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I made a trip to a creek in East Texas today and brought home a nice collection of very small teeth. It was the first time I've ever had success finding fossils less than an hour drive from home, and I was pretty pleased about that. This was a Kincaid Formation outcrop. The teeth came from a shell hash that was on top of some very hard limestone. Some of the matrix which contained the teeth was the same gray as the limestone, and some of it was a tan color.

 

I looked at a lot of identical looking matrix which had nothing but shell fragments in it, but once I found teeth, there were more teeth nearby. I had to chisel into the matrix to find teeth, so as I searched for teeth, I just kept tossing matrix pieces into my backpack to take home. So now I have a bunch of matrix to go through. I'm looking forward to doing that in my air conditioned house rather than outside in today's 98 degree temperatures. LOL. I made an early day of it after it got so hot, heading home before 1:00 in the afternoon. I'll post a reply after I've gone through all the matrix.

 

Here are some matrix pieces I brought home. The upper two are the same gray as the limestone they were on top of. But there was also some tan matrix mixed in, like those two bottom pieces. Both had teeth in them.

 

kincaid01001.jpg

 

Two teeth in the matrix on this rock. The top one was still attached to the matrix, but the bottom one was loose inside a hole that it looked like someone chiseled. So much for my secret spot.
 

kincaid01002.jpg

 

Some of the matrix I brought home had teeth that weren't too hard to spot.
 

kincaid01003.jpg

 

Here are the 20 teeth I've found so far. I'm going to have to do some research to identify some of them. The Kincaid Formation and Paleocene period are both new to me. The surprise of the day was a single small ptychodus tooth I found. Since Kincaid is 66 to 56 mya, and ptychodus supposedly went extinct 85 mya in the Western Interior Sea, I didn't expect to see any today. But this one was in the same matrix the other teeth came from. It appears I found a tooth from one of the last of the Mohicans. Does anyone here have experience hunting Kincaid? If I thought last week's teeth were small, then these teeth are REALLY small. But I had a blast finding them.
 

kincaid01004.jpg

 

And I have lots more matrix to go through. I'll check back after I've been through it. Thankfully, it's nowhere near as hard as most matrix I seem to bring home.
 

kincaid01005.jpg

Edited by BudB
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  • BudB changed the title to East Texas creek, September 2nd
Uncle Siphuncle

Cool outing.  Was the Ptychodus loose or in matrix?  Context tells the full story.  If loose, there is a chance that a collector dropped it, or perhaps it was in your own gear from a prior trip, either scenario more likely than natural occurrence or transport.

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44 minutes ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

Cool outing.  Was the Ptychodus loose or in matrix?  Context tells the full story.  If loose, there is a chance that a collector dropped it, or perhaps it was in your own gear from a prior trip, either scenario more likely than natural occurrence or transport.

The Ptychodus tooth was still embedded in matrix that I brought home. The funny thing is that I kept seeing tiny black rocks in the matrix in the creek that looked like Ptychodus teeth, and would check them out with my pick even as I was telling myself there would be no Ptychodus on this trip. But I had time to go through a small amount of the matrix after I got home, and the telltale ridges on this tooth were plainly visible as I broke it out of the matrix. I've collected no other matrix that breaks apart as easily as this does, so I'm pretty certain that particular piece of matrix wasn't already in my backpack. I've been using a small pick to free the delicate sharp teeth from this matrix, but I broke that Ptychodus out with nothing but my hands.

Edited by BudB
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I've made it through quite a bit of the matrix. As advertised for Kincaid, this matrix has lots of micro teeth. Between my new prescription eyeglasses and my magnifying lamp I bought, I can see them much better than I ever would have been able to before. So I'm researching the care and feeding of microfossils. I have ordered a digital microscope. Hopefully when it arrives, I'll be able to post some decent photos of these teeth. I'm beginning to see the attraction of microfossils. What looks like nothing more than a speck to the naked eye is a beautiful tooth under that magnifying lamp.

 

kincaid01006.jpg

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LSCHNELLE

Shawn Hamm reports in NMMNH Bulletin 81 that the youngest Ptychodus are found in Texas in the Roxton member of Gober Chalk (Lower Taylor Group) and the Ozan Formation as reworked teeth from the Austin Group. Also, the Tombigbee member of the Eutaw Formation in Alabama.  So, no younger than early Campanian age.  You need to check your formations against paleomarker fossils such as ammonites, scaphites. and baculites. Shawn reports that younger Ptychodus fossils such as Maastrichtian age have never been verified. Earliest Paleocene is the Danian age - younger still.  Your Ptychodus looks like a reworked P. whipplei or P. rugosus. 

