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Found 9 results

  1. Finally ... a short trek on the open prairie of Eastern Colorado and into a slice of the Cretaceous period. This was my first true jaunt since my move from the East coast and it was a welcome change to my normal routine. My journey really began several years ago when I purchased some shark teeth from a fossil forum member in Colorado. He regularly visits a site on private land in Eastern Colorado that contains (what we think) are exposures of the Fox Hills fm. , and are chock full of marine fossils from that time period. I contacted him several weeks after I arrived, desperate to get away from civilization, and honestly just looking for someone I can chat with about geeky fossil stuff. The rolling hills of harvested wheat and corn stretched as far as the eye could see.... The exposure with the most fossil concentrations sat in a rust colored band of loose sand/sandstone. The best pockets contained shells where the teeth and bone settled. I was there without most of my usual equipment. I wasn't sifting or digging for much more than an hour before we had to leave and came home with plenty of matrix and fossils to keep me busy for several weeks. Shrimp-like trace fossils. As well as Squatina sp. and Sand Tiger Shark, Carcharias sp. teeth .. as well as small fish teeth, small fish vertebra etc. can be found. Good thing he had some small screens or all of these wonderful finds would still be on the sandy slope. Average size for these shark teeth is about 10mm. Cheers, Brett PS. I'll wash the matrix and post any additional micro-fossils here.
  2. I am still not back to work so I’m pretty bored and don’t have new micro matrix to pick through so I have been examining some STH micros I found in previously searched matrix we got from @JBMugu awhile back. One of the denticles I found stood out from all others. I only found one of this morphology in all the matrix I searched. I set it aside in it’s own bag in with the other denticles. I forgot about it until a search for papers on Echinorhinus fossils. I saw a photo of Echinorhinus denticles and I remembered the denticle I found. It looks so similar that I think that is what this little beauty is. I also believe we might have a tiny Squatina vertebra. I found a post on TFF about them and remembered a strange little vert I found. Under the scope, it looks very similar to a vertebra from a published paper that was in the TFF post. It’s not fish or mammal. It’s also not typical shark or typical of the other STH batoid vertebra we found. For now I’m going with Squatina but I’ll use pencil on the label. Once I get a chance to get to my museum again, I’ll get better pictures and try to confirm the ID’s. Until then, here are a couple of cell phone pics that won’t do them justice lol
  3. Squatina sp.

    From the album Cenomanian Shark Teeth and other Marine Fauna, Ryazan Oblast, Russia

    Squatina sp. (Dumeril 1806). You typically find more Cretorectolobus at the quarry instead of Squatina.
  4. Squatina sp.?

