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Found 323 results

  1. We are having a highly unusual, but welcome, respite from winter here in Minnesota. Temps have been in the 40s and 50s for several days and the snow is slowly departing. Rain is even forecast for tomorrow, but snow is predicted to return next weekend, so a fossil hunt sounded like a wonderful pursuit for a Sunday afternoon. The breezes were light, even balmy for February, green grass blades are starting to poke through and a flight of geese could be seen in the blue skies heading north - a sure sign of an early spring. I headed to one of my favorite hunting spots to see if it was melted off. My very first find was this gorgeous Halysites Coral! These are rare in these parts and this one is the biggest I have ever seen, but it is caught in the rock. :-( The location of this coral is very unusual as I have never found one at this level. Since I couldn't get this one out with the two hammers I had, I proceeded to wander the upper shelf of the Stewartville member of the Galena formation in this area collecting Maclurites, a lovely Fusispera sp., a broken trilo cephlon, and a warn cephalopod among other treasures. Continued...
  2. Ordovician Stewartville member of the Galena Formation SE Minnesota, USA I was out fossil hunting today and found this, which I believe is a worn hexigornian (sp?) coral. BUT I could certainly be wrong, so I thought I would post it for ID. As far as I know, a hex has never been found in this location, although hexs are known to be in this member of the Galena not too far away. Thoughts?
  3. Found near Richmond IN. 2-1/4" long, 1-1/2" wide. I know it's rough, but it's definitely something. (The pictures don't do it justice) Any ideas?
  4. Had the time to clean this up and was surprised at what I have. Any help IDing this would be greatly appreciated. It seems to have a tiny little tail!!!
  5. Myth busted: No link between gigantic asteroid break-up, rise in biodiversity, University of Copenhagen, February 3, 2017 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170203110156.htm https://phys.org/news/2017-01-meteorites-enrich-ocean-life.html the paper is; Lindskog, A., M. M. Costa, C.M.Ø. Rasmussen, J. N. Connelly, and M. E. Eriksson, 2017, Refined Ordovician timescale reveals no link between asteroid breakup and biodiversification. Nature Communications, 2017; 8: 14066 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14066 http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1038/ncomms14066 http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14066 Yours, Paul H.
  6. Hello. I know almost nothing about fossils. I found this in Nashville, Tennessee. I left it where I found it, but if I recall correctly it was about a foot long. I looked online to see what other similar fossils were found here but didn't see one like this. Any help?
  7. WHAT WE LEARNED IN OUR FIRST FOSSIL HUNTING SUMMER This is a short recap of what we learned on our fossil trips this summer, in our first 3 months as very new fossil collectors. This week, Nancy and I gave a slide presentation on our summer fossil hunting experiences, to the Delaware Valley Paleontological Society. We didn't realize it ourselves but in 3 months we visited 8 sites in Pennsylvania and New York including: Antes Creek, Deer Lake, Red Hill, Juniata County, McIntyre Mountain, Montour and St. Clair in Pennsylvania, and a very productive trip to Tully, NY. We visited St. Clair 4 times, which has become our home site. At St. Clair, we were astonished by the diversity of species - we collected well articulated samples of more than a dozen species including: Alethopteris, Annularia, Asterophyllites, Cordaites, Cyclopteris, Eusphenopteris, Lepidophylloides, Neuropteris, Odontopteris, Pecopteris, Sphenophyllum, Sphenopteris, and numerous Seeds, Bark, Roots. Most notably - I learned to pronounce all of these without stuttering! At St. Clair, we spent one trip looking exclusively for seeds trigonocarpus), and one trip looking just for roots (stigmaria). Our most significant finds have included very large (2 foot long) display pieces covered with well articulated orange ferns, an alethopteris seed attached to a leaf stem, and many Carboniferous leaves that have different shapes from traditional ferns. What we learned this summer has really helped us find some interesting fossils - here are a few things we did that helped a lot: 1. DOING OUR HOMEWORK. It helped to study each site in advance using Internet websites and books on fossils (Dave's "Views of the Mahantango" and "Louisville Fossils" are among the best, imho). Several universities also have great educational sites that bring each era to life in very creative and interesting ways, with lots of illustrations and photos. I like the UC-Berkeleyand University of West Virginia websites. 2. LEARNING FROM TRIP REPORTS. We read trip reports from other groups and individuals to see what they reported - sometimes this helps us stumble across new places to visit such as the site at Tully, NY and Deer Lake. 3. SETTING GOALS AND TARGETS FOR EACH TRIP. For each trip, we establish specific goals - for example we may look for seeds, or roots at St. Clair, or trilobites or shell assemblages at a Devonian site. Our interest right now is in looking for things that are scarce or rare, and fossils that are extremely well articulated (which is also rare!). We also like solving puzzles so eventually we would like to find things that help add to the fossil record in areas where there are still questions or missing links. 4. DISPLAYING WHAT WE FIND. Personally, Nancy and I like collecting larger fossils that we can display in mounts and frames, and we are also looking for larger pieces that we can display like sculptures - we have a few pieces that we drilled holes in, inserted wooden dowels that we stained, and then drilled/inserted the dowels in wooden trophy bases - all available from a craft store. This allows us to display thicker fossils esp. assemblages, like sculptures, and you can turn them around and look at all sides when they are mounted like this. 5. WE AVOID FOSSIL HORDING. We both agreed that we would NOT become "fossil horders" putting hundreds of rocks in boxes and sticking them away in the basement or garage - instead, we focus on finding display-quality items, and rare or scarce finds which we are slowly putting in frames. 