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AmmoniteDelight

 

I turned today into a fun adventure! Today I was to go to jury duty but was dismissed at 9am. Since I had the day off from both my job and school I decided to tell the spouse to grab my hiking bag out of the closet and get my bucket out the back yard. The best thing about where I live in TX at the moment is that I literally live smach dab in the middle of 2 famous fossil hotspots in north Texas- both are about the same distance. The day was new and I was free. I wanted to try them both! So I did. :ironic:
 

  NSR first. Today was perfect- not too hot not too cold. Clouds! Breeze and shade. 


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Oh yeah, I should probably warn everyone planning a trip that the place to park has moved over the bridge to the West- theres construction going on on the old location! The parking has moved. I had no idea about this and we got lost, so please learn from my mistakes. I have attached a map. Said map-

 

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Happy the city got rid of the “stairs of death” because well… thats exactly what they were. New safe sidewalk slope for us. Although Im a little mad since last time I have gotten buff legs to where I was actually excited to go down the stairs again. Last time I was here was the old location before construction… I had very sore “NSR stair legs” for days, the experience made me want to start working out because I felt THAT out of shape. I got all strong and ready for this moment just for them to make a nice surprise sidewalk. =]

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Question: Am I supposed to be picking through this blue shale for the mosasaur fossils? The pickings were none in the gravel bars today- no black except broken bits of tiny shells and fingernail size cephalopod fragments I left for the kids. Usually I find bones in the “middle” of the river in the gravel but last time I was here people told me to look in the red and blue muddy shale. All I find are these fragile wet remains of shells. I usually find ammonites and inocera’ shells that are too fragile to keep. This morning was a bunk day at NSR so I started enjoying the wildlife and playing in the mud with the husband. Someone recommended the location near Ben Franklin bridge for at least exogyra shell souvenirs but I didn’t want us to drive or walk anymore east. Next time! 


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Skink friend 


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This ammonite stamp was my only decent find! Ive never been able to keep one from NSR, usually they break and crumble to mud on the way home so I made sure to keep this new swirly friend safe! (I really need to go to Duck Creek form. sometime!) His name is now Monty. I have no idea the species… just know he looked like a “Monty” to me when I picked him up. I might coat it in thin resin later to keep his pearly sheen protected. 
 

 

Next was POC- literally my favorite place in Texas for teeth. I get vivacious for Cretaceous. :meg:  I absolutely believe this place still has plenty to offer despite how popular it is. I went to the S Travis street spot and went as left down the river as my high wader boots could take me which was actually very far of a trek! My sneaker wearing husband was not amused with my shenanigans. True love. 

 :thumbsu:

 

It was a beautiful day here and the creek itself was low and very beautiful. Ya know…  if you imagine all the litter absent it really is a beautiful place.  

FA191461-A763-4-B1-C-B7-DA-B9-F00109-C50

Seriously. Dont Litter. 


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Spot the treasure! 


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Beautiful Shelfs
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The coveted Christmastreeus illumini…. I absolutely hate human litter. *cries* Seriously be careful here because theres so much glass burried in the gravel. Even deep down I found so much broken beer bottles and ceramic shards.  If you like sea glass theres so many weathered pieces of glass here you might find. 
 

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Already found some goodies! 

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*Message to the person who recently dug the big “V” shape in the gravel at The Fallen Tree- you missed some good stuff right on top of your pile and thanks for the free trowel! :default_clap2::P How did ya know I loved green?! :ighappy:


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Look at how beautiful this looks. Id take this prehistoric beach over a modern one any day! This was very peaceful. I spent a while enjoying the minnows dancing in the water. 


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Nice little gravel shelf! I took a bucket of this stuff home for later. 


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Curious if I should be seiving this blue shale? I came here looking for mosie teeths and arrowheads. I always have luck in spots people picked over on the dry gravel. I found all my ptychodus just right on top the dry stuff but curious if others found cool stuff in the blue formation muck besides lopha oysters. 


Came home because Husband was hungry! I met a nice older gentleman with a blue chair seiving on the way back up the creek telling me about some stuff he found in Ladonia last. I didnt find as much cool stuff as I wanted today but it sure as shell beats jury duty! I loves the tranquility of being outdoors and around nature in isolation. 
 

I will ask to ID these later in the Fossil ID but here are my finds! Feel free to let me know if I found something neat. I think A and B specimens belong to ancient turtles, I absolutely LOVE all my ptychodus teeth I found in a short amount of time. (I spent more walking than searching!) I have my first 2 or 3 ? Ptychodus mortoni.  P. whipplei are my favorite- that big one is bigger than my thumbnail and a personal record! Its very big! They (locals) say this place is so picked over but I managed to find something special. No mosasaur tooth…:megalodon_broken01: thats my curse for now however I want to head outside soon again. I wont move out of Texas until I find my own! Ive heard of people finding them here and in NSR especially so I’m going to keep trying. Maybe Im so overdue I will find a jaw piece or something neat someday. 

