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Found 23 results

  1. I've spent the last three days in Wyoming hunting fossils with Paleoprospectors. Monday was spent on the Lance fm, Tuesday on the White River fm and Wednesday was back on the Lance. The first half of Monday was spent prospecting for new sites along a wide open space. The best find happened early on when a younger guy found an Anzu claw, I was not so lucky for a while as I found only a few bone bits in a mostly scarce area. I continued walking along a ridge overlooking the open grassland until I noticed an outcropping of a light brown/orange colored rock. I decide to test my luck and hit it with my rock hammer and to my pleasure, there were abundant snail, bivalve and plant fossils inside this conglomerate. This little channel deposit raised my spirits, but I was still hungry for dinosaur and other vertebrate fossils. My little hunting buddy, a horned lizard. Some shots of the conglomerate containing the snails and other fossils: My best find from this conglomerate channel deposit was this nice bivalve Although I absolutely enjoy and appreciate finding invertebrate fossils, dinosaurs and other reptiles have my heart. The second half of Monday consisted of the group spending time hunting at a microsite. This spot was where I was most successful. Top Left: Worn alligator tooth Top Right: Paronychodon tooh (the first in my collection) Bottom: A piece of crocodilian osteoderm A section of Champsosaurus jaw A nice coprolite, maybe fish or small reptile A partial small theropod or bird toe bone A hadrosaur spit tooth A croc tooth still lying in the sand
  2. Unknown Maxilla from Oligocene

    Hey everyone, I was digging in the White River Formation when I found this amazing maxilla of some creature. Through some questioning and conversations with various paleontologists, many people have different opinions of what this is. The responses I’ve had are all different, being Oreodont, Dire Wolf, or a species from the family of Brontotheriidae. The w shaped teeth might suggest Brontotheriidae... What are your guy’s opinions? The maxilla is about 6 inches long.
  3. Fossil Id Confirmation - White River Skull

    This has been in the family for probably 60+ years. I have handled it and seen it countless times, prior to this it has sat in the bottom of a garage cabinet drawer for the longest time, and now I'm bringing it to you! This skull was caked in matrix on one side and mostly exposed on the other before I started working on it (first picture is the exposed side). I think I have the ID correct, I believe it's a Hyracodon skull, I'm looking for confirmation and I'm also curious as to which "sub member" these are found in... Brule, Chadron, or another layer of the White River Formation (I'm new to this and the majority of my research has been more geared toward the Cretaceous period of my state, thanks in part to the Jurassic Park movies ... ) . Forgive me as I haven't done a ton of research on the White River area, or ever stepped foot there... I know it's tough to believe as I live right here in South Dakota, but I continue to tell myself every time I drive by on I90 "next time", so maybe soon I'll put my boots on that ground. (I know that it's illegal to collect bone fossils in the National Park, but its an absolutely beautiful area that I have yet to check out). Anyway, here are the most recent preparation photos. (I have a decent amount of progress photos if anyone is interested). I'm not quite done with prep yet and I'm happy to take more detailed photos of anything someone might find interesting.
  4. Long Bone ID

    Looking for some help with the ID. Mineralized, large and heavy, about 10 lbs. from the white River formation in SD. Distal end of a femur perhaps? Thanks for any help with the ID.
  5. White River Jaw

    Looking for help. Found near Lusk Wyoming in the White River Formation. Someones mandible but not sure. Horse ? Rhino? other Thanks for any help.
  6. White River Formation Atlas

    Hello People Looking for help with identifying the owner of this Atlas bone found in the White River Formation in Wyoming.
  7. "Bingo", Oreodont!

    I took a trip to Nebraska to collect the White River Formations for the very first time this past summer. I had two goals: recover a Stylemys and an Oreodont skull. I found both! I reported on the prep of the Stylemys in an earlier post on the prep sub-forum. When I saw the Oreodont, I yelled "Bingo, Oreodont!". So that's the name I gave the animal. This post will summarize the discovery, preparation, and reconstruction of the specimen. The skull was not complete, and only about 25-30% of the animal was present, so with apologies to the "Palaeo Police" , I decided that this specimen would have a greater contribution as a display piece than sitting in a drawer with other oreodont remains (which are common and numerous). Also, if any of these bones were later found to be of scientific importance, the procedures used in this reconstruction are reversible THE DISCOVERY Bingo was spotted on the side of a relatively steep butte. The first thing I saw was the partial skull. Here it is: After exclaiming (proclaiming) "Bingo!", I left the skull and immediately went to the base of the butte and started probing and digging in the two washouts that originated in the vicinity of the skull. These re-worked deposits were yielding lots of bone elements from the posterior to the anterior of the skeleton. I even managed to recover the brain cast and pieces of the skull that had washed down. Once the re-worked deposits had been thoroughly searched, I climbed up to the skull and began excavating. The top of the snout was crushed (predation?). The brain case area was also fragmented as well as the rear of the jaw. Some of this was pieced together later from elements found in the spoil at the base of the butte. I removed the skull via a "soft jacket". Here is what was recovered:
  8. From Butte to Beaut

    Thought I'd share a few photos of a tortoise prep I just completed. This is from the white river group of Chadron, NE (circa 33 mya). Here is a series of photos from discovery to excavation to restoration and preparation. The discovery: broken shell (As usual, I forgot to take a true "before photo". I've already probed a bit here). After some digging, it was discovered that this individual is upside-down. Here, the plastron is being revealed.
  9. Merycoidodon?

