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Found 178 results

  1. These things are very small and difficult to find but I came across a stone that was littered with hundreds of forams and these spicules. I don't recall seeing anything that look like a sponge so I'm very curious as to why there were so many of these spicules being found in this stone that was found in a desert.
  2. Hoping some of the pros here are willing to share microfossil prep techniques or suggestions to journal articles on the subject. I have been hunting conodonts and the like for quite some time, but the glacial acetic acid digestion and pan and scan techniques have failed me. I experimented with HCl and H2SO4 in various concentrations, and even tried some ion exchange extractions ( which work on paper, but are lousy in practice)! This sort of fossil hunting has become vendetta for me and I suspect I am using the wrong search terms in the academic data bases. I'll be on an excursion until the 26th of July, but I'm going to try and check in here from Spanish Fork or Delta. (And hopefully have some non-nebraska samples to work with and turn my students loose on!)
  3. Another day hunting in Wyoming's Lance formation proved more successful than yesterday. Due to the high amount of rain Wyoming has been facing this year, many would be exposures were grassed in. We started at a channel deposit which was producing a number of bone pieces. Although bones were relatively plentiful, there were no spectacular finds with the best being a thescelosaurus vertebra found by another member of the group. My best find from this hillside was a section of Triceratops jaw, a partial crown found in the conglomerate where the fossils were eroding from. and some variety of small animal limb bone (reptile or mammal). Here are some pics from this site A hadrosaur spit tooth A piece of softshell turtle shell A bivalve The Triceratops crown After most of the people had left the site, I explored the surrounding area and found an anthill which proved to be very bountiful in the microfossils it produced. I found several small crocodilian teeth, a tiny myledaphus tooth, a gar tooth and a potential mammal tooth.
  4. Yesterday I was picking through an incredible recent sample from Dogs Bay, Ireland which contains an abundance of foraminifera, ostracods, spicules, gastropods and echinoid spines and have been wondering about how I am going to arrange them on my slides. I am relatively new to microfossils and use microfossil slides with 32 grids. In this instance, is it more common protocol to create separate slides for each type of microfossil (e.g, slide 1: forams, slide 2: ostracods etc.), or to just create a mixed slide that may be more representative and also more interesting to look at but which also makes it harder to logically organise? How do you organise your microfossils on your slides? I hope my question made sense, thanks!
  5. Filming Conodonts

