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BudB

Ellis County creek, August 26th

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BudB

Work has been interfering with both my cycling and fossil hunting time lately. I managed a day off today and started the day with a 30 mile bike ride. But there's a creek in Ellis County I've been wanting to hunt, and I really wanted to get my first look at it while the water is low. With Hurricane Laura bearing down on the coast, I decided to make that hunting trip today, not being at all sure how much longer the water will be this low.

 

It's an Eagle Ford outcrop I went to in this creek. With my late start, it was 11:00 before my hike down the creek got me to the outcrop. I left at 2:00, so only had three hours for my first time exploring it. The temperature was in the 90's and the humidity was high, so it was definitely stifling hot. It did cloud up at times, and actually rained for a few minutes. But it was mostly just sunny and hot.

 

The outcrop is the typical blue-gray clay you find with Eagle Ford.

 

ellis02001.jpg

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BudB

I didn't find anything in the blue-gray clay, but in a small tan color layer between blue-gray layers, there were lots of fossils.
 

 

ellis02002.jpg

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BudB

I'd read that there are teeth to be found in Eagle Ford outcrops, but in my few visits to Eagle Ford, I hadn't found any. Today, I definitely did find teeth. I guess you just have to find the right layer in Eagle Ford. Zoom in and see how many teeth you can see in the matrix in this photo.
 

 

ellis02003.jpg

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BudB

And more matrix, along with larger shark verts. Today's creek is closer to home that any other place I have found teeth. I had a smile on my face as I headed for home. I live near Cedar Creek Lake and normally root for rain so the lake stays full, but today was enough to make me want more low water.

 

ellis02006.jpg

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fossilus

Really cool!

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Planko

Wow. What a good haul. Well spent three hours. Congrats!

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BudB
17 hours ago, MarcoSr said:

Really nice.  If you are seeing a high concentration of teeth in this matrix there is a good chance that it also has a lot of micro shark and ray teeth as small as .4 mm. 

 

As many small teeth as there were, I suspect you are right. I haven't done any looking for micro stuff yet. This matrix would be a likely place to start though.

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thair

Cool spot. Fun stuff

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crabfossilsteve

Nice going on that trip.  Have you ever considered leaving the teeth and verts on the matrix?  I personally like fossils in the associated matrix if they are exposed well.

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BudB
36 minutes ago, crabfossilsteve said:

Have you ever considered leaving the teeth and verts on the matrix?  I personally like fossils in the associated matrix if they are exposed well.

 

I can see where that would be a great looking way to display some of them. The downside is that you don't find the other teeth in the matrix. I'm being surprised at how many unseen teeth (and other fossils) I'm finding after a warm water soak of some of the matrix. My favorite tooth of the trip (so far) was half hidden in the matrix. Below is a photo of it.

 

Some of the matrix though, doesn't seem fazed by hot water. It may take something more to soften it. I haven't even started on those two biggest pieces of matrix yet. It makes me wish I had brought home more pieces of matrix. I'll post a photo of all that came out of the matrix when I'm finished.

 

ellis02007.jpg

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bthemoose
16 hours ago, BudB said:

 

I can see where that would be a great looking way to display some of them. The downside is that you don't find the other teeth in the matrix. I'm being surprised at how many unseen teeth (and other fossils) I'm finding after a warm water soak of some of the matrix. My favorite tooth of the trip (so far) was half hidden in the matrix. Below is a photo of it.

 

Some of the matrix though, doesn't seem fazed by hot water. It may take something more to soften it. I haven't even started on those two biggest pieces of matrix yet. It makes me wish I had brought home more pieces of matrix. I'll post a photo of all that came out of the matrix when I'm finished.

 

ellis02007.jpg

 

That looks like a gorgeous Otodus obliquus tooth. Great color and preservation!

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ThePhysicist

Fantastic teeth!!! It looks like that's a very productive site. 

1 hour ago, bthemoose said:

That looks like a gorgeous Otodus obliquus tooth.

Otodus is younger than Eagle Ford which is late cretaceous (~90 mya). It looks like Dwardius woodwardi or maybe Cretoxyrhina sp. (?).

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bthemoose
47 minutes ago, ThePhysicist said:

Fantastic teeth!!! It looks like that's a very productive site. 

Otodus is younger than Eagle Ford which is late cretaceous (~90 mya). It looks like Dwardius woodwardi or maybe Cretoxyrhina sp. (?).

Good to know, thanks!

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FossilDAWG

You can also try hydrogen peroxide (which you can buy in pharmacies) or mineral spirits.  These will dissolve different sorts of cementing chemistries from acetic acid (which dissolves carbonates).  They also tend to be less corrosive on phosphatic fossils such as teeth.  It's just a matter of trying different things to see what (if anything) will work.

