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Found 73 results

  1. Moving away from Trilobites, I wanted to try my hand at a fish. This is my rendition of Priscacara serrata, a common species of the Miocene, in the Green River Formation. The fish looks like a Perch, or a Bass, because all three are in the Percinae Family. Priscacara is an extinct member.
  2. Sycamore leaf?

    I have a nice little leaf fossil. I just wanted a quick ID on the species and time period it is from, if possible. It is from the green river formation. I was thinking Macginitiea wyomingensis? Thank you!
  3. This is a huge announcement I have to make. It has been under wraps for quite a few months now and some of you may recall my damselfly find from the July 2017 Fossil of the Month contest. Well a HUGE thanks is in order for @oilshale for pointing me in the direction of one of his friends to help identify this beautiful specimen. Turns out this is not just a new species, or even genus, but an entirely new FAMILY that will soon be published!!! This damselfly will be labeled as the type specimen (Holotype) for the Family, Genus, AND Species. I donated this beautiful bug to my friends over at Fossil Butte National Monument where staff has been working to catalogue and name many of their unidentified insect specimens. This Damselfly will be a great addition for them as they build a new exhibit focused on insects of the Green River in the next year or so. This bug was a very special find for me, and knowing that it was going to be the type specimen adds even more to it. I haven't been able to post this in part because it was meant as a Christmas present for my wife. She was speechless to find out that the species will be named after her. I have no idea how I will ever up myself from this, but here's to trying. This has definitely been a highlight in my fossil career and I can't imagine ever finding another type specimen. I am happy to know that you all will share in my excitement and when the paper is finally published I will make sure to share it here as well! Attached is a copy of the letter from Fossil Butte National Monument, edited of course, and if you read it you will see why!
  4. Cleaning a fish

    I got an unprepared fish fossil from my grandparents as an early Xmas present, and I've been working on cleaning it up. This is what I have after a few hours' work. I've been using the dental scraper pictured, mostly just trying to find the general outlines of the body so I can figure out what species this might be. Thing is, I'm a bit confused. The area above the cleaned area to the left is where the head is supposed to be, and you can see raised areas that seem to indicate the structure of a skull, but I'm finding what looks like skin way past that. I also don't seem to have any ribs yet. What's going on? Could the skin somehow have come loose and been moved?
  5. I will be going to Utah in a few weeks. I will be spending about a month there and will have time to get out and fossil hunt. Are there areas of the Green River Formation that are open to fossil collection?
  6. Douglas Pass Mystery

    I have another Douglas Pass mystery. I kept all the pieces that I could find not knowing what it was. I am really confused as this does not look like plant material to me. It almost looks scaly like a fish or lizard, but I can't really identify any parts that would lead me in any direction that would really suggest that . Interested in any info or speculation. Thanks Oh. And this as about 6" long
  7. Utah Ammonite Help

    I found what appears to be a small (1 cm) ammonite in Green River, Utah back in 1993. Anyone have any idea what genus it is? I don't know the geologic horizon I found it in but looking at a geologic map of the San Rafael desert, it's probably Cretaceous. I do remember it's from the East bank of the Green River, near the Old Highway Elgin Road. Matrix appears to be limestone if that helps (reacts vigorously to acid). Thanks for the help.
  8. Auction Prep Part Deux

    I'm almost caught up on prep jobs (3 going concurrently now) so I figured it's time to start in @RJB's monster fish. Here's how it arrived at my humble abode... Wow, what a fish!!!!! It rests in a 1" thick slab of 18" layer matrix (read hard as concrete) and Ron was nice enough to mount it to a 1/2" cement board... I think I got a hernia lifting it to the prep table. Needless to say, it is rather stable. Now for the prep...
  9. Green River Fish contents

    I had the time of my life at Seth's Quarry this summer. Everyone should experience what the Green river formation is like. Here is a 8 inch fish that I am curious about. Look at the enlarged picture of it's abdomen. I have white dots on the structures to be identified. My guess is intestinal contents, but maybe release of coprolites as the fish died, or I am even considering eggs???? Eggs are a long shot but it doesn't hurt to ask!!
  10. As above. I am considering getting a Green River fossil. The slab is much bigger than the fossil, so I intend to cut it down. However, the seller declined to cut it, saying it was a thin slab, and he feared cracking into the actual fossil. Has anyone here done prep work on GR fossils? Can I use a hand saw, knives, or scissors to cut down thin-slab Green River fossils? Or are there other methods you would recommend?
  11. Framing a Green River Fish

