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Found 88 results

  1. Recently recieved a nice little package of lance creek lag formation matrix for me and a close friend to look through. I personally never handled a tough hard more dry matrix like this as I'm mostly a creek digger and my friend she is a complete amateur so this will be her first time. I'm looking for any helpful tips on how to approach such matrix. It came with two wooden sticks and some strange glue made of beads that I heard u would need acetone to break down, and if that's the case what would be the proper amount to mix? Also would it be a good idea to use the wooden sticks as a digging tool to break up the matrix? And lastly what would be the best approach coming across a fragile more broken up bone? Any help to make this experience smoother will be very much appreciated as I'd love to make the fossil hunting experience especially more smoother and special for my friend.
  2. Hello My question is not so much about the process of prepping & polishing Ammonites as it is about the Ammonite Fossil itself and the outer shell. I can see there are dozens of different techniques and philosophies about this process, but the question is: --> Can "almost" any Ammonite be polished if you remove the matrix or does the shell sometimes absorb too many minerals and become like the surrounding rock and it just remains dull ? A lot of the Ammonites on our property seem to be encased in a white limestone matrix and are very dull looking. They "appear" incapable of being polished, but I haven't tried yet. Just curious... I hope this question makes sense. Thanks in advance, Mike The photo below is not one of my Ammonites, but is a good representation of what mine look like. I'll try posting a few of mine later. Thanks Again
  3. I received this nice theropod tooth recently, however it was collected in the 1940s and there's no record as to where it was collected (other than it was likely somewhere in the USA, but Canada is a possibility too as the person who found it often collected in Northern Montana). It might be a long shot, but I was hoping someone on the forum might be able to help me pin down where it came from. I say this it's still embedded in a chunk of matrix which looks quite unique. The matrix is filled with shells, so I'm guessing it's a marine deposit. I acquired two teeth, both in this kind of matrix, so I'm also guessing that dinosaur fossils are common in this deposit despite the abundance of shells. Any help would be much appreciated as they're both awesome teeth and it'd be great to get a better idea of what they might be from, but that's obviously impossible without knowing where they were found!
  4. Removing hard rock matrix

    I have a theropod tooth that has hard rock matrix attached to base. What is the best technique to remove it safely? Thanks in advance.
  5. I am enjoying learning about the rocks in our yard. I found one that had something embedded in it, so I decided to try to remove the items from the matrix. I brushed and cleaned it well with vinegar and water and then used dental tools to pick the matrix away from it. How fascinating it was to see the matrix fall away - it was NOTHING like I expected it to be! There were two items embedded - and they may have originally been one whole piece. It is hollow and I have no clue if it is a fossil of some sort or a different type of rock that was embedded into a limestone rock. It took hours to remove these two items, but it was worth it. I did take some photographs along the way, but unless anyone is interested in seeing those, I will just post the end result. These two photos are of the first piece to be removed. This first piece is not deep - it seemed like maybe a "top" to the other piece, although they were laying side by side in the limestone. I have photographed both sides. Measurements are about 1.5 cm x 2cm. Thanks! Ramona
  6. There was a piece of land sticking out between valleys of about 2000+ sq meters. I found there many various fossils. On that ridge sticking out, there was a rocky bed floor split in 2 or more & were cracked as an earthquake would do. Between them, I found this piece along with another, I posted earlier not far inside the crack. the 2 pieces I posted were not close to each other but rather in another crack near. this piece was deeper in the crack and it was broken as it fell back on my first try to pull it. The matrix below is woody and lightweight and can be broken. It is the same type of the previous post. On top, the frog-like trace is different than the rest is rock and very petrified. where the frog-like trace is, there is a thin layer that covered the whole part.
  7. Marine fossil on matrix.

    The piece itself is very light.
  8. Invertebrate bed id

    Found on 1450 meters above sea level in the anti mount lebanon range (mid to northern part). Those mountains are the natural separation between syria and lebanon. a local cut on a 90 meters hill to extract construction stones exposed few fossils among the debris. Just cleaned it with water. looking very close, the agatization is cristal clear.
  9. Matrix finds quandary

    I and others have been finding these in the matrix I've been collecting about a mile East of the Ernst Quarry in Bakersfield, California. Mid. Miocene, Temblor Formation. I have never found them from the Sharktooth Hill matrix I used to collect. Items all average about 3mm in diameter. Some sort of dermal denticle or fish scale? I hope the phone picture is adequate. Any ideas?
  10. Permian extinction souvenirs?

