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Found 45 results

  1. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2215291-540-million-year-old-worm-was-first-segmented-animal-that-could-move/?utm_campaign=RSS|NSNS&utm_source=NSNS&utm_medium=RSS&utm_content=news https://www.courthousenews.com/scientists-uncover-550-million-year-old-fossils-of-bug-trails/
  2. I made a trip today to Albion Falls in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada by public transportation. Albion Falls is a classical waterfall that cascades over the Niagara Escarpment in Hamilton, Ontario and is 19 metres high. The waters flow north along the Redhill Valley as Redhill Creek to empty to Lake Ontario. Once a popular tourist destination, climbing up the waterfall is not allowed anymore due to paramedics having to rescue irresponsible tourists who have hurt and died from slipping and falling. I mostly ended up checking out the Grimsby Formation which is nicely exposed near the waterfall. There are walls of exposure as the water meanders down from the falls, revealing nice explorable spots. The Grimsby Formation is part of the Cataract Group and dates to the early Silurian period. The Grimsby Formation is not popular as it is not fossiliferous. I’ve had better luck finding fossil animals in the Manitoulin and Cabot Head Formations at the Devil’s Punchbowl in Hamilton, Ontario. The reddish maroon bottom part of the exposure is the Grimsby Formation. It is mostly red/purple shale mixed with the same coloured sandstones. Here is a pic showing how the Cabot Head Formation of the Cataract Group progresses into the Grimsby Formation.
  3. Lithoredo abatanica, below article, should have left some interesting trace fossils in the rock record. This Weird Animal Eats Rocks for Breakfast By Laura Geggel, LiveSciecne, June 19, 2019 https://www.livescience.com/65739-newly-discovered-clam-eats-rocks.html It would be a nightmare as an invasive species. The open-access paper is: Shipway, J.R., Altamia, M.A., Rosenberg, G., Concepcion, G.P., Haygood, M.G. and Distel, D.L., 2019. A rock-boring and rock-ingesting freshwater bivalve (shipworm) from the Philippines. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 286(1905), p.20190434. – Open Access https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2019.0434 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31213180 Yours, Paul H.
  4. neo-ichnology/actuopaleontology

    DUN Bibliographic reference: Dundas, K., and Przeslawski, R., (2009). Deep Sea Lebensspuren Biological Features on the Seafloor of the Eastern and Western Australian Margin. Geoscience Australia Record 2009/26, 76 pp. 20,3 MB/RECOMMENDED! Attention: if your eyes start to water when regression analysis and statistics are mentioned ,skip this one
  5. The below paper is an interesting reinterpretation of the depositional environment of the Birket Qarun Formation of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Wadi Al-Hitan, also known as either Valley of Whales or Zeuglodon Valley, in the Western Desert of Egypt. The paper is: Gee, C.T., Sander, P.M., Peters, S.E., El-Hennawy, M.T., Antar, M.S.M., Zalmout, I.S. and Gingerich, P.D., Fossil burrow assemblage, not mangrove roots: reinterpretation of the main whale-bearing layer in the late Eocene of Wadi Al-Hitan, Egypt. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, pp.1-16. The PDF file is at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326955395_Fossil_burrow_assemblage_not_mangrove_roots_reinterpretation_of_the_main_whale-bearing_layer_in_the_late_Eocene_of_Wadi_Al-Hitan_Egypt https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul_Sander2 The abstract is at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12549-018-0337-0 Yours, Paul H.
  6. Marine Fossil Id Needed

    I found these fossils about a week ago next to Settlement Canyon Reservoir (Tooele County, Ut). I found them about 6600 feet up in elevation at about 1/5 mile away from the reservoir. The images are of the same rock but taken at different angles and sides, all except the last picture.
  7. Due to lost climbing experience I had made a failed approach into an escarpment canyon climb last year. A few months later with skills rebuilt I decided to tackle one of the canyons on the east side of Alamogordo, NM again. The escarpment rise fairly abruptly from the trailhead. Approximately 1,100 feet in 1.3 miles to the highest point of the walkabout. This summary will include some pics from my earlier failed attempt. My goals...to visit a unique looking mud mound, find fossils and get away from it all. One the way up the canyon bottom I spotted this ghostly apparation in an exposed slab. Halycite? The main geologic feature of interest was this formation called 'Teepee Mound'. Look to left side of formation for teepee The geologists summary of what is going on My approach was to continue far up canyon to a higher altitude then cut back west to approach the teepee shape. About midway up the teepee shape from the east looking back to the basin. These formations were thick with crinoids. The teepee actually seemed to be suspended by columns of material. Likely supporting material leached away over the years by water.
