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Found 66 results

  1. How to unbury this little guy

    I have this piece I found at Beltzville State Park pretty recently and really want to try to get it more exposed without destroying it. I have no experience at all with fossil prep, therefore I have no tools aside from basic chisels/hammers. I’m just wondering if there’s any suggestions as to what I could do to try to expose it, or anything I might acquire to do so.
  2. Interesting Bug # 1

    Let's go on what may turn out to be an extended journey. It is my intention to try to take pictures ever few hours along the way while prepping this little guy. In a few minutes I will post a picture of an unprepared trilobite exactly as found with no preparation whatsoever. What is a bit exciting about this one is that it is actually my bug and eventually when finished I will actually get to keep it for my own collection. Unfortunately for me, most of the really nice bugs and crinoids I prep end up not being mine, but at least I get the chance to experience them and see them come alive in person. I actually have 4 bugs and a nice plate sitting beside me right now that are not mine and waiting for a couple more to be done before packaging off to the owner. To set the scene a piece of matrix a little larger than my fist was split very cleanly into two pieces. The trilobite was cleanly dissected into two pieces across the split as are many trilobites when they are found. I am very hopeful from what I can see that the trilobite will be essentially complete; but that is really only known by the fossil faerie's at this time. You know those little gnomes that during the night hide the fossils for us to find, But they often try to trick us with those pesky partials. To help you out a little bit I have placed the picture with the trilobite roughly in the correct orientation. Eventually the two halves will be reunited by using a super thin cyanoacrylate that is made for Radio Controlled airplanes. So to answer a prep question that is often asked , Do you glue first then prep or prep then glue. The answer is it depends on the type of split you have, the amount of matrix to be removed and the quality of preservation of the fossil. In about 80% of the fossils I will do some prep first , then glue. I specifically want to see that I do in fact have the correct orientation for the fossil. I am also at this point trying to determine how complete the bug is. You do not want to spend 100 hours on a bug only to discover it is a partial. I once prepped 3 Oklahoma dicranurus for someone and sadly they all turned out to be partials. For example once you determine where the cephalon or pygidium is, go to where you think the opposite end of the big should be and see if it is there. If you are dealing with a spiny bug like a dicranurus look to see if the free cheeks are there and check that the long pygidial spines are there. If they are not you may be better off investing the 100 plus hours it might take in a better specimen. You will often find partially prepped dicranurus for sale that have been abandoned at the point the preparator discovered that something that should be there is missing. It takes almost as long to prep a dike missing say 1 free cheek as a perfect one, but the price difference between the two bugs when finished could easily be double. It is very important that you know the anatomy of the bug you are prepping. If I am working on a less common bug I will always have a picture of that bug at my prep station . However, reality is that I end up prepping the same 5 types most of the time (eldredgeops, greenops, ceraurus, isotelus, flexicalymene) as this is generally what I and my clients actually find. If it is a spiny bug you must know where the spines are likely to be on your matrix or you will without any doubt destroy them. If the bug is say a phacopid then you are off to clear sailing and can use very different methods to get down to the bug. I for instance on a non spiny trilobite will often use a Dremel with a diamond wheel to quickly remove a lot of the overlying matrix. I would never do this on a spiny trilobite. So without further rambling delay here is the mystery bug prior to any preparation. I am not at this point going to even tell you what the bug is, but if you would like to hazard a guess then send me a PM and I will let you know if you are correct Now here is the same side of the bug after about 15 minutes of preparation. At this point I have not discovered anything that would lead me to believe that the bug will not be complete. Note that you can see black sharpie lines on the left. I always put sharpie lines across the split to make it easy to line them back up when time to reassembly. You cannot see it here but all sides have them If you have anything interesting that you would like to consider having prepped you can always send me a PM and we can discuss. My next plan of attack is to spend about 15 minutes on the opposite side of the split. Following that I will come back to this side and use a Pferd MST31 air scribe with the fine stylus to remove some of the matrix well away from the actual fossil. Note that at this point I already know where the head and tail should be on the fossil and the correct orientation that I am going to prep from.
  3. Crushing in a crusher

    I'm reading a 1960ish report on a formation near me (Bloomsburg). Among other interesting things it says "The most effective method of extracting the fossils from the claystone is by crushing in a crusher in which fine particles drop out so that they do not constantly undergo breakage." Can anyone elaborate on this process?
  4. Shell fragments in matrix