    Hi! I recently acquired a bunch of microfossil samples for kids to play but did not expect them to be so small. We tried some microscopy but ended up applying a little trick that actually to helped to film them "in action", which was kind of cool. I do not know if this technique is a common knowledge or not but I decided to share. Perhaps, it will be of use to somebody. Here you go: Any suggestions for improvements? Thanks!
  6. Hi, here is a bunch of tiny beauties from Texas (Lake Bridgeport). If somebody can help ID the gastropods at 1:40 and a crinoid at 4:20, it would be much appreciated.
  7. I have some pollen grains, spores(?), and other non-pollen palynomorphs as well, which I would like to identify that I photographed from a number of slides. However, I have no eye for these things yet (if only my university offered palynology courses!) so I am in need of references to start reading and hopefully use to identify some stuff now and in the future. I know that it's a pretty specialized area, but any input could be helpful as references accessible to people who don't yet know how to identify these things seem to be few and far between. I have access to Paleopalynology by Alfred Traverse (2007) through my university. I was given Fossil Fungi by Thomas N. Taylor, Michael Krings, and Edith Taylor (2014) as a gift from a family member. It's a lovely book, and excellent reference for fungi. I have found little on pollen and other terrestrial microfossils aside from Traverse and Taylor that seems useful. Marine micro/nanofossils get a lot more attention, apparently. While I am a student with a good working knowledge, I still need stuff that's clear and not too technical, as I am mostly learning this on my own. Anyone have suggestions for other material I could make use of (both modern pollen/palynomorphs and fossils)?
  8. Hi everyone I think I just found a new hobby With my latest fossil delivery I recieved quite a lot of microfossils & matrix vials as the world of microfossils was something that I have been long interested in. So a 2 weeks ago I finally ordered my first microfossils for which I reserved a special drawer in my archive cabinet. So here is a recapp of what I all got: 3 vials of permian material from Waurika, Oklahoma 1 vial of permian material from The red beds of Archer County, Texas 1 small vial of Conodont rich Mississippian material from the Chappel Limestone formation, Texas 1 small vial of Cretaceous Lower Gault Clay, East Wear bay, Folkestone, Kent, UK A micropalaeontology slide with Jurassic Blue Lias matrix rich in holothurian material. A thin section of an Ostracods filled Elimia snail from the Green River Formation in Wyoming A thin section from the Rhynie chert of Scotland which should contain preserved parts of the plant Aglaophyton major and perhaps even other species. I also got a lot of Bull Canyon micro fossil teeth and 2 cretaceous mammal teeth from Hell Creek In this topic you will be able to follow my path through this newly discovered hobby as I will post my finds and progress Currently I am only working with a clip-on cellphone microscope, but I do plan on getting a professional microscope in the next few months! (Tips are always welcome) So let's put on our Ant-Man suit and explore the microfossil realm So here are some of the first pictures I made of some of the microfossils Starting with the thin slices! Thin slice with Ostracon filled Elimia tenara snail from the Green River Formation, Wyoming Thin slice with Aglaophyton major from Rhynie Chert in Scotland
  9. Hi! I recently aqcuired quite a lot of "microfossils" to kick off my Triassic collection, as I personally find it one of the most interesting time periods and while I am aware possibly not all of them are ID'd correctly I just wanted to get some nice fossils from this time period regardless of their ID's. All the fossils I acquired are from the Bull Canyon Formation, Dockum Group, San Miguel County, New Mexico, USA (Norian age) But I myself am not very knowledgeable yet in this material as I just started my collection but I am aware that some if not most of the ID's on these fossils given by the seller might be wrong as everything I read about the Bull Canyon formation says that the formation isn't that well discribed yet. I tried to make the photo's as good as I could, but it wasn't always easy given their extremely small size, so I hope the quality is good enough to work with. So I am kinda hoping is someone here on the forum would like to give it a try to see if he/she could confirm or disprove given ID's. Thank you in advance! The first set of 2 teeth were listed as the Phytosaur "Pseudopalatus" teeth which after doing a bit of research is considered a junior synonym for "Machaeroprosopus" The next collection of 3 teeth were listed as the Pseudosuchian "Revueltosaurus" The next tooth was listed as a "Theropod indet" tooth, and I know there are at least 2 species of theropod present at Bull Canyon, a Coelophysid called Gojirasaurus and a herrerasaurid called Chindesaurus. But I am not even sure whether this tooth is dinosaurian or not. The next set of teeth were listed as "Arganodus" lungfish teeth And the final tooth was listed as a "Sphenodont" (Rhynchocephalia indet.) tooth with affinities to Clevosaurus (which is found in Nova Scotia, Great Britain and China)
  10. Hi! I recently acquired a few new additions to my permian collection, but there are a few pieces of which I am not a 100 % whether they are ID'd correctly, simply because I am not yet knowlegdeable about the material. So I thought it might be a good idea to post the ones I am doubtfull about here, as I know there are a lot of people more knowlegdeable than me who probably could ID them. The first item is a small claw listed as "juvenile dimetrodon limbatus" from the Red Beds, Archer County, Texas, USA I was a bit doubtfull when they said "juvenile" dimetrodon claw, but I got it anyway because it's a very nice permian claw which was an okay price regardless the ID. The second item is a caudal vertebra that was listed as "Edaphosaurus" (from the Archer City Formation, Red Beds, Archer County, Texas, USA) which came as a set along with a piece of sail spine which without doubt belongs to Edaphosaurus. The last items were sold as a collection of "Eryops megacephalus" fossils from the Wellington garbar complex, Waurika, Okhlahoma. From left to right are a piece of skull plate, a toe bone, a piece of dermal armor and a tooth.
  11. https://www.geek.com/news/scientists-discover-tiny-fossils-of-oldest-known-frog-relative-in-north-america-1776396/?source=science
  12. Foraminifera for Christmas

    The Nerdiest Christmas Cards Ever May Be These Microscope Slides Composed of Shells The unusual holiday exchange, which lasted decades during the early 20th-century, hints at the drama between the two colleagues Smithsonian By Allison C. Meier, December 17, 2018 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/two-scientists-exchanged-christmas-greetings-microscope-slides-180971049/ A century ago, two scientists exchanged fantastic microscope slides as Christmas cards https://boingboing.net/2018/12/17/a-century-ago-two-scientists.html Yours, Paul H.
  13. Foraminifera for Christmas