    Hello! Are they all Squatinas teeth? Western Ukraine, Lviv region.
  5. I was recently reading some studies on extant sharks to see if there was a way we could incorporate a more direct message about extant shark conservation in our future education programs. I was struck by the plight of Angelsharks and decided to make this special animal a featured species in next years programs. We have a great opportunity to bring some awareness to the conservation issues that these sharks face while doing our fossil education programs with Project Angelshark. Carter and I have decided to donate a percentage of each paid education program to the Angelshark Conservation Network in addition to featuring them in the program. We may also do some T-shirts to sell with proceeds going to the same cause. I spent many years working in wildlife conservation and we wanted to work this idea into our programs which is difficult when you are dealing with fossil education. The Angelshark is the perfect critter for us to start with because they extend back to the Jurassic and we should be able to trace their history in the fossil record pretty effectively. Some extant Angelsharks are critically endangered and they are not exactly the public face of shark conservation, even though they could be. They are pretty cute. We can make a small impact on the effort to save them by teaching kids about them. They are found in California and this helps us in our goal of connecting kids to modern species here through fossils. They are a specialized shark with some cool adaptations which makes them perfect for the education program in that sense too. We currently have a possible Squatinadae tooth from the Jurassic and our lone STH Squatina tooth. We need to fill in the blank spaces between the Jurassic and Miocene but I think we can accomplish that over the summer. As a collector, it seems an attainable goal to put together a nice collection of Squatina teeth without breaking the bank. One of our goals in splitting the program into two presentations was to work in more modern shark families and a focus on Angelsharks fits that idea beautifully. We are very proud of this idea and it is something we will repeat going forward. I feel like this is an excellent cause for us to take up and a wonderful chance to help the conservation effort for these sharks. I am pretty excited about this project. It combines some of my favorite things: sharks, fossils, education, and Carter's artwork
  6. Many forum members are familiar with Cookiecutter Creek in South Florida. This is a small creek that well-known forum member Jeff @jcbshark was kind enough to share with me a little over 3 years ago. Jeff had posted photos of the tiny Cookiecutter Shark (Isistius triangulus) teeth that he had found picking through micro-matrix from this creek and that started my quest to obtain a tooth from this very unusual little shark. After picking through many gallons of micro-matrix from the Peace River and some of its feeder creeks without once laying eyes upon a single Isistius tooth (but finding tons of other micro fossils), Jeff informed me that he didn't think Cookiecutters could be found anywhere other than one special little creek and agreed to take me and Tammy to collect some micro-matrix there in mid-December 2014. It didn't take long for me to find my first complete Isistius. Several more soon followed including some from the positionally rare symphyseal spot in the middle of the lower jaw. It is possible to identify a symphyseal as the thinner area where each tooth overlaps the adjoining tooth is usually found with one overlap area seen on the inner and one on the outer surface of each tooth but not symphyseals. Since these teeth overlap BOTH the tooth to the left and right (like the top row of shingles on the ridge of a roof) the overlap marks are both found on the inner (lingual) surface of the tooth and no marks are found on the outer (labial) surface. Once you know how the teeth of the lower jaw overlap and how to identify the outer (labial) side of the tooth (the enamel does not stop at a well defined line but extends down from the triangular crown and onto the square root), you can also tell which side of the jaw (left or right) that the tooth came from. Aside from the symphyseal position most of the other teeth cannot be identified to position other than the last one or two posterior positions. These teeth have the crown angled with respect to the root. Here are some of my old posts showing Cookiecutter Creek and the micro-fossils that have come from this unique locality in Florida: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/51286-collecting-cookiecutter-shark-micro-matrix/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/55298-more-micros-from-the-peace-river-and-cookiecutter-creek/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/71406-optimizing-micro-matrix-sorting/ Recently, I've been working on a project with a PhD student from the University of Florida which was initiated when it was realized that the Isistius triangulus teeth that I donated to the FLMNH were not yet recognized as occurring in Florida. Additional research revealed that specimens of Squatina (Angelshark) teeth from this creek were also not known from Florida (though I've also found this genus in micro-matrix from the Peace River). I made another collection of micro-matrix from Cookiecutter Creek as I had exhausted my supplies. A couple of flat-rate boxes of this material made their way into the hands of a couple of forum members--who I hope are having fun with this unique micro-matrix. Tony @ynot had sent me photos of another interesting find from Cookiecutter Creek. Jeff had collected some additional micro-matrix on the day that he introduced me to this site. Some of