palaeopix

The McAbee Fossil Beds.

504 posts in this topic

I was saddened to hear that Dave Langevin (lease holder of the McAbee Fossil Beds) had passed away, suddenly, last week. In his honor and to his memory I wanted to start this new thread. I hope members will share their photos and/or stories about the McAbee Fossil Beds and Dave. I never had the pleasure of meeting Dave, but know of him from others who had the honor of doing so.

My experience at the McAbee Fossil Beds is minor compared to others like jbswake (John) here on the Forum so I have little to offer. I'm hoping John will share photos of his collection here and perhaps enlighten us about the special place that the McAbee is! Maybe John will even share some stories about Dave.

To start things off I'd like to share a few photos of the site. The first photo is courtesy of Eric (Wrangellian) and shows the site in 1992, prior to the building of the parking lot and access road.

post-2629-0-42549600-1302837340_thumb.jpg

In contrast the next photo shows the site as it appears today (I actually drove the 600km round trip today so I could share the photo). This photo shows among other things the extent of the exposure at McAbee as well as the access road that Dave added to the site so others could easily access the fossils.

post-2629-0-04373400-1302837740_thumb.jpg

Here is a closer view of the McAbee Beds. The fossil bearing layers are the diagonal beds that lay roughly midway in the photo and produce the light colored talus. Multicolored basalts overlay the fossil bearing layers.

post-2629-0-83339600-1302837837_thumb.jpg

I don't have many self collected specimens from McAbee but I do have a handful of purchased specimens that I will share in the future once I track them down and photograph them. In the mean time please show us your McAbee fossils!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some of the very few McAbee fossils I have in my collection.

post-2629-0-50520500-1302840353_thumb.jpg Frog Hopper. Purchased.

post-2629-0-54047800-1302840359_thumb.jpg Wasp. Purchased.

post-2629-0-06183300-1302840365_thumb.jpg Flying Ant? Purchased.

post-2629-0-14462000-1302840372_thumb.jpgpost-2629-0-19200700-1302840381_thumb.jpg Two Gingko dissecta. Purchased.

post-2629-0-30632300-1302840375_thumb.jpg Gingko dissecta. Trade.

post-2629-0-71745500-1302840387_thumb.jpg Gingko dissecta. Personally Collected.

As you can see I have a thing for insect fossils and Gingko dissecta!!!!!

Edited by palaeopix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

Yes. Those Gingko's are really neat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Dan for starting the thread. It was sad news to hear about Dave. My uncle in Kamloops met him and arranged for us to go up there to collect in 1992 before all the extensive excavation. That's me and my uncle in the photo.

Dan, I thought it would be fun to see if you could find the same vantage point my pic was taken from to make an exact comparison! But these are good nonetheless.

I'll try to find some of my specimens to post but I have a feeling mine won't hold a candle to some of the ones we'll be seeing or already see, never mind whether I can get good pics of them.

I like the insects and Gingkos too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan, I thought it would be fun to see if you could find the same vantage point my pic was taken from to make an exact comparison!

I can see where your photo was taken and I would have had to have been well within the fenced off area to duplicate it. Unfortunately the gate was locked and I didn't want to trespass!

Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see where your photo was taken and I would have had to have been well within the fenced off area to duplicate it. Unfortunately the gate was locked and I didn't want to trespass!

Dan

Oh I see. Well I'm sure you'll be making the trip on a day that you can get in and collect some too, so maybe you'll think of it then. (That's dedication - to make a trip like that just for a few photos!)

Here's a few of my gingkos.

post-4372-0-10642800-1302846582_thumb.jpg

post-4372-0-17923200-1302846615_thumb.jpg

post-4372-0-36247100-1302846646_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That 1992 picture sure takes me back. You had to do a tick check by the time you got back to your vehicle and the cactus was so unforgiving. I got involved with McAbee in earnest in 2004. Dave wanted to open it up for people to come dig their own fossils for a small fee. Last summer was the first time he actually covered his outlay. I blarneyed my way in to convince him to let me be the guide. I started reading up on everything and asking questions of the scientists who were beginning to study the material there. Of the 60 odd days or so of the summer, I could be up there for 45 to 50 of them. Twice my wife put her foot down and demanded I accompany the family on trips to Europe. Now she more or less lets me be in the summer so I can go to work! It's Dave's fault I fossil. He was a mentor and good friend. There was many a day we were both up there enjoying each others company and fossils. At the end of the day we would have a drool fest where we would show off our finds to see who had bragging rights for the day. When there is no one up there, I clean off benches and the road, drop fractures before they fall, and collect for myself. I have collected about 8000 specimens from there. Nearly all of them are catalogued and photographed. I stopped doing that for awhile so I have a bit of a backlog to get through. Dave was very generous and easy going. Because he was so friendly and helpful to me, I began the process of attempting to address the scientific concerns raised by some who were beginning to lobby government to take the site away from Dave. I have worked to try and balance Dave's vision of a place for people (novice and expert) to try their hand at fossiling with that of those who claim science is losing out. Dave donated hundreds of specimens. Many of his plant specimens are types. He was honoured by the Dillhoffs and Manchester in 2004 by having the beech from our site named for him. I'll post some of my early insects. That is where I specialize. I just love a good fossil bug.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So previously was an ichneumon wasp and a march fly (bibionidae).

