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Found 23 results

  1. This is a huge announcement I have to make. It has been under wraps for quite a few months now and some of you may recall my damselfly find from the July 2017 Fossil of the Month contest. Well a HUGE thanks is in order for @oilshale for pointing me in the direction of one of his friends to help identify this beautiful specimen. Turns out this is not just a new species, or even genus, but an entirely new FAMILY that will soon be published!!! This damselfly will be labeled as the type specimen (Holotype) for the Family, Genus, AND Species. I donated this beautiful bug to my friends over at Fossil Butte National Monument where staff has been working to catalogue and name many of their unidentified insect specimens. This Damselfly will be a great addition for them as they build a new exhibit focused on insects of the Green River in the next year or so. This bug was a very special find for me, and knowing that it was going to be the type specimen adds even more to it. I haven't been able to post this in part because it was meant as a Christmas present for my wife. She was speechless to find out that the species will be named after her. I have no idea how I will ever up myself from this, but here's to trying. This has definitely been a highlight in my fossil career and I can't imagine ever finding another type specimen. I am happy to know that you all will share in my excitement and when the paper is finally published I will make sure to share it here as well! Attached is a copy of the letter from Fossil Butte National Monument, edited of course, and if you read it you will see why!
  2. Mioplosus labracoides Cope, 1877 Hatchling

    From the album Vertebrates

    Mioplosus labracoides Cope, 1877 Middle Eocene Ypresian Green River Formation Kemmerer Wyoming USA Length: 3.5cm
  3. Our giant summer road trip (18 states, 20 days, almost 7,000 miles) began at a road cut in St. Leon, Indiana, finding trilobites. I haven't unpacked those yet, so I'll start this trip report with Part 2, the Kemmerer Fish Dig. After the extended family left to head home (there were 11 of us for a few weeks), I took my family on an extended fossiling adventure. First stop was the south-western corner of Wyoming. Just outside of Kemmerer, we stopped at the American Fossil Quarry (http://www.fishdig.com/) for a full day of splitting fish. The quarry wasn't that far out of town, and the roads were actually quite decent. (In a minivan, this is always a concern of ours.) We even had cell-reception for most of the drive! At a fork in the road we turned left, down the driveway into American Fossil's quarry. (on the other side of the road was Fossil Safari at Warfield Fossil Quarry - the difference is that at American Fossil, you get to keep all that you find, and I think there are better services - a guy at our hotel had a giant plate with a tiny fish to bring back....I would have cut it down) The quarry itself was a small area, with some areas to the left and right staked out by the professionals. We were focused on the middle section, a few rows of rocks that had been pulled off the quarry wall. They were divided into an older section (left) and a newer section (right), with the difference being that the newer section the rocks were a bit more damp, and didn't split as well.
  4. The Trip That Nearly Didn't Start (Lengthy image-intensive trip report follows) Tammy and I had planned a fossil hunting trip to Wyoming for the third week of September to redeem our day of digging (splitting rock) at the Green River Formation quarry that @sseth had earlier so generously offered up as a prize on an auction to benefit TFF. We had our airfares, a rental car reserved, and a series of hotels booked across the state ready for a monumental fossil hunting trip. The one small problem was the not so small storm named Hurricane Irma that tore through the northern Caribbean and had its sights set on the Florida and being wider than the peninsula, no Floridian was going to miss the effects of this storm. Earlier in the week the forecast had the centerline of the cone of probability for the track of the storm hitting Miami and traveling up the eastern coast where Boca Raton sat squarely in the cross-hairs. I guess that if you are going to be in the path of some major destruction it is better to be the target early in the week rather that toward the end when the storm is at our doorstep. Thankfully (for us, but not so for those in the Lower Keys and Southwest Florida), the storm's turn to the north was delayed and though we were now on the stronger NE quadrant of the storm, the eye was significantly far away to the west that we escaped the strongest of winds. The storm unleashed squadrons of tornadoes and micro-bursts which had us ducking into our safe room for cover. During the storm unidirectional winds first blew from the east and then from the south as the storm passed us to the west but the tornadic winds were something else as the trees started whipping around in all directions quite violently. Luckily for us, the house survived with no structural damage. The newer more sturdy pool cage that replaced the original one that Wilma had crumpled and stuffed into the pool back in 2005 (shockingly) did not even lose a single screen panel. The damage on our property was limited to toppled trees and broken limbs and branches. We lost power even before the eye wall had made first landfall in the Florida Keys. As soon as it was safe to go outside, we started the portable generator and ran extension cords throughout the house to keep refrigerator, freezer and a box fan and a few lights powered. We've cooked on our outdoor grill and Coleman camp stove in previous power outages caused by the rash of hurricanes in 2004/05 and so we were well prepared and never at risk of starvation (we actually ate rather well). While Wilma had run over the house in late October, 2005 when the temperatures had cooled somewhat from the hot muggy Florida summer, we were not so lucky this time. Outdoor temps in the low 90's were soon matched by the 88 degrees inside which made sleeping difficult (even with a fan). We spent the days cutting up the downed foliage and stacking it into many piles along the street in back of the house as well as a towering mount in the cul-de-sac in front (which is still growing in size to this day and is due to be cleared by FEMA sometime in the next 2-3 weeks). Taking frequent breaks inside to lay down on the floor in front of the fan to avoid all-out heat exhaustion, both Tammy and I worked to clear the property as much as we could and monitor the progress of power restoration in our county. Over 70% of homes and businesses were left in the dark after Irma but Florida Power & Light had learned a few things after performing poorly in the 2004/05 hurricane seasons. They had staged a bunch of replacement parts and crews fresh from working in Houston were in the state working to get the grid back online. We couldn't leave on our trip unless we got power back and we watched the percentage of customers without power slowly but steadily decrease until one evening our power flickered and within a few minutes was restored for good. I had been waiting till the last possible minute to cancel my plans and try to get refunds for the reservations we'd made for this trip. I was tired of a week of hot sweaty yard work clearing debris and I was ready for some cooler Wyoming temps.
  5. American Fossil Quarry

