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Posted (edited)

After nine months, I finally made it back to the Ellis County creek where I've found so many teeth. This is an Eagle Ford outcrop. The water level was much higher than I expected. It wasn't quite up to the matrix that holds most of the fossils, but high enough to make wading across the creek dicey, plus I didn't get to hunt most of the sand bars. 

 

This is the biggest fish vert I've ever found. Most of the fish verts I've found in this creek aren't in very good condition either, but this one is in really nice shape.

ellis02302.jpg

 

As usual for this creek, most of the Ptychodus teeth I found were pretty small, but I did find these two nicer ones.

ellis02301.jpg

 

These are still in the matrix. Are they verts? If so, from what? I've never found anything like this in the creek before, and today I found two of them.
ellis02303.jpg

 

As usual for this creek, I brought home lots of interesting looking matrix to go through.

ellis02304.jpg

 

ellis02306.jpg

 

ellis02305.jpg

 

Here are the other teeth I found. As usual, there were more Ptychodus teeth than anything else. I'm sure there will be more from the matrix. I'll add photos after I've gotten through the matrix.

ellis02307.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by BudB
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Al Dente
22 minutes ago, BudB said:

These are still in the matrix. Are they verts? If so, from what? I've never found anything like this in the creek before, and today I found two of them.


Mosasaur vertebrae.

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Posted (edited)

This photo shows how close the water level was to the matrix holding fossils.

ellis02308.jpg

 

14 hours ago, Al Dente said:


Mosasaur vertebrae.

Thank you. I wondered if that's what they were.

Edited by BudB
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hemipristis

Nice haul!

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LSCHNELLE

Great finds!  I wonder if you could get more close ups of some of the lower left Ptychodus in your teeth finds picture. Your first Ptychodus in the picture of two look like Ptychodus anonymous.  Some of your last teeth look like Ptychodus whipplei, but the shadows make it hard to tell.  Sounds like a Turonian age part of the Eagle Ford that you are hunting. The mosasaur verts would not be that large in the Cenomanian part of the Eagle Ford.  Instead, they would likely be much smaller Coniasaur verts. 

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GPayton

The two vertebrae are definitely mosasaur, and by the look of them they seem to both be cervical vertebrae from the neck - possibly associated depending on how close they were found together. Extremely jealous of that location! 

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36 minutes ago, GPayton said:

they seem to both be cervical vertebrae

 

I'm not seeing anything to indicate they are cervical vertebrae.  What suggests to you that they are?

 

Most mosasaur cervicals have a peduncle on the ventral side.  The smooth ventral side is showing on both with no sign of a peduncle.

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GPayton

@JohnJ Sorry, you're correct - I thought I was seeing a peduncle on the right side of the right vertebra in the photo. But of course, even if I was, for it to be a cervical vertebra that would mean the neural canal would be on the side facing the camera. It would be much more appropriate to simply call them dorsal vertebrae. 

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18 hours ago, LSCHNELLE said:

Great finds!  I wonder if you could get more close ups of some of the lower left Ptychodus in your teeth finds picture. 

Wow, shame on me. I was hurrying and didn't realize how fuzzy that photo came out. Not sure if this view will help, but it's not so fuzzy.

 

ellis02309.jpg

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, GPayton said:

 Extremely jealous of that location! 

Getting to it requires obtaining permission to walk the pastures of two different land owners, and one of them has a reputation for being nasty. I was very surprised at how nice he was about giving me permission. I have to obtain permission again for each trip, and can't visit the creek a month either side of deer season (one of the best low water times here in Texas), so we'll see how many more times I get to hunt it. I do need to be there when the water is lower. Maybe that will happen later this summer.

 

Matrix removed, here is what I brought home.  I'm always amazed at the number of Ptychodus teeth in this creek.

 

ellis02310.jpg

Edited by BudB
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Shellseeker
5 hours ago, BudB said:

Getting to it requires obtaining permission to walk the pastures of two different land owners, and one of them has a reputation for being nasty. I was very surprised at how nice he was about giving me permission. I have to obtain permission again for each trip, and can't visit the creek a month either side of deer season (one of the best low water times here in Texas), so we'll see how many more times I get to hunt it. I do need to be there when the water is lower. Maybe that will happen later this summer.

We are all jealous of your outstanding finds.... Just think about it.  Those two landowners are providing access so you can find treasures...  Be extra nice to both the next time you go out... :fingerscrossed:

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LSCHNELLE
8 hours ago, BudB said:

Wow, shame on me. I was hurrying and didn't realize how fuzzy that photo came out. Not sure if this view will help, but it's not so fuzzy.

