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Found 13 results

  1. Hello! Finally, I have some time to post this fossil hunting trip from a warm and sunny day in October, 2019. Introduction The Miocene Styrian basin in Austria is mostly filled with various clastic sediments, e.g. fossil-rich “Florianer Schichten” around St. Josef. The “Mittelsteirische Schwelle”, a north-south trending high-zone of palaeozoic, slightly metamorphic rocks, however, is, in a very literal sense, the base of various biogenic carbonate rocks (“Leithakalk”). The individual carbonate bodies are of slightly different age – spanning the whole Badenian (about three Million years) - and composition. The younger ones to the north around Wildon are characterized by coralline algae and often oncoidic limestones, corals are extremely rare there. To the south, corals became locally an important part of the limestones, besides the coralline algae. No really big coral reef structures have developed, though; coral carpets and small coral batch reefs are characteristic. Various maps from the internet and literature of the visited area. 1 = Kittenberg; 2 = Hötzlweg Depositional scheme of the Weißenegg-formation around the “Mittelsteirische Schwelle”. Within the green rectangle the area of interest. Relief map of the area north of Heimschuh. Note the many very small to medium-sized quarries. Some cliffs are also visible. These corals are witness of tropical to subtropical temperatures in this area about 15 Million years ago. Coral development is considered to depend on local factors like sediment input or (non-)exposure to severe wave action during storms. Coral diversity is relatively high, with at least a dozen of genera described or mentioned. About four years ago, I have prospected the area north of Heimschuh several times for corals. My goal was to find some good coral sites. Fossils in the wild are not super-abundant in this formation, but I succeeded to find a few good spots. Corals are by far the most abundant fossil group, bivalves etc. are much rarer. (Note: there is a very large, active quarry for portland cement fabrication in Retznei nearby, that is famous for all kind of marine stuff, incl. Meg teeth and other large vertebrates.) I will present two sites that I have visited again at 10/17/2019, but already also four years ago. One is at Kittenberg in the woods (1), the other one is a small outcrop along a minor road called “Hötzlweg” (2). Continued...
  2. Waiting for Christkind and(!)/or(??) Santa Claus gives me some time putting together this question: The coral in question comes from the Styrian basin (Weißenegg-formation) and is Langhian/Miocene in age (ca. 15 Ma old). It comes from a very small road outcrop, mainly limestones, north of Heimschuh in the Sausal mountains, southern Styria, Austria. Beside massive, sturdy coral colonies like Montastrea, possibly Favites, etc., another colonial coral occurs in this outcrop, that disintegrates easily into individual sticks or pencils, aka corallites: Outcrop situation, field of view ca. 80 cm. It looks really something strange and unusual. These are individual corallites or they are in the stage of branching; the middle one is about 8 cm high. Sometimes you can retrieve parts of colonies. Remarkable is the large diameter of the corallites, up to 2 cm. With the help of some superglue, it was possible to make some polished slabs of these corals (the matrix is a rather soft marl). Note the highly varying diameter of the corallites and the budding. Especially interesting is the specimen to the lower left. Here, some big (about 2 cm diameter!) polygonal corallites are tightly growing together. But I think, its the same as the other ones. A possible genus that comes to my mind is Acanthastrea. This idea is based on the shear size of the corallites. This genus is know from an outcrop a few km away and also from a similar formation of similar age about 100 km away (Mühlendorf, Burgenland, Austria), the species mentioned/described there is A. horrida. But my idea, that these could be also Acanthastrea could be totally wrong, of course... Thanks for your help and Merry Christmas! Franz Bernhard
  3. Hello, at Tuesday, 10/01/2019, I made my first visit to the area around St. Josef, Western Styria, Austria ("Florianer Schichten", Langhian-Miocene) since about 11 months. I checked out 6 sites in 5 hours, three of them were made public by me 2-3 years ago: Fuggaberg-3-a Fuggaberg-3-b (This one was also published in a local journal 2 years ago.) Hoellerkogel-4 Bramberg-1 All sites had easy surface pickings of small fossils from debris. Outcropping sediment with fossils is exposed in 5 of them, in one you have to dig a little bit (Fuggaberg-3), but its still easy going. I guess I have collected and seen about 40 mollusc species within these 5 hours. So, the situation around St. Josef is still very good (if you like miocene molluscs and small fossils, though ). I am starting with: Fuggaberg-3 Two fossil-rich outcrops are located in a very small creek, about 15 m apart (W and E, 1st row, left). At E, only the fossil-poor overlying sediments are exposed at the moment (1st row, right, the red object is about 12x6 cm large), but digging in the debris below (2nd row, right) yielded some fossil-rich matrix specimens. You can see the yield of this 10-minute dig in the pic of the 3rd row, right. Of special interest are the two small fossils lying on oyster shells (coral and muricid). The debris 1-3 meters below the outcrop contains many loose fossils, eg. Granulolabium bicinctum (2nd row, left) or Terebralia bidendata (3rd row, left). Nearly the same situation at W, only overlying sediment is exposed (4th row, left). In the debris below, below the red object, many small fossils are lying around (4rd row, right). You can see Granulolabium bicinctum, Terebralia bidendata, Turritella partschi, Sphaeronassa shoenni, Acanthocardia paucicostata and a bi-valve Anadara diluvii; only the last one is not lying at its original position but was put there for photo purposes . Continued...
  4. I am not sure, where to post this, please feel free to move it to the appropriate topic. I made the schematic drawing of mollusc habitats already more then 2 years ago, now I have pepped it up with shell pics of the most abundant species. All shells are self collected and in my collection, but no scale, no names... The largest pics are the most abundant molluscs in this area, there are only about 5 of them, that are really super-abundant. There is a lot of hidden info in this pic, but is it discernible without any further explanation? Maybe you have at least some fun ! Franz Bernhard
  5. Hello, another fossil hunting trip to the "Florianer Schichten" in St. Josef, Styria, Austria (Styrian basin, Miocene - Langhian, ca. 15 Ma). This time I went to a locality (Fuggaberg-6), that is dominated by the horn snails Terebralia lignitarum. This is one of the most common molluscs in the "Florianer Schichten", but only in some localities. The recent species Terebalia palustris is living in mangrove forests in the intertidal zone and is a herbivore. I discovered this locality at 10/22/2016 and collected there at 04/22/2017. Now, about 1 1/2 years later, I visited it again. Not much was to see, it looked nearly natural again, so I had to scratch a few minutes to make an outcrop. I have done this scratching at 11/08/2018 and made the photos at 11/11/2018. First "pic" is a geological overview of Styria with the position of St. Josef southwest of Graz. Second "pic" is a map of the area, site "Fuggaberg-6" is near the "H" of Höllerkogel. Third pic is an overview of the area with the outcrop in the center. Fourth pic is the outcrop. Scale bar is 1x1 m, left of the green x is a layer rich in gastros, left of the red x is a layer rich in oysters. Fifth pic is a detail of the outcrop. Terebralia are enriched in some spots, field of view is about 16 cm. To be continued...
  6. Vitta picta (Férussac, 1823)

