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Jim's Finds from 2020 - so far


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Its been a long time since I last posted any finds, so I thought I'd show you folks what Ive been finding so far. Ive been out a lot this year, and have done quite a bit of exploring. I haven't taken pics of everything yet but Ill add to this as I do.

 

This past summer I took a trip to west Tennessee to an exposure of the Coffee Sands, a Late Cretaceous formation. I was able to find the site, but unfortunately, I found no fossils there. Luckily there was an exposure of the Lower Devonian Birdsong Shale nearby! This site exposes the 'brachiopod zone' which is the bottom of the formation. So as you can probably guess, brachiopods were every where!

 

By far the most common was Atrypa “reticularis”  , they were all over the place. 

 

atrypa.jpg.e4bfbe3489843c69525c60d986d80751.jpg

 

 

Discomyorthis oblata  was also common

 

brach_external.thumb.jpg.e76748134768f46f6a7053669815798c.jpgbra1.jpg.639e140b0eeb2ca927a76cf78af3e9e7.jpg

 

Heres a favorite of mine Kozlowskiellina tennesseenis, They are very decorative. 

 

k_octacostata.thumb.jpg.e6650a0ec7a8988ebe83651f6987e91b.jpgko1.jpg.534f2fab8457c87cf7c6004e9c574cb0.jpg

 

cont...

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Heres a related species Kozlowskiellina perlamellosa

 

k_perlamellosa.jpg.9c2c02762be44435bcc93f3290423a15.jpg

 

Leptaena acuticuspidata was also very abundant. Note how rugose they are, and the large 'embayment' to keep them above the mud.

 

lepteana.thumb.jpg.ce880c98fa81d23ffd6690a74e0570a3.jpgleapt1.jpg.483e35d8b69cac5d5467835ab60e5f27.jpg

 

Many of the brachiopods and corals had epifaunal organisms growing on them. These are the attachment point for the stemless epifaunal crinoid Edriocrinus adnascans.

 

edriocrinus1.thumb.jpg.ea7c1ec26a56d599f99d66080e18583c.jpgedriocrinus3.thumb.jpg.c46bc284c516f8d7c7d444bf117cb7af.jpg

 

Since we're on the subject of crinoids, here's a plate from the floating crinoid Scyphocrinites (?) stellatos

 

cri1.thumb.jpg.6ab6ef1741cffeeeafd47aeba152949c.jpg

 

Corals were also present. The horn coral Streptelasma strictum.  

 

strept.thumb.jpg.f1715a082d45bcba73e8507316d9583d.jpg

 

Another coral, also common in the Silurian as well.....Pleurodictyum lenticulare.

 

pluer1.jpg.c668cdda150ccd85341638a864977071.jpg

 

cont...

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Heres a mystery coral, its not another Streptelasma (which is the only rugose coral in the Birdsong.) Im thinking its a Pleurodictyum that lost its individual coralites through weathering. In any event its absolutely covered in epifuanal life. Note the Cornulites worm tube.

 

mysterycnid.thumb.jpg.f5578df3b1458394f9a89ef585bdf2a8.jpgmysterycnid_side.thumb.jpg.8bd0f7756069fbb2948976f74c1eec45.jpg

 

Ive spent a lot of time exploring Tennessee and Kentucky for exposures of the Fort Payne Formation. This is a late Osagean (middle Mississippian) formation that frequently crops up in the area. Most of the exposures Ive collected at consist of crinoidal shaly packstones (which consist of crinoidal debris transported to the area and deposited.) As such, calyxes are common, but complete articulated crowns are not. So here is some of what Ive found.

 

Agaricocrinus sp. is a very common member of the assemblage. I collected this one do to the stem attachment point being clear of matrix.

 

agarico.thumb.jpg.99f3467e1289dd4992b50cf5c7d67d23.jpg

 

Alloprosallocrinus conicus is also very common. This is only a small sampling of what I've collected. The tegumen is always broken though.

 

alloprosallo.thumb.jpg.93bc54bd0a76c092653a395de32c6326.jpg

 

Eretmocrinus spinosus is also fairly common. These are flattened to a large degree.

 

eretmo.jpg.49ca90ff37b8ee7da484460fb67dbd3a.jpg

 

Dis-articulated cups are very common at these sites.

 

cups.thumb.jpg.9a18bf0f344cd3407c357954a9af183e.jpg

 

 

cont...

 

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Eretmocrinus magnificus another specie of this crinoid, its some-what translucent with a purple hue that doesnt photograph well.

 

upero2.thumb.jpg.1bca6cafc120e2339c8b3eb7339f6843.jpgupero2b.thumb.jpg.5fd4382735caf9ab8ef371071ca0260a.jpg

 

Macrocrinus sp is much less common and is tiny. The larger of the two is only 1cm.

