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Hello! I am a new user on this site and I have a few questions that I can't seem to find anywhere else online, I thought there would be no one better  to ask than more fossil hunters like myself. :D For nearly a decade now I have been in love with the sheer idea of fossils and the animals contained inside of them, but instead of the cliché 'Fossils = Dinosaurs' thing, I have always found interest in the Cambrian Period and have loved it since I started researching trilobites. My life goal basically was to research the Cambrian Period at the famous Burgess Shale, but to my knowledge it is illegal to go to (without being on a tour) and collect fossils from. And that basically shattered my childhood dream. The thing is though, everywhere I look I can't seem to find anything on why it is illegal, the only thing I could find was an article about if it was opened to the public it would drain the fossils much quicker than natural weathering. Which is understandable, but expeditions by permitted paleontologists also seems to be out of the question too. Is there any possible way to research fossils at the Burgess Shale? I am willing to do anything when it comes to permits to be able to dig there:  may be with a University, museum, etc.

As stated before, I am extremely interested in life of the Cambrian Period and am considering it as either a profession or a very dedicated hobby. But the problem is that I live in Central West Virginia, where there are absolutely ZERO fossils, and that makes it difficult for me to do anything with the Cambrian whenever my geological time-period is Devonian-Permian. :mellow:

 

Thanks for any input!

 

PS: Although it seems quite impossible now, my life goal in fossil digging is to find an Anomalocaris fossil. :)

 

Thanks Again!

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Welcome to the forum

 

The Burgess Shale is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site so collecting is prohibited.  I'm not an expert in this age but I believe there are other areas where you can collect Cambrian Period fossils.  Others I'm sure will chime in.

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Brett Breakin' Rocks

  If you are ever in the California or the Nevada deserts there are quite a few exposures in those areas that are worth a look.  I was collecting almost exclusively during my time in California in the Marble Mountains (ie. see my avatar).  Despite what some might say there are a few benefits to large tracts of public land managed by the BLM.  Access to the public being one of those benefits.

 

Cheers,

Brett

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I have been out West to Utah many a years ago to the U-Dig site and was extremely impressed with the turnouts, I am hoping on planning to return to Utah and stay a few nights at House Range because of all of the finds I'm seeing people bring back from there.

 

Also thanks for the info on the Burgess Shale, I'll look more into that.

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Brett Breakin' Rocks

A PS. Here is a site that I used to pour over when I was in that area.  It has a wealth of knowledge pertaining to the localities in the California desert. Here is specifically the Latham Shale found in the Marble Mountains ... aka. Now known as the Trilobite Wilderness Area.  That was a designation under Clinton ?

 

http://inyo.coffeecup.com/site/latham/latham.html#lathamshale

 

And here is the home page Fossils In Death Valley National Park

 

http://inyo.coffeecup.com/site/dv/dvfossils.htm

 

Cheers,

B

 

 

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There's a ton of Cambrian exposure in southern British Columbia outside of the parks.  

 

However, not easy to access unless you are in good physical condition and have decent outdoor skills.  People always ask about becoming a field geologist/paleontologist and they expect me to answer about academic qualifications.  Foremost I tell them to get in good shape and study your Boys Scout handbook ( or whatever American call it).

 

When driving through Utah what does everyone do? They go to some  pre-existing site. Its like fishing in a stocked swimming pool.  Instead, study topo maps...park your car and ride your mountain bike 5 miles towards some distant hill. Then hike in the two miles when you cant access it any further by bicycle. Some variation of this amount of effort  is how we have always explored and found good 'stuff'.  

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The 'discovering on my own' type thing is what I really want to do as a profession/hobby. And since Cambrian exposures tend to turn up (as stated by Brett Breakin' Rocks and Canadawest) in Western parts of the United States and Canada, respectively, that is where I've been looking into for a future fossil hunt.

