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I just wanted to share my joy at my first successful hunt! Now I have been picking up and excavating fossils my whole life but its always been quarried stone searching or someone elses established site. For those remember one of my earlier threads, this year I set out to find MY OWN SITE! Oklahoma (especially northwest/central OK) is not known well for fossils. But I set out and began researching and reading and mapping, then I began driving mile after mile of back-roads searching the outcrops and road cuts. 2 months ago I found a site that looked promising, but weather kept me away. A few days ago I went and spoke with the land owner who gave me the green light. Walking, searching, kneeling, scraping, brushing, sunburn (on an abnormally hot day!) without finding anything. Finally, I flipped a large slab and a spot immediately grabbed my attention! It wasnt really a change in color, it was the change in texture that caught my eye. Now this was a small fossil in a BIG slab. Its more than 2ft x 2ft and has to weigh close to 75 lbs. I didnt have a 2-wheel dolly with me and I wasnt about to break the slab, so I had to carry that thing back down the bluff and to my truck. But I'm glad I did! My first thought was that it was a bit of turtle plastron, but after clearing a little bit of matrix I wasnt sure any more. A paleontologist friend told me he thought it was a skull section! Only in my wildest dreams did I imagine finding vertebrate material on my first hunt! I have emailed the local college paleo dept and I'm waiting to hear back on their opinion. Beyond the skull piece, there is another long, thin fossil with the same color and texture as the skull piece but I'm not sure what it is. Its extremely fragile so I've stopped working on it and began working my way through the rest of the matrix to search for more vert material. While prepping today I came across a new first (and big thanks to @Troodon for the ID ). It a 4mm tooth from a fresh/brackish water shark called othacanthus. The biggest problem is with the rock itself. Its some kind of mudstone/conglomerate/limestone/caliche hybrid and the layer is only a few inches thick. I went back yesterday to search for more and didnt find anything visible on the rock surfaces. Unfortunately there is obviously going to be a lot of fossils that cant be seen in the field. So my only option may be to just dig out one slab at a time and work through it for fossils. I have a test chunk in a container with vinegar to see if this is going to be an acceptable way to speed thing up. I feel pretty sure the skull piece is silicified, but its another thing to check.
The Amateur Paleontologist posted a topic in Partners in Paleontology - Member Contributions to ScienceHey everyone, I'm back from my second Møns Klint Fossil Excavation - it was absolutely fantastic! For the majority of 2 weeks, I was down at the chalk cliffs of Møn; and recovered quite a sizable quantity of (mostly echinoderm) good-quality fossil material. All of it is still safely stowed away in ice cream boxes and kitchen paper "field jackets", but I can not wait to getting down to preparing all those fossils. Unfortunately, I did not manage to rediscover the "Echinoderm Quarry", but I did on the other hand have the chance to work on some new, very fossiliferous sites. Along with extensive fieldwork, I also got the privilege of analysing the MK Thoracosaurine jaw fossil, and meeting the Director and the Fossil Guide of the GeoCenter Møns Klint. I'll give detailed and illustrated accounts of all that happened* during this successful field session in the next few days... Stay tuned *Except, of course, for my studies of the MK Thoracosaurine - that'll have to wait until after the paper has been published (IF it does end up being published)
MeargleSchmeargl posted a topic in Fossil Hunting TripsApril's arrival and the start of spring break was more than enough for me to warrant a 5th trip to the hometown favourite: the Conasauga Formation. This time, I had a primary objective: Find the ever illusive Agnostid Trilo. I had a feeling today was special, rendering any boredom the hour and a half long car ride brought with it negligible. When we finally arrived, I saw that we weren't alone in our search. It was only when I got down the hill that I noticed just who was already here. It was the man, the myth, the legend, the Ditch Weasel! For those not in the know, this is the guy that runs the channel Blackriverfossils, and has a Meg hunting video with over 2 million (million!) views. He was also accompanied by his partner in all things fossil hunting, Fossil Diva, seen here working diligently to get to those GA bugs: DW recognized me when I told him my YouTube alias (which is also my username here), and we quickly talked up a storm about our adventures. All the while, I scoured the rocks looking for the irresistible Cambrian bugs that lay within. Once again, it was the first find of the day that had me gushing: my very first Agnostid find: The little gem lay on the very fringe of a hash plate I found sitting on the slope, seemingly forgotten. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the Agnostid's negative, as it appears to have been elsewhere. That was not too much of a downer, though, as my primary objective had ALREADY been found, and I had the chance to meet the legendary Ditch Weasel. Speaking of whom, he actually recorded my ID'ing the trilos, as this was only his second trip here and he didn't know very much about the formation. Look for a new video out on his channel in the near future! Another interesting thing I found today was this: In all 4 of my previous trips to Chatsworth, not once have I gotten something that looks like this. I found a 2nd one that has the exact same structure half an hour later in another slab I split, so I don't think it's chance mineralization. More on this peculiar specimen later. When all was said and done, I had come home with another great Conasauga haul: Going into more detail, here is the unknown I found, as well as the second one: Cont.
If you beautiful people recall, I said I'd be heading back to our favourite GA trilo site on the Conasauga river for my Convergence media project. Well, here's the run down: When we got to the small parking space that eternally marks the entrance to the site, we checked the river as we always do. To our fortune, the Conasauga was low Saturday, giving us more leg room to hunt. It was definitely the right condition to hunt! Not too hot or cold, and the river was nice and low. After doing some filming shots for the DEC (the school news program), I got to what was REALLY important: finding those trilos! I actually deviated from the norm this trip by going to the other side of the bridge, a place I haven't really explored before. And it was looking promising: It wasn't long before I found a direct formation exposure and got right to splitting the incredibly easy-to-split rock: A short 30 minutes later, I had already gathered a good trip's spoils... One particular multi-slab I found simply lying amongst the rocks caught my eye, with one Aphelaspis positive being practically complete, and even having visible eyes (more images coming later):