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Found 6 results

  1. First time hunting on my own

    I just wanted to share my joy at my first successful hunt! Now I have been picking up and excavating fossils my whole life but its always been quarried stone searching or someone elses established site. For those remember one of my earlier threads, this year I set out to find MY OWN SITE! Oklahoma (especially northwest/central OK) is not known well for fossils. But I set out and began researching and reading and mapping, then I began driving mile after mile of back-roads searching the outcrops and road cuts. 2 months ago I found a site that looked promising, but weather kept me away. A few days ago I went and spoke with the land owner who gave me the green light. Walking, searching, kneeling, scraping, brushing, sunburn (on an abnormally hot day!) without finding anything. Finally, I flipped a large slab and a spot immediately grabbed my attention! It wasnt really a change in color, it was the change in texture that caught my eye. Now this was a small fossil in a BIG slab. Its more than 2ft x 2ft and has to weigh close to 75 lbs. I didnt have a 2-wheel dolly with me and I wasnt about to break the slab, so I had to carry that thing back down the bluff and to my truck. But I'm glad I did! My first thought was that it was a bit of turtle plastron, but after clearing a little bit of matrix I wasnt sure any more. A paleontologist friend told me he thought it was a skull section! Only in my wildest dreams did I imagine finding vertebrate material on my first hunt! I have emailed the local college paleo dept and I'm waiting to hear back on their opinion. Beyond the skull piece, there is another long, thin fossil with the same color and texture as the skull piece but I'm not sure what it is. Its extremely fragile so I've stopped working on it and began working my way through the rest of the matrix to search for more vert material. While prepping today I came across a new first (and big thanks to @Troodon for the ID ). It a 4mm tooth from a fresh/brackish water shark called othacanthus. The biggest problem is with the rock itself. Its some kind of mudstone/conglomerate/limestone/caliche hybrid and the layer is only a few inches thick. I went back yesterday to search for more and didnt find anything visible on the rock surfaces. Unfortunately there is obviously going to be a lot of fossils that cant be seen in the field. So my only option may be to just dig out one slab at a time and work through it for fossils. I have a test chunk in a container with vinegar to see if this is going to be an acceptable way to speed thing up. I feel pretty sure the skull piece is silicified, but its another thing to check.
  2. Hi! I wonder how can I improve my fossil exploring trips. Let's say I go to the abandoned limestone quarry and it has 3 floors. How can I be sure that this is the right spot? Am I supposed to look around for "highest concentration" of fossils or maybe for some distinctive looking rocks? For now I've been running from one place to another and spending half an hour here, another there
  3. Hey everyone! It’s been a crazy busy June, July and beginning of August for me! I just finished moving into my house and I just got married on August 9th so my life has been a tornado. As a result I haven’t been able to comment, participate and keep up with all you fine folks on the forum like I usually do. I was still able to get out collecting here and there and I met up with fellow forum member @DrDave and did some exploring for the lower Devonian eurypterid Erieopterus. I won’t report on that until I have something to share. I think me and Dave found the right horizon now I just gotta search till I find something. Anyway I’m just gonna share the highlights from 3 trips to Briggs rd and 3 trips to DSR and a bonus day at Penn Dixie. Ill do the highlights from Trips on 6/30 7/06 and 7/28 to Briggs rd first. I found some pretty important specimens. Briggs rd is a very interesting site and you can find 3 different species of trilobites here. The Eldredgeops is the most common by far but the greenops and dipleura have made some appearances. This has got to be my most impressive greenops in a long time. This is actually a complete specimen!! The pygidium is tucked underneath. I have the right eye safe in a small ziplock bag. It came off in the counterpart and I saved it to try and glue back when I get the nerve. here’s a picture of the back. I have the counterpart for the pygidium and I’ll need to glue and prep if I want it perfect. Some of the material is attached to the counterpart. Im really excited about this specimen because the quality is good enough to compare with the greenops from DSR and Buffalo area. These eastern New York greenops are considered an undescribed species so I’m glad I have something quality I can use to really eye out the differences. After @Darktooth and his rock club went to Briggs I happened to be there the next day and found this awesome half specimen of a large dipleura! When I got there I found the body segments in 2 pieces and they looked like they went together. After awhile I came across the counterpart in rubble and realized “where is the cephalon?!” I went nuts looking for it with no luck then decided to try and pry a pieces of the wall off and BOOM! The cephalon was still in the outcrop lol. Super lucky. This was my best dipleura from Briggs so far. I’ve found some nice partials but this is the best I’ve found so far. @DrDave was kind enough to gift me this perfect un weathered cephalon. This specimen came from very fresh rock and is nearly perfect. I told Dave I’ve been trying to collect some quality cephalons from Briggs for comparison. I’ve noticed most specimens are usually missing a well preserved exoskeleton. This makes it hard to really compare with the western New York Eldredgeops that grow much much smaller. It’s interesting to me that the greenops are considered a different species and the Eldredgeops are not as you go east across New York State. I’m not here claiming everything is a new species only pointing out the discrepancies in species distribution across the state. Somehow the greenops change species as you go east while the Eldredgeops rana stays the same across the state. It’s not like the Eldredgeops from the east and west are identical either. The eastern New York Eldredgeops can grow to 3 inches! Just food for thought. I think about weird stuff like this a lot ha. anyway...here’s a close up of the undamaged cephalon. A tiny amount of with with an air abrasive and the eye detail will be perfect. here’s and example of a typical Briggs rd cephalon. The eye lenses are very 3D and preserve well even when the exoskeleton is weathered away. It’s hard getting a fresh specimen. just a couple nice cephalopods courtesy of Briggs rd. I love trilobites but I appreciate a quality cephalopod should a complete on present itself lol. Next is DSR highlights! Phyllocarids on the menu
  4. Hello fossil folks Just another one of those “Rediscovering New York” posts. This Edition will include my efforts looking for the Trenton group and exploring the Pulaski formation. More Ordovician exploration in the central New York area. This past Saturday me and my good friend Matt did some trout fishing in the Rome area and another town north of Rome. I had scouted these spots for 2 reasons.....trout and trilobites! One location seemed to have Trenton group exposures and another I had already confirmed as the Pulaski formation but wanted to explore it more. Both were located on stretches of the Mohawk River and anyone can go fish/hike these waters. I learned of another Trenton group exposure with trilobites but it’s posted trespassing. Eventually Ill get the courage to do some door knocking in the area to try and find the owners. I guess I don’t know what I would say lol. I wasn’t really in the mood for that so I went to legal stretches of the Mohawk River for this adventure. The goal: 1. Find Trenton group exposures 2. Confirm trilobites from the Pulaski formation 3. Catch trout!!! More to follow....
  5. PA fossil sites

