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Found 7 results

  1. More preparations for Niobrara Fm. field trip

    Hey everyone - hope you're all havin' a good time Some of you might remember that I was making preparations, some time ago, for a field trip to the Kansas chalk. I'm hoping to be there for a few weeks in august, but I'm trying to get the preparations done in advance One of these is compiling a list of useful things to know, just little bits of information that'd be good to keep in mind during my field trip.. What to you people think of this? Some of these are based on what other TFF members have told me (e.g. @Castle Rock, @Ramo...) Having a solid ‘collection policy’, but not too specific (for instance, "collecting only fish material" etc…) Concerning field trips, try to always have a Plan B (location-wise) Anything fairly large should be removed with a plaster jacket - concerning this – for fish, no ‘release layer’ between fossil and plaster jacket should be added (due to fragility of bones) – plaster is enough to keep the bones safe Fossils in the yellow chalk are “easier” to excavate, as the matrix is strong and it protects better the fossils Most fish bones are very thin and very fragile Fossils should be prepared in the 'usual way' (dental picks + consolidant/preservative) Record EVERY bit of information that can be acquired (i.e. stratigraphy, systematic paleontology etc…) as it can come in very handy Watch where you sit… Always be sure to have permission to collect Given that collecting opportunities in the Niobrara Chalk of Kansas are very limited, be very attentive to the slightest possible hunting spot (road cut, small outcrop…) Natural dangers (sinkholes, rattlers, you name it) Articulated vertebrae are potentially a good sign Reduce as much as possible the mass of a block of chalk (i.e. for transportation back home) Sometimes material can be found just laying, and only requires picking up Somewhat good chance that I might find some fairly extensive (i.e. a big fish) articulated vertebrate material Rent a vehicle with high clearance as access to certain fossil sites might sometimes be a tad difficult Spend quite a bit of time on google maps to find best sites and access points and whatnot If finding 'float' that looks freshly broken (and not eroded...), look up - might lead to finding more of the fossil Is there anything else I should add to my list? Thanks in advance! -Christian
  2. Reassessment of an iconic plesiosaur specimen

    Just received via ResearchGate a new paper (see at the end of this post) from "plesiosaur-ologist" Sven Sachs It's basically an in-depth description and reassessment of the elasmosaurid Styxosaurus snowii holotype specimen. The fossil consists of a beautiful skull, along with several articulated cervical vertebrae. The fossil was collected from the Chalk of western Kansas. The reassessment provides more insight into North American plesiosaur diversity and interrelationships. (+it has amazing pictures of the skull ) Sachs, S., Lindgren, J. & Kear, B. (2018): Reassessment of the Styxosaurus snowii (Williston, 1890) holotype specimen and its implications for elasmosaurid plesiosaurian interrelationships. Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology, DOI: 10.1080/03115518.2018.1508613 Abstract: The holotype (KUVP 1301) of Styxosaurus snowii—one of the earliest described elasmosaurid plesiosaurians—consists of a well-preserved cranium, mandible and articulated sequence of anterior–mid-series cervical vertebrae found in the lowermost Campanian strata of the Smoky Hill Chalk Member in the Niobrara Formation of Kansas, USA. This particular specimen has proven important for recent phylogenies of Elasmosauridae, and is integral to resulting definitions of the subfamily-level clade, Styxosaurinae. Despite this, KUVP 1301 has not been redescribed or figured in detail since its original taxonomic establishment. We, therefore, re-evaluated KUVP 1301 and assessed its phylogenetic implications. Several notable character states are pertinent for diagnosing S. snowii at genus and species level: (1) an anisodont functional dentition comprising enlarged premaxillary and dentary teeth with a pair of maxillary ‘fangs’, and elongate posterior-most dentary teeth that overlap the upper tooth row; (2) a prominent dorsomedian crest extending from the tip of the premaxillary rostrum, and expanding into a low ‘mound-like’ boss between the external bony nasal openings and orbits; (3) a pronounced convex projection on the posterolateral edge of the squamosals; and (4) platycoelous post-axial cervical vertebral centra that are substantially longer than high, and bear both lateral longitudinal ridges and ventral notches. Character state comparisons with the congeneric subfamily specifier Styxosaurus browni suggest that taxonomic distinction is possible, but equivocal. We, therefore, restrict our definition of Styxosaurus to morphologies observable in KUVP 1301. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis of our first-hand data returns inconsistent elasmosaurid intra-clade relationships, especially with regard to Styxosaurinae. Consequently, we posit that a more targeted reassessment of Elasmosauridae is necessary to resolve both species-level topologies and higher taxonomy within the group. The paper: Sachs et al. 2018_Styxo reassessment.pdf Thought some people might want to hear about this Hope y'all like it! -Christian
  3. General preparations for Niobrara Fm. field trip

    Hey everyone Though it'll probably take place next summer, I'm already running through some preparations for my field trip to the Niobrara Chalk Fm. of western Kansas. Based on what I've heard from other collectors (and my own experiences in other sites), I drew up a list of stages I should go through for excavating and preparing any vertebrate material (especially fish) I might encounter.. 1) Surrounding matrix/overburden is brought down to expose the bone layer 2) Shellac/Vinac/other consolidant is applied to the exposed surface 3) Fossil is covered in plaster 4) Plaster slab is removed and brought back home 5) Removing the underlying matrix of the fossil ->Surface that has never been seen before -Proceed with care ->Using picks/dental tools 6) Consolidating the fossil by brushing it with polyvinyl acetate (PVA or Vinac) dissolved in Acetone (50:1 ratio – acetone being the 50 parts) ->Vinac gives a nice appearance to the bones 7) Removing the excess rock on the sides and smoothening the chalk for aesthetical effect Does this look good? If so, what should be changed? @KansasFossilHunter @Ramo @grokfish @MikeE @Xiphactinus @Castle Rock Thanks for the help -Christian P.S. Would any of the steps need to be changed in case I encounter reptile material?
  4. A new state park sets to open next year in the Niobrara chalk formations. I don't anticipate any collecting being allowed so camera would be a must. http://www.hdnews.net/news/20180918/trails-set-for-little-jerusalem-in-western-kansas-states-newest-park
  5. This past weekend, my dad, brother and I were able to go out to Western Kansas to search in the Niobrara Chalk formation. We live in Manhattan, KS, so we had to drive about 4 hours to get to a suitable spot. A lot of Western Kansas is private property, so we had to look up GIS maps for Lane and Gove counties, which is where we wanted to search. Sadly, when we got there, one of the roads seemed to not exist; our map led us through the middle of some farmer's cornfield. It wasn't blocked off, but we decided not to take our chances. We started to look around in the area, and about an hour later, we finally found a spot that was not fenced off on the southern border of Gove County.
  6. Unknown Cretaceous find

    Hi all, This was found by my brother at he Niobrara chalk earlier in W Kansas. I have no idea what it is, so could you all help? I am thinking it is a bone fragment of some kind although it has the general shape of a limpet.
  7. Is This A Tooth?

    not sure what this is got it in western kansas during the weekend
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