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  1. Went collecting recently in Milwaukee at a well known Devonian outcrop along the Milwaukee River. Found bryozoan, brachiopod, crinoid, and tabulate coral fossils. This one intrigued me. At first glance the lighter piece looks like a tooth. What do you think? Placoderm fossils are found here, but only rarely. I know it could be just the way the rock fractured, but the lighter material makes me think it could be something. Measurements are 3 cm long by 3.3 cm wide. Laugh quietly 😆. Probably wishful thinking. I’m new here and this is my first post. I’m glad I found this group and know I’m going to learn a lot.
  2. Anomotodon

    Trilo-bit from Milwaukee

    Hi everyone! I visited an exposure of the Milwaukee formation within Milwaukee city, Wisconsin this weekend. Found lots of brachiopods, corals and bryozoans, and brought some rocks home. Then today I decided to smack some of them with a hammer - and this trilobite pygidium emerged out of nowhere. I don’t know a lot about inverts - can anyone help with the ID please, if it’s identifiable at all? I’m pretty sure it is from the Lindwurm member of the Milwaukee formation (Givetian - Middle Devonian). Thanks!
  3. I went to the beach in Doctors Park in Fox Point, WI over the weekend to hopefully find some Silurian reef fossils. Most of the stuff I saw were poor-quality brachiopod fossils, but I these look kind of interesting. I think the first one might be some kind of a coral, but it does not match any coral fossil descriptions I found on online guides for the area. Yet, it looks more organic the usual porous rocks I on the beaches. I don’t know what it make of the smaller one: it seems to have more of a pattern than the typical rocks I find that look like a bunch of clams fell into a concrete mixer. But, again, it does not match anything else in the local guides. Also, if anyone knows, what kind of rocks typically bear fossils in this area and how to you go about opening them? I’ve only ever used the freeze and thaw method for concretions I found on Mazon Creek, IL, but the stones I find here are completely different.
  4. Tales From the Shale

    Estabrook Park 09/30/22

    I went to Estabrook two days ago just because I was in the area. I've hit this area multiple times before. Despite its low fossil yield I think it's an excellent place to start for any new fossil hunters getting into the hobby. The sole outcrop to be found here lies under the bridge overlooking the river rapids. It extends for roughly 30-45 feet. There are soils in the area that occasionally produce small bits of brachiopod and crinoid stem fragments as well. However I mostly keep to the main rock outcrop. Your most common finds within the park are tons of brachiopod fragments. If you're lucky, you'll find a complete one. I also frequently find dissarticulated crinoid stem fragments and ossicles, most are so small I usually dont collect them. The third and final fossil I've encountered were small (usually) bluish gray bryozoans. They can be found alone or mixed into hashplates with crinoids and brachiopods. I've heard of people finding trilobites such as Eldregeops and some unidentified taxa. I haven't collected any of these yet, however any newcomer could. One person I correspond with at my university claims to have found Placoderm remains from Eastmanosteus, but I have no evidence for that claim. Regardless the easy to access location and ammentities from the park make this spot excellent for people who have young children. Just be wise with your collecting, and stick to non hammer collecting, as the authorities frown upon that within the park.
  5. SilurianSalamander

    Jawless fish? Nothing? Big Brachiopods?

    Hello! I found these fossils(?) at Estabrook park which is part of the Devonian Milwaukee formation. They appear to be external moulds. These were found near the Lindwurm and Berthelet Members. Are these jawless fish? Big brachiopods? Non-fossils? I’m stumped on these. The formation is known for its plants, giant fungi, jawed and jawless fish, Cephalopods, and Conulariids. So sorry for the lack of scale! I need to start carrying a tape measure with my fossil hunting backpack.
  6. SilurianSalamander


    I was wondering if I found an external mould of the Devonian gastropod Platyceras. The fossil curves in the rock which was hard to capture with the lighting. The rock was too big to carry back and I didn’t have a ruler with me so I apologize for lack of scale. Thanks!
  7. I was in Milwaukee for a concert last weekend and I decided that I should revisit the local natural history museum while I was there. The Milwaukee Public Museum was a childhood favorite of mine- it honestly left a stronger impression on me than the Field Museum, and there is one main reason for that: their incredible life-size reconstructions of prehistoric life. So that is where my focus for this report will be. The fossils on display were mostly casts, and nothing stood out to me as particularly notable. Near the entrance, the museum had a diorama showing paleontologists at work, along with some featherless dromaeosaurs. Nearby, though, they had a reconstruction of one with some plumage on: The first ancient ecosystem you encounter when entering the hall of prehistoric life is the Silurian seas that covered the area. This is an incredible display, teeming with trilobites, crinoids, brachiopods and the enormous orthoconic cephalopods. Up next is a small display of tetrapod evolution- this one spans multiple periods, featuring Ichthyostega in the water and Seymouria on the land. Across from this was the Pennsylvanian coal swamp display case. This one unfortunately was very slightly run-down, with some animals from the accompanying identification key missing. But I still greatly appreciate the detail and care that must have gone into creating it. I especially like the attention to detail in the display, and the inclusion of some smaller animals like the coelacanths in the water. I have to pause here, but I will return with my dramatic and enduring core memory of the museum later, the Mesozoic display!
  8. SilurianSalamander

    Gastropods or tube worms?

