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Found 227 results

  1. I am excited to share with my friends on The Fossil Forum a significant discovery that I made last week. In 1870 an unusual spine like structure was described from a Pennsylvanian aged black shale site in Illinois. The fossil was believed to belong to an unknown chondrichthyan (shark) that is unlike anything anyone has ever seen. For over 150 years, these denticles have shown up in sites around the world. This animal ranges from the Pennsylvanian to the Triassic meaning that it survived the Permian extinction. Researchers have been perplexed and frustrated as aside from a few patches of scales, no articulated material has ever been found. Dr Rainer Zangerl spent many years extensively collecting black shale sites in Illinois and Indiana. He claims to have found a specimen in Indiana only to have it disintegrate in front of him. He described it having had an eel like body covered in the feathery denticles. I am pleased to announce that I have found what appears to be a complete well preserved specimen. For almost 20 years, I have been searching several black shale sites in North central Illinois. The shale is very similar to the Mecca Quarry black shale found at sites in Indiana.I have posted pictures in the past of various other fossils that I have found at the site. The denticles are relatively abundant but I have never seen any other signs of this mystery shark. Last week, I made a last minute trip out to a site that I occasionally collect and spent a few hours splitting slabs of shale. I was not having much luck and getting ready to call it a day. I decided to open one last large slab. I took a whack and it split perfectly. There in front of me was probably the most scientifically significant fossil that I have ever found. I knew almost immediately what it was but could not believe what I was looking at. A small shark like animal with an elongated eel like body and various spines. The majority of the fossil is covered by a thin layer of black shale so it does not look that impressive. Once prepped, the preservation should be fantastic and similar to other fish that I have shared from these shales.. I am in the process of searching for a researcher who wants to describe it. The fossil appears to be relatively complete from head to tail. I will keep this thread updated as things progress. Without further delay please enjoy being some of the first people to ever see what Listracanthus looked like.
  2. Hello all, Last Saturday I took my 7-year-old boy on a fossil hunt along the River Road (Hwy 100), NW of Alton IL. He found the item in the attached images somewhere near here: Google Map Location The longest dimension of the smooth "bit of whatever" with the porous / speckled texture is about 9 cm. I've tried various keyword combinations with google images, and haven't been able to find anything similar. I imagine it's something common and I'm just not describing it correctly. Does anyone recognize what this is? Thank you very much for any help. My kid will be very excited to find out what this is. James
  3. Yesterday I went on a combined field trip with ESCONI and LOESS to the Starved Rock Clay Products pit in Utica, Illinois. ( @connorp was there too!) This open pit exposes the Pennsylvanian Mecca Quarry black shale, Francis Creek shale, Colchester Coal, and an underclay below the coal- an assembly of strata that have produced world-renowned fossils elsewhere, including Mazon Creek fossils further east and complete sharks from the Mecca Quarry Shale in Indiana. At this location, unfortunately, the concretions are almost all blanks but the black shale does produce isolated fauna including bivalves, brachiopods, cephalopods, and shark teeth and scales. The underclay also contains petrified and pyritized wood and root traces. About 30 of us gathered at a nearby McDonalds before heading to the pit- dark clouds on the horizon brought intermittent hard rain that kindly let up by the time we reached the pit floor. My interest for this trip was in the black shale, with hopes of finding shark material in particular. With the recent rains everything was muddy, and the black shale could be found in chunks strewn along the slumping highwall. Some folks were splitting the shale, but I did not have any luck with that-all of my finds were already exposed. The mud really made it hard to see whether or not there were fossils in the exposed black shale, but I was happy to be able to find a few pieces worth taking home- as often seems to be the case for me when fossil hunting, I found my best stuff in the first hour and virtually nothing the rest of the time I was there.
  4. Mazon ID Help

    I am thinking that this is a Drevotella proteana, with, but not necessarily attached to, a Palaeolima retifera.
  5. Some odd wood imprints from Lasalle County Il.

