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Max-fossils

Hi everyone!

 

So Friday morning, after a few enjoyable days of skiing in Switzerland with my dad, we decided to leave the village because the weather was really becoming horrible for any further skiing (especially for a beginner like me!). I had done a little bit of research as to what fossil locations we could visit on the way back home, and eventually Kevin @Manticocerasman very kindly pointed me towards the site of Resteigne in Belgium! A (no-longer in use) quarry known for its Devonian brachiopods, corals, crinoids and sometimes trilobites. Which was a fantastic opportunity for me, because in my so far 7 years of fossil hunting I had never been in a quarry or hunted for trilobites!!! So seizing the opportunity, we booked a Bed & Breakfast in the small village of Resteigne. :trilo:

 

We arrived late that evening after a long and annoying road, but luckily the hosts were still up and warmly welcomed us. The man knew quite some things about the great geology of the area, and told us that apparently this region was now a Geopark of the UNESCO! (To avoid any confusion, we are allowed to collect fossils here without any problems. It is not like the national parks where it is forbidden to take things out). He sometimes found some fossils himself when he was going out on walks. After a good night sleep and a delicious breakfast, we set out to the quarry. 

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Max-fossils

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Max-fossils

When we arrived, there was still snow on the ground. Luckily, as the sun was up and the temperature was rising, most of it melted away rather fast. We started looking around and breaking rocks open with the hammer (without finding anything). Most of the time we just kept our eyes on the ground and picked up whatever looked odd. In the big boulders, we could also see coral colonies and brachiopods sticking out. 

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Max-fossils

It didn't take long before finding a few brachiopod pieces in the limestone. Gradually we became a little more picky with the brachiopod pieces, but we were probably still nowhere as picky as the local hunters (and probably picked up lots of rather worthless things). Though we never found anything by splitting open rocks, the hammer still proved itself to be useful in order to make big blocks smaller (and easier to carry in the bag). We also found a couple oddballs, I suspect mostly coral, but maybe some other things too. Towards the end we found two rather small but well preserved Spinatrypa brachiopods, and a third small other brachiopod. Unfortunately, we didn't find any trilobites! :(  Well I think that we found two tiny pieces, but they are such fragments that I am barely sure they actually are trilobite... 

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Towards 12 o'clock, as we still had to go home by a decent time, we left the quarry. Though the finds weren't grandiose, it was still nice, and all the fossils we found are completely new additions to my collection. The main reason why we didn't find incredible things was probably because this was my first time at this location, or in any quarry in general, so it was hard to know well what to look for and know what the good hunting techniques were. Luckily the weather was great for hunting, and we had the quarry completely to ourselves, so it was a very enjoyable day! Hopefully, I'll be back soon!

 

Well, that's it! Pictures of the haul coming afterwards. I hope you enjoyed reading my report! :ighappy:

 

Happy hunting!

 

Max

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Max-fossils

The total haul (yes, this just looks like a bunch of rocks, but most of them contain fossils, apart from the few little minerals in the second-row left):

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Max-fossils

The three little brachiopods:

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Two big pieces of coral (?):

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Thanks for the report and the lovely site pictures. :) 

 

Going to a site for the first time can be a bit hit or miss as you get your bearings, and sometimes depends on what information you are able to acquire about the layers in advance. And I somehow doubt anything you found was "worthless" - even if more regular visitors there pass them over. They are new additions to your collection, and souvenirs of your time there. That is of inestimable value. :) 

 

Looks like pretty tough and dense rock to work with!

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Max-fossils

Here are the two possible trilobite parts:

 

A pygydium?

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A tiny piece of the "armor" (black thing in front)?

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Max-fossils

Some more stuff: brachiopods and miscellaneous other things

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Max-fossils

If you would like more pictures of some of the fossils, I will gladly make some. 

 

Oh, and of course, any ID help is welcome! I know basically nothing about my finds, so wherever you can help I will gladly listen :fistbump:

 

The location info: 

Resteigne quarry, Belgium

Jemelle Formation (mostly)

Eifelian, middle Devonian; ~ 390 mya 

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In re: trilobite pieces: The first one more looks like the septae of horn coral, but the second piece shows a bit more promise (although we'd have to see it from another angle). It could also be a gastropod piece. :headscratch:

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Max-fossils
6 minutes ago, Kane said:

Thanks for the report and the lovely site pictures. :) 

 

Going to a site for the first time can be a bit hit or miss as you get your bearings, and sometimes depends on what information you are able to acquire about the layers in advance. And I somehow doubt anything you found was "worthless" - even if more regular visitors there pass them over. They are new additions to your collection, and souvenirs of your time there. That is of inestimable value. :) 

 

Looks like pretty tough and dense rock to work with!

 

3 minutes ago, Kane said:

In re: trilobite pieces: The first one more looks like the septae of horn coral, but the second piece shows a bit more promise (although we'd have to see it from another angle). It could also be a gastropod piece. :headscratch:

Hi Kane, what you say is very true! Thanks.

The part where I said 'worthless' was probably an exaggeration... What I meant to say was that they weren't finds of the century. Of course I still value them a lot because they are completely new to me.

And yeah, I tried to prep some of the pieces a bit with a metal pick, and stopped pretty quickly. Though the rock itself isn't incredibly tough, it is still rather solid and strongly attached to the fossils. Plus, as both have more or less the same color, it's really hard to know (especially for an inexperienced collector like me) where the matrix stops and where the fossil begins. So as to not break any of the fossils, I will suspend the prepping until my skills improve in the matter. Btw I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there might be some trilo parts still hiding in the matrix, and that I will uncover them when prepping :fingerscrossed:

 

About the ID, thanks! I'll be taking more pictures shortly. 

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Manticocerasman

Hey Max,

 

Glad to hear you had a great time. you took som realy nice pictures of the quarry :)

 

most of your fossils ar indeed corals and brachiopods. 

 

It might be worthwile to break down the big rocks you brought home, there might be some more fossils hiding inside.

 

 

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Max-fossils
3 minutes ago, Manticocerasman said:

Hey Max,

 

Glad to hear you had a great time. you took som realy nice pictures of the quarry :)

 

most of your fossils ar indeed corals and brachiopods. 

 

It might be worthwile to break down the big rocks you brought home, there might be some more fossils hiding inside.

 

 

Thanks Kevin! I also hope that there will be some more things in the matrix! :D

 

Btw, any tips on how to prep these?

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In terms of prep, these will certainly not be as easy as using hand tools! This matrix looks like tough limestone, comparable to some of the mid-Devonian coral beds I find near me. It will likely have to be a good air scribe for bulk matrix removal, and then finer touches with an air eraser using dolomite. 

 

Sometimes the fossils may separate from the matrix if you use the freeze/thaw method. 

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DevonianDigger
1 hour ago, Max-fossils said:

Some more stuff: brachiopods and miscellaneous other things

IMG_5996.JPG

 

 

This looks like a Platyceras to me.

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Tidgy's Dad
1 hour ago, DevonianDigger said:

 

This looks like a Platyceras to me.

Or possibly a chonetid internal mold? 

Max, lovely report with some beautiful photographs and some very good corals and brachiopods. 

For your two big corals, the one on the right certainly is, but the one on the left i'm not sure. Can we have photos of the ends of it please?

The first bit of trilobite is a horn coral but the second one may possibly be a trilobite cephalon. 

 

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