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I read a lot of fossil hunting reports on here, but I don’t post many. I think it’s primarily because it is usually many, many months after I have gone when I finally get everything cleaned up, ID’d and take photos, etc. It just seems too after the fact to me at that point, haha. But this time, due to a wonderful “tour guide” we had, I wanted to get something posted in a relatively timely fashion. Because of that, I haven’t had time to do a lot of research I need to do on specific ID’s but luckily I’m somewhat familiar with most of what we found to make at least an educated guess. I have seen numerous folks on here show some of their finds from the Ordovician and Devonian of Iowa and nearby states and it always looked intriguing to me as I have collected the Ordovician in the (relatively) nearby Cincinnati area and the Devonian in the Great Lakes area and Oklahoma. I wanted to see how the Iowa stuff compares. So my wife and I opted to take the long way home from Indiana to Texas and swing through Iowa (and on to South Dakota, but that was more for sight-seeing). I had done some research on sites to check out and contacted Mike @minnbuckeye to see if he could help me high grade my list. Being the absolute gentleman that he is, he did one better and offered to act as our tour guide for a day of collecting through the Ordovician! What a guy!! I can’t thank him enough for taking the time to do this. We had a great day and hit a bunch of nice spots, most of which I had not found on my own and certainly didn’t know some of the very important details of the sites. Many folks have said it in other trip reports and I can only add to the chorus of how valuable it is to go with someone that knows the area and how nice it is of TFF members such as @minnbuckeye to offer their time and energy to do it. Based on Mike’s recommendation, we spent our first day doing some collecting in the Devonian rocks of the Coralville, Iowa area. The first spot we could not access due to some current road construction but we made our way to the next one and spent several hours along the Iowa River/Coralville Lake collecting from the Coralville Formation of the Cedar Valley Group. You quickly learn how Coralville got its name as the rocks are a coral/bryozoan limestone. There are brachiopods and other fauna, but corals make up the bulk of the fossils at this site. And there were some very nice ones as you can see in the pictures below. Beautiful Hexagonaria, huge horn corals and others. We also went to the Devonian Fossil Gorge and a nearby state park, both of which have nice exposures of Devonian rocks with fossils, but no collecting. Here is a shot of the area, fossils litter the ground. This represents our total haul from this site The horn coral in here were abundant and quite large. Corals What I believe are Hexagoanaria corals. I think with a little cleaning, these will look really nice and I like the juxtaposition with the horn coral. Brachiopods and bryozoans A nice piece that was a little too big to take.
Whenever I visit the Decorah Shale the gumdrop bryozoans called Prasapora stand out. The vast majority have a domed top to them. But once or twice a summer, I stumble on a few that are distinctively pointy. Are these separate species or just variants of the same one? The species eludes me even if they are one in the same. HELP!! Mike Normal domed ones: Pointy one: