Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I don't get to go out fossil hunting as much as I would like these days, but I was able to sneak out to a local road cut for a few hours the other morning. It was the day before my birthday after all! A great excuse for me to convince the wife to watch the kiddos for a few hours. ;)  This particular road cut is dated to the Mississippian and is full of crinoids! I was literally walking over them. They were everywhere! Upon closer inspection I found that there were a couple of layers that were mainly composed of crinoids.  

 

This large slab was laying on the ground in front of the cut. The slab was almost 2 meters in length. Covered in crinoid fragments.

ground2.thumb.JPG.af9047f4b658605f7b584035c63e8993.JPG

 

Another large slab of crinoid infested rock. Again, it was on the ground in front of the cut.

ground.thumb.JPG.d2d9448eff06e0bf7183f1c34d908eb0.JPG

 

Yet another slab. I finally remembered to put something in for scale...

ground3.thumb.JPG.a5fa3b3f637d66d9d8d2144ef247d24a.JPG

 

A picture of what I am calling crinoid gravel. If you look closely you can see many crinoid fragments mixed in. This gravel was up a little higher on the cut. The road cut has multiple accessible levels.

5d18206fbd033_crinoidgravel.thumb.JPG.a22fa1e30e63fe42e0164fe4469e3712.JPG

 

Here is a sample of some of the pieces I picked up. In my excitement, I started out picking up everything. Then I quickly realized that was an effort in futility. :default_rofl: I thought the specimen at the very bottom right of the picture might have been a calyx when I first picked it up, but I think it may be a geode with a piece of crinoid attached. The largest of the "coin" looking columnals (third in the top row from left to right) is over an inch in diameter. 

With work being crazy, I haven't had a chance to go through everything and clean them up for a closer look. Sorry this photo isn't the best. It's late here and I'm trying to not wake up the family. Its the best I can do under sub par basement lighting. :(

  

5d1823fd9d7a8_Crinoidsamples.thumb.JPG.0a65341eeb6a3226e7587990ed0e55e0.JPG

 

A very nice (and heavy!) hash plate that I was able to manhandle to the truck. 

 

hashplate.thumb.JPG.b7e4faa06c7b6c4db3449f195c4129ab.JPG

 

Crinoids were not the only things I found. This horn coral was sticking up out of the rubble just waiting for me to come along and take it home! I like how it is coming up out of the matrix. Lording over its domain! lol

 

horn.thumb.JPG.7fc2958290cb187e39fa52f812e04359.JPG

horn2.thumb.JPG.cfe59d65f3b38b2af288586efcb55f74.JPG

 

I also came across bryozoan on occasion. The shale that they are in is very delicate and brittle. It's barely more than clay. I had to handle with care.

 

Bryozoan.thumb.JPG.d2144cb4d6b8c168a9f0ba14351bb71c.JPG

 

bryozoan2.thumb.JPG.b8403c1400d8d810f4ce46b67ef4112c.JPG

 

Overall it wasn't a bad little outing. Any day out fossil hunting is a good day! I picked up much more, a few longer crinoid stems, a couple of small hash plates to practice prepping on, some geological items for my brother who is more into geology than paleontology. I ran into a few brachiopods, but most were not very well preserved or were badly weathered. Ill try to post a few more/better pictures as I go back through things and get them cleaned up a bit. I also have more pictures of the exposure and crinoid layers that I might post as well. Happy Hunting! 

  • I found this Informative 11
Link to post
Share on other sites
The Amateur Paleontologist

Nice outing - that sounds like a really sweet little outcrop you went to :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
hemipristis

Several nice crinoid stems there. Prepped they'll be pretty

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good report, that's just like the stuff at one of my favourite sites near me in the UK. I'm not sure offhand how close we were then but the environments and fauna were pretty much the same.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossildude19

Good report!

Thanks for posting it. :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice! Great finds 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tidgy's Dad

Very interesting report. :)

Thanks for sharing.

