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EDIT: Doh! Just a few more minutes of searching and I found it. Never mind. I have been trying to find this paper on a nodosaurid scuteling from the Paw Paw Formation of Texas with no luck. Does anyone have access to it? Jacobs LL, Winkler DW, Murry PA, Maurice JM. A nodosaurid scuteling from the Texas shore of the Western Interior Seaway. In: Carpenter K, Hirsch KF, Horner J editors. Dinosaur Eggs and Babies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1994. pp. 337–346. The only information I have about it now comes from a few references to it in related papers and this tweet.
KimTexan posted a topic in Fossil Hunting TripsThis is part 2, site 2 of my Memorial day fossil hunting trip. You can see the site one report here: I chose to drive out to Denton Creek north of Ft. Worth. I had been there before, but had not gotten to explore the area. It was the takeout point from a kayaking trip I’d taken down the creek a few weeks before. It took me 30 minutes out to drive out there from the first location I hunted in Benbrook. If you pass the creek going north you can go up to the next exit and then loop back to the creek. There is a little rock and dirt path off the shoulder of the road that leads down to under the bridge where you can drive your vehicle. The hill down to under the bridge is kind of steep. My car was a bit on the low side for getting over the curb and then a steep embankment with rocks. I bottomed out once. I thought I might park my car in the shade under the bridge, but when I arrived there was another vehicle in the area. I thought I was the only person crazy enough to be out here in the heat. Nobody could pass if I parked under the bridge so I pulled through into a small clearing there. The grass and weeds were grown up pretty high in the clearing. I knew of a sizeable exposure on the creek that I wanted to try to get to on foot, but I didn’t know the terrain around the creek. I switched to my rubber boots for walking in the creek. I reapplied sunscreen and headed down the steep hill to the edge of the creek. I had to sit down and scoot myself over the edge and drop down to the rock ledge that ran along the creek. I inspected the exposure. Last time I was here I found a pretty decent Macraster obesus right by the spot I came in by. I didn’t see a single fossil. The creek was maybe 40 feet wide give or take. The water was less than 10 inches deep where I entered the creek. I don’t think the creek is ever a high energy creek. The rocks that are in this part of the creek are angular and jagged. The water in the creek is rather murky so you can’t see into the water. All of that makes it a difficult creek to walk in. Most of the creek in that spot is one level at bedrock with rocks scattered across much of the creek bottom. There is a narrow jagged rift in the bedrock that meanders along the creek bed. The water is deeper in the rift. I walked down into the creek and squatted down looking at some ammonite fragments in the creek. I saw two butterflies nearby. I tried to get a better picture from the side, but they flew away before I could do so. Sorry it is not a very clear picture. You can see the creek bed is kind of slimy looking. In some areas where the water was very low it looked foul and fetid. It had a green bubbly looking surface. I assessed the creek and decided to walked along the exposed rock ledge above the creek. As I walked up the creek there was a horrible stench of something dead. The further I went the worse it got. Finally I came upon a gar fish carcass on the rock ledge above the creek. It was close to one of the places where I had wanted to have a look around, but the odor was too strong and repulsive. It looked to be just over 3 feet long. I can’t imagine how it got there. It had to be a person who had drug it there. This section of the creek does not seem deep enough for such a large fish to swim in. Maybe it swam in the rift though. There were deeper sections of the creek where it could live, but not here. There were signs of racoons all over along with remnants of their meals. Evidently gar is not on the racoon menu, which was surprising to me since it seems raccoons will eat almost anything else. I looked at the thin, razor sharp gar teeth. It is kind of scary to think that type of critter was in this creek when I kayaked it. I was in and out of the water all the time. A bite from that thing would be nasty. Here is a pic of it. I walked back down the creek upon the rock ledge to a place where there weren’t too many jagged rocks in the creek and where the rift in the creek would be narrow enough for me to step across it. Since the water was flowing slowly the rocks were covered with algae and were very slippery. I got to the rift. There were rocks pilled up there. I place one foot on a large one sitting at an angle and it tottered underneath me. I made sure my foot wouldn’t slip and I balanced myself as I put my next foot on another rock. It tottered too. To slip and fall in this creek with all the jagged rocks would really hurt and might do considerable injury. At least when I slipped and fell in the NSR the riverbed was smooth, without any rocks. I took a few more steps on similar rocks and I was I on smooth riverbed again near the other bank. I began to inspect the exposure. I found these just sitting on the bank. A cute little impression of an ammonite and what appeared to be a fragment of a Pinna clam. I have yet to find a whole Pinna clam. I’d kind of like to find at least one whole one someday. The only other formation I have found them is in the Goodland. It is another of the Washita Group formations.
