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First Fossil Trip 2021 - Nice and Successful


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Saturday, 02/06/2021

St. Bartholomä-Formation (Campanian), Styria, Austria - mainly rudists of the hippuritid and radiolitid family.

This was my first fossil trip since more then 3 months due to too much Covid first and too much snow lately. But now snow has melted, at least in St. Bartholomä.

Note: Austria is still in so-called "hard lockdown", but you can drive around like crazy in our country, as long as you stay in your car overnight ;). I did not, I am doing only day trips, and St. Bartholomä is only a 30 km drive.


- First I visited two low-productive sites, checked out small creeks again and a quarry, that is only barely accessible also in winter because of too much prickly blackberrys. At least I saw some good outcrops there, but not the right layer ("Knödelbrekzie") nor any rudists.


- Switched over to the quarry at Point 25, my most productive site in this formation. Something has been coming down to the quarry floor during the winter, but no rudist etc.

Examined my dig site higher up at the northern end of the quarry ("Point 25-North"), also some loose fresh material, but nothing. Started picking rocks from the undisturbed debris below the "Knödelbrekzie" outcrop and found indeed some ok rudists and a small coral colony. Still some potential here.

I already know that there are fossils coming down also at the southern end of the fossiliferous "Knödelbrezie" in this quarry, but it is hard to reach from the quarry floor. However, it looked possible to reach it from above. And that was really the case. Some kind of bench has naturally formed at the edge of the quarry, exactly at the level of the fossiliferous "Knödelbrekzie". It had already disintegrated somewhat (which is good, even necessary!), forming a debris of cobbles intermixed with soil and earth. During unsystematic scuffing in the debris, I found indeed two quite good radiolitid rudists and a large limestone piece with two enclosed rudists, which I left behind.

This is the site, called "Point 25-South", after scuffing, looking from the south end towards north. Funny thing, it came already with a handrail for safety :D.


Its going down for about 5 meters to the right, steep, but not vertically. The fossiliferous layer ("Knödelbrekzie") and the debris is accessible for about 3-4 m horizontally at the moment. Maybe I will exploit this site systematically during this year, forming a horizontal, about 0.5 m wide and safe bench along the way to the north. Maybe not. I don´t know yet. I have quite a lot of rudists from St. Bartholomä and would like to do also other things :D.


- Already quite late, I took a quick look at the overgrown heap of fieldstones at point 32. The electric fence running along the heap was turned off so I took the chance to remove some rocks under a root ball at the other side of the fence. From my perspective removing the rocks, I did not see "it", only as I moved a little bit, I saw it there, sitting deep under the root ball like an egg in its nest:


Lower left is my first sighting, to the right after removing some earth and more rocks, just before picking. Its a good sized radiolitid rudist, about 7x7x7 cm, with coarse ribs.


It was a very nice day out, good exercise (mainly stretching :D), found a few fossils at a known spot, found a new, possibly productive spot and also a nice "Easter Egg".


Links to some former trips to this formation:

St. Bartholomä - 1

St Bartholomä - 2 (Point 32)


Franz Bernhard

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@FranzBernhard It's good to see that you also managed to get out due to the unusual thaw that we're having in our latitudes at the moment. What a sense of freedom! And it's nice for you to have made a couple of good finds as well.

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Nice report as usual.

Thanks for sharing. :)

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