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Found 766 results

  1. Carboniferous Plant Hunt!

    With the semester having ended yesterday, I figured I would go hunting today at one of my favorite Carboniferous plant localities. It is located in Southwestern PA, and is in the Connellsville Sandstone member of the Casselman Formation, which is in turn part of the Conemaugh Group. It is late Stephanian in age. The Connellsville Sandstone itself represents a fluvial deposit made up of sediment from the then young Appalachian mountains. It is a very thick and massive layer; because of this it has been quarried for building stone for hundreds of years. The locality that I collect at is in a valley that was once heavily industrialized with a railroad, coal mines, oil wells, and sandstone quarries. These quarries were located in the Connellsville and their cliffs can still be seen today. The specific deposit I collect at in this valley most likely represents a slow moving area of the river, where deposition was rapid in times of high water. It preserves a classic post-Rainforest Collapse flora, with seed ferns, tree ferns, and Calamites being the most common fossils. Lepidodendron and other lycopods are rare to nonexistent. In the 1960s, W.C. Darrah, a paleobotanist, collected here and found one of the earliest examples of the conifer Walchia. Vertebrate remains can be found here, as shown in my most recent post. I assumed that today would be a mediocre trip, as rain was in the forecast and the ground is covered in leaves. However, the rain let up before I arrived at the site. Due to the lack of foliage, though, I was able to explore some areas that were once quarried for sandstone. I noticed an area made up of finer-grained sandstone, and thought that it might have fossils. Upon further inspection, though, it lacked fossils but was full of massive rip up clasts of soft shale. These showed that the river was eroding through a deposit of unconsolidated clay and then subsequently depositing these chunks down stream. I had never seen rip-up clasts in such large numbers and in such a large size, so it was great to get to see it. I then carried on to the plant locality. The plant locality was not at all covered in leaves, and due to the weather I had it all to myself. I concentrated my efforts on specific lenses of plant material that represented areas of quiet deposition, perfect for well preserved plants. I found some good stuff, as is shown below, but my favorite find was that of Cyclopteris fimbriata. It is a strange form genus of leaves that grew at the base of seed fern fronds. I had found Cyclopteris fossils before; however, this was the first time I had found one of the fimbriata species. The name says it all: their edges are marked by fimbriated projections of leaf tissue. It was certainly interesting to see some new material today. I also found my largest Neuropteris ovata frond thus far, and, although it wasn't perfect, it was a welcome discovery. All in all, it was a great hunt and it was nice to be out in nature!! Hope you guys all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! View of the old quarry: The rip-up clasts: The plant locality itself, as I said before it is a shaly layer of the Connellsville Sandstone, most probably representing a backwater of a river: Pith cast of a Calamites: Annularia stellata whorls Cordaites sp. A new species for me and the strangest looking find, Cyclopteris fimbriata: My largest find, as well as my largest plant fossil to date: Either Neuropteris or Laeveinopteris:
  2. From MD, visiting OKC for another week. Had a great day at Lake Texoma last weekend and looking to spend a few more days around Thanksgiving hunting with a local or with local wisdom. Could us a little help getting a little more off the beaten path where less broken fossils are more likely. I guess you'd call me an experienced newbie. Elementary science teacher by day, love to hunt fossils by the days I'm not teaching. Would love to find some more ammonites, do a nice trilobite hunt, or whatever is within a "reasonable" drive for a day or two trip. Any favorite spots or formations with close to spots you'd be willing to share would be grateful. If you want to join and feel like you are budding movie star, I'd be happy to include you in the next video lesson about the Earth and Fossils, targeted towards 4-10 year olds. If you'd prefer just to pm, I would be grateful for that, too! pm please.
  3. Pit 11 Summer Fossils