  8. "Himalayan Fossils"

    Hey fossil friends! I purchased these fossils a couple years ago from a local gem shop. Unfortunately, all I know about them is that they were labeled "Himalayan fossils" and are quite heavy. One appears to be an impression of an ammonite but I'm not sure what the other is, or if they are genuine. Any help appreciated, thanks!
  9. Ireland trip

    The scenic east coast of Ireland has circa 320 mya outcrops. We found coral fossils around a lake near Sligo. The Liscannor Flagstone trace fossils and what looks like coral, top center, in the steps at Cliffs of Moher:
  10. 600 Million Years Ago, the First Scavengers Lurked in Dark Ocean Gardens, By Asher Elbein, New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/30/science/ediacaran-period-predators.html The bizarre organisms of the Ediacaran Period have long puzzled researchers. Fossil discoveries suggest these ecosystems may have been more complicated than once thought. The paper is: James G. Gehling, Mary L. Droser, 2018, Ediacaran scavenging as a prelude to predation. Emerging Topics in Life Sciences. 2 (2) 213-222; DOI: 10.1042/ETLS20170166 http://www.emergtoplifesci.org/content/2/2/213 Yours, Paul H.
  11. trilobite evolution

    "It seems likely that trilobites were preceded by soft-bodied ancestors: at several localities, sedimentary rocks with trace fossils of trilobite activity underlie the oldest rocks with trilobite body fossils." From http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/trilobita/trilobitafr.html Hello all, I'm looking for papers that support or dispute the above standard line about trilobite ancestors likely having soft bodies. I searched the forum but tags such as "soft body" produces papers that refer to the soft bits of hard bodied trilobites; not true soft bodied trilobites. One or two papers, if you know of any, would be sufficient to get me on my way. Also, if anyone has thoughts about this subject, I would love to hear them. It is bothersome (at least to me) that these creatures seem to have no connection to the Proterozoic.
  12. Hello everyone, I am in desperate need of help with a huge debate I have been having with a friend over fossils preserved in ironstone concretions. From some of what I had read to some advice from other members I it possible to find vertebrate bone among shells and other mollusks preserved in an ironstone concretion. Whether it leaves a trace of the organism, morphs the organic material into the structure of the iron concretion through the decomposition with preserving, or whatever else it may be it seems to be possible. So recently I have hunted a place known to have recorded marine cretaceous shell and other mollusk found in ironstone concretion as well as cretaceous plants in shale, it seems like not to vast of enough study has been done there only from what I know, but since no vertebrate material had yet been discovered there though there can maybe be the possibility. I found these two particularly distinct pieces in iron concretions that exactly mimic the scute structure of soft shell turtle and croc in my opinion, I know how iron concretions are famous for leaving psuedofossils and such but these two pieces look way to exact and since its possible for shells and mollusks to preserve why not scutes? So I am here looking to end this debate, I'm looking for your opinion, can these be labeled as fossils, traces, etc? Or are these among some of the world's best iron concretions and nothing more. Your input especially if you are very experience in this subject would be tremendously appreciated.
  13. Here's a few things I've learned about the best marine fossil sites. All the right ingredients need to come together in one spot for a great fossil site to come together. But I know there's much more than what I've listed below. So I was hoping other people could add to my list and correct anything they see that's amiss. I figure if your going to search for fossils, you might as well go with the best ideas in hand. All the right ingredients typically found at a good Marine Fossil site: * High elevation limestone shale cliffs, high elevation hill country or areas around ancient seabeds. *Marine rocks in the area like limestone, basalt, dolomite , loess, silica. *Excessive iron presence, magnesium, sulfur and copper carbon ore in the area is ideal. *Presence of certain minerals like bertheirine and calcium carbonates. *Evidence of trace fossils on the surface so you don't waste time digging in the wrong spot. * Mud stone, clay, coral formations, or coral rocks. * Rocks with flow lines, water marks, algae or microorganism markings. *Evidence of oxidation or oxidized rocks. Ross P. Anderson, Nicholas J. Tosca, Robert R. Gaines, Nicolás Mongiardino Koch, Derek E.G. Briggs. A mineralogical signature for Burgess Shale–type fossilization. Geology, 2018; DOI: 10.1130/G39941.1