I have had the urge to go find more echinoids for a while. I’m still not finding the variety I’d like to have. I have lived in North Texas many years, but recently moved to a new area. So I don’t know where the good sites are yet. I got out the satellite map and searched for a good creek with a good span of dry spot near a bridge and headed out to check it out. I’d never been to Oliver Creek, but I have heard a lot about it. So I headed out to part of Oliver Creek near Roanoke, TX. I have the phone app “RockD”, which told me I was in the Paw Paw. I just got it last week and haven’t had much time to play with it, but if it could tell me the right formation that’s great. It definitely saved time trying to figure it out. It was helpful, because the USGS map told me I was in the Plestiocene Alluvium Formation, which I knew wasn’t right by the looks of the creek bed. It was in the 50s, but bright and sunny with no breeze. I could have parked on the shoulder near the bridge and gone down into the creek, but it was a very busy road and I saw a field a short ways back with 3 trucks parked by a gate. I drove back to the spot which appeared to be a popular spot for hikers and hunters. However the hike to the creek seemed close to a mile. Not a problem walking there, but walking back carrying what must have easily been 40 lbs was a different story. These are pictures of the creek and formation. The just limestone shelf on the left is where I found all 3.25 echinoids that I did find. Along the banks was this densely compacted sedimentary layer with pebbles, small rocks and the occasional sea shell. The riverbed didn’t have hardly any fossils in it as I expected it to have. The scarcity of them seems a bit odd to me. I’m use to seeing a lot more river worn oysters and such at the very least. Before turning around to go back to the creek I attempted to find an entry down a dirt road. I ended up at a trailhead with a dry creek by the parking area. I thought I’d check it out while I was there. I found a bunch of Waconella wacoensis brachiopods and Llymotogyra oysters there and iron concretion fragments, but not much else. That creekbed was maybe 1.5 miles away at most, but I didn’t find a single instance of those shells in Oliver Creek. The most prominent fossils I found in Oliver Creek were burrow fragments and what I believe maybe Inoceramus? clam shell fragments, fossils most people wouldn’t either want or know what they were. Here are some pictures of the burrows that were on the tops of small boulders shortly after I entered the creek. I believe these are thalassinoide burrows. You can see my foot in the bottom right of the pic for some gauge of size. I’m 5’10” so my feet aren’t tiny. Some of the burrows were easily 3 inches in diameter. I tend to think they were made by some crustacean like a lobster or crab. You can see a couple of the openings to tunnel on the bottom of the pic. Another boulder with burrows right next to the other. Much of the creek bed was gray or tan limestone. The tan sat atop the gray. Then the rock and pebble sediment sat on top of the tan. The lowest layer of sediment is where I found the echinoids. The gray and tan layers of limestone are where the nautiloids where. Many fossil hunters had been there before me. The limestone appeared recently hammered on in many places. Also the sedimentary layer above the tan limestone had been hammered away at. Strangely enough I found multiple nautiloids with just the center broken out and the bulk of the nautilus being left behind. I’m not sure why someone would want only part of it. It isn’t like they were washed away. I could see where the whole thing had been chinked out of the limestone, the center taken out and the bulk discarded. I consider myself to be a bit of a naturalist. I prefer to make very minimal impact if any on ecosystems and the environment or do anything to advance erosion or the breakdown of layers. So I tend to not like to hammer things away too much, but if I find a real beauty I’ll probably give in and extract it. My preference for me individually is to only take what is readily available. I do believe it can be acceptable in the name of scientific research and education, but I’m not a fan of it for capitalistic, opportunistic or personal gain. The earth and our environment need all the preservation and tender care they can get. It comes from my training as a biologist. I found 4 nautiloids. I think all are partial. I did take 2 of the scavenged ones where the outer whorls were left behind. I also found 3 echinoids and a top of one of a different genus. I don’t know what genus they are yet because I haven’t gotten them cleaned up. I found 2-3 oysters. Two of which looked a bit like Texigraphaea. That is the slimmest pickings for oysters ever for me. Normally they are the most abundant and are everywhere you turn. It makes me wonder if there is a dam upstream or some pit or other place they get hung up in. I found 2 other brachiopods, but they could be bivalves. I also found the nicest denture clam I’ve ever found. I’m not really a clam or brachiopod person though. Here are 2 of the nautili that I found. They were not in good condition. They split as I was removing them. This is a 3rd one I picked up. Someone had extracted it and left it sitting on the bank. There should be part of a whorl covering all the sutures or growth lines in the lower half, but it is completely missing. I think it was the part with the aperture, because I don’t see an aperture on it. This one is in the best condition of the 4 I found. I only had a tictac for size comparison when I took the pic. They were all Paracymatoceras genus. @BobWill said if it was Duck Creek and possibly