that collection was later made available to Tony as an auction to benefit the forum. While looking through this micro-matrix, Tony discovered a small specimen of what appears to be a Catshark (Scyliorhinidae) tooth. Tony is graciously sending that tooth to me so that I can pass it along to be added to the collection at the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) as this is the first record of this shark family in the Florida fossil record (and another first for Cookiecutter Creek). Tony's photo if this micro beauty: Since learning of the possibility of this taxon being found in the micro-matrix of Cookiecutter Creek, I've been searching through my remaining stash from this locality hoping to find a second Catshark tooth (no luck yet). While I've (so far) struck out in duplicating Tony's amazing find, I did have a bit of luck last week with something else new from my searching. While picking through the micro-matrix I came across an elongated item just about 10mm in length. If I'd not been familiar with this type of highly unusual shark tooth before I might have passed it by thinking it was just some unidentifiable fragment of bone. Experience and knowledge (even just a small amount) allowed me to recognize this as a tooth type that is reasonable common in another type of wonderful micro-matrix--Shark Tooth Hill (Bakersfield, CA). The unusual tooth from Cookiecutter Creek is actually quite common in STH micro-matrix. It comes from a Horn Shark (Heterodontidae). Since there is currently only a single genus described for this small family of small sharks, it can actually be identified down to the genus Heterodontus. These are placid little sharks that I remember seeing resting on the bottom during the few dives I did among the kelp forests in southern California's Channel Islands. They have distinctive ridges over the eyes and a single spike at the leading edge of their two dorsal fins. They feed mainly on hard-shelled invertebrates (crustaceans, molluscs, and echinoderms). Their name "Heterodontus" derives from the Greek meaning "different teeth" and referring to the fact that the front teeth are pointy with larger central cusp flanked by a smaller cusp on either side. The back teeth elongated with a long ridge running the length of the tooth and are adapted to crushing the hard shells of their prey items. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horn_shark Currently, most members of this family are found in the Indo-Pacific--like the well-known Port Jackson Shark (Heterodontus portusjacksoni) and only the Californian Horn Shark (Heterodontus francisci), the Galapagos Bullhead Shark (Heterodontus quoyi), and the Mexican Hornshark (Heterodontus mexicanus) are found in the eastern Pacific off the west coasts of North and South America. It's difficult to make any firm conclusions from the scant images available online but the rear teeth of the Mexican species to have a reasonable resemblance to the specimen that turned up in Cookiecutter Creek. Today, there are no species from this family inhabiting the Atlantic (or the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico regions). Devoid of any factual information but attempting a modestly educated guess, I'm thinking that one of the species of Bullhead Sharks must have extended over into the waters surrounding Florida some time before the Isthmus of Panama formed some 2.8 mya separating the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and separating the fauna on either side to either develop into distinct species (or to go extinct regionally). Since this family is not currently known from the Atlantic (eastern or western extents) it seems more reasonable to assume that the Florida specimen derived from an eastern Pacific species given the (geologically) recent connection to those waters. Fun to speculate and if Marco Sr @MarcoSr has jaw samples of extant eastern Pacific members of this family, perhaps a better comparison to the anterior teeth might be possible. Both this tiny Heterodontus tooth and Tony's find of the Scyliorhinidae will soon be headed toward Gainesville. I'm hoping to get up to volunteer at Montbrook in the next couple of weeks and plan on dropping off a few donations to expand the museum's diversity of shark teeth from Florida. Cookiecutter Creek is a special little creek and is best known for its relative abundance of Isistius triangulus teeth. The more we investigate this locality and the more micro-matrix we pick through from there the more unusual taxa seem to turn up. Seeing a perfect little Cookiecutter tooth appear from the micro-matrix is always a thrill but this creek is no longer a one-trick pony. It seems to have hidden depths (for a creek that is only knee high ) and I'm looking forward to seeing what else might appear out of the gravel in the future. Cheers. -Ken
  7. Squatina sp. (Linnaeus 1758)

    From the album Pisces

    6mm. Angel Shark. From the Miocene at Calvert Cliffs, MD. Recieved on a trade with Fossil Hound.
  8. Hello all; Happy New Year! I recently made a 'fossil corner' in my basement and came up with an idea for the certificate I received for donating my New Jersey Cretaceous Squatina. vert to the Trenton Sates Museum. It's always tough to donate a nice fossil but this is going to make it a lot easier for me to do this in the future; I copied and printed out two pictures I took of the specimen and taped them to the document, then framed and put it on my wall. I really like the way it came it out and plan to do this with future specimens I donate. Also, it's not a finished product (as you can see, I need better lighting and I also have a few other displays to put up) but here is the start of my 'fossil corner'. Cheers! -Frank
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