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Oligocene micros from the M&M Ranch in Nebraska


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I took matrix (about 4.5 gallons total) this May from 4 different areas on Mel’s and Marco’s ranch in Nebraska. I washed and sieved the matrix at home and was left with around 1.5 gallons of matrix to search. The four pictures below represent the nicest specimens that I found in the matrix from each area (I found at least another five hundred or so broken and damaged specimens). The first three pictures show specimens from the Oligocene, Brule Formation, portion of the ranch. The last picture shows specimens from the Eocene, Chadron Formation, portion of the ranch. I was only able to take .5 gallons of matrix from the Eocene, Chadron Formation, portion of the ranch and that is why there aren’t as many nice specimens from that area. If you look closely at the pictures you can see mammal teeth, jaw fragments, vertebrae and other bones. There are also lizard jaw fragments, osteoderms, and vertebrae as well as some snake vertebrae and possibly a couple of amphibian vertebrae. There are also a good number of claws which look to be from mammals. Below are pictures of individual specimens from the Oligocene portion of the ranch only. I’ll post individual pictures of the Eocene specimens at a later time.

If you mouse over the pictures you will see the file name which has the specimen size and my best effort at identification. I’m currently reviewing a number of papers so I can eventually id more of these specimens (thank you Eric). If you can identify anything further or you see id errors please contribute to this post.

Here are the group pictures of the nicer specimens from the three Oligocene areas of the ranch. I could have taken many more individual pictures but just ran out of time and energy.

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Here is the group picture of the nicer specimens from the Eocene area of the ranch:

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Mammal

Here are some mammal jaw fragments. A lot of these jaw fragments are rodent but there are also insectivore jaw fragments with some from bats. :

post-2515-0-56951500-1466445030_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-83900400-1466445031_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-99010400-1466445032_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-16587600-1466445034_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-44681100-1466445035_thumb.jpg

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Marco Sr.

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mammal jaw fragments continued:

post-2515-0-36572600-1466445699_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-58555400-1466445700_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-60805400-1466445701_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-84014500-1466445702_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-09898900-1466445704_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-39463700-1466445705_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-17633400-1466445707_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-44629700-1466445708_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-98190300-1466474692_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-36622500-1466445711_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-32558400-1466445734_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-85096700-1466445735_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-12972500-1466445737_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-58245600-1466445738_thumb.jpg

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Marco Sr.

Edited by MarcoSr
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mammal jaw fragments continued:

post-2515-0-40922000-1466446063_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-61966700-1466446064_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-88017000-1466446065_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-01768100-1466446067_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-25261500-1466446068_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-73018000-1466446069_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-13328800-1466446071_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-68424900-1466446072_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-96682900-1466446073_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-51538400-1466446075_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-64256400-1466446109_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-03371300-1466446111_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-41177800-1466446112_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-96175300-1466446113_thumb.jpg

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Marco Sr.

Edited by MarcoSr
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mammal jaw fragments continued:

post-2515-0-81041100-1466446432_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-45202100-1466446434_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-91619100-1466446435_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-25103200-1466446437_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-50315900-1466446438_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-68656000-1466446439_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-24302700-1466446441_thumb.jpg

Here are some Mammal teeth:

Rodent incisors:

post-2515-0-83474700-1466446544_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-60197600-1466446546_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-91644300-1466446547_thumb.jpg

Rabbit teeth:

post-2515-0-11147500-1466446597_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-32585500-1466446598_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-65060300-1466446599_thumb.jpg

Additional mammal teeth:

post-2515-0-07113500-1466446736_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-22796800-1466446737_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-92799900-1466446738_thumb.jpg

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Marco Sr.

Edited by MarcoSr
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Additional mammal teeth Continued:

post-2515-0-52368800-1466446976_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-73334700-1466446977_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-19108700-1466446979_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-43466700-1466446980_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-69215900-1466446981_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-91644300-1466446982_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-32998200-1466446984_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-62976900-1466446985_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-90904700-1466446986_thumb.jpg

Frog humeri Edited per a comment from Dr. William W. Korth:

post-2515-0-97910800-1469125949_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-54606100-1469125951_thumb.jpg

Here are a number of claws which are probably all from mammals:

post-2515-0-52055800-1466447253_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-03953500-1466447255_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-58605100-1466447256_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-85393600-1466447257_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-11559200-1466447259_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-16650800-1466447260_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-54866300-1466447262_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-34694100-1466447261_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-88795500-1466447263_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-14797100-1466447265_thumb.jpg

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Marco Sr.

Edited by MarcoSr
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Claws Continued:

post-2515-0-11627700-1466447476_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-42450000-1466447477_thumb.jpg

Here is a claw that was somewhat different from all the others:

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Lizard

Most of these lizard specimens are probably from Peltosaurus granulosus.

Here are some lizard jaw fragments:

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Here are a number of lizard osteoderms. Notice the two different distinctive shapes. I’m thinking the shape difference is from different areas on the body of a Glyptosaur versus from a different species of lizard.

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Marco Sr.

