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Found 329 results

  1. Note that this was not found inside of a nodule.
  2. This morning I left the house early to drive out to the Braceville Shaft Mine in Braceville, Illinois to drop off 6 buckets of open Mazon Creek concretions so the 50 or so members of ESCONI could take anything that caught their eye. Today is the first trip to the Shaft Mine this year for ESCONI and the members are going to have great weather. Unfortunately for me, I only did a drop and run since I have to work today. Other FF members like Rich @stats also brought buckets to dump for the participants to go through. Rich along with two other ESCONI members run the trips out to Braceville. Besides Mazon Creek fossils, I also brought Mississippian hash plates from Anna and Vienna, Illinois, Pennsylvanian hash plates from Oglesby, Illinois, Ordovician hash plates from Lawrenceburg and St. Leon, Indiana. In addition to the hash plates, I brought Pliocene shells and coral from Florida, shark teeth pans echinoids from Morocco, brachiopods and crinoid stems from St. Leon, dugong bones from Sarasota, Florida and a real pretty Turritella gastropod piece from Wyoming. I place the hash plates on the dirt path to the collecting area so people can see them. The kids and adults get excited when they notice the pieces and that they contain fossils. Here are some of the participants listening to one of the leaders for instructions on safety and what to look for. The walk down the dirt path can be and was muddy due to recent rains, but it should make a great day for collecting. It was difficult to roll 5 gallons buckets down the path with a mini dolly, I am glad others had a wagon to help out. Here are some general pics that I took before I left for the day. If you ever have a chance to go on one of these trips, you will not be disappointed.
  3. Ricky’s Mazon Creek thread

    Hey everybody! Welcome to my Mazon Creek thread, where I’ll be posting pictures of various Mazon Creek finds! I’ve been hunting there for upwards of 10 years, so I have piles of uncracked nodules just waiting to be opened. So as they open, they’ll find their way here! Feel free to jump in and add your own and keep this thread going! And I’m sure there are many that have gone unidentified, so I’ll probably need some help from the experts!
  4. Mazon Creek trip

    Hi everyone. I live in Perryville ,Mo and want to make a trip to the mazon Creek, Illinois. I have no experience or knowledge were to go and how to collect there. Can anyone point me to the exact location I need and are the Creek beds dry now or still running.? Is it just for private collectors. I saw there is a permit needed, but that's fine. Please can anyone give me any pointers on how to plan the trip or a PDF book to guide us. It's like 6 hrs drive, so we don't want to go wrong place and not find anything. What do we look for and how are they opened? Thank you everyone for any help you can give us
  5. Today I had the great pleasure of spending 9 hours with Fossil Forum Member @Monica while we visited Dave's Down To Earth Rock Shop and Prehistoric Museum in Evanston, Illinois and then we drove 90 miles NW of Chicago to the Burpee Museum in Rockford, Illinois. Monica flew from Ontario, Canada on Friday with her husband to attend the Stars Wars Celebration at the McCormick Place. Today she set time aside for me so we could do some Fossil stuff while here husband went back to the convention. After picking her up from her downtown hotel, we drove North on Lake Shore Drive so I could show her the lakefront. After a couple quick stops, we made a detour to my sons house so I could drop off a new Lego Jurassic Park Set for my 5 year old Grandson, that's as far as he goes with fossil related stuff. After this we had a 15 minute drive to Dave's Rock Shop, this was the first time that Monica has been to a Fossil Store and this is a great one to visit.. This post will be picture heavy. Dave's Down to Earth Rock Shop- The below pictures are just some of the fossils that are for sale, I will then post some of the fossils that are in the stores downstairs museum. I am not one for pictures, but had to take one to for the post.
  6. Help With First Mazon Concretion

    Hey everyone, I took my first trip down to collect the famous Mazon Creek concretions over the weekend, and this is one of my first concretions to open so far. I was hoping I could ask for some clarification in what I'm seeing. My first thought was just that it's a clay deposit, because the lighter material which the crack is running through seems to be clay or another substance which is very soft and crumbly. Additionally, there are what appear to be much darker needle-like inclusions of material running randomly through that more crumbly material, which unfortunately I do not know how to photograph. On that note, my apologies for the awful cellphone photographs. I hope they're clear enough for a rough identification. The grayer material on the left is much harder, and appears to be crystalline. I was guessing possibly a shell? (replaced by quartz? does that occur at Mazon?) The white deposits (calcite?) at extreme left seem to be a separate feature from the U-shaped feature stretching across most of the concretion. Thanks so much for your time. I'll try to scrounge up an actual camera soon.
  7. 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.
  8. Mazon Creek area nodules