With this post is a beetle part and counterpart, perhaps my favourite ichneumon wasp with a really nice ovipostor, the first flying ant I found, another nice march fly, and a leafhopper. All my scales are mm. Enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought I'd share a gingko.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favourite things Dave and I used to chase down were the three dimensional cones. Most are not preserved well enough to stay together when you open them. They were too thick to properly fossilize and most remain as simply carbon that turns to dust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry Dave is passed away :( . Great photos, thanks everyone to share ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was part of the strata in June 2010. If you look really closely you can see Dave. This was his favourite whole last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great specimens John and Eric!!!!!

Thanks for posting them!

I'm sure you've both got more stuff so don't hold back!

I have a few more purchased insects and some material I collected during my first and only (so far, fingers crossed) trip to McAbee, that I'll dig out and photograph.

Still waiting for shamalama (Dave) to show his specimens! Don't keep us waiting too long Dave!

Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Collecting at McAbee is on my bucket list. Excellent thread for a majestic locality.

Looking forward to seeing many more! These are my very best plants from McAbee:

post-4301-0-55414900-1302884862_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-66672100-1302884877_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-46370000-1302885733_thumb.jpg

post-4301-0-54098200-1302884956_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-87675900-1302884969_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-06055000-1302884982_thumb.jpg

post-4301-0-52583500-1302884994_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-60961900-1302884924_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-70195400-1302885019_thumb.jpg

post-4301-0-83599100-1302884890_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-23850900-1302885007_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-25193700-1302884941_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is and will be an amazing group of fossils. Great topic, Dan. Thanks for sharing. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Collecting at McAbee is on my bucket list. Excellent thread for a majestic locality.

Looking forward to seeing many more! These are my very best plants from McAbee:

post-4301-0-55414900-1302884862_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-66672100-1302884877_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-46370000-1302885733_thumb.jpg

post-4301-0-54098200-1302884956_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-87675900-1302884969_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-06055000-1302884982_thumb.jpg

post-4301-0-52583500-1302884994_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-60961900-1302884924_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-70195400-1302885019_thumb.jpg

post-4301-0-83599100-1302884890_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-23850900-1302885007_thumb.jpg post-4301-0-25193700-1302884941_thumb.jpg

Top row on far right is a sassafras. It had just started to go into the two lobed form. Very nice specimens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So lets set a date for an honourary dig in memory of Dave. Only fossil nuts allowed. It has to be soon just in case. I am allowed to escort people onto the claim. I also have the keys! I am in Vancouver tomorrow picking up our kitchen from IKEA, but Sunday may be possible or early next week. Keep your best day public so we can all see what day is going to work out the best:

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is Dave last August in my backyard. I had just found the largest beech that day (25.5cm) and since it is the plant named after him, I gave it to him as a gift. He has it on display in his front room. Of course we gave this set of pictures the name Day at the Beech.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At present it is still called an Eohiodon rosei. That is under review and may soon just become a hiodon. This was Dave's favourite thing to collect. We often find fish bits. Complete beautiful specimens are not as easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not surprising that you have so much nice stuff if you've been up there that many times. I'd love to get up there with you guys again but I dont think I can make it. One of these days...

That's an impressive Beech and fish. I have PART of a very large leaf, looks like it would have been at least that big if it were complete. I'll have to pull out my best 2 or 3 specimens and see if I can get decent pics of them to post. stay tuned.

About names, do you know about the paleocollaborator site? It doesnt seem to be maintained, but would be a good resource for people like me to refer to vz Mcabee. I'd like to know the names of my specimens, and whether (in the off-chance) I have something new. I have a couple things that I dont see on paleocollaborator. I've posted them elsewhere but I'll post them here too as soon as I find them again..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! That Beech leaf!!!

Excellent thread, amazing fossils!

Thanks to all, esp. jbswake, for sharing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan,

I'm sorry to hear of the passing of Dave. I never had a chance to collect there but I have some fossils in my collection that I've gathered over the years.

Alder with Metasequoia

post-1408-0-49861000-1302958830_thumb.jpg

Alder cone

post-1408-0-41855100-1302958838_thumb.jpg

Catkins from an unknown tree

post-1408-0-52869000-1302958848_thumb.jpg

Eohidion rosei

post-1408-0-58281500-1302958889_thumb.jpg

Ginko dissecta

post-1408-0-85473700-1302958900_thumb.jpg

Unknown leaf

post-1408-0-54498200-1302958912_thumb.jpg

Frond from a White Cedar

post-1408-0-92320800-1302959089_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks very much to everybody involved for this wonderful thread in memory of someone obviously very special which I've just noticed today.

This is all new to me but I'm enjoying it very much.

Best wishes, Roger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now were starting to see some great collections!

Thanks Scott and Dave!

Holy Cow, John, that Beech leaf is gigantic! I wish I could find something like that in the Allenby Formation. Thank you again for posting your amazing photos of the McAbee outcrop, fossils and of course Dave Langevin!

Keep the photos and stories coming!!!!!

Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm getting to the point that I don't like logging on to the interweb any more.

I don't like like to find out that some one else that made mark in my life is no longer here

It has being a while since I was out at McAbee with the Alberta Paloeontological Society

some years ago

I even meet and talk with Dave and I have may fossil find from McAbee

Now they have a very special meaning to me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.