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Found 139 results

  1. This past Saturday I was finally able to join ESCONI on one of their quarry field trips, this time to the Vulcan Manteno Quarry in Kankakee County, Illinois. After a relatively quick jaunt up I-57, I arrived at the quarry along with about 20 other enthusiasts, all clad in hard hats and neon safety vests. It is still an active quarry, although no mining was happening on that day, so the manager went over the rules with everyone- no climbing the rock piles, no getting too close to the high wall or the edge of the pit. Then we car-pooled down to the bottom of the quarry. The quarry exposes the Silurian Racine Dolomite Formation, and pile after pile of grey to orange colored rock was arranged on the quarry floor. It was hard to know where to start, so everyone wandered off to poke around and see what they could find. I didn't find much to begin, but after a little while I started noticing some interesting shapes, and within about an hour I had filled my bucket. I say "shapes", because I am not as familiar with this deposit as Mazon Creek, so my IDs for most of these only get as specific as "cephalopod" or "crinoid"- and in many cases more like "round organic-looking thing" . At the designated time everyone began heading back to the cars as a light drizzle came down- we only had about an hour and a half, but like I said, that was plenty of time to fill a 5 gallon bucket. It was an excellent trip, and I have to thank ESCONI and Vulcan for making it happen- I will definitely be signing up for the next one! My most interesting find is two associated partial impressions of echinoderms- the field trip leader suggested the one on the right was from Caryocrinites but he was not sure about the one on the left. I also found another small echinoderm piece, perhaps the base of a crinoid calyx?
  2. Southern Illinois

    Not the best pictures but don’t have the pieces in hand yet. These were purchased from a man who bought them from a southern Illinois estate sale. The son of the original collector said they are as collected and the parent said the teeth were mammoth. Not sure about that as some look possibly equine or maybe camel? Are these poor quality photos enough to point in any particular direction? Definitely no idea on the plant trace or bone. Any help in ID or direction would be appreciated.
  3. Tooth or Claw

    I found this in a creek bed in central Illinois and wondering what it is?
  4. This fossil was dug up fishing recently in Kankakee County, Illinois, where the bedrock is Silurian, but this fossil would have to be Pleistocene. Any help with ID is appreciated. I do not have possession so these are the only photos I have. If you provide an ID, please provide your reasoning. Thanks!
  5. Mazon Creek ID

    Hi there had a successful outing at Mazon Creek today! Came back home with a 5 gallon bucket full of nodules. Made it a long walk back to the car though! Was hoping to get some insight on some of the preopened nodules and the ones that crack open in the future. 1.) 2.) Sorry if pictures are poor quality, I tried my best. Please let me know if better ones are needed .
  6. Pareidolia dino tooth?

    May I add my pareidolia-esque mis-identification here as well. Found this today on my hike (along Du Page river, Northern Illinois)and my first thought was "holy cow a dinosaur tooth!" and then my second thought was "no." But it was fun for a minute to pretend. It seemed to have an "enamel" layer on the base around the outside and such a great shape. Doubt you find those in Northern Illinois. It was near where I have been finding bison bits so maybe it could be a horn or something? Anyway, here are some pictures for fun :
  7. NEW find today is very interesting!

    I recently have been finding bone along a path about 15 or so from a river. We have had a bunch of serious flooding so it is uncovering lots of things. Today's hike produced quite a group of finds. This is all in the same place: Du Page river, Northern Illinois, West of Chicago. I have shared a bunch of bones on this thread: I was going to continue there but it won't allow me to post pictures or continue writing. Not sure why? This small piece came from the same spot. The item I just grabbed without examining to much in the field turns out to be maybe the most interesting. It has a smooth shiny patches on it. It is heavy and looks like it was part of maybe a horn or a toe of some kind. No idea. This intrigued me as it is the first thing I have found that seems fossil-like that isn't coral etc that you expect to find here in Illinois.
  8. Toe bone? Deer or MAYBE fossil?

