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  1. This weekend I was able to spend a couple hours breaking rock at one of my favorite Pennsylvanian sites. This site exposes the lowest units of the Carbondale Formation, from the top down: Mecca Quarry Shale (MQS), Francis Creek Shale, Colchester No. 2 Coal, paleosol. At various times both the St. Peter Sandstone and Platteville Group (both Ordovician) have been exposed at the bottom of the pits (they were not visible this trip), representing a major unconformity in the area. The concretions from the Francis Creek Shale (i.e. Mazon Creek fossils) are not productive here - my area of focus was i
  2. Hi all. I posted about a week ago in this forum with what I thought was a Maclurites fossil I found in the Galena Group in Illinois: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/116602-ordovician-maclurites/. Others agreed with me. There are two parts of this fossil that I wonder about. One is fairly large and may be a piece where the outer shell of the Maclurites broke to reveal an inner layer. It may also be a second specimen that was fossilized along with the Maclurites, replacing part of it. (I bet there's a term for that, but I don't know it!) This part of the specimen stands out by vir
  3. I_gotta_rock

    Our Great I-80 Road Trip

    Greetings, all! After exploring outcrops and spoils piles from Quebec down to Florida, we are heading west from Delaware to Crawford, Nebraska and back this fall. Planning to stop by Sylvania, OH and Clear Lake, IA. Probably Richmond, IN. Any other suggestions? Thoughts on these three?
  4. This weekend I had the opportunity to spend a couple hours hunting in the Galena Group (Upper Ordovician) in northern Illinois. The Galena around here is mostly massive dolomite, so most fossils are preserved as molds. Mollusks dominate the fauna, especially gastropods, although other interesting specimens crop up from time to time. Burrows A large orthoconic nautiloid Fisherites are fairly common in some beds, although extracting complete specimens is challenging. Thaleops sp. Some better gastropod examples
  5. Hello everyone! I recently purchased two fossils, they were both sold to me as Ordovician the crinoid being from Wisconsin and the brachiopod from Illinois. @connorp has told me in a different thread that the dolomites of the region also preserve Silurian fossils and that these look much more like that. Doing a quick Google search I did find something that looks very similar to the crinoid I have, but I don't know enough about these animals or the area they come from to be certain of the ID. Here is the crinoid in question: To me this calyx looked quite similar t
  6. connorp

    Tiny Pennsylvanian Ammonoids

    Over the past year I've I found two tiny ammonoids from a site in the Carbondale Formation (Middle Pennsylvanian) of Illinois. Both measure approximately 5mm in diameter. The first specimen below showed no details of the exterior of the shell, which I believe are necessary in identifying these. This week I found a second specimen (maybe a different species) which does show the suture pattern. I'm hoping that this specimen is identifiable. Part Counterpart Does anyone recognize the species? Thanks!
  7. NWARockhound

    Guides for IDing Illinois Glacial Till?

    Hello, I have found a good number of marine fossils in an Illinois river near Champaign which was created by glacial runoff. I was wondering if there was any sort of guide or useful papers for identifying them anyone would recommend, especially since very similar fossils seem to occur throughout the Midwest in other areas that had glaciers. I'm not so curious about these specimens specifically, just thought it might be nice to post some pictures, although I don't know what the middle one is. A bryozoan? I would just like to learn a bit more information in general. Thanks!
  8. treebarkjerry

    Southern Illinois petrified wood

    Out collecting some chert in Union County Illinois and came across two chunks of what I think are petrified wood. The small piece in the first two photos shows good wood grain, and an odd black chert or almost coal looking layer around the outside. The larger piece doesn't seem to show much grain...notched a corner off on a tile saw but the cut is so rough it's hard to see what the grain looks like. Both have an odd flattened cross-section seen in the photos. The 'bark' is odd to me too - thought it might be fossilized bone at first but don't think so anymore. Anyone else that
  9. Last year @jdp was kind enough to identify the tiny and jumbled skeleton I found in a concretion in eastern Illinois http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/107472-mysterious-jumble-inside-pennsylvanian-concretion/ as a lysorophian tetrapod and direct me to the Field Museum in Chicago as a possible repository for it. This month I finally completed the donation and it has been added to their collection, a fantastic event for someone who has been visiting the museum for more than 30 years to gaze in wonder at their world-class collection. Thank you again to @jdp and The Fossil Forum for m
  10. I had contacted someone to register myself regarding a private hunt in a creek. They serve a picnic afterwards. I was to receive verification a month ago and none has come. Does anyone know how to contact the couple offering this? I have lost their information. Mike
  11. Over the past year, I've become fascinated with the often bizarre fish and sharks of the Pennsylvanian. Fortunately, my home state of Illinois is a great place to hunt for such fossils. I've shared several of these in other posts before, but wanted to put everything together in one thread. Probably won't have much to post for a few months after this, but once summer rolls around, I should hopefully have plenty of new finds to share. I would say there are three major settings in which you can find fish fossils in Illinois: Mazon Creek, black shales, and limestone. I have not had luc
  12. Last summer I posted a trip report about finding some Pennsylvanian black shale in a river bed in East Central Illinois http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/106753-628-illinois-black-shale-trip-w-listracanthus/. I was able to visit the site again once more in the fall last year when the river was running much lower and collect more and larger pieces of the finely bedded and fissile shale. Since then I have been slowly splitting and going through the rocks I brought home, and finding many interesting fish parts- that is definitely the dominant fauna presen
  13. Hello everyone! I've been inspired by so many good Mazon Creek topics in this forum, I thought I would start my own. I'll post my own finds, which so far don't include anything as exotic as a Tully Monster, but maybe I'll get lucky on page 134 or so... I have to credit my kids with getting me interested in fossil collecting. I was always interested in rocks and fossils but when my 10 year old son had his dinosaur phase it really sparked my interest again. I wondered if an ordinary person like me could go out and find fossils? So I Googled fossil collecting and found out that not on
  14. Runner64