    Over the Summer I conducted research in Illinois so naturally I spent as much time as I could collecting fossils. I had a particular interest in collecting Mazon Creek concretions. I had the fortune of making one trip to the area once over a decade ago but that was short and I didn't collect any Essex stuff. Because of that I focused in on Pit 11 this time. Summer may not be the best time for collecting there but my time in Illinois was limited and going in summer beats not going at all. Over the summer I persistently traveled to Pit 11 from Urbana 5 or 6 times. Most of the concretions are now open and I figured I'd share some of the better specimens I collected. First some worms, a nice Didontogaster cordylina and the better of two Dryptoscolex matthiesae.
  4. Pennsylvanian Fossil ID

    Hi everybody, I was wondering if you could help me with this. I found this rock among the Ames Limestone around Pittsburgh. The limestone's chock full of crinoids and corals, but I wasn't sure what this fragment was. It looks like it might be from a cephalopod (belemnites or bactrites maybe?), but I'm really not positive. Could you guys help me out here? Thanks!
  5. Hi all, I’m not sure if I’ve posted this find before, but I figured I would anyway because I believe it warrants it’s own thread. I found this find a few years back at one of the localities I most consistently collect at, which is a shaly exposure of the Connelsville Sandstone in western PA. It usually preserves plants quite well, and was described by W.C. Darrah back in the 60s. It has also produced some very early examples of Walchia, an early conifer. However, it is not well known for vertebrate fossils, as sandstones don’t seem to be the preferred type of rock where vertebrates are found in the area. If you’ve seen my other posts you’ve probably realized that most of the time vertebrate fossils are restricted to shales and limestones, often closely related to coals. And in the shales especially, concentrations of material are usually lag deposits and do not represent associated remains. Here I have something different. Its a small jumble of bones, with no diagnostic features whatsoever. However I can rule out actinopterygian material because it lacks the thick shiny scales so characteristic of this group. I’m almost certain it’s not tetrapod material as (1) they are incredibly rare and (2) the ribs seem to be too thin. I’m also fairly confident that it represents a single individual as the bones are locally concentrated and I’ve never seen them before from this locality. I’ve found bones like these before in other more characteristic deposits, although they are never articulated. I’m relatively sure that they come from some sort of sarcopterygian, possibly a dipnoan or coelacanth. I would be very happy if anyone could shed some light on the general grouping of this fossil. If not, then just appreciate it as a random jumble of bones from a not very often seen locality. As always, stratigraphy: Connelsville sandstone Casselman Formation Conemaugh Group And age: Late Pennsylvanian (Stephanian/Missourian ~302 MYA)
  6. St. Clair Lycopod Leaves

    I found these two pieces many years ago during a visit to St. Clair, PA (Llewellyn Formation; Late Pennsylvanian). I initially identified them as Cyperites but now I am starting to confuse myself because, as you can see in the third photo, these leaves are much wider than what I would normally attribute to a lycopod, which I have always understood to be long thin wispy leaves. The fourth photo is meant to provide a more close-up image of the leaves. Should I stick with the Cyperites identification or is there a more accurate identification? Any help is greatly appreciated The two pieces: The width of the leaves A close-up
  7. Hi all, I've been working on the pit 11 concretions I collected this summer and some difficult identifications have piled up. These might not be preserved enough to be identifiable but they seem preserved decently enough that some people might have a better idea for identification. Any help is appreciated. Measurements are the lengths of the fossil and not the concretion. The first fossil measures 30 mm across. This seems like it's probably just a weird shrimp molt? Fossil #2 measures 15 mm across. I don't hold out much hope for this one as it's rather broken up and lacks detail but it superficially resembles a Dithyrocaris sp. carapace. Fossil #3 is quite possibly not a fossil at all but the texture and color difference in the concretion is distinct enough to consider the possibility. It is 20 mm tall and 15 mm wide at widest point.
  8. Caseodus shark jaw

    Went on a fossil hunt with Forum member Conostichus yesterday near Oologah, OK at a site suspected to be in the the Excello shale, Pennsylvanian age. I found a jaw that looks like some one the [suspected] edestus jaws I’ve found out there, but this one looked different. This looks like it has teeth along it (first pic) and the teeth (Although heavily worn) look like caseodus. What do you think?
  9. Pit 11 Poychaete Identification Help

