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Rocky Stoner

Orthoceras finds after rain

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Rocky Stoner

Hi folks,

  We had a nice rain last night.

Walked around the upper yellow shale garden and found these rinsed off lying on the surface.

Sort of strange, this is (practically) the only fossil I've found here in this spot. Just 200 yds. away is my other dig site that has all of the other examples I've posted, but none of the orthoceras has been found there.

I suppose there are many layers separating them, makes me wonder what the timeline would be relating to the different exposed areas.

The bulk of the orthoceras seems to be in one end of my current tilling. Soon I plan to extend the plowed area a bit further up the ridge in search of higher concentrations.

Cheers.

July 7.JPG

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WhodamanHD

The mahantango was prone to storms, maybe large ones pushed pelagic orthocerid s to the shallower closer to land bits?

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Kane

Great finds! :) 

 

Sometimes finding clusters of a particular fossil in one area is less about geologic time and more about deposition patterns. Just to add a bit more detail to what WhodamanHD said, tides have a way of sifting and sorting debris so that smaller stuff and bigger stuff get separated by the currents. Natural depressions on the sea floor become little waste bins for stuff sorted by weight and size, and if they get covered in mud due to storms, they effectively get frozen in time until after thousands and millions of years of more sediment piling on top, they fossilize.

 

If you ever go to a beach and look at the shoreline, you might be able to see this process in action where you get areas that are littered with little shell bits, and others with larger bits. 

 

The process, involving paleoenvironments and hydrodynamics among other things, is part of a fascinating branch of paleontological study called taphonomy. It is a little like forensics in figuring out how and why organisms were deposited in certain places and not others.

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Kane

Any time. :) 

 

I'm hoping @Shamalama pops by at some point (the author of that great blog) to say more about the stuff you're finding. 

 

I'm still in awe and a bit of envy that you're able to pull this up from your own property. 

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WhodamanHD

I know the place I hunt, most layers have brachs and a few crinoids, while one or two 

Layers are chock full of crinoid columnals, presumably from a storm killing a large "Forest" of crinoids.

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Herb

that is a lot of nice cephalopods in one area

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Wrangellian

Are you going to be able to dig up any chunks of matrix from that spot to see if it contains these orthocones, maybe to find out how densely packed they are?

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Rocky Stoner
1 hour ago, Wrangellian said:

Are you going to be able to dig up any chunks of matrix from that spot to see if it contains these orthocones, maybe to find out how densely packed they are?

Hello Wrangellian, thanks for your reply.

That's the strange thing about this particular site. It is just a tilled area with about 3" of top soil tilled to a depth of about 6". Standard for a garden in these parts. I dug a test pit about 3' x 5' down to the undisturbed shale and found nothing except a few small concretions. I have pretty well determined that all of the ones I've found are just under the topsoil in the highly fractured several inches of shale directly below. I have never found a single one that was "in the matrix", they are all loose and on the surface after a tilling of the soil and a nice cleansing rain, of which we just had another this evening. I'm anxious to go look it over again in the morning. The matrix in this area is a very soft chalk-like shale that breaks up into small pieces after only a minimal exposure to the elements. I imagine that is partly why none are still in the matrix as the seasonal changes have separated long ago, being that close to the surface. (just a guess)

Thanks again,

regards.

 

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Wrangellian

That's odd... You could be right, my local shale also is very much splintery after a little exposure to any kind of weather.

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Rocky Stoner

I also meant to say, if I did excavate a pit maybe 3' deep with a machine, which I might do, I might very well find these in the matrix of given layers. The layering appears to be about 60 degrees from vertical in this area.

Good Lord the damage I could do with an excavator !

Cheers.

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Kane
12 minutes ago, Rocky Stoner said:

I also meant to say, if I did excavate a pit maybe 3' deep with a machine, which I might do, I might very well find these in the matrix of given layers. The layering appears to be about 60 degrees from vertical in this area.

Good Lord the damage I could do with an excavator !

Cheers.

Good lord, what some of us wouldn't give to have a licensed operator come by to one our sites with an excavator to help us out! :D 

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ischua
On 7/7/2017 at 8:32 PM, Kane said:

Good lord, what some of us wouldn't give to have a licensed operator come by to one our sites with an excavator to help us out! :D 

+1:)

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Rocky Stoner

Hmmmmm, well .... Buffalo is sort of on the way to Ontario from here.:D

Seriously though, I just turned up a new patch, some interesting bits to show soon after clean-up !

I think I'll keep my digs to plow depth for now. At least until I have turned every stone.:)

I need to come up with more excuses.

So far :

New blackberry patch, 2 new flower beds, site grading for new (proposed) gazebo, 1 small plowed area for "wildlife" feeding patch ........etc.

:)

 

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Fossil-Hound

Nice finds.

On 7/7/2017 at 8:32 PM, Kane said:

Good lord, what some of us wouldn't give to have a licensed operator come by to one our sites with an excavator to help us out! :D 

+1 :D

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