Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone,

I’d like to share a few posts on the shales I’ve been hunting recently in Kansas City, Missouri. Long story short – my neighbor is digging a ‘pond’ to China. He has massive equipment from his business and so far he’s dug through about 35 feet (~10.6 M) of material. My land matches his where the dam to the pond is and I saw shale in it which really surprised me since I’ve never found shale on my property. Even in the creeks and gullies. I would also like to say that I have been really inspired by the posts from @connorp and @deutscheben about the shale they find in Illinois and wanted to show a similar collection from a specific location/member in Missouri.

Here’s a rough Lithology table of my area:

Dennis_Limestone.thumb.png.d3885eed5014ed33319c699424640cd5.png

The pond was dug through the Winterset Limestone member through the Stark and I believe through the Galesburg shale members and into the Bethany Falls Limestone from the top of the hill we both live on! It’s absolutely magnificent. I asked him if I could take some of the shale that he went through and all he said was, ‘take it all,’ and so I did. I passed on the limestone since its way more readily available to collect in the area and I hadn’t ever hunted through shale. I’ve gone through about 250 lbs (113 kg) of shale within the last few weeks and would like to sporadically present my findings as I can make time for it.

 

Completely unrelated to his digging I listed and sold my house and land and am moving my family to Texas. All of this has happened within a month or so. I feel that this last hurrah into shale is a way for me to say goodbye to the state I’ve lived almost my entire life in thus far.

Here’s one of my wheelbarrow loads of shale.

Wheelbarrow.thumb.jpg.293a1fb98049ef15202b494fb91c5b3e.jpg

 

I am no scientist but will do my best to assign at least some family or species to my finds. I love the adventure of findings fossils, prepping them can be therapeutic at times and insanely frustrating at others, and assigning species is my least favorite. Probably because I am not naturally good at it. If you see a species you feel is wrongly identified please feel free to share. It’s my weak point so I’d appreciate anything that helps me get better at it.

 

The Galesburg layer is really hard to hunt from because it’s mudstone/claystone at the top then turns into harder grey shale at the bottom. It brakes vertically into rounded blocks instead of horizontally when you try to cut or split it and destroys the fossils that it contains. At the slightest addition of moisture it crumbles and the paper thin fossils are lost. This is a chunk of it I accidentally left out one night that succumbed to the dew from one evening and following morning. It’s filled with material I am having a hard time placing but I am calling it plant material until I can more accurately identify it. Unfortunately I didn’t get hunting till a few weeks after this layer had been dug out and the vast majority if it returned to mud.              

5f0f4d1d1efdd_Mudstoneafterdew.thumb.jpg.589bb009cb9f89c076da44f7bede4dd6.jpg

Without future ado, let me begin my adventure into Missouri shale.

 

Here’s what I believe may be part of a Calamites plant. From what I am calling the Galesburg claystone. Scale in cm/mm. 5f0f4df5697ef_calamitessp.thumb.jpg.1b5e6f86ceabc1844311426d88cce2ad.jpg

 

Here is another unknown that I believe is some type of plant stem.

Spines.thumb.jpg.f612d4314b76adddb3a0557d0636b97c.jpg

The Galesburg material is so much harder to deal with that I have a lot of it in storage now to go through at a later point.

 

  • I found this Informative 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:

If it's any consolation, Texas has some great Pennsylvanian hunting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Eugenodontid shark specimen I entered into the finds of the month :D

11.thumb.jpg.f44226674ae3b32f207153f6c9765ff7.jpg

2.thumb.jpg.f10f6cedfa5a0d8e0adb58e9189eed39.jpg

4(1).thumb.jpg.1cf02ab3c9d4fbfaa8d20824e2587805.jpg

It turned out a little slick looking after applying B-72, but my samples have a tendency to flake really bad if I don't coat them somewhat heavily. I've tried to slow down the drying time but many times they flake regardless of my efforts. 

 

  • I found this Informative 10
Link to post
Share on other sites

@connorp It is :P there's lots of cool stuff down there and we're all excited to move. It'll be fun to find new places to hunt and hopefully I'll be able to get to it before too long. My wife has stated that I will be banned from the home if I continue to bring home car loads of rock since we're moving from a large house into a small apartment till we can find a house.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's what I believe is fish regurgitation:

1.thumb.jpg.5779a680888485a640442f4e2fe1f211.jpg

An interesting something...roughly 2mm x 2mm. There were a few of these and you can't tell in the image but a fair amount of black scale like material also had a layer of that same pattern/color on it.