    Hello everyone! I have found quite a few bones recently but most, I assume, deer or small mammal. I didn't think to post them here except this one I found yesterday. I assume it is some modern animal but can't be sure. When I saw this post: It made me think to just post this for more information. This came from the DuPage river in Northern Illinois, West of Chicago. It was found among gravel type rocks about 15 feet from the river ina trail. The huge flooding we have had recently is opening up all kinds of things and I can't wait for the rivers to go down to see what else is uncovered. It seems it has not become stone-like as fossilization would do but it doesn't look like the other bones I found. I know being in or near water will change the look, feel and degradation of the bones. Still curious though. Thoughts?
  9. This weekend was the first weekend that the Mazon Creek formation in Braceville, IL was open for collecting. Each year, visitors and avid collectors flock here every spring to gather concretions from this woodland, that potentially hold 300 million year old plants and animals. They are very difficult to find these days. It used to be a coal mine where fossils were gathered by the bucketload. These days, you would be very fortunate to gather 1/2 bucket in a full days collecting. I went the mornings of 3/3 and 3/4, for about 2 hours of collecting each. The haul was a total of 27.8 lbs of potentially fossiliferous material. Only 1/10 of the concretions will hold a good fossil. For my in-the-field trip report you can check out my blog: http://americanfossilhunt.com/2018/03/04/mazon-creek-opener-2018-day-1/ ...there I post some field photos and the day's collecting vibe. Below is what I came home with. Not much to show off in regards to already opened concretions, a few jellyfish and worn out ferns, but the closed ones will hold the treasures. Here is the collecting terrain, at the South Unit, just before the bend in the trail. I also collected the North end of Monster Lake. Here is the ~28lbs in full There were some very nice symmetrical shapes within the finds. Another close up of some of the more promising ones. And the ones that were already opened in the field. Will post updates as these crack open! for now, they are out for processing.... AKA soaking in water for 5 days, then freezing, then thawing, then freezing... for about a dozen times. I was fortunate enough to run into some ESCONI and FF members on my way out on Sunday. I wish it wasnt an early call for me, would have loved to been out there with them! Updating this thread as the finds open, but it may take a week or 2. And will likely be out collecting again before then.
  10. Two new finds that I need help with!

    Hello everyone! Spring is almost here! Thank god. I don't think I could shovel my driveway one more time to be honest. Today was a beautiful day and so I ventured out to hike and do some exploring. We have had a bunch of flooding lately so my usual river hunting spots are underwater but I found an area south in the same river and I found some cool items. These are from the DuPage River, western suburbs of Chicago. Northern Illinois. I believe rock number one has a crinoid on one side and maybe a shell on the other? Hard to tell but I knew it was something as soon as I saw the circular object on top as I walked past it. The second item was right on the edge of the banks in the water. I saw the crack in it and hoped it had something inside it. I picked it up and it cracked open in my hand. It seems to be a worm. Maybe? Any guidance in this is greatly appreciated and I think you for your time! OBJECT #1:
  11. Crynoid?

    This bulbous looking thing is an enigma to me my best guess is the head of a crynoid of sorts. Found at a construction site in Illinois, so the age is likely Devonian-Carboniferous. Anyone else see something like this?
  12. Ordovician gastropods

    Hello, I collected this gastropod from a quarry along the Illinois/Wisconsin (USA) State line. Can anyone assit me with the identification? From the attached ID chart, I think that it is Loxonema. Thanks! Greg
  13. Unknown object ~ any ideas?

    Hello everyone! I hope the new year is treating everyone well. Here outside of Chicago, we are about to get hit with a huge snow storm. While this time of year is usually slow for getting outside and doing some searching for interesting finds, a warm day last week allowed for a few new items to be found. In the DuPage river just west of Chicago in Illinois I have been finding a great group of teeth some fossils and a few possible Native American cutting stones. The item I found last week though is quite strange. I have no idea what this could be after searching for over an hour online for similar type stones/fossils. The ridges are very odd to me as they are pretty much evenly spaced. Here are the photos. As always I greatly appreciate any feedback you all have and look forward to discusses this and maybe identifying it. Thank you!
  14. It was 50 degrees on Sunday so I decided to get out to the Silurian Sugar Run formation to look for some trilobites. I checked out some out small outcrops that I've never investigated before, but no luck. It was starting to get late so went to an old spot that I haven't been to in a long time. The rocks in this formation are very difficult to break open and generally need a sledge hammer, so the best method is to look for "promising-looking" rocks and bring them home to break open. This is what I found: Tiny Calymene Gravicalymene celebra Cybantyx cuniculus double cephalons Group shot Most are pretty beat up but a very enjoyable daytrip. Thanks for looking.
  15. Hi, I am not a fossil hunter but accidentally discovered the ability to find 300,000,000 yr old fossils in Mazon Creek on a TV show. Wow!!! I've been researching all day and now want to take my family there for spring break in March! Our story (short) & my questions: My daughter is very interested in science and nature and critters. She spends hours outside digging contently for rocks, loves bugs, has rock collections, books on rocks & minerals, etc. She struggles in the classroom (3rd grade) and learns best by hands on experience. She would absolutely be in heaven here- our whole family would! I love to help my daughter experience her interests through our adventures. What advice could you give a family of 3 who has never hunted fossils? We are in Missouri so interested in camping close by- does anyone know of any good evening Camping places? Do we need to register with the state park and get daily admission? Should we go where most tourists go or off the beaten path? Is it possible for newbies to find a few fossils? Even if we found the most common we'd be so excited! We love exploring and take small hikes as a family. Are there spots within a couple miles of the "road" or parking? I truly appreciate any help! I will keep researching as well. I hope we can go and see this unbelievable history!!
  16. Mazon Creek ID help

