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Jeffrey P

Collecting Middle Devonian Cephalopods Etc., Near Albany Ny

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Jeffrey P

Last Friday I visited the Helderberg Plateau southwest of Albany NY for the first time in search of Middle Devonian fauna. In a thin bed of dark gray silty sandstone in one of the cliffs along Hannacroix Creek, preliminarily called the Hannacroix Ravine Bed, I collected numerous ammonoids, straight-shelled nautiloids, tiny bivalves, and plants. Brachiopods are rarely found in this bed and none were found that day. The fauna was similar to those I've found in the Dave Elliot bed exposed along Route 209 just west of Kingston, NY except that complete ammonoids appear more abundant here. The ammonoids are the goniatite, Tornoceras mesopleuron. I found three nearly complete individuals roughly about an inch in diameter and two smaller ones, one less than an eighth of an inch, as well as numerous partial specimens. One slab contained three large partial specimens lying side by side. Could only upload one photo taken from my cellphone. Any suggestions on to how to upload the rest?

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Jeffrey P

Thanks Inyo;

That was a cool looking goniatite you posted. The shell looks irridescent. Here's another one of my photos.

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Jeffrey P

Adding another photo. This one is the three partials lying side by side.

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Jeffrey P

Another nearly complete goniatite.

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Edited by Jeffrey P

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Fossildude19

Nice finds, Jeffrey! :wub:

There's something about gastropods, nautiloids, and ammonites that totally captivates me. ^_^

Thanks for posting them.

Regards,

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Jeffrey P

You're welcome Tim. If you like gastropods you may want to check out the pic of platystoma gastropods I posted today in members' collections. To change things up, here's a photo of a couple bivalves (nuculites) and a goniatite from Hannacroix Ravine.

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Jeffrey P

Here's a plant fossil from the same site.

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Shamalama

Interesting fossils, thank you for sharing!

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hitekmastr

What kind of plants did you find?

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thrakintosh

Really nice finds! You mentioned the "Dave Elliot bed" near Kingston. I live in Dutchess County and before it gets too cold I'd like to take my 6 year old out looking for (amongst her favorites) Ammonids. Can you tell me (via PM or here) where this spot is?

Thanks!

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Jeffrey P

The Dave Elliot Bed near Kingston, NY is quite rich in cephalopods; both ammonoids and straight-shelled nautiloids, mostly parts, but occasionally complete ones. However, it isn't a particularly good site for small children. Loose rock tends to rain down on you- usually a little, but sometimes a lot. Once I had to run for my life. Definately hard hat territory. Also, the silty sandstone tends to be very crumbly and working larger pieces from the rock face takes some patience and effort. The roadcut is on the west side of Route 209 between the Route 28 and Sawkill Road at its highest point. The tannish fossiliferous layer is on the left side of the exposure about waist high above the ground and is just a few inches thick. You should see small shiny bivalves. They're the most common fossils and also signs of excavation. I had a particularly fruitful day collecting there last week and plan to post some of my finds. Best of luck whatever you do.

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Jeffrey P

Plants. Two impressions of stems- one about a quarter inch thick and the other much thinner. The thinner one has some resemblance to a psilophyon. Unfortunately the photo I posted is very poor. At this time the plant identities are undetermined. I do plan to show them to a professor at the state university in our town. He's been studying the Middle Devonian beds in eastern New York, though plant fossils are not his forte. These are marine beds and the plant material probably came from a nearby river. I've done quite a bit more collecting at the Kingston site where conditions were similar and have found more plant fossils there. One fossil bark impression from the Kingston site suggests a tree. All of these predate the Gilboa site. Thank you for your interest. I find these plant fossils especially intriguing for what they might tell us about nearby terrestrial life in the early Middle Devonian.

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Jeffrey P

thrankintosh;

I was thinking about it and a good place to take your daughter is Generie. It's a quarter mile long limestone roadcut along the east side of Route 9W halfway between Kingston and Saugerties where the road parallels Esopus Creek. Offroad parking is good. No ammonoids, but Lower Devonian braciopods and gastropods are extremely plentiful. The rock is solid shells in places. A number can be found on the ground, mostly broken shells, but complete ones are usually not hard to find, especially after a good rain. The best area I've found is just north of the second turnout. Poison ivy is a problem in some parts, but not in the areas where I've found the best fossils. Because 9W is a busy highway, proper caution and supervision should be exercised. Check out my Glenerie finds in Members' collections. Best of luck and happy hunting!!! Fossil collecting is a great father/daughter activity. I've taken my (now 13 y.o.) daughter to Glenerie as well as some sites in Schoharie County, Syracuse/Utica area, and Red Hill with the NYPS.

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