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Found 434 results

  1. Mazon Creek Plant ID Help

    5 plants I need help with. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 3 & 5 look to be the same species. Number 4 also appears to have 2 separate plants on it but am not 100% confident. Thanks for the help!
  2. Mazon Creek unknown

    This Pit 11 nodule popped today. I'm getting shrimpy vibes but I'm really not sure what to make of it. Any thoughts?
  3. I really only want to keep one of these, probably either the bottom left or the right fern. Not to concerned about the others.
  4. Mazon Creek Fern ID Help?

    Hi again! I feel very fortunate to have such great minds helping to ID fossils here. I have one other Mazon Creek fossil that I would like some help with it. It’s a fairly large (5 inch) fossil fern nodule from Mazon Creek. My first question is, is this the common fern species variety Pecopteris? I think it might be but I see some variation within the leaves (that is the fern degree terminations). Is it unusual or rare to find ferns with them still attached to the plant stock/shaft from Mazon Creek? Last question, are the oriented dots on some of the ferns fossilized sporangia? I can’t find comparable examples like this online. Thank you!
  5. Mazon Creek ID help?

    Hi all, Wondering if anyone can assist with IDing this fossil nodule from the Mazon Creek area. I think it’s a body fragment of a tully monster but not 100% by any means. I think there is an eye bar present so near the head area before the proboscis. Any help is greatly appreciated!
  6. Mazon Creek ID

    Hey Folks. Here’s another that opened up over the weekend. Thoughts?
  7. New study reveals Tullimonstrum was a vertebrate: https://www.livescience.com/ancient-tully-monster-vertebrate.html?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=542020_Educational_Kits&utm_medium=email
  8. Newbie ID Help 2 - Fish tail?

    Hi, my kids and I are completely new to this, would love some help. Also if there is a paleontology version of "Let Me Google That For You", or Fossil ID for Dummies, etc., we'll gladly take those too! We found this one in Pit 11 of Mazon Creek a few weeks ago, on an eroded slope under heavy shrub cover. It was cast in a concretion/nodule that we exposed through freezing and thawing. The nodule was already broken, so we do not have the whole fossil. To my untrained eye it looks like a fish tail (my 8 year old is convinced it is the claw of a Tully monster, of course). Can anyone make it out?
  9. Newbie ID Help 1 - Snails and a twig?