    Well I haven't had much time to go fossil hunting since we made an offer on our home. We are moving in on Saturday. I'm so excited. Two weeks ago my wife allowed me to take an excursion for fish fossils in Wyoming with her cousin Luke. Little did the twelve year old boy know what he was getting into. This would be his first fossil hunting experience but he also experienced the following: first off roading experience, first taste of beef jerky, first time to Wyoming, and first time to a Sonic drive through. Being in the middle of Wyoming I diligently followed Google Maps which led us off roading. I have done some crazy stuff in my lifetime (i.e. sky diving) and have been really worried. This was one of those times. The off roading experience started us off on a dirt road with deep tracks from tires with chains for getting through snow. At one point I had to keep my left wheel in the middle of the road and my right wheel was off road with the right side of the vehicle slamming into rocks and sage brush. Thankfully we made it out. The quarry was amazing. Here are a bunch of pictures going back to our trip to my parents cabin in Island Park near Yellowstone and the new home. Heading out for date night at a nearby ski resort in Utah. Here we are at the Sundance ski resort for an outdoor play. My wife insisted we take a selfie. You can tell that I'm not a big fan of selfies. This is Bear World located in Rexburg, Idaho. We stopped here on our way up to Island Park. Bear World is a zoo for wild animals native to North America. Cute little fawn. American Bison. This Black Bear decided he didn't want to move so we had to wait for a few minutes. Big Grizzly Bear waking up after an afternoon nap. This is my brother Spencer holding my daughter Clara. He has a little son and I can tell he really wants a daughter. The Caldera pots of Yellowstone. The sulfuric smell was horrible but the sight was interesting and pleasantly warm. This may look like an inviting hot tub but is dangerously hot. Having our picture taken near the falls. Old Faithful My dad and I went to his secret spot near the cabin for some fishing on Saturday morning. I ended up catching thirty rainbow trout but only kept three. My father caught a bunch but only kept a few. We had enough fish to feed our families for lunch (keep in mind not everybody had trout as there were hamburgers). Clara loves the great outdoors. My mother really enjoyed spending time with her only granddaughter. My four young nephews really adored her as well. I had to share this one. A few weeks ago I came home to see my young daughter smiling up at me. That made up for the long day I had at work. This is where I decided it was time to turn the Subaru back. That hill was rather steep with loose gravel and even with X-mode and Incline mode set I couldn't make it up and the other side of the hill didn't look promising. Almost ran down into this deep crevice. It's a good thing I was going really slow. As you can see there are no roads up here. Luke is being a good sport, but he was a bit nervous about the whole ordeal as was I. Thankfully we made it out. We ended taking another dirt road and coming to this sign. Definitely turning back this time. Bad road! This was the "bad road." Doesn't look to rough but over the bend it could "evolve" into something nasty. Despite the rough start Luke is still looking forward to getting at those fossil fish. Almost there! That sign notes that off roading is illegal. I'll keep that in mind for next time as I was unaware. I notified Luke that he couldn't keep anything over 100k. And we are here! Within the hour discovered this massive Mioplosus that shattered upon extraction. I had no clue it was in the limestone. The stuff is so brittle it just popped right out in pieces. I left it out in the open for the brave preparer who would try his hand at this heart breaker. I keep forgetting to take pictures