  14. I don't throw around the word "best" casually, but I think it's safe to say that my recent trip was one of the best in all my years collecting, if not the best. I spent the better part of five or six hours collecting at numerous different sites across western Maryland ranging in age from the lower Devonian to the lower Mississippian, so this is part one of my posts (for simplicity's sake I may include photos of most of my other finds from these sites even if I didn't collect them last go around). The trip started off okay. I visited a couple of my oldest sites that are some small roadside exposures of the Oriskany Sandstone and Mahantango Formation. These sites produced decent material in the past, but over the repeated years of collecting I seem to have worn them out as this time all I found were some brachiopods (including a decent Mucrospirifer sp. from the Mahantango site). I'll talk more about these finds later, but afterwards I found time to visit a new site in the Brallier Formation. By this point it had started to thunder, and while driving to the site the rain started to come in and fog filled up the valley. I thought it was the end of my trip, but as I got to the site it was pretty much dry. My best guess is that I was simply hearing a storm from way off in the distance. The site I visited, as I recently learned, might actually expose two different formations: the Brallier Formation and the Foreknobs Formation. The difficulty in discerning between the various upper Devonian formations in Maryland is multifold. First off, the MGS doesn't differentiate the Harrell, Brallier, and Scherr Formations, even on their most recent geologic maps. Second of all the literature around these deposits is scant and very dated. Most still use the (now) incorrect Woodmont and Chemung Formations, which further exacerbates problems as the Woodmont Formation consisted of the current Brallier and Scherr Formations, making it difficult for an amateur like me to really tell just which fossils occur in either formation. On top of this the contact between the Harrell, Brallier, Scherr, and Foreknobs is mostly gradational, so the differentiating layers lithologically is next to impossible as the beds gradually blend into one another. Generally speaking the Harrell is a dark shale with a fossiliferous limestone (the Tully Limestone) demarcating it's base, the Brallier is mostly dark, fissile shale with interbeds of siltstone, the Scherr is mostly lighter colored shale and siltstone with some sandstone beds, and the Foreknobs is a mixture of gray shales, red shales, conglomerate, sandstone, and siltstone. A guide fossil for the Brallier is the brittle star trace fossil Pteridichnites biseriatus, which was the fossil I originally set out to collect and found in the darker shale. Generally speaking the brachiopod genus Cyrtospirifer sp. in particular C. disjunctus is a guide fossil for the Foreknobs, but I believe this genus also occurs in the Brallier Formation. I found both fossils at this site, the brittle star in the dark shale and the brachiopod in a reddish siltstone, and considering the transition in rock types (one end of the site was just dark, fissile shale and the other had significant amounts of conglomerate and siltstone with shell beds) I think it's likely that the upper end of the cut was in the basal Foreknobs Formation and the lower end was in the upper layers of the Brallier Formation. As such, all of my trace fossils are from the Brallier and almost all of my other fossils are from the Foreknobs. The Brallier Formation is a late Devonian turbidite unit that was deposited in fairly deep water as the Acadian Mountains eroded. It is mostly unfossiliferous, but does have the occasional pelycopod, gastropod, and trace fossil (these being the most common). Ammonoids are also reported from the Brallier. Like I said earlier I originally came trying to find the brittle star trace fossil Pteridichnites but I ended up finding some other very interesting trace fossils. I picked up two of them because I had seen images of similar looking things from the Pennsylvanian of Alabama which I believe @Rockin' Ric labeled as resting traces from horseshoe crabs. These are late Devonian, deep water marine in origin, not terrestrial/freshwater from the Pennsylvanian, so I don't really know what they could be. Perhaps from some other arthropod? Anyways I also found some brittle star traces, including a group of what look to be four or five Pteridichnites biseriatus oriented in life position as if it were an imprint of the brittle star body. Image 1: Pteridichnites biseriatus Image 2: A group of four poorly preserved P. biseriatus Image 3: Unknown arthropod (?) trace fossil Image 4: Unknown arthropod (?) trace fossil If any of you guys know what the last two fossils are, please feel free to let me know.
  15. Iowa Trace Fossils???

    Hey all, I found this slab of rock in a Linn County, IA creek this spring and I'm not sure how these patterns might have formed. Are they trace fossils from something? Did they form for normal geological processes? It's hard to pin down age of rocks in a creek like this, but most of our exposures are Devonian or Silurian. Thanks!
  16. Was hunting for trace fossils at the Walmart excavation site and came across this among the zoophycos. Do not know what it is.
  17. These Are the Oldest Known Footprints on the Planet By George Dvorsky, Gizmodo, June 7, 2018 https://gizmodo.com/these-are-the-oldest-known-footprints-on-the-planet-1826648702 When did animals leave their first footprint on Earth? Chinese Academy of Sciences, June 6, 2018, Press Release https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/caos-wda060518.php The paper is: Zhe Chen, Xiang Chen, Chuanming Zhou, Xunlai Yuan, and Shuhai Xiao, 2018, Late Ediacaran trackways produced by bilaterian animals with paired appendages Science Advances 06 Jun 2018: Vol. 4, no. 6, eaao6691 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao6691 http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/6/eaao6691 Yours, Paul H.
