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  1. Our third trip to Nova Scotia may have been the most exhilarating! My wife and I were up there last month for our 25th and we targeted a beach that hinted at riches I'd not net become familiar with: Carboniferous trackways. A decade ago, we were shown this beach and its Carboniferous plants, fossils that are common in the Province and for what it is duly famous. At the end of our fossil walk we found some slabs with arthropod tracks and a possible poor vertebrate trackway. Needless to say, I was itching to hit this beach again. Our recent trip allowed 4 separate days of collecting there and they just got better and better. The rockfalls produced many and varied arthropod tracks and a few vertebrate tracks, too. And all I found on the last hunt was an awesome tetrapod trackway with a tail drag mark. Can't wait to get back! *** A word of warning: Removing fossils of any kind from Nova Scotia is ILLEGAL! *** *** All of our fossils are now in the collections of the Nova Scotia Museum.
  2. Crinoids

    Mazon creek fish?

    I have some old nodules I am going through from a box, I have freeze thawed thus 50 times so I took a hammer to it and destroyed it unfortunately. Is this some sort of plant or fish?
  3. connorp

    Mazon Creek Flora

    I've been spending a lot of time lately studying the Mazon Creek flora, and am continuously astonished by the diversity and quality of specimens that can be found. I don't think we see enough plants on the forum, so I figured I would go ahead and share some of my favorite finds. First is a specimen I recently shared, and a fitting start to the thread. This is Crenulopteris acadica, the most common true fern found in the Mazon Creek flora. It has been the most common plant I find, accounting for probably half my finds. Next is a favorite of mine. This is a section of Calamites (probably C. cisti) encrusted by a number microconchids. I always enjoy finding concretions with associations of different species. Last for now is a specimen of the rare seed fern Callipteridium neuropteroides with great coloration.
  4. austinh

    Carboniferous Cordaite leaf?

    I found these in North Attleboro Massacusetts. I am not sure exactly which formation, as I have got some conflicting information there. They are from shale located by the compost center for those familiar with the area, if anyone can name the formation that would be awesome. I am pretty confident it is Carboniferous. The images are both sides of the split, there are some undulations in the impression which make me think more leaf than bark, is this a cordaite leaf? Also the fossil is preserved in a shiny material, is anyone familiar with the area and knows what the fossils are preserved in? Is it a mica or pyrite? Something else? Any and all info is welcome, thanks for the help.
  5. Brian James Maguire

    Productid Brachiopod

    From the album: Lower Carboniferous Ireland

    Carboniferous limestone of the malahide formation east coast ireland
  6. izak_

    Fish Tooth?

    Was up at Lake St. Clair, NSW looking for late(?) Carboniferous marine fossils and came across this thing. I am thinking that its a fish tooth but not too sure as no vertebrate material has been reported from the site to my knowledge. Please let me know if clearer photos are needed This specimen is aprox. 7 mm long Thanks,
  7. From the album: Plants

    Bothrodendron minutifolium (Boulay 1876) Late Carboniferous Pennsylvanian Moscovian Knurów Upper Silesia Poland
  8. Hi Everyone, I’d like to share a few posts on the shales I’ve been hunting recently in Kansas City, Missouri. Long story short – my neighbor is digging a ‘pond’ to China. He has massive equipment from his business and so far he’s dug through about 35 feet (~10.6 M) of material. My land matches his where the dam to the pond is and I saw shale in it which really surprised me since I’ve never found shale on my property. Even in the creeks and gullies. I would also like to say that I have been really inspired by the posts from @connorp and @deutscheben about the shale they find in Illinois and wanted to show a similar collection from a specific location/member in Missouri. Here’s a rough Lithology table of my area: The pond was dug through the Winterset Limestone member through the Stark and I believe through the Galesburg shale members and into the Bethany Falls Limestone from the top of the hill we both live on! It’s absolutely magnificent. I asked him if I could take some of the shale that he went through and all he said was, ‘take it all,’ and so I did. I passed on the limestone since its way more readily available to collect in the area and I hadn’t ever hunted through shale. I’ve gone through about 250 lbs (113 kg) of shale within the last few weeks and would like to sporadically present my findings as I can make time for it. Completely unrelated to his digging I listed and sold my house and land and am moving my family to Texas. All of this has happened within a month or so. I feel that this last hurrah into shale is a way for me to say goodbye to the state I’ve lived almost my entire life in thus far. Here’s one of my wheelbarrow loads of shale. I am no scientist but will do my best to assign at least some family or species to my finds. I love the adventure of findings fossils, prepping them can be therapeutic at times and insanely frustrating at others, and assigning species is my least favorite. Probably because I am not naturally good at it. If you see a species you feel is wrongly identified please feel free to share. It’s my weak point so I’d appreciate anything that helps me get better at it. The Galesburg layer is really hard to hunt from because it’s mudstone/claystone at the top then turns into harder grey shale at the bottom. It brakes vertically into rounded blocks instead of horizontally when you try to cut or split it and destroys the fossils that it contains. At the slightest addition of moisture it crumbles and the paper thin fossils are lost. This is a chunk of it I accidentally left out one night that succumbed to the dew from one evening and following morning. It’s filled with material I am having a hard time placing but I am calling it plant material until I can more accurately identify it. Unfortunately I didn’t get hunting till a few weeks after this layer had been dug out and the vast majority if it returned to mud. Without future ado, let me begin my adventure into Missouri shale. Here’s what I believe may be part of a Calamites plant. From what I am calling the Galesburg claystone. Scale in cm/mm. Here is another unknown that I believe is some type of plant stem. The Galesburg material is so much harder to deal with that I have a lot of it in storage now to go through at a later point.
  9. Svetlana