    The Nerdiest Christmas Cards Ever May Be These Microscope Slides Composed of Shells The unusual holiday exchange, which lasted decades during the early 20th-century, hints at the drama between the two colleagues Smithsonian By Allison C. Meier, December 17, 2018 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/two-scientists-exchanged-christmas-greetings-microscope-slides-180971049/ A century ago, two scientists exchanged fantastic microscope slides as Christmas cards https://boingboing.net/2018/12/17/a-century-ago-two-scientists.html Merry Christmas everybody, Paul H.
  14. G'day everyone! My dad and I were interested in investing in a USB Microscope to take photos of our smaller fossils and other things (Mainly small insects). We did some searching about and found this microscope. Before I purchase it I want to see what you all think and if there is a better option. https://www.online.com/p/AmScope-UBW500X0200M-5x-500x-2mp-8-led-3d-Zoom-Digital-USB-Microscope/2255356843 Thanks, Dan
  15. Retracing Antarctica’s Glacial Past LSU geologist uncovers new data to inform future sea level rise https://www.lsu.edu/mediacenter/news/2018/09/25gg_bart_scireports.php https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180925140417.htm https://phys.org/news/2018-09-retracing-antarctica-glacial.html The open-access paper is: Bart, P.J., DeCesare, M., Rosenheim, B.E., Majewski, W. and McGlannan, A., 2018. A centuries-long delay between a paleo-ice-shelf collapse and grounding- line retreat in the Whales Deep Basin, eastern Ross Sea, Antarctica. Scientific reports, 8(1), article 12392. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-29911-8 Yours, Paul H.
  16. Looking for a Stereo Microscope in Europe

    Hi everyone! I'm looking to buy a Stereo Microscope in Europe for microfossil observation and was wondering if anyone can point out recommended brands. The price range for me is <400 Euros. Thanks!
  17. Fossils from Pilatus mountain

    Dear TFF members, I have just returned from the trip to Austria and Swizterland and I need help in identifying the ones I found on the top of Pilatus mountain. From what I've read, Pilatus is made of Cretaceous rocks. To me they look like some sort of microfossils - I'm afraid I cannot take any more detailed photos with my camera, but I hope someone here will be able to make out what it is anyway
  18. Some Judith River IDs

    Here are some small fossils I found back in the summer of 2017 in Montana up in the Judith River Formation. 1. Small reptile vertebra? (.5 cm) 2. Assorted tiny bones several of which are likely from birds. 2a. Hollow at the broken end (about .8 cm). 2b. Hollow at both ends (1.2 cm). 2c. Hollow at both ends as well, looks like limb bone. (1.5 cm). 2d. Appears to be hollow on both ends (.7 cm).
  19. 2017 Wyoming Microsite Finds

    Last summer on my trip out west, I found these teeth at a Lance Formation microsite in Wyoming. Many of the fossils were found through splitting a yellowish-orange concretion filled matrix, while others were free from it. This site was on the same ranch where I found my theropod hand claw but in separate locality. It's rather late (EST) at the time I'm posting this but wanted to show some of the teeth I found and was hoping I could get some help identifying them. 1. Pectinodon bakkeri 2. Richardoestesia sp. (?) 3. Lizard/ Worn Herbivorous Dinosaur Tooth (?)
  20. Keeping track of tiny fossils has been difficult for me, but penny holders have been a real help. I have begun using picture frames to hold and display my fossils in penny holders. These frames are 5x7 inches. The primary use I have made of the holders is for small pieces of shale each of which contains a conodont.
  21. Bunch of micro-mollusks