    I got this a while back, it's an oreodont haw section. I am seeking more information on it. My guess was Merycoidodon just based on pictures. Here's a bunch of pictures, I'm hoping to get as specific on taxon as possible, it says on the label it's from Chadron deposits, white river formation, 20 miles northeast of lush, Wyoming.
  10. Oreodont jaw section

    From the album WhodamanHD's Fossil collection.

    Bought online, label reads "OREODONT JAW SECTION oligicene period 30 million years old Lusk,Wyoming....20 miles northeast of lusk....White river formation...Chardonnay deposites"
  11. Unknown Jaw Fragment

    This was a recent find on private land near Lusk Wyoming. It is an area with lots of oreodonts and lots of turtles. Always anxious to find anything different. I think that is likely a long shot because there is not much to go on ..... but there is plenty of brain power on this site. What struck me the most was how thick and heavy this bone feels. THe teeth are all broken off and both ends are gone. The ventral aspect is also broken off so its full depth in that direction is not appreciated either. Thanks in advance if any one has any ideas.
  12. Tortoise Prep

    I've just received a massive tortoise prep job, which will be my summer project. It measures nearly 14 inches long, and somewhere around 12 inches wide. At its peak it's six inches tall. This will be quite the project (though after I clean and replace the broken side, it'll be a breeze compared to some other preps) I'm still in the planning proccess of this prep but I'll start by assembling the smalles peices togethor, and work up to larger chunks. I'm glad to actually be on the forum again.
  13. I picked up these white river formation teeth in bucket labelled rhino. I doubt that label. One is partial tooth and the other is a jaw section.
  14. Hi all, I have a Ogliocene-aged partial fossil jaw from the White Rivers Badlands. The seller identified this as a Hyracodon nebraskensis. It measures 2.8 inches across. However, two other friends with White Rivers fossils protested this ID. One said it's Subhyracodon instead. The other believes it could be Oreodont. Can anyone tell if this is a rhino? Thank you.
  15. Vertebra ID Assistance

    Would love to have a definitive ID on this small vertebra from the White River Formation Jackson County South Dakota.
  16. Small jaw secton with teeth

    From White River formation South Dakota. Has some appearance of Oreodont but it seems small.
  17. Stylemys turtle restoration

    Any ideas on how to remove the green lichen staining from this partially weathered turtle without doing damage?
  18. Hesperocyon jaw

    From the album Badlands, Nebraska megafauna.

    Hesperocyon (Early Dog) jaw from the Miocene of Nebraska (Arner Ranch). White River Formation.
  19. Fossil Hunting At Home

    A year or two ago I bought two collections of fossil bone from a woman living in South Dakota adjacent the Bad Lands area. She crawled around in ravines and gullies carefully collecting bones and organizing them in specimen boxes. I still go through the boxes examining and trying to idenitfy the numerous mixed small fossils. This one box is a good example of the care she spent finding and recovering the smallest pieces. These bones were presumably found in the same place at about the same time and represent a snapshot of what was eroding from the White River sediments at that particular location. One of the most interesting fossils in this group is the lower jaw section and two teeth from Leptictis, a tiny carnivorous shrew like animal. There are some other bone fragments which may also be related. Also included are a hoof core, oreodont molar, vertebrae and skull fragment, tortise shell fragment, two sections of very delicate bird bone, ankle bones, possilbe poebrotherium tail vertebrae and numerous bone fragments. The small plastic box contains teeth and jaw fragments from what looks like the rodent paleolagus. Every time I go through the boxes I find something new and interesting.
  20. Astragalus Dilemma ?