    Hello all. I immediately apologize for the quality of the photo - it was possible to take only such photos. The sample was found in the Araucarite Formation of the Gzhel Stage of the Upper Pennsylvanian Carboniferous Period. Substitution type - silicified; century - 303.4 million rocks. The place of discovery is the Konstantinivskyi district of the Donetsk region. The large core caught my attention. Please help me determine this. Thank you. Have a good day
  10. From the album: Plants

    Lepidodendron obovatum Sternberg, 1820 Late Carboniferous Middle Pennsylvanian Rydułtowy Upper Silesia Poland
  11. Opabinia Blues

    My Paleozoic Display Shelf

    I’ve finally put the last touches on the Paleozoic Shelf for my at-home fossil display, and I’m very happy with how it turned out. It includes fossils from every period of the Paleozoic Era, except the Permian (which has its own shelf). It’s not every Paleozoic fossil I own, but it’s a curated collection of some of the ones best suited for display. They fossils are roughly organized such that they get younger as you go left to right! The large artwork on the background is a print of a piece done by Rob Sula, depicting a Devonian scene. Plus a better view of the Cambrian Explosion case: I love curating my little museum, and I hope you all could get some enjoyment and inspiration out of this post!
  12. hitekmastr

    Our Fossilicious Summer

    WHAT WE LEARNED IN OUR FIRST FOSSIL HUNTING SUMMER This is a short recap of what we learned on our fossil trips this summer, in our first 3 months as very new fossil collectors. This week, Nancy and I gave a slide presentation on our summer fossil hunting experiences, to the Delaware Valley Paleontological Society. We didn't realize it ourselves but in 3 months we visited 8 sites in Pennsylvania and New York including: Antes Creek, Deer Lake, Red Hill, Juniata County, McIntyre Mountain, Montour and St. Clair in Pennsylvania, and a very productive trip to Tully, NY. We visited St. Clair 4 times, which has become our home site. At St. Clair, we were astonished by the diversity of species - we collected well articulated samples of more than a dozen species including: Alethopteris, Annularia, Asterophyllites, Cordaites, Cyclopteris, Eusphenopteris, Lepidophylloides, Neuropteris, Odontopteris, Pecopteris, Sphenophyllum, Sphenopteris, and numerous Seeds, Bark, Roots. Most notably - I learned to pronounce all of these without stuttering! At St. Clair, we spent one trip looking exclusively for seeds trigonocarpus), and one trip looking just for roots (stigmaria). Our most significant finds have included very large (2 foot long) display pieces covered with well articulated orange ferns, an alethopteris seed attached to a leaf stem, and many Carboniferous leaves that have different shapes from traditional ferns. What we learned this summer has really helped us find some interesting fossils - here are a few things we did that helped a lot: 1. DOING OUR HOMEWORK. It helped to study each site in advance using Internet websites and books on fossils (Dave's "Views of the Mahantango" and "Louisville Fossils" are among the best, imho). Several universities also have great educational sites that bring each era to life in very creative and interesting ways, with lots of illustrations and photos. I like the UC-Berkeleyand University of West Virginia websites. 2. LEARNING FROM TRIP REPORTS. We read trip reports from other groups and individuals to see what they reported - sometimes this helps us stumble across new places to visit such as the site at Tully, NY and Deer Lake. 3. SETTING GOALS AND TARGETS FOR EACH TRIP. For each trip, we establish specific goals - for example we may look for seeds, or roots at St. Clair, or trilobites or shell assemblages at a Devonian site. Our interest right now is in looking for things that are scarce or rare, and fossils that are extremely well articulated (which is also rare!). We also like solving puzzles so eventually we would like to find things that help add to the fossil record in areas where there are still questions or missing links. 4. DISPLAYING WHAT WE FIND. Personally, Nancy and I like collecting larger fossils that we can display in mounts and frames, and we are also looking for larger pieces that we can display like sculptures - we have a few pieces that we drilled holes in, inserted wooden dowels that we stained, and then drilled/inserted the dowels in wooden trophy bases - all available from a craft store. This allows us to display thicker fossils esp. assemblages, like sculptures, and you can turn them around and look at all sides when they are mounted like this. 5. WE AVOID FOSSIL HORDING. We both agreed that we would NOT become "fossil horders" putting hundreds of rocks in boxes and sticking them away in the basement or garage - instead, we focus on finding display-quality items, and rare or scarce finds which we are slowly putting in frames. 6. DOCUMENTING OUR FINDS WITH CLOSEUP PHOTOS. We photograph everything we find as soon as possible after returning from a trip, using a digital camera with a closeup attachment - many times we find new discoveries while taking closeup photos and some of our best finds came AFTER we returned from the trip and inspected our fossils. I usually put the finds on a white background on an ironing board and use window light, nothing fancy, but it works. 