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Oxytropidoceras posted a topic in Fossil NewsThe open access paper is: Clements, T., Purnell, M. and Gabbott, S., 2018. The Mazon Creek Lagerstätte: a diverse late Paleozoic ecosystem entombed within siderite concretions. Journal of the Geological Society. Journal of the Geological Society (2018) 176 (1): 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2018-088 https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/sepm/jgs/article/545488/the-mazon-creek-lagerstatte-a-diverse-late https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/jgs/issue/current Another open access paper is: Briggs, D.E., Liu, H.P., McKay, R.M. and Witzke, B.J., 2018. The Winneshiek biota: exceptionally well-preserved fossils in a Middle Ordovician impact crater. Journal of the Geological Society, 175(6), pp.865-874. https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/jgs/article/175/6/865/548502/the-winneshiek-biota-exceptionally-well-preserved https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/jgs/issue/175/6 Yours, Paul H.
The town of Morris, Illinois was once home to a number of rich sites for Mazon Creek fossil collecting, remnants of early 20th century strip and pit mining of the Colchester Coal. As the town grew, these localities were reclaimed, turned into subdivisions and commercial developments. One of the most well-known sites was called Chowder Flats, named after the high proportion of clams found there. In the late 1980s the spoils were plowed under and development began at that spot, but it was not built up all at once. New houses have continued to be put up on empty lots right up to the present- in fact, construction has recently started on two of the last three remaining lots. I was lucky enough to be checking out the site this last week on a day off work and found that they had dug up those two lots to lay the foundations, leaving piles of fill surrounding the building sites- and I was hoping in that fill I would find some of the famous Mazon Creek nodules. I parked on the street nearby and approached one of builders to ask if he minded me searching the piles. He said it wouldn't be a problem and asked if I was searching for fossils, so I told him I was indeed. He had actually been involved in construction at the site for years, and told me how years back the building sites there used to be crawling with fossil collectors, but I was the first person he had seen collecting in a long while. I thanked him and started searching, and throughout the day he would also toss me nodules he came across! It didn't take long to find my first nodule, and I was able to turn up many more over the next few hours- by the time I had to leave, I had collected about 1-2 gallons worth weathering out of the dirt piles. Great results for not a lot of effort, especially in comparison to the work needed to find things at Mazonia-Braidwood/Pit 11 these days! But that wasn't what made the day truly unforgettable... I will continue with that in the next post!