2.thumb.jpg.397886b8b6f2cff9ea4e4b56e40e17b1.jpg

Unknown teeth 1mm x 1mm:

3.thumb.jpg.5492b250c5925301255694b64604ee19.jpg

Possible acanthodian fin spine: 6 mm long.

4.thumb.jpg.69d5e4d22d0d85e2802f7c0a2811a326.jpg

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe a Xenacanthus tooth? I'm not sure of this one either: Roughly 8 mm x 6 mm.

1.jpg.1ad0fa5af56807af55fb4aba0b17f802.jpg

  • I found this Informative 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
Petalodus12
4 hours ago, Titan said:

Maybe a Xenacanthus tooth? I'm not sure of this one either: Roughly 8 mm x 6 mm.

1.jpg.1ad0fa5af56807af55fb4aba0b17f802.jpg

I would say that this and the unknown tooth would most likely be Xenacanthus or something closely related 

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Wrangellian

"Take it all"

"That's what I wanted to hear!"

Good luck on the move to Texas. As Connor says, the Pennsylvanian (among other ages) is enviable there, if you're going anywhere near those areas.

If you've slathered too much Paraloid on, you could try dipping a Q-tip in pure acetone and rolling it on the coated area, back and forth, and it will come off. Depending on the thickness etc, it may take several dips. If the shale is that flakey you don't want your Q-tip to be too wet with acetone, just damp, otherwise it will loosen the flakes again. It's tricky, but it generally works well, with the Acryloid I use, anyway.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Petalodus12 Thanks for your input! It seemed likely to me as well.

 

@Wrangellian He's a cool dude. I spent several hours loading up wheelbarrow fulls of slate and at one point I called him and said, "Are you sure I can take this all? It's quite a bit," at which point he told me to get after it again. Later on he offered me a job at his company because he could tell how hard I could work. He didn't know that my love for fossils doesn't extend to commercial plumbing so I politely declined. Thank you for the well wishes! I'll be in the NE side of DFW area for at least a year and am planning on hitting as much of the state as I can. Thanks also for the prepping advice! I'll give it a try after I get settled.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here we have what I believe is a pair of acanthodian jaw segments. Not from the same slab, but similar. Originally I thought they were fins but upon closer inspection I realized they had teeth.

Both are approximately 25mm long.

Specimen 1:

1.jpg.40365fb59090725424754bac4b817210.jpg

2.thumb.jpg.6d27a267ff6b24819a59dc3e2f33f58b.jpg

Specimen 2:

4.jpg.5b902d965fef765d9d821301ccfa0a2d.jpg

Tooth outline detail is much less pronounced on this one.

5.thumb.jpg.0bc9b9bd18c3355e096b3505d0bb0275.jpg

  • I found this Informative 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

@FossilDAWG I think it was jdp that gave me the info for a professor at University of Chicago - Dr. Coates that may have interest in it, but I have not had time to take pictures of very much of what I have found. I do intend to reach out to him I just haven't made the time to do so yet. I've got a very weird specimen that is probably nothing, but still weird that I'll hopefully be able to post today or tomorrow. The challenge is getting good enough photos of a 3D specimen and conveying it all accurately.  I'm always debating between posting unknowns to this thread or creating new threads under Fossil Identification.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Titan said:

Maybe a Xenacanthus tooth? I'm not sure of this one either: Roughly 8 mm x 6 mm.

1.jpg.1ad0fa5af56807af55fb4aba0b17f802.jpg

 

Thrinacodus maybe?

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
deutscheben

Wow, some really incredible stuff here @Titan! The associated shark teeth and the little jaws you just posted are extremely cool. And what amazing luck with your neighbor to be able to access it in the first place. You can't beat that for a going-away gift, I'd say- a real piece of the land you can take with you. I look forward to seeing what else you find. 

 

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Titan said:

@FossilDAWG I think it was jdp that gave me the info for a professor at University of Chicago - Dr. Coates that may have interest in it, but I have not had time to take pictures of very much of what I have found. I do intend to reach out to him I just haven't made the time to do so yet. I've got a very weird specimen that is probably nothing, but still weird that I'll hopefully be able to post today or tomorrow. The challenge is getting good enough photos of a 3D specimen and conveying it all accurately.  I'm always debating between posting unknowns to this thread or creating new threads under Fossil Identification.

If you post pics here and tag me in them, I'll be sure to take a quick look at them.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

@jdp Thrinacodus looks extremely close. I'd say that's about as close as we could get without prepping it out which may be nearly impossible. Thank you for the ID and for the offer to look at the future ones. I will definitely tag you.

