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Found 11 results

  1. Mikrogeophagus

    Coniasaurus crassidens, Bouldin Flags

    From the album: Eagle Ford Group

    Coniasaurus crassidens, Central TX Cenomanian, Cretaceous Dec, 2022
  2. Jared C

    Coniasaurus sp.

    From the album: Texas Turonian (Cretaceous)

    Coniasaurus sp. Turonian (middle) Texas Coniasaur tooth found in middle Turonian strata. One of two elements of coniasaurs I've seen from Turonian strata so far (the other being a vert)
  3. Mikrogeophagus

    Basal Atco Double Reptile Trouble

    Took a short visit today to my Basal Atco site for the third time. Seems like every visit yields something new and totally unexpected (first visit = Acrotemnus prearticular tooth, second visit = huge assoc. fish verts, and now these). I'm fairly confident both of these are reptilian, but unfortunately I don't know much about identifying tetrapods. The first specimen I found is now my only non-Campanian mosasaur tooth. It's quite small (1 cm tall) and broke into 3 pieces, but the b72 seems to have done the job in making it presentable. Not amazing quality as expected for the Basal Atco, where much of the material is reworked. I'm not completely familiar with the genera present in the earliest Coniacian. I have read about a chunk of Tylosaurinae maxilla being found near if not in the Basal Atco of Grayson county and the subfamily is thought to have started in the Lower Coniacian altogether. I want to say Russellosaurus made it to the Atco although I believe my tooth is a little large for this ID. I think Clidastes was also around in the Coniacian, although not sure how early. And there's a lot of genera I am not mentioning, so hopefully someone in the know can fill in. The tooth itself seems to have both a mesial and distal non-serrated carina. The enamel isn't faceted as far as I can tell. I know it's not much to go off of and a precise ID is unlikely, but my hope is to at least cross off some of the genera that don't fit the description with yall's help. Mosasaur tooth (1 cm tall) Going from a relatively old mosasaur, the second specimen is a surprisingly young Coniasaurus (or so I think). This might be surprising to some, but Conisaurus is found beyond the Cenomanian. It actually has been documented to extend through the Coniacian all the way into the Middle Santonian (though the documentation is few and far between I must admit)! In other words this is a rare sort of find, but not necessarily unheard of. I don't believe any species have been named extending past the Turonian, so this may be an undescribed species. My specimen has that classic bulbous shape as well as textured enamel. It sure pays to look closely at every chunk of matrix. Coniasaurus sp.? (3 mm tall) One thing I would like to note is that I have since found a paper that helped to clarify the geology of this site which was a point of confusion in my previous trip reports. I made the mistake of referring to this place as the "Fish Bed Conglomerate" when it turns out that title has been used for at least a couple different layers, namely the base of the Austin Chalk and a phosphatic pebble bed that exists a short ways below the base documented by Taff and Leverett way back in 1893. This mixup has caused some confusion it seems in old academia. Anyways the stratigraphic chart (Fig. 2) in the source below shows these two phosphatic layers and some info on them. I kinda had a mind blown moment as I have actually visited both of these layers while looking for the Basal Atco at a couple of locations. The site where these teeth were found along with all my other written Atco adventures did actually in fact occur in the Atco or earliest Coniacian. However, the "second location" noted in the report I've linked below was actually at this Arcadia Park phosphatic pebble bed. These two layers are quite distinct and my "Atco" site definitely better fits the base. The sea levels paper specifically notes the layer as being ripple bedded which I coincidentally took a picture of in my old report! So satisfying when everything clicks into place... Hancock, Jake M., and Ireneusz Walaszczyk. “Mid-Turonian to Coniacian Changes of Sea Level around Dallas, Texas.” Cretaceous Research 25.4 (2004): 459–471. Web. As a bonus for reading through this, here are a couple of nice sharks teeth I found from the same layer. They are my first larger complete Cretalamna from the location and a new species on top of that. They compare best with Cretalamna ewelli which Siversson notes as being present in the Late Coniacian. I have some less impressive Cretalamna from the location that I previously identified as C. gertericorum, but I may have to double check those since it would be weird for two species to show up on top of one another in my opinion. They are very similar-looking species so I wouldn't be surprised if I was mistaken before. Cretalamna ewelli with beautifully splayed cusplets Looking forward to hearing yall's opinions! Thanks
  4. ThePhysicist