  18. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180312091407.htm
  19. New depth limit for deep-sea marine burrows University of Leeds, January 10, 2018 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180110080549.htm “Scientists have found fossil evidence of deep-sea marine life burrowing up to eight meters below the seabed -- four times the previously observed depth for modern deep-sea life.” Ancient outcrops give new depth limit for deep-sea burrows http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/4165/ancient_outcrops_give_new_depth_limit_for_deep-sea_burrows The paper is: S. L. Cobain, D. M. Hodgson, J. Peakall, P. B. Wignall, M. R. D. Cobain. A new macrofaunal limit in the deep biosphere revealed by extreme burrow depths in ancient sediments. Scientific Reports, 2018; 8 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-18481-w https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18481-w Yours, Paul H.
  20. I can imagine a Hollywood block-buster telling a story of a few brave TFF members looking for fossils on Mars https://www.slashgear.com/curiosity-finds-strange-tiny-mars-feature-trace-fossils-possible-05513891/
  21. Well it's been a while since I've last been on (over two months), and I know how much you all have been missing me , so I decided to finally get around to photographing some of the finds I've made over the summer. I've talked a bit earlier this year about collecting in the Frederick Limestone and other upper Cambrian-lower Ordovician units, but these finds are from rocks far, far older than those, nearly 100 million years older! These fossils are among some of the oldest in Maryland, and in the Mid-Atlantic region, which was part of the reason I collected them in the first place (because, let's be honest, most aren't that appealing). If you find these things interesting, the Araby was originally mapped as the Antietam Sandstone until about 1940ish when it became a separate geologic formation due to the strong difference in rock-type most common in either (the Antietam is mostly a quartz-sandstone, the Araby mostly a sandy and muddy shale and siltstone). When the time for the split came, the new name Araby was given to the formation that occupied a band roughly stretching from the Potomac River to the south north in a rough question mark shape to Pennsylvania as the type locality was situated near Araby Church (an interesting bit. A geologic formation from the Cambrian explosion named after a church!). Nowadays the church is gone as far as I know, but the area still bears the name with the apply named Araby Church Road. Going back further, in July of 1864, the Araby Formation would play a major role in the Battle of Monocacy. As Confederate forces under Jubal Early's command were marching east along the B&O RR, they were stopped in the vicinity of Frederick by scattered forces under the command of Union General Lew Wallace. During the day long battle (fought July 9), Wallace's outnumbered force of 5,000 men used the hills and small ridges to their east as a last line to stem the Confederate tide, strength roughly 15,000. This ridge, of course, was made up of the resistant Araby Formation, whose clastics didn't erode through time as quickly as the carbonates of the Frederick Limestone. Unfortunately for Wallace and the Union, the Confederates were able to outflank their positions, and forced them to retreat east past Urbana. Although it was a Confederate victory (the northernmost of the war), the battle delayed Early's advance for a crucial 24 hours, allowing reinforcements from the Union 6th Corps near Petersburg to arrive in Washington DC in time to stop the Confederate attacks on July 11-12 at Fort Stevens. Interesting to see how geology plays a role in how battles (and history!) are fought. I collected twice this summer, once in the early part and another time in September, from a roadcut near Frederick. This cut exposes the early Cambrian Araby Formation, which is nearly 550-530 million years old. The Araby is a nearshore clastic unit, likely deposited in a surf/beach zone on the elevated Piedmont block (a fancy term for a higher lying seabed). As such, it roughly correlates to the Antietam Sandstone further west, as well as, more roughly, the Kinzers Formation in Pennsylvania in the upper sections. Geologically speaking, the Araby is divided into coarser, almost buff siltstone and sandstone units and black, slaty-shale and siltstone (this includes the former Cash Smith Shale, which was found out to be in the middle of the Araby upon later work) ones. The darker, shale layers likely were deposited during times of deeper water, as there exists a degree of faunal differences between the two to suggest such (Olenellus thompsoni has been recorded from the black layers, but I never found any). Later, during the Taconic and Acadian Orogenies, the Araby Formation was slightly metamorphosed as were most other Piedmont and Blue Ridge units, though some parts escaped mostly untouched. These, of course, have the best fossils. Boring rock stuff out of the way, the Araby and the Antietam were formed at a special time in Earth's history called the Cambrian Explosion, which was a period when life underwent a rapid series of diversifications. Luckily we didn't miss out much here! Many beds of the Araby are filled with burrows and other traces of ancient wormlike creatures, as well as rarer edioasteroids, trilobites, and other creatures. Unfortunately little work has been done on the Cambrian units of Maryland, and less still on the Araby, so I haven't found any list of actual names for any species. As such, I'll use names from the Antietam Sandstone, as the two are time, stratigraphically, and lithologically equivalent. By far the most common fossils were the worm burrows, Skolithos linearis. These are rounded, somewhat tube shaped objects in their usual form, though they can sometimes occur as cross sections as you'll soon see. On top of this, they're also sometimes preserved in iron minerals, as is common with many other fossils. From what I've gathered, these "tubes" are interpreted to be the resting places of worms, likely annelids. Now, I'm not claiming to know 100% what some of these are so if any of you may have a better ID please let me know. First up are the Skolithos linearis. The first image is of a fairly typical "tube" shaped structure. The second image shows a cross section cut-away of a "tube", partially mineralized in what is likely iron (iii) oxide. The third image is of a large, albeit poorly preserved, complex of "tubes". The general way to tell where they are is by looking for the dark contours of them, and tracing them that way.
