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Found 21 results

  1. 400 Million years in 4 hours

    400 Million years in 4 hours The small-scale geology of Austria makes it possible to observe and collect invertebrate marine fossils from a time span of nearly 400 Million years (Ma) within a few hours and at a distance of only about 10 km: - 395 Ma old Devonian (Eifelian) corals - Ölberg - 80 Ma old Cretaceous (Campanian) rudists – St. Bartholomä - 12 Ma old Miocene (Serravallian/Sarmatian) gastropods - Waldhof I did this special hunting trip west of Graz at October 22, 2019 as a "feasibility study". The youngest and oldest fossils can simply be picked from the ground (or photographed); the “middle-agers” require some searching; I succeeded to find a few good specimens within one hour. Weather was perfect with nearly 25°C (!). Simplified geological map of Styria with the visited area west of Graz (red rectangle). Geological map of the visited area (1:50.000), composed of two adjoining map sheets. Red numbers denote visited fossil sites (and their age in Million years). Note the fossil sign in the blue formation in the upper middle of the map. This is the upper Devonian Steinberg-formation with goniatites. These fossils are not abundant, though, so I have never explored this hill… Topo map of the area. Red numbers denote fossil sites, A and B are sites of landscape pics. Just to show off some landscape: View from point “A” in Steinberg towards west. K = Kreuzegg mountain (570 m, Campanian St. Bartholomä-formation) at a distance of ca. 5 km. A = Plateau-like Amering mountain (2187 m, high-grade metamorphic rocks) at a distance of ca. 40 km. View from point “B” at Kreuzegg mountain towards north to southeast. Pano composed of 4 individual pics, spanning about 140°. Labeled mountains and hills in the background are: S = Schöckl (1445 m, Devonian epimetamorphic limestone) at a distance of ca. 20 km. P = Plabutsch mountain (754 m, namesake of the fossil-rich Eifelian Plabutsch-formation) and B = Buchkogel mountain (656 m), both at distance of ca. 10 km and located immediately to the west of Graz. Ölberg and Waldhof sites are between P and B, but not visible. Note the about 1000 m high, largely deforested mountains at the left side of the pano (Mühlberg, Pleschkogel etc., lower Devonian, dolomitic Flösserkogel-formation). The severe deforestation of these hills is due to a strong storm in 2008 (“Paula”). Continued...
  2. Hello, I have summarized my hunting trips to St. Bartholomä from July 2019 to September 2019. Its in German and located at an external site: Rudists St. Bartholomä - July-Sept 2019 (external site) (pdf, ca. 4.2 MB) Fell free to delete this post if you find it inappropriate. Thanks! Franz Bernhard
  3. Hello, today I had another opportunity to fossil hunt in St. Bartholomä. I tidied mostly up my main dig and collecting site in the quarry at Point 25 east of Kalchberg. As expected, I did not find much, only some small so-so specimens (19 specimens in 3 hours, but the majority would be rejects). However, in the same small quarry, a few meters to the north of the main dig site, "Knödelbrekzie" is also exposed (upper part of lower right pic), with some steep scree below. I have found two good rudists in this scree two years ago. Today, I dug again with bare hands in the scree. First without any success. Sure, every piece was fossiliferous limestone, but even not a rudist fragment among them. But then, only a few minutes before I had to leave, it was there! Just pulled out of the dark hole to the left of the specimen: A slender, slightly bend Vaccinites vesiculosus. The apex is broken off (pillars are visible there) and it is also broken at the top end, but it is quite aesthetic and elegant, that´s at least my thinking . I like it very much! Ok, back to work : This is the main dig site at point 25 as of today, 09/24/2019. There are no longer many clasts of fossiliferous limestone in the scree, mostly sandstone and marl. The orange bucket in the upper left pic contains clasts of fossiliferous limestone, the black bucket waste material (marl and sandstone). Today I have removed 23 buckets (10 Liter) of waste and 3 buckets of fossiliferous limestone from the dig site. Scale bar is 1 m. In the lower left pic, piles of fossiliferous limestone are visible, the waste material is dumped to the left (not visible). In the lower left corner, cutting rejects are deposited. At the right edge of the lower right pic, fragments and partials of rudist are deposited. This was probably my last hunting trip to St. Bartholomä for some time. I would like to do more prospecting and light surface collecting during my next trips. I am not really the born digger, I like prospecting more, but sometimes, I just have to dig . Thanks for looking! Franz Bernhard
  4. Hello, Another hunting trip for rudists to the Campanian of St. Bartholomä in western Styria, Austria (09/15/2019). I have hunted these heaps of stones, collected from the former nearby fields (now meadows) over centuries, several times before, but there seems to be always something to find. I found six "good" specimens in 2 hours - and that´s exactly my usual yield in this formation . First topo map, geological map, relief map and aerial photograph of "Point 32". No problem to make everything public, nobody is interested in this stuff (well, except me...). Views from my parking place and from the way to the heaps: Some impressions of the heaps. First row is the western, lowermost end of the east-west trending with a small dig. A small, but quite nice radiolitid from this hole is to the left of the pocket knife. A second radiolitid was also found there. Second row shows some parts of the upper, north-south trending heaps. Third row shows to the left a fragment of a Hippurites nabresinensis (nearly in-situ, a small part was exposed). To the right, a freshly exposed, but still nearly in-situ Vaccinites is visible to the right of the red object; a small part of this rudist was also already exposed. Its the area shown in the pic above. Well, no pocket knife, already lost...
