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Found 144 results

  1. Hi, I thought I'd show some of my first micro-vertebrate fossils from the Bembridge Marls Mbr. of the Bouldnor Fm. I collected around 2kg of matrix from one of the 'shelly' estuarine horizons in the lower part of the member at Hamstead Ledge, and am really pleased the results so far! The Bembridge Marls form the basal member of the Bouldnor Fm. and were deposited between 34.0 and 33.75 million years representing the final 250,000 years of the Eocene epoch. The depositional environment varies throughout the member and many beds are laterally discontinuous (like the Insect Bed, which produces finely preserved insects, feathers, leaves, and lizard skin impressions). Generally however, the Bembridge Marls were laid down in a sluggish lagoonal/estuarine environment with areas of wetland and adjacent sub-tropical/tropical forests, in the southern regions of the Hampshire Basin. To the south were forested chalk uplands that are now the downs of the Isle Of Wight. There was also some fluvial influence from rivers flowing from the west, draining the uplands around Dartmoor in Devon. Fauna-wise vertebrates like fish and freshwater turtles are common, and mammal remains are rarely found (in comparison to the overlying Hamstead members which are rich in post and pre-grande coupure mammals), these include palaeotheres, creodonts, rodents, anoplotheres, choeropotamids, xiphodonts, and primates. So far I've only searched through a small amount of the matrix but it has produced indeterminate teleost vertebra, Bowfin teeth, fin spines, indeterminate fish premaxillae, and a very nice crocodilian tooth. (The quality of the images isn't always fantastic but I'm trying to find a way to work around it in the microscope's program) Isolated fish vertebra from teleosts are by far the most common micro-fossil, and I've collected more than 10 so far. Here's a nice example: Bowfin teeth are also quite common and vary in size from 2-7.5mm in length. Bowfins would have been ambush predators feeding on smaller fish and other vertebrates in the lagoons and estuaries. Based on vertebra I've found ex-situ on the beach it seems some of these fish were very large. (Close up of one the teeth) These pre-maxillae also seem to turn up from time to time and appear to be from some form of teleost. The closest match I can find is with some kind of Gadiform? And finally the best find so far, a crocodilian tooth crown. I spotted this on the surface of one of the matrix blocks. It's most likely from the alligatoroid Diplocynodon which was very common in the wetlands and rivers of Europe from the Palaeocene to the Miocene. Diplocynodon has also been found in the early Eocene marine deposits of the London Clay suggesting that they frequented both freshwater and brackish/coastal habitats. The matrix is nowhere near fully sieved and sorted through yet so hopefully there's a lot more micro-vertebrates in there! Hope this was of interest, Theo
  2. Hi, I collected some fossiliferous matrix yesterday from the Bembridge Marls Mbr. and Lower Hamstead Mbr. of the Bouldnor Fm. and was wondering if anyone could advise me on the best method to separate the clay from the micro-fossils. I've been interested in collecting micro vertebrate remains alongside the larger material for a while now and received a digital microscope for my birthday last week. I had a go at extracting some from some smaller pieces of matrix I collected last weekend (by simply washing the clay around in a bowl and then repeatedly decanting it) and produced a rodent incisor and various fish bones. I'm worried that just washing the clay around may destroy some of the fossils so I was wondering if there was a safer way to extract them that effectively separates the matrix from the fossils. The matrix itself is from estuarine facies, and is essentially clay that is heavily packed with gastropods, bivalve fragments, and vertebrate material (predominantly fish and crocodilians). Any help would be really appreciated, Theo
  3. What do each of y’all recommend as a good range of magnification for general microfossil use? I know if it’s to little it won’t make the image big enough to see, and if it’s to much, you will be “zoomed in” to much, and only see just part of the fossil. I have a 500X digital microscope that USB plugs into the computer. I don’t have a particular type of microfossil I’m targeting. Just getting into it. But the smaller ones I can see, the better. So so what is y’alls recomendations?
  4. Here are a few of the micro fossils I've been having fun with recently. I've gathered some micro-matrix from Jeff's magic cookiecutter shark creek as well as some from the Peace River where John and I had good success with large mammal fossils (Proboscideans in particular). I've gone through a couple of plastic Solo cups of the cookiecutter micro-matrix in search of additional specimens of Isistius shark teeth to add to my small but growing collection. In my last batch of micro-matrix from this spot I've found a few nice ones including an unbelievable number of midline (symphyseal) teeth. This batch has already given up two Isistius and they've been nice complete teeth and not the more common fragments. Apparently, I must be some sort of Pied Piper of Isistius or possibly a symphyseal savant as one of these two is a really nice looking tooth with the two overlap notches on the same side marking this tooth as yet another symphyseal--I think this makes 3 or 4 now. A nice complete symphyseal Isistius and a more common non-symphyseal with a bit of a chip on one corner: Cheers. -Ken
  5. Microfossil photography