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My POC finds from last trip- I have to fit all these new ones in this dinky little frame. Time for “bigger frame” shopping later. 


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I also framed my NSR fossils from my very first trip! I *do* have mosie bones but not that dream prize tooth. Instead I found a coprolite which I placed in the middle as a placeholder untilI find one. I actually love that piece of poopie. :chuckle: I thought it would be cool to use the broken bacu segments- I pieced some of the broken shards of similar sizes together and arranged an idea of what the shape would be if it was a whole one. My husband thought it was a clever way to display them and made it easier to know what it is. 
 *Also bonus- I cut some matrix off the shale Morty is on (it was very thick!) so now he is displayed up with my other swirly friends. He seriously needs an ID soon! 
 

Thanks for reading my adventure! Today I got paid to play in the ground and it felt great. I’ll find my grail next time! 

Edited by AmmoniteDelight
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Enjoyed the report, glad you had some success - there are always things to be found in POC. If you want a mosasaur tooth/jaw, NSR is your better option. I've found several teeth fragments from POC, so they're there but probably are smaller and have poorer preservation compared to NSR

 

1 hour ago, AmmoniteDelight said:

Question: Am I supposed to be picking through this blue shale for the mosasaur fossils? The pickings were none in the gravel bars today- no black except broken bits of tiny shells and fingernail size cephalopod fragments I left for the kids. Usually I find bones in the “middle” of the river in the gravel but last time I was here people told me to look in the red and blue muddy shale. All I find are these fragile wet remains of shells.

You can look in the red layer - that's where most of the black, phosphatized fossils come from. You have poorer chances just looking at the wall; you want to be looking in areas where rocks of a similar size are collecting in the river. Nature doesn't care if it's rock or fossil, it'll be sorted and deposited the same way. My tooth was found among shale pieces, sitting on the surface:

IMG_3298.thumb.JPG.421e7bdf77f81b48cc5646359a20701f.JPG

 

1 hour ago, AmmoniteDelight said:

Nice little gravel shelf! I took a bucket of this stuff home for later. 

Great, there are lots of micro treasures in there.

 

1 hour ago, AmmoniteDelight said:

Curious if I should be seiving this blue shale? I came here looking for mosie teeths and arrowheads.

I haven't tried, it might be the Eagle Ford shale itself - so could be shark teeth in there (no arrowheads).

Edited by ThePhysicist
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It might also be worth your time to survey and explore some more little known spots as well - perhaps even discovering your own. My very first Mosasaur tooth was found on a half-hearted scout to an area I found with a geologic map. The map I use is this one: https://txpub.usgs.gov/txgeology/

 

If you want Mosasaur material specifically, I agree with @ThePhysicist that Post Oak creek is more unlikely. The reason being is that (if I remember correctly) Post Oak Creek mostly exposes the Eagle Ford formation. The Eagle ford is a good several million years older than the Ozan formation (which NSR exposes), with the Eagle Ford capturing the time when Mosasaurs were beginning to diversify. Since the Ozan formation takes place several million years later, Mosasaurs were more more prevalent and larger, and thus you have a better chance for a nice, big tooth.

 

However, there are still some nice odds, even in Eagle Ford stuff. I have found some mosasaur material in Eagle Ford strata before, and all came as a result of personal exploration. I think half the fun anyway is that detective process of research.

 

Also, I don't know if I'm thinking of someone else, but I believe you mentioned you're in Prosper? I have a friend who grew up there, and as a kid he found what was likely a Mosy tooth in those parts too. Just so ya know

Edited by Jared C
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Excellent report! And lovely Glyptoxoceras:dinothumb:

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4 hours ago, AmmoniteDelight said:

I got paid to play in the ground and it felt great.

I hope you mean from your job and not the $10 for jury duty :heartylaugh:

But seriously, great report and glad you had fun. I really like the Ptychodus that you found, good job!

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K1 piece is a colonial coral that grows on the Cameleolopha belliplicata oysters. It may be the same one found in Eagle Ford, TX or could be different. You need to make a cross section and show it to a coral expert. O 1-3 are an unidentified branching bryozoan that also grows on Cameleolopha belliplicata oysters.

 

Dallas area paleontology students: here is an ID project for you.

Edited by DPS Ammonite
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AmmoniteDelight
9 hours ago, ThePhysicist said:

Enjoyed the report, glad you had some success - there are always things to be found in POC. If you want a mosasaur tooth/jaw, NSR is your better option. I've found several teeth fragments from POC, so they're there but probably are smaller and have poorer preservation compared to NSR

 

You can look in the red layer - that's where most of the black, phosphatized fossils come from. You have poorer chances just looking at the wall; you want to be looking in areas where rocks of a similar size are collecting in the river. Nature doesn't care if it's rock or fossil, it'll be sorted and deposited the same way. My tooth was found among shale pieces, sitting on the surface:

IMG_3298.thumb.JPG.421e7bdf77f81b48cc5646359a20701f.JPG

 

Great, there are lots of micro treasures in there.