  5. Hello, this time, I will start with the end result : I am quite satisfied with the result ! The pillars are nicely preserved and the rudist is filled with sparry, white to orange calcite and contains some voids coated with tiny calcite crystals. The greenish batches consist also of calcite and are also well polished, but are finer grained and contain additionally some small quartz grains. These fillings may be related to the second filling event during redeposition of the rudists in this formation. For more info about that, see here: Some Rudists from St. Bartholomä The right section contains also a blob of fossiliferous limestone. More about the locally heavily bored shell - see below . Before I got this nice result, there was a decision - to cut or not to cut : It is a conical specimen with some ribs preserved and a large, interesting, vertical groove. A large blob of limestone is sitting at the top end of the rudist, but one pillar was also already visible there. Mostly due to the ugly limestone blob, I decided to cut the specimen near the end of the visible shell. The top part (AN4240) does not contain much shell, the section about 6 mm lower (AN4239) does. The vertical groove is a simple inflection of the shell. No clue, what caused it, no remains of any other shell are visible. But it may have been some kind of an obstacle there. The specimen was found in a steep, wooded area east of Kalchberg, at the lower end of an old vertical ditch, possibly a prospect for water. Some pieces of fossiliferous limestone were lying around, somewhat exposed by heavy rains. I dug with bare hands in the soil, and nearly immediately recovered the specimen above from the "rat hole" to the right of the pocket knife (first row): (At the upper left corner of the upper left pic, a rudist is sticking between tree roots. This rudist was already featured here: Rudist hunting (3) in St. Bartholomä) Yesterday, I visited this spot again and pulled out several more pieces of limestone and sandstone from this "rat hole" (about 200 pieces), again only with bare hands (second row). No large Vaccinites was found this time, put a few smaller specimens (third row): upper left: small Vaccinites specimen; upper right: small pseudocolony of Hippurites colliciatus; lower left: Hippurites nabresinensis; lower right: fragment of Vaccinites vesiculosus. Ok, not much to see on this sucking pics, so I will stop now . Thanks for looking, maybe you have at least enjoyed the polished specimen . Happy hunting! Franz Bernhard
  6. Another completely unknown to me from the Campanian St. Bartholomä-formation, Gosau-group, Eastern Alps: They were found in a polished slab of one of the typical fossiliferous limestone clasts of the Rudist-bearing "Knödelbrekzie" of this formation. There are many of these unknowns in this specimen, but not so well preserved as (A); they are mostly only fragments and also often strongly recrystallized (below C). The two elongated, greenish, inhomogeneous blobs in the right part of the specimen seem to be the same, containing crushed and poorly preserved fragments similar to (A). It could be, that there is some branching involved. Maybe this is also the case with the two green, interconnected, circular blobs to the right of the elongated blobs. One of these circular blobs contains remnants of the fossil in question. One of the unknwons has some corallite-like structures (C), but I don´t think, its a coral. However, there seem to be also some real corals in this specimen (D). I am totally at a loss, what A, B, C etc. could be. Possibilities see title, but it could be even something different. Every hint is appreciated, it´s ok if you only know the phylum . Remark: All of the phyla listed in the title are know (mentioned, not described) from similar clasts of the Campanian Wietersdorf Gosau-sediments in Carinthia. Many thanks! Franz Bernhard
  7. First of all: The book about the Coniacian-Santonian corals of Rußbach-Gosau, Austria, by Löser et al. (2019) is printed. It can be ordered at: http://www.korallen-kreide.de/index.html Its a must-have for all people interested in fossil corals! And: The abridged English version is also ready for download there! And now to my first application of this important milestone work: During my searching and digging at point 36 west of Kalchberg, St. Bartholomä, Styria, Austria, at 07/04/2019, I found also a piece of limestone with small, regular voids/holes/tubes. After cleaning at home, some axial ripping was visible in a few of the tubes. Good sign!! Could be another phaceloid coral colony! After cutting it was clear: It is!! And it is in some parts rather well preserved, the best specimen of this type so far. According to the work above, it seems to belong to the genus Procladocora. Four species of this genus are described for Rußbach-Gosau: P. gracilis, P. aff. exiguis, P. formosa, P. sp. In some corallites, septal insertion of 6 / 6 / 12 can be observed. The maximum outer diameter of the corallites is about 3 mm. This would place this specimen within the species P. gracilis. But the age is different and the occurrences are geographically about 200 km apart. So it is better to stick to Procladocora sp. Thanks for looking! Franz Bernhard
