something? Was also thinking it might be a coprolite or something like that but it’s fairly uniform in shape. It’s a little damaged and shows what seems to be clay infilling.
  6. The Mazon Creek Deposit is known for many enigmatic creatures. Esconichthys is one of them. The animal has a tadpole shaped body with a usually well preserved pair of eyes. Some specimens preserve 2 pairs of long external gills. Muscle segments called myomeres are sometimes present on laterally preserved specimens. What makes it unusual is that it does not have paired fins. It was originally suggested that Esconichthys may be a larval lungfish or possibly an amphibian. Later studies have stated this is unlikely without offering an alternative placement. Due to the presence of external gills, it is believed that these are likely a larval stage. The largest specimens known can reach almost 8 centimeters. Early collectors referred to these animals as blades or grasshoppers based on their general shape. They are the most common vertebrate found in the Mazon Creek Deposit. Specimens are only known from the marine (Essex) portion. Esconichthys was named to recognize the Earth Science Club Of Illinois (ESCONI).
  7. This next species is the second most common animal found in the Essex portion of the Mazon Creek deposit. While there are over a dozen described bivalves found in the Mazon Creek deposit, Mazonomya is by far the most abundant. It is restricted to the Essex (marine) portion of the deposit, where in some areas have been found to make as much as 70 percent of all bivalves collected. At one collecting site, these clams are so common the area has been nicknamed Chowder Flats. Despite the abundance of specimens, Mazonomya was not formally described until 2011. For years it had been misidentified as a type of bivalve named Edmondia. Current research has shown it is actually a Solemyid. Before formal description, Mazon collectors referred to these bivalves as clam-clams due to the fact that they are often preserved in a death position with both valves opened. Mazonomya is the largest clam found in the deposit . While quite rare, specimens have been found over 4 centimeters in length. preservation can be excellent and in some cases, soft tissue can be preserved. Specimens have been found with preserved “death trails”. Solemyids are still found today in oxygen poor and sulfide rich marshes. This first specimen is the largest in my collection. The valves measure almost 4 centimeters. There is also some evidence of the hinge ligament (soft tissue) between the valves.
  8. Jaw? bone from Essex UK

    Hello, I found this mystery bone along the Burnham on Crouch river in Essex, UK. Any idea what it could be? Eocene and Pleistocene deposits in the area. Thanks. Jay
  9. Hi all, This limb bone was found along the River Crouch in Essex, UK. Pleistocene and Eocene deposits in the area. Any ideas where it could have come from? Thanks. Jay
  10. Hi everyone. I found this at high tide washed up on a beach in west mersea island, Essex recently. I know that this area and up towards Walton on the Naze is London clay and forms part of the red crag formation which dates back to the Pliocene period. The tide was pushing in from East to West at the time. I’m uncertain as to what animal (presuming herbivore) it is or if the tooth is complete. could anyone identify this for me please and if so is this a fossil from around Pliocene era or just part of a fresh carcass that’s ended up in the sea. There is no agricultural grazing within the area in which any livestock could have wandered off and ended up getting onto the beach and drowning. I can only upload two photos due to data size so will try to add the rest via linked threads (any other suggestions on how to upload all 6 pics at once would be appreciated) thank you for any help you can give.
  11. Hi. I found this on the beach equidistant between Clacton on Sea and Holland on Sea, Essex. There are ice age deposits as well as red crag finds. Many have been dredged from the sunken Dogger Land. Any idea what animal this may have come from and what limb end this is please?
  12. First Ever Vert

    this is hardly worth posting in comparison to what other put up here but i was so happy to find this little one yesterday! I went on a little adventure on sheer impulse yesterday afternoon down to the Essex coast and found myself landing in Walton-On-The-Naze. Apart for the vert if found a fair amount of what i think is wood and crab fragments, not a 100% on the crab bits but i haven't got around to rummaging through my books to find out yet. Also come across a few odd bits that i have no clue as the what they are, some i found on the shore and one bit up by the crag cliffs. I'll post a photo below, if anyone can point me in the right direction ill be greatful, the area is Caenozoic.
  13. Shark teeth Identification

    Are all of the teeth from the same species( striatolamia)? Or you can see some other shark species teeth? Found at walton on the naze UK
  14. Is this a coprolite?