    Coniasaurus crassidens

    From the album: Post Oak Creek

    When I initially found this I was hoping it was Mosasaurid, however upon some reading, I decided it's more likely to be a sister group squamate. In particular, the labial sulcus convinced me it is probably C. crassidens (see Caldwell 1999). It is however much larger than any Coniasaurus teeth I've seen published.
  5. ThePhysicist

    Coniasaurus crassidens tooth

    From the album: Squamates

    When I initially found this I was hoping it was Mosasaurid, however upon some reading, I decided it's more likely to be a sister group squamate. In particular, the labial sulcus convinced me it is probably C. crassidens (see Caldwell 1999). It is however much larger than any Coniasaurus teeth I've seen published.
  6. A couple of weeks ago, @Jackito, his son, and I took a trip out to one of his favorite Eagle Ford sites. For those of you who are familiar with Carter's posts, this was once the famed location of the so-called "giving rock", so the bar was set high for the day. I've come across some of Austin's eagle ford material in the past, but it was always only the leftovers of what had been washed through miles of rushing creek water. This was my first time getting to poke through the source material, so I was eager to see what could be found. The water was low and the temperature mild. I was thankful I wouldn't have to suffer trudging around in soggy shoes. As we walked beside the creek, Carter explained the various layers and where the best stuff could be found. He pointed out the notable spots where things like pseudomegachasma and pliosaur teeth had been dug up. I knew to not get my hopes THAT high up, but it was certainly a good motivator to stay attentive and expect the unexpectable. It took me a while to get the hang of pinpointing which slabs were best to open and how. Carter was nice enough to share some of his finds, and I must admit, not everything pictured below was necessarily first spotted by me . I was quickly surprised by the sheer number of shark teeth we started finding. Being the completionist that I am, I would immediately try to excavate every tooth I found. Carter advised me that simply bringing the matrix home and processing it there would be the most efficient use of time which I have come to agree with. Every tooth had fantastic preservation and would often pop right out of the shale (though not necessarily in one piece). The Ptychodus teeth were the most mesmerizing. They basically broke off without a speck of matrix still attached and had a beautiful shine. Thankfully, they were also robust and rarely fell apart. A decently sized Ptychodus still in matrix The amount of Cretoxyrhina to be found was also staggering. Unfortunately, they required a little bit more delicate prep than what I had to offer in the field, so my ratio of broken to unbroken teeth was higher than I'd like to admit. In my defense, I managed to lower that ratio as the day progressed. Squalicorax was also a common sight along with various fish teeth. Carter's son managed to find some turtle material... that was still alive and may or may not have come from out of the stream . For most of the hunt, Carter and I had some nice discussions on things to be found here in Austin along with various chats about life. The hours seemed to fly by so fast, it wasn't long until Carter and Jack had to head on out. They'd been wanting to find some mosasaur material for a while, so I sent info on one of my favorite sites (the place where I came out with 4 mosasaur verts in a day). Hopefully we'll get to hunt together over there some time in the near future. I stuck around as I had a couple hours to kill before needing to drive to a friend's birthday. The rest of the time was spent doing more of the same. I managed to come across a huge Cretodus tooth, but the root was unfortunately nowhere to be found. I also started gathering some of the leftover matrix for later processing for microfossils. The layer was just so rich, how could there not be something cool to find? I filled up a couple Ziploc bags with the stuff and made my way out, thinking of ways I could clean this while residing in a college dorm. The richness of fossils in the matrix. This piece was a little too stony to break down though. Might try vinegar. Suffice it to say, I figured out a way to clean it without clogging the communal sinks, but it's a slow process. Though, I must admit, it's nice to come home each day to a cup's worth of dried micro matrix ready for screening. In only my first batch, I found something I think is pretty amazing. What was at first just a shiny little speck, upon closer analyzing, may, in fact, be a tiny coniasaur tooth! It has that characteristic bulging crown that is instantly recognizable. Hopefully I'm not jumping the gun on this one. A couple rounds later, and many many puny Ptychodus teeth, I managed to spot what appeared to be the tooth plate to a Pycnodont fish or something similar. After some delicate cleaning and lots of paraloid, it's still a little bit scuffed, but there are definitely some little round bulbous teeth in close association. The tooth plate before and after cleaning. Can anyone confirm if it's Pycnodont? There was plenty bony fish and shark material. Interspersed within them were some that eluded my identification (including mayyybe Paraisurus?). I've got plenty of matrix to still go through, so I will post updates if anything cool is found. For now, here are some pictures summarizing the finds: Please excuse the hand pics. It's just that the details come out better on a slightly darker surface as opposed to white paper. Closeups of Coniasaur(?) Tooth L to R: Bony bits, "Coniasaur" tooth, and "Pycnodont" tooth plate The best of the Ptychodus and a close up of the smallest one. The bottom left is smoothed over. Is this maybe feeding damage? Also, any ID for species is much appreciated : Cretoxyrhina mantelli. My favorite is the fat one on the left Best of the Squalicorax falcatus. Right two are a little strange. Possibly symphyseal? Best of Scapanorhynchus and huge rootless Cretodus (hard to see in pic, but its got the wrinkling): Paraisurus? I saw that genus mentioned in a Shawn Hamm publication on the Atco and thought it could be a match. The roots are very skinny on both specimens and the teeth seem vertically stretched. The larger tooth on the left initially appears to be missing half the root, but it is actually nearly complete. The only break is a tiny portion of the root at the very top. The right specimen is very fragmented. No signs of cusps nor nutrient groove on either one. Cantioscyllium orals and Sawfish Rostral Teeth: L to R: Enchodus, Protosphyraena, and Pachyrhizodus Some oddballs. The left is a fragment of some sort of multi-cusped shark tooth. The middle is a a segment of some barbed material that seems similar in appearance to the fishy bits found in the matrix. The right specimen is a shiny crescent shaped thing that I have found in other micro matrixes from Moss Creek and POC. Never kept them, but now I'm curious after finding them again: Thanks for reading!
  7. It's been over a month now since @Jared C and I found the Eagle Ford Xiphactinus. In the weeks that followed our discovery I was able to get in touch with the right people at Baylor University where I go to school and start to organize a retrieval project. Unfortunately I haven't been able to make it back to the site since then as all involved will have to wait for the wheels of bureaucracy to turn enough for us to have the proper permission necessary to return. So I was left with a problem: my first visit to the Eagle Ford turned out so well that I wanted nothing more than to go back, but I couldn't! Of course, that was just because I only knew of one exposure. And so I turned to more old literature in the hopes that I could locate another productive site the same way I had the first one. After many hours of reading papers that were filled to the brim with so much scientific jargon that they often went completely over my head, it seemed like I had finally struck gold when I found directions to a specific locality. Several days later I found myself with enough free time to make a scouting trip. The woods that I traveled through to get to the creek that was my ultimate destination were not making my job easy for me. Anyone who's spent even a little time outdoors in the eastern half of Texas knows that any given stretch of woods is about 80% brambles and thorns. This particular area was absolutely covered in them. I made slow progress - every fifteen minutes that passed would find me moving roughly the same number of feet. Eventually I got lucky and stumbled onto a trail through the thorns made by the local hogs. It's probably the only time I've ever been grateful for an invasive species! Following the trail led me to a steep bank and the creek I had been looking for. Peering over the ledge, I could see that the sides were lined with shale almost from top to bottom. All that shale had to mean fossils and so I wasted no time in making my way down to the creekbed. The paper I was referencing told me that I was within the Lake Waco and South Bosque formations of the Eagle Ford group, but it didn't take long for me to realize that there were probably others present as well. Massive slabs of limestone had fallen from the ledges at the top of the bank and littered the creekbed. Here's a picture of probably the biggest one I saw: My best guess is that this was some of the nearby Austin Chalk making a surprise appearance. From there I made my way westward. Fragments and impressions of giant inoceramid bivalves were visible on almost every scrap of rock I passed. I was so focused on inspecting the broken pieces of shale and limestone I was picking my way through that I failed to notice the pack of wild hogs I had inadvertently cornered! The creek dead-ended just beyond a fallen log, behind which were the makers of the trail I had followed through the woods. A limestone ledge formed a now-dry waterfall and below it was a pool of stagnant water and mud that the local hogs were obviously using as a place to wallow and escape the Texas summer heat - I can't say I blame them! I made sure to give them enough space to escape up the side of the bank and once I was sure they were gone I moved to inspect the pit they had been so kind to leave me. The shale I had been walking alongside further up the creek was exposed in all its many-layered glory here. For a mudhole used by a bunch of pigs it was surprisingly beautiful, and I found my breath briefly taken away when I got my first good look at it. Interpreting what I was seeing using the paper that had led me here proved to be a challenge at this point. At first I believed that everything below the waterfall ledge was the Lake Waco formation and everything above it was the South Bosque, but after a LOT of research since my first visit I'm now fairly confident in saying that almost everything I saw was just one particular member of the Lake