    Hi all, A handful of days ago there was a sand pile right in my neighborhood. Not sure why it was there, probably someone was making constructions to their house, but in any case I was happy. That's because that kind of sand comes straight from the North Sea, which is full of Eemian fossil sediments! So I took a little plastic bag and spent an hour or two looking in that pile of sand for fossils. The very common Eemian bivalves came up abundantly (so species like Mactra plistoneerlandica, Cerastoderma edule, C. glaucum, Macoma balthica, etc), but that is not what I was too excited about. Seeing that the sand pile was rather small, it forced me to focus on just that little pile. Which is great, because therefore I actually started looking much more closely, and hereby also collecting tiny micro-fossils! Lots of gastropods, which is awesome because these are not as common as bivalves in these sediments. I namely found a complete yet puny Anomia ephippium, some very small Cerastoderma's, and also the ones attached. I would love to be able to bring these down to species level. So I am asking for your help! The Hague, Netherlands (from North Sea sediments) Eem Formation Eemian, Pleistocene; 120'000 y Thanks in advance, Max #1: Looks a little bit like Macoma balthica, but still a bit different... Very likely from the Tellinidae
  22. Since the upload of Part 1 succeeded, I'll now offer up Part 2, a look at two interesting taxa from the family Globigerinidae. This family contains most of the taxa that we associate with the idea of "planktonic forams", perhaps due to our familiarity with the "globigerina oozes" that form a significant part of the floor of the modern world oceans. Globigerinoides ruber (d’Orbigny, 1839) is one of the two “red” species of globigerinids, as the specific epithet indicates. It is well-known that the color of individual specimens varies from white to pinkish-red, and it is typically the case that only some of its globular chambers exhibit the red coloration. I have specimens with all white chambers, one red chamber, two red chambers, etc., and have a single individual that is all red. Interestingly, the intensity of the color seems to increase with the number of chambers affected, so the all red specimen is very red indeed -- it is also a little smaller than average. Here is a typical specimen seen from the umbilical side, in a slightly oblique view, showing the primary aperture and one red chamber: The genus Globigerinoides differs from Globigerina in that its species exhibit secondary apertures, formed at the junctions of the spiral suture with intercameral sutures: Here is the spiral side of the same specimen, again presented in an oblique view, with two supplementary apertures, two red chambers at the left, and a pale pink one at the right. The top, final chamber is white, as is most frequently the case. This taxon is the commonest foram in the sample, by a large margin. The other red globigerinid is Globoturborotalita rubescens (Hofker, 1956). According to the World Foraminifera Database, it also occurs in the Gulf of Mexico, but I have seen no specimens in my sample as yet. This taxon shows four chambers in the umbilical view, rather than three, and lacks the secondary apertures. A second interesting globigerinid, quite different from the preceding, is Globigerinella siphonifera (d’Orbigny, 1839). This genus exhibits planispiral forms, rather than trochospiral -- all of the chambers are in the same plane. (Actually, the test begins growth in a trochospire, but quickly switches growth pattern to planispiral.) There is a primary aperture at the base of the final chamber, and in fully mature specimens like this one, the initial chambers enter the final one through the primary aperture: The final chamber appears to be “gobbling up” the initial chambers, like the snake that swallows its own tail. In Part 3 of this entry, I’ll examine three taxa from the Family Globorotaliidae. Stay tuned.......
  23. Planktonic Foraminifera are particularly important in biostratigraphic studies and correlation, as they are ubiquitous in marine deposits, and evolve rapidly. They first appeared in Middle Jurassic time, and thus have a long geological history. There are many phylogenetic and correlational studies available, and their rapid evolution makes them exceptionally useful as temporal markers, or guide fossils. I am currently looking at planktonic Foraminifera from a deep-water sample that was collected from the Dry Tortugas Islands, off of the coast of southern Florida. The sample was dredged from a depth of 215 meters, due south of the islands. This is an interesting area, as it represents the eastern extremity of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the northern edge of the Caribbean Sea. The sample is a very rich one, with numerous species of benthic Foraminifera, as well as a few ostracodes. There is a good selection of planktonic forams -- I have thus far identified ten species, and would like to discuss one of these, a member of the Family Pulleniatinidae. Pulleniatina obliquiloculata (Parker & Jones, 1862) is a rather unusual looking taxon, starting with a trochospiral growth pattern, but switching to a streptospiral pattern for its final chambers. It is globulose, and quite shiny, making it easy to recognize. It took me some time to locate a specimen for imaging, as most specimens have their aperture clogged with matrix. The aperture is low, but very broad, and the apertural surface of the chamber below it is strongly pustulose. If this image were rotated toward the viewer a bit it would be clear that a thin area just above the lip of the aperture (seen here as an imperforate band) also bears pustules, although they are not as strong as those beneath the aperture. For those interested in taxonomy, this species is the generotype of Pulleniatina. I am submitting this short blog entry to see if the recent problems with uploading to the forum have been fixed. If so, I'll be submitting other entries on this sample.