 

I haven't tried, it might be the Eagle Ford shale itself - so could be shark teeth in there (no arrowheads).

That photo is the most beautiful thing! 
:meg::envy:
 

Thanks so much for the tips! Im already itching to go back to NSR with this info. I should probably wait for a good rainstorm to bring up some new stuff, its been dry and thats probably why I had such poor luck in the rocks- good stuff on the top probably taken! 

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7 hours ago, Jared C said:

It might also be worth your time to survey and explore some more little known spots as well - perhaps even discovering your own. My very first Mosasaur tooth was found on a half-hearted scout to an area I found with a geologic map. The map I use is this one: https://txpub.usgs.gov/txgeology/

 

If you want Mosasaur material specifically, I agree with @ThePhysicist that Post Oak creek is more unlikely. The reason being is that (if I remember correctly) Post Oak Creek mostly exposes the Eagle Ford formation. The Eagle ford is a good several million years older than the Ozan formation (which NSR exposes), with the Eagle Ford capturing the time when Mosasaurs were beginning to diversify. Since the Ozan formation takes place several million years later, Mosasaurs were more more prevalent and larger, and thus you have a better chance for a nice, big tooth.

 

However, there are still some nice odds, even in Eagle Ford stuff. I have found some mosasaur material in Eagle Ford strata before, and all came as a result of personal exploration. I think half the fun anyway is that detective process of research.

 

Also, I don't know if I'm thinking of someone else, but I believe you mentioned you're in Prosper? I have a friend who grew up there, and as a kid he found what was likely a Mosy tooth in those parts too. Just so ya know


Im in Princeton! Prosper is still pretty close to me but thats while to the west. Im closer to Mckinney if that helps, about 10 minutes east drive from 75. Theres a lot of Austin Chalk here but all the fun Cretaceous sites are only an hour of a drive!
 

Yeah POC is Eagle Ford! Last time I was here someone who drove from north carolina showed me her small mosasaur tooth and an arrowhead she found here shoveling and sieving so thats what gives me hope! Most of whats here is lopha oysters (90%), shark teeth, and bits of bryozoan or crustaceans here and there. Ive never found confirmed marine reptile, ammonites, or urchins for those reading wanting to try here. I love going here for ptychodus and squali which is usually very successful! Theres also a lot of pet wood and sometimes mammal bones from what I’m guessing is actually pig or cow. 
 

Thank you for the information! Im actually using a survey map to try to find something closer of the same formation. Theres a ton of creeks in the Ozan that I found have bridges and theres also so much construction going on! I would love to find something Ozan less touched. Being too mindful of people’s land/property has been what has stopped me- out here is very country so you dont want to trespass! 
 

Your recent trips has been what has inspired me to go out again! I would literally melt if I found something that amazing. I forgot how fun it was to go be outdoors, my life has been “work-work-school-work” nonstop for almost a decade now that I forgot how to live and be happy playing in rocks! When I moved to Texas 11 years ago (just moved from Indiana at the time with a suitcase full of Devonian) I was so excited about the Cretaceous fossils- the first day I excitedly told my husband we have to go out find a mosasaur tooth! :P

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6 hours ago, ClearLake said:

I hope you mean from your job and not the $10 for jury duty :heartylaugh:

But seriously, great report and glad you had fun. I really like the Ptychodus that you found, good job!

 HAHA! Nah, the company I work for pays us the same as holiday pay hours for jury duty on top of what jury duty pay! :P

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6 hours ago, Heteromorph said:

Excellent report! And lovely Glyptoxoceras:dinothumb:

 
Thank you and all else who mentioned this species! 

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Hey everyone! I wanted to add to this post that I went back. I really want to stress and confirm do NOT come out here if there is any rain in the forecast- even light rain! If there was recently rain avoid as well. We went out again a few days ago with a disappointing return. 
 

So because it was a chilly dry spell and there wasn’t supposed to be rain until the NEXT day it felt like a good chance to be out here! Mother nature threw us a curveball and it started drizzling, then raining a whole day early when we got there! Crud. 
 

One of the cliffs that we avoided, because it looked like it recently fell, collapsed behind us and it literally sounded like a stampede! We turned around home immediately not just because of that but because it was lightly raining now. Thank goodness we stayed close to the entrance of the park this time! All I found were black shells and baculite chunks anyways, we spent maybe half hour out. No spiders this time! 

I got a good picture of the signage in case anyone is curious. 

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When we arrived- drizzle at most. 
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Fallen cliff! Be careful! 
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Also WOW this was from after the rain later that day! Even in gentle rain it fills up fast! Best wait a while to come back and let this dry up. 
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Ya’ll be careful out there! Wait like a week after it rains because the mud here can get calf-deep! Wait till its dry!

 

 

***Also random though but I wonder what kind of amazing fossils they are digging up for the Ralph Hall lake!? All the Mosasaur teeth…. :laugh2: I wish I had the luxury look through their piles! 

Edited by AmmoniteDelight
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