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Found 188 results

  1. Hi! I went collecting out in Mazonia and threw my finds in the freezer to freeze/thaw them. This is what was inside when one of them cracked open. I have never been fossil collecting before, so I ~really~ have no idea what this is. Any ideas?
  2. So my wife and I loaded up the canoe and headed down to Mazonia South Unit Pit 11 for a day of some paddling and of course some fossil (nodule) hunting. We did really well on the nodule collecting. I happened to find this and was my most exciting find of the day. I found it face down in the mud and full of mineral staining and only found this half of it. After a little prep/cleaning tonight a lot of the details came out. I have no idea what I have here. Any help or ideas with this one? The first picture is more for scale. The remaining pictures were taken with my cell phone but had my wife shine her cell phone flashlight on the fossil. The details really jump out with the added light. Thanks for the help!
  3. Here is an interesting one. This looked like a shrimp tail at first but once I cleaned it I saw all of these little bumps on and around what I thought was shell.
  4. The collecting of Mazon Creek concretions in my opinion is one of the most disappointing ways to spend time collecting fossils. Now don't get me wrong, I have been collecting them for over 30 years and I have literally thousands of unopened concretions that will take me years to open. A number of years ago I made the decision to only collect and not open any in the field. There use to be so many, that I and others would open them with hammers at Pit 11, Pit 4 and various shaft mines. But many time nothing of interest or worth keeping were found, so I would have a 2 hour trip back to Chicago with nothing but a sunburn and a couple ticks to show for my trip. So I started to just collect because that way there was always a chance that I would have something special in my bucket(s).- and I have found a great amount of "special" things. There was also another reason, Illinois does not promote this vast area of fossils and due to the re-seeding and planting of the strip mines, vegetation has come back with a vengeance and the concretions, for the most part do not weather out like they use to. They are trapped again, like they have been for the last 300 MY and I knew finding them would become more difficult. So now on with my plight- after 300 MY in the ground and a few years at my house, I freeze / thaw them for weeks to months at a time and after all that, most of the time I end up with nothing or something that I don't need (see pics below of a great looking concretion that opened and had nothing for me). It was very enjoyable this summer collecting at St. Leon for hash plates, etc., the Peace River for shark teeth and in Murray Co Georgia for trilobites- it felt good that everything that I collected was an actual fossil. Now back to my freezer.
  5. I have about a dozen nodules in a tray in my backyard. There, they have resided for several years of benign neglect. They are pieces that refused to open after repeated cycles of freeze/thaw. I have long since forgotten what area of Mazon Creek these hale from. In an idle moment yesterday I took a rock hammer to 3 or 4 of the recalcitrant stones. One did open and provided the pictured mystery item. The smaller shard displays a decidedly convex interior object. The larger counterpart is, of course, distinctly concave. Sorry, the photos are the best images available due to the extremely shallow depth of field inherent in close-up photography. If anyone has a clue, please ID.
  6. Now I know these are something 1 2 2
  7. Hi all, today I went to Mazon Creek for the first time and did pretty well! I brought home around 60 or so nodules. I already found a few that were split open while looking around. These might be just some odd mineralization but it doesn't hurt to try! Found in the south unit. Also, if anyone knows how to clean these I would appreciate any advice. Thanks!
  8. Me and my girlfriend are heading to Chicago this weekend for a last minute museum trip and Sunday we're completely dedicating to hunting around the mazon area. We've never been and would love if people wanted to join especially if you know where the good stuff is . From researching it seems around monster lake is a good area, so as of now that's where we're heading!
  9. Okay, today I have four more nodules to check. Again, some may be unfossiliferous. I'm expecting a few more jellies, and maybe a rock or two. One might be iron concretion, because of the crocodile skin pattern. Some , may need to be cleaned of calcite, the one from my last post is still being cleaned. If any more pictures are needed just let me know. Thanks and good luck!
  10. So I bought thirteen Mazon creek nodules for 99 cents (am I allowed to say that?) and two fossils are apparent. The rest might be just rocks but I don't know enough to say that confidently, so for the next while I'm going to post them and I hope you all can tell me if I missed a fossil. Here are four, two is the most promising. Also, are those bumps that are on most anything?Thank you and good luck!
  11. Hello everyone, I recently purchased a lot of Mazon creek concretions for an extremely low amount of money. From this and the picture I assumed it meant most were just concretions, but I could see two ferns so I bid for it and easily one. I'm not familiar with Mazon creek flora and fauna, so I decide to ask all of you if they are just rocks or fossils, and if they are fossils, what type. There's sixteen so I'm going to post two a time (perhaps two a week depending on how fast they are identified) as to not overload all of you. First up is the two I know are fossils, both of which I think are ferns. Species or genus might not be possible to find out, but it's worth a try.
  12. I know I've seen this type of fossil in images--sometime and somewhere, but I can't find them any more. Does anyone have an ID for this Mazon Creek fossil? The concretion measures 2-5/16 x 1-1/4".
  13. More Mazon stuff. I really appreciate the ID's people have supplied. Every one helps me understand what these things look like and how to ID them myself. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
  14. Here are the first of many broken nodules I found from the Mazon Creek formation. I want to start this by saying that one of my favorite parts about fossil hunting is taking an odd looking rock home, pouring over books and online photos until the moment hits when I can say without a doubt what species it is from. With these Mazon Creek fossils I stare blankly from the photos online to my rock smudges and nothing comes to mind. So any help with these would be greatly appreciated, I am really excited about them, the carboniferous is one of my favorite time periods, but you wont hurt my feelings if you tell me I have a great gravel collection. Sorry for not including a scale; if it will help with any of them i can go back and put some in. (The last 2 dont appear to be from nodules) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  15. 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.
  16. Last Thursday decided to get out to Pit 11, Mazonia South Unit, Illinois for a day of collecting nodules and fossils. We've had a lot of rain and Thursday was clear. With all the rain, nodules are easier to see when wet as they jump out as a bright red compared to the green forest floor. And the rain hopefully erodes some fresh nods out of the ground. I sometimes go on foot for collecting but thought I would break out the kayak to get to where I need to go more efficiently. The woods are getting quite overgrown already but I haven't been out much this season yet so I had to make do. Its pretty physical climbing through the woods, up and down hills, looking for the bright red rocks. I usually start at the bottom of hills and scour for an area with concentrated concretions and work my way up the hills scanning for fossils and nice shaped nodules to bring back for the freeze/thaw. Here's an area where you can see some of the iron concretions/pieces. This is a good place to start really scanning. Not more than 30 minutes into the hunt I spotted this! I usually don't find much of anything with detail or size when it comes to already opened nodules at Pit 11 but this one was a prize for me! I was out there for about a good 4 hours hiking, climbing, slipping, falling, army crawling, etc. on the search for nodules. I collected some fern pieces, a couple big jellyfish, and the nice neuropteris. I also collected about 1/2 of a 5 gallon bucket of nodules that are currently soaking for their first freeze/thaw cycle in a few days. A great day in the woods lookin for fossils! Here's the finds for the day cleaned up.
  17. Just bought this. Don't know much about Mazon Creek. Any idea of the species and its rarity? Got it for pretty cheap.
  18. From the album Mazon creek assortment

