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  1. Fossil hunting season at Illinois's Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area, the iconic Pit 11, runs from March to September every year. I didn't make it to the park at all last year, so I wanted to get out there on day 1 this year. I took the day off work and thankfully the weather cooperated- it was cloudy and in the 30s for most of the day. I picked up my rental car at 7:30 in the morning and hit the road for the 90 minute drive north. I wasn't the first one at the park, though- I saw a few other folks heading out on the trail with buckets in hand as I pulled into the pa
  2. Praefectus

    First Time at Mazon Creek

    Hello, I am planning on going to Mazon Creek for the first time this weekend and was wondering if I could get some advice. I have fossil hunted at the Peace river and Shark Tooth Hill, but despite living in Illinois, I have never been to Mazon creek. I am not sure where I should start looking. I have read some of the trip reports on the forum and most seem to suggest either around Pit 11 or south of W 5000N road. How long does it usually take to get to productive spots? I read that some people have to hike for an hour before finding fossils. Also, where should I park my
  3. Close up of first dorsal spine Lit.: R. Zangerl. 1979. New Chondrichthyes from the Mazon Creek fauna (Pennsylvanian) of Illinois. Mazon Creek Fossils 449-500
  4. Monica

    Mazon Creek area nodules

    Hi everyone! Today I have something different to show you all: Mazon Creek area nodules that have opened for me via the freeze-thaw method!!! These unopened nodules were acquired from @deutscheben after I asked him if he wouldn't mind sending me some since I wanted to try my luck at opening them myself. He generously sent me 18 unopened nodules, all of which have gone through the freeze-thaw cycle I don't know how many times and so far only 3 have opened up. I'd like a little help in identifying what they are - thanks in advance!!! I believe they are from the Pennsylvanian peri
  5. I'm back in IL for spring break this week, and thought it was about time I went down to Mazon Creek. I've never been there before, but have read quite a lot of trip reports others have posted and felt prepared. I parked right off of 5000N at Monster Lake to start. I walked around the lake for about an hour, but found nothing resembling a concretion. There were an insane number of rocks eroding from the slopes, but I saw nothing of interest. I then headed about a third of the way down the gravel road and decided to check out the area near a "Fossil Hunting Area" sign. I
  6. oilshale

    Esconichthys apopyris BARDACK, 1974

    Described by Bardack in 1974 as larval lungfish.
  7. Lit.: Bardack, D. & Richardson, E. S.(1977) New agnathous fishes from the Pennsylvanian of Illinois. Fieldiana, Vol. 33, No. 26, publication 1261, pp. 489-510
  8. oilshale

    Gilpichthys greenei

    From the album: Vertebrates

    Gilpichthys greenei (Bardack & Richardson 1977) Uppermost Carboniferous Mazon Creek Illinois USA
  9. Lit.: Schram F. R. 1974. Mazon Creek caridoid Crustacea. Fieldiana: Geology, 30: 9-65.
  10. TheRocksWillShoutHisGlory

    Mazon creek unknown

    About a week ago I ran across a thread about an unknown possibly being a eurypterid carapace. This made me think about my own unknowns and I'm now wondering the same thing about this:
  11. Darwin and Wallace

    Going to Mazon Creek! Tips?

    Hey everybody, I'm planning on going to do a day's worth of nodule collecting at Mazon Creek in a few weeks with a buddy of mine. Any tips on where to go? Also, anyone know of a hotel that's reasonably close to where we can start collecting? Thanks for any and all tips!
  12. deutscheben

    Wispy Mazon Creek Plant?

    This fossil split a few weeks ago and it has me puzzled. It's from the Mazon River itself and consists of many wispy fibers, with some carbonization at the tips. The edges of a Neuropteris fimbriata leaf have a frayed look that is sort of similar, but the rest doesn't look right. Another possibility I considered was it being some sort of highly degraded non-specific fibrous plant material. But I have not been able to find anything that matches it exactly in my guidebooks. Any ideas?
  13. Jones1rocks

    Mazon Identification Help Request

    Hi all, I have been having some trouble with this specimen. It came from a large collection of Mazon pieces I purchased a number of years back from collector Ron Brandt of Normal, Illinois, who self-collected and also purchased several extensive collections from others. Originally it was identified by someone (too far in the past) as an egg sac of some sort, but after some discussion with someone I would consider an expert, a fellow named Dan Damrow, who some of you may know, some doubt has been cast on that identification. I would be interested in any comments or insights
  14. verydeadthings