Shame about the brachiopods. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice finds. Do you know what formation you were collecting in?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone! It's a nice little place to go when I don't have a lot of time to spend hunting. It's only about 10 minutes from my house and I know I will find something. :)

 

6 hours ago, hemipristis said:

Several nice crinoid stems there. Prepped they'll be pretty

Thanks! I only have manual tools at the moment, but they should work for prepping most of what I found. I think I will try the home made sand blaster that Tim posted about on a few of the pieces.

 

 

1 hour ago, Bguild said:

Very nice looking crinoid stems. The bryozoan is looking good as well:dinothumb: 

Thanks! I might have to see about stabilizing them a little. The matrix is very brittle and breaks easily.

 

1 hour ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Very interesting report. :)

Thanks for sharing.

Shame about the brachiopods. 

Agreed! It was a shame. :(

 

 

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
FossilNerd
8 hours ago, Jeffrey P said:

Very nice finds. Do you know what formation you were collecting in?

According to the USGS I was in Salem Limestone. They don't give it a formation name. Here is their description.

 

SALEM LIMESTONE
USGS Unit Info: GEOLEX (id: Salem_3677)
Primary Lithology: Limestone, shale, and dolomite
Limestone, shale, and dolomite: Limestone is of two main types. One, a clastic limestone characteristic of the unit, is moderate to dark yellowish brown, dark gray to light brownish gray, grains stained grayish red locally; grains consist of rounded sand-sized limestone pellets and well-sorted fossil detritus, largely fragments of diminutive crinoid stems and whole endothyrid foraminifers; locally oolitic; very thinly to thinly crossbedded in sets as much as 3 feet thick; locally silicified in one or two beds as much as 2 feet thick, one commonly at or near base; generally ledge forming; gives off fetid odor when broken. Other limestone type is yellowish gray, very fine to fine grained and even bedded where dolomitic, as near top of unit, but darker and more argillaceous toward base where it grades into clayey limestone and calcareous shale; generally poorly sorted; locally contains scattered medium to coarse grains in fine-grained matrix. Shale is light olive gray to medium gray: weathers dark yellowish brown to pale brown; locally limonite stained; calcareous; contains scattered to abundant coarse fossil detritus including whole brachiopods, bryozoan fronds, horn corals, and blastoids; gypsum-filled quartz geodes locally abundant; commonly interbedded and gradational with shaly, silty, and argillaceous limestone. Dolomite is medium gray, light brownish gray to light olive gray; weathers yellowish gray to grayish yellow; very fine grained to microgranular; calcareous and clayey; thick bedded; massive, tends to weather by spalling; contains scattered fossil debris and quartzlined geodes as much as 0.8 ft. across. Fossils include the distinctive horn coral Hapsiphyllum, Pentremites spp., alate spiriferid brachiopods, and fenestellid and cystodictid bryozoans.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
FossilNerd
3 hours ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

That last hash plate is really sweet.

I like it a lot as well! Hoping a little cleanup and prep will make it really pop. :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites
FossilNerd

I had an opportunity today to clean up a few things from this trip. Not any major prep work, just some water and a brush, but I wanted to share a few of the pieces.

 

One of the neater crinoid pieces that I found. It is a branching piece.

branch.thumb.JPG.a26aec300f245420cd70a8c661dd53ad.JPGbranch2.thumb.JPG.41fc80f3ee0d2f8595bba39e7bdb13ca.JPG

 

I also picked up a few pieces that I thought might have been calyx at first glance, but after washing the dirt off they look to be geodes with embedded crinoid fragments. Still pretty cool finds I think.

 

geode2.thumb.JPG.601fc01dd71509e7c097d328dc36596b.JPG

geode2a.thumb.JPG.fd2550ef16b512003d4f237586a3a71f.JPG 

 

And the second one...

geode1a.thumb.JPG.712e4f214142d0f8654f7cdbeb018911.JPG

geode1.thumb.JPG.638b15b5785fad58b2c3b071e55e30d2.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...