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Manticocerasman

December field trip to the Ardennes (Belgian Devonian deposits)

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Manticocerasman

New fieldtrip to the late and mid Devonian in the Ardennes from Belgium.

This weekend I went with my friend Anthonie to a last minute field trip.

The weather forecast were promising for that Sunday: gray but dry and decent temperatures so this was a possibility to make a last fieldtrip for this year.

So Sunday morning I woke up early to leave for the fieldtrip… of course when I looked outside it was pouring.

Still, hoping it could only get better I took the highway to Brussels, picked up my friend and we went to the direction of Marche en Famene for our first stop.

It took us a one and a half hour drive in the rain to get there. Luckily the sky got a little less gray and the rain ended.

We got to our first stop, a large construction site for a new industrial site. I went there before with my daughter with great success and I wanted to inspect the spot more closely.

The huge construction pits exposed late Devonian schists (Frasnian), those deposits are well known to amateur collectors and can deliver a large quantity of spiriferid brachiopods, sometimes of very large dimensions.

We spent almost 2 hours on the site, the bulldozers had done a great job clearing everything and we just had to pick up the brachiopods laying around everywhere. It was easy to fill up our bags and we only prospected a small part of the site. Apart from the huge amount of Spirifers, from which a few of them where around 3” we also found solitary corals, and a pair of gastropods. (probably Euomphalus sp.)

We then took a quick lunch and headed to a new location a few miles further to a Quarry with mid. Devonian deposits (Givetian)

This was the first time we prospected this site, so it took us a while before we could find a few decent fossils.

The first ones we found were multiple large colonial corals and stromatolites, giving us a clue about this ancient reef and lagoon system.

Most of those where too large to carry around, so we took a few pictures and we continued the prospection.

In most parts of the quarry we found other large corals, but when we got to a scree we found multiple small solitary and colonial corals.

We inspected this more closely an discovered lots of nice small fossils including a variety of very beautifully preserved brachiopods.

After further prospection we went back to the car, making sure to pass by the first spot with the large corals.

Where we each took a large specimen back to the car.

We had still a little time on our hands and went to a 3rd location, an old quarry.

When we got to this spot we were surprised to see that they started to fill up the location with debris.

On the positive side the debris where mostly schists from a construction site. And again delivered a few nice spiriferid brachiopods, although very few in numbers. I think another group of collectors must have been screening those debris before us, a large amount of footprints where all around the place.

We went to the back of the quarry to take a few extra pictures before heading back home. here I heard small pebbles falling from the cliff at the end of the quarry. We then saw quite a spectacular sight: a fox went down the cliff at an incredible speed, I thought he was stuck and would fell off, but halfway the cliff he went into a hole in the wall. Probably his den.

We went closer to get a better sight but we made a new but gruesome discovery.

A large dog lay dead at the bottom of the quarry. he probably fell of the cliff and it was not far of the den, so maybe this happened due to the dog chasing the fox.

We took a picture of the collar, It had a cellphone number on it. We later contacted the owner to let him know what had happened to his dog.

He was sad to hear the news, the dog was missing for two weeks after a hunting party, so this only confirmed our suspicions with the fox.

After this incident we got back to the car and headed back home ( again raining during the whole trip)

Although the day ended on a sad tone for the dog we did get a lot of great looking fossils.

Il post updates of the finds after their first cleanup.

Enjoy the pictures:

Kevin

1st location: Late Devonian schists

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Looks like Santa came early this year:

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2nd location: Mid Devonian reef deposits:

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3rd location: note the piles of schists dumped in the quarry:

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Thanks to PaleoTony for the pictures.

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Mike Pocock

Wow looks like a good trip, very sad for the dog owner, thanks for the post very interesting.

Regards

Mike

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jpc

Nice field trip. Thanks for sharing. Bummer a bout the dog, but you guys did the right thing. Do you see foxes very much over there?

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Khyssa

Great trip report and it looks like you had quite a productive hunt. Nice range of corals.

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Manticocerasman

Nice field trip. Thanks for sharing. Bummer a bout the dog, but you guys did the right thing. Do you see foxes very much over there?

They are quite common here, even in the city areas . Although we don’t see a lot of foxes, but it is only because they are mostly active at night.

We got a call back from the owner of the dog. He went to the place to retrive the dog.

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PaleoWilliam

Great finds!!

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JohnJ

Thanks for posting this, Kevin. It looks like a great place to crawl around. :)

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Foozil

Great finds to everyone! :fist bump: I wish I could travel half an hour to good sites :)

Edited by Dinoboy123

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JustPlainPetrified

Nice corals!

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ZiggieCie

Very nice Fossils. I love the Marine life. Great photos and THX for taking us on your trip. :1-SlapHands_zpsbb015b76::yay-smiley-1:

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Manticocerasman

A litlle update: I cleaned up a few fossils from the trip:

Big spirifer from the first location:

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Corals from the 2nd hunting spot:

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A bunch of fine looking Atrypa's:

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belemniten

Really nice :fistbump:

The big spirifer is great :wub:

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Jeffrey P

Excellent finds, Kevin! I can't get over all that magnificent coral. Great specimens. Congratulations. Those Atrypas look just like the ones I found here in NY., but have yet to see so many all at once.

Edited by Jeffrey P

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dre464

Those corals are awesome. Congrats on the finds...

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sandgroper

Wow, you've found some fantastic pieces there mate! Looks like there is no shortage of fossils around your neck of the woods.

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California Dave

I like your Atrypas!

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