    My post comparing astragalus (ankle bone) generated some doubt/question as to the proper identification of a hyracodon astraglus I bought recently. So, I bought a subhyracodon astragalus from the same person found in the same area for comparison. Doubt arose from some forum users if the fossil I bought as a hyracodon astragalus since it agreeably doesn't have the characteristics of a rhino type animal. The hyracodon is thought to be the earliest ancestor of the rhino or general classification of such animals. The fossils I picture are from Pennington County, South Dakota, White River formation, Oligocene era. I searched the internet high and low, inside and out, relentlessly seeking a good clear picture of an hyracodon astragalus and failed miserably. I read many articles describing the hyracodon and in the end seemed to know less than when I started. The internet is a vast ocean of information but I find more and more conflicting, incomplete or simply misleading information. Getting clear definitive data can be difficult or impossible. My suspicion is maybe it could be somewhat misleading to classify the hyracodon in the rhino family of animals since most everything I read said it was more horse like in appearance. The subhyracodon astragalus is amazingly similar to that of a modern horse. Yet, the subhyracodon as described was a true rhino in appearance so it should be no surprise it's astragalus looks like one of a rhino. The other part of this story is I bought the two astragalus from a well established, well respected dealer who sells a lot of Oligocene era fossils. He also operates a web site dedicated to the White River formation. If anyone should know I figure it's him and have always trusted his judgement concerning the identification of the fossils I bought from him. Sure, no one's perfect but that would be a major boo boo for someone with his experience and reputation.
  21. Oreodont and hyracodon Bones, 2

