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Found 15 results

  1. Not had a chance to get out hunting much for a while but had a trip out to a new site the other day and found some brand new stuff I wanted to share! Just outside of the little coastal town where I stay in Fife, Scotland there's a Lower Carboniferous stromatolite bed known for its beautiful stromalolite formations in a hard cream colored limestone which can be cut and polished for use in jewelry. This stromatolite bed lies on top of Lower Carboniferous lava's and has been correlated with another, 30m above a bed called the Burdiehouse Limestone which I do a lot of my collecting from. This puts its age somewhere in the late Asbian. These stromatolites grew in a freshwater lake that had formed on cooled lava flows. Its a challenging and dangerous site to collect from on an extremely steep and crumbly wooded slope below cliffs, very quickly though I started to find beautiful fragments of the stromatolite bed as well as a completely weathered out example and lots of split-able limestone with the occasional fish scales, freshwater bivalves and microconchids. The real prize of the day though was a beautiful and perfectly intact Petalodont shark tooth just lying on the surface of a massive block of the stromatolite bed, this stuff is so hard and not bedded at all so the luck involved in this being broken out like this is staggering! Not sure of the ID of the tooth but think it may be a Petalorynchus sp. Its 19mm from the tip of the crown to the end of the extremely long root. This was the first thing I picked up, a small stromatolite that had weathered out of the formation almost perfectly intact.
  2. Geologists Question 'Evidence Of Ancient Life' In 3.7 Billion-Year-Old Rocks, NPR, All Things Considered https://www.npr.org/2018/10/17/658103489/geologists-question-evidence-of-ancient-life-in-3-7-billion-year-old-rocks "World's Oldest Fossils" Might Actually Be Simple Rocks, And We're Here For The Drama, Carly Cassella, Science Alert https://www.sciencealert.com/doubt-raised-over-current-record-holder-oldest-fossil-sign-of-life The paper is: Abigail C. Allwood, Minik T. Rosing, David T. Flannery, Joel A. Hurowitz and Christopher M. Heirwegh, 2018, Reassessing evidence of life in 3,700-million-year-old rocks of Greenland. Nature, Letter | Published: 17 October 2018 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0610-4 A related paper is; Retallack, G.J. and Noffke, N., 2018. Are there ancient soils in the 3.7 Ga Isua Greenstone Belt, Greenland?. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Volume 514, Pages 18-30. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031018218305984 Yours, Paul H.
  3. Please help identify

    Is this possibly stromatolites? Found just north of Golden Shores, Arizona, in a dry wash in loose material on the bank of the wash. Thank you for any help, very new to collecting fossils.
  4. Himmler, T., Smrzka, D., Zwicker, J., Kasten, S., Shapiro, R.S., Bohrmann, G. and Peckmann, J., 2018. Stromatolites below the photic zone in the northern Arabian Sea formed by calcifying chemotrophic microbial mats. Geology. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323211798_Stromatolites_below_the_photic_zone_in_the_northern_Arabian_Sea_formed_by_calcifying_chemotrophic_microbial_mats https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/74385017_Tobias_Himmler https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geology/article/528309/stromatolites-below-the-photic-zone-in-the Yours, Paul H.
  5. @Raggedy Man and his "phantom" wife, Laura, came up to fossil hunt for her 31st Birthday and what a hunt it was! I was busy the first day they were here with my little Airbnb Whispering Winds checking people in and out but they had a wonderful day hunting and Paul found a Bumastis trilobite - they are trilobite hunters. He will have to post his pictures. :-) On Saturday I had invited new fossil friend, Todd, from the Twin Cities to hunt with us. He had come on a paid hunt earlier (he left with 2 5 gallon pails of fossils that very long fossil hunting day) and we had bonded and this was a good opportunity for him to get some real fossil hunting done. I had heard about the "mythical" Seven Springs down a favorite sometimes dry wash and was on a mission. So off we went to hunt Orodovician fossils and Seven Springs! It was a lovely fall day in Minnesota in the 60s with leaves slowly turning brilliant colors and falling to cover the floor of the wash. The first part of the wash was not particularly fossiliferous but we had perhaps a mile or two to go to Seven Springs, so I was warning Todd not to pick up too many fossils. And yes that big plate was beautiful, but too heavy to carry out - that is what hammers are for... :-) The day was beautiful and each corner drew us around another. Paul and Laura had gone up the wash. And there were plates that just weren't going to come back with us. But the siren's call of more fossils to be found just kept us going... But this worn Fisherite showing the side structure was one I just had to have! We rounded one bend to see wild morning glories blooming against the gleaming white rocks of the Galena Formation. We were back in pretty far and hit a very fossilierous wall. I was on a mission and just had to keep going to find Seven Springs - was it real or not? Todd was happy to be left there. :-) The next corner of the wash called to me, and the next, and the next... I ran across the tracks of a large white tail and knew I must be near water. Finally! The first of Seven Springs! My mission had paid off! Seven Springs! So serene and beautiful! I had dropped my backpack back by Todd and so fossil hunting my way back was only what I could stuff into my fly fishing vest. When I finally got back, Paul and Laura had hiked down the wash to see what the old folks were up too. :-) Continued...
  6. Hi y'all, Here are the finds from 3 separate half day trips to Post Oak Creek during the first weekend of Feb and from last Saturday. One of those days was spent hunting a new to me part of the creek that seemed to have more trash and glass than fossils. That day I decided to make a move to a more productive part of the creek to collect some gravel that I had promised my nieces so they could do some fossil hunting at home. Also I collected some for myself. Last Saturday @Buffalo Bill Cody and I went hunting. It's was warmer and I noticed several bass swimming in the creek. I'll have to bring my fishing pole for the next outing. The week before last I went canoeing on the Llano River for 4 days where I had the pleasure of seeing some interesting fossils that I'll be posting below. Bare with me. I'm posting from an IPhone.
  7. precambrian stromatolites