    Hey everyone, I am wondering if anyone knows a professional microscope that can be used to photograph microfossils. I need to make pictures of fossils such as bonefish teeth, ptychotrygon teeth, etc, that are 2-3 mm big. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks for any help.
  6. Fenestrate bryozoan coral. Harpersville Fm., Brown County TX. 305 mya. Specimen is about 1 cm. across. The pores are about 0.5 mm in diameter. Taken with my new Google Pixel 2 XL and a Moment macro lens. The first pic was taken with the Moment 10x macro lens by itself. For the second I added a 52 mm filter adapter from Mad Dog Labs and a 10x diopter.
  7. Do microfossils come as small as the grains of sand, and if so, how do you separate them?
  8. A few months ago I put about a dozen tiny fossil inside of those empty gel caps you buy at high health for making your own "supplements" . the monsoon humidity got to them even inside the house, and the fossils inside got glued to the wall. Oh man, I saved them but wont use those again! Also, one gel cap that was in with a pile of small fossils in a box had micro fossils glued all over the outside of it. Those capsules at first seem a great idea, but unless you live in the Sahara, they are more trouble than they are worth. Any body else had this happen to them?
  9. This post will be ongoing as I am still processing my Oxford Clay and started looking at microfossils in it in 2009, I think. Hoping to start photographing finds very soon. See finds already donated to museum in Partners in Palaeontology - Contributions to Science. 1- Agglutinated foram 2 - Also Agglutinated foram according to museum, weird. Would like to find another photo to confirm. I think I need an Jurassic atlas on the things. Santa take note. Yes I will work out how to stack my microscope photos one day.
  10. New Microfossil microscope!

    HI all, Finally, after 20 years of using a cheap stereo microscope with cheap optics and base, we decided to get a new one with all the bells and whistles. Our back log of Fort Apache microfossils which we are studying at present was the catalyst for this. We got an awesome scope from AmScope, a trinocular unit with 3.5x - 90x range and a 10 Mpix built in camera. Its like going from watching a small TV to going to the IMAX theatre! What an awesome scope for $909. Here are my very first attempts at some images taken today, of some of the Fort Apache material. I set the camera for 5Mpix and resized the images here to 1290 x 960 which is like 1 mpixel to keep them within size limits, but you get the idea. The Trinocular feature puts light to the camera when you push or pull in a lever and sends the left eye to the camera instead. The camera and eyepiece can be set independently so you can get it pretty close by just focusing normally. Here are a few sample images. I have a lot to learn on microscope imaging, but the software that came with the camera is amazing. Two image scales here, one at 3.5x and another at 20x zoom. Three gastropods and a pinhead. 3.5x with LED side lighting. Now here at 20x is the same group but first with the LED side light: Now for comparison, using the Halogen Ring light: I dont like this very well, so Ill use the LED for fossils anyway. Fenestellid Bryozoan, 3.5x Bryozoan at 20x Tenticulites at 3.5x Now at 20x And here is the setup as it sits right now. The black lamp on its left is the LED high intensity light from Walmart. I have yet to try focus stacking and many other things. The camera was taken at 5mp and I can go much larger files but thats a bit of overkill. More to come!
  11. I wish to send my friend in the mail some specimens out of the acid bath of some super tiny gastropods that are like fly specks - so tiny that you need a microscope to see them. How should I do this so he can find them when they arrive? Im hoping for something from the hardware store, or locally.
  12. Mount Isa photographer shares his tricks for taking photos of sand-grain sized fossils By Harriet Tatham, ABC North West Qld http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-28/how-to--photograph-a-fossil-the-size-of-a-sand-grain/8650976 Yours, Paul H.
  13. Any ideas what is in this matrix?