 

macro.thumb.jpg.ca3dae8f4cc423c0087fd8d4b9a9dab0.jpg

 

Another tiny crinoid..possibly Cyathocrinites bullatus. Much rarer.

 

unk1.thumb.jpg.cbcf4ace55bef06af00678c8734e1528.jpgunk1a.thumb.jpg.efd62dd5187100bb86b67793784a781a.jpg

 

A small crinoid holdfast

 

hold.thumb.jpg.ba80f0250d6d7c9763b2c5e8f2eca1e6.jpg

 

This is the largest Trilobite pygidium I've found from the Mississippian!

 

pygid1.jpg.e80a39191846d54e4440d4403c3d5aee.jpg

 

Ive yet to id it.

 

And speaking of unidentified...this bivalve has proven impossible to id. Even after talking with several professional scientists. No one has done work on bivalves from the early to middle Mississippian.

 

bivalve.jpg.dd8795e16aff5fa81fa048f78b71479b.jpg

 

cont....

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Just now, traveltip1 said:

Excellent specimens and very knowledgeable reporting. 

Thanks! More to come!

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Hey Jim.  It has indeed been a while since you have shown us your finds.  Glad to see these.  they are so different from the stuff I collect out here.  

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Excellent report and finds, Jim. :)

Thanks for posting them. 

Hope to see more soon! 

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I've been to that site where you found the brachiopods!  It's amazing how the ground is just littered with brachiopods, you can't help but to walk on them.  Did you bring back some of the "dirt" to sieve and pick through?  There are many species of tiny but pretty brachiopods, plus lots of other goodies.

 

Also very nice crinoids.  I did not know about sites for those when I was in the area.

 

Don

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Awesome finds! I'm a brach guy myself, but I prep more crinoids than brachs. Would love to see those calyxs cleaned up if you ever get to it!

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Hey Jim! Looks like you've had a good summer! Those Kozlowskiellina brachiopods have a nice form. Never seen them before.

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Nice presentation, Jim. Those Birdsong brachs and corals closely resemble the Kalkberg fossils we have here in New York. Love to sample those someday to make better comparisons. Your Mississippian crinoids are a thing to behold. Thanks for sharing everything. 

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11 hours ago, jpc said:

Hey Jim.  It has indeed been a while since you have shown us your finds.  Glad to see these.  they are so different from the stuff I collect out here.  

Yeah, the middle Paleozoic is well represented in TN. Though I would love to collect from some of the amazing Cenozoic formations you have out west!

10 hours ago, Fossildude19 said:

Excellent report and finds, Jim. :)

Thanks for posting them. 

Hope to see more soon! 

Thanks Tim! I have more to post and a lot of prep and photo work to do! So, stay tuned!:P

8 hours ago, FossilDAWG said:

I've been to that site where you found the brachiopods!  It's amazing how the ground is just littered with brachiopods, you can't help but to walk on them.  Did you bring back some of the "dirt" to sieve and pick through?  There are many species of tiny but pretty brachiopods, plus lots of other goodies.

 

Also very nice crinoids.  I did not know about sites for those when I was in the area.

 

Don

That is an awesome site! It was actually raining when I was there (not real hard mind you.) So the ground was wet, and I pretty much just surface collected. Plus it was my first time there, and I didn't actually know about the site before hand. I was just driving around looking for road cuts. 

If you ever come back into the area we'll have to collect together!

6 hours ago, Jackson g said:

Awesome finds! I'm a brach guy myself, but I prep more crinoids than brachs. Would love to see those calyxs cleaned up if you ever get to it!

Thanks! If the weather ever dries up so I can use my air abrader (and work gives me some time off) I intend to clean them up.

6 hours ago, Ludwigia said:

Hey Jim! Looks like you've had a good summer! Those Kozlowskiellina brachiopods have a nice form. Never seen them before.

They are neat aren't they? The combination of plications and growth lines is striking! Though the example I found is a little squished front to back.

3 hours ago, historianmichael said:

Those calyxes are awesome! Incredible finds!

Thanks!

56 minutes ago, Jeffrey P said:

Nice presentation, Jim. Those Birdsong brachs and corals closely resemble the Kalkberg fossils we have here in New York. Love to sample those someday to make better comparisons. Your Mississippian crinoids are a thing to behold. Thanks for sharing everything. 

Thanks Jeff! When you come down to KY next time, Id be willing to take you there!

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Back in August I decided to take a little drive north into Kentucky, to check out Big Hill. A large series of road cuts that expose strata from the early and the late Mississippian. The lowest most cut consists of shale from the Borden Formation. Weathering out of this shale are ironstone concretions, many of which contain the fossils of straight shelled cephalopods and other marine life. Ive yet to photograph much of this material, though I'll post what I have taken pics of.

 

This is one of the yet unidentified nautiloids. It actually popped out of the concretion (which doesn't usually happen.)

