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Aurora Fossil Museum micro matrix


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thelivingdead531

I have a quick question for those that have bought and gone through their micro matrix from the Aurora Fossil Museum. Did you wash it before going through it, or wash it after you've found your fossils? I got the pack with the mini screen for sifting, but I'm a little afraid to wash it all first and risk losing tiny teeth. How did you all go about doing yours, or what do you think the best way would be?

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what size is the screen they sent  you?

 

Is it window screen size?

 

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thelivingdead531

I think so. Here’s a picture. The white squares are 5x5 mm. 41ADF2BA-C9E4-4F82-A925-74DC6C91FF09.thumb.jpeg.8a810dcab0c9341106c7c7c56db12a92.jpeg

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sift once with water to clean everything... save the stuff that goes through, let it dry, then look through it for more teeth.  If you find a lot in the finer stuff, then maybe sift through a smaller screen (available at your hardware store, maybe, or camping supply store... repairs material for tent screens, generally much finer than window screen, cuz the mosquitos are smaller where you go camping than at home).  

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hokietech96

I bought the same matrix and did not clean it until after I found stuff.  I seperated the different size of matrix.  I had no problem finding a ton of things.  With that being said I looked at everything through a microscope that fell through quarter inch screen.  I then cleaned all my findings (1000+) .  My batch also was not that dirty.  I am only half way done.  

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thelivingdead531
33 minutes ago, jpc said:

sift once with water to clean everything... save the stuff that goes through, let it dry, then look through it for more teeth.  If you find a lot in the finer stuff, then maybe sift through a smaller screen (available at your hardware store, maybe, or camping supply store... repairs material for tent screens, generally much finer than window screen, cuz the mosquitos are smaller where you go camping than at home).  

Thank you for the great and detailed advice!

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thelivingdead531
On 1/20/2021 at 4:08 PM, hokietech96 said:

I bought the same matrix and cleaned after I seperated the different size of matrix.  I had no problem finding a ton of things.  With that being said I looked at everything through a microscope that fell through quarter inch screen.  I then cleaned all my findings (1000+) .  My batch also was not that dirty.  I am only half way done.  

Did you get the kit with the screen? This is just what I’ve picked out so far that I could really see without sifting or really digging. It looks like it’s going to be a nice bunch of fossils when it’s all done!

 

image.thumb.jpg.3460ad6360bad34158c16dc79711697f.jpg

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hokietech96

No  

3 minutes ago, thelivingdead531 said:

Did you get the kit with the screen? This is just what I’ve picked out so far that I could really see without sifting or really digging. It looks like it’s going to be a nice bunch of fossils when it’s all done!

No.  I have the screens at home.  It was a huge amount of matrix.  I am only half way through it since the beginning of the summer.  Loaded with shark/ray/fish teeth and verts.  Many teeth as small as 1-2mm so dont be afraid to search through with the microscope.  I do it while I am working at home talking to clients.  My microscope plugs into my computer so I use one of my screens just to search through matrix.  Good luck.  Look forward to seeing your findings so we can compare IDs

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sixgill pete

You will need to clean it several times using warm water and a 1mm or smaller screen. Otherwise you will lose and / or miss many of the smaller fossils.  Look back through some of my posts about Aurora / Lee Creek micros.

Many of the cat shark teeth and small ray teeth are under 1 mm.

Edited by sixgill pete
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hokietech96
1 minute ago, sixgill pete said:

You will need to clean it several times using warm water and a 1mm or smaller screen. Otherwise you will lose and / or miss many of the smaller fossils.  Look back through some of my posts about Aurora / Lee Creek micros

I’m going to go back and clean and go through it again. Be interesting to see what I missed after going through everything under the microscope. 

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sixgill pete
Just now, hokietech96 said:

I’m going to go back and clean and go through it again. Be interesting to see what I missed after going through everything under the microscope. 

I personaly use a .75 mm sieve when cleaning my matrix. 