    I need help identifying these, they are everywhere here in Marseilles but I don’t know what they are
  6. Help with large Carboniferous fish tooth

    Hey guys. I'm looking for some help with this large mystery fish tooth from the late Carboniferous of Illinois. The closest match i can find is from the Devonian lobed finned fish Hyneria. But this is late Carboniferous almost Permian. Another contender just based on size is the Rhizodont. But it's not rounded. This tooth flattens out to two cutting edges that are very sharp. It honestly reminds me of a Barracuda tooth. This broken tooth measures about 20mm, but would have most likey been around 30mm if complete. It is associated with a Megalichthys scale and Orthanthus teeth. Any thoughts?
  7. If anyone can please share their knowledge on what this may be it would be much appreciated! I found it along the bank of the Illinois River in Morris. Image 1 was taken from what I assume to be the top and image 2 is from the bottom. Image 3 is from the side which appears to me to be a crossectional view of the midline of the fossil. It measures approximately 2"W x 2"L x 1"H. I'm a novice collector but my first thought was half of an urchin or something along those lines. Thank you.
  8. Need help identifying this tooth which was found in the Mississippi river near the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. The river bed is constantly dredged to pull sand from the bottom of the river to the river bank. Area is near Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.
  9. Today I went on a dual club field trip (Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois and Rock River Valley Gem and Mineral Society) to an Ordovician aged quarry in Roscoe, Illinois. It was a hot day for fossil hunting, but a cool breeze kept things refreshing. There were over 20 people on the trip and everyone was finding fossils of some sort. Some pictures of the quarry.
  10. Hi All, I took a trip to Mazon Creek recently with my family. It was the first time that we had visited the site, and we came away with a few concretions. One piece of a concretion that we found already split in the field seemed to have an elongated impression upon it. We're not quite what organism could have created the impression, or even if it is a true fossil at all. Perhaps it is part of a marine worm? We'd love to hear what you all think about it.
  11. Carboniferous trilobite ID help

    @piranha @GerryK Can anyone confirm this is Paladin transilis? I found this in the Carboniferous of Illinois. Not sure if they've ever been described here...... And yes it's preserved in pyrite.
  12. Are any of these Mazon Creek Fossils?

    Hi everyone, After the thunderstorm yesterday, me and some friends drove up to the Ponderosa area of Mazon creek park to look for fossils. It was our first time, and we didn't know the specifics of what to look for, but we spent three hours walking the whole perimeter of the lake, braving the aggressive swarms of biting insects. Can anyone here tell me if any of the rocks we found are the right ones to possibly contain fossils? Attached is a picture of all the rocks, and an album with closeup pictures. https://photos.app.goo.gl/XoCZQJwgWU7dbcoS7 Thanks a lot!!!
  13. Good trilobite imprint?

    Found this at Forked Creek in Wilmington Illinois. I would like to know if it is rare and or high quality. I would also appreciate if you could help ID it.
  14. Any sites in Central Illinois?

    Any public locations in central Illinois? Or near Bloomington Illinois
  15. Mazon Creek Tree Stump ?

    Hi all again Found this again in Wilmington sport club, Was told by a friend was petrified tree stump wanted opinions from some of you guys that might have found something like this.
  16. Usually I have at least a guess at whatever I find is, but this has me stumped
  17. Tully Monster Coloring Page

    I drew this coloring sheet to give out at an upcoming children's program I will be doing at the public library my mom works at. I have done two previous programs over the years on fossils and dinosaurs, but this time I am going to be concentrating on the fossils of Illinois. Of course, this includes our bizarre state fossil, the Tully Monster! The sheet features a Tullimonstrum front and center chasing after an Elonichthys, with a pair of Essexella making their way across the background. It's not the most scientifically accurate drawing, but I hope it will be fun to color! Feel free to download and share- I uploaded both JPEG and PDF versions. (The PDF version also has some descriptive text on it) tully monster coloring page smaller.pdf
  18. Mazon Creek fossil

    Hi all Found this again in sporting club wilmington area ,not magnetic almost Poop like
  19. Greetings, all! I am currently writing a thesis involving fossils from the Burlington Limestone near its type section along the Illinois/Iowa border. To demonstrate the diversity of the crinoidal remains from the limestone (over 400 species have been described from the Burlington alone!), I am looking for photographs of articulated crinoids. Do any of you have any that you would like to let me include in my thesis? If possible, I would like high-res images of crinoids identified to genus or species with a scale bar/ruler present in the image as well as the collection/locality info. I can't guarantee that I will use every image posted, but if I use your image, then I will acknowledge you in my acknowledgements and give you credit for the image. Thank you for your time & assistance! -Elasmohunter
  20. Cephalopod?

