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KansasFossilHunter

Finds Of The Great Inland Sea Of Kansas

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KansasFossilHunter

Here is my collection of fossils from the Niobrara chalk of western Kansas (Gove, Logan and Trego counties). This is by far my favorite formation, I have tried to learn as much as possible, and seem to have pretty good luck here. Hope you enjoy my pictures and leave lots of comments!

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KansasFossilHunter

Fish I

I think that I’ll start things off with a bang: This is a Pachyrizodus minimus, a predatory fish that was about 1-3 feet long. I was quite inexperienced when I found this about three years ago so; it wasn’t collected as well as it could have. It broke into pieces, and was stowed in my collection for a couple years, later when I felt I had the experience, I started the preparation. It broke into three pieces, like a book one direction, splitting the fossil into two pieces, into really thin pieces and one big piece. After about a month of on and off preparation, I finally finished it….. The finish product is quite cool, this specimen is one of the smallest I’ve seen, also in one of the tail pictures you can see a coprolite, where one might expect to find one. The skull has some very tiny teeth in it, while the body has many nice scales preserved. This is one of the best in my collection.

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KansasFossilHunter

Fish II

Next I’ll show off my fish vertebrae, fish are my favorite animals. From upper left to lower right (Gillicus, Cimolichthys, large Ichthyodectid, Pachyrizodus caninus, Saurodon, Pachyrizodus minimus, Xiphactinus, Part of the first large Ichthyodectid, Mystery fish, Gillicus, Bananogmius, and Enchodus, with calcite infillings.) (And a big section of a Gillicus fish, in the second picture)

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KansasFossilHunter

Mosasaurs

I have very few Mosasur remains, only a rib and these two vertebrae.....

But man, they are soooooo cool!

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KansasFossilHunter

Fish III

Tails, tails, tails, are one of the more common fossils found, so I have many…

Tail 1-, Bananogmius Tail 2- Enchodus Tail 3- Cimolichthys Tails 4-5-6- Gillicus Tails 7 and 8-Mystery fishes found near Hill City, these fish were fossilized together. I do not currently know the Genus. There are some very thin spines with of the tails, zoom to take a look… (They are displayed as found) Tail 9- This is special tail, it was my first find from the chalk, it also is Gillicus Tail 10- This was my first plaster job, it turned out nice. I think that is Enchodus

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KansasFossilHunter

Fish IIII

Apsopelix- From Oceans of Kansas “Apsopelix anglicus (less than 1.5 ft) was a small, relatively uncommon fish from the Late Cretaceous, with a wide distribution. It was first described by F. Dixon in 1850.” The first one is a very nice skull from the upper chalk, and the second is cool because it appears to be dorsal-ventrally preserved (fossilized face first with the fins out)

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KansasFossilHunter

Turtles

Toxochelys- Upper arm bones from a turtle that would have been about a foot and in diameter, and a Ctenochelys flipper. Some turtles from Kansas could grow to the size a Volkswagen beetle!

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Auspex

I am enthralled with Niobrara chalk fossils; they are so different from anything in my experience.

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KansasFossilHunter

Fish V

Xiphactinus- pectoral fin from a fairly large x-fish, and a jaw

Gillicus- this is a scavenged, ripped apart fossilized leftover meal, I can only distinguish several vert. an operculum (gill covering) the pectoral fins, and TONS of scales.

Little fish- I don’t know what these are, but little fish like this are rare.

Also this mystery bone - is it a fin, tail, or something else. I don’t know, do you?

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KansasFossilHunter

Other

My collection of fish coprolites, a rare piece of wood (which had to fall into the ocean float out, sink, and THEN become fossilized). A section of giant clam which shows invertebrate feeding traces (cirripids) and last, the growth of oysters which grew on the outsides of the giant clams, which I put together.

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KansasFossilHunter

Teeth

From left to right (Mosasaurs, shark vertebrae, Ptychodus, Xiphactinus, Cretoxyrhina, and Squalicorax, in the other pictureEnchodus, this massive pair of Enchodus teeth measure 2 inches long

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KansasFossilHunter

And finally, I saved the best for last……… Fish in Clams!!!!

These are my favorite by far… The best of my fish in clams HERE,

The first picture, on this page, is the top of the big clam (See link), the second picture is the rest of the clam the eel was found with, (Kansius), three are pieces I picked up over the years, and the last picture are three Caproberyx fish in yet another clam.

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Lloyd

Nice pictures. Thanks for giving us a look.

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Mitchu

Really cool, really like the turtle material. Do you do all your own prep work? Really quality stuff you have there! I take it Fish material is mostly what you find? Is it rather common out that way?

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KansasFossilHunter

Really cool, really like the turtle material. Do you do all your own prep work? Really quality stuff you have there! I take it Fish material is mostly what you find? Is it rather common out that way?

Thanks! yep, all my own prep work, fish like Gillicus are fairly common.

-Kris

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Foshunter

I have fish envy, very nice collection, thanks for sharing--Tom

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Mitchu

Well really great prep work! Pieces look amazing. I've never really had to prep something like that, best I can do is an ech an acid bath. Besides something like that...........well lets just say im breaking a bone either way haha. Anyhow, really great stuff!

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MikeDOTB

Wow, thanks for posting, a lot of amazing finds and prep work!

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Sharkbyte

That is really quite an impressive collection you have there. Thanks for allowing us to enjoy it as well.

Bobby

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FossilDAWG

Great collection! We find many of the same species in the chalk in Alabama, but almost always as disarticulated bones. There are large inoceramid clams in places, but I have never heard of anyone finding articulated fish in them. Maybe I have to look harder!

Is the area around Monument and Castle Rocks accessible for collecting, or is this private property that you have arranged permission to hunt on? In Alabama there is basically no land that you can just walk on and collect, there is always a lot of leg work to get permission from property owners.

Don

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KansasFossilHunter

Great collection! We find many of the same species in the chalk in Alabama, but almost always as disarticulated bones. There are large inoceramid clams in places, but I have never heard of anyone finding articulated fish in them. Maybe I have to look harder!

Is the area around Monument and Castle Rocks accessible for collecting, or is this private property that you have arranged permission to hunt on? In Alabama there is basically no land that you can just walk on and collect, there is always a lot of leg work to get permission from property owners.

Don

Thanks! It's not ok to hunt at monument rocks, its a national natural landmark, but at castle rock ,as long as you dont dig too much,its ok.

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PaleoPutz

Great photos... I have a couple large jackets I need to work on myself. I was able to collect, and identify them tentatively, thanks to graciousness of this forum membership.

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KansasFossilHunter

Great photos... I have a couple large jackets I need to work on myself. I was able to collect, and identify them tentatively, thanks to graciousness of this forum membership.

Thanks!

Sounds cool, can we see some Pics? It's always cool to see what comes out of the chalk.

-Kris

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grokfish

Very nice! Makes me want to get out to the chalks ASAP!

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sixgill pete

Amazing finds. Thanks for showing them to us!!

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