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Found 191 results

  1. First Time at Mazon Creek

    Hello, I am planning on going to Mazon Creek for the first time this weekend and was wondering if I could get some advice. I have fossil hunted at the Peace river and Shark Tooth Hill, but despite living in Illinois, I have never been to Mazon creek. I am not sure where I should start looking. I have read some of the trip reports on the forum and most seem to suggest either around Pit 11 or south of W 5000N road. How long does it usually take to get to productive spots? I read that some people have to hike for an hour before finding fossils. Also, where should I park my car? How much time is usually spent at Mazon creek? Is it an all-day event or just a few hours? I was planning on attending the ESCONI gem, mineral, and fossil show on Saturday morning (3/23) and then heading Mazon creek afterwards. Will I have enough time? Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. Illinois fossil ids

    The first one was found in randolph county outside of Sparta.
  3. River mud find

    I am a new person and not a paleontoligist. While swimming in the Rock River Moline Illinois 52 years ago I found this bone deeply buried in the mud. There was much more to the find than what I could bring up, but this piece could be lifted free by unburying it with my feet. It was in 3-4 feet of water. it is 12 inches long and weighs 1.8 pounds. I would appreciate any input someone has time to offer please! All these years, I still have the bone and I do not know what it is. I have other photos but this site will not let me upload them. Thank You
  4. Fossil hunting season at Illinois's Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area, the iconic Pit 11, runs from March to September every year. I didn't make it to the park at all last year, so I wanted to get out there on day 1 this year. I took the day off work and thankfully the weather cooperated- it was cloudy and in the 30s for most of the day. I picked up my rental car at 7:30 in the morning and hit the road for the 90 minute drive north. I wasn't the first one at the park, though- I saw a few other folks heading out on the trail with buckets in hand as I pulled into the parking lot off 5000 N Rd. Although I have been to Mazonia about 6 times in the last 5 years, I am still finding my way around the overgrown landscape of the park. I started out with an area I had been to before, and had some early success. Unfortunately, I followed that by wandering off to explore a new area, lugging my heavy bucket through heavy brush for 2 hours with almost no success. That (and the fact that I was in the early stages of a head cold) led me to taking it easy in the afternoon. I was only able to add a few more concretions to my bucket, but the sun did peek out briefly towards the end of the day resulting in some lovely panoramas from up on top of a ridge. I was able to chat briefly with another fossil hunter when I got back to the parking lot about the joys and tribulations of fossil hunting at Mazonia- we discussed the hard work necessary in order to have a chance to open an incredible window into a 300 million year old world, and how we wouldn't trade that chance for anything. I finished the day at the former tipple on the western side of the park, wide open ridges of dumped waste from the former mine that remain inhospitable to plant life to this day. It is an alien looking world, and usually has not been a great spot for finding fossils. However, it is easy to access at least and I was actually happy to come across a few rough bark impressions in sandstone that I picked up. The sun was getting low, so I decided to call it a day. I only collected about 1 1/2 gallons of concretions, but I was still glad I could get out to the park and find something. I will put my finds in the next post.
  5. Pennsylvanian tooth

    Hi, I found this tooth the other day near Starved Rock, Illinois. Pennsylvanian deposit, Livingston limestone. I can't seem to find a match. It's missing some bits, any ideas from the paleozoic shark experts? It measures about 7mm
  6. Last fall the state of Illinois purchased over 2,600 acres near the town of Oglesby from Lone Star Industries, including former quarries, with the goal of making it into state park land. It is near the site of the popular Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks, and the state said it would take a few years to assess and prepare the site before it would be open to the public. http://www.newstrib.com/free/matthiessen-and-starved-rock-just-got-a-lot-bigger-video/article_203e37f8-d89a-11e8-9a7e-e72ef52ec0d6.html The quarry exposes the highly fossiliferous LaSalle Limestone, as well as a black shale that produces fossils too, so a number of scientists and fossil enthusiasts proposed that a portion of the new protected land should be made into a public fossil park- here is their proposal: https://www.esconi.org/files/proposal-for-a-fossil-park-at-the-former-lone-star-quarry-site-final.pdf Now a state legislator representing the area has introduced a bill to do just that- the synopsis reads: "Amends the Department of Natural Resources (Conservation) Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. Provides that the Department of Natural Resources shall designate a portion of the former Lone Star Quarry site near Oglesby as a fossil park to allow for the collection of fossils. Provides that Department by rule may designate which portion of the land shall constitute the fossil park and any requirements for admittance or permits for entry into the fossil park. Provides that the Department may collaborate with any State university to establish educational opportunities or events at the fossil park." Hopefully this will become a law and this park can join the famous Mazonia-Braidwood as Illinois's second park for fossil collecting. If you are an Illinois resident, please contact your state representative and tell them to sign on as co-sponsor or support this bill!
  7. Ostracod or something else?