  22. Half-a-billion-year-old fossils shed light animal evolution on earth, University of Manchester, September 11, 2017 http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/half-a-billion-year-old-fossils-shed-new-light-on-animal-evolution/ https://phys.org/news/2017-09-half-a-billion-year-old-fossils-animal-evolution-earth.html https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170911122628.htm Tha paper is: Parry, L. A., P. C. Boggiani, D. J. Condon, and others, 2017, Ichnological evidence for meiofaunal bilaterians from the terminal Ediacaran and earliest Cambrian of Brazil Nature Ecology & Evolution. doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0301-9 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319109419_Ichnological_evidence_for_meiofaunal_bilaterians_from_the_terminal_Ediacaran_and_earliest_Cambrian_of_Brazil https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0301-9 Lidya G. Tarhan, 2017, Meiofauna mute the Cambrian Explosion News and Views, Nature Ecology & Evolution https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0324-2 Yours, Paul H.
  23. (Note: this was originally posted under fossil trips) Hey there! I'm sorry its been so long since I've posted on here but suffice it to say I need your help. I'm planning a six to seven day fossil hunting trip in Pennsylvania (sometime in mid august) and I need your help verifying that the sites I've picked to visit from Robert Beards guide Rock Hounding Pennsylvania are still accessible to collecting as well as coverable given my time frame. The places I'm looking at hunting are sites 27. Beltzville State Park (Outcrops on shoreline), 28. Lehighton, Lehigh Canal (Former borrow pit and outcrop),30. Deer Lake (Borrow Pit), 33. Suedberg (Outcrop in former borrow pit), 35. Centralia (Former strip mine outcrop), 38. Rockville (Former quarry), 48. Walker Lake (Hillside and unpaved road), 51. PPL Montour Preserve (Hillside, Former borrow pit), 57. Uniontown (Former quarry). Any insights as to whether or not theses sites are still accessible to collecting, weather our not you believe covering all these sites within 6 to 7 days is possible, and any other tips and tidbits of information on the sites, and or planning a large trip like this etc, would be greatly appreciated! When I go I'm planning to take notes and pictures and then, when i get back, write a few essays illustrated with pics that I will post on here! Thank you in advance, and thank you to Fossil-Hound for directing me on were to properly post this! Glenn aka Fossil123
  24. Hey there! I'm sorry its been so long since I've posted on here but suffice it to say I need your help. I'm planning a six to seven day fossil hunting trip in Pennsylvania (sometime in mid august) and I need your help verifying that the sites I've picked to visit from Robert Beards guide Rock Hounding Pennsylvania are still accessible to collecting as well as coverable given my time frame. The places I'm looking at hunting are sites 27. Beltzville State Park (Outcrops on shoreline), 28. Lehighton, Lehigh Canal (Former borrow pit and outcrop),30. Deer Lake (Borrow Pit), 33. Suedberg (Outcrop in former borrow pit), 35. Centralia (Former strip mine outcrop), 38. Rockville (Former quarry), 48. Walker Lake (Hillside and unpaved road), 51. PPL Montour Preserve (Hillside, Former borrow pit), 57. Uniontown (Former quarry). Any insights as to whether or not theses sites are still accessible to collecting, weather our not you believe covering all these sites within 6 to 7 days is possible, and any other tips and tidbits of information on the sites, and or planning a large trip like this etc, would be greatly appreciated! When I go I'm planning to take notes and pictures and then, when i get back, write a few essays illustrated with pics that I will post on here! Thank you in advance, Glenn aka Fossil123
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