  19. From the album Mazon creek assortment

  20. Today was another day of going through some Mazon Creek concretions, it reminds me of the days in the past when people would collect at a place they called Chowder Flats because of all the clams that were found. The concretions that I opened today were ones that I collected from an area across from Shadow Lakes- the whole area around there was Pit 4. I was surprised at the number of single or multiple clams that were in this bucket- there was also a couple nice pieces of flora / bark.
  21. Newbie to Mazon Creek fossils. I couldn't find anything like this while searching online. Any help would be much appreciated.
  22. Today I decided to crack open a number of concretions that I collected years ago from Pit 4. I usually do not crack concretions open, but I have so many, it is one of the ways that I can get through them. I found Neuropteris, Pecopteris, Annularia, stems and bark- nothing special and they are below average finds. If I opened these in the field, I would call them Leverites (Leave It Right There), but since I am at home I could not. The below pics are the fossils that I found- if anyone in the continental U.S. would like these for free, including free postage, PM me and I will send the out. The first person to PM me will receive them. Again, they are nothing special, but they are Mazon Creek fossils. Hopefully it will be of interest in someone new to fossil collecting.
  23. 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!
  24. This is my first year hunting Mazon Creek and I've found some cool stuff so far. I'm starting this thread not only for myself but for others to show off their personal Mazon Creek finds that you're proud of. I will be continuously adding to this thread to show pictures and i may need help with IDs. We all love pictures, so don't be shy. Show us what you got! And someone please correct any mistaken IDs (that's how we learn) Edit: IDs added Pecopteris mazoniana-Pit 2 Alethopteris serli-Pit 2 Lobetelson partial Shrimp-Pit 11 Achistrum (Sea Cucumber)-Pit 11 Rhaphidiophorus hystrix (polychaete worm)-Pit 11 Achistrum (Sea Cucumber)-Pit 11 Achistrum (Sea Cucumber)-Pit 11 Achistrum (Sea Cucumber)-Pit 11 Essexella asherae-Pit 11 Essexella asherae-Pit 11 Essexella asherae-Pit 11
  25. This last weekend I was in Chicago for a short getaway and I had Saturday afternoon to myself. The weather was absolutely beautiful, so I decided to make my way down to the museum campus. I was able to get down to that portion of the lakefront in time to catch the tail-end of the Chicago March for Science, around 40,000 scientists and their allies rallying in support of science funding and science-based policy, and also in defense of the environment. It was a boisterous crowd of all ages and wonderful to see. The ending point of the March was right in front of the Field Museum of Natural History, so I decided to head inside. I grew up in the greater Chicagoland area, so I have been coming to the Field for 30 or so years now, but in years past, I must admit, my interest was always mainly in the dinosaurs and other Mesozoic creatures- I never paid nearly as much attention to the earlier flora and fauna. Now that I have been collecting from Mazon Creek and other Carboniferous sites for about a year and a half, I thought I might view the exhibits in a new light. The museum was crowded, as many other marchers had the same idea to spend the afternoon in this iconic "temple of science". I decided to check out one of the special exhibits up at the moment, titled "Specimens: Unlocking the Secrets of Life" , a sort of behind-the-scenes look at the value of the museum's vast collections and how they have been used to make scientific breakthroughs. This special exhibit is scheduled to run until January 7, 2018, and I highly recommend it to anyone in the area!