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Found 295 results

  1. Flora or Fauna?

    Another nodule I found already split. I thought it might be plant matter because of the dark color but the shape reminds me of a lamprey picture that I can no longer find. Probably wishful thinking and imaginative viewing.
  2. Mazon Creek Bone Fragment?

    I found this nodule already open and thought it was a fossilized piece of wood. However, it is not the usual black color of most of plants I have found. Could this be a bone fragment?
  3. Yesterday I was cracking open some concretions that I collected from the Braceville Shaft Mine (Essex Fauna) in 1999. I came across this little piece and posted it on my thread - "Sometimes You Have To Whack It". @Peat Burns replied that it looked like a tooth from a Cladodus type shark and I also agree that it looks like a shark tooth. In all my years and thousands of concretions from Mazon Creek, I have never seen anything like this. I would like to get other opinions on this or an exact ID. @fiddlehead , @RCFossils , @fossilized6s , @Rob Russell - what do you think?
  4. mazon creek help

    On my recent trip from Florida to Wisconsin I decided to bypass Chicago and head a little further west. In doing so, I realized I was coming very close to the Mazon Creek area. While I didn't have time to collect nodules there on my way north, I am planning to stop on my way back south towards the end of the month. At best I'll have 3 hours to collect ( as long a time as it takes for my wife to grow impatient and want to get moving again). So, since I am totally unfamiliar with the area, I am hoping someone who frequents the site could give me some pointers. I have read several posts about the site, and realize I am not hunting during the best time of year with all the vegetation at its prime, but being so close I just couldn't pass by again. Any suggestions re: making the most of my time there would be much appreciated. I am thinking I should collect nodules, rather than spending time splitting them, but i've also read only 40 % or so contain something...so suggestions as to that would also be appreciated. (Yes, I have lots of bug spray, mosquitos in Wisconsin have been huge this year,)
  5. Squashed Mazon Creek Crustacean?

    This is another piece from the Mazon Creek Chowder Flats site, it was shattered into quite a few pieces, but I was able to reassemble it. However, I can't tell what it is. I am certain it is some kind of crustacean, based on the texture and color of the shell and the presence of a long segmented antenna. But it seems to be rather flattened, and I can't make out many other details. There does appear to a segmented piece extending from the top edge of the blob to the edge of the nodule, but I can't make out any clear segments or limbs. The shape is reminiscent of Mamayocaris, perhaps just a poorly preserved one? The only other Essex Fauna crustacean that seems to roughly match the squat shape is the rare Dithyrocaris.
  6. Mazon Creek ID

    Last night I was looking through a bucket of concretions that I want to open and I found this piece on the bottom, it is the only piece I have and would have picked it up about 15 years ago. I washed it off and I am stumped by this one. I have sent pics to other FFM who known Mazon stuff, but no definitive ID. So, I thought that I would throw it out to the masses and see what you think. I cannot tell if it Flora or Fauna. The ridges on this thing are very pronounced. Here it is for your viewing pleasure.
  7. What do you make of this?