    Noob here. We tried our luck near Andalusia, but as expected the water was too high. We ended up in Sepulga River and this was all we walked away with, but still curious what might be here. There were lots of new mollusks strewn about and I grabbed these just as a MASSIVE huntsman spider chased me off.
  14. Microfossils

    I'm currently working on an oil rig in the Bay Of Campeche off the coast of Mexico. We currently have 5 paleontologist on board sampling micro fossils that are brought up when drilling. I had a chance today to look at some amazing specimens under a microscope. I wish I had pics but cameras are banned here. I got to see many types of Foraminifera that resemble the ammonties I collect. They were quite impressed when I showed them some of my Cretaceous finds from NSR.
  15. The day began with a morning hunt at my honey hole at "riprap hill," and I was pretty much skunked. I think, after four years, I've picked the place over. There is virtually nothing left for me to split, and given a mild winter, nothing new has weathered out. But I at least was graced by the sight of the living in the form of this majestic animal: image.jpg_1
  16. In picking out my sample of microfossils from the Middle Pliocene Coralline Crag Formation, Suffolk, England, I noted a few fragments of what appeared to be a species of the ostracode genus Pterygocythereis, a particularly spiny-looking genus of the family Trachyleberididae. I assumed it to be Pterygocythereis jonesi (Baird, 1850), the common species of the North Sea. As luck would have it, while finishing the picking of the last bit of the sample, up popped a complete valve, in almost perfect condition. To my surprise, it turned out not to be the common North Sea species; rather, it is Pterygocythereis siveteri Athersuch, 1972. The image does not do it justice, as even with image stacking software, the great length of the alae and the 3-D spininess are not very apparent. (Published dorsal views of the complete carapace are quite impressive!) Further cleaning of the specimen should greatly improve its appearance. In the standard book on the recent Ostracoda of Great Britain, we find the following: "British records of P. siveteri are sub-Recent, and there are, as yet, no live records outside the Mediterranean." (Athersuch, Horne and Whittaker 1989: 146) Presence of this species thus provides further evidence that the Middle Pliocene sea around southern Great Britain was warmer than it is now, and that the ostracode fauna was essentially Lusitanian, characteristic of the modern Mediterranean Sea and of the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa. The genus Pterygocythereis today is commonly encountered in the sublittoral zone, down to a depth of about 200 meters. Faunal studies of the Coralline Crag have suggested that it was deposited in a high energy environment with a maximum depth of about 20 meters, which seems to fit. However, this species is rather rare in the Coralline Crag, suggesting that it may not have been a member of the original, local biocoenosis. Athersuch, J., D. J. Horne, and J. E. Whittaker, 1989, Marine and Brackish Water Ostracods, The Linnaean Society of London.
  17. I have about 8 acres of coastal estuary in northern Nova Scotia, and decided to take a look at the estuary sediments to see if I could find any fossils. Yes, they are there! Microfossils and lots of other life including ostracoda. Using my hand lens I could see them very well. Will invest at sometime in a microscope and maybe I will see even more. Hand lens for scale for foraminifera and ostracod scale is in millimeters.
  18. Hey everyone, a recent post here inspired me to create a cheap digital microscope for photographing/analyzing small fossils based on this tutorial by Yoshinok on instructables.com - http://www.instructables.com/id/10-Smartphone-to-digital-microscope-conversion/. I made a few modifications to his design, mostly size adjustments and such, but either way it is important to note that I do not take any credit for the design and instructions that I am posting here, I am only doing it to show how I did it and how it can be used for paleontology purposes. All credit goes to Yoshinok on the above link. The device can magnify at 175x or higher depending on the number of lenses used. It allows you to use a smartphone to take pictures or videos of very tiny objects. Using two lenses, you can actually see individual cells (and their internal structure) of plants. First off, as an idea of what this device looks like, here is a photo of the final product, without the smartphone. The entire device is about 6 inches wide and 4 inches across, and weighs very little. Here is an image of fossilized shark cartilage (or is it? lets find out!) found in the Cretaceous of North Mississippi. The structure is very difficult to see with the naked eye. Shark cartilage is usually identified by the pattern of the cartilage, which can only really be seen at high magnification. Good thing we have a digital microscope! Here is the cartilage magnified at 175x. The prismatic shape of each piece (for lack of a better word) of the cartilage indicates that this is indeed shark cartilage. Now to the fun part, the equipment and parts you need to construct this beautiful machine. The original author of this design said you could make it for $10. Sure you can, if you buy stuff