of fossil extractions on site. Managed to snap this photo while heading out. The car definitely needs a good washing inside and out. The serenity of Wyoming. A heard of Antelope running up the gorge. Here is Luke's amused face. The preservation on this Knightia oceana pair isn't great but what's interesting is that they are inverted against each other. Another pair. The bottom fish is well preserved. Close up. Another K. oceana. This is a K. oceana but looks like a miniature Piranha. Excellent preservation. Another K. oceana. A K. oceana and what I believe is a Diplomystus bottom right that needs some preparation. This will be the location for a new fossil preparation bench. The space looks small on camera but is surprisingly large at 7ft wide by 3 ft deep. Lots of fossil fish. More fish. One of the plates had seven K. oceana but I had to cut that one down (too big). I'm not sure what species the fish is bottom right but it's about the size of a dinner plate. Here is a decent Mipolosus that should prep out well. @Ptychodus04 this is the specimen I told you about. What would you recommend for this fish in terms of exposing it. Any other feedback from TFF members is welcome. The big plate sized fish. K. oceana K. oceana A plate of K. oceana. This is a beautiful Priscacara. @sseth father helped me to extract it and he said that this was one of four found that day. Unfortunately it was already split from the first hammer hit but I do have the other half. @Ptychodus04 recently you worked on a GRF fish that needed to be glued back together. Mind if I send you this project? I'll pay you or add some new features to the website. I'm a bit worried about messing this one up. The spikes look really neat and I do have the complete half that goes with it. Should turn out to be a rather neat looking fossil. This Diplomystus was a trip maker. It's not that large but has fine detail. I applied an air scribe from the rock quarry to the back portion as the tail was covered in limestone sediment. This one is currently on display at my office at work. All of my coworkers are green with envy. Measuring out the work bench. Picked up a large shelf for storing fossils on in the garage. Here is the backyard. The neighborhood is built against a mountain so the backyard is a hill with terraces. I'll plant a garden and trees on the terraces. I can't wait to move in this Saturday. View of Utah Lake from the backyard. Right next to the lake is the city of Lehi. These sunflowers grow well in the desert region of Utah and require very little water. @SailingAlongToo here are some pictures for you. I ordered these fine paintings from the Annapolis Marine Art Gallery in Annapolis. They weren't cheap but should look really nice. This painting is the HMS Surprise the British frigate featured in Master and Commander. This is Beyond the Mark and one of the most famous paintings by Willard Bond. The painting depicts the abstractness of a regatta race. Mr. Bond frequented Maryland to witness these ships racing each other. He is considered to be one of the greatest ship painters of our modern day. This is one of my favorites and depicts a sail boat returning home from a day in the bay. In the background is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge linking the western shore to the eastern shore. At one point in time the bay bridge was the largest man made bridge in the USA. To this day it's one of the older bridges in the country and was built in 1952. I have fond memories of this area from my Calvert Cliff days. I also spent countless weekends in Annapolis. If you ever get a chance to visit the east coast the Chesapeake Bay is a must see. Neat picture of Lone Peak mountain right outside my wife's parents home. It was overcast that day and the clouds sat right on top of the mountain. Close up of the Mioplosus. Another shot of the backyard from the top. I'm in love.
  6. Baenidae non det.

