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Found 125 results

  1. 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!
  2. 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!!
  3. Last weekend, since the weather was supposed to be nice and my wife was out of town, I decided to get out and collect from three Pennsylvanian sites in Illinois and Indiana. On Friday, I took the day off work and headed down to the former Chieftain no.20 mine site south of Terre Haute, in what is now the Griffin Bike Park. It was an overcast day with a slight drizzle and I had the park all to myself. I found a nice assortment of nodules, including a few split ones with ferns- the one on the left, although preserved in three pieces, is my biggest one yet from this site. The best find didn't come until I cleaned them after I got home, though. What I thought was a slim fern pinnule turned out to be a millipede, my first! No Myriapoda have been reported from this site, and the preservation is not perfect, so I am not sure what the ID would be for this one. The next day I met up with my dad and enjoyed an outrageously beautiful day at Mazonia-Braidwood in northern Illinois collecting Mazon Creek nodules. I was glad I brought sunscreen! None of the split nodules I found had anything spectacular, just a few nice Essexella, but we found a good assortment of concretions and got to explore a portion of the park I had not been to before. I was also able to educate some folks we met in the parking lot who were visiting from Missouri about what to look for when collecting fossils in the park and shared some of my extra split nodules to make sure they didn't go home empty-handed. It's always a pleasure seeing other fossil collectors in the park.
  4. Mazon Fossil ID help

    #3. Mazon fossil identification help.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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 (?)
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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:
  12. Alright everyone I'm pretty excited about this one. It's about an inch long and 1 1/2 inches wide.
  13. Five new finds that need some experts!

    Hello! I posted a little while ago when I found a tooth out river hunting in Northern illinois. Well I have returned to that spot several times since and have found teeth almost every time. They were all found within about 25 feet of each other. It has been quite fun to go back and see what I will find. My original post is here: Here are pictures of the new ones. #2 appears to be maybe cow/bison. #3 appears to be horse. #4 maybe cow/bison again. #5 I have no idea despite looking at animal teeth pictures for an hour this morning. #5 May just be a stone but it sure looks and feels like a canine tooth. Let me know what you think:
  14. amphibian fossil id mazon creek

    I'm hoping someone can help me identify this possible in phibian fossil found in Morris Illinois Mazon Creek region I've been told by several it is an amphibian but I'm get find any pictures to match it and get a name thank you
  15. A mini fossil museum exists within the lobby of the Park Hyatt in Chicago, just off Michigan Avenue. I'm guessing not too many people know about it unless they're guests at the hotel. It's a wonderful display of very large Moroccan trilobites, ammonites and various other fossils from around the world. It is free, of course, because it's in the lobby and a nice diversion if you're ever in the area. Another added bonus is it's open 24 hours.
  16. Possible Crinoid?

    Hello! This is from DuPage River, western suburbs of Chicago. Northern Illinois. I found this interesting stone and originally thought of it as a Native American grinding stone. When I looked closer at it through my macro lens I noticed this odd screw type shape. Looking through various sites it appears to be a crinoid. Any thoughts? Thank you for your time!
  17. What is this thing?

    Hello all! I am so happy to find this amazing forum. I love looking through all the amazing things people are finding! It's a great site. I have returned to the same place in this river I have found a bunch of interesting objects and animal teeth. Today, even though it was very cold, I did some river hunting when the sun was out and made it fairly decent. I came across this odd stone or object. I have been going to this same stretch of river ofr about 6 months now, have purchased a few geology books and searched online but haven't come across something like this yet. I just have no idea what this is. Any ideas? Thank you for your time, I greatly appreciate your feedback!
  18. Crinoid and Trilo.jpg

    From the album Snakebite6769's Finds

    The trilobite is super small relative to the crinoid arms. Do you see it?

    © Robert Phillips Collection

  19. Illinois crinoid with trilobite before prep

    From the album Snakebite6769's Finds

    hard to se but there's a tiny trilobite on the arm of this crinoid. I will have a post minor prep picture added soon.