    Hey! I just took a trip out in the pouring rain to a road cut in Oglesby, Illinois. This road cut exposes the Pennsylvanian LaSalle Limestone member of the Bond Formation (thanks to @deutscheben for this info!) I found lots of beautiful brachiopods, but as I was heading out, this guy caught my eye. What do you guys think?
  21. The Lone Star Quarry in Oglesby, Illinois is now part of the adjacent Starved Rock and Matthiessen Park. A Fossil Park for Illinois by Roy Plotnick https://medium.com/@plotnick/a-fossil-park-for-illinois-4c2cb44af2e9 Matthiessen — and Starved Rock — just got a lot bigger (VIDEO) DNR increases parks by 55 percent after $11 million deal with cement company By Tom Collins http://www.newstrib.com/free/matthiessen-and-starved-rock-just-got-a-lot-bigger-video/article_203e37f8-d89a-11e8-9a7e-e72ef52ec0d6.html A web page about other fossil parks: Fossil Parks, myFossil https://www.myfossil.org/fossil-parks/ Yours, Paul H.
  22. Mazon Creek Spots

    So being a newbie in hunting fossil’s I decided to go somewhere near. I went to the creek and collected rocks which I thought were nodules, to find out they aren’t. Is there any advice on where to find the fossils and what they look like.
  23. New Mazon Creek Collection

    Hello everyone! I've been inspired by so many good Mazon Creek topics in this forum, I thought I would start my own. I'll post my own finds, which so far don't include anything as exotic as a Tully Monster, but maybe I'll get lucky on page 134 or so... I have to credit my kids with getting me interested in fossil collecting. I was always interested in rocks and fossils but when my 10 year old son had his dinosaur phase it really sparked my interest again. I wondered if an ordinary person like me could go out and find fossils? So I Googled fossil collecting and found out that not only could I search on my own, one of the world's best sites for amateurs was just 3 hours away! The date I discovered Mazon Creek existed was 9/10/2017. I know that date because earlier in the day was the last ESCONI trip to the Braceville spoil pile for the year - I just missed it! So in May 2018 I finally went on that trip and was hooked. Since then I've gone to Braceville several times, the I&M Canal trip once, and a handful of trips on my own into Pit 11. I want to thank too many people to list for helping me learn about this new hobby. Everyone I've met on the field trips has been so friendly and helpful. And if you have posted something about Mazon Creek on this forum, I've read it. Special thanks to Nimravis for his Sometimes You Have To Whack It thread, which he started the day after my first trip to Mazon Creek - it has taught me so much and I'm so impressed at what a genuinely nice person he is. And Andrew Bach's book from his American Fossil Hunt site is wonderful, so so helpful. With that, onto the fossils (and lots of questions from me). I thought to start I would show some of my jellyfish, all Essexella asherae, I believe. I find it interesting that they are all so different, although they tend to fall into various "types" - some have a distinct "head", others are just faint outlines, some are just cylindrical shapes. #1-3 below are all from Pit 11 - the first two have a distinct head and the other is more cylindrical. For anyone who hasn't heard of Mazon Creek, these fossils are found in siderite concretions from the mid-Pennsylvanian epoch of the Carboniferous period, from roughly 305-310 mya. Cheers! Chris
  24. Pennsylvanian fish teeth/jaw?

    I posted this find in my trip report thread http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/95184-51319-oglesby-il-roadcut-pennsylvanian-shark-bits-brachiopods-and-more/ but I thought I would put it here too to get some more eyes on it. This piece is from the Pennsylvanian LaSalle Limestone member of the Bond Formation, collected on 5/13 and prepped some over the weekend. At first I thought it was the root of a shark tooth, but as I prepped and revealed the multiple "teeth" on top and the ratio of root to teeth it did not match up. That makes me think it is possibly a part of a jaw with teeth in it, but I have never found anything like that at this site before, nor have I seen any reported from this formation. Any ideas? The scale below is in CM.
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