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Found 23 results

  1. Prehistoric Horse Tooth? Fossilized?

    Found this near Waco, Tx. I think it is fossilized, but I'm no expert. In the same creek we found a whole horse skeleton awhile back coming out of the side of the creek, but this tooth looks fossilized. Makes me wonder if we shouldn't have looked closer at that skeleton.
  2. It was a long day, but a good one. I took my kids to 2 museums of sorts today. I drove the 2 hours down to the Waco mammoth site, which is now a National Monument as of 2015. It was cool to see and reasonably nice. It was very clean and neat, maybe just a bit too much so since it is supposed to be an active dig site. They have a very small visitors center combo gift shop, maybe 10 people could be in there at once. There are guided tours maybe every 30 min or so. Our guide was a National Park ranger in uniform. The was one other in uniform and a third not in uniform, who could have been a student. There is a nice paved path through lightly wooded Texas scrub as I call it. The path is good for the handicapped or stroller toting parent. They had little booklets for the junior ranger sorts with pics of plants and other life that may be found along the way, with coloring pages and facts about mammoths. Dogs were allowed on a leash. Just a few yards down the path is a 250 year old Texas live oak tree. I was actually a bit on the disappointed side with it. Part of that is because I’ve been to the South Dakota mammoth site, which is well developed. Those are wooly mammoths though, not the Columbian mammoths we have in Texas, which are considerably larger. The other part that probably had something to do with me being a bit disappointed was that I had expectations of seeing excavated mammoths on display. The dig site has been open and running for over 40 yrs. The initial discovery was made in 1978 by two teens out looking for arrowheads. 23 mammoths were excavated between 1978 to 1997. Per the website "Between 1978 and 1990, the fossil remains of 16 Columbian mammoths were discovered. Their efforts uncovered a nursery herd that appears to have died together in a single natural event. Between 1990 and 1997, six additional mammoths were excavated, including a large male (bull). Crews also uncovered the remains of a Western camel (Camelops hesternus), dwarf antelope, American alligator, giant tortoise, and the tooth of a juvenile saber-toothed cat (Smilodon sp.), which was found next to an unidentified animal." So I had the expectation that at least one of the mammoths would be mounted and on display. I believe many of the mammoths are complete. Our guide, a National Park ranger was very new and didn’t know much. Her answer to where are the bones of the 23+ was “They’re in plaster casts at Baylor.” You’d think after all that time and the big paleontology program they have at Baylor something would have been prepped and put on display by now. This is one of the females that is in the process of excavation, but I have a feeling she has been in the process of excavation since she is one of the 23 and the website says the other 6 were discovered by 1997. So, it seems it is not really an active dig site. You can see her teeth there. Sorry the pic isn't that sharp. The lighting inside was very low. This is mammoth Q a male. Supposedly he died 15,000 years later than the female, but there is all of maybe 2.5 between them vertically and maybe 5 feet horizontally. There is a creek maybe 40 feet way, the Brazos River is less than a mile away and the North Fork Bosque River is on the property. Water moves dirt. I seriously doubt there was 15,000 years between 2.5 feet of dirt in a flood plane, which it is in a flood zone. The mammoth bones are not fully mineralized. They are bone and kind of the consistency of chalk and therefore fairly fragile. I think they said this one would have been 14 feet maybe 7 inches tall. He was an average size male. The males are much bigger than the females. This is Q from the other end. Two females are to the right. Parts of 2 males are in front of him. Not all of them are in the pic. The column in the middle there is the reference column. The top of which is supposedly ground level. So it does not seem the male was that deep down in the dirt. The brakes in the ribs and the crushed skull are believed to have happened at the time of his death. There is a broken rib that healed while the mammoth was still living. That break is circled in red. They believe it was most likely due to a fight between bull mammoths where another male's tusks broke the rib which likely resulted in an infection, which healed. The skull is in the foreground. You can see it is crushed in. These are parts of the 2 other male mammoths. The two leg bones together are believed to be one of the individuals. That is all that has been excavated of him from what I gathered, but the guide said those two bones had been accounted for among the other 22 mammoths. This is another female. She is actually in a natural position and they say that she laid like this, because she knew she was not well or was going to die. Sorry for the quality of the pic. But this is a camel skeleton. The skull is in a plaster cast in the bottom kind of center. Signs say as much as I can. I'll post a bit more in the next post.
  3. I went by the Corps of Engineers office and got signed up to visit the Waco Research Pit but I forgot to ask the hours the pit is open? Does anyone know? The office is closed now, and I'm thinking of going in the morning. Russ
  4. I hope to take some of my grandchildren (ages 6-12) on a fossil hunting trip near Hewitt, TX during my week there between Christmas and New Years. I've been to the Waco Research Pit with them two other times, so this time I'd like to take them somewhere else. My preferred maximum range is about 45 minutes from Hewitt, although we could go further if needed. They enjoy the outdoors and have been fossil hunting with me numerous times. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  5. Limestone fossil