 

Don

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BudB
8 hours ago, MarcoSr said:

 

If water doesn't effect some of the matrix, then that matrix is most likely a conglomerate rather than clay/sand.  Try hot water first with all of your matrix.  If the water doesn't work, then switch to a weak acid like acetic acid.  Note acids will destroy any invertebrates in your matrix.  White distilled vinegars generally are 4%-7% acetic acid. Cider and wine vinegars are 5%-6% acetic acid.   I use 5% white distilled vinegar which I get from Walmart.  Put a small piece of the matrix in a small container and see if the matrix fizzes and bubbles.  If so, the acid in the vinegar is working on the carbonate and other chemicals that bind the matrix together.  This concentration of vinegar shouldn't harm the phosphate based shark, ray, and bony fish fossils in your matrix.  So if you get fizzing and bubbling, try soaking your matrix in a five gallon bucket or other container in vinegar for a day or two.  When the matrix stops fizzing or bubbling, the vinegar is spent.  See if this breaks your material down.  You probably will need several cycles of this to get full breakdown.  You may also need to use light finger pressure to break the tougher pieces down.  If this doesn't work fully you can try pickling vinegar.  I use 10% acetic acid pickling vinegar.  I can't buy pickling vinegar in Virginia and used to buy it from Texas so you should be able to buy it in Texas.  With 10% acetic acid if you have a small amount of matrix in a lot of vinegar you can  dull the shine on your teeth or slightly change the color if you leave them in the vinegar for two long.  Never use stronger acids or high concentrations of a weaker acid like acetic acid.  They will damage/destroy your teeth and are dangerous to use in a home environment.  I have 20% vinegar that I have bought on-line.  I usually dilute that down to 10% but that 20% strength will definitely dull the finish or change the color of your teeth if you aren't extremely careful.

 

Edit:  I should have also said to soak your teeth in water after using vinegar to remove all of the acetic acid.

 

Marco Sr.

 

7 hours ago, FossilDAWG said:

You can also try hydrogen peroxide (which you can buy in pharmacies) or mineral spirits.  These will dissolve different sorts of cementing chemistries from acetic acid (which dissolves carbonates).  They also tend to be less corrosive on phosphatic fossils such as teeth.  It's just a matter of trying different things to see what (if anything) will work.

 

Don

 

Thanks for that. I've soaked several of the stubborn pieces of matrix in white vinegar for several hours, and have extracted a couple of teeth I couldn't remove before. Marco, my local WalMart does have pickling vinegar. Just after the pandemic started, I was trying to buy white vinegar there, but the shelves were completely empty of vinegar except for pickling vinegar. Hopefully, I won't need anything that strong.

 

I have the two big pieces of matrix soaking in water now. I started off by trying to wash the loose mud off them with hot water, but that simple procedure washed a tooth off into the sink, so I stopped, retrieved the tooth, and just put the matrix pieces into a pan of hot water. I may try to make another trip to this creek, just to gather up some rainy day matrix to play with later. I would never have guessed how many fossils this matrix contains. Many of the teeth are tiny, or broken, but still fun to find.

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BudB

Here are the teeth and verts that came out of the matrix. Altogether, I identified 73 Ptychodus teeth from this trip, though many of them were so tiny they would need to be displayed under a magnifying glass. It's a safe bet that I tossed some tiny ones too, not realizing what they were. Some had the familiar hump with the ridges, others were just flat with ridges. Are these from two different species, or just different areas of the mouth of the same shark?

 

 

ellis02008.jpg

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Planko

Wow! Very nice haul.

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LSCHNELLE
6 hours ago, Planko said:

Wow! Very nice haul.

 

11 hours ago, BudB said:

Here are the teeth and verts that came out of the matrix. Altogether, I identified 73 Ptychodus teeth from this trip, though many of them were so tiny they would need to be displayed under a magnifying glass. It's a safe bet that I tossed some tiny ones too, not realizing what they were. Some had the familiar hump with the ridges, others were just flat with ridges. Are these from two different species, or just different areas of the mouth of the same shark?

 

 

ellis02008.jpg

Check out this link: We need better pictures of individual teeth - or just a few Ptychodus teeth at a time - to help you. 

 

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/14530-ptychodus-id-quick-guide/?hl=mammilaris#entry161798

 

Most appear to be Ptychodus anonymous which have a high crown in medial file teeth and are fairly flat and rhombic shaped in many lateral and all posterior file teeth. 

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crabfossilsteve

Cool bunch of finds hidden in the matrix.  Understand about removing the teeth from the matrix.  However, that first tooth looks pretty cool on top of the matrix from which it came.

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BudB
12 hours ago, LSCHNELLE said:

 

Check out this link: We need better pictures of individual teeth - or just a few Ptychodus teeth at a time - to help you. 

 

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/14530-ptychodus-id-quick-guide/?hl=mammilaris#entry161798

 

Most appear to be Ptychodus anonymous which have a high crown in medial file teeth and are fairly flat and rhombic shaped in many lateral and all posterior file teeth. 

 

 

Wow, that's a great ID guide. Thanks for that link.

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Ludwigia

Very nice finds! Congrats!

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