    From the album Jerry's Really Old Stuff

    Oreodont and hyracodon bones, White River Formation, Badlands South Dakota, Oligocene, purchased from guy Buffalo Gap, SD. Includes tibia and jaw sections oreodont and hyracodon
  22. First topic! I finally got to return to the White River Formation this year after four years. This trip the group I get to go with got access to a new, supposedly un-hunted ranch(there were a couple skeletons suspiciously missing heads) but there were tons of bones everywhere. This is the view across the valley in the ranch: First slightly complete turtle I saw, there were many broken up, but this one was still too damaged to collect: The first oreodont skeleton I find, and its in about 100,000 pieces: But it had a nice partial hand and articulated leg that had to be dug out: Later that day found an exploded skull, then poked around for the lowers: Can only see a few teeth but I'll post prepared pictures later After that got a three-toed horse maxilla and a few associated bones: Then there was snow so the roads were near impassable: Went for a couple days of sightseeing. After it dried up I found this oreodont lower jaw lying on the surface when I was heading to where I found the horse uppers: Then poked around, found a couple limb bones, what looks like a pelvis, and what has to be the top of a very nice skull: Hard to see again but I'll put up better pictures during prep, I'm hoping the vertebrae are curled up under the limbs and jaws as there were some ribs poking out on the side as I jacketed it. The hill where this guy came out of I picked up jaws, partial skulls and other remains of six different oreodonts, so there are more in that hill for next year. Finished jacket with hammer for scale: Then after I found that guy, later the same day I was strolling around where my friend said they had just hunted when I saw this, and got confirmation from several locals and more experienced Badlands hunters that this has to be a tortoise egg: He was one mad fossil hunter that day. I'm still happy. The next day I finished jacketing the oreodont, then was walking to where I had found the horse maxilla when I saw a near perfect tortoise that was almost completely exposed: The best thing was Nature had this guy halfway pedestalled for me so it took only a few minutes to dig it out, but it was still in great shape. That's all my significant finds, I have several gallon Ziploc bags of isolated jaws, partial oreodont skulls, and bone bits that aren't really worth posting. Three days of hunting, one oreodont, an oreodont leg, horse maxilla, guessing(more hoping) horse lower jaw, tortoise egg and tortoise. Will be returning next year! Pretty flowers in the Badlands, too.
  23. TURTLES: The most often seen fossil in the Nebraska and Wyoming Badlands are TURTLES. They can be several inches from hatching to three feet and weigh several hundred pounds. Turtles are so common, yet as a complete specimen... they are scarce. Some exposures I have hunted "Badland Fossils" had so many turtles weathered into pieces, I refer to those areas as "Turtle Gulch" and "Turtle Valley". Not that they were on top of one another, but one great death bed... One level of outcrop where multiple specimens were entombed and eventually eroded out today. Virtually no other fossils are found with these mass death levels. No Oreodonts... which any Badland Fossil Collector would be very surprised. The one I recall most vividly was on the exposures of Shalimar Ranch. These were all two to three foot specimens... no smaller turtles were weathered or weathering out. The reason I even bring up "Turtles and Eggs" are they are both have immediate eye appeal to the finder and to the curious. Skulls and teeth have their novelty, but turtles and eggs... they have an instant recognition of current live specimens and these ancient ancestors. It was during the Oligocene that the entire fossil fauna and some invertebrates like the Helix sp. snails, have modern relatives, or most had others not gone extinct. We had mice, rabbits, deer, camel, horse, rhino, birds (at least as various sized eggs), lizards, snakes, etc.. This is WHY the Oligocene Badlands relates to fossil collector and the public. Turtles. I myself have encountered what I would describe as three kinds. Stylemys, Testudo and Graptemys. By far, the Stylemys is the most frequently found turtle. Although at times I refer to them as tortoise, I will leave that to Forum Members who might have spent more time studying them. It is shaped like your box turtle and I have found them 3 inches to 3 feet across. Some times you will find loose plates where rodents had gnawed. Since these turtle could not retract their heads or legs, you almost never find one with a head nor appendages intact. Skeletal parts, bone can be found in the interior, if you wanted to remove the matrix to find out or not. When one is found with a skull intact, the skull will be partially exposed from the carapace and orientated such that the skull actually stayed intact when buried. My last Stylemys with skull attached with a carapace that was "heads up" and tail down position when found. The carapace had a "lump" of extra matrix which enclosed the skull. My first and last with a skull intact! This is probably only of interest to some of you who have actively hunted Badland Fossils. Exposures extent as far North as western North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota with the best exposures. There are in Paleontology... splitters and lumpers. I guess I would be a liberal lumper. The splitters find any excuse to describe a "new species" and the "lumper" would explain them as male, female, juveniles, etc. I would imagine a Stylemys of South Dakota might be different from one in Central Wyoming. But for now, I recognized three distinct shapes in Nebraska. One that caught my attention, late in my collecting days, was a turtle found in Niobrara County, Wyoming at a ranch that would be considered Chadron Member of the White River Formation. Not far from this turtle was a weathered skull of a Hoplophoneus saber tooth. The badlands had a light green tint... which to an experienced White River Formation fossil hunter... pond water or river channel. It was not a river channel as is was not gritty and full of Titanothere parts. A pond. And weathered upside down was a turtle... which ended up being the first "pond turtle" or aquatic turtle I had ever found. I add several photographs with this post. A pond turtle find was unusual, but it was bottom... up. It was upside down. I took the entire block of light green matrix that it was within and prepped it so I could pick the turtle up and replace it into the matrix. When I flipped it over... the top carapace had Hoplophoneus upper canine punctures! This is why I felt this story was necessary. Obviously cats liked pond turtles, too. Not far from this pond turtle I found a weathered Hoplophoneus skull... skull and no skeletal parts. Other than the turtle and cat... there were no other fossils in the general area. Just odd, This finishes the story of my Graptemys inornata pond turtle. EGGS: Mostly referred to as Duck Eggs because of the similar sizes. But there are also smaller bird eggs found. Most eggs are the hollowed shell that has filled with clay (Badlands). The eggs show the exact detail of the porous nature... much like our common chicken egg. The brown Chalcedony eggs I have seen were entirely north of Crawford, Nebraska. These eggs had been XRayed to see if any bones existed... and at that time none were found. Even the "badland" filled white shelled specimens also have never given up any secrets... yet. The majority of egg finds are associated with the Chadron Member and mostly in the green tinted sediments... ponds. The eggs were laid, the pond had excessive runoff into it, flooded the nests and... presto... buried to be found 38,000,000 years later. Where one egg is found... others are sure to be weathering out in the future. I have found most of mine as sporadic in white fine grained badlands. North of Crawford and north of Harrison, Nebraska, Often they are "crushed" with cracks along the compressed edges. I have found a few weathering out of the badlands and some weathered out in the Chadron "flats". My theory on Eggs is that those found are infertile. This explains why no near hatchlings are to be found from XRays of perfectly preserved eggs... as delicate an egg is to fossilized... there is no reason why one or more would not give up an unhatched chick. Had there been a unhatched chick... when buried the decomposition of the chick, would expand the egg and prevent it from being preserved as a fossil egg. Breaking into parts and little chance of preservation. I have never found loose egg shell. I have never found any bird skull and leave a possibility of bone... if complete enough to distinguish it from a large rodent bone. Just have not been that lucky. In a way, this is intended to enhance your knowledge of two well known fossils of the Badlands. This does not include possible turtle eggs and the beetle pupae that I suspect... but nobody has found any among a large turtle, as far as I know. So my not knowing exactly what the turtle egg looks like, leaves a big vacuum in knowledge. I have one "possible turtle egg" that is round with unusual cracking about the diameter of a nickel, 3/4 inch. I found it digging around some odds and ends this morning in storage. Reference for Turtle Collectors: I recommend one book concerning Fossil Turtles. Strange enough there is a similar title... but Fossil Lizards, which also occur in a good variety in the Badlands. Fossil Turtles of North America by O. P. Hay- 1908- Carnegie Institution of Washington Fossil Lizards of North America by Charles W. Gilmore- 1928- National Academy of Sciences Why, you ask does Ray go on about some subjects? When I was first collecting, it was very difficult to get any information on my fossils. Common, unusual and very rare. It was a challenge. Now I have the majority of references and no place to hunt in the near future. So for those of you who are so fortunate to be still active, please make use of these references.