at the right stores and use cheap materials, but I found that using all stainless metals (which are a good idea to have) and buying from Lowe's, it was closer to $20 total (minus the smartphone and equipment used to make it). DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any type of harm inflicted on someone making this device. The maker of this device claims full responsibility for any harm they do to themselves, others, or any inanimate and/or animate object within this universe. Equipment needed: - Some kind of saw, I used a scroll saw, but a jigsaw would work fine, or even a hand saw if you're careful. - Some kind of drill, I highly recommend a drill press as it is much easier to get straight holes with one, but a hand drill will work too if you do it right. - 5/16 inch and 11/64 inch drill bits - sandpaper, I used a Dremel tool with a sander attachment. hand sanders will work fine but will take more time. - Safety glasses and gloves - these are a must. Safety is your number one priority! These should be worn at all times. Parts needed: - 1x Piece of wood, at least 2 inches wider and 2 inches longer than your smartphone's length and width. Thickness should be at least a half inch for strength. - 3x 5/16 inch carriage bolts at least 3 inches long. - 9x 5/16 inch nuts - 5x 5/16 inch flat washers (not the tightening ones). - 2x 5/16 inch wing nuts - 1x piece of plexiglass/acrylic, Width must be at least as wide as our piece of wood, and at least as long as your piece of wood, plus 3 inches. Thickness should be about 1/8 inch. For example: if your wood is 6 inches long and 4 inches wide, your plexiglass should be 8 inches long and 5 inches wide. - 1x laser pointer (the super cheap kind, mine was like $2). The laser pointer has the lens you need in it. If you want 375x magnification, get two laser pointers. - 1x LED light. This is OPTIONAL. It is only needed for looking at translucent materials, like leaves. Most fossils are opaque so it is useless in that scenario. NOTE: If you don't have the equipment needed to build this, or just simply don't feel like it, I would be happy to buy the materials and make one for you if you trade a fossil for it. I like teeth, especially Cretaceous teeth of dinosaurs . Just PM me about it and we will go from there, but I highly advise making your own, simply because it is fun and educational! Here are my parts that I used: STEP 1: Get the lens out of the laser pointer. - Remove the cap from the tip of the laser pointer like shown. The lens is in the black plastic cap. This can vary between different laser pointers Here is the lens - Now take the acrylic you bought and use a pen to outline the dimensions of your wood base on the acrylic, and then cut it on the lines. Note: Acrylic breaks very easy, and often splinters, so go slow and be careful. - Next, mark three holes with a pen - two on the front corners and one on the back middle side of the wood base. Use the 5/16 inch drill bit to drill holes on the points you marked all the way through the wood. - Using the holes you just drilled a guides, mark the same holes on the piece of acrylic you already cut and drill it out all the way through. - Outline your specimen slide with the pen with the width of your already cut acrylic, and length about 1.5 inches. Then cut this piece out. - Drill two holes on each side of the specimen slide, at the same locations of the holes you drilled on front side of the already cut acrylic. - Drill a hole in the front of the main acrylic piece (the side with the two holes) using an 11/64 inch drill bit. Push the lens into this hole. It will be a tight fit, and needs to be, but if it doesn't go in at all, try widening the hole in tiny increments using the drill bit until the lens just barely fits in the hole. DO NOT use glue to hold it in, you risk getting it on the lens and ruining it if you do. - Push the carriage bolts though the holes at the bottom of the wood base you drilled out, as shown. - Place a washer on all three carriage bolts, and then a nut on each bolt. Tighten the nuts down. See image below. - Place a wing nut upside down on each of the front two carriage bolts, and then a washer on top of each of these. Slide the specimen slide down the carriage bolt on top of the washers. - Now add a nut on each carriage bolt, slide the main acrylic piece onto the bolts, and tighten it down with another nut on each carriage bolt. The final product should look like this from the front. NOTE: For higher magnification, put another lens on top of the first one (may require thicker acrylic). You are ready to take microscopic pictures now! To use the device, put an object on the specimen slide directly underneath the lens, and align your smartphone's camera with the lens. To focus the microscope, adjust the height of the specimen slide using the wing nuts until you see the image clearly. This distance is called the focal point, and isa characteristic of the lens. My focal point was at a distance of about 1 cm, so the slide should be pretty close to the lens. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, please let me know! Also, here is a shark tooth under the microscope
  19. I have just noticed that many of the larger microfossils I have found are noticeably attracted to a strong neodymium magnet. What has occurred in fossilization for this to happen?
  20. Microfossils and More

