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The Amateur Paleontologist

MKFRP: The Møns Klint Fossil Research Program

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Hello, and welcome to my new MKFRP thread! In this new thread, there are going to be a lot more details, accounts, and of course… pictures, than in the previous one. I hope you enjoy it here :)

 

For those who don't remember (or who haven't heard of this), the MKFRP is a research project based on the extensive collection and research of fossil material from the Lower Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous) of Møns Klint, Denmark. The project was put in place given that this fossil site is highly diverse (more than 120 macrofossil taxa), but has been given too little paleontological attention. The goal of the MKFRP is to promote greater understanding and knowledge of the paleontology of this fossil site. 

The fieldwork aspect of this project consists of "MKFE's" (Møns Klint Fossil Excavations), organised week/fortnight-long field trips of which the central goal is to collect a large quantity of fossil material (especially from cephalopods, echinoderms and vertebrates). The first MKFE was a success, in which many echinoderm fossils (and one shark tooth) had been collected. 

The second MKFE will last 2 weeks, and is scheduled for the 2nd and 3rd weeks of July.

 

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Darktooth

:popcorn:

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Just finished preparing a small portion (7 articulated columnals) of an Isselicrinus buchii crinoid stem. Associated with this stem is also a nearly complete cirrus (small appendage projecting from a columnal). The specimen was collected from the Freuchens Pynt cliff of MK on the 14th of August (2016).

 

5aeb085d01570_ScreenShot2018-05-03at14_54_43.png.05a2fe0851cf3d49928cf009d86efdd1.png 

I'll try to get better pictures of this specimen

 ->Scale bar is 10mm

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The Amateur Paleontologist

I've meant to do this for quite some time, and here it finally is! A nice little gallery of fossils from Møns Klint, on display at the GeoCenter. 

The first post represents finds that have been declared as "Danekrae", which denotes exceptional items of Danish natural history (these items belong to the state). The Danekrae items are catalogued as "DK [number]"

So, without further ado...

 

 

Fragment of the regular echinoid Zeuglopleurus wehrlii, this genus had never been found before in Denmark (but had been found at other sites such as Rügen in Germany) and was thus declared "Danekrae"; with a catalogue number DK 587

       ->4.5mm in diameter

       ->Collected by Ib Møller Nielsen in 1994 

5aecaffc364d2_ScreenShot2018-05-04at21_09_24.png.5f995be759994fe5b5d5aefead783ab7.png

Photography taken from here.

 

 

Irregular echinoid Peroniaster cotteaui, declared as Danekrae for the same reasons as the above specimen; catalogue number DK 588

        -> ~4mm in length

        ->Collected by Ib Møller Nielsen in 1993

5aecb2756c5e7_ScreenShot2018-05-04at21_19_51.png.c7c41307208f8ca2d151245abed0461e.png

Photography taken from here.

 

 

Very cool mosasaur tooth crown from either Mosasaurus hoffmanni or Mlemonnieri; this well-preserved tooth was the first mosasaur tooth from Møns Klint, and the 3rd one from the entirety of Denmark. The tip is slightly worn, but the rest of the enamel is rather neat. Catalogue number DK 498

       ->Measures ~30mm in height

       ->Collected by Kent Wollesen in 2007 (yes, the first mosasaur tooth was indeed found only 11 years ago… And there have only been 3-4 other teeth found since then)  DK_498a.jpg.177df47fe3877049bca69497d19d2fcb.jpg

Photography taken from here

 

 

Another mosasaur tooth crown from Mosasaurus hoffmanni; based on the morphology, it was determined that this specimen was a pterygoid tooth (unique in Denmark, and pterygoid teeth are much less frequent than "jaw teeth") - definitely worth Danekrae, that one!

Catalogue number: DK 740

         ->3.6mm in height

        ->Collected by Mette Hofstedt (year not mentioned)

DK_740a.jpg.bbd2720d46e987217cf8d87aa9845312.jpg

Photography taken from here.

 

 

Well preserved shark tooth from a possible new genus of Squalidae, though difficult to ID precisely given that Squalidae remains are rare in Cretaceous sediments and this tooth seems to combine various traits of different genera (i.e. Centrophoroides and Squalus). The specimen was declared as Danekrae, given the rarity of material from this kind of shark in Danish Chalk (catalogue number DK 564)

        ->7mm in length

        ->Collected by Marianne Jensen in 2003

5aecccc4710a6_ScreenShot2018-05-04at23_11_24.png.62ef052ddbb0a681670ce8d02c4d772e.png

Photography taken from here.

 

 

Complete Anomotodon sp. (mitsukurinid shark) tooth. The specimen is Danekrae because the genus Anomotodon had never been previously reported from the chalk of Møns Klint; the catalogue number is DK 570

        ->8mm in height

        ->Collected by Marianne Jensen in 2003

5aeccf1d31c3f_ScreenShot2018-05-04at23_22_07.png.f69138bd4f989480cae852b52830767b.png

Photography taken from here.

 

 

Tooth from a Synechodus sp. (synechodontiform shark); registered as Danekrae for the same reasons as the above specimen. The catalogue number is DK 571.

         -> ~5mm in height

         ->Collected (once more) by Marianne Jensen in (once again) 2003

5aecd0debb362_ScreenShot2018-05-04at23_29_25.png.11fa313bdab1e8ee71e725b5005206f9.png

Photography taken from here.

 

 

Phymosomatid (regular echinoid) Gauthiosoma princeps; consisting of a complete test (the "shell" composed of numerous calcareous ossicles), associated with 6 primary spines. This level of preservation is unusual in the chalk given that echinoderms tend to "fall apart" during decay. The specimen was declared as Danekrae due to its good preservation, and articulation - and also because Gauthiosoma is a rare echinoid genus in the Danish Chalk. The catalogue number of this specimen is DK 733.