    Hi all, this is one of the polychaete worms from the batch of Pit 11 concretions I'm working on. From what I can see of the conical jaws it most closely resembles Didontogaster corydylina but the jaws blend a bit together and aren't as distinct as some other specimens I've found. The body profile seems a little off (no swollen front section for one) so I wanted to ask for second opinions. Am I getting too hung up on the profile of a body that could just be more outstretched? I appreciate everyone's thoughts.
  10. Pennsylvanian Bivalve (Bond Formation)

    This bivalve came from an outcrop of the Bond Formation in Edgar County Illinois. Edit: After further research it seems to resemble something in the family Sanguinolitidae but without better references that is likely as far as I will get with it. Hopefully someone will have another idea or more experience with this strata and area.
  11. I collected this little worn cephalopod in a stream in Peoria County Illinois. The area is primarily Patoka-Shelburn Formation Undivided (Pennsylvanian) but it wasn't found in-situ. I sectioned a piece for identification and the siphuncle seems large for the Pennsylvanian cephalopods known from the area. To my eyes it looks a lot like Actinoceras (which I guess would mean Ordovician) based on the position and size of the siphuncle. Does anyone have any other ideas?
  12. Took a little trip up to the Texas Panhandle for a little get-away and some fossil hunting! My parents, my husband and I rented an Air B&B near Clarendon TX (figured that would be a relatively "safe" pandemic travel solution and it worked out quite well!). We chose Clarendon (well, Howardwick, actually) because it was midway between the places we wanted to visit, AND, it is actually a famous area which the illustrious Mr. Cope of the Bone Wars (in the mid-1800s, Mr. Cope of the Academy of Natural Science in Philly and Mr. Marsh of Yale, vied to find the best and the most dinosaurs around the US) found and named a Miocene faunal bed- the Clarendon Beds at the Spade Flat Quarries at the RO ranch (An interesting aside....my mom worked at the Yale Peabody Museum when she was pregnant with me....surrounded by the dinos that Mr. Marsh collected. I'm pretty sure that's where my paleontological bent came from...) So to start our trip, we actually stayed a night in Snyder TX, and it's funny when you travel, the things you find...like dinosaurs, everywhere! And in Spur TX, a mural that we just happened to drive by! And outside of Canadian TX....on a hilltop! The first fossil stop was a Comanche Peak/Edwards Formation Roadcut - I had heard that you could find Pedinopsis Echinoids there...so we stopped the first day around 4pm...it was 98 degrees. I found a little echie that I THOUGHT might be a pedinopsis but was afraid it was really a Coenholectypus (which sadly, turned out to be the case. Nothing against Coenholectypuses, I just have a few of those!) . The next morning, I wanted to stop back by on our way to Clarendon, but a cold front blew through that night and the temp went from nearly 100 to 40 the next morning! Fortunately the wind was not blowing, so I got to stop back by and found a nice Engonoceras gibbosum ammonite, my first whole one of that species. Everything else was stuff I'd already found, but I did find a lovely Lima bravoensis. So on to Clarendon. I did my "homework" - searching the internet for info, Texas Pocket Geology site for formations and Google Maps for likely spots to search. The lake near Howardwick was Permian, so we looked there....no luck. I found the Miocene Spade Flats area and went up dirt roads to find it....didn't quite find it, but found the right formation....but no fossils. We drove along the road to look at Miocene era roadcuts that I saw posted about here on FF and no luck. So basically, the Miocene Clarendon Beds were a washout and the Permian in that area is non fossiliferous, apparently! Sometimes the fossil hunting is not exactly.....lucrative. Alas. But I did get to see Caprock State Park (and the Texas Bison Herd) Palo Duro Canyon and its Permian (red) overlayed by Triassic (purple and yellow) And some Pronghorn Antelope And then I FINALLY got some good fossil hunting in at a Pennsyvanian era roadcut near Mineral Wells! Finally! Some good new stuff! PIcs coming.... Gastropod Cymatospira montfortianus (1/2 inch) My first find of a Crinoid "bulb" -not completely but partial at least! 1/2 inch 6 fragments of a Crinoid Graffhamicrinus bulb "kit" in pieces (only four pictured, obviously) And some beautifully preserved Echinoid plates And finally, the last place we went was Archer City, where the Permian Red Beds are located, just outside the city. Again, I tried to find some likely looking roadcuts or places were we could go, but alas, it's all private property and nothing looked accessible. So, no Permian fossils or Miocene Fossils, this trip, but the Cretaceous and the Pennsylvanian always yield something good! So long, all you Texas longhorns!
  13. All, I have been finding a few dermal denticles in Northeast Oklahoma Pennsylvanian shales. Based on published reports and images from our area, I believe these are Petrodus. I’ve attached an image of two denticles I found yesterday. I’ve been looking for images of the entire shark because I’m curious about the animal’s overall appearance; however, I’m only finding images of the denticles. Do scientists know what these sharks looked like, and if so, does anyone know of resources containing overall images? Best wishes.
  14. Arizona Pennsylvanian Naco fossil

