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  1. Well, I’m finally getting to dig into my truckload of fossils from my Wyoming trip with @RJB so it’s my turn to open up a prep thread. I spent a couple hours today poking around to find the perfect fish to start with. The 18” layer never disappoints. This good sized Diplomystus has 2 Knightia on top of it. I’m going to try to save both but I’m concerned that the right hand one is covering most of the Diplo’s skull. If that’s the case, the little guy will have to go! This is after about 90 minutes of scribe work.
  2. Pagurus

    Fish paintings

    I'm working on some new fossil fish paintings and thought I'd share them here. I'm trying to work my way through the Green River formation fish first, though I'm sure I won't paint them all. I've only done two so far, but I'll add more as I paint them. The quality will vary, I'm sure. Here's my take on a Priscacara. and of course a Knightia: I've started on a diplomystus, and will post that soon. Thanks for looking. Oh, for those interested, I'm using gouache paints, similar to watercolor but more opaque.
  3. I was pleased to be the winning bidder on this unprepped Knightia in a rolling auction by @Meganeura this past August. Thank you, Daniel. it was quite generous of you to offer it, along with all your other fine items. I was in no hurry to complete the prep and greatly enjoyed spending an hour with it now and then, or even a quarter- hour as it sat patiently on my kitchen table. While I envy our members with air-abrasion setups, I do appreciate the quiet convenience of pecking away at the Green River matrix whenever the spirit moves me. I began work on the skull soon after I opened the auction package from Daniel and soon found a lovely coprolite has been sitting on the fish's head for the past fifty million years or so. I'm afraid I found it rather amusing, and while the poor animal might find my attitude besmirching to its honor and an added insult to its injury, I decided to leave the attachment right where I found it. Not surprisingly, I found more fossil fish dung as I progresssed, and I've left them as found as well. I did uncover a small mass of fish bones near the top of the rectangular block, sliced by the trimming saw and mostly unrecognizable by me. I'm tempted to keep digging away at the block to see what else might be hiding there, but I'll probably just leave it as it is and move on to another awaiting project. It's not one of my best prep jobs but I'm satisfied with it and appreciate it as a snapshot of a moment in time.
  4. Here’s a tease of one of my upcoming prep projects. It’s not next in queue but it’s coming soon. I spent some time doing exploratory prep on it for the last couple of days. Anyone know what it is? I’ll give you 2 hints. It’s from the Green River Formation and it’s not a fish.
  5. This came into my email inbox just now. This bird looks very familiar to many of us.... https://cowboystatedaily.com/2023/11/06/rare-first-of-its-kind-wyoming-fossil-bird-donated-to-chicago-museum/?utm_source=Klaviyo&utm_medium=campaign&_kx=FNPCgSCz7FplU90B8_ouKgYat5AOYRhTA2s_dLpzjqBx2CdT-fhicfAJbOddWJMi.UXPtrV
  6. oilshale

    Hypsiprisca hypsacantha (Cope, 1866)

    From the album: Vertebrates

    Hypsipriscaca hypsacantha (Cope, 1866) Eocene Ypresian Green River Formation Nunn's Quarry USA
  7. Hello, I'm from Austria (Europe). And this is my first time here on the forum. When I was 10 years old, in addition to the dozens of bones, I also found a cave bear canine tooth (tip with end of enamel: almost 4cm with root 6cm) in the dragons cave near Mixnitz in Styria. I never made such a great find again: that was the end of my short excavation career. In the last years I've only bought small things: trilobites, amonites and this week I stumbled upon the fish. I bought the petrified fish as a gift for a special occasion. Indicated from the dealer: fossilized fish (Pricacara liops), Green River, Wyoiming, USA, Tertiary, Eocene, approximately 42 million years. Size Fossil: 40.5 cm (I measured the body axis, not the matrix). Matrix (rock slab): 45,5 cm (length, upper longer edge) x 28,5 cm (average) At first Priscacara liops seems wrong to me because it is smaller. In't it? Priscacara serrata grows to about 37 cm tall?! And unfortunately I don't know exactly how big the Priscacara hypacanthus will get. BTW: In my opinion the body shape doesn't fit either. Question 1: Which fish is this actually? Question 2: It seems to me that the beige matrix (plate) was helped with paint. Please see the photos with the arrows. In one place, paint or a piece of rock seems to have chipped off (as long as it was just beautified), that's not so tragic for me. Question 3: Is the fish a real fossil, in your opinion? So that you can get an idea, I have put up unedited photos (except for the arrows + text). I also photographed the back of the matrix (stone slab) and also the edge; also a few detailed shots. Thank you in advance. Greetings, Rod
  8. My son (7 years old) and I are traveling to Wyoming late September to see the sights and hunt for fossils. We plan to hit up the green river formation for sure, I have looked into Fossil Safari as a possible place to try our luck. Does anyone have any suggestions as to places where we could legally collect fossils, in that area or elsewhere? My son being 7 does limit me in terms of stamina and focus, but he is motivated and equally hooked. I know people are coy with their spots and collecting bone is largely off the table, but any thing we should be sure to catch would be greatly appreciated, even museums, lunch or any such tourism thing. We have a rent car so we are mobile, plan to hit mostly Western Wyoming and then South through back to Casper. Just want to make the most of the experience. Thanks.
  9. Ptychodus04

