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DPS Moss Creek Field Trip: Micro Highlights!


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EPIKLULSXDDDDD

So a couple of weeks ago, I, along with my younger brother, decided to embark on our first field trip with the Dallas Paleontological Society. The destination was Moss Creek, a decently sized waterway on private property that feeds into the NSR. Just like in the main river, we were seeking a red layer exposure of the Ozan Fm (though I read that this red layer is different from the one at the river). This site is famous for its abundance of marine microfossils, namely shark/fish teeth. One of the people on the trip was a researcher (Shawn Hamm) who is currently finishing up a paper on this very site. I hope to read it once it's published! Anyways, the day was miserably hot as expected, but the scenery and air of discovery made up for it. My brother and I took a more secluded route, traveling downstream whereas most headed upstream. After a bit of searching, I came across a part of the creek bed that was red and, upon close inspection, was filled with tiny black phosphatic fossils. Because the matrix of the layer is so sticky, we couldn't really sift through it at the site. Instead, we, like everyone else, filled up a bucket and took it back to our car. It was a fun day and I met a lot of interesting people. One member told me to use baking soda to break up the matrix and that advice worked like a charm! I'm not sure about a lot of these IDs so feel free to correct me. If you know any species names feel free to drop those too :) . Here are the pictures of the highlight finds. Sorry the quality is bad... taking pictures of things this small was more difficult than expected:

 

Fishes

 

Lots of Enchodus Fangs and Jaw Sections

IMG_E0893.thumb.JPG.e8d3ab6e1294202c8a9b3f6d3c390079.JPGIMG_E0892.thumb.JPG.d62a551832706ec6124f74e51109887a.JPG

 

Lots of Hadrodus Teeth

IMG_E0882.thumb.JPG.67a1e79f5c177ab363995a153ce7cced.JPG

 

Pachyrhizodus? Teeth

IMG_E0890.thumb.JPG.0e9e6d896572e21f960b78b22496b6be.JPG

 

Protosphyraena? Teeth. Really not 100% on this ID

IMG_E0891.thumb.JPG.aa93a112a75f0d2197d3908a3139f4f5.JPG

 

Pycnodont Teeth

IMG_E0886.thumb.JPG.9dd0541556bf0fb0f5c8e3ec17c7f78b.JPG

 

Fish Neural Spine. 2nd photo is compared to an X-Fish neural spine I found in Austin. Love the size discrepancy of the two.

IMG_E0914.thumb.JPG.e09578226dfdea19ebcab0cf83c70df1.JPGIMG_E0915.thumb.JPG.4807c293c129021788c9dbc08c7de6e0.JPG

 

Fish Verts (Left) and Shark Vert (Right)

IMG_E0923.thumb.JPG.f44c72e29aa87bd94b9e5a08c52f9a5d.JPG

 

Sharks

 

Hybodont Shark Tooth. This is one of my favorites. Looks like Lonchidion? but that's just my guess.

IMG_E0883.thumb.JPG.90e1a1e1d31c66f251eaee84d948f4db.JPGIMG_E0884.thumb.JPG.f62dab495d6e3f88b82e106f2bc0b1ec.JPGIMG_E0885.thumb.JPG.a0e220020def2dc5c04bcc28ea55061b.JPG

 

Lots of Pseudocorax Teeth

IMG_E0916.thumb.JPG.e37ade5107db8128f6ee61313a5f9c27.JPG

 

Lots of un-ID Shark Teeth. Distinguishing between Scapanorhynchus, Carcharias, etc. is way above my pay grade :default_faint:. Trust me, I tried...

IMG_E0917.thumb.JPG.07a6893180ce31da5df7cdac24af9789.JPG

 

Cretalamna appendiculata Tooth. By far the biggest tooth.

IMG_E0913.thumb.JPG.84ad895e2a609bd4e03e95d2b189a9f1.JPG

 

Protolamna? Teeth

IMG_E0918.thumb.JPG.abfe92accb34fe56120f9b78b4d3cdda.JPG

 

Squalicorax Teeth. For some reason they all came out broken.

IMG_E0919.thumb.JPG.3bad9580e0ebbe17b276c65bb8315d2c.JPG

 

Unidentified Tooth. Pathological? The crown is just a flat edge.

 IMG_E0927.thumb.JPG.2a3262f0eae4e952f4b5da0771dda0f9.JPGIMG_E0928.thumb.JPG.8d253f75c89975eb7f06863c1fd3112f.JPG

 

Shark Coprolite? It's ringed like the ones I've seen online.