 

@deutscheben Thanks! Yeah it was awesome he let me, and it was convenient to wheel over the material to my house where I could split it. I'll probably have a somewhat sentimental attachment to the specimens I've recovered since it will be my last material from Missouri for a while.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is one that has a lot going on. Specimen is roughly 8 cm x 5 cm. I picked it up after seeing the yellowish tint on the end of it. After splitting it I am even more confused.

1_LI.thumb.jpg.6285a4a978f882049462582eab489c40.jpg

The central section that is black looks like plant material, the yellowish section at the bottom is porous and also looks like plant material but there is cartilage (circled in red) and a fin (circled in blue) at the top. I've not found anything else like this especially in the shale.

The fin:

2.thumb.jpg.8630838bd5899a5923140dcaabd24f67.jpg

The fin on the split side:

4.thumb.jpg.dd408369c04f3cc208f2f2aeb66722e9.jpg

And the porous yellow material:

5.thumb.jpg.1ba35840c166dd8d9d73ecbfff473700.jpg

 

It doesn't seem likely that there would be much large plant material in deep water deposit shale, so maybe I am wrong and what looks like plant material is actually cartilage or bone. Either way I thought it was kind of cool.

@jdp

Link to post
Share on other sites
Petalodus12
1 hour ago, Titan said:

Here is one that has a lot going on. Specimen is roughly 8 cm x 5 cm. I picked it up after seeing the yellowish tint on the end of it. After splitting it I am even more confused.

1_LI.thumb.jpg.6285a4a978f882049462582eab489c40.jpg

The central section that is black looks like plant material, the yellowish section at the bottom is porous and also looks like plant material but there is cartilage (circled in red) and a fin (circled in blue) at the top. I've not found anything else like this especially in the shale.

The fin:

2.thumb.jpg.8630838bd5899a5923140dcaabd24f67.jpg

The fin on the split side:

4.thumb.jpg.dd408369c04f3cc208f2f2aeb66722e9.jpg

And the porous yellow material:

5.thumb.jpg.1ba35840c166dd8d9d73ecbfff473700.jpg

 

It doesn't seem likely that there would be much large plant material in deep water deposit shale, so maybe I am wrong and what looks like plant material is actually cartilage or bone. Either way I thought it was kind of cool.

@jdp

Interesting find. Could the porous yellow material be pyrite or something of that nature? I’ve personally found plants preserved in pyrite in rocks of a similar age, they are from a deep freshwater lake of Late Pennsylvanian age. Not sure on the possible fins or cartilage tho

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Petalodus12

It's not pyrite, but maybe some other mineral though. It just had enough structure to it that I thought maybe it was either bone or the internal plant structure like on a stem. It reminds me of the internal structure of corncob.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Petalodus12
3 minutes ago, Titan said:

@Petalodus12

It's not pyrite, but maybe some other mineral though. It just had enough structure to it that I thought maybe it was either bone or the internal plant structure like on a stem. It reminds me of the internal structure of corncob.

Interesting. Hopefully you get a positive ID on it

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Petalodus12 I'd really like to see some of the plants in pyrite you mentioned. Are they the one's in your collection you've posted? I've found quite a bit of stuff that was either fully or partially pyritized in the shale here, but the yellowish material is very dull and powdery when damaged and doesn't seem like pyrite at all. It has me stumped for now :P

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a large piece of wood. You do find large chunks of terrestrial plant in deeper water deposits from time to time, I would assume they've been swept out to sea by storm surges or flooding. The structure you are pointing out could be internal structure of the wood.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Petalodus12
5 hours ago, Titan said:

@Petalodus12 I'd really like to see some of the plants in pyrite you mentioned. Are they the one's in your collection you've posted? I've found quite a bit of stuff that was either fully or partially pyritized in the shale here, but the yellowish material is very dull and powdery when damaged and doesn't seem like pyrite at all. It has me stumped for now :P

I’ll send you a PM soon with pictures of the plants, and some conchostracans too. At first I thought they were just sulfur dilemma, but when I looked at them under the microscope I realized that it was pyrite. They all are poorly preserved though

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Petalodus12 Thanks, I'll look forward to it! No worries about the preservation, I'm trying to get my eyes on as many different types of fossils as possible in an effort to better identify them. After seeing specimens others post on here I've gone back through my discard pile a few times and found specimens that I missed because I thought they were nothing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...