    I found this odd pattern on what Im guessing is a fossil...
  6. Mosasaur tooth? Plus others

  7. Mosasaur tooth? Plus others

  8. Found this in a creek on my dad's land while arrow head hunting. Place is located east of Waco. Please help identify.
  9. Latest Lake Waco Trip

    So yesterday I hit the Waco Pit since it had been a couple of months since I last got out. Previous two trips were great since all I found were shark teeth. On one trip I found nine teeth in about 1 1/2 hours. Yesterday was just a chance to get outside and away from people. My other option was to go cycling on the river walk in town. Yesterday was pretty cool, temp was 47 degrees when I arrived. There was a cold breeze coming from the south. Skies were very overcast as well. Typical Central Texas weather. I hit the trail head and decided to head east inside of my normal west route. I have searched the east side a little before in the past. It's not as abundant with fossils like the other direction is but I have had some good luck finding things unusual. For instance my first summer there I found a nice rock with a Hemiaster Calvini in it. Upon getting home and cleaning away the matrix I found not one echnoid but three. So this time I wasn't expecting much. Pretty soon I found what looks like a piece of crab claw. I put that away for later. Then I find two shark teeth a few feet part. Not squalicorax but I'll take it. Finally I reach the embankments that are fun to get to and usually have tons of shells there. I find a couple of hash plates that look nice. They would both look great on a desk if I had a desk. One had a cute little echnoid spine in it. Then... I see a grey thing in the soil with spikes. At first I thought it was leaf but no this was solid. I took a few pictures of it in situ before prying it out of the ground. It looked like a horseshoe crab but I have never heard of one being found here. I looked it over several times, broke away some matrix and yes that is what it looks like. I carefully put it away in a container so I get a better look at it at home. I continue on searching for a bit. I spent a couple of hours there before heading home. At least it was a fun trip and there wasn't anyone there. I can be really anti-social at times. I get home and place the fossils in a bowl with water. After awhile I start brushing them off. What I thought was a cool looking horseshoe crab ended up being a piece of a very large Mariella piece. I'm not an expert in determining how big something is from a smaller piece but I guesstimate it could be 24 inches circumference. I'll include more pictures if it will let me.
  10. I went to the Waco Research Area a few days ago and found my first shark tooth and some nice ammonites. I know nothing about shark teeth, any ideas on this one?
  11. So Brazos Aaron notified me that the Corp of Engineers office will be closed for an extended amount of time next month. I went by there today to get a long term permit and spoke with the ladies there. The office that is located by the airport will be closed starting December 11th till January or February next year. They are renovating the office. For the mean time they will be moving to the office at Midway Park until the regular office is finished. Midway Park is in the 2000 N Hwy-6, right before the Twin Bridges. I haven't been by there so I don't know the exact details beyond this. I imagine the fax machine will still be working so they can fax permits out if needed. I went ahead and got a permit for three months. Be sure to leave them a phone number so they can contact you on days the pit will be closed. Also I stopped by for 20 minutes today and found two decent shark teeth and a nice chuck of ammonite.
  12. Took a little trip out to the Lake Waco Research Area a few days ago (which, by the way, will be off limits for 6 weeks unless you go get a permit before the second week of December). This was my third or fourth time out there and I definitely came up with my best finds from there to date. Got the usual pryitized ammonites and bivalves, 2 beat up shark teeth, 1 tiny fish vertebra, and lots of pieces of echinoids, possibly coenholectypus. I did find one really nice shark tooth by almost sitting on it, a couple of mystery ammonites, and finally got a complete coenholectypus. Saw lots and lots of cool epibionts on the bivalve shells. If anyone has any ID's, I'd love to hear them, especially the red rocks. Thanks!
  13. Heteromorph ammonite from Waco?