    We are back home now after being evacuated for a week because of the wildfires around Santa Rosa. Before we were evacuated I had started working on a Christmas gift for a friend who likes my fossils but is not a dedicated collector. In searching through my collection, I found a Knightia eocaena fossil fish I had dug from the Split Fish Layer near Kemmerer, Wyoming. It’s not the greatest specimen, but since I had both the part and counterpart I thought it might be interesting to put them together into a single frame. I thought I would fill you in on what I did. Original fish slabs The first thing was to cut both slabs into identically-sized rectangles using an old tile saw I once picked up from Harbor Freight. The next step was to figure out how I wanted to frame them. To do the design, I used PowerPoint to create various size rectangles into which I pasted JPEGs of the fossils. After a bit of experimentation, I came up with this design I liked. PowerPoint design of framed fish Since the design didn’t fit within a standard commercial frame, I needed to construct my own. I started with ¾” pine corner molding I picked up at the local Home Depot for $0.78 per foot. I bought 8 feet worth so I had plenty of extra in case I made a mistake. I used a small miter box to cut the 45-degree angles on the frame pieces. While the cuts were pretty good, I knew they wouldn’t be perfect. So I made each piece slightly longer than necessary and used the disk sander on my Harbor Freight belt sander to sand the edges flat at the correct length. I used a 45-degree triangle to set the guide so I got a perfect 45-degree angle on the sander. Next, I glued the frame together using wood glue. I picked up two corner clamps from Harbor Freight (notice a trend here…) so I could glue two sides together at a time. Once the glue dried I removed the clamps and used them again to glue the two halves together into the final frame. To paint the frame, I used a can of spray paint in my custom-designed spray painting booth. Custom designed paint booth built from materials in my garage. Note it is obvious I live in wine country. I considered several options for how to mount the fossils in the frame. I finally decided to cut a piece of ½” plywood so that it just fit inside the frame. Then I used my Harbor Freight scroll saw to cut out two rectangles just the right size for the fish. I glued the fish into the plywood using Duco cement along the edges, making sure the fronts of the fish slabs were flush with the front of the plywood. The next step was to cut a window mat out of mounting board that would fit between the plywood and the frame to give it a finished appearance. To get the desired orange color I took ordinary white mat board and glued a sheet of colored artist’s paper onto it. I have a Logan Compact Mat Cutter that I use to cut mats when mounting my photographs. It wasn’t designed to cut such small mats but with a little creativity I was able to make it work. You can see all the lines I drew on the back of the board showing where to make the cuts. I also cut a piece of 1/32” clear acrylic to fit between the mat and the frame for protection. The fossil slabs were too thick for the frame and I needed to thin them down. So it was back to the Harbor Freight belt sander. Although I had never tried this before, I figured the matrix was soft enough that the 80-grit sandpaper would make short work of it, and besides, the sanding belt would be inexpensive to replace if necessary. As predicted, it worked fine. Finally, I cut a piece of ¼” red oak I had laying around to serve as the back, painted it the same color as the frame, added a sawtooth picture hanger, glued a laser-printed label on the plywood, and screwed it all together. Here is the final result: It was such a fun project I decided to take the same approach to construct a homemade version of a Riker mount:
  12. Priscacara?

    Found this for sale, green river fish that has been placed in plaster for some odd reason. It looks to me two have two knightia and a large fish that is headless. It was not identified in the listing, it looks like a cockerellites or priscacara to me but I know nothing about these fish (if it is what I think it is its way underpriced so I'll buy it). Also, is there any restoration apart from the wierd plaster around it?
  13. New species or genetic mutation?