    Decided to take some extra hash shale I had boxed up and give it the vinegar bath treatment to see what might be hiding inside of it. I was actually really excited to see all the very tiny crinoid bits in there. I was stoked to see a rather tiny cup in there as well. (Uppermost sample in the photo.) A nice big Mediospirifer that literally plopped out of a random rock I had thrown in. Also found this tiny little Eldredgeops in there. Notice that's a thumbnail in the background!
  21. Hi everyone, I've recently done some shale collecting near the Rocky River in Ohio. I've found the shale in this area is late Devonian to Mississippian, and is good matrix to look for microfossils. I've collected some smaller material that I'm soaking and freezing to disaggregate, and also some larger material (1-6 inches). I wanted to know if anyone has had any experience with matrix from this area/from this period and if so are you more successful with smaller or larger material? Thanks very much!
  22. French Chalk microfossils

    Hi everyone! I recently came back from a little expedition in the north of France, where I prospected for Chalk bryozoan fragments. All of them were found in a number chalk nodules, all of them recovered from two outcrops… in a forest. Along with the various bryozoan fragments that I recovered from the matrix, I also found a small bivalve. My best find of the expedition, though, was a fragment of an echinoderm spine (Tylocidaris?), which are quite rare in that area. I will show the pictures of the fossils in another post. In that post, I will also provide a more detailed narrative of the field trip. This was just a "prélude". Have a nice day!
  23. Hi All - I've recently been inspired by a number of members' posts about microfossils and have been sorting through some matrix from the US that I was sent. I currently live in Singapore and am wondering if anyone knows of any microfossil sites in or near Southeast Asia where collecting would be legal? I realize this is a long shot but thought I'd float the question. Many thanks in advance! Charlie
  24. microscope for phone

    if you don't want to spend the money for a microscope or microscope camera here is a low budget device that will get acceptable micro pix. For $10. It will also work well on small megafossils. I got this at the mostly defunct Radio Shack, but I am sure it is still around. ( got it last X-mas) It slides on over your phone camera lens, and provides its own illumination. Just move it up or down to focus ( variable X) and take the photo. I have provided both edited and unedited pix to compare. (the only editing was to get them the same size). These specimens are from the U.Ordovician , Grant Lake Formation, Elk Creek , KY 2-3 mm in length. They are on standard 60 grid micro slides, about 3.5 mm on a side for each box.
  25. #22b Scolecodont (left side)

    From the album Scolecodonts

    Scolecodont fragment (Left side view) Size: Approx. 1.5 mm. Found in surface-collected muddy matrix, which could have weathered from any of three different formations, listed below. Upper Ordovician Waynesville/ Liberty/ Arnheim Fms. Cincinnati Group Bon Well Hill Outcrop Brookville, IN
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