    Hello, Found these while out at the Lake Waco Research Area toward the back end. The research area is Cretaceous Del Rio clay, but this seems to have rolled down the hill from a formation above, possibly Buda limestone or something on top of that. There are 2 specimens and I believe they represent the same type of animal. I haven't really found anything like this before, so any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
  14. Mammoth site veteran challenges study on drought as cause of death By J.B. Smith, Waco Tribune-Herald, April 8, 2017 http://www.wacotrib.com/news/higher_education/mammoth-site-veteran-challenges-study-on-drought-as-cause-of/article_4b7849ca-35e5-502f-b89d-25e88c08c5cb.html What killed the Waco mammoths? Drought, not flood, a new study suggests By J.B. Smith, Waco Tribune-Herald, Jan. 27, 2017 http://www.wacotrib.com/news/city_of_waco/what-killed-the-waco-mammoths-drought-not-flood-a-new/article_68aec48b-cbc4-5319-aaba-0e67e06314cc.html Other web pages: Waco Mammoth Site: Visitors can walk over the largest concentration of Columbian mammoths to have died from one event. Atlas Obscura http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/waco-mammoth-site Waco Mammoth National Monument, Waco, Texas http://www.waco-texas.com/cms-waco-mammoth/page.aspx?id=174 Waco Mammoth National Monument, Waco, Texas Meet a Mammoth that isn’t Woolly https://www.nps.gov/waco/index.htm https://www.nps.gov/waco/learn/furtherreading.htm Waco Mammoth National Monument Research papers https://www.researchgate.net/project/Waco-Mammoth-National-Monument Nordt, L., Bongino, J., Forman, S., Esker, D. and Benedict, A., 2015. Late Quaternary environments of the Waco Mammoth site, Texas USA. Quaternary Research, 84(3), pp.423-438. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284095029_Late_Quaternary_environments_of_the_Waco_Mammoth_Site_Texas_USA Yours, Paul H.
  15. My day at the Waco Pit

    So since all the kids are in school now I have free time. I hit the Lake Waco Research Area this morning for a couple of hours. I managed to find nine shark teeth, seven of them in the first 30 minutes and 50 yards of the trail head. Never have I found so many in one trip. Guess this I won't find any the next couple of trips. Still a very good day.
  16. Mammoth tooth reveals beast once walked around Austin, Texas Laura Geggel, Live Science, August 30, 2017 http://www.foxnews.com/science/2017/08/30/mammoth-tooth-reveals-beast-once-walked-around-austin-texas.html Yours, Paul H.
  17. Worms from the (Waco) pit

    Last week while visiting Waco, Texas, I took four of my grandchildren to the Waco Research Pit. After getting a permit, we spent about three hours there and among the more fascinating fossils we found were oysters (possibly of the genus Texigryphaea). Of special interest were the epibionts, some of which seem to be parasitic. There were at least two sizes of tube worms, and bryozoans. The second picture below is not of epibionts on an oyster, but rather a one-inch wide piece I found separately in the same area. If I understand correctly, the Waco Pit is in the Del Rio Clay Formation, Cenomanian Stage, Cretaceous. It was a nice trip and a great place to take children. Russ
  18. My boyfriend and I went out to the research pit in Waco today and I found a large urchin. The problem is that it's been crushed, more or less. The mud under it is not fossilized, so it's pretty likely that it will fall apart into lots of little pieces if I handle it too much or try to take off excess mud. I guess I have several questions about this. - Is it worth even trying to save? I was pretty excited to find one this big - it's about 4" in diameter - and after many hours of hunting, never found another one in any condition of any size. I don't expect it to be worth anything monetarily-speaking, but want it just for my own enjoyment. - I've read about a few plastics (I copied the names from another post but now it's not letting me paste them) that others have used for preservation. Any clue as to whether or not it would work in this case? - Has anyone had a fossil in this condition and tried to rescue it? How did it turn out? Thanks in advance. I love how helpful and knowledgeable this community is. Y'all are really great! I've attached a photo to show condition.
  19. ID Waco Ammonites