    Recieved a bundle of Mazon Creek nodules and found one I can't seem to ID. Object is 3cm across and comes up to a shallow cone shape similar to a very old volcano/cinder cone. Any ideas?
  8. I just wanted to post something that is not very pretty but is something thing that is harder to find now in the Mazon Creek Fauna- a fish, possibly Elonichthys peltigerus. I posted it earlier in an on going post titled “ Sometimes You Have To Whack It”, in that thread, I daily posts fossils (Mazon Creek) that I have opened that day. Today I opened a concretion that has been sitting in one of my buckets for the last 15 years. A slight strike of my hammer did some real damage to this concretion which shattered upon impact. I put together the pieces that I could and was still happy with the results. The shattering does not normally happen, but some of the time you get a concretion that will do just that. Hopefully tomorrow I will have better luck, as I will continue to use my hammer.
  9. The town of Morris, Illinois was once home to a number of rich sites for Mazon Creek fossil collecting, remnants of early 20th century strip and pit mining of the Colchester Coal. As the town grew, these localities were reclaimed, turned into subdivisions and commercial developments. One of the most well-known sites was called Chowder Flats, named after the high proportion of clams found there. In the late 1980s the spoils were plowed under and development began at that spot, but it was not built up all at once. New houses have continued to be put up on empty lots right up to the present- in fact, construction has recently started on two of the last three remaining lots. I was lucky enough to be checking out the site this last week on a day off work and found that they had dug up those two lots to lay the foundations, leaving piles of fill surrounding the building sites- and I was hoping in that fill I would find some of the famous Mazon Creek nodules. I parked on the street nearby and approached one of builders to ask if he minded me searching the piles. He said it wouldn't be a problem and asked if I was searching for fossils, so I told him I was indeed. He had actually been involved in construction at the site for years, and told me how years back the building sites there used to be crawling with fossil collectors, but I was the first person he had seen collecting in a long while. I thanked him and started searching, and throughout the day he would also toss me nodules he came across! It didn't take long to find my first nodule, and I was able to turn up many more over the next few hours- by the time I had to leave, I had collected about 1-2 gallons worth weathering out of the dirt piles. Great results for not a lot of effort, especially in comparison to the work needed to find things at Mazonia-Braidwood/Pit 11 these days! But that wasn't what made the day truly unforgettable... I will continue with that in the next post!
  10. Mazon Creek ID- Euproops danae?

    I cracked this Mazon Creek concretion open today, and I am thinking that it is a Euproops danae Horseshoe crab, but not positive on this one. What do other members think? @RCFossils
  11. I have a lot of unopened Mazon Creek concretions and though I do put some out in the winter for the Freeze / Thaw process, the vast majority, especially the larger ones do not open. So to dwindle my concretions, I have no problem whacking them with a hammer, and that is what I was doing today. As we all know, this is not the best way to do it since it can damage a nice specimen, but I take my chances. I always picked up any concretion that looked promising and never passed up larger ones. This all depends on the are that you are collecting, concretions from Pit 11 are never super large, but Pit 4 always produced larger ones - see below. Though these are large, they are by no means my largest. The vast majority of the time there is nothing inside, like the one below. Other ones produce something nice, like this Alethopteris that I cracked open today. Cleaned up_ A couple of my other finds from today, nothing spectacular, but is nice to get rid of the dud ones. Neuropteris Annularia Annularia, Neuropteris and Bark Asterophyllites Bark Essexella asherae Jellyfish
  12. Two Mazon creek pieces

    I have these two Mazon Creek pieces out of a big group that I picked up, and I am a little at a loss to figure out what they are. The others I was able to figure out generally, even if not a specific species, but not sure on these. Any help would be great!
  13. Mazon Creek Fossil ID please - 1

    Here is the first of my cracked concretions from my first trip to Mazon Creek. Unfortunately, I cannot remember if this was from pit 11 Essex biota or from Braceville Mound. It seems like there might be segments and little filament-like branches, but I'm truly not sure. Also, the dark color is throwing me off. Any ideas???
  14. What part of this is a worm?

    Hello TFF. Sorry if this is a dumb question but I'm a newbie and I think I should know as much about my fossils as I can. I have a little mazon creek worm, but I can't tell what part is the worm. Is it the white part?
  15. Unknown mazon help

    Going through my collection, I've come back across some pieces that I am unsure of, some of them may not even be fossils, others I have an idea about but I'd like to hear the community's thoughts. 1 coprolite, plant, mineralization? 2 shrimp antennae or legs? 3 4 5 6 trace fossil or "H" 7 8 partial scallop? 9 coprolite, mineralization, worm? 10 11 I'm 95% sure it's plant but I want to make sure it's not tooth
  16. Can someone help?

    I just got a supposed tully monster fossil from the ESCONI auction today and im worried it may not be what they said it was. I want to also open it up more but im scared on how to do it.
  17. Mazon Creek ID

    Hi there had a successful outing at Mazon Creek today! Came back home with a 5 gallon bucket full of nodules. Made it a long walk back to the car though! Was hoping to get some insight on some of the preopened nodules and the ones that crack open in the future. 1.) 2.) Sorry if pictures are poor quality, I tried my best. Please let me know if better ones are needed .
  18. Ever hear of the Fiji Mermaid?