    Do you think this is a coprolite? i found it at walton on the naze (essex)
  15. Hi there I found this vertebra on the beach here at Walton on the Naze, Essex, UK. Unusually it was found on the sandy beach near the pier rather than the usual spot near the cliffs. Anyway, from the little I know is it right to assume that shark vertebrae have regular bony connections in the profile, Ray vertebrae tend to be smooth in profile and bony fish have irregular profiles. Is this generally true or am I way off the mark? Given that, is this a bony fish vertebra rather than shark, and if so is there any way to pin it further down to a given species? thanks in advance, Carl
  16. Hi there, i found this today within the shingle at Walton on the Naze in Essex, UK. The usual teeth found here are striatolamia and Otodus but in humble opinion this doesn’t appear like any of those. Dare I say more like carcharocles (is that spelled right?) I’m trying to not get too excited but any help would be appreciated.
  17. sian

    hi totally new to this,but go to Walton on the naze uk for kids to find sharks teeth at the beech .they picked up this and have no idea if at al a fossil..
  18. Hi all, my wife found this impressive vertebra on the beach at Walton-on-the-Naze this morning. Apart from it being from a bony fish, is there any way of narrowing down the species? It is from the London Clay deposits (Ypresian / early Eocene).
  19. Hi all, i am trying to learn how to identify the different species of shark teeth that you find here at Walton on the Naze. Up until now I have classified the very big teeth I have found as Otodus and the smaller ones lumped together as striatolamia macrota but I think that’s too simplistic. The ones below appear to have different characteristics to the other teeth. Could someone please help me to identify if these are indeed different species or just variations of striatolamia macrota. Thanks in advance. tooth 1: larger, boxier root?
  20. Hi all, While sifting for sharks teeth in the pebbles we came across these different looking ‘stones’. The top and bottom specimens are the ones we are questioning. Stones? Seeds? Scute? (Top one). Any help would be welcomed. Thanks in advance
  21. These were the pick of the bunch of teeth we found amongst the shingle. The three on the left are the best of what my wife found. “Minilodon” on the right was the sum total of my efforts! Beautiful weather, and lovely beaches. Perfect weekend fossicking.
  22. Herbivorous tooth, Essex, UK

    Hi all, I’m completely stumped by this. I found this on the foreshore of Holland on Sea, Essex near Clacton on Sea. The area is associated with London Clay deposits which usually throw out striatolamia and Otodus teeth. There is also Red Crag which throws out bivalves. Then again there are glacial deposits that have thrown out mammoth remains. Later still there is the Clacton spear and Clactonian assemblage of tools claimed to be evidence of the first hominid in the UK. So what is this? It has the “feel” of stone / pebble. It doesn’t “feel” or “look” recent but of course that means nothing. I’ve seen nothing like this from this area before although it resembles a herbivore tooth I have seen before so please.....help!
  23. Hi all, Out walking today with my wife at Walton on the Naze beach, I stumbled upon my second Otodus tooth in the space of a month. This has to be my best specimen yet and I'm really 'chuffed'! This would have come from the London Clay deposits c53mya I was wondering if it was possible to determine anything about the animal from the one tooth alone, or where in the mouth the the tooth might have come from as it seems much straighter than all the other specimens we have found. Any help would be great. Best wishes, Carl
  24. Hi all, Spent the weekend at Walton on the Naze, Essex, dodging the rain. We only had about 15 minutes on Sunday (slept through the alarm!) before the high tide would have cut off access to the beach, however we took advantage and found a few striatolamia teeth in the shingle. Once we had decided to give up I stumbled across this beauty in the sand. I'm assuming its an Otodus obliquus tooth but any other suggestions would be gratefully received. Love the colour of this specimen. Happy hunting!
  25. Fossil id help

    Hi all , i found these yesterday in walton on the naze beach. I have zero experience in fossils . Can anyone tell me what are they? Thanks
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