    Hi. I recently went to Monmouth Beach near Long Branch. I was beachcombing and came across this piece on matrix. The reason I looked at it more closely was because I found a piece just like this and it had something that looked like a small shark tooth in it. When I looked closer at this piece, I found different shell fragments. There are usually no fossils found on this beach so I don't know what this is.
  5. Elasmosaurus Tooth Repair

    I received an awesome set of Moroccan matrices from @caldigger (thanks again!) that included a cracked elasmosaurus tooth. I didn't consolidate the tooth before prepping, as the matrix surrounding the tooth was far harder than the rest of the block, leading me to believe it had been sufficiently consolidated. It split at the crack whole handling it before prep work even begun, so I continued with the rest of the tooth and got the rest out pretty cleanly. The fossil isn't valuable, so I'm not too worried about perfection! Its all part of the learning experience for me. My question is about the correct order to go about repairing this tooth. When you line up the pieces, there is still a small hole from a missing section, and I suppose filling it with the matrix and then adding a layer of Paraloid dilute would be the best way to go? So here is my (tentative) plan of repair: Consolidate the pieces in the dilute Super glue the bits back together as cleanly as possible Fill in the cracks with wet matrix (?) Let it dry, then gently coat again with the dilute solution Would exposing it to the dilute twice be overkill? And I know acetone tends to dissolve super glue, but I assume the glue would hold if it's inside the tooth and the second coat of Paraloid goes on just the outer layer after it has all dried? Hopefully I explained my intentions well, and I'm looking for ideas as to what would be the best order to attempt these steps in or otherwise a preferable method (if there is one) of repair!
  6. I am going to feel bad if there is already a post with as much information as I am looking for, but I can't seem to find one. Essentially, I am having a hard time finding the proper consolidation materials. I have never prepped before, and I am going to be starting my first project this weekend. That being said, the extent of my knowledge of sealants comes from research on this forum. I am looking for the right materials to use (with or without acetone dilute) to keep my fossils from being damaged while working on some Moroccan matrix. I'm not finding anywhere reliable to purchase PVA B-15, Butvar, or anything of the sort. Is there a more easily accessible material I can work with? I need very little at this point in time, and not necessarily something expensive or overly high-quality as the items I will be working with are small and cheap. What are other alternatives that people use, and what are the benefits of each of them? I am eager to know all there is to know, and I've been slowly going down the list of each of the topics in this thread hoping to find what I'm looking for!
  7. Hello everyone, I was wondering what tools people would recommend for fossil preparation, I am an absolute newbie in this area and am not familiar with what options there are out there but would really love to learn, so far I only have a pin vise which I have used on rough matrix removal but too scared to get close to the actual fossils. Thank you, Misha
  8. Hi all! I am new to the forum and relatively new to fossil collecting. I would like to try my hand at preparation, but am not sure where to start. It seems like purchasing mosasaur teeth still embedded in matrix and slowly working to get them out might be a good way to practice with cheap and easily obtainable fossils, but I do not know how to go about this. In my head I imagine purchasing a few 20-30 dollar teeth with matrix, chisels, and scribers to be a great and (relatively) cheap way to begin practicing various techniques that I intend use for the rest of my life, is there anything else I need to be aware of, or perhaps other recommended forms of practicing preparation and removal of fossils from rock for beginners with a plethora of patience/time? Hopefully this makes sense!
  9. Lance formation matrix fun

    I had picked up a box full of Lance formation matrix bits a little while ago. This evening while in the garage I couldn't fight the urge to poke around a bit at a couple of pieces. I probably should only focus at one at a time....but temptation. I didn't really mess will the champsosaurus vertibrea in the matrix. I broke out the dental picks and started to play with these chunks. I didn't stay out there long because it doesn't have heat but there are some interesting things that are exposed. Hopefully I can get a spot in the basement set up so I can get deeper into this. I don't know I this fits better in the fossil hunting section or the fossil preparation section.
  10. Triceratops Tooth in Matrix

    From the album Lance fm. Microsite Finds

    Triceratops sp. (horridus or prorsus) Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian~ 66 mya) Lance formation
  11. I am offering up some Lee Creek micro matrix up for trade. I looking to trade mainly for other micro matrix, nothing that can only be sorted with a microscope please. I will entertain other offers as well. Adam
  12. Hi folks A selection of Silurian goodies. In exchange, I'm looking for dino teeth (NOT Moroccan unless exceptionally pretty). Overall images. Oh, Roman coin included for size. Coin is 1cm
  13. Red Hill Matrix