    published in 1996 and 1992, but interesting...even if more recent publications exist on this subject Microfossiliferous cherty stromatolites in the 2000 Ma Franceville Group, Gabon - 1992 - http://booksc.org/book/24844207 Microfossils in 2000 Ma old cherty stromatolites of the Franceville Group, Gabon - 1996 - http://booksc.org/book/17726645
  8. Well, on this trip we didn't actually hunt for anything (the signs and route were pretty apparent and no collecting was allowed), there were technically no fossils (though stromatolites predate most other life forms and have been inhabiting the planet for some 3.7 billion years), but you can't deny it was a trip so, though only scoring one out of three, I'm posting this in the Fossil Hunting Trips section. It was quite a trip and one I've had on my bucket list for some years now. I've visited (even dived, surveyed and sampled) the living stromatolites in Lee Stocking Island in the Bahamas and wanted to pay my respects to the other (more) famous modern-day locality in Shark Bay, Western Australia. Some may not know of the larger (up to 2.5 meter) Bahamian variety of stromatolites. These exist not due to hyper-saline conditions (barring other competing life forms) but due to the crazy currents that run through the channels which shift huge amounts of oolitic sands which frequently bury these stromatolites for extended periods of time. The cyanobacterial mats are not only tolerant of this periodic smothering but actually make use of the sand grains in constructing and cementing their layered structures. Other benthic organisms like corals, macroalgae and other invertebrates can't tolerate being buried from time to time and so the stromatolites capitalize on these special circumstances that allow them to proliferate unchallenged. Here are a few quick web links for those who've not heard of the Bahamian forms: http://www.bahamas.com/vendor/stromatolites-exumas https://appliedecology.cals.ncsu.edu/absci/wp-content/uploads/18_Stromatolites-Brochure.pdf http://www.robertriding.com/pdf/riding_etal1991-bahamas.pdf http://fire.biol.wwu.edu/trent/alles/Stromatolites.pdf We had planned the drive up to Shark Bay from Perth as the final leg of our Australian anniversary trip. With some good insight provided by TFF member Dave (@sandgroper) we plotted a course for several days sightseeing along the western coast of Australia to terminate at its northern extent at Shark Bay with the primary goal of paying homage to the life form that terra-formed this planet nearly 2.3 billion years ago by reducing the percentage of atmospheric carbon dioxide (pumped out by all those volcanoes early in earth's story) and increasing the level of oxygen from its initial trace amounts--called the Great Oxygenation Event (GOE) or the Great Oxidation. At first the oxygen released due to the photosynthetic activities of the cyanobacteria apparently was quickly absorbed by huge amounts of elemental iron in the earth's surface and oceans. I've heard that the earth's oceans would have had a green tinge till all of the dissolved iron precipitated out as rusty iron oxide (the source of many of those iron ore deposits today). Once the iron was done consuming all of the oxygen being produced by the cyanobacteria, the atmospheric percentage was finally allowed to climb to today's levels (actually, even higher in the past). This oxygen was one of the factors in allowing multi-cellular life (and eventually even fossil-hunting Homo sapiens) to evolve. It is for this reason that I felt the pilgrimage was in order--a creation story combined with a sort of cautionary tale of a species that so changed the world that it could no longer survive as the dominant species. Sound vaguely familiar? Anyway, enough exposition--onto some photos from the trip. We had started that morning further down the coast at Kalbarri and had left just after breakfast to make the three hour drive north to Hamelin Pool. While there was not really a great change in latitude during those three hours of listening to podcasts while enjoying the changing scenery, the temperature difference was amazing. When we left Kalbarri it was around 16C (61F) and was probably headed to a high of around 26C (79F). We could feel the outback-like temps when we made a stop at the Billabong Roadhouse for a quick break and refuel. By the time we were in the parking lot at the Hamelin Pool Marine Reserve interpretive boardwalk the thermometer in the car was reading an incredible 40C (104F). We lathered on some SPF100 sunscreen, donned our field hats with the long cape in the back, took a long drink of cool water and ambled (slowly) toward the boardwalk. The boardwalk is well illustrated with nice signs providing some good basic information on this special ecosystem for those tourists unfamiliar with these special microbial communities. As we seemed to be visiting Australia outside of the normal tourist season, we had the entire place to ourselves (as we'd experienced in many other places we visited on this trip). The site has a well constructed boardwalk built over the shore and out to a great vantage point to see the stromatolites in all their glory. Truth be told, they are not really impressive structures (probably mostly less than half a meter and mostly a blackish or brownish in color except for those furthest from shore which are exposed to the air for the least amount of time during low tides and were more sand colored). I can understand that most tourists making this stop might not appreciate the uniqueness of this site and I can picture most families would likely stop for a quick selfie while the teenage kids barely look up from their devices to glance at the odd arrangements of mushroom-like blobs arrayed before them. I can say that for Tammy and me it was an odd surreal experience to stand at this spot that I've seen in so many online photos and realize we were actually there--not unlike the powerful feeling of standing in front of a half-buried moai on Easter Island and staring into its unseeing face. Of course, being spring in this part of Australia the flies were fierce. They took special pleasure in investigating every possible inconvenient (and irritating) spot on your head to crawl around and covered us in swarms seemingly immune to any waiving of arms (and it was just too hot to even attempt that). We happily made use of our best purchase during this vacation--an inexpensive A$6 fly net to wear over our hats. It wouldn't keep them from covering us like barnacles on a whale but it did keep them from our ears, eyes, noses and mouths and that was enough to make them tolerable. We got there (by chance) at just around dead-low tide and were able to easily see the field of stromatolites stretched out before us. At the edge of the stromatolites were a small group of Pied Cormorants (Phalacrocorax various) preening themselves and resting in the hot morning sun. I hadn't expected to see fish swimming in the hypersaline waters but some small silvery species (no idea which) seemed to be tolerating the conditions well and thriving.
  9. Could they be ?

