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Found 222 results

  1. I received not 1, but 3 gift boxes from our very own Nimravis. I was in Kuwait when he sent them, so I had him ship them to my parents house for safe keeping until I got home. I was VERY excited. 2 of the boxes were from Mazon Creek. My favorite is the 2 jellyfish. they are to the far right. 1 above the other. To the left of the small jellyfish is a piece of coprolite. At the bottom are unopened concretions. I have them freezing at the moment to try the freeze/thaw method to see if anything is in them. There are also ferns, a clam, and bark. The other bow was "about 22 Florida Pliocene shells from 16 different species" Thank you, Nimravis, VERY much. My son and I really appreciate this very much.
  2. I've tentatively identified a number of Mazon pieces in my possession, and I was wondering if I could get some confirmations or corrections from those of you (all of you) who are more knowledgeable and experienced than I. The first (#1) based on length, fossilization curvature, and the pyritized mouth and throat slit, I believe to be Gilpichthys greenei.
  3. Mazon creek Horseshoe crabs

    Which of the Mazon creek Horseshoes would have been closer to fresh or brackish environment. Has anyone found a Euroopes at Fossil Rock??
  4. Mazon Creek Ferns

    I was looking over the Smithsonian collection of Mazon Creek ferns tonight (http://paleobiology.si.edu/mazoncreek/mazonGroups.html). It seems like most ferns are labeled as Pecopteris species, but that there are a number of very similar fern species. Is there a good reference that breaks down the different species and how to identify them? I have Richardson's guide, but that is just for the fauna. Thanks!
  5. Just Geologic or fossils

    I have some nodules I found already opened that have rounded raised or flat curved lines that go against the rest of the directional patterns of the nodule. They seem to be found in oblong or curved shaped nodules. I didn't know if these were actually fossils or just geologic formations. Again, I am afraid to get rid of anything for fear of rejecting an actual fossil in ignorance.
  6. I was watching the Clint Eastwood movie “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” recently and it made me think about collecting Mazon Creek concretions and how the movie title applies to them. Let’s start with a couple of the “Good” things: -Over the years there has been numerous books and articles written about the Mazon Creek area and concretions and they provide outstanding information for the collector of all levels. -With about 400 species of flora and about 320 species of fauna that are found in these ironstone concretions plus the remarkable preservation of so many soft bodied animals, I feel that it rivals the fossils found in the Burgess Shale and Solnhofen.
  7. With it being a great sunny, 76 degree day, I figured that I would go outside and crack open some concretions from Pit 4. The concretions that I picked to open did not have the greatest shape to them and most were end pieces from what would have been larger concretions. I knew from the shape of these end pieces that they would contain some type of fern. This time around, I was at about an 80% success rate of cracking concretions that had a fossil. The one good thing with the concretions that were found at Pit 4, was that the majority of them contained fossils. I only see one keeper in this group, an Asterophyllies, it should clean up nice and I don't find them very often. Pecopteris Ferns Lycopod Leaves / Neuropteris Stems / Bark Asterophyllites
  8. Mazon Creek ID help

    Hey folks! Just cracked open a nodule from Mazon River, Grundy County and wondering if its a fossil or just geologic? I can't see any detail to determine that its a fossil. It looks like could be a seed cone or coprolite but just guesses? Any thoughts? I found a lot of plant material there. Thanks
  9. Sorry for the belated congrats. Just published in the November issue of the Journal of Paleontology. The accomplishments are already legendary. TFF is very fortunate to have Jack Wittry as a member. @fiddlehead
  10. Last year, I found a large trunk of a tree at a coal mine heap in the Mazon Creek area. Images of it here and here. A few weeks ago, I found some more parts (a few feet from the original) that look like identical material. One of which is also a large root/trunk. It has an interesting curve shape. Looks like part of a root mantel rising out of the ground. Here's the bottom part. And here's some details of areas of the bottom showing what I assume is adventitious rootlets.
  11. Another plant or maybe an insect?

    This one has the black coloring of some of my plant fossils but the shape suggests an insect to me. Could just be my imagination. Any suggestions?
  12. Mazon Plant?

    I found one half of a worn open nodule with asterisk-like grooves crossing the surface. This is a cleaned up version. Is it a fossil or just strange weathering?
  13. Twigs and leaves?

    I've noticed some black material in some of my findings. Is this plant material, maybe pieces of twigs or wood? I'm not sure if the bottom picture contains a small leaf or just has dirt impersonating a leaf.
  14. shrimp

    From the album Mazon creek assortment

  15. Unknown tetrapod head

    From the album Mazon creek assortment

    Confirmed by field museum as a tetrapod, species uncertain.
  16. To Clean or not to clean?

    These are some open specimens I found at Mazonia Lakes. I think the set may be a crayfish. The other two seem to be some type of plant. I didn't know if I should soak these in vinegar. I am afraid if I do I may not be able to see the detail.
  17. I've had some luck cracking open my first trove of nodules and my students have found a few cool things too. I haven't ID'd everything yet and would appreciate any suggestions on that topic. I'll be posting more photos as I get through the material. Our collection was carried out at the end of September, 2017 as a part of the Ecology and Evolution class I teach in the Environmental Studies department of Lake Forest College. Here's a jelly from a small nodule that gave up both the positive and negative casts. Here's an awesome polycheate one of my students found. I'm not 100% sure that this is a real fossil. It popped out of the siderite matrix like this but I've seen other nodules with this lighter-colored mineral inside but not taking any organic shape. If I was to guess, this is a Pteriomorphan bivalve of some type but it doesn't look like anything else I've seen online. I sincerely doubt that I am lucky enough to have found an etacystis fossil on my first trip but this thing looks a lot like what I've seen described as such elsewhere. Plenty more to follow, I am totally hooked on this hobby. Dr. John
  18. Stains or Fossils?

