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Bringing Fossils to Life

I recently went to Penn Dixie for the first time and was not disappointed. Our tour guide first showed us the youngest rocks, then the pyrite. Here I found a tiny juvenile Tornoceras, Bactrites, and out guide showed us that individual septum can be found (see this post). I also found a fragment of a non-pyritized tiny Eldredgeops thorax. I found what HynerpetonHunter says is worm coprolites, and a few tiny brachiopods. Then, we went to the place where phosphate can be found. After that, we stayed a little at the place where fossils from the oldest layer were deposited in the soil, and I found a Naticonema gastropod, among the rarest fossils at the site! There were lots of brachiopods, crinoids, and rugose corals here. We then found some more corals, brachiopods, and trilobites at the most recent Dig with the Experts piles that were turned up for collecting. We walked towards the stream and on the other side found many bryozoans and coral (this time Favosites). I dropped my bucket of fossils but was able to find most of its contents again. We went to a place nicknamed "Crinoid Heaven", because of the sheer amount of crinoid columnals that can be found there. after that, we went to the original Dig with the Experts that was unearthed in 1993 (there wasn't much). After this, we went to where some trilobites are, but not as much as the recent Dig with the Experts site, so we went back. By this time our tour was over and we simply filled bucket after bucket of fossils. I found some Bellacartwrightia, Greenops, too many corals, and many, many Eldredgeops. I agree with Clary and Wandersee's (2011) rating of Penn Dixie as the top fossil park in the U.S. Below are some pictures of some of my favorite finds.

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First, some Eldredgeops. I prepped the top right cephalon with some dental tools. These can be found abundantly, but here are some of my best.

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Some Bellacartwrightia. These are uncommon Asteropygines that are sometimes confused with Greenops.

 

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To prove that this cephalon belongs to Bellacartwrightia, look at its cephalon posterior border furrow - it continues down the genal spine, while it ends at the base of Greenops's. Directly above it is a juvenile's pygidium.

 

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Some more Bellacartwrightia pygidiums - on the same rock but on different sides.

 

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A Greenops cephalon - the cephalon posterior border furrow ends at the base of the genal spine and does not deflect backwards.

 

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An enrolled Greenops in the matrix. Since Asteropygines have such this cuticles, I am going to wait to prep this one. Note: the scale bar is equivalent to 2 mm, not 1.

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Now for the Gastropod! This is Naticonema, dorsal and ventral.

 

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Mucrospirifer.

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Placoderm bone? I am not that good with bones and any help would be appreciated on this one. I know more of these have been turning up lately, or at least being recognized.

Penn Dixie was certainly worth the long drive and I very highly recommend it!

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Jeffrey P

Congrats on your finds. I agree, the gastropod was by far your best score. The Mucrospirifer appears to be Mediospirifer. Would have loved to have seen your Tornoceras and Bactrites. The last pieces don’t appear to be fish bone/plate, but not sure what. Better photos will be needed to figure out what they are. 

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Neanderthal Shaman

WOW!!!

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I really need to get myself there some day soon, but it's clear across the country...

 

I'm assuming these species are all pretty common there, but as someone who's never even personally broken the K-T boundary, these all blow my mind. 

 

Great report!

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Bringing Fossils to Life

The Bactrites and Tornoceras are in the linked post. The trilobites are fairly common, but good ones are harder to find. The gastropod is actually rare, as well as the fish bone- could someone help with the fish bone?

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Pagurus

I greatly enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

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