    Hello! Yesterday I did some collecting near Pine, AZ from a site known for shallow water, shelf marine fossils. This is the Pennsylvanian Naco formation. I found something with an odd shape encased in limestone, so I soaked it in diluted muriatic acid over night. I am stumped as to what this might be? Any help is appreciated! Thank you.
  15. Carboniferous fossil ID

    I have this fossil here which at first glance I perceived to be some kind of seed, however I’m not sure. These are both from the same individual, just the positive and negative sides. It is just shy of half an inch long. It was found in the North Attleboro section of the Rhode Island formation
  16. Seed Cone

    From the album Plants of the Lewellyn Formation

    Early Conifer Fruit/Seed Body about 4" long Pennsylvanian Age (308-300 MY) Lewellyn Formation Columbia County, PA The impression is coated in white iron oxide left from original plant material during fossilization.
  17. Calling Palebotanists!

    Ya know, I'm great at plant identification if it's currently growing in my region. Dive back to the Paleozoic and I can tell Calamites from Cordaites, but that's about my limit without a book in hand. So far, I've had 8 and I still don't know what this is! I'm pondering the frond-like object running diagonally across the center of the picture. It looks like a fruiting body from Cordaites, but it lacks the sporophyll. It also resembles Corynepteris angustissima, but the only illustration I can find lacks sufficient detail. This came from a mid-late Pennsylvanian Lewellyn Formation exposure in Columbia County, PA. It's about 4 inches (10cm) long.
  18. Omphalophloios Sp. Lesquereux Pennsylvanian Arborescent, 310 Mya old, Pella Beds, Pella, Iowa Omphalophloios is a genus of fossil lycopsid trees in the Carboniferous system.
  19. Carboniferous fish tooth?

    I found this in a phosphatic nodule from the Mecca Quarry Shale (Middle Pennsylvanian) of Illinois. It's pretty jumbled, perhaps as a result of digestion. My first reaction was that this is the base of a fish tooth, but I am not positive. Any thoughts?
  20. I found this rock alone under a tree, so I'm pretty skeptical of it, but I'm also pretty curious. I looked up trace fossils that might look like this, and I thought it was pretty similar to Rusophycus. The rocks around it are from the Glenshaw and Cassleman Formations of late carboniferous Pittsburgh. The "print" is about 10 cm long in its entirety, and maybe a quarter cm deep or so. Could this be a print of sorts or is it just some funky weathering? Thanks!
  21. I recently found several fossil plant impressions inside nodules from Indiana coal mine spoil dumps. It is Pennsylvanian age approximately 300 mya. Please help identify the specimens to genus, and species if possible. Thanks!
  22. Pennsylvanian Fossil?

    I found this near a small creek in the Casselman Formation right outside of Pittsburgh. It was originally covered in some sort of black matrix, most of which I scraped off. It really looks like a piece of bone (maybe a tibia or a radius?) to me, but I might just be crazy. Thanks!
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