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KimTexan

Bison Bonanza part 2

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Uncle Siphuncle

It’s hard for me to say much about the geology from pics, other than the general note that I’ve found the most Pleistocene remains in more deeply incised streams than this one.  That and I’d suggest keeping radar up for artiffacts near or just downstream of the springs.

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Ptychodus04

Dan is far more experienced with Pleistocene material than I am. 

 

My leaning towards Pleistocene was based on some of the photos that looked like there was some shale mixed into the sediment, indicating a very close proximity to the Eagle Ford below. Also, Kim mentioned that some of the bones appear to be heavy for their size, indicating a higher amount of mineralization. I’m no expert here though.

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KimTexan

Whatever the case I’m thrilled to have found it and have been able to recover what I have.

This weekend or next I plan to go dig through the collapsed bank material for other bones. I have a feeling some of those little feet and lower leg bones may still be there.

 

Regarding artifacts. I’ve found one artifact in my entire life and it was by accident while looking for s pointy rock to repair my daughter’s flip flop while in the creek. If there’s anything there I’m sure I’d miss it.

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Ptychodus04
6 minutes ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

Kris I’m not downplaying your opinion here at all. 

Downplay it as much as is needed. I am not afraid to be wrong. Falsifiability is core to good science.

 

You've had a lot more experience collecting this material than I have so I would defer to you without question. Now, get me in a discussion about Britton Formation fossils and I can hold my own. :D

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fossilus
51 minutes ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

 

In closing I’d suggest not rushing to a conclusion of Pleistocene, although we’d all prefer it to be so. I know the temptation as I’ve lived it before.    We as fossil collectors share a bias of wanting everything to be old.  In fact, I may have some bones and teeth in my pile not as old as I thouget.

 

 

Thanks Dan. This is an important discussion that needs to be made as painful as it might be.

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Uncle Siphuncle
2 hours ago, Ptychodus04 said:

Downplay it as much as is needed. I am not afraid to be wrong. Falsifiability is core to good science.

 

You've had a lot more experience collecting this material than I have so I would defer to you without question. Now, get me in a discussion about Britton Formation fossils and I can hold my own. :D

As you can see, I didn’t have the confidence on this one to hang my hat on any absolute assertions.  Like you, I don’t mind being wrong either.  Being right isn’t essential for me.  My purpose here is to serve as discussion facilitator, hopefully steering us all toward supportable conclusions.  If I fall flat on my face, but we all learn something, mission still accomplished.

 

Since you brought up Britton, when we going out???  Mua ha ha

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Ptychodus04
11 minutes ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

Since you brought up Britton, when we going out???  Mua ha ha

 

When are you going to be up here? I'd be more than happy to take you to some of my preferred Britton sites.

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KimTexan
2 hours ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

Kris I’m not downplaying your opinion here at all.  Pleistocene situations are highly variable in Texas, so judging specimen age from photos is for me a slippery slope.  From photos I tend not to take too firm a stand on age of anything not clearly extinct, or lacking adhered matrix.  I would like for this skeleton to be Pleistocene, but haven’t seen slam dunk evidence of that thus far.  My input is just provisional speculation based on a little field experience.  I think we’d all learn the most if Vance et.al. was afforded a look in person.

Do I just contact Navarro College to get his email or look on their website. I suppose it could be in the Ocassional Papers

Quote

Here are a couple pitfalls I’ve learned to avoid:

 

1.  Judging density before complete drying.

 

2.  Judging density when there is a path for sediment to infiltrate the marrow cavity.

 

I have figured this out.

Quote

Although I’ve never really seen it discussed elsewhere, I’m a believer in fracture studies as one more factor to consider in assessing age.  There is a lot of bone present here, some already broken.  When in doubt, I like to snap little pieces off the ends of broken bones, big enough pieces to see bone character through the wall thickness, away from sections worn thin and surface stained.  I look at color through the wall thickness to attempt to ascertain mineral infiltration.  Some bones have hard deposits set up in the marrow cavity, but not on the exterior.  