    © Robert Phillips Collection

  20. Last year, I found a large trunk of a tree at a coal mine heap in the Mazon Creek area. Images of it here and here. A few weeks ago, I found some more parts (a few feet from the original) that look like identical material. One of which is also a large root/trunk. It has an interesting curve shape. Looks like part of a root mantel rising out of the ground. Here's the bottom part. And here's some details of areas of the bottom showing what I assume is adventitious rootlets.
  21. Mazon Creek 2017 Collecting Season Mazon Creek is open for collecting fossils from March 1- September 30. The area known as Pit 11 is famous for concretions from the Carboniferous period. It is far past its collecting heyday, where concretions were very easy to find. Now this coal strip mine has become quite overgrown and difficult to collect. But there are still treasures to be found. "There are Tullys in these Hills, still" I collected Pit 11 and the South Unit about 15-20 times over the course of the summer, some trips alone, and some with friends, and one with the Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois. I posted some of my trip reports on my blog, and wanted to create a FF post to compliment them, and share photos that are not on my other trip reports. http://americanfossilhunt.com/2017/03/08/mazon-creek-fossil-collecting-opener-trip-report-3517/ http://americanfossilhunt.com/2017/04/14/mazon-creek-pit-11-collecting-report-492017/ http://americanfossilhunt.com/2017/06/23/mazon-creek-pit-11-collecting-report-5292017-torino-hill/ http://americanfossilhunt.com/2017/10/01/mazon-creek-pit-11-collecting-report-islands-braceville-hill-late-2017/ Also, below is a cool poster I made to memorialize the season. It hangs in my collecting gear closet, above all the concretions I will be freezing and thawing this winter. 2017 In spring, this wildlife area is very peaceful. Its hauntingly quiet, and a refreshing feeling to smell the sprouting plants and earth, after an always seemingly very long Chicago winter. To spend a day hiking and exploring 2000+ acres of undisturbed land is one of the more unique fossil collecting experiences as far as sites in the United States go. One of my favorite things about collecting in the early season, is finding some of the animal bones and skulls of those who didnt make it through the winter. This buck skull was one of my coolest finds from the area. When i found it, it still had some meat on it, so I took it home and tried to boil it and soak it in biological detergent. The thing reeked! even though there was very little tissue on it. After a few days of trying to clean it myself, I actually took it back to the woods, and stashed it under a fallen tree, to let nature do the heavy lifting. I returned a few weeks later, and found it very clean and bleached by the sun. It now hangs above my display case. Below is an area by Monster Lake, that I liked collecting. There is some exposed shoreline, and its not uncommon to find concretions in, or right next to, the water. Here is a mixed lot of pre-opened fossils, a couple jellyfish, fern fragments, a worn out shrimp, and corprolite. And a nice neuropteris that opened after a few freeze/thaws. Another mixed lot of pre-opened. As the summer wore on, the collecting got immensely more difficult. By May, some of my favorite collecting areas were so overgrown, they were impassable and un-collectable. My friend invested in a boat, so we can collect Torino Hill, which extended the collecting season quite a bit. Most all of my Torino finds are still unopened, and I am working through them little by little. Photos to come soon. I was going to create a longer post, but it appears I am capped at photos for this entry. I downsized them, but perhaps not enough. I will post follow-ups on this later, and likely throughout the winter, as my concretions start to open up, whether by freeze/thaw, or some days I have planned to do some hammering. til next year! But I will keep the MC posts on the blog and here coming over the next few months. I have 300lbs of concretions to go through, and keep me busy this winter.
  22. Mazon Creek locations

    The week of Thanksgiving, my son will be graduating from Navy Basic Training in Great Lakes. My 10 year old son and I will be coming up to see him graduate. On the way home, I'd like to stop off and have a look at Mazon Creek and see if we can't pick up a few fossils. I saw on line that there is a park you can hunt at, but it apparently is only opened during summer months. Does anyone know anywhere that my little one (he's 10, but autistic, so he's not quit up to speed with other 10 year olds yet) and I can have a fairly quick stop to find a few? Also, I've read about the nodules you crack open. Any tips on how to tell a nodule with a fossil from just an ordinary old rock? And are there any other type fossils to look for? Thank you for any tips.
  23. Pennsylvanian Illinois

    Hi, I found this fossil last year on a trip to the Starved Rock Clay Pit. I didn't find out what it was until just recently: a spine from a shark/eel-like creature called Listracanthus. My question is what is on the other side? Looks like a zig-zaggy impression of some sort. Thanks for any help.
  24. I live in Ottawa and my family's interested in fossil hunting. We had a nice experience out in Iowa! And here, close by, is, or was, just a great place to hunt. But what's the CURRENT, 2017, situation? I already had in my library some old Illinois Geological Survey titles: the one on Starved Rock, and one on the Upper Illinois River valley. I've checked out a bunch from the library, etc., just to figure good places to go. . . I know I want to check the Rt. 178 bridge over the Little Vermillion, for instance. I've been up and down and through a lot of these kinds of places already. Years back we went to the IDNR's state park around Braidwood? Wilmington? and found plenty of nothing. What makes sense? Is the area played out? As a 10 year-old I found a fern fossil on the mine dump in Wenona; great impression and I've always had it as a little treasure. It would be great to find more from this spot. . . fingers crossed, I'd love to find a Tully's Monster!
  25. Silurian Trilobite Pieces?

    These two finds are in one piece of rock found in some roadside rip rap in Kankakee County, Illinois. Based on other fossils I found and knowing what is exposed in quarries nearby, I believe they are from the Silurian Racine Formation. I have never worked with dolomite before, so I would also love to hear any prep advice you have, as well as IDs! The first seems to be a couple of pleura from a Gravicalymene, but is it likely there is more there? The second one has me puzzled- is it a trilobite part, or maybe a brachiopod? It seems like it is symmetrical, but covered by the matrix. Thanks!