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Mediospirifer

I got a batch of this matrix back in September. I washed and sieved it through 1/4", 2 mm, 1 mm, 0.75 mm, and 0.18 mm screens. I also have the residue that went through all of the screens, but haven't done much with it yet. I don't expect to find any vertebrate material in that, but there may be forams and who knows what else.

 

Here's the smallest tooth I've found so far:

 

600920547d84b_8FishTooth.thumb.jpg.a06c6fa1711bc1db9d57749342eeb3fb.jpg

 

The scale below the tooth is 1 mm. This tooth was in the 0.18 mm screen; it must have passed end-on through the 0.25 mm to get there. It's definitely worth it to try finer sieves than the one you received with your kit!

 

I use dishpans for the washing. Wet matrix in one, poured into the sieve in the second (with lots of water). Rinse the sieve in a third, then empty the sieve contents into a fourth. Lots of water in each pan, and drain the sieved pieces through a paper towel (or coffee filter for the finer fractions) lining a colander. 

 

Enjoy, and good luck finding lots of cool pieces! :D

 

Edited by Mediospirifer
Corrected typos, added technique description
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Bob Saunders

I have paper 4 cup coffee maker filters and a spare filter holder. After cleaning in a pill bottle I poured it into them and let them drain and  completely dry. Then emptied into a plastic jar cap and  looked under the scope and picked best ones and into very little containers. Those were in dirty fine sand. 

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minnbuckeye

My brother lives about 1 hour away from Aurora. I visited the museum pits once and came home with a few teeth in short order. The next time I visit him, I would be interested in collecting micromix. Any suggestions on processing the "pit" sand for micros. I never have done this before.

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sixgill pete
2 hours ago, minnbuckeye said:

My brother lives about 1 hour away from Aurora. I visited the museum pits once and came home with a few teeth in short order. The next time I visit him, I would be interested in collecting micromix. Any suggestions on processing the "pit" sand for micros. I never have done this before.

Mike, unfortunately they do not let you remove matrix from the museum piles any more. Although I am sure people still take some. As far as processing it, simple. Sift through a 1/4 inch screen into a bucket. This removes all of the large items. Then wash through a 1mm or smaller sieve. This removes the dirt and leaves the searchable matrix. I wash mine 3 or 4 times drying in between. You would be surprised what you miss if you only wash once.

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thelivingdead531

Great advice from everyone! I really appreciate the help. 

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sixgill pete

Guys And Gals, there are countless posts on Lee Creek micros on here by myself, @MarcoSr and others. They detail prep methods for the matrix as well as search techniques. They also contain many pics of the common, uncommon and rare teeth you can find. Try searching Lee creek micros, pungo micros, Aurora micros and so on. Some amazing stuff.

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hokietech96
24 minutes ago, sixgill pete said:

Guys And Gals, there are countless posts on Lee Creek micros on here by myself, @MarcoSr and others. They detail prep methods for the matrix as well as search techniques. They also contain many pics of the common, uncommon and rare teeth you can find. Try searching Lee creek micros, pungo micros, Aurora micros and so on. Some amazing stuff.

Great resource!  Thanks!

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I usually a pasta strainer (I know, sounds weird) for cleaning micromix. The one I use has a 1 mm wire mesh.

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  • 1 month later...
Jenna2021

I have gotten two separate Aurora mixes since they started selling them. I usually put them in Tupperware or other containers and rinse with water over and over. Pouring off the water without spilling the sediment as it’s pretty heavy. I fill the container with clean water, mix around till the water is opaque, dump, repeat until the water isn’t going cloudy anymore. Then use the sifter and sift over another container to catch any possible tiny teeth. I haven’t found many that make it through the screen. They usually get caught by the root. It’s easiest to keep the matrix wet for visual purposes but once it’s washed it’s pretty ok dry as well. It’s insane how much you find in these Aurora kits

 

 

AAA88B1B-BA90-41FC-9016-4EC8540E36D3.thumb.png.0359ab9a18589538e0a6bd197d4f11d0.png 891CA4D6-D3AC-44E0-8E88-9E41F9FC967A.thumb.jpeg.670f0112e0174eb9d098111edf707903.jpeg

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