    I have been blessed this summer to have some amazing finds up in Green River. A couple of them come in the form of strange pathologies on a common fish. The Priscacara (or Cockerellites as it is now known) Is quite a common fish to find in multiple layers of the Green River Formation. The Cockerellites is closely related to modern perch, and is a highly prized fish due to it's unique appearance! I know there was a paper recently written (I believe in 2010) by John Whitlock, but I cannot seem to find it on any open access sites. Part of his debate for a new genus is fueled by the fact that serrata and liops have differing numbers of dorsal and anal spines. I present to you today 2 of my more uncommon finds from Green River showing variations of these animals. 99%+ of the Cockerellites found have just 10 dorsal spines, I present today my 2 unique finds from this past dig season! Fish number 1 was discovered on July 29, 2017 Fish number 2 was discovered on September 23, 2017 The first picture shows a Cockerellites liops with 11 dorsal spines. this second photos shows an even more perplexing mutation. This Cockerellites liops has 12 dorsal spines!! While multiple fish have been found with 11 dorsal spines, I am unsure if anyone has ever found a fish with 12 dorsal spines. This is a very unique occurrence and should this fish be a new variant it will be donated to Fossil Butte National Monument! Even though he is missing most of his anal fins, this fish could still be a very important specimen to show mutations. So, do you think these 2 fish could represent new species within the Genus? Or are they simply mutations?
  14. I was fortunate to be the winning bidder on a rolling auction lot of two Knightia eocaena, one prepped and one unprepped, generously offered by @FossilDudeCO to benefit this awesome forum. It took me awhile, but I finally finished the prepping of the unprepped fish, and I wanted to share it here. These rolling auctions are nearly always great bargains, and the best part is they all help to keep the lights on here at TFF. Here's a link to the original posting for these Knightia. Here's how it began: And here's the result of my novice efforts (this was my second attempt at prepping a fish from the 18-inch layer): I'm happy with the way it came out and I'm proud to give it a little space on my crowded shelves. Thanks, Blake! I didn't keep track of the time it took, probably about 15 hours, more or less, with my "primitive" tools. I started with a dental pick, but this fish was already so close to the surface I didn't need to remove a whole lot of matrix. Most of the prep was done with a sewing needle held in a mechanical pencil, at first, and then in a pin vise of sorts. Actually it was an X-acto knife handle. I took lots of photos along the way, with the idea that I might turn them into an animation someday, but getting everything to line up properly might be more work than I want to tackle. I greatly enjoyed the whole prep process, and I'm looking forward to another project. I'm sure it's much slower than and air abrasive system, and not quite as "finished", but I do prefer the peace and quiet of the pick and needle. I wouldn't want to tackle a monster fish that way though! Mike
  15. Before I post my items for identification, let me first thank Seth for allowing me to scrounge around in his fossil pit in Kemmerer, Wyoming. The experience was unbelievable and it must go on everyone's bucket list of places to visit. I was absolutely impressed with the operation as a whole, wonderful staff, easy ability to prep your finds at the quarry, and most important, excellent and abundant fossils. As I finish prepping my fish finds, I will produce a more involved topic in the "TRIP" category. But for now, any help with these items would be appreciated: 1. I was told this is palm wood. Anyway to put a more specific ID on these?
  16. Palm Prep

    The last piece from the big @abctriplets prep job is their palm inflorescence. Man, this thing is cool. It is split into 2 plates that will be mounted together in a wall mount of some kind. Still gotta figure that one out. But, first things first... the prep. The inflorescence itself isn't much more than a stain on the matrix. So, I have to carefully uncover what I can without removing the stain! Holy snarge!!! There's a partial Knightia on top and a scrap of fin below (by the famous @aerogrower photocube). 3 hours later and there's an almost whole fish filling up an ugly blank spot on the plate with Vinac on the plant to keep the stain from blowing off (it also makes it stand out a little from the matrix). I'll post close ups of the fish for ID later.
  17. So I have this small block of Green River matrix that has fish material. When I got it, A part has been prepped, exposing most of it, but then I checked the corners, saw more covered material, and realized that it could be prepped even further. The problem is, I don't have any prepping tools because I've never prepped a fossil before But maybe is there any household tools that could efficiently prep Green River matrix? I just need to remove one tiny layer.
  18. Green River Fish Prep

    I'm working on some Green River stuff for @abctriplets that they collected on their fossil extravaganza! Thus fish is turning out to be a real gem. This is how the piece arrived in Texas. EDIT: 1st two photos courtesy of Jared. I applied copious amounts of Paleobond to both surfaces and clamped them together for several days, marking the location and direction of the fish so I don't forget. Then I went on the attack. The fish layer was about 3/4" below the surface so I used a small chisel and knocked about 1/2" off the top of the slab to reduce the depth. Then comes the CP9361for fast bulk matrix removal, being careful not to hit the fish. There is a very slight color change (darkening) to the matrix immediately before you expose the fish. Once I saw that, I switched to the Micro Jack knowing that the fish is anxiously waiting to fall apart just below the surface! These fish are extremely brittle so I'm stopping every 30 seconds or so to consolidate. Scribe, consolidate, repeat... 2 hours later and here's where it sits. I believe this is a Mioplosus sp. and it looks like it will be complete. You can see the glue where the break ran across the skull and down the body.
  19. Green River insect ID

