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Found 5 results

  1. If you are in the area, I am planning on heading down this weekend to do a bit of poking around (Oct 3rd 2020). I was in the area last weekend chasing extant species for work, and as expected the 2019 floods exposed some really promising spots along the road cut. If you would like to go along, let me know. Remember this is a no-dig- surface only excursion. I have been looking for the fabled trilobites from the sites along the Platte River for over a decade now, and am hoping this might be the year. Also a great spot for rugose, bryos, and more crinoids than you can string in a necklace. It was a dry summer, so the brush is all but dormant and they have restored parking spots that were lost last year. Now that my kids are adults and moved on, it gets a little old solo-hunting. Would love to have you come along!
  2. Neuropteris Sp.

    From the album Missouri Plant Fossils

    One of my favorite finds comes in at roughly 2.8cm and has two beautiful leaves next to each other!
  3. Daring to Hunt Centralia Ferns

    I read @rachelgardner01 's trip report* recently on the fossil forum telling about St. Clair-style white fern fossils and how the ghost town was once again being visited by more than just the most reckless of thrill seekers. Not long ago, extremely few people dared to go beyond the new bypass for fear of falling into flaming sink holes. The place has become unregulated like the Wild West, with tourists coming from all over to see the “Highway to Hell” and ride their ATVs. The fire was reported to have burned out in town and moved down the coal vein. Clearly, no one is worried about sink holes. After a couple hours enjoying every ride with no lines at Knoebels Amusement Park on a very foggy, soggy day, we drove to Centralia for a little fun. What could be cooler than a ghost town on a foggy October day? And, by the way, after enjoying the romantic setting, maybe we could find the quarry. Rachel's trip report included a handy aerial map with the slope marked in red. It was a short walk from on of three cemeteries that are still maintained in town. All we had to do was follow the ATV tracks. We met a microbiologist while we walked. She was looking at the bacteria, comparing soil samples from places where the fire was out with samples from some hot spots above a fire that still exists deep below town (with surface soil temps around 80F). The bacteria present in the hot spots are out of balance. There is an overabundance of the wrong sort. However, in the spots that have cooled down, the balance has returned surprisingly quickly. And, by the way, she had a permit to be there. The town is still considered too unsafe for the general public, but it isn’t patrolled. Two lessons should be learned from this: 1. Nature always finds a way. 2. If the rocks I’m examining seem kind of warm, find someplace else to prospect! We found the quarry about an hour before sunset. We found ourselves at the top of steeply sloping walls covered in scree over smooth, slick, carbon shale. I watched my step, kept my center of gravity close to the ground, and tread carefully. I like sliding down scree-covered slopes, but not when I do it unintentionally. The fossils were plentiful! I saw calamites and lepidodendron all over the place. Some were bright white while others were gleaming gray on matte gray shale. Some had a single fern frond and others were a riot of plant textures. A few were coated pale yellow. The hard part was picking out the nicest ones to take home. I have been to this formation before. I made several trips to Carbondale, to the NE, over the last couple years. I missed my chance to go prospecting at St Clair ( a few miles to the SE ) as they closed the site to all but school groups a few years ago, but I do have some pieces that others collected before they closed. St Clair and Centralia both have the white ferns. Carbondale has the most detailed preservation. The ones there that are colored are yellow to deep red with a few that have iridescent spots. Centralia’s stone is the most crumbly and delicate, especially when damp. Although Centralia, St. Clair and Carbondale are all part of the Lewellen Formation and reasonably close to one another, there is a distinct difference in the stone at each locale. St Clair and Carbondale have firmer shales. I wanted to find things that I did not already have represented from Carbondale. That proved tricky in the short time I had, but I did find some nice white ferns to take home. Plus, I have a plan for another trip at some point with more time – maybe with some simple rappelling gear? Coincidentally, this month’s speaker for the Delaware Mineralogical Society was a geologist who participated in a study of the mineralization of St Clair plants. Here, then, are some of the highlights after I thought to take notes. Time period: Pennsylvanian Sub-period, 320-290 million years old The environment was a swampy area where the sediments settled slowly. The plants were minimally compressed during preservation, so the impressions are more or less the same size as the original biomatter. The silvery-gray material coating some of the plant impressions is graphite while the white is a combination of pyrophyllite and kaolinite after pyrite. When the swamp was buried, the thicker parts of the plants pyritized. Heat and pressure then transformed the pyrite into the white minerals, which settled to the bottom. The upper surfaces retained the carbon and became coated in glossy graphite. So, what one sees loose on the ground are a mix of upper and lower surfaces. *
  4. interambulacral plate?

    Hi all! I believe I just found a interambulacral plate, but have never found one before and no echinoids have been found at this site before (as far as I can discover). I'd love it if I'm right, but if not and it's some strange cirnoid mutation that's okay as well. I found this south of Humboldt, Nebraska in what I believe is the Root formation, (but it was at the bottom of the roadcut, so it could also be from the Wood Siding or Onaga). Any help verifying/properly identifying this would be appreciated!
  5. Nodules Embedded In Siltstone..

    Hey there, I've been fossil hunting in Iowa for a few years now. Not in the best areas, but I make do. Recently I was walking the Des Moines river in Boone Co. IA. The area is said to be the Cherokee group by the USGS, specifically they call it either Atkoan or Morrowan. Although there is also a "Desmoinsian" bed that some books mention. The age of the outcroppings are middle pensylvanian. Most of the cherokee is shale, coal, and some sandstone and limestone. It comes from a sandstone ravine that's about 2 miles north of the area called Ledges state park. Which was a part of a huge delta from a river at the time comming from Minnesota. Onto the pictures, the peice was found as-is. Rusty brown nodules imbedded in either sandstone or siltstone, its pretty fine grained. One of the nodules has little dots going up the side of it. The rest look pretty worn down. I really haven't any idea, except for maybe seeds (which we're only just evolving at the time), maybe amphibian eggs? The other pictures are just for fun and reference, peices of what seems to be calamite, and annularia found in the area. Let me know if you think they're something else. This is my first post here, let me know if I screw up the pictures.
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