    Second photo: About 50 individuals of the snail Vitta picta in different states of weathering, but most of them are still glossy and show their color patterns. The gloss is natural, no coating or something else applied, only washed. The color pattern is strongly variable between individuals. Note that also the outline is quite variable, which is typical for this species. Field of view is 40 mm, largest gastropod is about 6 mm high, so this snails are really small. This is a "multi-genus-species" and was/is assigned also to the following genera: Theodoxus, Agapilia, Clithon, Nerita, Neritina. According to Fossilworks, this species was an epifaunal omnivore-grazer and went extinct 12.7 million years ago. First photo is perhaps the largest and one of the best preserved gastropods of this lot in two views. Height is about 6 mm. It is not perfectly preserved; some parts of the outer shell layer, and hence the color pattern, is missing in the right view. Some parts of the shell along the aperture on the right side are also missing. Outline is quite typical, somewhere in the middle between nearly globular and somewhat cylindrical with a constriction in the middle. Exact locality is Höllerkogel-21 in my own documentation. This relatively large outcrop contains predominately the mud snail, Granulolabium bicinctum, and V. picta. Unfortunatelly, most of the shells are strongly weathered or even completely dissolved. Höllerkogel-21 is about 5 m stratigraphically higher then Höllerkogel-18 and located just upslope of Höllerkogel-18. The sediments in the area belong to the "Florianer Schichten", which are part of the western Styrian basin at the eastern margin of the Alps. The "Florianer Schichten" are about 15 Ma old (Langhian, or "Badenian" in Paratethys stratigraphic terms). x
  7. Hello, here I am again with a gastropod from the "Florianer Schichten" of the Styrian basin, Austria (Miocene - Langhian). Its from my hunting trip at "Höllerkogel-18", St. Josef, from 08/16/2018: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/87561-fossil-hunting-at-höllerkogel-18-st-josef-styria-austria-miocene-langhian-ca-15-ma-08162018/ It seems to be a Roxania species, possibly close to R. utriculus (Brocchi, 1814) or R. lamarckii (Deshayes, 1863)? Hight of the gastro is ca. 12 mm. What do you think? Thanks for your oppinion! Franz Bernhard
  8. Xenophora deshayesi (Michelotti, 1847)