    Might be Chisternon undatum Leidy, 1872, but turtles that size are almost impossible to determine.
  7. We're just about to take the kids on a big road trip for their 10th birthday, and one of the main focuses will be on fossil hunting (their new interest). We'll be stopping at: 1) St. Leon, Indiana - (1 hour?) Roadside cut 2) Kemmerer, WY - (full day) Fish dig (http://www.fishdig.com/) 3) Glendive, MT - (4-8 hours?) Dino dig (www.dailydinosaurdigs.com) 4) Belle Fourche, SD - (full day) Dino dig (www.paleoadventures.com) Any last minute tips or advice for novices heading out? I think we've got the attire figured out, and the kids have a tool pack that they might use in IN. Not sure about storage/transport in the minivan, or what to expect about how much rock we'll actually be hauling home. Would flat cardboard boxes be recommended to bring? And papertowel rolls for padding? Thanks!
  8. Green River - June 3-4, 2017

    On June 3rd and 4th I ditched my regular hunting grounds for the opportunity to meet up with a forum member @Seve78 at one of the Pay to Dig quarries in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Tom chose to spend Saturday at Warfield Quarry and Sunday with me at American Fossil (AKA Fish Dig) which is run by our very own TFF member @sseth Tom was an absolute pleasure to dig with and he filled his suitcase with literally tons of treasures to take home, I would meet up again in a heartbeat! I arrived at 9:30am on Saturday and spent about 4 hours helping to prep the site for Tom on Sunday. I split down some of the larger blocks that had been pulled from the wall to allow them to dry. For those of you that have not been to Kemmerer for fish yet, the rock has to be AS DRY AS POSSIBLE, or else it is just a mushy mess that WILL NOT split! Dry rocks are near impossible to achieve with just 1 day of digging! Upon Tom's arrival at around 8:00am of Sunday we got to work! Here is Tom starting his search through some of the rock that had been pulled! Here is a picture of the area I was working. I brought my long chisels and a couple of short ones for good measure. Along with 3 hammers and nippers for trimming down my finds. Both halves of a nice multi plate presented themselves for me about 3 hours in! Once all the rock had been pulled it was time to trim them up for transport. Trusty old table saw, the fastest way in the west to lose a finger! My haul after just 6 hours of total digging time was pretty impressive. All trimmed up and laid out on the table ready to go home, these finds were all delivered to the Morrison Museum of Natural History in Morrison, CO. I wanted them to have some fish for their collections and left everything as found so they could try their hands at prep! The big fish on the front of the table is a 90% complete Phareodus. This is a relatively small one, they could reach up to about 25 inches in length! I left this one with Patrick to give to Seth, maybe he can make something of it! My find of the day though was also my smallest...a Juvenile Amphiplaga brachyptera... This is the RAREST fish the Pay to Dig quarries will let you keep, and only my second one ever found in 4 years of digging Green River fishies. They do not present in the 18" layer I usually dig, only the split fish layers. I found a full grown adult measuring in at just over 5 inches and now this juvenile to add to my collection. I don't usually post much for FOTM, but this guy is headed that way! Whether he wins or not though, he has made me one happy digger! If anyone else is down for a meet-up shoot me a PM! I will be heading back to Seth's quarry on June 24-25 and always love to meet fellow TFF members! Hope you all enjoyed my trip report, see you soon! -Blake As I was leaving the quarry, we had some furry guests waiting in line for their turn to dig up some fishies!
  9. Baenidae indet.

    From the album Vertebrates

    Baenidae indet. Eocene Ypresian Green River Formation Kemmerer Wyoming USA Length 90mm Might be Chisternon undatum Leidy, 1872, but turtles that size are almost impossible to determine.
  10. Green river formation ID

    Looking to see whether anyone might be able to help with the following two items I found at Warfield Quarry today. This first is perhaps a fish scale but it's big at 1" across - I could be very wrong though. The second looks like a rear fin of a Priscacara and is fairly big at about 7" across. Any help would be really appreciated.
  11. Kemmerer, WY

    I picked this little piece up in Alpine WY. The lady I obtained it from says she got it in Kemmerer. Any idea what it is?
  12. I will be taking the family on our trip to Kemmerer the 2nd weekend of June. This is the trip sseth offered up to auction back in Nov/Dec. My 4th had to back out due to a family issue so I posted the open slot under the rolling auction if anyone is interested in joining us out there under sseth's guidance for 2 full days of eocene rock fishing the green river. I will also be hitting Big Cedar Ridge in WY for some cretaceous plant fossils on the 6th and U-dig in UT for some cambrian trilobites for a couple of hours on the 12th in case anyone's looking for digging company that week. I tried reaching out to both Black Cat Mountain and Thiessen Quarry in OK looking for a solo trip on 6/15, but I haven't heard back from either. If anyone has a lead they would be willing to share I would appreciate finding a way to connect with one of them before we go. It's shaping up to be one heck of a trip and I look forward to sharing pics of our adventures when we return. Let me know if anyone is interested in trying to coordinate times at any of the locations.
  13. 2016 a Recap

    Hello TFF! I just wanted to take a minute to share with everyone some of our finds from 2016. I do most of my digging up in Kemmerer, WY trying my hand at fossil fishes. 2016 was a pretty exceptional year in that along with our standard hundreds of 18" fish and thousands of split fish we pulled 2 VERY LARGE specimens. quite rare really. it averages out to about 1 every 2 or 3 years normally, so 2 in one summer is AMAZING! These panels have all been finished and are ready to hit the market along with the large gar and the croc! Fingers crossed that they sell so we can open up next year! I hope you all enjoy coming along. ALL of these panels feature 100% natural fish with 0% restoration. NO PAINT, a few have been inlaid though. In the last picture, the branch does have around 2% restoration because it was in multiple pieces needing to be glued.
  14. Green River Fish Panel