    Mazon Creek Collection

    I'll update this thread with my Mazon Collection over the next few weeks. With some good weather out yesterday, I managed to get my first fossil hunt in for the season and will post a report in this topic. I will be moving this upcoming summer which will put me even further from Mazon Creek so I have purchased a few pieces to fill in the genus/species I haven't found yet and will mention if I purchased a fossil. I still hold out hope to find some of these pieces I purchased eventually but will realistically be difficult if I only can make 1 trip a year. Fauna Tullimo
  15. With the nicer weather last week, I was able to make two brief trips to kick of the year. There still ended up being a lot of snow on the ground, but it was manageable. My first trip was to one of my favorite sites, a roadcut in the Pennsylvanian LaSalle Limestone in Illinois. Lots of the usual stuff was found, but the two trip makers were a small Peripristis shark tooth and a Linoproductus mass mortality plate. Here's the tooth. I think it will clean up nicely. And here are the Linoproductus. There's around 50 individuals present, and they are all quite small com
  16. Hi! My son (10) has been very interested in Mazon Creek fossils for years, and has been asking to go down and try to hunt for fossils there. He’s quite serious, knows a lot about Mazon Creek for a kid, and has experience with both all-day hiking and moderately successful fossil-hunting. Is there any chance that someone does (or would do) a guided trip there? I would feel so much better trying the trip if we had more expert help. I know he can handle a long day in the sun hunting - but I honestly don’t have the skill to be 100% sure of what I’m doing, and I certainly don’t know exactly where to
  17. ChicagolandFossilGuy

    Mazon Creek Jellyfish?

    Location: Mazon Creek (Illinois) I think some or all of these may be jellyfish, but I'd like to defer to others. If they are not jellyfish, what are they? The last two photos are both sides of the same pieces. There appears to be something on both sides. Thank you for your time.
  18. Current forecast is perfect – rain all weekend but sunny and clear on Monday. Fingers crossed it stays that way! Hope to see some of you out there.
  19. For the last 4 years I have been collecting plant fossils from sites in East Central Illinois. These fossils were all brought to the surface by underground coal mining in the first half of the 20th century. Most of the spoil piles in the area have been graded or flattened out, but a few still remain, standing tall above the flatland. One particular pile is, I believe, the source of most or all of the fossils I find. The shale that makes up the spoil has been fired by the internal heat of the pile, resulting in the hard, reddish material known as "red dog". This shale i
  20. Another find in Pit 11 of Mazonia-Braidwood complex. Found already open on the ground. I was unable to find the other half. It looks a bit like the images of Neuropteris fimbriata and Cyclopteris trichomanoides in Jack Wittry's "The Mazon Creek Fossil Flora."
  21. rynxs

    Mazonia-Braidwood Vertebrae

    Pretty sure these are amphibian vertebrae. Found in Pit 11 in the Mazonia-Braidwood complex.
  22. fourfourtwo

    ID help, Maclurites?

    Hi All, Wondering if I can get some ID help with this, after reviewing various sources I am thinking Maclurites? Location: Belvedere Quarry (ESCONI trip 2020) Dolomite, Galena formation Thank you!
  23. Today I was looking at fossils that I have paid any real attention too in quite a while. I figured that I would try and organize some of them and I started moving containers and pulling out concretions that contained coprolites. The pieces that I was working with were larger pieces, and that is what this post will show. I have found coprolites in the Essex (Marine) and Braidwood (Fresh) biotas. Many collectors in the past would skip over coprolites, just like they did with Essexella asherea Jellyfish, but that is not me, I would pick them all up. Mazon Creek coprolites have been known to conta
  24. Dsmech

    Southern Illinois Shell

    Hi All, I've been spending some time with family in Southern Illinois, in Madison County. In between eating too much for the holidays I've been exploring around the farm and the creeks for arrowheads and anything else I can find...while exploring one creek bed near some rather large cliffs I found what I am guessing is a fossilized shell, some kind of sea snail/whelk/conch. I don't know if this was an unwanted hermit crab someone tossed away, or a part of a shell garden that made it's way in there, or a legitimate fossilized shell. Any help would be apprecia
  25. bluegilldvm

    Black Shale from Illinois

    This was collected at a private recreation club west of Pit 11 from old spoil hills. I have found Listracanthus spines from this type of black shale. I’m not sure if this is a large spine or something else. Thanks
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