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Found 304 results

  1. 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.
  2. Hi All, I picked up a lot of Mazon Creek nodules recently. Tried the freeze/thaw technique and have probably gone through at least 10 or 12 cycles with that. Nothing has popped open but flakes continue to come off of the outside of the nodules. On 1 of the small nodules (1.5 in x .75 inch) enough pieces have flaked off on one end to show what looks like a plant fossil, maybe a fern type plant. Looks like it runs the entire length of the nodule. Is there something else I should try to get this cleaned up or just continue the freeze thaw thing? Thanks Eric
  3. Today I went on the E.S.C.O.N.I. (Earth Science Club Of Northern Illinois) fossil collecting trip for Mazon Creek concretions to the Braceville Shaft Mine in Braceville, Illinois. It was a great day for the trip since it had rained recently and exposed a lot of concretions that made surface collecting great, that coupled with great overcast skies and temps in the upper 60's. It was a great day had by all and there must have been hundreds of concretions collected. Here is are a couple Aerial shots of the Shaft Mine. We met at 8 am and most people stayed until 2 pm. Most of the participants, about 40, have been to this site before and new what they were looking for. It great to see people drive as far away as Wisconsin and leave with some nice concretions. A couple hours into collecting, buckets of open concretions were dumped out so the participants could search through the pile and pull out what ever caught their fancy. I brought 3 bucket full of stuff to dump and Rich @stats brought a bucket full and I believe one other person brought some. Here are people from the group searching for some open concretions- there were concretions from Braceville, Pit 11(Essex Biota) and Pit 4 (Braidwood Biota) in the pile. It was great to meet Rich and a couple other Fossil Forum members-Ben @deutscheben and @Lisa102 or as she calls herself "Mud Girl"- . I know that their were other members in attendance, but I am notoriously bad at names and I apologize in advance. I usually never get in pictures, but I thought why not today- it was good day. Here I am with Rich @stats I am the one with the Snoopy bandana- I usually wear that on most fossil trips, but always backpacking, it is like a good luck charm. Here I am with Ben @deutscheben . Here is Lisa @Lisa102 , you can see why she calls herself "Mud Girl"- I give her huge "Props", she was always high up on the spoil pile and collecting some really nice concretions. I know this is Andy, but do not know his FF Tag. I am now going to group the rest of my pictures into 3 topics and I will start with pictures of the area. If you look at the first 2 pics, you can see pieces of boards sticking out, these are remnants of the mine (late 1890's ?) and maybe some trackways the were used by mules to pull out carts. One member found a horseshoe today that would have belonged to a mule. In years past, I also found similar horseshoes and old bottles. You get to the top by going up these gullies. It is important to look for concretions as you go up, because the rain causes them to roll down from the top- it is as just important to look for them on the way down, since a different perspective reveals more.
  4. I have been freezing and thawing this concretion since the end of July and it opened this morning. Initially it seemed to look like some type of insect with wings folded on top of it. I thought the bulbous parts on one end might be a head. However, after I turning it another direction I began wondering if it was a jellyfish. The fossil extends beyond the mineral deposits.
  5. I was a lucky recipient of a wonderfully CRAPPY package from @Nimravis a couple of months ago. Now I need some educating. 1. The only recognizable inclusions in this coprolite are plant fragments, most of which appear to be woody debris. There is one relatively intact "leaf?" that may be recognizable to some of you experienced Mazon Creek folks. My educated guess is it is from a lycopod. Can anyone confirm this. From what I have read, the only herbivores large enough to have produced a mass of this size are Arthropleura, the giant millipede arthropods. How exciting is that!?! 2. This one looks like some sort of stem fragment. Would this be from a lycopod as well?
  6. Mazon Creek ID

    Today I was I was cracking open my daily allotment of Mazon Creek concretions and I came across this piece and I don't recall finding anything like it in the past. I was thinking that it is possibly a seed, but again I have not found anything like it before. What do you think? @fiddlehead , @RCFossils , @fossilized6s @Rob Russell
  7. Last Weekend, August 18th and 19th 2018, was the annual Canal Corridor Mazon River Fossil Field Trip. The weather was perfect! There was a great presentation by Andrew Young on August 18th and Dave Dolak on August 19th. Afterwards, the dinner was excellent, as usual. It was a very productive outing for all involved. I have a couple buckets of concretions to freeze/thaw throughout the winter. It's always a fun trip, can't wait for it again next year! Saturday's lecture before collecting A perfect day! An amazing Alethopteris serlii, which was brought by one of the participants. I believe this was collected from the Dresden area, as it was known for large concretions. Concretions Everyone was tired at the end of the day! A few examples of what was found...
  8. Mazon Creek Nodules

    I recently bought a few collections/accumulations of Mazon Creek fossils. One of them seems to have been a collection of all fauna. After sorting out all the pecopteris ferns and such, I am left with a pile of what seems to be mostly fauna. I am not very familiar with them and don't have very much time right now to figure out the classifications. So I thought maybe someone here would like to work out some sort of trade in exchange for ID'ing these nodules for me? There are shrimp, worms, maybe a few more unusual plants, and stuff I have no idea on. I think I have about 50 nodules. PM me if you are interested, thanks!
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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?
  12. 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,)
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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?
  16. 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.
  17. 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!
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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!
  21. 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???
  22. 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?
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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 .
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