Edited by MarcoSr
Changed Peltosaurus to Glyptosaur based upon input from Dr. Krister Smith
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lizard osteoderms Continued:

post-2515-0-19596800-1466448042_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-52168200-1466448043_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-85069700-1466448044_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-08531300-1466448046_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-59475600-1466448047_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-89172900-1466448048_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-08886400-1466448050_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-43966400-1466448051_thumb.jpg

Here are front and back pictures of two lizard osteoderms. The shape of the first specimen was very common and I found a good number of specimens like it. The second specimen was the only one with that shape that I found. But again I think the shape difference might be from body position.

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I found a good number of Lizard vertebrae. Here are a couple:

post-2515-0-32550300-1466448276_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-53285700-1466448277_thumb.jpg

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Marco Sr.

Edited by MarcoSr
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Snake

I found a good number of snake vertebrae. Snake vertebrae are diagnostic and are used to describe and id different species of snakes. However, I don’t have the expertise to id these any further:

Snake vertebra2  L 3mm W 3mm H 3mm.jpgSnake vertebra3  L 3mm W 4.5mm H 2mm.jpgSnake vertebra4  L 3mm W 1.5mm H 2mm.jpgSnake vertebra5  L 2mm W 3mm H 2mm.jpgSnake vertebra6  L 3mm W 2.5mm H 2mm.jpgSnake vertebra7  L 1.5mm W 1.5mm H 1.5mm.jpgSnake vertebra8  L 3mm W 3.5mm H 1.5mm.jpgSnake vertebra9  L 3mm W 2mm H 2mm.jpgSnake vertebra10  L 2.5mm W 3mm H 2mm.jpgSnake vertebra11  L 3mm W 3.5mm H 3mm.jpg

Salamander

Here is an amphibian vertebra that I believe is a Salamander vertebra. This is the specimen that I’m the most excited about.

Salamander vertebra1  L 3mm W 1mm H 1.5mm.jpg

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Marco Sr.

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Here are a few vertebrae that I’m not 100% sure about which are probably reptile:

post-2515-0-00425500-1466448795_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-22237200-1466448796_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-52650900-1466448797_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-92470700-1466448820_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-56335200-1466448822_thumb.jpgpost-2515-0-02191100-1466448824_thumb.jpg

Marco Sr.

Edited by MarcoSr
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:wub::wub::drool::envy::1-SlapHands_zpsbb015b76:

:popcorn:

Tony

PS That was just the first post?

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:wub::wub::drool::envy::1-SlapHands_zpsbb015b76:

:popcorn:

Tony

PS That was just the first post?

Tony

It took a while to get everything posted. Everything is posted now.

Marco Sr.

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Magnificent. Great photos.

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Tony

It took a while to get everything posted. Everything is posted now.

Marco Sr.

What I said befor X 10 !!!!

WOW!!!

very nice selection of finds!

Tony

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Lori LuvsFossils

Holy Smokes!!! I though I had a large micro/marco collection. I stand corrected. LOVE LOVE LOVE these !!! :wub:

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sixgill pete

Fantastic Marco. Those tiny jaw fragments are amazing. Are there any resources available for ID'ing them to species level? And as usual your photography is superb.

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Marco Sr.,

These are stupendous! And yes, the salamander vert is very exciting. I am amazed by the excellent preservation and the wonderful colours. Those other verts are stumpers...what unusual shapes on some of them... very intriguing. I hope you get them identified. Fantastic photos!

Julianna

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Incredible finds and pics as always Marco : ) I really like the jaw sections, there's a ton of variety in there! It's amazing that so many pieces were preserved in such great shape

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great finds, and even nicer photos.

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Holy Smokes!!! I though I had a large micro/marco collection. I stand corrected. LOVE LOVE LOVE these !!! :wub:

Lori

Thank you. I love your fish fossils from Wyoming. What a great trip you had.

Marco Sr.

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Magnificent. Great photos.

Thank you. I really enjoy taking the pictures.

Marco Sr.

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Fantastic Marco. Those tiny jaw fragments are amazing. Are there any resources available for ID'ing them to species level? And as usual your photography is superb.

Don

There are a number of papers that can help with the ids of the jaw fragments. Eric and Julianna sent me some very good ones. I just need the time to read and digest them.

Marco Sr.

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Marco Sr.,

These are stupendous! And yes, the salamander vert is very exciting. I am amazed by the excellent preservation and the wonderful colours. Those other verts are stumpers...what unusual shapes on some of them... very intriguing. I hope you get them identified. Fantastic photos!

Julianna

Julianna

I love the colors of these micros. It amazes me how many different colors there are. Thank you for the papers. I need to relook at all the reptile specimens.

Marco Sr.

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Incredible finds and pics as always Marco : ) I really like the jaw sections, there's a ton of variety in there! It's amazing that so many pieces were preserved in such great shape

Jeff

I had a lot more jaws fragments but ran out of energy and time to take more pictures. There is a great diversity of small mammal species that can be found on my sons' ranch. I just need to develop the expertise to be able to id some of them.

Marco Sr.

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great finds, and even nicer photos.

Jean-Pierre

The ant hills on the ranch are really productive and definitely make it worthwhile to take matrix from them.

Marco Sr.

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sixgill pete

Don

There are a number of papers that can help with the ids of the jaw fragments. Eric and Julianna sent me some very good ones. I just need the time to read and digest them.

Marco Sr.

Great. The preservation of all of them are also amazing.

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