Edited by LSCHNELLE
Corrected "of" to "and the Ozan". Added Lower Taylor Group for clarification.
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DPS Ammonite
58 minutes ago, LSCHNELLE said:

Shawn Hamm reports in NMMNH Bulletin 81 that the youngest Ptychodus are found in Texas in the Roxton member of Gober Chalk of the Ozan Formation as reworked teeth from the Austin Group.

The Gober Chalk and the Ozan are separate formations. The Roxton Limestone is part of the Gober Chalk. The Ozan is part of the Austin Group.

 

https://nmdigital.unm.edu/digital/api/collection/bulletins/id/7316/download

 

 

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8 hours ago, BudB said:

I'm beginning to see the attraction of microfossils. What looks like nothing more than a speck to the naked eye is a beautiful tooth under that magnifying lamp.

 

It's really amazing that something so small can be so amazing, and still be just as valuable to our knowledge and appreciation of the past as something much larger. You have some gorgeous little nibblers here! :meg:

 

Are you planning on repairing any of these small teeth? I would love to see some before-afters if you do!

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LSCHNELLE
9 hours ago, DPS Ammonite said:

The Gober Chalk and the Ozan are separate formations. The Roxton Limestone is part of the Gober Chalk. The Ozan is part of the Austin Group.

 

https://nmdigital.unm.edu/digital/api/collection/bulletins/id/7316/download

 

 

Your right.  I had a typo.  I should have said "and the Ozan Formation" not "of the Ozan".  I understand that the Gober Chalk is similar to the Pecan Gap Chalk of Central Texas and , "is a lower Taylor tongue and not a part of the true Austin Chalk" per some professional opinions.   The Del Rio Clay in Del Rio, Texas has a similar limey tongue that I have drilled through on top of the Salmon Peak Limestone.  It is not considered part of the older Limestone formation even though the Del Rio is primarily a clay formation. 

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LSCHNELLE

BudB.  You need to keep the matrix pieces from which you extracted the Ptychodus.  Otherwise, your find will likely not be authenticated.  Paleontologists would want to analyze associated fossils to check for formation age. Just like today, it is possible but unlikely to find a Cretaceous fossil in Quaternary or Recent age sediment that was eroded from Cretaceous strata.  That would be considered "reworked".  Usually, such fossils don't survive for very long before being broken down into fine or coarse sediment. 

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2 hours ago, LSCHNELLE said:

BudB.  You need to keep the matrix pieces from which you extracted the Ptychodus.  Otherwise, your find will likely not be authenticated.  Paleontologists would want to analyze associated fossils to check for formation age. Just like today, it is possible but unlikely to find a Cretaceous fossil in Quaternary or Recent age sediment that was eroded from Cretaceous strata.  That would be considered "reworked".  Usually, such fossils don't survive for very long before being broken down into fine or coarse sediment. 

I really should have taken a photo of the Ptychodus while it was still in the matrix and documented everything. But I am both a beginner (less than a year and a half of fossil hunting) and an old fart (turned 70 in April) and I assumed I was mistaken or remembered wrong about when Ptychodus disappeared. It was only when I checked later that I realized that I had remembered correctly, and that this tooth really was out of place. And the rest of the matrix is turning out micro teeth just like Kincaid should, and is nothing like all the Cretaceous matrix where I've found so many Ptychodus teeth. I need to pay better attention to what these fossils are telling me.

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11 hours ago, kehaz said:

 

Are you planning on repairing any of these small teeth? I would love to see some before-afters if you do!

Repair? I have no idea how I would do that. I'm still trying to get set up to photograph them decently.

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I've gotten in my digital microscope and started taking photos of the teeth. Here is one of the smallest, no more than a speck to the naked eye.

 

S20210904_0001.jpg

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And here is one that reminds me of how many are broken and how many need to be cleaned up. Cleaning recommendations for teeth this small? I guess I could use some photo taking advice too, for that matter. And a new ruler, without so many scratches, no doubt.

 

S20210904_0002.jpg

Edited by BudB
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I made a cleaning solution of water, hydrogen peroxide, and Calgon and soaked the teeth for an hour. Here is that same tooth afterward. Guess it's time to make myself a gallery. I ended up with 83 teeth from this trip.