    Newby at fossil forum.(or any other forum).Have been collecting fossils and minerals for years.Amateur/recreational,not too techy.but learning.Recently,Aug 2017 i was surface collecting wood and amber in the Green River Formation Area in Wyoming.USA.Examined a 4 inch x 3 inch piece of palm wood.(pictured).Found a visibly clear what appears to be a Damselfly,it has a reddish color tail and a black body,can also see a white colored tube on it.(feeding?).Also another insect in the piece is reddish colored which i cannot identify.And also another inclusion in the resin also pictured with the squiggly stuff on the bottom.I do not know what that is either.The photos are not the best.As I can see real detail in the insects with the naked eye as I look into this palmwood resin.My questions also are:Is ths 20-50 MYO Cretaceous? Where can i find more info on Green River Insects? Has anyone seen anything like this?
  20. Big Fish

    Here is a rather large fish ive been working on for the last 15 years!!! Bout time I finish it up so I can hang it onto the wall. Ive still got to sand some edges so it will fit into the frame Ive already built for it. Then put a 1/2 inch ply backing on it and then,,,,,,, by gooly,,,, it will be ready to hang. I found some old wood on a very delapitated building along side the road one day, so its like that barnwood that everyone likes. plus it looks old too. The fish it old, so why not the wood too. I should have this done in a few days. Woooooop,,,Wooooop!!! I actually prepped this out 11 years ago and its been sittin in a dark shed ever since. Gots the fish, the frame and the ply already to go. Just gunna take a bit of tiime, and the help of my youngest son to help hang it. its quite heavy!!! RB
  21. Three summers ago myself and my two younger sons were digging in the bottom cap just below the 18 inch layer. We found dozens and dozens of fish! My middle son brought some pieces to camp for me too look at. We camp right there in the quarry. At first look I was not too impressed, but put all the pieces into a box to take home and look at later. I can now see that it may be a really good Phareodus? I cut off a couple of pieces to make it easier to glue onto a piece of cement board and then begin prep. there will be some areas of rock building and one area of rebuilding some actual fish that is missing. But over all its looks purty dang good. The rock is very dense and very hard and the bone is very hard too. I can use a half bi-carb and half dolomite mix media to finish it up after all the air scribing first. My fingers are crossed. If I can get this done, it will go to my middle son for Christmas. Wooooop wooooop!!! RB
  22. Im sure Ive shown this one before, but it was a long time ago. The funny thing is, when I first brought this little slab of rock to my prep bench, I automatically figured it was a Knightia! ha!! I always start on the head when I start prepping a fish and it didnt take long to realize that this was a Phareodus. What a super nice surprize that was! Came out quite nice but it does have a fin problem on the top side. Still, quite a nice little fish of 6 and 1/2 inches! Its now in the display case. Woooooooop!!! Wooooop!! With enough time this little case will be full? RB
  23. Baenidae non det.

    Might be Chisternon undatum Leidy, 1872, but turtles that size are almost impossible to determine.
  24. Strange banding in Knightia eocaena slab

    I've been working through a number of Green River fish I caught from the split fish layer (now called the sandwich layer) at the Warfield Fossil Quarry about 10 years ago. They have been stored away and I'm just now cleaning them up for display. Here are two slabs that are the part and counterpart of a Knightia eocaena. I split it out at the quarry, brought both halves home, sawed them into two rectangular slabs, then wrapped them up individually in two sheets of bubble wrap and put them away for all those years. After pulling them out of storage today and running some water over them to wash off the dust, I noticed this strange purplish-blue band running diagonally through the fish. It has very sharply defined edges and runs all the way through both slabs (you can see it on the sides and backs of both slabs). I've never seen anything like this before. Does anyone have any ideas what might have caused it?
  25. Here's a good question. I do have several big fossil fish from the Green River Formation and already have a good idea how to hang those big monsters, but what about the smaller fossil fishes on smaller slabs of rock that are not framed? There has to be a way? @FossilDudeCO Fish like these in the picture and a whole lot more. RB
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