    I found this Kallidecthes richardsoni Saturday at Mazon. It's preserved in the "life position" which is rare. But also it's tail is turned and fanned out from the dorsal side, which gives this quite the "fiji mermaid" look. This was my best find of the day (that was open) and my best example of this species so far. Also there is an eye stalk present which is a bit strange. I didn't think this species had eye stalks. Jack @fiddlehead have you seen eye stalks in this species before? And have you ever seen this tail fan preservation before?
  19. This weekend was the first weekend that the Mazon Creek formation in Braceville, IL was open for collecting. Each year, visitors and avid collectors flock here every spring to gather concretions from this woodland, that potentially hold 300 million year old plants and animals. They are very difficult to find these days. It used to be a coal mine where fossils were gathered by the bucketload. These days, you would be very fortunate to gather 1/2 bucket in a full days collecting. I went the mornings of 3/3 and 3/4, for about 2 hours of collecting each. The haul was a total of 27.8 lbs of potentially fossiliferous material. Only 1/10 of the concretions will hold a good fossil. For my in-the-field trip report you can check out my blog: http://americanfossilhunt.com/2018/03/04/mazon-creek-opener-2018-day-1/ ...there I post some field photos and the day's collecting vibe. Below is what I came home with. Not much to show off in regards to already opened concretions, a few jellyfish and worn out ferns, but the closed ones will hold the treasures. Here is the collecting terrain, at the South Unit, just before the bend in the trail. I also collected the North end of Monster Lake. Here is the ~28lbs in full There were some very nice symmetrical shapes within the finds. Another close up of some of the more promising ones. And the ones that were already opened in the field. Will post updates as these crack open! for now, they are out for processing.... AKA soaking in water for 5 days, then freezing, then thawing, then freezing... for about a dozen times. I was fortunate enough to run into some ESCONI and FF members on my way out on Sunday. I wish it wasnt an early call for me, would have loved to been out there with them! Updating this thread as the finds open, but it may take a week or 2. And will likely be out collecting again before then.
  20. More Mazon mysteries

    Need help identifying this 309MYO Mazon Creek critter.
  21. Flat worm? Tully monster?

    A nice old gentleman gave me a bag of fossils he gathered at Mazon Creek many moons ago. Unfortunately he didn’t bother identifying most of them or even double checking that the rocks actually contained fossils at all. So I’m left to sift through them and figure all that out. Here’s one I’m having trouble with: Now, don’t any of you be getting my hopes up by saying that it’s part of a tully monster, lol.
  22. Ginkgo leaf or something else?

    I am wondering if this is a Ginkgo leaf or something else? Looks like a Mazon Creek fossil to me.
  23. Worm?

    I found this nodule last summer and opened it about a month ago. Could it be a worm? I didn't know if the two adjoining dots on the left were jaws.
  24. Mazon Creek Annularia or Cephalopod

    I am at a 99% certainty that this is just a weathered annularia, but there is a very small percentage of my thinking that it might be the cephalopod, Jeletzkya douglassae. I know that J. douglassae has 10 arms and this concretion has 9 branching (leaves / arms?). I collected this 1/2 concretion years ago at Pit 4 (Shadow Lakes- Braidwood Flora / Fauna) What do you think @fiddlehead, @RCFossils?
  25. Hi, I am not a fossil hunter but accidentally discovered the ability to find 300,000,000 yr old fossils in Mazon Creek on a TV show. Wow!!! I've been researching all day and now want to take my family there for spring break in March! Our story (short) & my questions: My daughter is very interested in science and nature and critters. She spends hours outside digging contently for rocks, loves bugs, has rock collections, books on rocks & minerals, etc. She struggles in the classroom (3rd grade) and learns best by hands on experience. She would absolutely be in heaven here- our whole family would! I love to help my daughter experience her interests through our adventures. What advice could you give a family of 3 who has never hunted fossils? We are in Missouri so interested in camping close by- does anyone know of any good evening Camping places? Do we need to register with the state park and get daily admission? Should we go where most tourists go or off the beaten path? Is it possible for newbies to find a few fossils? Even if we found the most common we'd be so excited! We love exploring and take small hikes as a family. Are there spots within a couple miles of the "road" or parking? I truly appreciate any help! I will keep researching as well. I hope we can go and see this unbelievable history!!
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