Jump to content
Caleb

Maquoketa Mayhem

Recommended Posts

Caleb

My father and I have been planning a trip these past few weeks to a river in Northeast Iowa. Our plan was to put in and collect our way down the 9mile trek. While this sounded grand and adventurous, we quickly realized that 8hrs of sitting at a desk every day does something to a person... especially during the northern winter months.

We put the canoe in the water around 8am on Saturday, April 14 and started our journey down the river. With the lack of snow and rain the river was unseasonably shallow. Shortly after putting in we realized that we would be dragging the canoe a fair amount, but it was early in the day and we still felt strong. There have been numerous large Isotelus found along this river, but none by us.

We came upon a nice area with a fair amount of rock to break along the shoreline and parked the canoe. On the second rock I split I was shocked to see an Amphilichas pygidium. In the many many years my father and I have been collecting the Maquoketa Formation, this is only the second Amphilichas pygidium we have found(the first I found last year). I also found a carbonized tube-like thing. Apparently the theory is that it was a worm that died in the burrow and carbonized, I need to find the paper that was written in the 70's about them.

The next few stops were a bust until we made it to a site we had collected in the past. This was the half-way point of the river run and my father and I were both exhausted. My muscles were cramping up and it was getting difficult to swing the hammer hard enough to split the unreasonably dense limestone. I went a bit further down the exposure and lying in front of me was an almost 3inch Isotelus! This marked the first complete trilobite of the day. My father eventually made his way down the exposure to where I was collecting and he quickly found an even bigger Isotelus. We continued to walk along the shore and my father picked up a partial Isotelus that would have measured 6-7inches, unfortunately we could not locate the rest of it. We decided that next time we collect the river we will start at this site and then work our way down-river.

We continued our trip exhausted and sore stopping only a couple more times finding a very strange mystery item and an interesting double of Anataphrus vigilans. Despite the fact that I don't want to move for fear of every muscle cramping up simultaneously, I would do the trip again... when I'm in a bit better shape.

Amphilichas sp. pygidium

post-3840-0-57145200-1334505807_thumb.jpg

Worm thing

post-3840-0-57500200-1334505818_thumb.jpg

My Isotelus

post-3840-0-07960900-1334505816_thumb.jpg

My Father's(the cephalon is tucked down)

post-3840-0-04755800-1334505810_thumb.jpg

The one that got away

post-3840-0-12129100-1334505812_thumb.jpg

And a Graptolite- Desmograptus cancellatus

post-3840-0-28794200-1334505814_thumb.jpg

Edited by Caleb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
piranha

Another grand excursion into the Midwest Ordovician. Thanks for posting Caleb :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Taxman56

what a great day to get out and paddle and load down the canoe with some really big "bugs"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossildude19

Awesome trip report, Caleb!

Thanks for posting it!

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Caleb

Still recovering from the 10hrs of breaking rock/canoeing, but the good news is I have an ID for the mystery item.

Brachiospongia

Upper Ordovician (Richmondian)

Maquoketa Formation

Northeast Iowa

Top

post-3840-0-34287200-1334580841_thumb.jpg

Bottom

post-3840-0-58324700-1334580848_thumb.jpg

Sides

post-3840-0-19664600-1334580860_thumb.jpg

Edited by Caleb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Uncle Siphuncle

well worth the effort. once the soreness wears off only killer memories and fossils will remain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trilobiteruss

Sounds like a fun trip but my muscles ache thinking about it. :blink: :blink: Thanks for sharing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fengw03

Very nice report! Great find! Thanks!

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.

×