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IonRocks

Pierre shale fossil finding

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IonRocks

After practically years of scouting properties in my area, I’ve finally found a decently productive site.

To start, will just be some neat info about the site. 

29A69068-30AE-451C-AC54-7B296B72E084.jpeg

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IonRocks

It’s relatively difficult to find nice exposed rock on the prairie.

These areas are generally called barrens, and are interestingly home to some unusual plants which grow in cracks in the rocks. They are also frequented by rattlesnakes, burrowing solitary bees, and lizards.

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IonRocks

In my experience the best way to find these is a mixture of roadside observation and satellite imagery. 

This particulars site was only visible on satellite.

Typically these areas look like this.

 

43173D70-DD63-4829-A156-0FBCD667B15B.jpeg

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IonRocks

The next step in this case was to get a better view of the site.

Luckily I was friendly with the owner of a neighboring property, and could observe from a distance that the area was not entirely eroded sands, and contained good amounts of splitting rock.

For this particular area it was relatively viral that the rock be partially eroded and splitting. The sites with more eroded rock consist mainly of shell fragments in sand, while the less eroded rock is too difficult to break up and locate fossils within without causing major damage.

 

Pictured: specimens from a similar site.

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grandpa

Interesting, do you know the age and name of the exposure?  (Oh, my aging eyes/brain - I see the title says Pierre shale.  That was what I was guessing from the look of the specimens.)  I'm guessing you are in eastern Co.

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IonRocks

Yes, eastern Colorado, the “Upper Unit” of the Pierre shale.

In many areas where the rock is not eroded, specimens mostly turn out like this. Many pieces and a lot of glue required. Often half of the fossil is lost while breaking rock.

 

 

To make my trip easier, my County has a neat database and map of land owners. So some quick interneting allowed me to find where I was addressing my letter for access to the site. In this case, the land has been unoccupied and unused for about 60 years, with the owners being in a different state.

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grandpa

Sounds like a fun area to explore! 

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sharkdoctor

:popcorn::popcorn:

 

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