    Green River Bonanza

    I just got home from 6 days of digging in Kemmerer, WY. We focused our time in the 18” layer and Sandwich Beds. We dug Sandwich during the day and 18 at night. the sandwich produced your typical split Knightias and Diplomystus is quantity with several fry being found. It also produced a nice Pharaeodus and a complete stingray. Below, you can readily see the stingray tail in the matrix. The 18 gave us around a dozen large Diplomystus (one possibly being an aspiration, multiple Priscicara/Cockerelites, Knightias, smaller Diplomystus, a few Mioplosus, a palm frond, and an interesting plant that may include leaves. All in, we came home with around 200 fish and the stingray! A very successful week. The scenery was beautiful also.
  10. Here are some Before & After photos of the 2nd and 3rd fish at practiced prepping, and 1 coat of butvar. I sent 7 fossils off for professional prep and haVE about 35 full fish I'm going to do some art projects with and hang in a wooden frame. I used a razor blade, Q tip, and safety pin.
  11. Superhedger

    What fish is this?

    This is one of the fish we found in Green River WY last week it looks distinctive from the others maybe Phareodus?
  12. Superhedger

    Hiodon or Phareodus

    Is this a Hiodon or perhaps a juvenile Phareodus Testis?
  13. Wrangellian

    Green River Fm fish

    I received this piece without any data. Can anyone please confirm that this is from the Green River Formation in Wyoming, and maybe add more specific location/strat detail to that if it's possible to tell? Should I assume it is from the usual place in Kemmerer... and which layer? Or could it be from a different spot entirely? The ID of the fish would be appreciated too. Sorry about the crummy indoor pic... I tried to get the color balance close to reality.
  14. Dave2244


    Seeking help on yesterday's find. My wife found this one while surface hunting on a hilltop near where we found our first fossils (Horsetail Reeds). The closest I find is calamite, but that looks to be from the carboniferous period which would be too early for the Green River area? Thanks, Dave
  15. Dave2244

    Coral fossil?

    Trying to ID these. Found around Cedar Mountain/Green River, WY. A local guy said they are rugose coral fossils. The pictures I find for rugose coral on Google don't really look like what we have. Anyway, they are usually found in groups on the surface. Many times turtle fossil fragments are in the same area. Any info would be appreciated.
  16. Saturday and Sunday (April 1 and 2) was held a mineral fair in Rilhac Rancon, Limousin region in France. Apart from the sales stands, enthusiasts of the Geological Society of Limousin displayed samples from their collection in showcases; I particularly noticed a showcase with fishes from Green river, as well as epidotes from green monster mountain...(if you notice identification errors, do not hesitate to report them) Here are some pictures, enjoy.
  17. Hi, I'm prepping green river fish fossil scraps. When I get down to skin/scale tissue it becomes softer and oilier. I'm using a pinvise and on areas like these and the usual gentle scraping has little effect. I'm not sure how to approach this material without damaging it. I'd love some input on how to proceed. Also, it seems like oil begins to permeate and darken partially scraped areas over several hours ie: backbone. Is there a special way to store the pieces in between prep sessions? Thanks in advance- K
  18. I have a question on "restoration". I have a limestone slab from the Green River fm with a palm leaf imprint. I say imprint, because the leaves have no coloration remaining. I have been trying to decide on the best way to add color back so that you can actually see the leaves without needing some oblique lighting. Because of the porosity of the stone, I worry that trying to paint them will leach the paint outward and make very blurry looking leaves. I was thinking that using a very thin consolidate should seal the stone without obscuring the detail and allowing it to be painted over the top without leaching. Has anyone used a technique like this in the past? Any tips? Just as a note, this isnt a fossil for sale, so I'm not trying to deceive anyone as to quality, this is going on display in my home when complete.
  19. I think that I posted some pics last year as I worked my way through a prep of a very large Phareaodus fish from the Green River fm near Kemmerer WY. Sadly, its a broken slab and I only have part. I have prepped out to the outer edge but had to stop because that edge is slanted and leaves the fossil layer very thin and fragile. So I came up with an idea. I'll fill in a box of the missing area, finish the prep, and then paint on the missing fish area.. That way I can display it and its still visible for what is real and what it would have been. So, I took a pic and digitally overlaid it onto a complete specimen. Holy mackerel I'm missing a LOT of this fish! My putty fill isnt near big enough. Guess I'll have to add a second pour, but that will have to come after I finish the prep. This wont fit in my prep box if it gets any larger! The measurement of my partial fish is over 13 inches long, which means if it hadnt been broken before I found it, it would have been over 20 inches long, maybe even 24.
  20. Ptychodus04

