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Seeking help to identify (Photo Heavy)

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Hello fellow humans :)


so, my friend has asked me to try to identify her late husbands collection and i am trying to do my research online about identification, and forgeries etc..


As he had a huge collection of books, taxidermy insects and these fossils, i am hoping that he would have purchased with scrutiny.. but who knows..


anyhow, im trying to identify these.. im not so aware of the different types of tribolites and if any are more rare than others.. also with the keichousaurus if tis real or not.. it seems to me like the digits may have been highlighted with paint, or maybe i have a bad eye, but i know thats a sign of forgery... but have also seen repots of genuine that have been touched up so to speak.... i haven't cleaned, scratched or changed anything since i got them..


i understand that it may be a lot of effort to help me out, besides being someones passion


i have created a google photo album of all of the photos




many thanks



Dublin, Ireland



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I am far from the one to definitively say this, but it appears to be fake. Here is a real kechousaurus posted by Max-fossils. Just look at the ribs, the left front toes, the vertebrae of the neck.




 I looked at your trilobites too and you may want to post them individually. Some may be of value if they are real.  My guess is many are from Morocco so there is a chance of forgery there too! Sorry to disappoint you.



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All the fish pictured have the appearance of Diplomystus dentatus from the Green River Formation, USA. They are Eocene in age. I see no reason to believe they are not genuine and unaltered. The Forum has a policy against providing valuation opinions. Go to that popular on line auction site and search for the name of the fossil. Then match the size and get an idea of what the market says regarding value. 


There are several trilobites that possibly are of much more significant value than the fish. However, this area is plagued with ersatz specimens. There are several Forum members who are trilobite experts. Please await their opinions. Also consult the Forum's "real or fake" topic and you will find a great deal of information on spotting fake trilobites. It may also help to know when your friend acquired the pieces. The longer ago the lower the risk of fraud. Good luck. 


Edit: I note that minnbuckeye has voiced concern about the keich. I too felt uneasy at the appearance of your piece. However, it may be the photography (shadow, color) that is causing alarm. You mentioned paint. Added digits are easily detected under a 10X loupe. The "flatness" is revealed as opposed to 3D bone and errant paint may be observed. 


One additional thought, if the pieces were purchased locally, logically that would be the place to seek disposal. If the collection was acquired from various dealers, of course that idea is of no help.

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The Fossil Forum does not offer valuations of fossils.  

Please read our Fossil Forum Rules and Community Standards,  which you agreed to when joining the Forum.   

Also, it is best to post pictures directly to the Forum, as third party links tend to expire, rendering topics like this useless.  :( 

Thank you for your cooperation. 

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I moved this thread to "Fossil ID", although it might also have been appropriate to move it to the "Is it real?" section of the Forum.  I decided that having the specimens IDed would help more in regard to searching online auction sites to guestimate values, and people could still comment on authenticity.  daithi, you put your post in a section of the Forum reserved for asking questions about how to use the forum features, for example "how do I add photos to a post?"


As Snolly noted, it is Forum policy to not provide valuations for specimens.  There are several reasons for this.  First, we do not want the Forum to turn into a free online appraisal site.  You do say you would be willing to contract with an individual member, and if you do so that would be a private matter in which the Forum would accept no responsibility or liability.  I would say that if you make such an arrangement it would be completely up to you to determine if the Forum member is actually qualified to offer an assessment.  We have several very knowledgeable members, and many who are fossil aficionados with little or no real expertise.  Another reason we do not offer appraisals is that it may be impossible to definitively assert the amount of reconstruction or fabrication from a photo; in-hand examination, testing by chemical analysis or under UV light, etc. may be needed.  If someone relied on the Forum, and then later decided that the advice they received was unreliable, that could open the Forum to potential liability.  So, you can ask here and you will hear various opinions about ID, and authenticity, but it will be entirely up to you what comments you choose to rely on.


I will say that you are welcome to post photos and ask for opinions about anything except value.  Those opinions will vary in their reliability, as I explained above.  If you choose to do this, please post clear, well lighted, crisply focused photos from multiple angles.  Post the photos directly to the Forum, not to a third party hosting site.  The Forum is intended for learning about fossils, and we use tags to create a searchable database so information can be retrieved even years later.  Photos posted to outside hosting sites invariably are not permanently maintained and so the photos disappear after a while, leaving us with useless threads devoid of images so future readers will not be able to make sense of the posted comments.  If you post multiple specimens in the same thread, please number the photos so comments can be linked to specific photos.


AS has been noted, the Keichosaurus you posted appears to have extensive areas that are carved or painted.  The lack of detail or relief in the skull, vertebral column, tail, and digits is concerning.  However this may be due to only having one photo, without close-ups of particular regions; assessments might change with good, crisp, detailed photos.  Also, oblique lighting, which is to say lighting from an angle to create shadows that bring out the 3-dimensional features of the fossil, can be very helpful.


The Diplomystus fish are typical specimens from the Green River Formation (Eocene) in Wyoming.  Some are missing the caudal fin.  They are common fossils found in rock shops all over the world.  There are a variety of trilobites, but better photos will be needed to assess them.


Finally I'll note that there are online auction sites such as Catawiki that have experts who provide hands-on appraisals, though of course they charge a commission for their services.





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Hi again daithi,


I looked over the photos Tim pulled up and posted.  Most of them are not really adequate for detailed comments.  However I can say that almost all of the trilobites are commonly available Moroccan species, and suffer from the old style of Moroccan preparation (ball-peen hammer and nail, basically) which does a lot of damage to the specimen.  More recently, there is more emphasis on modern tools such as air scribes and micro-sandblasters that produce expertly prepared results.  If you look online to make comparisons regarding value, keep in mind that these specimens are more towards the mid or lower range; they are definitely not "top-shelf" quality.  



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