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2nd Texas fossil hunting trip


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Here are some photos of my 2nd ever fossil hunting trip on Saturday January 8th, 2022. On Friday Jan. 7th, was my first fossil hunting trip, which I posted a few days ago, obtaining mostly exogyra oysters from the North Sulphur River. So I went out the next morning in the rain to Jacksonville, TX, about an hour from me. I stopped along Hwy 69 just north of Love's Lookout, where there are steep rocky cliffs on either side of the highway. I only stayed an hour, as I was soaking wet. But I managed to chip away at several of the red rocks in the area (sorry, I don't know the geologic ages), trying to separate layers and see what could be exposed. I brought 13 samples home, just based on some indentions, bumps, or various colors. One of the samples looked like maybe a clam. It wasn't until I got home and cleaned them up a little did I start noticing what I found. Two of them have crabs in the matrix (it wasn't a clam). One of these with one crab also has 2 scorpions on the reverse side. Another rock sort of looks like it has an orthoceras nautiloid in it. All the others I'm not sure if anything or not. See my photos and comments below. I'll post more photos with close-ups and ask for help with ID in the "Fossil ID" section. All in all, I'm very excited and pleased with the two fossil matrix rocks for sure with the crabs, scorpions, and an insect. Worth the trip.

 

1) Total take: 13

Photo#1:

921289966_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(1).thumb.JPG.52f1f659fd1dc990e1ef4a337bee5e4b.JPG

 

2) Four crabs and one large insect (not sure what kind). Unfortunately, I think I knocked off the largest one's arm when I was chiseling on the larger rock. Also, I need to know how I can seal these cracks. This piece is extremely delicate/fragile right now. I don't want it to fall apart. I'll ask this question in the question section also.

Photos # 2a, 2b, 

1592879165_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(38).thumb.JPG.9809fa611c7ab41f5cadcbfb33e15d9f.JPG523824436_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(38)_LI.thumb.jpg.01cbb0400a1222e9b35abafd2b02908a.jpg

 

Biggest one, missing an arm. Can still see its pinchers/claws.

Photos # 2c, 2d (you can see the smallest one to the front right, with the insect hovering right behind him, can also see the pointy spikes on the insect's arms.)

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Small crab and insect, from different angles.

Photos # 2e, 2f, 2g, 2h

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Small crab to right of big one (mama), in middle, (or below mama in this next photo). I didn't get a real good photo of him up close.

Photo # 2i

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Crab near the back. Still covered with some rock matrix. I could use some suggestions on how I could uncover him some more, or should I not even try? You can see one arm and pincher, and part of the body.

Photo # 2j

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And here is the underside of this matrix.

Photos # 2k, 2l

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3) Crab on top side, and 2 scorpions and a crab (or crab arm and a leaf?) on the underside.

Photos # 3a, 3b, 3c from top side. Crab on far left. Any idea what the yellow lines are?

1979278481_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(30).thumb.JPG.f6470a52ff584ab55d5433bc1cb6c0c5.JPG54477457_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(32).thumb.JPG.66162411c5f745a4ba9c9f6d121e2a9d.JPG1367089194_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(36).thumb.JPG.154ce828647fbe76ede1b151f9817046.JPG

 

Underside. Full scorpion on left side. Smaller scorpion on right front edge, with a crab pincher to the right of it.

Photos # 3d, 3e, 3f, 3g, 3h, 3i, 3j, 3k, 3l

2034240052_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(37).thumb.JPG.18b2e31d6f23b40d87de39c21c2bbce4.JPG915919005_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(37)_LI.thumb.jpg.588631ed697884283e92b213682f2533.jpg1895273025_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(37a)(6).thumb.JPG.3a39276237a175266bd98833fb614f9b.JPG818648809_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(37a)(10).thumb.JPG.7ab795927a7ac499c8f48fb3cbb26a24.JPG1228454897_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(37a)(11).thumb.JPG.5b14f5834ff3ec7ef56dfc93255ec122.JPG1170689420_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(37a)(12).thumb.JPG.6ad9883c4a637191352e8f4ceaf321b2.JPG805953896_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(37a)(15).thumb.JPG.f69e33d63ba03d44f74fcfb7f03d08b7.JPG938597618_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(37a)(4).thumb.JPG.68384858c8e8b00697e41111ae1578df.JPG362567538_ST(1-8-22)(Hwy69JacksonvilleTX)(37a)(3).thumb.JPG.97a45176c51d4860505e233e116f8cdd.JPG

 

4) Strange streak pattern on front, with large insect (?) on underside, left of center, with what looks like a long tail.

Photos # 4a, 4b, 4c

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5) This one sort of looks like an orthoceras nautiloid buried. From the side view you can see a cylindrical bulge on top. From the edge view, I can't really tell if the cross section of the nautiloid is showing.  Any agreement?  If so, what would be the best way to remove more rock and get more of it exposed?  This is something I don't know how to do yet. 