IMG_E0912.thumb.JPG.439b947ccd146c70cd70bfe1beae19a3.JPG

 

Sawfish

 

 

Ischyrhiza Oral Teeth

IMG_E0901.thumb.JPG.bdf6c3fa874abc79d815562fb92b3953.JPG

 

Ischyrhiza? Rostral Teeth

IMG_E0910.thumb.JPG.a5383d685ea977e12b693f4f8fa9afaf.JPGIMG_E0907.thumb.JPG.7eb65e7f04da9c19a95a9de144700dba.JPG

 

Ptychotrygon? Oral Teeth

IMG_E0905.thumb.JPG.acc97f17a9c9f384f6a1541594c5ca3c.JPG

 

Cantioscyllium? Oral Teeth

IMG_E0903.thumb.JPG.84b7e58f1075a6167caaf7a173337a38.JPG

 

Misc./Enigmatic Finds

 

Brittle Star Parts?

IMG_E0924.thumb.JPG.e3aab0ff78a66960952bf083ef8ea54d.JPG

 

Part of an Urchin? It's rounded and the center has a protrusion for where a spine once was.

IMG_E0925.thumb.JPG.08d342d2fe9d83bb8be4f4993b7db039.JPGIMG_E0926.thumb.JPG.bab9ec58e9c2614b53799214b86fb104.JPG

 

Kinda looks like a denticle, but may be some weird tooth?

IMG_E0895.thumb.JPG.6eec137c98ab3376d13caca66b7355aa.JPGIMG_E0896.thumb.JPG.c35dc38cad7ea9c5c98671e1aa774aa2.JPG

IMG_E0897.thumb.JPG.df49626ab55c37e4e9c35ad508864645.JPGIMG_E0898.thumb.JPG.0afd7ab8c999916017db5d8260210941.JPG

IMG_E0899.thumb.JPG.bc89da2ab5a73c1818471012f1ebc9b5.JPGIMG_E0900.thumb.JPG.03ed410afd6f2b18d82ee2f576fb5b5d.JPG

 

Bivalves

IMG_E0887.thumb.JPG.35454023bb933eeb4ef19bb975f483f2.JPG

 

If you would like any additional pics, let me know. Thanks for reading!

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Al Dente

Looks like a great layer to collect. The two teeth I’ve circled look to be lateral Heterodontus teeth.

 

 

60D9BB9C-E1E1-4D99-9FC8-1B9FF756974A.jpeg

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Al Dente

The one in the middle might be Ischyrhiza but all the barbed ones are Sclerorhynchus.

 

 

2AC517ED-EE9B-4269-8AF8-DAE337204BC4.jpeg

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Al Dente

The two circled in red are prismatic cartilage from a shark or ray. The other circled ones are crustacean shell.

 

 

5203D61E-58E5-4E5C-ACE3-63F2FA3EABD2.jpeg

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deutscheben

Those are neat little fossils, what a great variety.

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MarcoSr

Really nice group of micro specimens.  I agree with Eric's IDs above.  The below picture has a Squatina tooth circled in red.

 

 

squatina.thumb.JPG.d99321ad9d3f5143b247e5d1c90e0272.JPG

 

 

Marco Sr.

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EPIKLULSXDDDDD

@MarcoSr Ooo nice catch. It looked a little strange but I thought nothing of it!

@Al Dente Thanks for the many IDs. Shark cartilage is a neat one I did not expect! Also nice to add a few genus names that I was not aware of.

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MarcoSr

I forgot to comment on the vertebrae.  The left looks like it is a mixture of bony fish and shark or ray vertebrae.  The circled blue look like bony fish vertebrae, and the circled red look like shark or ray vertebrae.  The vertebra on the right could be from a ray.

 

 

714220454_vertebraeTFF.thumb.JPG.3cbeaa7626ac648065fa4e9407465afb.JPG

 

 

Marco Sr.

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ThePhysicist

Oh wow, these are awesome! I especially like the Pseudocorax and Heterodontus teeth. 

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fossilsonwheels

I would add that I think you’re correct on Cantioscyllium as the ID but not a sawfish. It’s an Orectolobiformes  shark. The Heterodontus and Squatina are great finds. 

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10 hours ago, EPIKLULSXDDDDD said:

Kinda looks like a denticle, but may be some weird tooth?

