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Found 6 results

  1. Sphenophyllum_Pennsylvanian_St Clair

    From the album Carboniferous Plant Fossils in My Collection

    © Copyright (c) 2019 by Michael Tomczyk. All rights reserved.

  2. Sphenophyllum_Pennsylvanian_St Clair

    From the album Carboniferous Plant Fossils in My Collection

    © Copyright (c) 2019 by Michael Tomczyk. All rights reserved.

  3. Sphenophyllum from Carbondale, PA.

    From the album Carboniferous from PA.

    Sphenophyllum emergenatum Pennsylvanian Llewellyn Formation Carbondale, PA.
  4. Sphenophyllum Leaf Whorl

    From the album Fowler Park - Vigo County, IN

    Form Species - Sphenophyllum emarginatum Shelburn Formation - Middle Pennsylvanian Chieftain Mine (Fowler Park) - Vigo County, IN Length: 25mm

    © Andrew Hoffman

  5. This trip report complements MZKLEEN's report - we were there the same day except we mostly collected orange and yellow fern leaves. We did not see or hear the bear although we saw the signs the bear was in the area while we were there. This was a 90 minute drive for us so when we heard about the possibility it might be converted to a landfill, we made this a priority visit. St. Clair is an abandoned strip mine that looks like a broad saucer shaped depression with smooth shale covering the floor, surrounded all around by wooded hills. It's a fairly long walk through the woods to get there, but extremely scenic. Some of our photos show the layout and fossils scattered on the ground which is impressive and a little startling the first time you see this. Note: I added a few more pictures and here is some additional ID info: Most of the orange leaves are Alethopteris, some neuropteris and others here and there. The clover shaped leaves are Sphenophyllum (we also found Annularia and Calamites trunk fossils but most of these non-ferns are colored except for No. 5b below). The bark photo that I added is Sigillaria - a really interesting pattern, must have been impressive looking. The golden yellow image (just added) is Sphenopteris. There is also a reddish-orange sprig added to show that some of the specimens are almost red in color. The last image is a "stick" or stem found by Nan in a nicely articulated form. We had 3 goals for our trip: 1) collect a large specimen we could display on the wall or like a sculpture, 2) find some out of the ordinary fossils, and 3) see if there might be some insects along with the plant fossils. Goal 1: We explored places that didn't look like previous collectors had been there and excavated a very large rock that included a peek-a-boo glimpse of a layer covered with orange and yellow ferns. It took some effort to chisel away the layers of non-fossiliferous shale to free the fossil portion but when the shale fell away with the last chisel blow, wow, our eyes grew as big as saucers. The specimen turned out to be a large piece of shale 25 x 15 inches and several inches thick, covered with beautifully arranged, nicely articulated orange and yellow fossil leaves including many different types. Hiking back to the car was a challenge, given the awkward shape, jagged edges and weight of the sample but we accomplished our goal. A closeup of a small portion is included here and you can see how dense the fossils are! We also collected smaller pieces and one very nice one foot long sample covered with orange leaves. Goal 2: Nancy has a keen eye for out of the ordinary patterns and designs - she is expert at finding sphenophyllum, annularia, calamite bark and so on - we accomplished this goal also and learned a LOT about the plants and trees that exited during this period. Goal 3: No insects, but we still believe there must be some insects here, somewhere, since so many of the leaves are in perfect shape - not dried, curled or rotten - they look like they were buried in a mudslide or something, since there is almost no deterioration. This suggests there must have been some insects trapped somewhere. We plan to return soon to continue our exploration. There is a lot here to learn about and find. Hopefully we'll find more cool fossils (and no bears with cubs!). UPDATE: We revisited the site Aug. 4. You can read see our 2nd Visit trip report in a separate "orange fossil" post (no bears this time). We also posted some of our unusual finds in Fossil ID under "St. Clair 2nd Visit - Pennsylvanian Plant Fossils and Seeds" - many of the "unknowns" turned out to be fossils we did not see on our first visit. We pretty much doubled the number of species from this site, in our second visit, showing the diversity at this site. We think we accomplished a lot in 2 half-day visits.
  6. Here are the first fossil ID mysteries from our recent half day trip to St. Clair. We will post what we did in the trip report section when we have time. In the meantime, these are some things that popped out at us that we'd like to ID... First Sample: St. Clair Fern Sample - Closeup - Pennsylvanian. This is part of a large piece almost 2 feet long that we excavated from an obscure location. I managed to carry out (that was grueling but well worth it) - the jumble of bright orange fern leaves makes an amazing impression. We believe this is neuropteris. Plant Samples 1a to 4c: Sphenophyllum - small leaves are reminiscent of clover - not "fern-like" - very distinctive. Sample 5b is just to show that we did find one that was golden yellow in color. Unidentified Sample 1a and 1b: These look like the tops of grass but too soon geologically for that. Any ideas? Unidentified Sample 2a: Is this the trunk of Sigillaria? Unidentified Sample 3a: What are these lines? Any ideas? We also collected different types of ferns in our samples - white, yellow, orange - very cool which is what St. Clair is known for. Will post some of these in our trip report. We looked in some bark samples for insects - thinking maybe something bored into the bark. No luck there. Surprised that more insects don't come out of the Pennsylvanian sites. Should be some insects mixed with all these ferns or in the trees, don't you think? Also, we were wondering what caused so many plants to survive as fossils so well preserved and intact, all flat, not much decomposition or rotting, etc. Maybe a massive collapse of a cliff or mudslide?
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