  8. Campanian Stromatoporoid

    Together with these two coral colonies http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/96001-corals-10-11-from-the-campanian-st-bartholomä-formation-styria-austria-gosau-group-eastern-alps/ I "discovered" also this specimen during my last visit at point 25, east of Kalchberg, in St. Bartholomä. "Discovered"? - I have found this specimen about a year ago, but did not take it with me - "It´s just a mineral". As I have not found much during my last visit, so I took it with me this time... After cleaning, I saw a somewhat faint wavy lamination - "Ah, some kind of calcite deposit"... Inspection with a hand lens revealed a tiny mesh or sieve structure in some parts - "Oh, that´s interesting"... Now I asked my local fossil expert. After some pondering he said: "This looks like a stromatopora from the nearby Devonian Plabutsch-Formation!" A quick look at his voluminous library revealed, that there indeed exist Cretaceous stromatoporoids, with nice names like Actinostromaria (compare with Paleozoic Actinostroma). I don´t think, this is an Actinostromaria, but we are rather sure, that it is a Cretaceous stromatoporoid. What do you think? Thank you very much for your opinion! PS, I found also this interesting diagram, from Wood & Reitner (1988). See also: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/94175-fossil-ball-campanian-st-bartholomä-formation-gosau-group-eastern-alps/ Franz Bernhard
  9. My hunting at point 25 east of Kalchberg at 05/16/2019 did not yield any good rudist. However, two coral colonies were found. Now I have a total of about 20 from this formation. This one is very small, poorly preserved and has a very, very low contrast (already strongly enhanced). It has some similarities to that one, but only remotely: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/87677-coral-3-from-the-campanian-st-bartholomä-formation-styria-austria-gosau-group-eastern-alps/ Corallites seems to have a diameter of about 1.2 mm. I do not expect any definitive answer , just showing it off . Thanks for your interest! Franz Bernhard
  10. The next two corals from St. Bartholomä... I collected this specimen nearly a year ago. Thought, it has some kind of borings. But I was a little bit confused, because most of the "borings" or tubes have a regular and tight, axial ornamentation. Polished cross sections revealed not much, but a few corallites (A, B, C). One of the tubes at the margin of the specimen shows some "shell" material with ornamentation on both sides (D). The left side is in contact with younger sediment, the right side with fossiliferous limestone. On the surface of the specimen, no shell material was observed within the tubes. Just a few days ago, I recognized a corallite cross section on the surface of the specimen with some fuzzy septa (X). In conclusion, I think, this could be the outer cast of a phaceloid-dendroid coral colony with nearly no "shell" material preserved - just a cast. In the Gosau-group, genera like Procladocora, Cladocora, Calamophylliopsis look somewhat similar. Thanks for your interest and opinion! Franz Bernhard
  11. Hello! Another colonial coral from St. Bartholomä. Contrast is poor and that´s the best I can to with my scrappy scrap. I think, I have not found such a coral before in this formation. And its the second largest colony I have found so far there. My guess is, that it could be Astraeofungia (g, h) or Dimorphastrea (a, b), all pics from Löser et al. (2015). But I am very probably wrong... Thank you very much for your help! Franz Bernhard
  12. This time a really odd ball from St. Bartholomä, Styria, Austria (West of Kalchberg, point 36). Collected 04/09/2019. Campanian St. Bartholomä-formation, Gosau group, Eastern Alps. The specimen was very dirty, thought it is just a round and smooth limestone piece, but haven´t found such a smooth piece there before, so I took it with me. After cleaning (but without any prep) and inspecting with a hand lens, I discovered, that the subglobular specimen of about 7 cm in size is covered over and over with tiny polygons, about 0.1-0.2 mm in size. So it is a fossil! But what? It seems to have two natural openings, a larger on (pic A) and a smaller one (pic B), with polygons all over the rims and also inside the rim of the opening (pic F). At the lower right corner of pic F you can see, that the polygons are in reality prismatic structures. Polygons are also covering large parts of the inside of the two openings. The prismatic structures can also be seen in some dimples caused by pressure solution. Any hints and suggestions are welcome! Many thanks! Franz Bernhard