IMG_E0895.thumb.JPG.6eec137c98ab3376d13caca66b7355aa.JPGIMG_E0896.thumb.JPG.c35dc38cad7ea9c5c98671e1aa774aa2.JPG

IMG_E0897.thumb.JPG.df49626ab55c37e4e9c35ad508864645.JPGIMG_E0898.thumb.JPG.0afd7ab8c999916017db5d8260210941.JPG

IMG_E0899.thumb.JPG.bc89da2ab5a73c1818471012f1ebc9b5.JPGIMG_E0900.thumb.JPG.03ed410afd6f2b18d82ee2f576fb5b5d.JPG

 

Looks a lot like a symphysar hexanchidae tooth despite the small size of the photos.

 

Coco

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Al Dente

I'm wondering if this could be a juvenile Heterodontus anterior tooth. Here are two Cretaceous ones from the Peedee Formation to compare with.

 

 

heter.JPG

Heterodontus granti.JPG

Heterodontus granti2.JPG

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ClearLake

Great thread!  I was on the same trip a couple weeks before you went and have been working my way through a bunch of the matrix but was away from home for over a month so not able to post anything.  You were much quicker at getting things ID'd and photographed, great job!  You have a couple of ID's that I did not so that is very helpful.

 

I have been calling the teeth in the lower left of this picture the pycnodont Anomoeodus, hopefully that is correct.

On 6/30/2022 at 5:51 PM, EPIKLULSXDDDDD said:

Pycnodont Teeth

IMG_E0886.thumb.JPG.9dd0541556bf0fb0f5c8e3ec17c7f78b.JPG

 

 

On 6/30/2022 at 5:51 PM, EPIKLULSXDDDDD said:

Squalicorax Teeth. For some reason they all came out broken

I found the exact same thing!  For such a relatively robust looking tooth, why are they all broken?  I think I found one complete one but lots of fragments as opposed to all the other shark types that were more often complete (or nearly so) than broken.   Strange.

 

On 6/30/2022 at 5:51 PM, EPIKLULSXDDDDD said:

Bivalves

There are lots of bivalve fragments in the matrix (mostly oysters it seems), but I believe what you pictured are brachiopods.  I have not really researched them yet, but that is what they look like based on their symmetry.

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EPIKLULSXDDDDD
Posted (edited)

@ClearLake Cool that you went to the same site! I'll go with anomoeodus too since I don't have much basis for anything else lol. The squalicoraxes were strange. I thought I was being too rough with the matrix at first, but breaking it down more gently seemed to change nothing. The bivalve ID I just got from some other FF post on microfossils from the Mooreville Chalk. They looked similar enough to the ones I had so I went with it! Be sure to post your micro finds when you're all done. I would love to see what you got. 

Edited by EPIKLULSXDDDDD
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Hi,

 

We need much closer pictures.

 

Coco

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EPIKLULSXDDDDD

Sorry for the delay! I tried taking some more pics through a magnifying glass.

IMG_0940.thumb.JPG.e5af87fb3033993bfa9fa658c11eb1b5.JPGIMG_0941.thumb.JPG.d2603a786fe6d06ff2874743a07f3aa2.JPG

IMG_0942.thumb.JPG.5dc2731499923d7a891cbd217a6c12e0.JPGIMG_0943.thumb.JPG.6e030e470e2597f04998fa134879572b.JPG

Sorry they are a bit blurry!

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  • 3 weeks later...
Ironhead42

Hey there! I was on that same trip!

 

Unfortunately, I had a family emergency to deal with so I haven't been able to go through any of the matrix I took home yet.

 

What is the baking soda trick you used?

 

Have a good one!

 

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EPIKLULSXDDDDD

@Ironhead42 Hey, nice to see someone from the trip on here! Hope things are ok for you in regards to the emergency!

 

Prior to any soaking, I let my matrix completely dry in the summer sun (important step in my opinion). I found that just using only water wasn't effective for breaking down my matrix. Instead, I filled a large bucket with hot water and mixed in about a cup of baking soda for every gallon of water (thankfully baking soda is pretty cheap). When you then add your matrix, it will fizz and bubble as it breaks apart. I generally let mine sit in the baking soda/water for about 12 hours with occasional stirring just to mix things around a bit. After it's soaked, you will see a pile of slimy mud at the bottom of the bucket. I hosed down this mud through my sieve in order to catch all the fossils, gravel, etc. Sometimes larger, harder bits of matrix may not break down on the first go. You can try drying, soaking, and sieving them again and they may break down more though no guarantees.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Also, consider posting your finds when you're done. I'd love to see what sort of things you find!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Ironhead42

Ran a small batch and posted a few pictures. I had the same experience with all squalicorax teeth being broken.

 

 

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