7. FOSSIL ID. We post anything we can't identify on the Fossil Forum and are EXTREMELY grateful for the terrific response from our friends on the site! We are also accumulating a growing library of fossil books (some modern, some from the 19th and early 20th century) so we can identify more fossils ourselves without having to post on Fossil ID. 8. WRITING ABOUT OUR EXPERIENCES GIVES US NEW INSIGHTS. We report everything that interests and excites us about fossil hunting on Fossil Forum to share our experiences - and we find that writing about what we're doing helps us learn more and gain insights, just from writing about it. We have also started videotaping some of our adventures and are thinking about the best place to post some of these. 9. WINTER PLANS: COPING WITH CABIN FEVER. Our winter plans are to visit one or two more sites, then go into "fossil hibernation" and organize, identify and label fossils we haven't processed yet. We have a Dremel to do some light preservation work where needed. We are not planning to become "chemical conservators" - using chemicals to dissolve limestone and so forth - that's a bit too ambitious for us at this point. We may get involved in some interesting activities by local universities that are using 3D printing to process and replicate large dinosaur bones. We are also planning to provide an exhibit (on Carboniferous plants and trees/coal swamps) at a fossil fair in April. 10. RECOMMENDED READING: I enjoy reading fossil books - I'm currently reading with great interest a small book entitled "Leaves and Stems from Fossil Forests" by Raymond E. Janssen (1939) which I bought last night at the DVPS meeting, and a textbook entitled Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record by Benton and Harper (2008) (excellent book). The book that has been the most useful to me so far is the classic book "Fossil Collecting in Pennsylvania" by Hoskins et. al. (3rd ed. 1983). I am constantly re-reading the Hoskins book and find something new each time as my knowledge grows. A book that impressed Nancy and me is a large beautifully illustrated book entitled "Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth" (published by Dorling Kindersley, 2012) UPDATE (Oct 11): Nancy is taking some college courses which are prerequisites to enter grad school, so I am doing most of the fossil reading and ID. I read several books at the same time and other books I purchased that I am currently reading are: Paleobotany: The Biology and Evolution of Fossil Plants (second edition) by Thomas Taylor; and Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record by Benton and Harper. I guess you can tell from this that I'm reading up on fossil plants - my main interest is not just to understand the evolution and fossil record, identification tips, etc. - but also to try to figure out where the missing links and gaps are so if we come across something that adds to the fossil record, we will be able to recognize the value. What is most surprising is that there is a lot missing from the Carboniferous record - partly because after this period, many of the oceans and swamps apparently dried up and there were ice ages and other factors that caused mass extinctions. Here are some interesting things I have learned this summer about Fossil Plants and Trees: 1. More Carboniferous insect fossils and evidence of insects are needed (by the way, there are some GREAT current discussions about insects on this forum!). 2. Many categories of lycopsids and other Carboniferous trees and plants do not have verified associations between the leaves and seeds, or leaves and trunks/stems. Many trigonocarpus (fossilized seeds and "fruits") are found with leaves, but examples of seeds actually ATTACHED to leaf sprigs are rare (we have found one example of a seed attached to Alethopteris). 3. More Leaf and Bark Verifications are Needed. Another interesting thing I learned is that there are more than 30 different types of "scale tree" patterns but only half a dozen leaves for these trees - suggesting that a lot of different species had the same leaves - or - there are a lot of missing leaf types or the existing leaf types have not been matched to the bark patterns yet. 4. Another peculiar revelation is that most Carboniferous leaves that do not fall neatly into classic fern shapes seem to be lumped together as "sphenopteris" - we have many "non-traditional fern" leaf fossils that are VERY different from each other and obviously different species, but when we go online to ID them, they all seem to be grouped as "sphenopteris!" Maybe some of these leaf types match up with the bark patterns I mentioned. 5. Last but certainly not least is the insight that fern trees could have 2 or 3 different types of leaves on the same tree! This was really interesting. Also, some leaf types can come in different shapes - for example, Neuropteris can be round at the base of a stem and elongated along the stem and at the tip...AND...some paleobotanists now classify cyclopteris - the round fan shaped leaf - as a form of Neuropteris. This definitely adds to the confusion. I'm still reading and trying to understand all of this and these are only my initial impressions, which are still forming and there may be explanations for some of these questions that I haven't discovered yet but these are the questions that I am trying to answer by reading, and of course, by fossil collecting. I hope that many of our new friend (and I should add, VERY COOL new friends!) on the fossil forum will help clarify some of these interesting questions. Hope this is helpful.
  13. Good afternoon. Today I want to show 3 types of crinoid limestone (polished plates) from different places in Ukraine. First one. Place of discovery: Ukraine, Donetsk region, Dobropolsky district. The age of it is the Kasimovian stage of the Carboniferous period (307 Ma). 4.mp4 5.mp4 6.mp4 7.mp4
  14. austinh