    Found in a glacial deposit here in Maine. They could be any where from mid Cambrian to mid Devonian. These shapes could even be volcanic. They don't react to vinegar. My thought is that they may be chert replacements of stromatolites.
  10. Looking For An Id

    looking for help with an ID. found this in western WI near the Mississippi River. A lot of Sandstone around... could this one be a stromatolite agate?
  11. Schoenmakerskop Stromatolites

    Slide 1 I recently started reading up on stromatolites after I learnt that we have stromatolite formations and living tufa cyanobacteria colonies in the rocky beaches of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The cyanobacteria found here are unique, their habitat is the semi-freshwater pools where freshwater from springs meet the sea where they line and grow on the submerged surfaces of the pools. The stromatolites have irregular forms and my observation is that quite often they are concave plates opposed to the more well known dome shaped forms. Here is a photo I took at Schoenmakerskop this morning. The cyanobacteria colony is in the centre and the stromatolite formations in the background Picture 1 I was wondering how it is that the reefs are often arranged in straight and parallel lines, some drama must have played off here over millions of years! Here is an example of the convex shaped plates (How old are they?) Picture 2
  12. I was doing some rock hunting in in the desert, about the center of Utah and found these strange rock formations in the Mancos Shale of the late Cretaceous (Utah has plenty of strange formations). But these caught my eye because of spacing and alignment. When I looked closer it look like a fine sandstone with a few shell fragments, I thought of Stromatolite but did not see any laminations, When I was able use the internet I found out about Thrombolites and I am fairly sure that's what they are. The formations stretched for over a mile. A closer look
  13. I've always wondered why many specimens are extremely colorful. Many seem to be unrivaled in terms of color with other fossils. Any thoughts?
  14. Fossil Worm Burrows?

    This photo was taken of a rock that was found among Stromatolite fossil beds. Do you think that it could possibly be fossilized worm burrows? If not then what is the likely lighter sediment colour derived from?
  15. MICROBIALITES, STROMATOLITES, AND THROMBOLITES Robert Riding University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA
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