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Found 168 results

  1. Locations Near Central Illinois

    I need help finding locations near or in central Illinois. I was planning on going to Fern Glen, but I was wondering if the entire area is open to the public. If not what good locations are?
  2. Late Carboniferous fish or Tetrapod bit?

    Just finished the prep on this guy. When i first found this i thought it was a jaw. Now after it's finished it looks more like a possible pectoral girdle or gill plate/skull element from a lobed finned fish/tetrapod. What do you guys see? I can not find anything like it on thee ol' interwebs. It's late Carboniferous and i have found everything from micro to large fish scales, flora, Orthacanthus teeth and other bone chunks in this same layer. Also there is a neat impression of a Lepidodendron on the underside of this piece. Kinda a nice touch when fish were evolving to walk on land. And pictures really don't do this thing justice. It's very detailed and three dimensional. As Found After some prep and still thinking 'jaw' Finished prep. It's not a jaw. Haha Lepidodendron Any help or direction is much appreicated! @Fossildude19 @Archie @jdp @Carl any thoughts?
  3. I'm happy to announce i possibly found the most complete Listracanthus to date. And we may finally get a proper ID for this strange creature. I thought this was regurgitation, but while prepping i believe i ran into cartilage. So i will stop prepping and give this to a professional, or at least let someone with more experience look at this. Unfortunately the rest is in a giant wall of black shale that i won't be able to get back to until next Spring/Summer. The denticles are up to 6mm thick and associated with smaller denticles. I will get more pictures under a scope when i get a chance. God willing i will recover the rest of this creature in 2019. Happy hunting! Possible cartilage
  4. I found this large fish scale from the late Carboniferous. When i originally found this i thought it was a shark crush tooth, but after more and more prep it turned out to be a large fish scale that i can not identify. Any help or direction is much appreciated. The scale is about 21mm x 24mm As found with a bit of prep. After prep under 10x stereoscope
  5. Found all three of these at different times in Kankakee River State Park in Illinois. In the river. Two of them were just laying out. I got the other one hammering rocks. The rock it was embedded in was kind of a medium sandstone. (EDIT - I'm just attaching two because of the MB limit. You can see one of them from two different angles, including the interesting stuff in the middle, and the other from a single angle. I can post more if needed). I'm fascinated by the three-dimensional quality of these. The one - you can see pretty well - even seems to have some internal structure visible, looks like a notochord, but who knows. Anyway, at first I thought that I had Tully Monsters, until I learned those are never found in this form or location. Then I thought maybe I had ammonites, but apparently those are very rare in the Midwest, so I'm not so sure. What do we think?
  6. Mazon Creek ID

    An unknown I found at Braidwood, IL, Mazon Creek material. Forgot scale but about 2" wide and 1" long. It was in a marine area.
  7. Edestus teeth

    From the album Sharks and fish

    The shark relative is genus of eugenodontia holocephalid from the Carboniferous-Pennsylvanian age Anna shale formation, Carbondale group, found in different Illinois coal mines. I dont know(yet)which mine these were found in. This unidentified species is of the "vorax-serratus- crenulatus-heinrichi" or "E. heinrichi group", with the teeth being more of a standard triangular shape, as opposed to being thinner and pointed at a forward angle as in the "E. minor" group http://www.thefossilforum.com/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=501751
  8. Rockford, IL fossil sites

    Hi there I live in Sharon, WI. I am curious in want to take my kids to fossil sites to one of fossil sites as they love to look for fossils. Is there any fossil sites around Rockford, IL that I could take my kids so kids' curiousity can be satisfied. Thanks! BTW Mason Creek is too far for now.
  9. Last Weekend, August 18th and 19th 2018, was the annual Canal Corridor Mazon River Fossil Field Trip. The weather was perfect! There was a great presentation by Andrew Young on August 18th and Dave Dolak on August 19th. Afterwards, the dinner was excellent, as usual. It was a very productive outing for all involved. I have a couple buckets of concretions to freeze/thaw throughout the winter. It's always a fun trip, can't wait for it again next year! Saturday's lecture before collecting A perfect day! An amazing Alethopteris serlii, which was brought by one of the participants. I believe this was collected from the Dresden area, as it was known for large concretions. Concretions Everyone was tired at the end of the day! A few examples of what was found...
  10. Mazon Creek Unknown

    I need some help with a pit 11 unknown. Reminders me oy a “Y” but it has bulbous ends on the appendages. Any thoughts? Pat
  11. Parking lot trilobite find