    Hi, I have another mysterious fossil. Silurian. Ostracod? Any ideas? (Bottom right): Side View:
  8. HI, Curious what this could be? It measures only 1mm found in Silurian deposit northern Illinois embedded in matrix along with pelecypods and gastropods. It looks like it could possibly be a tiny shark tooth, but I don't know anything about shark teeth. Are teeth ever found that small? At first thought maybe conodont but doesn't really have the caramel sheen to it. Any ideas? Any help appreciated.
  9. Mazon creek unknown

    About a week ago I ran across a thread about an unknown possibly being a eurypterid carapace. This made me think about my own unknowns and I'm now wondering the same thing about this:
  10. Wispy Mazon Creek Plant?

    This fossil split a few weeks ago and it has me puzzled. It's from the Mazon River itself and consists of many wispy fibers, with some carbonization at the tips. The edges of a Neuropteris fimbriata leaf have a frayed look that is sort of similar, but the rest doesn't look right. Another possibility I considered was it being some sort of highly degraded non-specific fibrous plant material. But I have not been able to find anything that matches it exactly in my guidebooks. Any ideas?
  11. Any help appreciated

    Hi everyone, I recently discovered a collection of fossils found in the area and was hoping to learn more about what may be there. Any help or insight is appreciated! Thanks in advance for the help!
  12. Silurian Sponge? Coral?

    Hello, I can't seem to ID this fossil found in Silurian reef rock, Chicago area. I made some slices. Any help appreciated.
  13. Geology: Tiny zircon crystals help trace the birth of the mighty Mississippi By Dale Gnidovec, The Columbus Dispatch, Nov 11, 2018 https://www.dispatch.com/news/20181111/geology-tiny-zircon-crystals-help-trace-birth-of-mighty-mississippi Potter-McIntyre, S.L., Breeden, J.R. and Malone, D.H., 2018. A Maastrichtian birth of the Ancestral Mississippi River system: Evidence from the U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology of the McNairy Sandstone, Illinois, USA. Cretaceous Research. Volume 91, November 2018, Pages 71-79 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667117305414 Yours, Paul H.
  14. On Saturday I posted pics from a Fossil Hunting Trip that I did the day before at a road cut in Ogelsby, Illinois.This area contains fossils from this formation- La Salle Limestone member of the Bond Formation (Missourian, Pennsylvanian) Unit 3. On of the pics that I posted was of something that I did not recognize and as always happens on the forum, someone responds with an identification. FF Member @Archie (Sam) stated that it was a Peripristis shark tooth and later stated that it was the lingual view. I then did some searching on the internet for pictures of this type of tooth and Sam was right on. During my search, I also came across an article titled "Pennsylvanian (Late Carboniferous) chondrichtyans from the LaSalle limestone member (Bond Formation) of Illinois, USA. This paper was written by Dr. Stephen L. Brusatte , who is a Chancellor's Fellow in Vertebrate Paleontology at the University of Edinburgh- (He grew up in Ottawa, IL. a town very close to Oglesby). Dr. Brusatte is an American Paleontologist and Evolutionary Biologist who specializes in the anatomy and evolution of dinosaurs. I found his e-mail address and late last night I e-mailed him pictures of this tooth and he responded early this morning and confirmed what Sam had stated. He further stated that "shark teeth are quite rare in the Pennsylvanian rocks of the Oglesby area". Sam, thanks again for helping me out with this ID.
  15. The 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.
  16. Southern Illinois Unknowns

    I recently made my first trip to a roadcut south of Columbia Illinois. I found a lot of crinoid stems, brachs and bryozoans. I found somethings that I'm not sure what they are. With these, my first instinct was crinoids or maybe cephalopods that had somehow split vertically. IMG_0977.MOV
  17. This weekend's finds

    One more from the same spot.
  18. Identification needed!

    Asking for help with hopefully identifying this. Any help is greatly appreciated!
  19. My first post and big find!

    Can anyone help me identify these? Ì have found these on my property where some excavation work was done. A hillside was excavated and I started finding these around the 4 foot mark. I have so many more. I believe I've stumbled across a whole colony of something that was killed off at the same time. Any input is tremendously appreciated!
  20. Mazon Creek fossil plants: Part 1

    Hi guys! Long story short, a rather large collection of Mazon Creek fossils has been donated to my university. I thought I'd share some pictures of the collection and confirm some preliminary identifications. There are a lot of specimens so I will probably split this into two posts. Annularia radiata Annularia stellata A whole bunch of Annularia stellata?
  21. I found this rock 50 years ago on the farm where I grew up in northern Illinois. The bedrock is far below the surface there. The surface rocks are erratics, dropped by glaciers that moved southwest from Canada through Michigan and into Illinois. It appears to be a kind of agate with some druzy quartz on it. I've recently shown it to several people and have gotten several different opinions on what it is and how it was formed, including that it is some kind of fossil. What do you think? The surface lines you see in some of the photos (most clearly in the third photo) are narrow and evenly spaced. There are about eight lines per millimeter. I increased the contrast in the ninth photo in an attempt to make the lines more visible. The other photos have not been manipulated, except by cropping. The pit in the third photo is about 2mm x 3mm and about 15mm deep.
  22. 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?
  23. 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?
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