 

naut1.thumb.jpg.5d9acd2f1afda62b75ee9ed4129f2c75.jpg

 

This is a small productid brachiopod. Its partially pyritised.

 

brach_ironstone.thumb.jpg.0d566407fbabe8b1984d6882ec1a016d.jpg

 

Further up the road I stopped at another cut. By this time it was getting very hot, and I was plagued by by large biting flies (which were chasing me.) So I didn't give this spot as thorough a search as I normally do. I found many of the 'usual suspects' of the late Mississippian fauna. Most were in large blocks of very hard limestone, and would break when I attempted to extract them. So I didnt collect much. I did, however,  find several of these strange objects. They may be echinoderms (which are known from that site) or they may be geologic. Im not sure yet which they are. 

 

ufo1.thumb.jpg.fdcbe30bc95f708360e302f471d7e590.jpg

 

cont...

 

 

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20 hours ago, henpecked said:

Thanks for sharing those pictures. You had a good year.

Your Welcome. I get the first week in Dec off, so I'll be doing a lot more collecting!

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Brilliant finds and report! Those crinoids are stunning!

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14 hours ago, Archie said:

Brilliant finds and report! Those crinoids are stunning!

Thanks! Though I find it curious that there were all those crinoids in that formation...but no evidence of crushing sharks. I do understand that the packstone consists of transported crinoidal remains, though wouldn't teeth have been transported too? The weight would be about the same as the large individual crinoid plates I find in that material. I would've thought that the green or black shale has some, but they seem absent from those facies as well. :zzzzscratchchin:

Sorry, you reminded me of shark teeth! :P

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Really really great fossils. I was grooving on the brachiopods and then you hit me with all the crinoids.  Awesome.

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13 hours ago, erose said:

Really really great fossils. I was grooving on the brachiopods and then you hit me with all the crinoids.  Awesome.

Lol..Thanks!

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On 11/2/2020 at 11:01 AM, JimB88 said:

Eretmocrinus magnificus another specie of this crinoid, its some-what translucent with a purple hue that doesnt photograph well.

 

upero2.thumb.jpg.1bca6cafc120e2339c8b3eb7339f6843.jpgupero2b.thumb.jpg.5fd4382735caf9ab8ef371071ca0260a.jpg

 

Macrocrinus sp is much less common and is tiny. The larger of the two is only 1cm.

 

macro.thumb.jpg.ca3dae8f4cc423c0087fd8d4b9a9dab0.jpg

 

Another tiny crinoid..possibly Cyathocrinites bullatus. Much rarer.

 

unk1.thumb.jpg.cbcf4ace55bef06af00678c8734e1528.jpgunk1a.thumb.jpg.efd62dd5187100bb86b67793784a781a.jpg

 

A small crinoid holdfast

 

hold.thumb.jpg.ba80f0250d6d7c9763b2c5e8f2eca1e6.jpg

 

This is the largest Trilobite pygidium I've found from the Mississippian!

 

pygid1.jpg.e80a39191846d54e4440d4403c3d5aee.jpg

 

Ive yet to id it.

 

And speaking of unidentified...this bivalve has proven impossible to id. Even after talking with several professional scientists. No one has done work on bivalves from the early to middle Mississippian.

 

bivalve.jpg.dd8795e16aff5fa81fa048f78b71479b.jpg

 

cont....

Wilkingia? 

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22 hours ago, Jeffrey P said:

Wilkingia

I looked at that genus and was very tempted to put it down as that. But the over all shape of this example is throwing me off a bit. This more than likely stems from the fact that its 'butterflied' open. I may catalog it as Wilkingia (?) just to be done with it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Heres a couple of more calyx's from an earlier hunt.

 

cri1a.thumb.jpg.4b6dce1ef940aca883151ba4ba06dd19.jpgcri1b.thumb.jpg.77f6794af29b26672dafa1b3986301be.jpg

 

This calyx is tentatively been ID'd as a Dorycrinus ? Do to what is believed to be spine attachment plates. This specimen also differs in the fact that it comes from the dolostone which caps the green shaley mud-stone and had weathered free of a large block of it.

 

cr2a.thumb.jpg.f2d8baca2647990e07da508262a65a99.jpgcr2_basal.thumb.jpg.f3edd31387be1426ff8aa9a352d7c8d2.jpg

 

This calyx comes from the same crinoidal packstone as much of the previous calyxes have. Though neither myself nor Dr. William Ausich were able to definitively id it.

 

Speaking of which, I would like to thank Dr. William Ausich and Richard Keyes for their help in identifying my crinoid finds from the Fort Payne.

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  • 3 weeks later...

What an amazing variety of finds!!!  I think my favourite is the bivalve in "butterflied" position - it's awesome!!!  I am :envy:

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