  13. Hello, here is the next coral colony from the Campanian St. Bartholomä-formation in Styria, Austria (Gosau-group), collected 02/10/2019, west of Kalchberg, point 36. This coral colony is intergrown with limestone. There is a naturally weathered cross section and naturally weathered vertical section (but not much to see there). I have cut and polished one end and preservation seems to be not too bad. However, as usual, am rather clueless. I think, it has external pali, so it could belong to Hydnophoropsis? Many thanks for your help! Franz Bernhard
  14. Rudist ID help

    Hello, I would like to ask, if somebody has seen such rudist traverse sections somewhere else (first und second post). Compared to the other four, abundant species (third post, for comparison), these three types are rare in the St. Bartholomä-formation and these are all that I have. Both apical and adapical views of this rare ones are shown, if possible. Some of them I have already posted on TFF, but here they are all together. They are all from the Campian St. Bartholomä-formation in Styria, Austria (Gosau-group, Eastern Alps). The specimens labeled Vaccinites cf. sulcatus come very close to them I have seen in the literature. The "names" Hippurites cf. nabresinensis and Hippurites cf. colliciatus are not much more than tags, I have not seen something similar in the literature yet. Many thanks for your help and oppinions! Franz Bernhard
  15. Hello, here I am again with a recently (10/14/2018) found coral colony from the Campanian St. Bartholomä-formation in Styria, Austria (Gosau-group). Its very poorly preserved and I have only very little hopes that it is possible to assign a genus to it. I don´t think its an Actinastrea, it seems more like a Barysmilia (according to Baron-Szabo, 2014), but I am really clueless. First pic is a polished part of the specimen. Preservation is very poor. Second pic is the "upper" surface, its strongly worn, only the position of the corallites can be seen, with some occasional septa. The polished area is located at the bottom. Third pic is an oblique side view. The specimen measures about 10 cm in its longest dimension. Worn-down corallites can be found all around the specimen. Thank you very much for your patience, help and opinions! Franz Bernhard
  16. Hello, another surface rudist hunt in St. Bartholomä, Styria, Austria (Campanian St. Bartholomä-formation, Gosau-group). This time not in a creek, just wandering in the forest. Two larger rudists were found, lying on the surface. One for me, with partialy preserved upper valve:
  17. Here are the numbers I promised : From 07/16/2017 to 09/13/2018, about 140 hippuridit rudist specimens were found in the scree slope of "Point 25", the sweetest of all spots in St. Bartholomä. The species distribution is (approximate numbers, with examples): Hippurites colliciatus: 80 (with 140 individuals – many pseudocolonies!) - F, G, H, J Hippurites nabresinensis: 10 - I and possibly K Vaccinites vesiculosus: 25 - A, B Vaccinites alpinus: 10 - C Vaccinites cf. sulcatus: 5 - D, E Vaccinites sp.: 10 (no pillars visible, but to nice to be cut, or partial specimens) Polished traverse sections of hippuritid rudists found at "Point 25" from 01/20/2018 to 03/23/2018: Only hippuritids in this spot? No, during the same period, about 200 radiolitid rudists were also found, giving a total of about 340 rudist specimens from this spot. Thats about 70% of all rudists found in the St. Bartholomä-formation during my hunting and digging trips from 05/07/2017 to 09/13/2018. Ah, and about 10 coral colonies ware also found at "Point 25"... It is difficult to estimate how many rudists are still waiting in the scree there. Judging from - the amount of material already removed and dumped (about 3-4 m3), - the distribution of fossiliferous limestone and other rocks in the scree slope (about 1:2, but highly variable), and - considering the amount of „Knödelbrekzie“ that seems to be missing in the outcrop (and now lying in the scree), I will try to make an estimate of 200 to 500 rudists that are still there to be found. Now I am stopping! Thanks for your patience! Franz Bernhard