    Carrier shell Xenophora deshayesi. This gastropod was a shell collector, having one of his collected items still attached (an olive snail, Olivella clavula (Lamarck, 1810)). The locations of the other shells or shell fragments are still visible. The specimen was found in two pieces and then glued back together Shell collector? A friend found another one in this outcrop that collected only small quartz pebbles - obviously a mineral collector! Exact locality is Höllerkogel-18 in my own documentation. It is a tiny outcrop (about 1-2 square meters) in a densely wooded, very steep area southwest of St. Josef, Styria, Austria. This small outcrop, composed of a medium grained, quartz-rich, somewhat limonitic sand yielded, from November 2016 to May 2018, at least 80 species of gastropods and bivalves; it is far from exhausted. Most of the fossils are characterized by a partial limonitic staining and usually very good preservation. The species X. deshayesi is not common there, but fragments are not very rare either. The sediments in the area belong to the "Florianer Schichten", which are part of the western Styrian basin at the eastern margin of the Alps. The "Florianer Schichten" are about 15 Ma old (Langhian, or "Badenian" in Paratethys stratigraphic terms).
  9. Hello, a few weeks ago, I uploaded two fossils from "Höllerkogel-18" to the collection. Last thursday (08/16/2018) I visited this outcrop again. It is a tiny outcrop (about 1-2 square meters) in a densely wooded, very dark and very steep area southwest of St. Josef, Styria, Austria. This small outcrop, composed of a medium grained, quartz-rich, somewhat limonitic sand yielded, from November 2016 to May 2018, at least 80 species of gastropods and bivalves. Most of the fossils are characterized by a partial limonitic staining and a usually very good preservation. The sediments in the area belong to the "Florianer Schichten", which are part of the western Styrian basin at the eastern margin of the Alps. The "Florianer Schichten" are about 15 Ma old (Langhian, or "Badenian" in Paratethys stratigraphic terms). First "photo" is a map showing St. Josef and Höllerkogel Hill. Second photo is an overview of this outcrop. Photo is very poor, it was very dark (despite a sunny day) and my camera is not very light sensitive, to say the best. The use of of flash resulted in an even worse photo. Just above the green x, you may discern a white-brownisch spot. This is the bivalve of the next photo. The pocket knife to the left of the green x is 9 cm long. Bright spots are small fossils or fragments of larger ones. Third photo is the bivalve in situ, as you can see, it was possible to make an even worse photo...
  10. Athleta rarispina (Lamarck, 1811)