    Prep was just finished on this lovely panel. All three fish are 100% natural. NO INLAY! NO PAINT! Wonderful panel with three fish. Notongoneous (long skinny guy) Diplomystus (big fat one) Priscacara (spiny one) This panel measures 34 inches tall x 45 inches wide.
  15. For the second year in a row, I took a long, two-week vacation to Wyoming, Utah and Colorado in late August and early September. It was a nice vacation but perhaps a bit too long. The highlight of my trip was visits to the Warfield fish quarry in Kemmerer, WY, the Blue Forest in Eden Valley, WY, Wamsutter, WY for "Turritella Agate", Great Basin National Park in Nevada and Douglass Pass in Colorado. I've been working on a really involved narrative of the whole trip but it is taking some time and I'm running out of steam so I wanted to get some pictures and summaries up on the Forum. My first stop was to a site south of Wamsutter, WY where you can find "Turritella Agate" which is silicified rock that is jam packed with snail shell fossils. The area has changed a bit since I last visited eight years ago with many more Oil and Gas pumping sites. After collecting my fill I got back on the road. My next stop was to an area that had some agates but I didn't find anything that was terribly interesting. Finally, I stopped at a section of the “Oyster Ridge” south of Kemmerer. Here some Cretaceous aged sediments are tilted up. One of the layers is composed of a Pelecypod hash which does not often produce good quality, whole specimens. I found one nice specimen and then spent some time exploring one of the other layers which was a sandstone with lots of fluvial features like ripple marks, fluting and other features indicating it once was an estuary or beach like environment. I snagged a nice sized piece for myself and a few others for my Aunt's garden in Longmont. Cont'd...
  16. Diplomystus dentatus Cope, 1877

    Lit.: Grande, L. (1982): A Revision of the Fossil Genus Diplomystus, With Comments on the Interrelationships of Clupeomorph Fishes. American Museum Novitates, Number 2728, pp. 1-34, figs. 1-38.
  17. Erismatopterus levatus (Cope, 1870)

    Lit.: Fossil Butte National Monument Geologic Resources Inventory Report, NPS/NRSS/GRD/NRR—2012/587 Grande, L. (1984) PALEONTOLOGY OF THE GREEN RIVER FORMATION, WITH A REVIEW OF THE FISH FAUNA. THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF WYOMING, BULLETIN 63.
  18. Lit.: L. Grande: An updated review of the fish faunas from the Green River Formation, the world's most productive freshwater Lagerstaetten. In Eocene biodiversity., unusual occurrences and rarely sampled habitats. Gunell, Gregg F., eds, Topics in Geobiology, Vol 18, p. 1-38. Lance Grande & William E. Bemis (1998) A Comprehensive Phylogenetic Study of Amiid Fishes (Amiidae) Based on Comparative Skeletal Anatomy. an Empirical Search for Interconnected Patterns of Natural History, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 18:S1,1-696, DOI: 10.1080/02724634.1998.10011114
  19. Notogoneus osculus Cope, 1885

    Lit.: L. Grande and T. Grande. 2008. Redescription of the type species for the genus Notogeneus (Teleostei: Gonorhynchidae) based on new, well-preserved material. The Paleontological Society Memoir 70:1-31 [M. Uhen/M. Uhen]
  20. Notogoneus osculus Cope, 1885

    Lit.: L. Grande and T. Grande. 2008. Redescription of the type species for the genus Notogeneus (Teleostei: Gonorhynchidae)based on new, well-preserved material. The Paleontological Society Memoir 70:1-31 [M. Uhen/M. Uhen]
  21. Phareodus sp., juvenile

    Juvenile Phareodus
  22. Mioplosus labracoides

    The Mioplosus is an extinct genus of Percid fish that lived from the early to middle Eocene. These fish were predators in Fossil Lake's large ecosystem.
  23. Wyoming And Utah Fossil Trip

    Hey everyone, Long time no see, hope everyone has been doing well. I was hoping you guys might be able to give me some recommendations for a trip I'm planning next month. Right now my plan is to head to Kemmerer and look for some green river fish, and then head to salt lake city for a couple day. Next I was looking at going on to Delta to hit up U-dig for trilobites, and then heading to Moab before finally heading home to ND. So I guess my questions would be what quarry would you guys recommend in Kemmerer? Is U-dig worth it or is there a better quarry in that area to visit? Does anyone have any other recommendations on places to stop along any part of the trip for fossils or otherwise? And are there any special tools I should bring to any of these locations? Thanks again for your help everyone, I plan on posting all my finds here after the trip too.