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On October 10, we (my wife and I) went to an extraction site for diatomites, in the Cantal massif. The age of these rocks is Messinian, bordering on Miocene-Pliocene.

I present some photos of the exploited site (seen during a previous visit) and some fossils found this Sunday in the rocks stored awaiting industrial treatment.

The remains of fossil plants are not abundant, you have to cut a lot of rock and the quality of conservation is often poor, but occasionally a pretty leaf appears...

The next problem is long-term preservation, even with immediate consolidation treatment, performed at the site.

The most 'common' species is Alnus hoernesi = A. stenophylla, but studies conducted for over a century have identified 86 species!

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Amazing! Those are excellent specimens - the horsetail is one of my favorites. Is the spider a scientifically important find from that formation, or have they been found before?  Either way, thanks for posting these superb fossils! :)

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16 hours ago, marguy said:

Potamogeton , indet; foliage (maybe Juglans) , Pine seed

 

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16 hours ago, marguy said:

Alder strobile,  indet. plant (Chara, Potamogeton sp???)

 

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Wonderful detail!

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I hope to see the spider entered in the Fossil of the Month" contest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  

I see my hopes came true!!!!! Should have looked at that topic before responding.

Edited by minnbuckeye
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20 hours ago, Mainefossils said:

Is the spider a scientifically important find from that formation, or have they been found before?

I found a reference with 2 photos ,poor quality or bad conservation, and no scientific name!

 

 

 

Capture arachnides.JPG

 

21 hours ago, marguy said:

indet. plant (Chara, Potamogeton sp???)

could be a Myriophyllum.

Edited by marguy
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10 hours ago, minnbuckeye said:

I hope to see the spider entered in the Fossil of the Month" contest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  

I see my hopes came true!!!!! Should have looked at that topic before responding.

It is done.

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after a little research I found the precise identification for the  Ephemeroptera larva: the species was described in 1999 under this name:

Pseudokageronia thomasi MASSELOT & NEL, 1999 (holotype and paratype in Paris Museum MNHN)

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A spider from a textbook on arachnid anatomy:D. Insects are great too

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doushantuo

Local beer brewers use(d) the diatomite in filters.

Diatomite** is economically useful, but is slightly controversial as e.g.fertilizer.

** Kieselgur,in German

 

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image.thumb.png.dd7527cf99d2c352ecbfd78b078cd728.png

 

A specialist friend suggested sending the photo to Paul Selden who says it could be an orb weaver.

By coincidence, he is presently in France and has plans to visit the Murat locality sometime this year:

 

Thank you for sending me the nice spider picture!
 
I am aware of spider fossils coming out of the Murat diatomite. Indeed I intend to travel down there sometime this year to look at a collection made by a local collector when we can find a mutually suitable time.
 
As far as the specimen goes it is a rather nice one. I cannot say for sure what it is, but it looks rather like an araneid. When I have studied the Cantal specimens, I will have a better idea of the fauna. Should you want me to include your specimen in my studies, I would be pleased to do so.
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@piranha

thank you for this transmission to Paul Selden ; I sent him a message so that he can contact me if he wishes .

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