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I graduated college back in May, and since my graduate program did not start until September, I was fortunate to have quite a bit of time this summer to explore further away from home. I've been slowly prepping and cataloging over the past couple months, and figured I would share some of my favorite finds that I haven't shared yet.

 

First up is dump piles of Silica Shale (Middle Devonian) in Paulding, OH. My university was not far from here, so this is really where I started fossil hunting.

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I've been here quite a few times, so most of what I found I already had in my collection. A new find for me, and my favorite, is a nice chunk of Protitanichthys placoderm armor.

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I visited family near Indianapolis in August, and headed out a day early to visit some classic sites. This is the view from a roadcut in Sulphur, IN that exposes the Indian Springs Shale (Mississippian).

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My first blastoid and first shark tooth of the day. Can you spot them?

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A small portion of the haul. Lots of blastoids (the main attraction), horn corals, and some brachiopods, plus a crinoid I have yet to identify.

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Next up was the famous St. Leon roadcut (Upper Ordovician). This was my second visit to this site.

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You need to get on your hands and knees to spot the tiny Flexicalymene rollers.

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I only visited my favorite site (a roadcut in the LaSalle Limestone (Pennsylvanian) in IL) only twice. The poison ivy is bad in the summer, so I usually wait until it's cold to go.

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The only surprising find was this Linoproductus brachiopod. They often have spines attached, but I've never found one with a free-standing spine. No clue how it never broke off, it looks very fragile!

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Next are a handful of my favorite plants from my Mazon Creek trip in August. Most split open within the past few weeks.

Some ferns I haven't gotten around to identifying yet.

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Two Annularia sphenophylloides. These are probably my favorite to find.

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I visited the famous nautiloid beds at Graf, Iowa twice. This is a roadcut in the Elgin Member of the Maquoketa Formation (Late Ordovician) that is jam-packed with the nautiloid Isorthoceras sociale.

 

A portion of the cut. It's quite big, probably a 1/4 mile long.

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I noticed this plaque across the road on my second trip.

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A couple specimens. You could walk away with a 5-gallon bucket's worth of these in a couple hours if you really wanted that many.

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There are other things to find here. I am quite partial to the inarticulate brachiopods that are abundant in certain layers. These are Leptobolus occidentalis.

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This little Anataphrus vigilans roller is also from the Maquoketa Formation (Elgin member as well I think), but from further north in Iowa.

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And last up are some finds from the Mifflin Member of the Platteville Formation. This is where I spent most of my time this summer. I visited one exposure in northern Illinois that I've been to before. I usually don't find much worth keeping, but was quite happy with this Endoceras? cephalopod that preserves what I believe to be an internal mold of the siphuncle.

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Large chunks of cephalopods are common in the Mifflin, but this one was the biggest I found, measuring just shy of 2 feet. Labeled as Endoceras? as well for now, from SW Wisconsin.

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And finally, probably my two favorite finds of the summer. Both from the Mifflin of SW Wisconsin, prepared by Malcolmt.

 

A perfect little Isotelus simplex roller

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And a partial Ceraurus mifflinensis.

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Great stuff, Connor, you did have a good summer.

I particularly love the massive nautiloid and the Ceraurus trilo, but most of all those Leptobolus. 

Yum yum. :b_love1::brachiopod:

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Nice finds. Those are some beautiful trilos, the isotelus especially! :wub: And some great prep work from Malcolm. 

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3 hours ago, connorp said:

Protitanichthys placoderm armor.

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Wow!

All of the finds are great but in my opinion, this one is just incredible.

That fish is really cool. 

 

I also agree on the inarticulate brachiopods. They have to be one of my favorites

 

Congratulations on the great fossil finds!

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Wow... great summer trips report.  Looks like a great haul.  

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What a great topic! Loved seeing "What you did on your summer vacation". Someday I definitely want to check out some of those road cuts - amazing finds! Chris

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Wow, that looks like a full and productive summer! And a nice selection of midwestern Paleozoic time periods, too. Thanks for sharing, I have hardly been out hunting at all since March. 

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Looks like you really did THE TOUR with many highlights along the way. Congratulations and thanks for sharing them with us. The crinoid calyx, plants, big nautiloids, and those trilobites are special favorites of mine. 

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Thanks all, glad you enjoyed! It was a lot of fun, I'm looking forward to next collecting season.

 

4 hours ago, bigred97 said:

What a great topic! Loved seeing "What you did on your summer vacation". Someday I definitely want to check out some of those road cuts - amazing finds! Chris

Many are not far from Milwaukee. Let me know if you ever want to head out that way, I'd be happy to show you around!

 

2 hours ago, jdp said:

Good luck with grad school! UChicago?

Thanks! Northwestern actually.

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17 hours ago, connorp said:

Thanks! Northwestern actually.

Cool, cool. Paleo? Or something else?

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Great report! :) 

So many great finds, too!

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Looks like somebody had a very successful summer!

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