    Volute snail Athleta rarispina on matrix. Note the very well preserved borings of an unknown organism. Exact locality is Höllerkogel-18 in my own documentation. It is a tiny outcrop (about 1-2 square meters) in a densely wooded, very steep area southwest of St. Josef, Styria, Austria. This small outcrop, composed of a medium grained, quartz-rich, somewhat limonitic sand yielded, from November 2016 to May 2018, at least 80 species of gastropods and bivalves and is far from exhausted. Most of the fossils are characterized by a partial limonitic staining and usually a very good preservation. The species A. rarispina is moderately abundant in this outcrop. The sediments in the area belong to the "Florianer Schichten", which are part of the western Styrian basin at the eastern margin of the Alps. The "Florianer Schichten" are about 15 Ma old (Langhian, or "Badenian" in Paratethys stratigraphic terms).
  11. Anadara diluvii (Lamarck, 1805)

    Anadara diluvii with matrix. Width of the teeth area on the second photo is 15 mm. Exact locality is Fuggaberg-3, west of St. Josef, in my own documentation. The fauna of this outcrop is by far (> 80 %) dominated by the mud snail Granulolabium bicinctum (Brocchi, 1814), which is a typical inhabitant of intertidal mudflats. A. diluvii is a relatively abundant species in this occurrence and a rather robust shell. The sediments in the area belong to the "Florianer Schichten", which are part of the western Styrian basin at the eastern margin of the Alps. The "Florianer Schichten" are about 15 Ma old (Langhian, or "Badenian" in Paratethys stratigraphic terms). Ref: Messner, F. & Bernhard, F. (2017): Eine aktuelle Fossilfundstelle bei Fuggaberg westlich St. Josef in der Weststeiermark (Florianer Schichten, mittleres Miozän). Der Steirische Mineralog, 32, 5-10.
  12. Acanthocardia paucicostata (Sowerby, 1839)

    Acanthocardia paucicostata with matrix. Note the prominent spines, which can develop into spoons in some specimens. Compare with a recent specimen from WoRMS: http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=image&tid=138993&pic=65227 Exact locality is Fuggaberg-3, west of St. Josef, in my own documentation. The fauna of this outcrop is by far (> 80 %) dominated by the mud snail Granulolabium bicinctum (Brocchi, 1814), which is a typical inhabitant of intertidal mudflats. A. paucicostata is a relatively abundant species in this occurrence. The sediments in the area belong "Florianer Schichten", which are part of the western Styrian basin at the eastern margin of the Alps. The "Florianer Schichten" are about 15 Ma old (Langhian, or "Badenian" in Paratethys stratigraphic terms). Ref: Messner, F. & Bernhard, F. (2017): Eine aktuelle Fossilfundstelle bei Fuggaberg westlich St. Josef in der Weststeiermark (Florianer Schichten, mittleres Miozän). Der Steirische Mineralog, 32, 5-10.
  13. Amalda glandiformis (Lamarck, 1810)

    Two views of an olive snail Amalda glandiformis. Exact locality is Höllerkogel-18 in my own documentation. It is a tiny outcrop (about 1-2 square meters) in a densely wooded, very steep area southwest of St. Josef, Styria, Austria. This small outcrop, composed of a medium grained, quartz-rich, somewhat limonitic sand yielded, from November 2016 to May 2018, at least 80 species of gastropods and bivalves and is far from exhausted. Most of the fossils are characterized by a partial limonitic staining and usually a very good preservation. The species A. glandiformis is among the most abundant in this outcrop. The sediments in the area belong to the "Florianer Schichten", which are part of the western Styrian basin at the eastern margin of the Alps. The "Florianer Schichten" are about 15 Ma old (Langhian, or "Badenian" in Paratethys stratigraphic terms).
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