Photos #5a, 5b, 5c, 5d

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6) And finally, here are the remainder of the rocks. I'll ask if they might be anything in the Fossil ID section.

Photos # 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d, 6e, 6f, 6g, 6h, 6i, 6j

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ST (1-8-22) (Hwy69 Jacksonville, TX) (53).JPG

ST (1-8-22) (Hwy69 Jacksonville, TX) (51).JPG

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Hey, sorry to be a downer but I don’t see any crabs, scorpions, or other arthropods here. :shakehead: 

 

I see some cracked rocks and some marine trace fossils. Trace fossils are cool in their own right though! 

 

I don’t know in what exact strata you were hunting, but nothing local in Jacksonville, Texas would be old enough for orthoconic nautiloids. And scorpions wouldn’t likely be present in these types of deposits, even though they did exist at this time (Eocene).

 

I suggest buying a few books on Texas fossils, and hunting in known fossiliferous areas for awhile to get good experience in identifying known fauna. The NSR is great for that, and since you already have experience with it I would start there. 

 

Here are two great online resources: http://northtexasfossils.com

https://web.archive.org/web/20070820093915/http://www.cretaceousfossils.com/

 

Dan Woehr’s various reports are also great! https://bcfas.org/museum2/Meander/2007/FOSSIL REPORT May 2007.pdf

Edited by Heteromorph
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Looks like you got some ironstone and maybe limonite,  they can create very colorful interesting concretions and rocks that look like works of art.  This is a sample of fossils and crabs in red concretions from around DFW, usually all that's preserved well in crabs is the carapace.  If you use the USGS Texas pocket Geology it will tell you what formation your in, then Google for fossils from that formation and you can get idea what your looking for. 

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Thanks for input. I looked at the Texas geology guide. The area is Eocene, ironstone and limonite. Abundant marine fossils available. Lone Hunter's crabs look very similar to mine. I'm sorry to disagree with the responses so far, but I'm just not seeing a "likeness" of a crab. The carapace is obvious, as are the claws (or chelipeds, to use a big term). One eye is visible on the middle smaller crab. Also the underside of the rock clearly shows the underside of the larger crab. Maybe my photos weren't good enough. I'll have to work on that. Also, just because a book or paper says a certain organism should or should not be in a certain rock layer, doesn't mean they are always right. Anomalies occur all the time.  Thanks

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One of the main differences between your specimens and Lone Hunter's crab fossils that I can see is that there is a clear separation between the fossil shell and the surrounding matrix, whereas in your pieces it seems the shape melts/blends into the surrounding matrix. That very strongly suggests to me that there is no fossil, but a suggestive shape. 

 

Yes, anomalies do happen (and are exciting when they do!), but the odds do diminish significantly the more an area has been explored over a period of time. In most cases, entirely new faunal reassessments generally occur for very remote areas (think here of the arctic, for example). 

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I agree with the others.  I am not seeing any crab fossils in your finds.  In the Texas Eocene, crabs will occur most often in nodules.  The carapace and appendages will have a distinct texture.  

 

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I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this as well, but I'm not seeing any crabs at all. I live in North Texas even and hunt the area so I'm not just some random dude who wants to throw in an opinion without experience. When you see a crab it will be clear an obvious. Most of the time the fossil is even a slightly different color to the matrix it is in. 

 

A word to the wise, if you have to draw on the rock to show people where the fossil is, it's probably not one. Not a hard and fast rule but 99% of the time it applies. The fossils are usually clearly obvious unless a tiny part is just peeking out of the rock and you have to prepare it to remove and expose it. 

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And by the way, this is nothing new. EVERY SINGLE  member on this forum have been guilty of this when we first started out. At first we all think we see stuff in rocks that aren't really there. Mother Nature can be a cruel trickster at times. The only question is, will you accept the advice of others who have a ton of experience or are professionals and go find the real stuff? Or will you insist on being right and that you know everything and continue on, blissfully unaware that you're collecting rocks and leaving the real stuff behind?

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Thanks to everyone who responded. I'm not so stubborn to ignore your advice and opinions. I appreciate it, and really want to  get it right and enjoy doing it. The 2 days I've gone out so far have been a lot of fun. 

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Please don't be discouraged,  we've all been there.  I've been hunting fossils for years yet sometimes I feel like I know nothing, it's never ending learning esp here in Texas. I swear to this day I would not recognize a rudist if it were in my hand and I'm continuing to be thrown off by the vast array of concretions and ironstone.  If it were that easy to figure out people like me wouldn't still be posting an occasional rock.  For the longest time I thought this was a partial fish skeleton,  it took some learning and a magnifying glass to figure out it's just peices of shell coincidentally arranged :)

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