Jump to content
MrR

First self-liberated (By me) fossil. Shellfish. Scallop?

Recommended Posts

MrR

Greetings, TFF crew.

 

I seriously doubt that there's any great mystery to what this fossil is, but since it's my first self-liberated fossil, I decided to post. I'd go out on a limb and say that it's some type of miocene scallop. I was driving through a local canyon, not far from the now forbidden zone in Old Topanga, when I spotted a decent sized piece of sandstone between the road and the crumbling hillside. I had my GF go out and grab it while I kept it safe with other cars. We could see what looked like the wavy edges of a scallop at the outside of the sandstone. There are still a few more in evidence.

 

I was fairly careful, but perhaps not careful enough in retrospect, and didn't have a thin "liberating" tool, so I used the only cold-chisel I have. I tapped around, maybe 4mm from the subject's edge, and it split. I then used a little pick to clean out most of the sandstone. Unfortunately, some fossil material came off with a piece of the shell, but it's mostly intact. Surely I could have done a bit better, and will the next time. I'm still rather jazzed to have my first stone produce some "color".

 

There's also a little dark piece that caught my eye. It's probably 10mm in length. It's probably some sort of quartz fragment, but then again maybe it's some sort of coprolite. Poop springs eternal, right? (Sorry)

 

Cheers all.

 

 

DSC06179.JPG

DSC06180.JPG

DSC06181.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
digit

Welcome to the forum.

 

You've been bitten by the fossil bug--all is lost (welcome to the addiction). ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fifbrindacier

Be careful, that's the worst addiction i've ever heard about. I hope that the parents and friends around you will help you when they'll see you wandering about, hammer and digging equipment saying ever and ever FOSSILFOSSILFOSSILFOSSILAAARRRRRGHFOSSIL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
digit

Indeed. Seek medical attention when it reaches this stage. ;)

 

untitled.png

 

If you are in Southern California you need to do some searching here on the forum for "Shark Tooth Hill" (as well as on the general internet). You'll find a great place in Bakersfield to feed the fossil addiction and collect some really nice large fossil shark teeth. You'll have to hold off on that though till the temperatures moderate a bit after the summer season.

 

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MrR

Thanks for the warm welcome, folks. Yes, I think I may have a bit of a bite on my hands. Just when I thought it was safe to go outside. I don't know how addicted I'll get, as I must be shared between a few other addictions. That said, my interests between them ebbs and flows, but never disappears. And now I have one other to throw into the mix. My GF will be thrilled. ;) BTW, she has only herself to blame, as she is the one that got me going on the shark tooth that's in my mom's flagstone path, which was my first post's subject.

 

I just finished reading Stephen Brusatte's "The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs", and enjoyed it very much. Now I'm working on "Annals of the Former World", but John McPhee. This one's a bit above my non-scientific-type pay-grade, but I'm giving it a shot at my pre-fossil brain. I even purchased a set of DVD's on beginning geology. Maybe that will help me get into the frame for "Annals". Time, and fossils, will tell.

 

@digitYes, I am only a couple of hours from Bakersfield, so STH is on the agenda for either late this year or early next. It sound like a great place to cut my teeth on fossils. A TFF member who went out of his way last month to set my addiction, sent me a tooth from Isurus Planus after he read about my wavering on removing the tooth from the flagstone path. He noted that it was from the STH area. Thanks, caldigger! Cheers.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
digit

Yup. @caldigger and many others on this forum are generous with time, information, and (often) fossils.

 