6. DOCUMENTING OUR FINDS WITH CLOSEUP PHOTOS. We photograph everything we find as soon as possible after returning from a trip, using a digital camera with a closeup attachment - many times we find new discoveries while taking closeup photos and some of our best finds came AFTER we returned from the trip and inspected our fossils. I usually put the finds on a white background on an ironing board and use window light, nothing fancy, but it works. 7. FOSSIL ID. We post anything we can't identify on the Fossil Forum and are EXTREMELY grateful for the terrific response from our friends on the site! We are also accumulating a growing library of fossil books (some modern, some from the 19th and early 20th century) so we can identify more fossils ourselves without having to post on Fossil ID. 8. WRITING ABOUT OUR EXPERIENCES GIVES US NEW INSIGHTS. We report everything that interests and excites us about fossil hunting on Fossil Forum to share our experiences - and we find that writing about what we're doing helps us learn more and gain insights, just from writing about it. We have also started videotaping some of our adventures and are thinking about the best place to post some of these. 9. WINTER PLANS: COPING WITH CABIN FEVER. Our winter plans are to visit one or two more sites, then go into "fossil hibernation" and organize, identify and label fossils we haven't processed yet. We have a Dremel to do some light preservation work where needed. We are not planning to become "chemical conservators" - using chemicals to dissolve limestone and so forth - that's a bit too ambitious for us at this point. We may get involved in some interesting activities by local universities that are using 3D printing to process and replicate large dinosaur bones. We are also planning to provide an exhibit (on Carboniferous plants and trees/coal swamps) at a fossil fair in April. 10. RECOMMENDED READING: I enjoy reading fossil books - I'm currently reading with great interest a small book entitled "Leaves and Stems from Fossil Forests" by Raymond E. Janssen (1939) which I bought last night at the DVPS meeting, and a textbook entitled Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record by Benton and Harper (2008) (excellent book). The book that has been the most useful to me so far is the classic book "Fossil Collecting in Pennsylvania" by Hoskins et. al. (3rd ed. 1983). I am constantly re-reading the Hoskins book and find something new each time as my knowledge grows. A book that impressed Nancy and me is a large beautifully illustrated book entitled "Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth" (published by Dorling Kindersley, 2012) UPDATE (Oct 11): Nancy is taking some college courses which are prerequisites to enter grad school, so I am doing most of the fossil reading and ID. I read several books at the same time and other books I purchased that I am currently reading are: Paleobotany: The Biology and Evolution of Fossil Plants (second edition) by Thomas Taylor; and Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record by Benton and Harper. I guess you can tell from this that I'm reading up on fossil plants - my main interest is not just to understand the evolution and fossil record, identification tips, etc. - but also to try to figure out where the missing links and gaps are so if we come across something that adds to the fossil record, we will be able to recognize the value. What is most surprising is that there is a lot missing from the Carboniferous record - partly because after this period, many of the oceans and swamps apparently dried up and there were ice ages and other factors that caused mass extinctions. Here are some interesting things I have learned this summer about Fossil Plants and Trees: 1. More Carboniferous insect fossils and evidence of insects are needed (by the way, there are some GREAT current discussions about insects on this forum!). 2. Many categories of lycopsids and other Carboniferous trees and plants do not have verified associations between the leaves and seeds, or leaves and trunks/stems. Many trigonocarpus (fossilized seeds and "fruits") are found with leaves, but examples of seeds actually ATTACHED to leaf sprigs are rare (we have found one example of a seed attached to Alethopteris). 3. More Leaf and Bark Verifications are Needed. Another interesting thing I learned is that there are more than 30 different types of "scale tree" patterns but only half a dozen leaves for these trees - suggesting that a lot of different species had the same leaves - or - there are a lot of missing leaf types or the existing leaf types have not been matched to the bark patterns yet. 4. Another peculiar revelation is that most Carboniferous leaves that do not fall neatly into classic fern shapes seem to be lumped together as "sphenopteris" - we have many "non-traditional fern" leaf fossils that are VERY different from each other and obviously different species, but when we go online to ID them, they all seem to be grouped as "sphenopteris!" Maybe some of these leaf types match up with the bark patterns I mentioned. 5. Last but certainly not least is the insight that fern trees could have 2 or 3 different types of leaves on the same tree! This was really interesting. Also, some leaf types can come in different shapes - for example, Neuropteris can be round at the base of a stem and elongated along the stem and at the tip...AND...some paleobotanists now classify cyclopteris - the round fan shaped leaf - as a form of Neuropteris. This definitely adds to the confusion. I'm still reading and trying to understand all of this and these are only my initial impressions, which are still forming and there may be explanations for some of these questions that I haven't discovered yet but these are the questions that I am trying to answer by reading, and of course, by fossil collecting. I hope that many of our new friend (and I should add, VERY COOL new friends!) on the fossil forum will help clarify some of these interesting questions. Hope this is helpful.