    Hi, my kids and I are completely new to this, would love some help. Also if there is a paleontology version of "Let Me Google That For You", or Fossil ID for Dummies, etc., we'll gladly take those too! We found this one in Pit 11 of Mazon Creek a few weeks ago, on an eroded slope under heavy shrub cover. It was found as-is (exposed), this was not inside a nodule. The rock is harder than the sandstone of the nodules. To my untrained eye it looks like debris in pond muck: snail shells, and a twig. I found a very similar fossil last summer on a rocky beach of Lake Michigan, though much more worn down and polished.
  10. I went on a bit of an unusual fossil hunt this morning--in my office closet. I'm getting things packed up for a move next month to Gainesville, FL. We're moving up there from South Florida because I've had my fill of hurricanes (and year-round yardwork). In Gainesville I'll be able to volunteer more with the FLMNH. So I'm slowly repositioning the contents of my house into a growing stack of moving boxes. I got to the bottom corner of my office closet today and found a box that had some childhood memories in them. No favorite stuffed animals, no catcher's mitt and baseball, no cheap trophies for athletic prowess demonstrated. Nope, this was MY childhood and it was slightly (or more so) more eccentric than portrayed in Leave it to Beaver. My childhood contained as many science books as comics or Mad magazines. I had access to my dad's workshop and knew my way around a soldering iron building kits from Heathkit (a reference that will mean little to those of a younger generation). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathkit The box I found in my closet contained my first microscope--a simple little slide scope with a pair of AA batteries in the base for backlighting. It also had part of my childhood rock collection--some pyrite, a piece of green quartzite, an agate, and a heavy chunk of specular hematite (given to me my by 3rd grade teacher who knew I was a science geek). The best "discovery" was my nascent fossil collection. It had my first fossil book (copyright 1962): There were plastic bags filled with little scraps of poor quality fossils. I was living in Chicago at the time so my fossil horizon contained items mostly from the Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian. My 3rd grade teacher must have had a summer home up in the upper peninsula of Michigan (the likely source of the chunk of specularite) and she also gave me my first mystery fossil. It's a partial negative cast and I never could quite figure out what it was. I pressed clay into it as a kid to view its positive form and often suspected some form of trilobite. Could never make out any eyes on the end and looking at it now I suspect the "head end" may be some sort of pygidium. Maybe someone here may be able to hazard a guess. Several years ago Tammy and I visited the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in D.C. and of course spent an inordinate amount of time in the paleontology section. When I saw a nice example of a complete (and highly enigmatic) Recepticulites my mind went back to this piece that I found nearly 45 years ago. Most of the fossils that I collected myself were found wherever I had access to either beaches (like Lake Michigan) which had tumbled cobbles containing fossils or from a campground I remember a couple hours west of Chicago that used large rip-rap limestone boulders as erosion control where a road crossed over a large lake. So, in addition to bringing marshmallows for flambéing in the campfire in the evenings, and a fishing pole in attempt to see what types of fishes were hiding beneath the surface of the lake, I also brought a hammer and stone chisel--that's normal, right? I'd clamber around on the rocks looking for evidence of some poor quality fossil poking out here and there. I'd spend much more time than it was really worth freeing gastropod steinkerns, barnacles, crinoid stem segments, and other representative fossils of the time. I was always quite happy when I found find something that was included in my fossil guide book. Fossil books were few and far between in museum book shops and this was long before the ubiquity of the internet and longer before @Cris had the idea for TFF. I'll unpack this box again when we reach Gainesville and look back on my humble beginnings collecting fossils. I may organize some of these into a showbox display and hang it in my office in the new house. Back in the day I told (mostly adults) that I wanted to be a paleontologist when they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. Not hearing the expected answer of teacher, fireman, or astronaut (this was the era of the space race), the questioner would stare blankly at me till my grandfather or my parents would explain that it is someone who "digs up fossils". It took me a few decades but I've finally been able to travel around and "dig up fossils" if only on a serious avocational level. You'll see some indications that I was trying to be a serious collector back then. I had numbered several of my finds when I had made a potential identification. I had a notebook (long since vanished) where I recorded the collecting information and (probably) identification for my finds. The little adhesive numbered tags were cut from strips of numbered tape used to identify both ends of cables when building racks of switches and relays (back in the day before semiconductors). I have my first specimens of a rugose horn coral, a faint brachiopod, a crinoid segment, and my first worn partial trilobite. I remember some of these fossils and some I've long since forgotten about but the one that was the most surprising to see while picking through my old collection was a reasonable example of a Mazon Creek fern frond. While this is a well known fossil locality here on the forum (and beyond), I was surprised by this as Mazon Creek and its fossil lagerstätte had escaped my awareness till about a decade ago. Tammy and I were visiting the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago with our nieces and we happened upon the great exhibit they have there on Mazon Creek. That was the first time I was conscious of the fact that there was a great place to collect fossils relatively close to where I grew up but that fate and the relative lack of information back in the day had hidden it from me. Had I known about Mazon Creek back in the day and been able to amass a more impressive fossil collection as a kid I might not have chosen computers for a career. Actually, computer programming came natural to me like walking or breathing so computers were likely baked into my fortune cookie of fate and interest in fossils would rekindle later in life as it has. I still have no recollection of how this Mazon Creek concretion came into my possession. I can only assume that I received it as a gift from some adult trying to fan the flames of a passion for fossils. With the possibility of a long-term time-delay fuse this effort seems to have worked. Think about that next time you gift some fossils to a kid who shows interest. Cheers. -Ken P.S.: Tammy thinks I should choose one of these as a last minute entry for the FOTM contest since I (re)found them this month.
  11. Anyone out there have any Tully Monsters they would be willing to trade. Partials ok. PM if you want.
  12. The Mazon Creek deposit records one of the best representations of Pennsylvanian aged millipedes. A variety of different types have been found representing several different orders. This is one of the rarer and lesser known types belonging to a relatively new order named Pleurojulida. Pleurojulus lacks spines and has body segments that consist of an upper and lower plate. It is one of the smallest millipedes that can be found in the Mazon Creek deposit.
  13. There are 5 pectinoida (scallops) that can be found in the Mazon Creek deposit. Aside from Aviculopecten mazonensis, all are uncommon to rare. Dunbarella striata is commonly found in Pennsylvanian aged black shales but fairly rare in the Mazon Creek deposit. Like all Mazon scallops, they are only found in the Essex (marine) portion of the deposit. It has a relatively round shell compared to the much more common Aviculopecten. I actually collected this first specimen on March 1st 2020 (opening day for collecting). It just split open this evening and is the largest example that I have seen.
  14. Chitons are the most primitive of all living mollusks. They belong to a class called Polyplacophora (bearer of many plates). There lineage extends as far back as the late Cambrian. There are over 430 described species in the fossil record. Almost all are only known from individual body plates or valves. The Mazon Creek deposit is one of the only sites in the world where complete examples have been collected. Modern chitons have changed little from Glaphurochiton concinnus. The basic chiton body plan consists of 8 valves made of Aragonite. The front plate is named the cephalic plate and the rear plate the anal. The plates have fine ornamentation which is a key feature in differentiating species. Modern chitons can roll into a ball when threatened. The muscular body is known as the girdle. This girdle is covered with tiny spicules that are sometimes preserved on Mazon specimens. Most modern chitons use this girdle to attach themselves to rocks. To feed, the animal has a radula that can have over a hundred rows of denticles. Each row consists of 17 each. Most modern chitons attach to rocks and feed on algae. Glaphurochiton was a mud dweller feeding on detritus. Like all chitons, Glaphurochiton is strictly marine and is only found in the Essex portion of the deposit. Glaphurochiton is rare but 2 concentrations of chitons have been found. The areas have been termed “chiton hills”. It has been noted that modern chitons have a homing ability to return to there same resting spots despite lacking eyes. This first example is the largest chiton that I am aware of that has ever been found in the Mazon Creek deposit. Not including the skirt, the animal measures 70 millimeters. The typical size is usually between 30-40 millimeters.
  15. Friends- Thanks for your patience with my last couple of posts, these concretions are a carnival ride. I collected this delicate little (9mm) winged insect in 2010 at the Mazonia-Braidwood South Unit. Any thoughts on what ballpark I should be looking in for an ID? Some kind of damselfly, maybe? (Is it possibly newly-hatched with uninflated wings?) I appreciate your time.
  16. Ok. So, apparently I need my eyes examined... Thanks, everyone. Maybe I'll have better luck with invertebrates. I'll post more photos separately, but here's a preview:
  17. 'Morning, everyone. I appreciate all the input on my last post, which was an outstanding demonstration of the Venn diagram of photography, limited magnification, and apparently wishful thinking... Less of a mystery here -- I'm trying to ID this little (11mm) fella. I collected him in 2010 at the Mazonia-Braidwood South Unit. The ESCONI guide doesn't seem to have anything similar -- thoughts? Thanks.
  18. Hi, everyone, it's been a minute -- I hope y'all are well and that you and your families are healthy and safe. I'm required to say "y'all" since we moved to New Orleans last summer. Fantastic city, great people, but I won't be peeking in the Chesapeake or anyplace else on the East Coast again any time soon. Then, *this* all happened. During this lockdown, it occurred to me that I could finally get around to trying to identify some of the material I've had sitting in boxes for years (and I'll post a few others). But what do I find when I log onto the FF after ages? A positive gaggle of Mazon ID posts. Love it! I collected this little fish in 2010 from the South Unit at Mazonia-Braidwood. He measures a whopping 13mm from nose to tail. I've been poking around on the web but I'm having a hard time with the ID. It looks like he has two spiky fins sticking up from just behind his head (they're clearest in the last photo). My brain itches with knowing that I've seen this guy someplace before, but I just can't find him again. Thoughts? Thanks...y'all.
  19. Another Mazon Creek ID thread