When you get ready to go to Bakersfield you'll be able to dig for the larger (macroscopic) shark teeth and I'm sure you'll find enough to fire the addiction for some time to come. While you are waiting for the blazing summer temps to subside, you may wish to spend a little time (and few dollars) on a weekend project to prepare yourself for STH. The sandy matrix at STH is packed with a variety of micro-fossils as well. There are tiny shark teeth, ray teeth, fish teeth and scales, as well as other interesting items. If you go to your local home improvement store of choice and pick up some 1"x3" lumber you can cut some pieces to length and either nail (or screw) the pieces together to form a square (or rectangle) of wood 3" (well, 2.75" anyway) high. You should also be able to find some window screen mesh (mesh size somewhere around 1/20") as well as some small rolls of larger mesh (1/2" and 1/4"). I've had good luck with making sifting screens and stapling 1/4" mesh to one and 1/2" mesh to the other and using them as a stacked pair. I cut a piece of the window screen mesh large enough to fit into the size of your screens with a bit hanging over. By stacking the two screens on top of each other with the window screen mesh placed in the lower screen, you'll have a great setup for sifting for micro-matrix. Depending on how chunky the matrix is that you are digging the larger shark teeth from, you can choose to put either the 1/2" or the 1/4" on the top. The mesh on the lower screen acts as a support for the window screen--though you may be able to buy strong enough (aluminum) window screen to staple that directly to the bottom of the wooden frame and make a 1/20" sifter. The general idea is that the top sifting screen keeps larger pieces from entering the lower screen. The windows screen sitting in the lower screen lets out the finer dust and sand but retains the "micro-matrix" which can then be searched for interesting micro-fossils. Searching this forum (especially posts from Tony-- @ynoton this forum) will show many of the cool micros that can be found from that location.

 

Alternatively, if you like the idea of picking through micro-matrix back home (after a visit to STH) to continue the fossil hunt on a micro scale for days after you return from the site but you don't feel like constructing your own sifters, there is another option. I found some really nice sifting screens on Amazon that come in stackable sets that are sized to fit a 5-gallon bucket. The ones I'm talking about are green with a 6-spoked plastic support for the mesh on the bottom. These are sometimes used to sort material as a prelude to gold panning (an addiction for another day ;)) and are rugged enough to stand up to a bunch of use. You can buy these individually but they have a stackable set of 5 screens from 1/2" mesh down to 1/20" mesh (for about $50) which are perfect for collecting micro-matrix at sites like STH. Put the stack on top of a 5-gallon bucket and shovel in some matrix. Shake back and forth (rocking the bucket) and the matrix will sort itself into different fractions based on size. The bulk of the fine sand should make it all the way through to be discarded. Pick out any larger items (like shark teeth) from the top screen or two and then dump all the rest of the sifters' contents into a separate 5-gallon bucket to take home. You can dry sift the material again or even use a hose to break-up and wash the material into the proper sifters. Let the sifting screens dry out in the sun and then you can pour the contents of each into separate containers to look through. I use a paper plate and a lighted magnifying glass to aid picking through the micro-matrix and searching for micro-fossils. Have a look at this topic and you'll see my method of searching micro-matrix (and the sifters I use).

 

 

Micro-fossils open up a whole different world of fossil hunting--which also can become quite addictive. The nice thing is that if you have a good stash of micro-matrix in one or more buckets in the garage, you can always go grab a cupful and do a fossil hunt from the air-conditioned comfort of your house. If this posts causes you to get hooked on hunting fossils from micro-matrix you can thank (or curse) me later. :P

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
caldigger

I think I invited him to join Fossilhound and I when we hit the Ernst Quarry in the Fall. I have plenty of the sifting gear if he so chooses to join the fun.

I can also assist with the "gold fever" addiction if that ever becomes a route he wants to explore. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
digit

Terrific. With you and Fossilhound I think the hook is well set on this addiction. He (and hopefully his girlfriend) will have a spectacular time at the quarry and will enjoy picking micros for some time after the visit. I may take you up on your offer for MY "gold fever" addiction. I've panned in a few places but haven't gathered enough to outweigh a pea. :P

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MrR

Thanks for the extensive info on the sifters and micro-fossils, digit! Hopefully it will all work out for joining caldigger's dig. As to the weather now, well, where I am in So.Cal. we have had record-breaking heat the past couple of days, so it must have been a blast-furnace out there as well. 

 

I do have a natural predisposition to shiny metals, so I have considered some sort of prospecting. Back in the early nineties I even took one of those plastic gold-panning pans on a back-packing trip. It looked cool hanging on the outside of my backpack. Oh, if only I could have taken a selfie...;)  Once, along the way, I may have even dipped it into some gravel in a creek that "smelled" like gold. I didn't know what the heck I was doing, but enjoyed the small attempt, and the plastic pan didn't weigh a lot to carry. Thanks again. Cheers.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×