    Does anyone know of anywhere that sells anything from the Permian extinction layer? I have matrix/micro glass beads from the KT boundary layer, but I can’t find anything like that from the Permian/Triassic boundary layer, but I can’t imagine there just wouldn’t be anything for sale anywhere, so I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction. I’d be curious about remnants of any extinction, but I’m specifically interested in anything Permian extinction.
  11. My sons and I have been searching different formations in MD/VA for many years so we know how to recognize the different formation layers and have a good idea where to find/or at least check for micro sites/micro lenses. My sons have also been collecting the Eocene/Oligocene formations of Nebraska for years so again they know how to recognize the formation layers. My younger son Mel moved to South Dakota in 2018 and began to also collect the Lance Formation and Hell Creek Formation. However he is still learning the different formation layers. His interest is dinosaur fossils from these formations. My interests are the much smaller micro dinosaur fossils as well as the micro mammal, squamate, amphibian, and fish fossils. I’m always bugging him to send me micro matrix. He sent me matrix this Fall. This post is about one batch of matrix. Mel’s first approach was to send matrix from small areas that have high density surface concentrations of teeth and bones. Where Mel is collecting is more flat and rolling with different Hell Creek layers exposed on the surface versus bluffs and small cliff faces. Mel for Thanksgiving sent me a large USPS priority box of matrix (around three gallons) from a small 6 ft. by 6 ft. area that had a high concentration of dino teeth on the surface. Although sand/clay based this matrix was hard as concrete. I had to use a rock hammer and a small hand sledge hammer to break what he sent into more manageable pieces (definitely not recommended if you are looking for larger specimens). That said the matrix broke down completely in a single day in buckets of very hot tap water and dawn dish soap. I would every few hours use finger pressure to help break up clumps. There was very little residue left after breakdown of this matrix. The below picture shows the residue from about 1/3 of the matrix or around a gallon. The below picture shows what I found. On the left maybe some petrified wood? Doesn’t really look like bone. Maybe geologic. In the middle there is a really nice Croc tooth (4mm), seed (5mm) (maybe modern?), and a partial gar fish scale (7mm). On the right there are several definite small bones and a few specimens that could be bones. Looks like a terrestrial/fluvial environment. What I found was nice but not worth the effort to remove the matrix, send it to Virginia, break the matrix down, and then to search it. Although like I said earlier, there was very little residue after breakdown, so it took only about 15 minutes to search all of the residue. Sampling different sites/layers and trial and error can be extremely tedious and non-productive if you really don’t understand the formation layers and how to recognize them in the field. So I reached out to a TFF member for advice and insight. He explained the matrix types and gave advice on where to take matrix samples. Taking matrix from areas with high density surface concentrations of larger fossils is one way to sample for micros like Mel did for this matrix. However TFF member cautioned that lots of times these concentrations of larger fossils got washed from another layer to the current area years ago and that the underlying layer may not contain much at all as seemed to be the case with this area/layer for this matrix. When you find a good micro site/layer it is very rewarding in the micros that you can find but these sites/micro layers can be difficult to find especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with the Formation. If anyone reading this post has any advice or insight for looking for a Hell Creek Formation specific micro site/layer please post it in a reply. Marco Sr.
  12. I recently acquired a collection of assorted rocks and minerals. Many of these specimens are from the 70's, 80's and 90's ( am in the US). In this group there is two ammonite in matrix specimens. I believe they are Russian due to them being pyritized. I am having a difficult time finding info about what species and what value these specimens may have. I go to the Tucson show every year and I don't often see ammonites like this. I was told to come here to find the experts! Thank you for your time, I look forward to posting more now that I am a member StoneAgeQuarry
  13. I was looking at this Otodus tooth fossil from Morocco... Does this matrix look all natural?
  14. Bone?

    Hi is this a piece of bone its in matrix and is from the Kem Kem formations Morocco.
  15. Trimming matrix with saws

    Hi All. I am looking for suggestions on trimming matrix (hard shale, limestone) from specimens. I have used a tile saw in the past. I am wondering if small hand saws with diamond blades would also be effective. I appreciate the help.
  16. Micro fossil?

    Does anyone know what's this could be? it's form Purbeck Group matrix form UK
  17. I am looking for references for a professional preparator to take the matrix off the back of my newly purchased Megalodon Tooth from Chile. I have been told the matrix is like concrete and need to find someone with lots of experience.
  18. I’ve browsed a few topics here and the work some of you guys do for fossil prep is very impressing. Its encouraged me to try my hand at some very basic matrix removal off a shell from the McKinney Falls area (very common). Im only about 5 hours in but I have to say I have a whole new level of respect for you guys. This takes so much more patience than I realized.
  19. Howdy all, I tried searching for answers on the search bar, but couldn't find anything, so I'm hoping someone can help me out. I was going through the fossil prep section and noticed that many people seem to start off with a large nodule and remove all the matrix to reveal the fossil hidden inside. My question is, how does one (a seller, or person out on a fossil hunt) even determine that a big hunk of nodule has a fossil inside if there are no immediate visible indications of a fossil from the outside? Once again thanks.
  20. Fossil plant or animal?

    Hello all. I haven't been active here for awhile, too much tragic events the past couple of months, unfortunately. Anyway, I have been helping my buddy out again, sorting through a huge collection of minerals and fossils that he purchased earlier this year. I went through a unopened box today and there were so many plant fossils, many are quite stunning! This piece I am not quite sure about. If it is plant the leaves were quite thick and dense. The gloss is wild looking, and I thought bone at first. Only about 1/4 of the fossils in this collection had labels on them and most had fallen off in the boxes and are all scrambled up. It's been a chore, but snarge fun regardless, as you can imagine. I need help on this one. Sorry some of the photos aren't focused well. I should have worn my glasses today! KP
  21. Mosasaur jaw in matrix

    So I got this jaw that I was talking about and I still kinda want to clean the matrix and I read somewhere that if you put it in water it gets removed is this the case? Also I see white things like bones stuck in the matrix as well ( like those seen in the picture) are these bones or just rocks? Thank you very much for your time.
  22. Aurora trip

    I am heading out to the Aurora Fossil Festival, but I am actually leaving Charleston on Sunday because my hubby has a catering job Friday night and Saturday night. I spoke with the one of the original founders of the Fossil Festival yesterday who gave me the ok to take back some 5 gal. buckets with me for my son's class. Nothing like spreading the excitement of fossil hunting with kids. I love to pass on the fossil fever. I used to teach and I always spread the fossil fever to each child I taught. I also found out that the Aurora Museum does Educational Kits where if a teacher sends a requests, they will send out enough "dirt/spoils" for the whole class. Pretty amazing.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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?