 

S20210905_0001.jpg

Edited by BudB
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  • 3 weeks later...

I ran across this report, which suggests that reworked cretaceous fossils are common in the part of Kincaid where I was, so maybe my Ptychodus find wasn't that unusual.

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Oxytropidoceras
On 9/4/2021 at 8:53 AM, LSCHNELLE said:

BudB.  You need to keep the matrix pieces from which you extracted the Ptychodus.  Otherwise, your find will likely not be authenticated.  Paleontologists would want to analyze associated fossils to check for formation age. Just like today, it is possible but unlikely to find a Cretaceous fossil in Quaternary or Recent age sediment that was eroded from Cretaceous strata.  That would be considered "reworked".  Usually, such fossils don't survive for very long before being broken down into fine or coarse sediment. 

 

One possible explanation is that the shell hash, in which the Ptychodus tooth was found, is part of an undescribed K/Pg boundary deposit and the tooth was reworked by the K/Pg tsunami. If that is the case, you might have found a K/Pg boundary outcrop new to science.

 

For an example of a 13 m thick K/Pg boundary deposit go see;


The Effects of the Chicxulub Impact Found in the Subsurface of Northern Louisiana by Gary L. Kinsland,Search and Discovery Article #51587 (2019)

 

Yours,

 

Paul H.

Edited by Oxytropidoceras
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  • 3 weeks later...
flyingpenut
On 9/2/2021 at 5:12 PM, BudB said:

I made a trip to a creek in East Texas today and brought home a nice collection of very small teeth. It was the first time I've ever had success finding fossils less than an hour drive from home, and I was pretty pleased about that. This was a Kincaid Formation outcrop. The teeth came from a shell hash that was on top of some very hard limestone. Some of the matrix which contained the teeth was the same gray as the limestone, and some of it was a tan color.

 

I looked at a lot of identical looking matrix which had nothing but shell fragments in it, but once I found teeth, there were more teeth nearby. I had to chisel into the matrix to find teeth, so as I searched for teeth, I just kept tossing matrix pieces into my backpack to take home. So now I have a bunch of matrix to go through. I'm looking forward to doing that in my air conditioned house rather than outside in today's 98 degree temperatures. LOL. I made an early day of it after it got so hot, heading home before 1:00 in the afternoon. I'll post a reply after I've gone through all the matrix.

 

Here are some matrix pieces I brought home. The upper two are the same gray as the limestone they were on top of. But there was also some tan matrix mixed in, like those two bottom pieces. Both had teeth in them.

 

kincaid01001.jpg

 

Two teeth in the matrix on this rock. The top one was still attached to the matrix, but the bottom one was loose inside a hole that it looked like someone chiseled. So much for my secret spot.
 

kincaid01002.jpg

 

Some of the matrix I brought home had teeth that weren't too hard to spot.
 

kincaid01003.jpg

 

Here are the 20 teeth I've found so far. I'm going to have to do some research to identify some of them. The Kincaid Formation and Paleocene period are both new to me. The surprise of the day was a single small ptychodus tooth I found. Since Kincaid is 66 to 56 mya, and ptychodus supposedly went extinct 85 mya in the Western Interior Sea, I didn't expect to see any today. But this one was in the same matrix the other teeth came from. It appears I found a tooth from one of the last of the Mohicans. Does anyone here have experience hunting Kincaid? If I thought last week's teeth were small, then these teeth are REALLY small. But I had a blast finding them.
 

kincaid01004.jpg

 

And I have lots more matrix to go through. I'll check back after I've been through it. Thankfully, it's nowhere near as hard as most matrix I seem to bring home.
 

kincaid01005.jpg

Im no expert but I would suggest that this entire matrix is reworked secondary matrix? The condition of the teeth, the brittleness of the matrix, and of course the older cretaceous ptychodus leading me to believe this. 

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On 10/9/2021 at 7:03 PM, flyingpenut said:

Im no expert but I would suggest that this entire matrix is reworked secondary matrix? The condition of the teeth, the brittleness of the matrix, and of course the older cretaceous ptychodus leading me to believe this. 

I suppose that is possible, though I can't say that I've ever found this many micro teeth in any cretaceous matrix. I need to get back there. I didn't find the productive area until an hour before I needed to leave. I need to go when I have more time, and be more careful handling the matrix and removing the teeth.

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