Grayson formations that it would be a texanum species, but I was in the Paw Paw. So I’m not sure it is a texanum. These are cool fossiliferous rocks that I found. I’m not sure what the wavy lines are. Looks more like the front edge of a sea shell than a spiraled shell. This one looks like swirled caramel with nice colors and contrast. This is the best echinoid I found and it isn’t even whole. It is maybe 2.5 cm long at most. Center of pic. This is an echinoid top that broke away from the rest of the Test. If I had a dime for every time this happened I’d be rich. This is the first time I found the top without the body. Usually I find the body without the top or bottom. Here is an oyster with the denture clam. It appears largely while and well preserved. I found dozens of these brown layered fragments with 2 holes equidistant apart. The first plate I picked up was about 11 inches square, very thinly layered and felt like a very fine sandstone. So I put it down and moved on. Then I began seeing these everywhere. The majority with 2 holes equidistant apart. I figured it has to be biogenic and therefore a fossil remains of some sort. There are fossil traces on both of them. Several had snail boring marks. The only thing I can think of is Inoceramus clam shell fragment. Any other suggestions or input will be gladly accepted. I’m quite curious. I have pictures of more if needed. The rest of the pics pics are just nature and scenery pics along the trail. I took time to enjoy it walking back, whereas on the way there I made a b line to the creek. This is something a bit unusual that I noticed. The moss and lichen start growing on the trunk only about 5-6 feet off the ground. The whole forest was that way. I can’t recall ever seeing that. I’m not sure if it is natural or the result of a maybe flooding of the area. If it had been a result of Fire I would expect the height to be variable and trees affected in patches, but height wasn’t variable and different areas had the same pattern. Ita just curious to me. A mistletoe plant. I cut a branch off with my knife and brought it home for Christmas decor. Probably should have cut the whole thing down now that I think about it. It’s a parasite plant and damages the tree like the strangler looking vine in the background. That tree doesn’t stand a chance. The sun was starting to go down and was just above the tree line as I walked back. The sunlight was hitting the top of this tree. I thought it was pretty against the blue sky. This is the trail to the creek.it might have been 3/4 mile walk, but it was a nice walk. On the return walk my bag was just too heavy. It had to weigh at least 40 lbs. With the car in sight about a 1/4 mile away I put one bag down and took the rest to the car and came back for the other. My bag is the black speck in the distance in the pic below. I think the last 2 times I went fossil hunting I managed to have men ask me if they could help me carry my fossils and insisted they do so. Maybe I was walking too slow or looked too pathetic carry 40 plus lbs of rocks and fossils. One was a first time fossil hunting buddy young enough to be my son and the other was hunting buddy wanna be. LOL I ran into him while he was fossil hunting too. I’d never met him before, but he gave me his number and asked me to call him if I wanted to go hunting with him. I get that quite a bit for some reason. People sure are just friendly in these parts especially so out in the woods. But yesterday there wasn’t a man in sight! They were all out hunting deer rather than fossils. While I was in the creek I kept having the feeling someone was watching me, but I never saw a soul until towards the end. I’m not the least bit paranoid so I don’t usually have that feeling. I think they must have been in deer blinds, because finally a guy walked out of the woods in full camo with hunting gear and kind of walked in a grumpy, frustrated manner further down the creek. I think I must have been ruining the mood for the hunters, but didn’t put 2 and 2 together until the moment I saw the hunter in camo. I forgot to mention that the creek was covered with deer, coon and coyote tracks, but mostly deer. There were also these little things all over the ground on the trail and in the creek. You’d think I’d get a clue and get gone, but I only had 30 min before I planned to leave and I was heading back by then anyway. I probably should have mosied a little faster though. Dusk, deer and shotgun shells. Not the best place to be at dusk, but I’m blond and it takes me a while to catch on sometimes. That and I’m in the fossil frame of mind.
I made another trip to my favorite hillside today, but went to a different area of the hill that I hadn't been to yet this year. I'm sure some of these pics get a little boring for some of you, but this site is within walking distance from my house, and with the work schedule I've been having to keep lately, it doesn't leave alot of time for longer trips. Therefore, I have to get "my fix" close to home. Also, the variety I find at this site always keep me coming back. It seems I find something new for my collection on a regular basis. These were all found in and below the pyrite layer. I normally don't spend alot of time that low on the hillside, but maybe I ought to be checking it out more closely. Urchin (my first, other than heart urchins) (ID'ing is not my strong point - Salenia texana?): Ammonites: Crab claw piece (?): Shark teeth & vert: Unknown. I originally thought it was just an in-filled borrow, but when I flipped it over, it appears to be something else. The inner (black) material looks just like a piece of rotten wood. It splinters and falls apart just like a rotten stick.