 

I also note character of the fracture.  Mineralized bone often breaks into jagged shards.  Poorly mineralized, old bone tends to crumble in a way that is hard to reassemble.  What is common between these 2 situations is that I’ve never seen Pleisto bone bend before breaking.  More recent bone may bend a bit first, maybe not, depending on degree of leaching.  

Those all sound like assessments that have esoteric nuances to it that take someone more trained than I.

Regarding the character of the break. I’d think the epiphysis portion of the bone would break differently than the diaphysis. 

Quote

Some of these hands on observations are hard to reduce to words, and even harder to assess in photos.  But Pleisto/Holocene age assessment seems to require more close scrutiny of multiple, nuanced factors than any other fossils in TX.  I guess there just hasn’t been enough time in the ground to make up for variable mineral and groundwater environments.

 

In closing I’d suggest not rushing to a conclusion of Pleistocene, although we’d all prefer it to be so. I know the temptation as I’ve lived it before.    We as fossil collectors share a bias of wanting everything to be old.  In fact, I may have some bones and teeth in my pile not as old as I thought.  

 

Objective examination of the evidence will tell the story, and Vance is in a better position to make that assessment than I am.

In general, age is irrelevant in my mind to a degree. Extinction is a greater factor that heightens the value to me. If the age gives and indication that helps rule out existent vs extinct then it’s a factor.

 

Also, there is associated fauna that may be in one period or another that need to be factored in. For instance I don’t know if you  or @Ptychodus04 saw my “Peculiar break or Bite Marks” thread where I believe there are carnivorous teeth impressions in the femur medial condyle with a chunk of it missing. When I initially posted it I had not seen the large teeth imprints. Some say coyote others think dire wolf. Age may or may not make a difference there. I have no clue when dire wolves went extinct in Texas or in they are even found in this area.

I’m in no rush to call it Pleistocene. I’m thankful to have had the honor of finding it.

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Uncle Siphuncle
30 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

 

When are you going to be up here? I'd be more than happy to take you to some of my preferred Britton sites.

I’ll boomerang you a trip sometime.

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Uncle Siphuncle

Bite marks are cool.  I have a Bison metacarpal and Tanupolama(?) cervical vert with conical, crushed in, opposing bite marks.  That vert invokes an image of demise stronger than any other fossil I own.  

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Archie

Really enjoying this thread Kim, been meaning to say congratulations on an amazing find! I hope you find more when you search through the collapsed bank! 

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KimTexan
On 2/1/2019 at 5:59 PM, Archie said:

Really enjoying this thread Kim, been meaning to say congratulations on an amazing find! I hope you find more when you search through the collapsed bank! 

Thank you very much! This is definitely not my typical find. It was a fortuitous accidental discovery.

I bought a piece of lumber Thursday evening to build me a sifting screen. I think I have a roll of wire mesh of 1/4 of 1/2 inch somewhere in my garage.

I’ll probably build the screen tomorrow provided I don’t keep getting paged into work. I got paged in twice today. I don’t know if I’ll make it out there tomorrow, but hopefully I can go at least 1-2 days after work for a short bit. Then hopefully the weekend.

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DevonianDigger

Awesome stuff, Kim! Can't wait to see more!!!

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KimTexan
9 minutes ago, DevonianDigger said:

Awesome stuff, Kim! Can't wait to see more!!!

Thank you. I’ve collected the majority of it. What’s left are small feet bones and ribs. I don’t have much hope of finding the other metatarsal and tibia, but you never know. I may.

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DevonianDigger

Hey, you know what? A few feet bones and ribs make up more vert material than I will uncover in the next... well... there's no verts here, so there's no small finds in that department as far as I'm concerned! Congrats again!

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KimTexan

Yep, it was the find of a lifetime for me, but the way I’ve been hunting other stuff is bound to turn up. I doubt I’ll ever find another completely articulated beast like this ever again though.

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KimTexan

I posted this elsewhere, but thought I’d put it on this thread for whomever may read the thread in the future and wish to know.

The bison was identified by Tom Vance as Bison antiquus 2/13/2019.

.

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Jackson g

Very interesting read between the two threads. Great eye, and great excavation work! I know little to nothing about vertibrate fossils (or subfossils) so this was very informing. Only invertebrates in missouri, so I'll continue watching forum members dig some up.

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