    Hello everyone! Thanks for taking a minute to read this. Heading over to Maryland this weekend for some fossil hunting. I was hoping to get some guidance on some spots in PA. Which we are planning on heading to on Tuesday (June 18th). Would like to know if there are any areas where we could find some plant fossils. I know from doing some research the areas may be limited. It's our first time collecting plant fossils so any tips would be appreciated as well! Thank you!
  6. I got to the area pretty early. Got on my waders and raincoat, looked like it was going to rain. I had pulled a ligament in my knee about a month before and had not fully recovered but was okay enough to walk slowly or carefully. I decided it would be an exploring day. There were fresh footprints, probably a day old. To my dismay, it appeared that many of the surface bars had been looked over carefully and meticulously. I still found one or two teeth from them but sifting was my main means. I think some of the footprints may have belonged to deer hunters but there was evidence of occasional sifting. You have got to be careful with the hunters; I was bent over crawling on gravel bars in brown waders...fortunately I had a bright red sweater on. I sifted a lot and my hands quickly became very, very cold. I bore on. The finds were really inconsistent, with certain stretches producing while others were completely barren. About 3/4's of my journey through, I came upon two older females fossiling and talked with them. They were surface scanning and doing quite well. I soon ended my hunt. Unfortunately I got lost and took a 30 minute walk in the opposite direction. This coupled with fossil fatigue made me really tired, nonetheless, the hunt was worth it.
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