    There have been some great reports in the last week of folks hunting the Silurian and I wanted to add a report for my own serendipitous mini-trip from the last weekend. A few months ago, I had noticed a large pile of buff-colored stone dumped next to a retention pond in front of a local retail district. I thought they looked very similar to the Silurian dolomite I have seen and collected from elsewhere in Illinois, so I have been meaning to take a closer look. Last weekend I finally had some errands to run at Target with some free time on my hands, so I wandered over to the pile to check it out. In less than a minute I spotted a friendly face poking out of the corner of one piece of stone- Gravicalymene celebra! An iconic trilobite, and the biggest one I have found, with a cephalon just over 1 inch wide. It looks like it may be complete, although prep can be very difficult as @aek mentioned recently- at a minimum the cephalon appears to all be there. I looked around a little more and found a very poorly preserved cephalopod impression as well as one other rock with some intriguing shapes in it- it will need more prep though to say if it is anything. Since these were dumped next to a parking lot and there are no Silurian dolomite quarries within 60 miles, I can't say for sure what the source is. It seems likely to be the Racine or Joliet Dolomite of northeastern Illinois, though. I will definitely be returning when I have some free time and looking around some more- who knows, they may have used the same stone in other spots around the development!
  12. Recently I've been revisiting some local Silurian outcrops. I have a love/hate relationship with these outcrops as they are incredibly difficult to work with, however I secretly enjoy that aspect as well. The fossils represent the Homerian stage just before the Mulde Event, so roughly 422 - 426mya (if I'm not mistaken). For whatever reason, in the Racine formation, Gravicalymene celebra are almost always complete in the molting position and other species usually found disarticulated. The trick is extracting them without destroying them. Sometimes they are found enrolled, though much less common. I have only found two enrolled from this location over the past few years. 1) enrolled Calymene 2) Gravicalymene celebra 3) " 4) " 5) " 6) Sphaerexochus romingeri 7) Pentamerid brachiopod 8) favosites blastoid? 9) Dalmanitid pygidium 10) partial Dalmanites cephalon Close up snaps Sphaerexochus romingeri I believe this is a crinoid cup judging by the shape, but not sure. If anyone has any ideas... and the drum roll... Three species on one plate, Encrinurus pygidium, Dalmanites cephalon and a Calymene on the bottom . Unfortunately, due to the nature of the rock and my lowly prep skills, the only survivor is the Dalmanites. I somehow managed to restore both eyes with the original pieces for a nice "eye-popping" specimen. Thanks for looking . Also, in case you're curious, this entire collection is the result of four trips, not one. About 4-5hours per trip , so about 18-20 hours of collecting. and many more prepping. Cheers
  13. Possible fossil ~ any ideas?

    Hello everyone! I hope the summer is treating everyone well. Here in Chicago it has been either great storms or brutal heat. I have had very little time or ability to get out but last week the weather evened out I got to do some exploring. I always head to areas where water has flooded and uncovered fresh places to look. Last week I found the item pictured below just siting on the surface. The shape caught my eye and it made me think of a nautilus-type shell. The ridges follow all around the surface of the "shell." This was found on the DuPage river about 25 miles West of Chicago. We are just in the edge of the Slurian area but just east of the Pennsylvanian region. When consulting online guides for Illinois, this looks like an incomplete endolobus shell. Any ideas? Thank you for your time and help!
  14. In the last two weeks i have found two new very promising fossil sites. They are on private land that i have permission to be on. And please don't ask where. There are so many things that i have to leave many behind. I hope i am lucky enough to find something truly amazing from these sites and share them with science and ultimately all of us. I believe this to be the first Orthacanthus sp. specimen ever found in this area of Illinois. It would be pretty neat to add this awesome predator to this fauna. As found: After prep: On the same trip i found a bone block associated with crinoids, a Metacoceras, a shark denticle, possible shark cartilage and what i believe are tetrapod bones. Please feel free and let me know what you guys think about the bones. A deep water environment with tetrapod material???? This strangely shaped bone has a thin outer layer on the "ornamental" end, almost like tooth enamel, but it's not thick enough. Continued..........
  15. Yesterday I was cracking open some concretions that I collected from the Braceville Shaft Mine (Essex Fauna) in 1999. I came across this little piece and posted it on my thread - "Sometimes You Have To Whack It". @Peat Burns replied that it looked like a tooth from a Cladodus type shark and I also agree that it looks like a shark tooth. In all my years and thousands of concretions from Mazon Creek, I have never seen anything like this. I would like to get other opinions on this or an exact ID. @fiddlehead , @RCFossils , @fossilized6s , @Rob Russell - what do you think?
  16. mazon creek help

    On my recent trip from Florida to Wisconsin I decided to bypass Chicago and head a little further west. In doing so, I realized I was coming very close to the Mazon Creek area. While I didn't have time to collect nodules there on my way north, I am planning to stop on my way back south towards the end of the month. At best I'll have 3 hours to collect ( as long a time as it takes for my wife to grow impatient and want to get moving again). So, since I am totally unfamiliar with the area, I am hoping someone who frequents the site could give me some pointers. I have read several posts about the site, and realize I am not hunting during the best time of year with all the vegetation at its prime, but being so close I just couldn't pass by again. Any suggestions re: making the most of my time there would be much appreciated. I am thinking I should collect nodules, rather than spending time splitting them, but i've also read only 40 % or so contain something...so suggestions as to that would also be appreciated. (Yes, I have lots of bug spray, mosquitos in Wisconsin have been huge this year,)
  17. Any Permian/Carboniferous shark experts?