    Hi everyone! Today I have something different to show you all: Mazon Creek area nodules that have opened for me via the freeze-thaw method!!! These unopened nodules were acquired from @deutscheben after I asked him if he wouldn't mind sending me some since I wanted to try my luck at opening them myself. He generously sent me 18 unopened nodules, all of which have gone through the freeze-thaw cycle I don't know how many times and so far only 3 have opened up. I'd like a little help in identifying what they are - thanks in advance!!! I believe they are from the Pennsylvanian period of the Carboniferous - any and all help/suggestions are appreciated!!! Monica Nodule #1, both pieces: I believe this is an Annularia sp.: Nodule #2, both pieces: Perhaps bark or Cordaites sp.? By the way - do you think I should put the bigger piece back through freeze-thaw to see if it opened up some more? More to come...
  9. I'm back in IL for spring break this week, and thought it was about time I went down to Mazon Creek. I've never been there before, but have read quite a lot of trip reports others have posted and felt prepared. I parked right off of 5000N at Monster Lake to start. I walked around the lake for about an hour, but found nothing resembling a concretion. There were an insane number of rocks eroding from the slopes, but I saw nothing of interest. I then headed about a third of the way down the gravel road and decided to check out the area near a "Fossil Hunting Area" sign. I walked near there for about half and hour, but the grass was too dense to see the ground at all. I then headed right across to the other side of the road and up a large hill. Here's my car from the top. I spent an hour or so combing the ridge, but still found no nodules. I thought about venturing down into the valley, but it was quite steep and didn't feel comfortable doing so alone. Finally, I drove another third or so down the road until I spotted exposed clay. I wandered around this area for an hour and a half. I was getting somewhat frustrated at this point, so I got on my hands and knees and crawled through the brush, hoping that being closer to the ground would give me better luck.
  10. 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.
  11. Going to Mazon Creek! Tips?

    Hey everybody, I'm planning on going to do a day's worth of nodule collecting at Mazon Creek in a few weeks with a buddy of mine. Any tips on where to go? Also, anyone know of a hotel that's reasonably close to where we can start collecting? Thanks for any and all tips!
  12. 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:
  13. 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?
  14. Mazon Identification Help Request

    Hi all, I have been having some trouble with this specimen. It came from a large collection of Mazon pieces I purchased a number of years back from collector Ron Brandt of Normal, Illinois, who self-collected and also purchased several extensive collections from others. Originally it was identified by someone (too far in the past) as an egg sac of some sort, but after some discussion with someone I would consider an expert, a fellow named Dan Damrow, who some of you may know, some doubt has been cast on that identification. I would be interested in any comments or insights you may have. Thanks, Paul
  15. 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?
  16. Two Mazon Shrimp or Shrimp and Molt?

    Hi all, Can someone tell me whether I'm looking at a shrimp that was in the process of molting? Thanks! ~Paul
  17. Mazon Creek Eurypterid Carapace ???

    I have had these two pieces in my collection for a long time- I always have had a hard time tossing them when I come across them in their drawer because they remind me of a Eurypterid carapaces. What do you think? @RCFossils / @Rob Russell / @fossilized6s / @Peat Burns and any others that might have info.
  18. Last October I visited Dave's Down To Earth Rock Shop located in Evanston, Illinois and I put together a picture heavy post in the "Trip To the Museum" section of the Forum. At that time I took pics of a lot of great fossils from different locations and all time periods, if you have not seen that post, you should take a look at it, you would be hard pressed to find this quality of fossils in the largest institutions. Today I picked up my grandson and we drove the 14 miles from his house to Dave's. I usually use a scale cube when taking pics of my fossils, but decided to use my 5 year old grandson instead. As I stated above, Dave's is such a great store to purchase Rocks, Minerals and Fossils- but it also has a fantastic "Prehistoric Museum" in the basement. I have been to many Fossil Stores across the US and I have never been to one that can compare to Dave's or even come close. If you are ever in the Chicagoland area you need to stop by this place and I guarantee that you will leave drooling. I am going to break this picture heavy post into TWO sections. The First section will contain pictures of some of the best, if not the best, of what Mazon Creek concretions can hold. In this section you will also see THREE HOLOTYPE Mazon Creek Fossils- one after Dave, one after his father and the other after his mother. The Second section will pics of some of the fossils that are for sale at the store. MAZON CREEK- The first fossil that I will show is one that I personally found about 25 years ago while sitting on the ground near "Tipple Hill' at Pit 11. This is a rare fossil and the only Mazon Creek fossil that I have ever sold, I really wish that I never did, but it can now been seen but the countless people that visit Dave's. Here are the Three Holotype Fossils-
  19. Worm? Plant? Nothing?

    Any ideas on this? I am wondering about the long, thin, bent looking part on the left.
  20. Successful Freeze Thaw 2

    One of my freezer concretions split to reveal this ghostly image. I believe it is a shrimp and was wondering if anyone knew what kind it might be. I was pleasantly surprised to find it as the top and bottom of the rock had broken off and didn't have any fossil inside. I put it back in the freezer anyway since it appeared to have another layer to split. I am starting to wonder if I should get some of my rejects out of my garden border where I have been putting them.
  21. Mazon Creek ID

    An unknown I found at Braidwood, IL, Mazon Creek material. Forgot scale but about 2" wide and 1" long. It was in a marine area.
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