    Can anyone help with the identification of these Ammonites? They were found in the Waco research pit. They are both close to 1/2 inch in size.
  20. In August, I received an invitation to join a group to hunt fossils and minerals at a cement quarry in Midlothian, Texas on September 10th. It was my very first field trip with a group, and I was extremely excited. I put my dad and my ten-year-old daughter on the list as well, and we figured we'd make a weekend of it. I had to be back on Sunday morning, so we figured we'd leave early Friday morning and squeeze two days out of the trip. After all, its a little bit of a drive to get to Midlothian from Kingwood (220 miles), and we would be passing some great sites that my dad had never visited. At 5:30 am, my dad met my daughter and me at our house, and we set out for College Station, Texas at 6:00 am. We arrived just after 8:00 am and headed out to the Whiskey Bridge for some Eocene fossils. We grabbed our gear and began heading down to the river. I glanced behind us and another fossil hunter was following us down (I'm sorry, but I can't remember his name!). We stayed on the south side of the train trestle, while our new friend moved to the north side. We found lots of great specimens, many larger than ones I had found on my previous two trips. I found two nearly complete Conus sauridens, which I have never had the fortune of finding. My only other specimen was just a fragment. The Conus specimens are below. The scale is in centimeters (as they will all be in this post). I also stumbled across some very large corals that I had never seen before . I believe that they are Balanophyllia desmophylum. My daughter managed to find a shark tooth as well. I'm not sure of the type. The root is missing, as well as the tip, but she was excited to find the first shark tooth of the trip, and her first shark tooth ever! After about an hour and a half of looking, I went over to see how our friend was doing. I showed him my two Conus specimens, and he said that he had found some as well. He reached into his bucket and pulled out a one gallon zip-lock bag with 10 or 12 HUGE Conus specimens. He had hit the jackpot, and piece after piece were coming out of the hillside. I congratulated him and told him where we were headed next, the Waco Research Pit. He had never been there and was interested. He told me he might meet us there. In fact, he told me he was an amateur fossil hunter who had just recently gotten back into the hobby, and he was looking around for possible sites where he could bring his kids. We also found out that he lives less than ten minutes from my dad. It's a small world! I really wish I could remember his name! We left the bridge and drove to Waco. After lunch at one of the amazing food trucks in town (we had the barbeque!) we headed out to the pit. It was hot in town, but we had seen nothing yet. We arrived at Army Corps of Engineers Office and signed in. As we were filling out the paperwork, in walked our friend from the Whiskey Bridge. He said he couldn't pass it up! We drove back to the site and trekked down the trail to the pit. There were few clouds and a very intermittent breeze. The heat was oppressive; the temperature had to be in the upper 90s. And they gray marl of the pit reflected the heat back up from the ground as well. My daughter lost interest very quickly, and found a small shady spot under one of the sparse cedars in the pit. Me and my dad braved the heat for several hours, as did our friend. We managed some very interesting finds. My favorite was a large shark tooth that I found, just gleaming in the afternoon sun. It was, in fact, the first shark tooth I have ever found in my fossil hunting experiences. The tooth, along with two smaller ones is below. We also found some echinoids parts and a spine... ...and, of course, the very common (at least in the Waco Pit) irregular ammonites, Mariella sp.... ...and regular ammonites, of many kinds... ...a curious coral... ...and finally, some small, but beautiful, Neithea sp. bivalves. Once we finally had all we could take of the heat, we bid farewell to our fossiling friend, who wanted to stay just a bit longer, and headed out of the pit. From Waco, we drove north to Midlothian and checked into a hotel for the night. We were exhausted, but happy with our finds so far. We were also excited about the possibilities of what we might find in the quarry the next morning. At 6:00 am the next morning, I awoke to the sound of rain hitting the window of the hotel. We had a cool front blow through the area overnight, and we were now concerned about the possibility that the quarry tour could be cancelled on account of the rain. Our group leader sent out an email saying that he was going to head that way, but that it might still be cancelled. We arrived a little before 8:00 am, and to our relief, the quarry opened their doors to us. We had about 20-25 people in the group. We were first taken into an area of the Atco Formation with deposits of dark, pebbly stone that was known to contain various types of shark teeth (including Ptychodus, which I really wanted to find), mosasaur bones and teeth, fish, and turtle bones and shell. The quarry had very generously allowed us to stay from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. I made some very interesting finds, including fish and shark vertebrae and some bone material. I also found some shark teeth, but they were all damaged partials. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to find any Ptychodus. Below is some of the material that I found. My daughter stumbled across a very badly damaged, but still very interesting tooth. I'm not sure if it is mosasaur or plesiosaur, or something different altogether. It has a keel or ridge along one side and is rounded on the opposite side. Perhaps someone might be able to help identify it... My most interesting find in the quarry was a strange flat specimen, covered in pores, with a concave side and a convex side. I found it weathered out on the surface of a black piece of crumbled stone. The exposed side was bleached white by the sun. The underside, still in contact with the stone was black. As I picked it up, it began to crumble, much as the boulder was doing. I gathered all of the pieces I could find and brought it home, where, with the help of some cyanoacrylate glue, I put the jigsaw puzzle back together again, as best as I could. The complete specimen is below. The first is the sun-exposed, concave side. Notice the unusual shape. The two "lumps" on the left side of the image above, and then the curve outward at the top. I can only guess that the opposite side had a similar curve, but this portion is missing. The reverse side is below. It is much darker, having been against the dark rock matrix... The darker portions on the surface outline a convex bulge in the middle of the piece. Also, notice the "porosity" of the specimen. This is more visible in the next two pictures. Continued below...
  21. Waco Getaway