    Hi everyone! I have what I was told is Red Hill matrix that has been sitting on my porch for a very long time now... Anyone familiar with this matrix that can help me out? I am wondering if it does in fact look like Red Hill and the best way to break the matrix down? Some are very large chunks that have too much quartz to dissolve I think but here are some of the smaller pieces. As you can see there's a lot of shells in there... lol Any feedback appreciated! Thanks in advance.
  14. Lee creek matrix, micro teeth ID help

    I found these, amongst many others in some lee creek matrix. I was hoping someone could identify them for me.
  15. Tooth cleaning

    This tooth can be cleaned off more than this, cant it? It looks like there's plenty that is layered on top of the actual tooth that should be able to be removed, but I know it's not always as easy as that. And of course, not just if it CAN be removed, but removed safely? More to the point-safely by an amature?
  16. Unknown Insect? on Matrix from Ningcheng

    Hi folks, I received this in the mail as a bonus for one of my purchases, it's a matrix from China (browsing for similar specimens from the seller places it as from Ningcheng, China, Jurassic period). I have zero idea what it is, and wondering if the wonderful TFF folks have any indication of what it could be? I doubt it's anything (and without a microscope, probably impossible to identify), but trying to make an attempt to label it, rather than dumping it with in my unknown bucket.
  17. Matrix Identifcation

    Howdy! I'm having a heck of a time identifying the matrix surrounding the fossils I'm finding in my dig site. I'm using vinegar but it is weak. I'm considering using CLR on some practice stone plates but I could use some guidance.
  18. Help with Lee Creek Micro Fossil Tooth ID

    I was going through some Aurora Creek matrix, and I found that this tooth was a bit more unusual than the rest. Its root is a bit wider and its blade is shorter than the other teeth I have found. I'm thinking it could either be an angel shark tooth or a hammerhead shark tooth.
  19. Finding fossils

    I live in Kansas and thought I had a lot of fossils. Well, I guess not. Is there a type of rock that houses more fossils than others? What signs (crystalization? ) a color? Etc should I look for?? Are fossils typically a certain color? Does anyone have fossils still in the matrix that they could post here to help me know what I'm looking for? Please. Thanks!!
  20. Hello everyone, I have been collecting fossils for almost two years now but even incthis short period of time I have amassed a large collection. Unfortunately bringing home slabs of rock home atleast a couple times a month starts to fill up the house and does not bode well with my parents. Still being 15 I do not have a lot of space for the fossils so my dad and I have started cleaning through the garage soughting through the large slabs. To also tackle the storage peoblem I have started collecting smaller fossils (Shells, teeth, etc) and have now taken an interest in micro fossils. There is a couple sites in Victoria and South Australia where you can collect micro fossils (Small gastropods, bivalves, echinoids) but I am looking to buy some micro vertebrate fossil matrix. I have been looking around a couple places and have found a store with some good reviews (D and D Fossils). Is there any other places I should check out? Also I am happy to trade for micro fossil matrix if any one is interested. Thanks, Daniel
  21. What is the best place to buy fossil matrix with the most fossils?
  22. I found this shell cast on Honeymoon Island, Florida, USA. As you can see from the photos it's a complete shell cast and measures about 4 x 3 1/2 inches. I did some research and found similar pictures that looked like Turritella Shell. Would the Forum agree with this ID?? If so I read that this is an extinct species of fossil sea snail. Is this correct? I appreciate your feedback. Thank you!
  23. Yesterday I went over to Bakersfield ( Sharktooth Hill locality) East of the river. Just for kicks, I grabbed a small amount of matrix chunks to see if any small fossils could be found. Fast forward to my prep lab ( kitchen) for a cleaning. I was surprised at the abundance of tiny fossils in there and they have the same coloring as the larger teeth.lots of reds, yellows, sable browns, etc. Tonight I did some sorting and looky what I found. A very small Cow Shark tooth only 6mm long.
  24. Mystery fossil tooth in matrix

    Hello all I recently found this at a shop with really no information on it. I am in Texas, but not sure where this fossil tooth in matrix was found; or if it is even real. The matrix looks and feels a bit weird to me. The tooth itself is about 1-1/8" long with what looks to be a long root under the matrix it is on. What do you think? Any suggestions or info would be great! KP
  25. I found this Psittacosaurus specimen online, pretty positive it is a real fossil, however not sure if this is really a Psittacosaurus for various reasons. Here are the pictures associated with it, it was pretty vague with no location to where it was found, which is why I am posting it in the is it real because of lack of information.
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