    Croc Paper

    Does anyone have a copy of the paper describing Borealisuchus wilsoni?
  21. Picked this up a while ago. Finally prepping. Slow going as it's in some very hard sediment. Saw some teeth pop out today.
  22. Found this fun fossil in the green river formation near Spanish Fork UT! Would love some input on what it may be
  23. jnicholes

    Coprolite identification

    Hi everyone, I am extremely sick today, so I decided to go through my fossils I found in Wyoming over the years while laying in bed. While going through my fossils, I found a piece of large exposed Coprolite. I thought to myself, “I might as well try to extract it. I’ve got nothing else to do because I’m so sick.“ After about 10 minutes of working with it, I was able to extract it in one piece. Then, it broke in my hand into two pieces. To my surprise, inside the Coprolite where it broke, there were bones. Looks like fish bones. Whatever left this Coprolite behind may have been carnivorous. This leads me to my question. Is there any way to tell what animal left this coprolite? If so, what animal left it behind? Any help will be appreciated, Jared
  24. minnbuckeye

    Round 3 of Western Trip

    The third chapter about my trip out west has been a bit delayed in coming. @piranha graciously referred me to a book on Green River leaves, the main subject of this posting. It was a wonderful book full of beautiful pictures and relevant information on the flora of the Green River Formation. And I immersed myself in it as a way to“semi ID” my finds. For those who are interested: MacGinitieH.D.1969 The Eocene Green River Flora of Northwestern Colorado and Northeastern Utah. University of California Publications in Geological Sciences, 83:1-140 In addition to piranha, I need to thank a “to remain nameless” forum member who directed me to the site. I also stopped at Florissant for a short time, which contains many similar if not identical species at its location. So, my finds are a mixture of the two sites, but mostly Green River. To begin my journey, I exited the highway onto what was thought to be the proper road. It seemed more like an abandon trail, but the landmark mentioned was present. It concerned me, with the small low riding rental car being driven, the likelihood of getting stuck existed. Roads like this never stopped me before, so off I went. And besides, it is a rental car!!!! Looking at my directions, it instructed me to turn right at the next “dinosaur”. What a unique instruction. I couldn’t wait to see what was ahead. After seemingly hours, traveling under 10 mph, seeing nothing but expanses of sagebrush reaching to the horizon, I finally reached my next turnoff. And yes there it was, the dinosaur, clear as day (mixed in with a little pareidolia) soaking up the warmth of the morning sun. After turning right and many more rough miles of travel, I finally reached this isolated spot of Green River Formation. It is the light-colored rock in the foreground. The beauty of the Utah landscape overwhelmed my senses and I just sat on the rim of the canyon taking it all in. It is moments like this that keep me “fossil hunting”. My mind, body and spirit were united as one! Enough of this meditation stuff. You want to see fossils!! First up are the possible insects found. Again, pareidolia may be part of what I am seeing so forgive me if some are misidentified as insects. My readings told of seeds frequently encountered in the Green River. These pictures depict what I believe are seed like structures. Possibly Somara ailanthus: A legume pod?? Next are unknowns to me. They appear to be coniferous. The next specimen was tentatively IDed as a coniferous leafy shoot. But in the book that I attempted to make my IDs from, the tip of a fern, Asplenium delicatula looked very similar. Woody pieces are found on occasion. The first one pictured matches Equisetum winchesteri closely. The next two are unknowns that I keep seeing as flowers. Hopefully not more pareidolia. An odd trace fossil. Now I will show samples of the Green River leaves found. I was unprepared for splitting this matrix. My lowly bon big face Estwing brick hammer could not peel up large enough slabs of matrix, resulting in many partial leaves like these. Be prepared for the need of multiple small chisels and pry bars if better specimens are wanted. The first leaf is similar to Quercus petros. The next leaf is suggestive of a legume. Finally Eugenia americana?? Next are a few Florissant leaves. The middle one possibly Populus heeri. Next up is Astronium truncatum. Notice the matrix is NOT flat and the leaf conforms to the undulations. This is common with leaves from Florissant. Dinner time!! I will finish this post when my after dinner nap concludes!
  25. I was tempted recently to pick up a DIY fossil prep kit from an online retailer, have always been curious and wanted to give it a shot. You guys make it seem so easy! I only have manual tools (kit included a metal pick and I've started using a hobby knife to remove some of the upper layers a little faster). The whole slab is approx 17cm and the fish itself is maybe around 11cm. I started this thread to share my progress and get a little feedback. Any tips? Anything I absolutely shouldn't do, or do more of? There is also a big lump visible above the fish, wondering if that is worth digging into or if its more likely to be nothing of interest. Having fun so far!! Thanks for any feedback
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