    I wanted to join the squad of great Mazon ID threads we have had in the last week. These two were found split on my opening day trip to Mazonia-Braidwood/Pit 11. I only found half of the first one. It doesn't look like much, and it may be nothing, but its worth asking! The second one was split, but both halves were present. It is much more clearly something, but I'm not sure what, as there are not any clear features, although it is preserved with good definition and a nice contrasting color.
  20. Mazon Creek Finds, ID help please !!

    This first piece is a Mazon Creek fossil from Pit 11. Any help appreciated !! The second one is from the Creek itself, could this be a "fiddlehead" @fiddlehead . Thanks for looking !! Thanks, Phil
  21. Mazon Creek Research Help

    Hello, I am a local undergrad geology student working on a research project dealing with Mazon Creek's Braidwood and Essex Biota. As part of this research, I am required to collect specimens and data on both of these assemblages present. I have been informed that any access to the Fish and Wildlife areas in the Mazonia-Braidwood South Unit is prohibited due to the Illinois DNR's indefinite closure of all fish and wildlife areas, so I am taking this time to research and inquire about access to both assemblages for future reference. That being said, my questions are as follows: Are there certain areas within the public access sites that I should specifically be searching within that may contain a large diversity of specimens available for collection? Are there any landowners within the Braidwood Biota that are easy to contact and willing to allow people to collect on their land? Are there any public access sites to the Braidwood Biota or to the Mazon River itself for collecting? Are there any papers or articles I can reference that may aid me in my research? Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer!
  22. Mazon Creek ID help

    A few nodules I need help ID with @Nimravis. Essex biota and found in Pit 11. Thanks! #1.) I think this is some type of worm? #2.) Thanks for the help! I may be adding some more in the next few days for ID
  23. Mazon Creek ID

    Hey Folks. Heres another I’m wondering about. It looks like an example of diplocraterion, but I’m not certain. Thanks for the look.
  24. Mazon Creek ID

    Here’s another I’m not sure about. It may be nothing? Thanks for the look.
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