    Well, this is my first post in the Hunting Trips section. The week of Thanksgiving, my wife, my daughters and I headed off to Waco, Texas for a three day getaway. It was not supposed to be a fossil trip, but I managed to squeeze in a few stops... Our first stop, on a cold November 22nd afternoon, was the Waco Mammoth Site. It was absolutely spectacular! My kids loved it. It was so amazing to see these huge animals still laying in the spots where they fell, instead of mounted in a museum hall... The next day, I managed to convince my wife to let me scope out the Waco Research Pit. I told her it would only take a few minutes to see what might be there...yeah right. We stopped off at the Corps of Engineers building to sign in and get a parking tag for the car. They were extremely helpful. We drove to the parking area and I left my wife and two year old in the van, while I led my 9 and 5 year olds down the trail to the pit. In the first few minutes, I stumbled across the first ammonite. My kids marveled at the beautiful spiraled shell. A few minutes later I found another. I believe they are Engonoceras serpentinum, but I'm not 100% sure. I also found some what I believe to be Mariella sp. These are the better specimens...
  22. I finally made it over to Waco Lake this weekend, and I've got to say, it was definitely worth it! Don't worry, I won't go back for awhile...
  23. Back To The Pit

    I had the upmost pleasure of spending most of Sunday collecting fossils with MikeCable, Gwestbrook and JohnJ. Mike and Gary had traveled down from Abilene Saturday for the DPS Whiskey Bridge FT. They had decided to make a full weekend out of it and obtained a permit for the Waco Pit as well. I asked if John and I could join them on Sunday and things were set. The day started early. Up at 4AM & out the door to pick up John at 5:30 to make Waco by 7. And at that we would still be wasting an hour of light.... But John and I had ben hunting fossils and artifacts (got my first! but another tale for another day) the day before and I knew Mike and Gary must have had a long day Saturday so 7 was a more civilized hour to meet. Now when I awoke at 4 I made some coffee, ate some breakfast and then checked the radar. Dang, there was a whole lot of green, yellow and red stuff NW of Waco and moving slowly SE. But here in Texas you just never know. A few years ago every time I looked at the radar it was raining N,S,E & W of Austin, but not actually in Austin. Weather here can just be real screwy. So when I headed out to snag John I figured it was a 50/50 bet. On the road later with John we kept watch on the radar and told tales of encounters with tornadoes. The rain held off and nerry a drop on the windshield UNTIL we turned off the interstate for the last short leg west to the pit. Oh my that was a rather foreboding dark low wall of clouds slowly moving our way and sitting about where we wanted to be. But the radar promised it would be short and we kept going. When we got there Mike and Gary were in their car and it was coming down cats and dogs. They scrambled into mine and we had a nice chance to make introductions and talk a a bit about what was to be found that day. Within twenty minutes things were letting up and we decided to take a short drive to an adjacent site to begin the collecting. That site proved very productive although the slippery mud and steady drizzle was a bit daunting. John made a great find or two and then I hit the jackpot with a pocket of 13 echinoids. But that was not to last when we heard a park ranger yelling at us from the dam above, and informing us that we were in a restricted area and had to MOVE it. The maps were not clear and we had no need for trouble so we packed up and hiked back to the car. The ranger was just pulling up when we got there and we explained ourselves and he was cool, and now we know better. So heads up everyone, the Waco "spillway channel" is restricted and the permit is only good for the borrow pit. We scraped the clay off as best we could loaded back into the car and returned to the pit. The rain had stopped and blue sky was starting to peak out. And so we headed back into the mud and muck. The rest of the morning went pretty well. I think everyone found some more great stuff. Mike found plenty of ammonites I believe, Gary found a nice heart urchin. By noon they were ready to call it a day. Gary had the drive back to Abilene ahead of him and Mike was intent on saving his back for yet another day. John and I stuck around another couple of hours and kept finding great stuff. For me that included a small pocket of partial brittle stars. By three it was hot and we were each thinking about cold beverages and hot showers. Driving back south we talked about the days finds, past adventures and new prospects. There are times I really like being all on my own with nothing but the sun and wind and fresh fossils. And then there are times when the collecting is it's very best because I could share it with friends. Attached are a few photos and I hope my cohorts will add to the post in the next day or two.
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