  18. Fine, a very nice rudist - a Hippurites nabresinensis -, one of the longest I have found so far in St. Bartholomä (18 cm). But it came even better! At home, I recognized that I have already seen a quite similar traverse fracture before. Indeed, here it is, with the cleaned traverse fracture of the newly found rudist below. Maximum diameter is about 7.5 cm. The two parts fit together (considering that there are at least 100 years of weathering between them), resulting in the by far tallest rudist found by me in St. Bartholomä up to now, having a total length of about 27 cm. The shorter part was found at 05/20/2018, about 2 m downslope of the second, longer part, in a depth of about 10-20 cm. Note that the longer part has a kink at the upper end. The upper part is also the natural end of this rudist, as some parts of the upper valve are preserved (upper left). I could stop now, but I don´t. Some people may like numbers, so I will present some in the next entry: "Point 25" - Summing up
  19. Now the sandstone slab behind the red x (last photo of the previous entry) has been removed. Can you spot it, just above the pocket knife? Photo taken 09/13/2018. Closer… Closest! There was a large rudist just behind the sandstone slab, lying in a depth of about 40 cm below the surface of the scree slope. Still in situ, only some roots and small stones removed for the photo. Pocket knife is 9 cm long, some tapering of the rudist is clearly visible. Such a nice surprise is very rare, normally the rudists are quite dirty there and you can only recognize a few rips or the typical conical or cylindrical outline. Rudist removed from the scree and photo taken of the uncleaned traverse fracture at the left end in the photo above. The apical view clearly shows two pillars (P1, P2) and a very thick shell, it´s a Hippurites nabresinensis. Photo taken 09/13/2018. Next entry: "Point 25" - Surprise at home!
  20. For some general information, including some maps, about the Campanian St. Bartholomä-formation in Styria, Austria see: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/86433-rudist-hunting-in-st-bartholomä-styria-austria-13072018/ The rudist-bearing St. Bartholomä-formation covers an area of about 3km2. Within this area, there are a few sweet spots, where rudist can be found with some confidence: one of the creeks west of Kalchberg; a pile of rocks west of Kalchberg, collected during centuries from the nearby fields; a small, weathered outcrop along a narrow forest road, also west of Kalchberg; or simply an accumulation of fossiliferous limestone with some rudists in a steep forest east of Kalchberg. But the sweetest spots of all, supplying a continuous flow of rudists, is a scree slope in a small quarry east of Kalchberg - called "Point 25" in my own documentation. The scree slope is located below an outcrop of „Knödelbrekzie“, which is a grain-supported, coarse conglomerate to breccia, exclusive composed of fossiliferous limestone clasts with the occasional rudist, as can be seen in this photo, taken 07/16/2017. The rudist is the cracked, horizontal cylinder-like object in the middle of the photo: The next photo is a frontal view of a part of the quarry. It was operated about 100 years ago for hydraulic marl and is heavily overgrown, in other words, its very dark there and the photos are so-so (as usual). „K“ denotes the exposure of the „Knödelbrekzie“, which was shown in the photo above; below you can see beds of fine grained calcareous sandstone. The „U“ denotes the entry to the underground workings, the entry is largely filled with debris from above. Below the „U“ is the scree slope, consisting of clasts of fossiliferous limestone, sandstone and marl. At the bottom is the „deep hole“, scale bar is 1 m, the red x will appear again. Photo taken 09/13/2018. Lateral view of the quarry. Out of operation since 100 years? It doesn´t seem so. I visited this spot for the first time at 07/16/2017 and two rudists were found instantaneously in the scree (beside the one in the outcrop itself). In October 2017, I decided to examine the material of the scree slope systematically. I began with the nearly horizontal left side and progressed to the steeper right side. Fossiliferous limestone (center left) and marl, sandstone, soil, organic material etc. (at the left edge) were dumped separately. Part of the „deep hole“ is visible in the right corner (note the big sandstone slab in the lower right corner, this slab is also visible in the photo above). I collected and dug at this site from October 2017 until 09/13/2018 about 34 times, each time for about 2 hours. Photo taken 09/13/2018. The „deep hole“. At 09/13/2018, it was about 1.8 x 1.8 x 1.6 m large and something like a quarry in the quarry. Note the red x on the sandstone slab… Photo taken 09/13/2018, scale bar is 1 m. Next entry: "Point 25" - What´s behind the red x??
  21. Hippurites colliciatus Woodward, 1855

    From the album Rudists - St. Bartholomä, Styria, Austria

    Sectioned Rudist from the Campanian St. Bartholomä-Formation. Diameter ca. 3.5 cm, Collected 24.8.2017, Nr. AN3865, AN3866.
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