    Mazon Creek Plant Material?

    New round of splits and on to my next "blob". This was the most interesting piece from this batch, my mind wants to see the stem of a plant, maybe even a few whorls. My best guesses are: calamites or asterophylites (trying to do my homework here and not just lean on everyone here). A little chip came off the back of the nodule and revealed what appears to be something, maybe? Do Mazon creek nodules have multiple faces? Or is there only ever one fossil layer per nodule? Thanks again for the expertise here.
  15. austinh

    Mazon Creek- Split or fossil?

    I am noticing what appears to be multiple planes in my Mazon Creek nodules. When freezing and thawing will the nodules always only split on the fossil plane? Or should I keep refreezing them until they have split on several planes, like looking through layers of shale? The specific application for this question is these nodules that seem to reveal something, but they have split above the center, what I would assume to be, fossil layer? Are these fossils, blob or otherwise? If not should I keep freezing and thawing until the subsequent plane opens? More generally trying to understand when to quit on a nodule. In the last photo I have drawn two arrows at what I thought was the fossil layer, with the split proud of it by around 1/4". Thanks a bunch.
  16. paleoflor

    Lepidodendron sp.

    From the album: Borinage coal-mining district (Hainaut, Belgium)

    © T.K.T. Wolterbeek

  17. paleoflor

    unidentified seeds (?)

    From the album: Borinage coal-mining district (Hainaut, Belgium)

    © T.K.T. Wolterbeek

  18. paleoflor

    unidentified neuropterid frond

    From the album: Steinbruch Piesberg (Osnabrück, Germany)

    © T.K.T. Wolterbeek

  19. Brian James Maguire

    Out today in the fossil hole

    Great day today ! Beautiful weather and beautiful fossils
  20. Crinoids

    Mississippian plant fossil worm?

    I have a big slate of plant fossils from Pennsylvania, on one I have this long wormy looking thing. Is this maybe a sprout of a lepidodendron or other lycopod? Around 6 inches long by 1 inch wide
  21. Brian James Maguire

    Another Irish mystery

    This was found in the Carboniferous limestone of the Malahide formation , east coast Dublin Ireland, I have never seen something like this before, so i am really looking forward to getting some info on it, thanks as always , BJM
  22. austinh

    Mazon Creek Essexella?

    Many thanks to all the help I have received over my Mazon Creek ID's. I am hoping to learn about these subtly beautiful fossils and the support here has been a huge help. That said, I think this is a Essexella, did I get this one right? Thanks to all.
  23. I've always wanted to find a rostroconch in my local Mississippian rocks of N.E. England (or indeed anywhere) but never have. There's a handful of records from the area but they're very sporadic. I've finally struck lucky, very unexpectedly, in a a sample from the Great Limestone (upper Missisippian, Pendleian Stage) that I've been dissolving for silicified fossils. This is full of small brachiopods, gastropods, corals and various other stuff, all interesting but mostly predictable. Anyway, this turned up a few days ago and is instantly recognisable, despite being only 4mm long and preserved in typical sugary silica particles. Presumably Conocardium (like the few records), it has a very long rostrum preserved and the ribbing is apparent in the closeups. 4mm long Long rostrum on left, short main shell on right. With a similar though larger Permian one (photo flipped). Figure from Mazaev, 2015, "Middle Permian rostroconchs of the Kazanian stage of the East European Platform" Ventral view, rostrum pointing upwards, gape below. Posterior (rostrate) end, concentric ribs on shell below. (mm scale) Anterior (gape) end, again showing ribs either side.
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