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September 2021 - Finds of the Month Entries

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REMINDER: PLEASE carefully read ALL of the rules below.

Make sure you include all the required information, IN THE REQUESTED FORMAT (below) when you submit your fossil! 

If you have a question about a possible entry, please send me a PM.

Please pay special attention to Rule #5: 

Before and After Preparation Photos must be submitted for prepped specimens NOT  found during the Month of the Contest.

In addition to keeping the contest fair, this new qualification will encourage better documentation of our spectacular past finds.

Entries will be taken until 11:59:00 PM EDT on SEPTEMBER 30, 2021

Any fossil submitted after that time, even if the topic is still open, will be deemed ineligible! 


Only entries posted with CLEAR photos and that meet the other guidelines will be placed into the Poll. 

Photos of the winning specimens may be posted to TFF's Facebook page.


Please let us know if you have any questions, and thanks for sharing more of your fossils and research this month.


Shortly after the end of the Month, separate Polls will be created for the Vertebrate and Invertebrate/Plant Find of the Month.


In addition to the fun of a contest, we also want to learn more about the fossils. 

Tell us more about your fossil, and why you think it is worthy of the honor. 

To view the Winning Fossils from past contests visit the Find Of The Month Winner's Gallery.


Now, go find your fossil, do your research, and make an entry!
Best of success to all, and good hunting!



Rules for The Fossil Forum's Vertebrate and Invertebrate/Plant Find of the Month Contests

  1. Find a great Vertebrate Fossil or Invertebrate/Plant Fossil! Only fossils found personally by you are allowed. NO PURCHASED FOSSILS.
  2. Post your entry in the Find of the Month topic. Use a separate post for each entry. (Only two entries per member per contest category.)
  3. Your fossil must have been found during the Month of the Contest, or Significant Preparation * of your fossil must have been completed during the Month of the Contest.
  4. You must include the Date of Discovery (when found in the contest month); or the Date of Preparation Completion and Date of Discovery (if not found in the contest month).
  5. Before and After Preparation photos must be submitted for prepped specimens not found during the Month of the Contest. Please make sure you arrange for photos if someone else is preparing your fossil find and completes the prep requirements in the contest month.
  6. You must include the Common and/or Scientific Name.
  7. You must include the Geologic Age or Geologic Formation where the fossil was found.
  8. You must include the State, Province, or region where the fossil was found.
  9. You must include CLEAR, cropped, well-lit images (maximum 4 images). If you are proud enough of your fossil to submit it for FOTM, spend some time to take good photos to show off your fossil.
  10. Play fair and honest. No bought fossils. No false claims.


* Significant Preparation = Substantial work to reveal and/or repair important diagnostic features, resulting in a dramatic change in the look of the fossil. The qualification of Significant Preparation is decided at the discretion of staff. Any doubts as to the eligibility of the entry will be discussed directly with the entrant.


******* Please use the following format for the required information: *******

• Date of Discovery  (month, day, year) 

• Scientific and/or Common Name

• Geologic Age or Geologic Formation

• State, Province, or Region Found

• Photos of Find



(Please limit to 4 clear, cropped, and well-lit images.)

(If prepped, before and after photos are required, please.)

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So, I thought I would include a little conodont for this month's contest...


This is the first conodont from the Leighton Formation, and so has some scientific value. I asked a Paleozoic conodont researcher about this specimen - he identified it as a P2 element - but since it's common to multiple genera, it would be difficult to assign. I have placed it in the genus Spathognathodus, but I cannot be certain on this ID. It is based on other conodonts that have been found in Maine, but this could very well be a new species. Hopefully in my next collecting trip there will be another conodont element waiting for me. ;)


Below are pictures of the specimen, the first is of it before prep, the second is of it after. Unfortunately, I had to heavily consolidate it to prevent damage to it, which is the reason for the specular highlights and blurriness in the post-prep photo. The last two photos are of an articulated conodont jaw, with element abbreviations; and a general diagram of element placement. Both figures come from Purnell, M. A., Donoghue, P. C. T., Aldrige, R. J. (2000) Orientation and Anatomical Notation in Conodonts. Journal of Paleontology, 74(1). 


Date of Discovery: September 4, 2021; prepped September September 5, 2021. 

Scientific Name: Spathognathodus? sp.

Geologic Name or Geologic Formation: Leighton Formation, Přídolí, Silurian. 

State, Province, or Region Found: Pembroke, Washington County, Maine. 






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Edited by Mainefossils
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Presented for your consideration is what will probably be "The Best Invertebrate Fossil of My Lifetime" (though I am open to another spectacular find to appear in front of my amazed eyes, :chuckle:)


Special thanks to the Fabulous Fossil Forum Folk who identified this little gem and, even more helpfully, provided vocabulary for me to better understand this fossil and to open the door on a new facet of my obsession. Y’all are great!


Edrioasteroids are an extinct group of echinoderms - related to starfish, brittle stars, sea urchins, sand dollars, and sea cucumbers.  First appearing about 515 MYA (Cambrian), their abundance and diversity peaked about 450 MYA, during the Late Ordovician.  Flash forwards 175 million years (Permian, 275 MYA) and edrioasteroids are extinct. They are an important group of animals because their skeleton falls apart very quickly following death. When many are found together, it indicates rapid burial of the sea floor and thus, a snapshot of the paleoenvironment. These snapshots can be exhaustively evaluated to help understand the relationships between the various organisms living together.

Edrioasteroids are uncommon, aesthetically pleasing fossils, prized by collectors. This particular Carneyella pilea fossil is very well preserved though there is nothing scientifically unique about it. C. pilea has been reported from this location and stratigraphic unit and is the second most common of the edrioasteroids found in the Ordovician exposures in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.  So I can keep it in my collection :Smiling:

Its most remarkable attribute has been its influence on my appreciation for invertebrate fossils!  Before spying this beauty under a vivid blue Kentucky sky, I had always KNOWN that my personal list of 10 BEST FOSSILS FOUND would only include vertebrates.  I have never been so glad to be so wrong and now hope to kick another A-list vertebrate fossil from its pedestal!:fingerscrossed:

Thanks for reading.



Date of Discovery: 9/12/2021
Scientific name: Carneyella pilea (Hall, 1866), Extinct edrioasteroid1
Geologic Name or Formation: Late Ordovician, Bellevue Formation (452.0 - 449.5 MYA)
State, Province or Region Found: Mason County, Kentucky, USA






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