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minnbuckeye

Florida part 3

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minnbuckeye

          Many, many times  people new (and old) to fossil hunting post on TFF asking for advise about where to collect. Constantly, advise to join a local fossil club is given to them.  This is always a great recommendation. But what I would like to point out is to forget the word "local". My experience is that every location that I have ever vacationed at since the fossil hunting bug hit me has had a fossil club. And every time I have contacted a non local club, they are more than happy to include you in their activities/ hunts. So, yes, by all means, JOIN your local club, but also take full advantage of other clubs when venturing outside of your area.

 

          I took advantage of the Tampa Bay Fossil Club's hospitality while in Florida by attending a field trip with them. They were very gracious hosts and were willing to educate me, being a novice to their type of collecting. We were to enter the Cemex Quarry in Center Hill at 8 am.  Not sure where the heck Center Hill was, I left plenty early and was the first to arrive and was greeted by this site. A nice way to start the day.


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          Cemex was nice enough to deposit plenty of new rock for us to pick through. I believe this is Ocala limestone. Going was initially tough for most. Unfortunately, this new material was very powdery making it extremely hard to see the echinoderms lurking within. Once a rain washes the fines away, someone will find its treasures, but not for most of us. I did discover that if I split the harder "concretions" in this new material, they contained wonderful plates of scallops, but no echinoderms. My wife adores scallop collecting at the beach, so I brought her some ancient ones to add to her finds.


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minnbuckeye

Once I gave up searching the new rock and focused on the mounds of older material that had been weathered and picked through by other groups, echinoderms started to show up. I was happy with my finds. But  I am not a person to sit in one place for long. So in spite of this location being somewhat productive, I looked for a greener pasture and found it. It was in and along the road  itself!!!! Not where I thought I would be exploring that day. Goes to show you that one should always keep an open mind and not be afraid to venture from the norm. Here are the finds:DSC_0596-001.thumb.JPG.6df2b7d5afbcb8a0f8ef768f39696160.JPG

There are pelecypods, sponges, corals, gastropods to be found.

 

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But echinoids are what I was after. The first one posted is hard for me to ID. It is very  thick and rounded, unlike my other finds.

 

 

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minnbuckeye

DSC_0638.thumb.JPG.65bdfe5a250feb436c38b389aee1253c.JPG  

 

Weisbozaella cubae????

 

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minnbuckeye

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minnbuckeye

Durhamella ocalana??

 

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Eupatagus antillarium???

 

 

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minnbuckeye

I did have the pleasure of meeting/ chatting with a fellow Fossil Forum Member, Sacha, at the quarry. It is nice to place a name with a face, so here is Sacha looking for echinoids. I guess no face, sorry. He is the gentleman in the foreground with his bucket full.


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 Sacha and I had talked ahead of my trip to Florida, so he knew I was participating in this hunt. He surprised me with a wonderful gift at the end of our quarry hunt.DSC_0682.thumb.JPG.aee5858999495d09a154fa38c72503de.JPGDSC_0683.thumb.JPG.f9205a1bb4b93d52ee53c9b4d3d46f52.JPG

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minnbuckeye

I wish pictures could bring out the beauty in this coral. I tried photographing it many ways but couldn't capture its luster. Thanks so much. I owe you one!! 

 

 

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After returning back to our base camp on the beach, I spent the following afternoon using a butter knife to scratch the matrix off the fossils as the waves lapped on the shore. Here was some of my cleaned specimens. I only needed to dip them in a quick acid bath when I got home to finish the prep. 

 

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minnbuckeye

Another great hunt must come to an end. But like the end of a day, a new one is not too far away.

 

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Darktooth

Great report and great pics! I am glad you had a productive hunt! Congratulations! 

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Sacha

Hey Mike, you did really well!. I only found a few, but they were new species for me, so I'm signed up for the next trip to get some more to replace the ones I destroyed with vinegar.

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Phevo

Beautiful detail on all the finds 

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jcbshark

Nice finds Mike, and again great pics :)

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Vieira

Nice finds.

I love that echinoids...:dinothumb:

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ynot
20 hours ago, minnbuckeye said:

Another great hunt must come to an end. But like the end of a day, a new one is not too far away.

 

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Wonderful trip report, thanks for sharing!

 

Love this picture, very nice how You caught the wave splash!

Tony

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digit

Nice. I'm glad Florida was an inviting fossil destination (especially in February) and that you were well taken care of by both Jeff and John (Sacha). They both epitomize the kinds of fossil hunting friends you'd like to have and are both quality TFF members.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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minnbuckeye
10 hours ago, digit said:

Nice. I'm glad Florida was an inviting fossil destination (especially in February) and that you were well taken care of by both Jeff and John (Sacha). They both epitomize the kinds of fossil hunting friends you'd like to have and are both quality TFF members.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

Ken, I could not say it better!!!! Maybe next time I visit, your work in the Caribbean may be over and we can meet and/or hunt together.

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digit
6 hours ago, minnbuckeye said:

Maybe next time I visit, your work in the Caribbean may be over and we can meet and/or hunt together.

 

That would be spectacular.

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Coco

Hi,

 

Don't put your sea urchins in the acid or in the vinegar. They are in calcite and this mineral is eaten by all the acids and the vinegar !

 

Coco

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minnbuckeye
2 hours ago, Coco said:

 

Don't put your sea urchins in the acid or in the vinegar. They are in calcite and this mineral is eaten by all the acids and the vinegar !

Thanks for the advice, however it is too late. They all took a short swim in acid already. We were instructed at the end of our hunt by the 'leader' to soak in water to keep acid from penetrating deep into the echinods , then immersing in a strong muramic acid for a few seconds, then immediately rinse. I  dipped into sodium bicarb for a few minutes and then into water to neutralize any residual acid. I must say the acid brought detail out that was non existant before the bath.

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Coco

Yes, all acids eat calcite... And it eat the details too.

 

I don't know if I am able to help you to identify your sea urchins. What is the age ? Sizes could be help. Could be Ryncholampas gouldi for the first species ? I never heard about Durhamella ocalana before, but it looks like some I have seen on the web and it is nice !

 

Coco

 

 

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