    Mazon Creek fossil plants: Part 1

    Hi guys! Long story short, a rather large collection of Mazon Creek fossils has been donated to my university. I thought I'd share some pictures of the collection and confirm some preliminary identifications. There are a lot of specimens so I will probably split this into two posts. Annularia radiata Annularia stellata A whole bunch of Annularia stellata?
  15. Today was the opening of the 2017 Mazon Creek Fossil Season at the Mazonia-Braidwood Wildlife Area which encompasses the famed Pit 11 (Essex Biota) . After major storms last night, I figured that I would drive the 50 miles from my house and collect at a location that is difficult to climb up to and ever harder to bushwhack through. I only go to this area at the beginning of the fossil season because of three reasons: First, there are no leaves on the trees / bushes, which makes it easier to see where you are going. Second, there are no ticks- at least I hope so and third, I have found Tully Mo
  16. Jones1rocks

    Two Mazon Shrimp or Shrimp and Molt?

    Hi all, Can someone tell me whether I'm looking at a shrimp that was in the process of molting? Thanks! ~Paul
  17. Today I took a quick ride to the small suburb of Evanston, right out side of Chicago. This is the home of Dave's Down To Earth Rock Shop and Prehistoric Life Museum. If memory serves me correct, Dave's has been in Evanston for the past 40+ years and it is a family owned business. Dave's recently moved to it's new home on Main Street and if you every get a chance to be in the Chicago area, this is a must see- you will definitely not be disappointed. From the outside, you would not believe that this store has a museum that houses such a great variety of fossil life and the most extensive collect
  18. Last October I visited Dave's Down To Earth Rock Shop located in Evanston, Illinois and I put together a picture heavy post in the "Trip To the Museum" section of the Forum. At that time I took pics of a lot of great fossils from different locations and all time periods, if you have not seen that post, you should take a look at it, you would be hard pressed to find this quality of fossils in the largest institutions. Today I picked up my grandson and we drove the 14 miles from his house to Dave's. I usually use a scale cube when taking pics of my fossils, but decided to use my 5 ye
  19. I have had these two pieces in my collection for a long time- I always have had a hard time tossing them when I come across them in their drawer because they remind me of a Eurypterid carapaces. What do you think? @RCFossils / @Rob Russell / @fossilized6s / @Peat Burns and any others that might have info.
  20. Rockpit

    Successful Freeze Thaw 2

    One of my freezer concretions split to reveal this ghostly image. I believe it is a shrimp and was wondering if anyone knew what kind it might be. I was pleasantly surprised to find it as the top and bottom of the rock had broken off and didn't have any fossil inside. I put it back in the freezer anyway since it appeared to have another layer to split. I am starting to wonder if I should get some of my rejects out of my garden border where I have been putting them.
  21. Rockpit

    Worm? Plant? Nothing?

    Any ideas on this? I am wondering about the long, thin, bent looking part on the left.
  22. Last Weekend, August 18th and 19th 2018, was the annual Canal Corridor Mazon River Fossil Field Trip. The weather was perfect! There was a great presentation by Andrew Young on August 18th and Dave Dolak on August 19th. Afterwards, the dinner was excellent, as usual. It was a very productive outing for all involved. I have a couple buckets of concretions to freeze/thaw throughout the winter. It's always a fun trip, can't wait for it again next year! Saturday's lecture before collecting A perfect day! An amazing Alethopteris serlii, which
  23. Herb

    Mazon Creek ID

    An unknown I found at Braidwood, IL, Mazon Creek material. Forgot scale but about 2" wide and 1" long. It was in a marine area.
  24. Today I went on the E.S.C.O.N.I. (Earth Science Club Of Northern Illinois) fossil collecting trip for Mazon Creek concretions to the Braceville Shaft Mine in Braceville, Illinois. It was a great day for the trip since it had rained recently and exposed a lot of concretions that made surface collecting great, that coupled with great overcast skies and temps in the upper 60's. It was a great day had by all and there must have been hundreds of concretions collected. Here is are a couple Aerial shots of the Shaft Mine. We met at 8 am and most people stayed unt
  25. Hi All, I picked up a lot of Mazon Creek nodules recently. Tried the freeze/thaw technique and have probably gone through at least 10 or 12 cycles with that. Nothing has popped open but flakes continue to come off of the outside of the nodules. On 1 of the small nodules (1.5 in x .75 inch) enough pieces have flaked off on one end to show what looks like a plant fossil, maybe a fern type plant. Looks like it runs the entire length of the nodule. Is there something else I should try to get this cleaned up or just continue the freeze thaw thing? Thanks Eric
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