 

ellis02309.jpg

Wow!  Okay, I see one Ptychodus species I didn't expect.  Shawn Hamm will (hopefully) soon be writing a paper on that new species.  I think that I see several of them in your closeup and surprisingly no Ptychodus whipplei.  So, if you are getting these teeth from the same shell hash layer (level) in the Eagle Ford, then I believe you are in the Upper Turonian (South Bosque) and you are NOT likely to be in the Lower Turonian (Kamp Ranch) as others had presumed with some of your prior finds from this location. Now, you might be pulling fossils from several different shell hash layers in the Eagle Ford in which case my thoughts are incorrect. But, as Shawn said in his Bulletin 81, Ptychodus is a great stratigraphic marker fossil.  So, I think this idea matches well with your recent fossil finds:  squamata verts and possibly teeth, Ptychodus anonymous, new upper Turonian Ptychodus species (TBD), and common Eagle Ford regular shark's teeth. 

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LSCHNELLE

Let me amend my statement that I think you are only in Upper Turonian Eagle Ford.  I see that last year you found a nice Pliosaur tooth.  That would most likely have come from a shell hash in the Cenomanian part of the Eagle Ford. So, obviously you are getting fossils from multiple parts of the Eagle Ford.  This last time, I think that some of your finds are higher up in the Eagle Ford profile. For instance, your pliosaur tooth would likely not be found at the same level of the Eagle Ford as your two latest medium size squamata verts. 

Edited by LSCHNELLE
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, LSCHNELLE said:

Let me amend my statement that I think you are only in Upper Turonian Eagle Ford.  I see that last year you found a nice Pliosaur tooth.  That would most likely have come from a shell hash in the Cenomanian part of the Eagle Ford. So, obviously you are getting fossils from multiple parts of the Eagle Ford.  This last time, I think that some of your finds are higher up in the Eagle Ford profile. For instance, your pliosaur tooth would likely not be found at the same level of the Eagle Ford as your two latest medium size squamata verts. 

Very interesting. Thanks for your thoughts. Like some other Eagle Ford outcrops I have hunted, this creek has a lot of blue-gray clay, with thin layers of fossiliferous rock in between. Most of the layers that are intact on the creek wall are the thicker layers like what is shown in the first photo, which I took last year in the creek. Much of the rock in these layers is really hard, making it difficult to remove fossils from, though some of it is less so. There aren't very many fossils in these layers, but almost all of the bigger fossils I've found, like the mosasaur verts and the pliosaur tooth, have come from these layers. An exception is that largest fish vert, which I found loose on a sandbar, and was so completely covered with mud that I still can't believe I recognized what it was.

 

Then there is a thinner, very delicate layer like what is shown in the second photo. This layer is very fossiliferous, usually under the other layers, and is where most of the teeth come from. It is so delicate that very little of it is exposed in the creek walls. It's obvious that it breaks off and disintegrates quickly as it gets exposed. There are bound to be lots of loose fossils in the sand bars from everything that's broken off in this layer, but most teeth are so small, and the blue-gray clay gets so dark in color when it's wet, that I haven't found very many loose fossils in the creek bed. Of course, truth be told, I've been finding so many fossils in the matrix that I haven't dedicated a lot of time yet to searching the sand bars. That's on my bucket list. 

 

Surprisingly, The pliosaur tooth and the mosasaur verts all came from the same small area in the creek.  I found the pliosaur tooth last year and don't remember the exact spot, so it could very well have been in a different layer than the mosasaur verts.

 

ellis02009.jpg

 

ellis02201.jpg

Edited by BudB
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LSCHNELLE

It's really incredibly productive site for  Ptychodus and regular shark teeth.  They are impressive, but not real large.  You may eventually find a larger Ptychodus marginalis or Ptychodus whipplei in the creek. And, the two squamata verts Dr. Polcyn of SMU would love for you to donate. :rolleyes:

 

My understanding (and it could be flawed) is that Coniasaurs (Squamata) were only 3' long when they were first found as fossils during the Cenomanian.  By the Turonian, they are much larger and probably in direct competition with Pliosaurs and Plesiosaurs for prey.  So, your verts are probably from the Turonian.  Pliosaurs and Plesiosaurs didn't die out until the end of the Maastrichtian. So, it is still possible that your beautiful pliosaur tooth could have come from the Turonian (same stratigraphic level as the squamata verts).  But, my understanding is that pliosaur fossils become much rarer as time goes by and as competition increases. Kind of like what happened with Ptychodus rugosus and Ptychodus martini. So, the pliosaur tooth and squamata verts actually could be from the same horizon.

 

You have a very impressive site to hunt in the Eagle Ford!! Like you said, they are not all beaten up like most from POC.

Edited by LSCHNELLE
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