    After freezing and thawing, I broke open some nodules from Mazonia Lakes that have some interesting patterns inside of them. These are nodules that did not show any signs of opening along any natural cleavage. The first nodule broke in half vertically when the shape (oblong oval) suggested it would open horizontally. The white material seems very thin and reflective, it reminds me of a plastic decal..Any ideas of what they could be?
  19. Mazon Creek 2017 Collecting Season Mazon Creek is open for collecting fossils from March 1- September 30. The area known as Pit 11 is famous for concretions from the Carboniferous period. It is far past its collecting heyday, where concretions were very easy to find. Now this coal strip mine has become quite overgrown and difficult to collect. But there are still treasures to be found. "There are Tullys in these Hills, still" I collected Pit 11 and the South Unit about 15-20 times over the course of the summer, some trips alone, and some with friends, and one with the Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois. I posted some of my trip reports on my blog, and wanted to create a FF post to compliment them, and share photos that are not on my other trip reports. http://americanfossilhunt.com/2017/03/08/mazon-creek-fossil-collecting-opener-trip-report-3517/ http://americanfossilhunt.com/2017/04/14/mazon-creek-pit-11-collecting-report-492017/ http://americanfossilhunt.com/2017/06/23/mazon-creek-pit-11-collecting-report-5292017-torino-hill/ http://americanfossilhunt.com/2017/10/01/mazon-creek-pit-11-collecting-report-islands-braceville-hill-late-2017/ Also, below is a cool poster I made to memorialize the season. It hangs in my collecting gear closet, above all the concretions I will be freezing and thawing this winter. 2017 In spring, this wildlife area is very peaceful. Its hauntingly quiet, and a refreshing feeling to smell the sprouting plants and earth, after an always seemingly very long Chicago winter. To spend a day hiking and exploring 2000+ acres of undisturbed land is one of the more unique fossil collecting experiences as far as sites in the United States go. One of my favorite things about collecting in the early season, is finding some of the animal bones and skulls of those who didnt make it through the winter. This buck skull was one of my coolest finds from the area. When i found it, it still had some meat on it, so I took it home and tried to boil it and soak it in biological detergent. The thing reeked! even though there was very little tissue on it. After a few days of trying to clean it myself, I actually took it back to the woods, and stashed it under a fallen tree, to let nature do the heavy lifting. I returned a few weeks later, and found it very clean and bleached by the sun. It now hangs above my display case. Below is an area by Monster Lake, that I liked collecting. There is some exposed shoreline, and its not uncommon to find concretions in, or right next to, the water. Here is a mixed lot of pre-opened fossils, a couple jellyfish, fern fragments, a worn out shrimp, and corprolite. And a nice neuropteris that opened after a few freeze/thaws. Another mixed lot of pre-opened. As the summer wore on, the collecting got immensely more difficult. By May, some of my favorite collecting areas were so overgrown, they were impassable and un-collectable. My friend invested in a boat, so we can collect Torino Hill, which extended the collecting season quite a bit. Most all of my Torino finds are still unopened, and I am working through them little by little. Photos to come soon. I was going to create a longer post, but it appears I am capped at photos for this entry. I downsized them, but perhaps not enough. I will post follow-ups on this later, and likely throughout the winter, as my concretions start to open up, whether by freeze/thaw, or some days I have planned to do some hammering. til next year! But I will keep the MC posts on the blog and here coming over the next few months. I have 300lbs of concretions to go through, and keep me busy this winter.
  20. Today I took a quick ride to the small suburb of Evanston, right out side of Chicago. This is the home of Dave's Down To Earth Rock Shop and Prehistoric Life Museum. If memory serves me correct, Dave's has been in Evanston for the past 40+ years and it is a family owned business. Dave's recently moved to it's new home on Main Street and if you every get a chance to be in the Chicago area, this is a must see- you will definitely not be disappointed. From the outside, you would not believe that this store has a museum that houses such a great variety of fossil life and the most extensive collection / variety of Mazon Creek fauna that I have ever seen, including 3 Holotype Mazon Creek fossils named after Dave and his parents who found them. Here are some overview pictures of the Museum. Here are some overview of the various displays.
  21. Mazon Creek Foss Identification Help

    Once again, I am seeking assistance in identifying a Mazon Creek concretion fossil. Might be an easy one for someone here, but I'm just not finding it. Both halves are pictured below. Thanks!
  22. Any ideas? It is hard to see in the pictures but the body seems segmented and seems to have little dots in each segment. I wasn't sure which way to orient the pictures, I lost detail depending on the tilt towards the light.
  23. Another Jellyfish?

    Two halves of the same nodule.
  24. Mineral Deposit or Fossils part II

    Here are some more specimens I found that I am not sure are anything or not. The pair looks like a fish to me. Another view of the second above and another sample.
  25. Bumpy Nodules

    Two halves of the same nodule.