         ->Test is ~60mm in diameter

         ->Collected by Mette Hofstedt in 2013

 5aecd41e0073e_ScreenShot2018-05-04at23_43_15.png.808a6c032ad512fbd89847515ef91e89.png

Photography taken from here.

 

 

Almost complete Acanthoscaphites tridens (scaphitid ancyloceratine) ammonite. In many sites (i.e. Møns Klint, Smoky Hill Chalk of Kansas…), the chemical composition (aragonite) of an ammonite's shell leads to it often being disintegrated, following the death of the ammonite (I'm not exactly sure about the chemistry behind the aragonite - calcium carbonate reactions…). Due to this, complete ammonites are rare in such sites. This specimen is considered Danekrae due to its rarity, and because it is one of the most well preserved from the Danish Chalk. The catalogue number for this ammonite is DK 543.

         -> ~160mm across (largest diameter)

         ->Collected by Ole Bang in 2007

5aed7c5a76d5d_ScreenShot2018-05-05at11_40_49.png.8153d8b1132907f883d5c9768b361cb9.png

Photography taken from here.

 

 

Unique tentacle hooklet (onychite) from a very large ?belemnoteuthid squid.

Very small (between 0.1 and 1mm long) squid onychites have been collected from similar sites (i.e. Rügen, Germany), though this one is of approximately 27mm in length. This onychite probably belonged to a ~3 meter long squid. The find is unique in Danish (even European) chalk, as no other onychite of such a size has ever been found in that area. The specimen's catalogue number is DK 500.

        -> ~27mm in length

        ->Collected by Thorbjørn H. Madsen in 2006

5aed82ab7a2b7_ScreenShot2018-05-05at12_08_04.png.824c4ab3410d49a3e892c5192679ddbf.png

Photography taken from here.

 

 

Mass death assemblage of 30 Echinocorys sp. (irregular echinoid), preserved in a large nodule of flint. Despite the amount of individuals preserved in this block, it is very difficult to determine the species of this Echinocorys, due to various confusions regarding Echinocorys morphology.

This specimen is interesting given the proximity of the echinoids and their similarity in terms of shape and size. This is the first mass assemblage of well preserved echinoids found in Denmark. Catalogue number is DK 562.

          ->Entire flint block measures approximately 350 x 300 x 300mm

          ->Collected by Jytte Frederiksen (year not mentioned)

5aedb50bb5f8c_ScreenShot2018-05-05at15_42_43.png.3bab36c06933809ed1e5c90e6d497ea2.png

Photography taken from here.

 

Well, that was the Danekrae fossils! Hope you like it :) 

More posts will come in the next days, so stay tuned!

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Tidgy's Dad

Thanks, those are great! 

That 'belemnoteuthid' hook is amazing! :)

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Thanks for the kind words, @Tidgy's Dad :D 

and about the belemnoteuthid hooklet, I completely agree with you.. I'd love to find one of those. Who knows? Maybe I'll find one in July 

 

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Tidgy's Dad
55 minutes ago, The Amateur Paleontologist said:

Thanks for the kind words, @Tidgy's Dad :D 

and about the belemnoteuthid hooklet, I completely agree with you.. I'd love to find one of those. Who knows? Maybe I'll find one in July 

 

Find two! 

Then I can have one! ;)

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The Amateur Paleontologist
14 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Find two! 

Then I can have one! ;)

Guess I'll have to find a few thousands… Just to be on the safe side (if anyone else wants)

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The Amateur Paleontologist

At the very "dawn" of the MKFRP (back in 2016), I made a post detailing the goals of the project, including which new faunal elements I hoped to discover. Back then, I thought it was fairly complete… After some consideration though, I realised that the list was lacking some major stuff. Here's the "expanded and revised" version.

The faunal elements presented below are those that I think exist at MK - their presence over there is inferred from their presence at similar fossil sites (like Rügen, Germany and Stevns Klint, Denmark...).

 

-  A more diverse ammonite fauna – especially in terms of Ancyloceratina (i.e. Anisoceratidae, Ptychoceratidae and Nostoceratidae)

-  Ammonite aptychi

-  Marsupitid/Uintacrinid crinoid remains

-  The first Danish Maastrichtian Chalk plesiosaur remains

-  Amphibian remains

-  Turtle remains

-  Dinosaur remains, both non-avian and avian

-  Pterosaur remains

-  Mammal remains

-  A pathological vertebrate specimen

-  Juvenile echinoderm or vertebrate material

-  A highly diverse microsite

-  More substantial reptile remains (i.e. crocodylians and mosasaurids)

-  Evidence of predation

-  A few new genera and species of any vertebrate group

-  Soft tissue preservation

-  Faunal association of 2 or more different taxa (i.e. similar to the DK127 eel and Phymosoma association - see attached)

-  Palynomorphs

 

Let's hope I can find all that! ;)

 

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 23.11.14.png

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The Amateur Paleontologist

I know that most of my MKFRP-related posts are elsewhere on the Forum, but since this is kind of the "general MKFRP thread", I thought I'd share with you guys some sort of "promotional poster" I created (artwork not mine). Hope you like it ;)

 

5b13fd317ed1b_ScreenShot2018-06-03at16_33_55.thumb.png.e4851d8723ae155afd5a6607aff81d6f.png

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Just one month left of waiting and then I'll be down at the chalks of MK! Hopefully I'll have as much (maybe even more…) success as for the last MKFE :) 

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David in Japan

Good luck! wish you the best.

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The Amateur Paleontologist

@David in Japan Hey, thanks for your support :) If I find any Hokkaidō-esque heteromorphs at MK, I'll make sure to show you - and everyone else, of course ;)  

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The Amateur Paleontologist

The MKFRP is 2 years old today!

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