    Found this last Sunday. And i can't seem to narrow down who lost it, Xenacanthus or Orthacanthus. To my knowledge neither has been formally described from the location it was found. And, no, i will not say where. I'll simply say LaSalle county, IL. Still not sure if my site is Permian or Carboniferous. I'm 90% convinced it's Carboniferous. Any ID help is much appreicated. I'm leaning more towards Orthacanthus. Sorry, i'll add mm later. As found: After some needle prep:
  18. Fossil???

    A friend of mine found this at Lake Shelbyville in Illinois. I'm new to all of this and can't identify it. Is it a fossil? Thanks for any input!
  19. Squashed Mazon Creek Crustacean?

    This is another piece from the Mazon Creek Chowder Flats site, it was shattered into quite a few pieces, but I was able to reassemble it. However, I can't tell what it is. I am certain it is some kind of crustacean, based on the texture and color of the shell and the presence of a long segmented antenna. But it seems to be rather flattened, and I can't make out many other details. There does appear to a segmented piece extending from the top edge of the blob to the edge of the nodule, but I can't make out any clear segments or limbs. The shape is reminiscent of Mamayocaris, perhaps just a poorly preserved one? The only other Essex Fauna crustacean that seems to roughly match the squat shape is the rare Dithyrocaris.
  20. Found a cluster of small fossils??

    Hello all! I'm back again with some unidentified fossils. I was working in my garden this afternoon and stumbled across a rock containing a cluster of small fossils, ranging in size. These were found in Northern Illinois, close to where I found another shell fossil I asked about. All comments are appreciated! Thanks!
  21. Unknown fossil

    Hello everyone! I have another unidentified geological object. I'm assuming it's a fossil but I'm not sure. I'm thinking it's a sea shell of some kind? Since I'm an amateur when it comes to fossils I might be wrong. I found this around my farm in northern Illinois, so it very well could be just a chopped up rock. If it is a fossil, is it rare? All input is appreciated! Thanks guys!
  22. I just wanted to post something that is not very pretty but is something thing that is harder to find now in the Mazon Creek Fauna- a fish, possibly Elonichthys peltigerus. I posted it earlier in an on going post titled “ Sometimes You Have To Whack It”, in that thread, I daily posts fossils (Mazon Creek) that I have opened that day. Today I opened a concretion that has been sitting in one of my buckets for the last 15 years. A slight strike of my hammer did some real damage to this concretion which shattered upon impact. I put together the pieces that I could and was still happy with the results. The shattering does not normally happen, but some of the time you get a concretion that will do just that. Hopefully tomorrow I will have better luck, as I will continue to use my hammer.
  23. My kids and I made a trip to the Burpee museum in Rockford Illinois twice in the last 2 months. There is a children's museum that is housed in an interconnected building if you are visiting with children. We got in free to the Burpee museum with our Milwaukee Public Museum membership, so worth a check if you are a member of a museum. I try to find museums that are half price or free with our membership for our family to travel to, and the astc pass that comes with most museum memberships makes these memberships more than worth the money. The museum itself is pretty easy to find, with free parking, which is a nice change up from most of the museums we go to. The museum has a juvenile t-rex named Jane, which is what the museum is probably most famous for. I've included a pictures below of it(although it got chopped a little trying to fit in the nameplate). On this same main level there is a room filled with triceratops and related skulls, some real, some casts. There's also the typical set of chronologic fossils that one can find on the main and 2nd floor. The 2nd floor also has a bunch of minerals in a couple display cases. In the lower level, they have a pretty decent assortment of green river fish, as well as a prep lab, which one of the weekends had its window open with a graduate student explaining what he was doing. He was very friendly and we talked for a few about prepping of fossils. The upper level of the museum has a modern history area, along with a kids room that has a bunch of things like puzzles, dress up, etc for kids. The museum itself is probably a tenth of the size of the Field Museum, which is obviously the more famous museum in Illinois. However, if you're in the area and want to kill an hour or 2, it's worth checking out in my opinion.
  24. 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!
  25. Hello all! Another question from a fossil and geology newbie. I found a bag of interesting rocks in my home today. It contained what looked like store bought rocks but I have literally no idea where they came from or how I got them. Included were two fern looking fossils and I'm not sure if they're real or not. This is probably an extremely stupid question, but I just want to make sure. Thank you! (also my apologies for the terrible lighting in the photo, I can attach more if needed)
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