    Hey Everyone! Happy new year! A nodule from South Pit 11 Mazonia area split and can't figure out what it is? Millipede? Shrimp tale? I have the Wittrey book I've been looking through and I see similar features on multiple animals from his pictures. Thanks for your help!
  17. Mazon Fossil ID help

    #3. Mazon fossil identification help.
  18. Mazon Creek Identification Help Request

    Hi all, I'm still going through 20 flats of mostly unmarked Mazon Creek fossils, purchased from the estate of a prolific collector here in Central Illinois. I have many questions about identification. The following are a few of my still unidentified specimens, of which I realize their may be a number of worms, as well as some possible fauna. I would like to throw these pictures out there and see if anyone can positively identify them just based on the photographs. I'll start with number 1, and post three pictures of each. Thanks so much!
  19. I found this along the Fox River in Elgin, IL. At first I thought it was a stromatoporoid fossil (I find them everywhere in this area), but upon closer inspection I couldn't see anything that looked like pillars or laminae. Someone suggested chaetetid sponge, or a stromatoporoid that was distorted by silicification. I can't find any photos that look like my spec. except dino bone and we don't have those in northern Illinois. Is it a natural formation, crazy looking oolites? I'm totally stumped! More pics
  20. I received not 1, but 3 gift boxes from our very own Nimravis. I was in Kuwait when he sent them, so I had him ship them to my parents house for safe keeping until I got home. I was VERY excited. 2 of the boxes were from Mazon Creek. My favorite is the 2 jellyfish. they are to the far right. 1 above the other. To the left of the small jellyfish is a piece of coprolite. At the bottom are unopened concretions. I have them freezing at the moment to try the freeze/thaw method to see if anything is in them. There are also ferns, a clam, and bark. The other bow was "about 22 Florida Pliocene shells from 16 different species" Thank you, Nimravis, VERY much. My son and I really appreciate this very much.
  21. I'm curious how one can determine whether a cephalopod fossil is an adult or juvenile? I seem to recall hearing from somewhere that if there is a double suture line in the middle of the phragmocone indicates it is an adult. Here are three Beloitoceras specimens I found at different localities. The specimen in the middle has double suture rings. Thanks for any insight.
  22. Tooth #6 ~ bovine?

    Hello everyone! The warm weather continues in the Midwest so I am still able to get out and do some river hunting into December with shorts and a long sleeve shirt. Pretty amazing. This is from DuPage River, western suburbs of Chicago. Northern Illinois. The same location where I have found the following for reference: I imagine these to be bovine. The one other tooth found so far has been wild boar/pig which was cool. I look forward to people's feedback. Here is today's find:
  23. As much as I've looked through books and the internet, I haven't run across any possible places to find ammonites in the midwest. Any suggestions of locations? I'm in Illinois. My wife's keen to hunt one of these down.
  24. Alright everyone I'm pretty excited about this one. It's about an inch long and 1 1/2 inches wide.
  25. Today I decided to drive about 150 miles round trip to go to an auction that sometimes has fossils. This time there was only a Riker mount of composite Spinosaurus teeth and a huge ammonite that hardly fit into a banana box. I believe that the ammonite might have come from Texas and it looked like it weighed +120 lbs. Neither of these items sparked my interest, and since it was a sunny, 55 degree day, I decided to stop at a couple road cuts that I had visited earlier in the year. The first road cut (Site 1) is near Oglesby, Illinois and is located right next to the former Lonestar Quarry, that contains limestone from the Pennsylvanian Bond and Mattoon formations. The second (site 2) is about 5 minutes away and appears to contain the same type of fossils, just in better shape, since I have yet to find any loose fossils here. On my way back home I drove by Site 1 again and met Fossil Forum member @Siwash and his family collecting. Composita argentia Brachiopod Juresania nebrascensis Brachiopod Punctospirifer kentuckyensis Brachiopod (?)