  24. The Lomita Marl Member of the San Pedro Formation is a well-known source for Middle Pleistocene marine fossils, and its beautifully preserved molluscan fauna has been treasured by fossil fanatics for decades. There are outcrops in the city of San Pedro, California, although many of the "classic" localities have been destroyed by urban development. It is well-exposed in the Lomita Quarry, located in the Palos Verdes Hills northwest of the city. It has been dated at 400,000 to 570,000 years ago, about equivalent to the Santa Barbara Formation, which occurs further north along the California coast near the city of the same name. The Lomita Marl is also an extremely rich source for microfossils, as ostracodes and forams are both very abundant and easy to extract from the matrix. Most taxa in these two groups are still extant off the southern coast of the state, but a significant proportion of the fauna appears to be extinct. (One must hedge here, as the ostracode fauna of the Pacific coast of the United States is not very well known; the forams are better documented.) A small sample of washed residues has given me the opportunity to begin study of this interesting fauna, and I hope to show some images of taxa from both groups on this blog. This first entry will look at four ostracode taxa, selected simply because they are relatively easy to identify. (Much of the ostracode fauna is known only in "open nomenclature", as in "Aurila sp. A", meaning that the species has not been recognized or is undescribed.) Bythocypris elongata Le Roy, 1943 is easy to recognize. It is common, and appears to be the only member of the genus to be found in the Lomita. It is a member of the family Bythocyprididae, which are smooth, and some would say "uninteresting" as a consequence. As is normal in the family, the anterior end of the valve is broader and a bit more inflated than the posterior end. The remaining three taxa are all members of the large family Hemicytheridae, a group with interesting surface ornamentation: Aurila driveri (Le Roy, 1943) is one of the several members of the genus to be found in the Lomita, and the only one (as far as I am concerned), that is easily recognizable. The high-arched dorsum and strong ventral flange place it in the large genus Aurila, and the prominent anterio-ventral teeth are characteristic only of this species. The caudal process is low on the posterior margin, and bears fine denticles. Australicythere californica (Hazel, 1962) is relatively large at roughly one millimeter in length, and is more elongate than most hemicytherids. There is no caudal process, but typically 3-4 large posterio-ventral teeth. The lower half of the anterior margin has some small denticles, rather worn on this specimen. The valve outline is quite distinctive for this species. Hemicythere hispida Le Roy, 1943 is probably the easiest ostracode from the Lomita to identify, and is quite abundant. This image does not do it justice, due to the lack of 3-D. Under a stereo microscope it looks almost "furry", as the entire valve surface is covered with round-ended tubercles. (The lack of 3-D here is due to the excess white matrix obscuring all but the ends of the tubercles.) This species also has a particularly prominent eye tubercle, seen here at the anterior edge of the dorsal margin -- under the microscope this tubercle appears somewhat shiny, rather like glass. (I had to sacrifice the shine to get decent illumination of the rest of the valve.) To make these images, the specimens were simply laid flat on the inside of the lid of a micromount box. Not very sophisticated, but it gives a nice black background -- at the expense of making the specimen a bit more difficult to illuminate evenly. And it's quick and simple........... That's it for this entry. I will try to illustrate some of the many forams to be found in the Lomita in a future blog entry.
  25. Here is my collection of small/micro fossils from the Arkona formation in Southern Ontario. Everything here was collected by soaking clay from the Arkona fm and sifting out the solid matrix. I'm sure many of my IDs are way off so please correct me and fill in the unknowns if you recognize anything! Tentaculites Bactrites sp. Left: Tornoceras sp. Right: Maclurites? sp. Left: Holopea? sp. Right: Nanticonema lineata Left: Hormotoma? sp. Right: Platyceras sp. Left: Scaphopods Right: Hyoliths Left: Paracyclas lirata Right: Prothyris? sp. Left: Nuculana rostellata Right: unknown Left: Nuculites triqueter Right: Nuculites pacatus Left: unknown Right: unknown Left: Spirifer sp. and Delthyris sp. Right: Chonetes sp. Left: Cyrtina sp. Right: Cyrtina sp. Left: Camarotoechia sp. Right: Camarotoechia sp. Left: Onniella trigona Right: unknown Left: Terebratula sp. Right: Productella spinulicosta Ostracods Left: Eldredgeops sp. Right: Eldredgeops sp. unknown blastoid Devonaster? sp. arm fragment crinoid fragments
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