  8. During the Christmas holidays, i had the opportunity to go out again for a trilobites hunt. Could spend 2 days there splitting shale. The site is Ordovician. The plan is to split good looking shale blocks, the bigger the better. For site pictures, you can go check on my previous report here I manage to find nearly complete or nearly complete bugs. The first morning, complete ones took their time to show up. The first one was this one : Neseuretus tristani, the most common on the site, but still a cool piece. On it's own it would have make my day. I will post more in a few days
  9. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    Ectilaenus giganteus : a trilobite found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  10. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    Neseuretus tristani and counterpart : a trilobite found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  11. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    Neseuretus tristani : a trilobite found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  12. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    Neseuretus tristani : a trilobite found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  13. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    Neseuretus tristani : a trilobite found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  14. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    Neseuretus tristani : a trilobite found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  15. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    Indet. trilobite found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  16. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    Eodalmanitina destombesi destombesi : a trilobite found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  17. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    A huge partial Ectilaenus giganteus found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  18. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    Ectilaenus giganteus : a trilobite found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  19. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    Ectilaenus giganteus : a trilobite found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  20. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    Ectilaenus giganteus : a trilobite found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  21. From the album La Dominelais - winter 2016/2017 - Ordovician

    Neseuretus tristani : a trilobite found in La Dominelais (south of Rennes - Bretagne - France during winter 2016/2017 Ordovician, Landeilian (-460 MA)
  22. Last week, after checking the weather wunderground numerous times, I decided to drive 3.5 hours from Chicago to St. Paul Stone Quarry. It was the last "open house" day according to the ESCONI website. I arrived at 7:45, the first and only person there. Shortly thereafter, after a brief safety instruction, I followed the manager to the collecting site, heaps and heaps of Waldron shale. Even though I dressed in layers, I still had to take breaks and warm up in the car for a few minutes, but I much rather prefer collecting in cold weather as opposed to hot summer sun with mosquitoes, any day. It didn't take too long to start finding fossils. Here are just a few of my finds: Eospirifer Platystrophia brachiopods with pyrite Platyceras niagarense encrusted with strophomenid, bryozoa and pyrite. front: back: Partial Dalmanitid Trilobite in matrix When prepping, it's really wonderful how the waldron "butter" shale just crumbles apart around the predictable morphology of an enrolled trilobite. The trip just wouldn't seem complete without a short drive east to the Cincinnati Arch roadcuts. I first went to South Gate and found a flexicalymene eroding right out of the cut. It is interesting to see the comparisons here. The trilobite on the left is from St Paul (Silurian) and has beautiful pyritized eyes. The one on the right is from South Gate (Ordovician). Both trilobites have 21 articulated segments; does this make them both the same age as "adults"? Interesting to note the difference in size, being 40 million years apart, same species.. Thanks for looking!
  23. Is it possible to narrow down the location for these Sphenothallus sp. from the Whetstone Gulf Formation of New York from just "Lewis Co, NY"? Maybe more about the stratigraphy too (ie. what North American stage of the Ordovician?) I suppose I could ask the seller but I'm going to assume the info they gave was all they had or were willing to divulge, and I know TFF has a good knowledge base, so... The info I got was: Sphenothallus sp. Upper Ordo (Sandbian), Whetstone Gulf Fm, Lewis County, NY. Also stated this unit is where the pyritized trilos with soft parts preserved come from (not the exact site I guess).
  24. This weekend, travelled up north to Plattsburg to visit my friend Ray I know from the New York Paleontological Society. The next day took the ferry across Lake Champlain to Grand isle, Vermont and met Andy (Cluros) and his father. Here are some pics of the ferry ride over:
  25. From the album Fayette County Iowa

    This is a find from earlier this summer that I just got out tonight to start work on. I assumed when I collected it that it was an Isotelus Gigas and didn't give it much of an inspection. I did tonight though. Appears to actually be an Ectenaspis Sp. A Good surprise.