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Plenty of Cambrian rocks in the eastern US. South central PA comes to mind. There are Cambrian Rocks in extreme eastern West Virginia and some good cambrian sites in Virginia and some other southern states.

  West Virginia is one big fossil site as far as I can tell. Have driven through the state several times, (daughter went to WVU Morgantown) and a lot of the road cuts are fossiliferous.

You can get sites in the east by searching this forum and with google.

  I particularly like canadawest's comments:dinothumb:

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Thanks Plax! Yeah, I have just discovered the extremely Eastern Cambrian/Pre-Cambrian end of West Virginia and it looks quite promising! Does anyone know anywhere besides the Burgess Shale where soft-bodied Cambrian fauna appear? Obviously not as well preserved but just to get a good idea where to look? I have researched many different formations and none of which seem even close. Thanks for all of the input everyone!

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2 hours ago, opabinia said:

...Does anyone know anywhere besides the Burgess Shale where soft-bodied Cambrian fauna appear?...

 

 

There are a few formations in the USA with Burgess Shale taxa.

 

In Utah the Marjum, Spence and Wheeler formations:

 

Briggs, D.E., & Robison, R.A. (1984)

Exceptionally preserved nontrilobite arthropods and Anomalocaris from the Middle Cambrian of Utah.

The University Of Kansas Paleontological Contributions, 111:1-23  LINK

 

Conway Morris, S., & Robison, R.A. (1986)

Middle Cambrian priapulids and other soft-bodied fossils from Utah and Spain.

The University Of Kansas Paleontological Contributions, 117:1-22  LINK

 

Conway Morris, S., & Robison, R.A. (1988)

More soft-bodied animals and algae from the Middle Cambrian of Utah and British Columbia.

The University Of Kansas Paleontological Contributions, 122:1-48  LINK

 

 

In Nevada the Pioche Shale:

 

Lieberman, B.S. (2003)

A new soft-bodied fauna: the Pioche Formation of Nevada.

Journal of Paleontology, 77(4):674-690

 

Moore, R.A., & Lieberman, B.S. (2009)

Preservation of early and Middle Cambrian soft-bodied arthropods from the Pioche Shale, Nevada, USA.

Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 277:57-62  LINK

 

 

In Pennsylvania the Kinzers Formation:

 

Campbell, L.D., & Kauffman, M.E. (1969)

Olenellus fauna of the Kinzers Formation, southeastern Pennsylvania.

Proceedings of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 43:172-176  LINK

 

Skinner, E.S. (2005)
Taphonomy and depositional circumstances of exceptionally preserved fossils from the Kinzers Formation (Cambrian), southeastern Pennsylvania. 
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 220:167-192

 

Powell, W. (2009)
Comparison of geochemical and distinctive mineralogical features associated with the Kinzers and Burgess Shale formations and their associated units. 
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 277:127-140

 

Oxman, K.L. (2014)
Comparative analysis of a unique specimen of a new species of Anomalocaris from the Kinzers Formation of Lancaster County yields a reassessment of the feeding habits of the genus.
Honors Thesis Geosciences, Franklin & Marshall College, 58 pp.  LINK

 

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excellent references piranha! Links are especially appreciated. Haven't collected the Kinzers since the mid 80s and initially did so in '76. So the old references don't seem so old to me. Nearest Cambrian to my location in SE NC is the inner coastal plain of SC but doubt I'll ever get there.

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On 4/5/2017 at 9:15 AM, Plax said:

...Haven't collected the Kinzers since the mid 80s and initially did so in '76...

 

Could you tell me the location of the locality you visited during that time? Katherine L. Oxman's thesis on the discovery of an Anomalocaris appendage is just what I am searching for! :D

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The initial site was in the book "Fossil Collecting in Pennsylvania". It was a very small quarry in the middle of a housing project under construction. The other site was in the cut out for a shoe store right on the highway just outside of Lancaster. I went there with DVPS. I hope you have searched this site (Fossil Forum) for "Kinzers" and "Cambrian Trilobites".

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