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Spontaneous trip to NY and a quick fossil hunt

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On Tuesday this week, myself and some of my family spontaneously decided to get out and drive to some interesting places in New York state to enjoy the day. 

We visited some beautiful locations like these two waterfalls:



On our journey, we ended up around Gilboa, which is the location where one of the earliest known fossil forests was discovered with amazing plant and animal life, some of these fossils are exhibited outside near the town hall. This, being one of the many locations I had wanted to visit for years, was an opportunity I could not pass up, so while driving through the town we stopped by to take a look at these amazing pieces of history and get a few pictures:


These are just some of the fossils displayed there, I have also really wanted to get to fossil hunt for some of the plant remains from this formation in Schohaire creek nearby, but unfortunately due to the very spontaneous nature of all of this I was not ready with the locations I had noted down where we could have done so and I did not get to collect anything from there on that day.

We did, however, still have a little bit of time before it would get dark and I made the suggestion that we go collect some fossils at another, familiar location as it isn't often that I get to be around these places. So that is what we did, setting out for a quick hunt in the lower Devonian Kalkberg formation at a site only around 30 minutes away.

Overall we probably got to hunt for around an hour, but it was a surprisingly productive time. Last time I visited here, I wasn't able to find that many of certain organisms I was interested in like the beautiful Leptaena sp. but this time, we found an abundance of these fossils, along with many other nice specimens.

Here are some of my favorite finds from the trip:

A few of those Leptaena sp. I wanted to get


This one was my favorite, not the most complete but quite large and has very nice surface detail.

A small but detailed spiriferid with some nice bryozoa:


The largest spiriferid I've found here, needs some prep but a very nice fossil still:


This one was a big surprise for me, I kept it because of the nice spiriferid on there but upon getting home I noticed a shiny dark patch below, turns out it was a Linguliform brachiopod, something I had never seen from the formation before. It's not complete, I wish we had noticed while we were there and potentially found the other side, but this is still a find I am very excited about. 

This also made me wonder something, most brachiopods preserve with a matte, sometimes slightly shiny texture to their shell, while all of the Linguliforms I have seen have a very glossy surface to them. Is this difference caused by differing shell composition? It is quite interesting and something that seems to occur throughout geological time, in many formations with varying preservation. @Tidgy's Dad maybe you know something about this?


Some pretty nice orthids:


This one was quite big, and appears pretty complete, I would like to get it prepped some day, I think it may turn out quite nice:


Another strophomenid similar to Leptaena but with much shallower rippling along its surface, I was wondering if this may be another genus, looking in my field guide I see that Strophonella and Rystistrophia both also have concentric wrinkles, although I am not sure which if any of them this one may be:


A coral? not really sure what this branching fossil is, but it seems quite interesting, not anything I've seen here before.


A pair of nice solitary rugose corals:


This one doesn't show up too well on camera but it's a pretty large platyceratid gastropod, I have a few from this location but this one has some very interesting wrinkles to the shell, quite different from all my other ones.


This is another large fossil, I think it may be a gastropod also? it has a similar dark shell to most of the gastropods I've found here, plus it seems like it may be curving in a helical pattern out of the matrix slightly, but I may be wrong.


And to finish, here are some nice hashplates I collected from the site:


Thanks for looking!

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Tidgy's Dad

Yes, the shells of  the Lingulata are very different in their composition to those of the Rhynchonelliformea. The former have a periostracum (outer layer) of chitin, a primary middle layer of apatite and an inner layer of apatite and chitinophosphate. The latter have shells of calcite and proteins. It's a bit more complex than that, but that's the basic idea and why they preserve differently. 


Your Leptaena are L. rhomboidalis. 

The first spiriferid appears to be Megakowskiella perlamellosa. 

Edited by Tidgy's Dad
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Very nicely done on this report.  and im not even into these kinds of fossils.  Thanks, I enjoyed this.



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I think your branching fossil is a piece of a crinoid.



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5 hours ago, FossilDAWG said:

I think your branching fossil is a piece of a crinoid.



It does look like that in the crossection, do you think it would be something like part of an arm? I don't really know any other crinoid parts that would branch out like this

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Maybe an arm, but also maybe where the stem branches into rootlets at the holdfast in some species.



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