Waco formation: the Cloice. The first finds of the day were located on the right side of the picture above in a layer just above a bentonite seam and just below the thick layer represented by the waterfall ledge. See how fast you can figure out what they are: The tooth on the left turned out to be a species of Ptychodus that was super common here (maybe anonymous?) while the tooth on the right was a perfect anterior Cretoxyrhina mantelli, my first of that species! Unfortunately I still don't own a rock hammer and even if I did I would have forgotten to bring it. I'm so used to just walking around at a site and surface collecting that the most I ever pack on fossil hunting trips is a garden trowel. At first I told myself I'd leave the teeth for a return trip when I had proper tools, but my impatience got the better of me as the hours wore on and I ended up using my trowel as an impromptu chisel and a rock as a hammer. The root of the Cretoxyrhina tooth broke in one place but I saved it for reattachment later. My troubles weren't over when I finally got the tooth out of the rock, however. My attempts to pry it out with a screwdriver on my walk back to my car were far from successful and actually caused my thumb to slip at one point, forcing the the tip of the tooth up and underneath my nail. Ninety million years since it was alive and this particular Ginsu shark finally got to taste blood again (even if it was only because of my stupidity ). Rewinding back a little bit to when I first found the site, I was able to follow the layer that I first spotted the Ptychodus and Cretoxyrhina in to the left where it was better exposed. It turned out that although there were obviously teeth in the grey/tan, fine-grained layers roughly three to four inches above the bentonite seam (the two teeth I just mentioned being examples), the vast majority were to be found within the red-stained "contact layer" immediately above the bentonite. A super thin lense was sandwiched between the bentonite and the dense shale/siltstone above. Here's a picture of the lense as I first saw it: Over the course of the next couple of hours I had my hands full pulling out shark tooth after shark tooth. There were so many in such close proximity that just a single small four by five inch slab of the red contact lense contained three decent sized Squalicorax teeth, a small Ptychodus, a fish vertebra, and an uncountable amount of microscopic fish teeth and other vertebrate detritus. I personally love in-situ photos, so I took a couple to show off. First up, a nicely-preserved Ptychodus anonymous. With the stratigraphy of the site more or less ironed out now, I'm pretty sure that the majority of Ptychodus teeth I found were P. anonymous with a couple of the much less common P. decurrens mixed in for variety. An incredibly small palatine bone from an Enchodus with the trademark fang intact, surrounded by a jumble of fragmented bone and teeth detritus. The blade of a Squalicorax falcatus peeking out from the contact lense. This specific tooth turned out to be the largest example of the species I've ever found (just barely bigger than those from Post Oak Creek!). How it looked once it was cleaned up: My blurry attempt at using an iPhone camera to take a closeup of the incredible serrations of a different Squalicorax tooth sticking out of a piece of the contact lense: One of the bigger fish scales I saw at the site. Every piece of shale was absolutely covered in them. Yet another Ptychodus tooth (probably P. anonymous). A second large Cretoxyrhina mantelli anterior tooth. This one still required some time spent with a dental pick but it proved to be much easier to retrieve than the first one I found. A before and after: And just to show how abundant the teeth were at this site, here's a picture showing the result of only four minutes' worth of digging and picking around: The best find of the day turned out to not be one of the shark teeth, but a tiny little bone that I didn't find particularly interesting when I first pulled it out of the shale. Any guesses as to what it might be? (Hint: this is a view from the bottom side) If you guessed vertebra, you're right! And you're also a lot smarter than I me - my lack of interest was because I thought I was looking at part of a crab carapace. This particular vertebra is from a Coniasaurus (an ID provided by @Jared C) - and it wouldn't be the only one I'd find here. But I'll leave that for the next post since I'm running out of space for pictures and I've already rambled for too long. I'll leave you all with a group picture of the finds from that first day: - Graham
  8. ThePhysicist

    Coniasaurus tooth

    From the album: Squamates

    A small tooth from a small aquatic reptile that lived during the Turonian of North TX. They are small, squat teeth with textured enamel, and possess only an indistinct distal carina (no mesial carina).
  9. Thomas.Dodson

    Pycnodont Type Tooth or Coniasaurus?

    I found this tooth (2.75 mm length) while sorting micro-matrix from Post Oak Creek in Texas (Turonian). I had originally hoped this might be a posterior Coniasaurus tooth based on the more conical tooth type and root but have since found in publications that some Pycnodont tooth forms closely overlap posterior Coniasaurus teeth in general morphology. My guess would now be some kind of less common type of Pycnodont tooth form (the flat types are common in the samples) but I wanted to see what others thought.
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