    Found these weird spirals in this chunk of agatized rock. Devonian from Bradford beach in Milwaukee. Thanks!
  9. I've been researching good fossil sites near/at Milwaukee, Wisconsin (primarily from the Milwaukee Formation (dating to the Middle Devonian (Givetian)) when I just found out the most of the Devonian fish fossils that have been found from that formation have been found from a particularly member strata - the Berthelet Formation. Gass, Kenneth & Kluessendorf, Joanne & Mikulic, Donald & Brett, Carlton. (2019). Fossils of the Milwaukee Formation: A Diverse Middle Devonian Biota from Wisconsin, USA. I'm aware that time has seen the Milwaukee formation largely buried, after the cement quarries that dug into the formation and helped fuel the fossil discovery boom in the 1840s-1900s shut down by around 1910. I also know there are some places in Milwaukee where outcrops of the Milwaukee formation can still be found. I'm wondering if anyone knows any spots near/at Milwaukee where Berthelet Member outcrops of the Devonian Milwaukee Formation can still be found?
  10. I find lots of these external moulds/trace fossils at the Milwaukee formation I hunt at. Any ideas? I’m stumped. Devonian terrestrial and marine deposit
  11. SilurianSalamander

    Marine plants/terrestrial plants/macro algae?

    Found in the stone steps at estabrooke park quarried from the Devonian Milwaukee formation.
  12. SilurianSalamander

    Coalified wood?

    Found this larger chunk of rock (too hard to be modern charcoal) while sifting for microfossils. It has a metallic look to it and is fairly brittle. It was found on bradford beach on Lake Michigan and was likely eroded out of the mid Devonian Milwaukee formation which is known for its coalified trees and giant fungi. this looks like a lot of coalified wood I’ve seen pictures of, but I’m pretty new when it comes to plant fossils so this might just be mineral. Thanks!
  13. SilurianSalamander

    What are these Paleozoic fossils?

    All Devonian -ish. First is from port Huron, second is from the Milwaukee formation, third is from the Nike missile site in Waukesha WI
  14. danu

    fossil ID (WI)

    Hey all! I took my little brother out fossil hunting on the lakeshore, I myself am no expert but it's been a lot of fun- we found a number of crinoid and brachiopod fossils and some cool rocks besides. Theres a couple that stumped us though, I've been googling references but nothing looks similar to me. It looked to me like some kind of coral, the second one might just be a rock with some holes in it, but they appear in a fairly regular pattern that intrigued me. Any input is appreciated!
  15. darkagetechllc

    Fossil ID needed

    We are interested in what the long skinny fossil with the flanges or fiber things are that look like a swimming thing. This fossil was found on the beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin United States on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was found on October 27, 2020.This fossil was found on the beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin United States on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was found on October 27, 2020.
  16. honeybadger65

    New member from Wisconsin

    Hello all, I'm a new member from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I recently became interested in fossils when I found a few ammonites while backpacking in Patagonia (that I was unable to keep as I was in a national park). Still looking for a good location to hunt near me, so far I have been skunked! Nice to meet you all!
  17. Jonnerkop

    Newbie here, is this a fossil?

    Hello all! I found this on a beach of lake Michigan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. I was wondering/hoping it might be a fossil, I joined this form hoping someone could identify it. It was found on 7/20 washed up on a beach of small stones. thank you in advance for any response.
  18. iTeachMiddleSchool

    What's this? Found on a Lake Michigan Beach

    I found this rock and others like it. It feels sandy, has a few things like plant stems, leaves and seeds embedded and fossilized in it.
  19. smt126


    I was walking along Lake Michigan with my kids one day last week, and we were examining huge 4 to 5 foot cubes of Dolomite for fossils. We saw a lot of these crystal structures and I'm just wondering if these are calcite or do you think it's crystallization of some fossils of coral or something?
  20. I've been a member of the Milwaukee Public Museum for a few years now since I've had kids. That occasional school trip to the museum always fascinated me and brought wonders of the ancient world to my mind. It's almost unchanged since I was a boy, but I find new enjoyment from watching my children learn, explore, and imagine the way I did when I was younger. This museum isn't the greatest in the nation by any means, but it's the biggest in southeastern Wisconsin. Unfortunately Milwaukee isn't the industrial city it once was, and the museum doesn't get the funds to do much updating. The updating they do is more tailored at putting in new electronics instead of real geological treasures. The museum works the same as most, moving in evolutionary time for the fossils records. Most of the museum is dedicated to the Holocene epoch(probably 90%) instead of fossils, but I'll show some pictures from the more fossil heavy areas. They also have an online learning center called the Virtual Silurian Reef which can be accessed here... https://www.mpm.edu/content/collections/learn/reef/index.html I've found a lot of useful information about the area from this page such as that quarry in Racine I posted about in the Wisconsin thread. The plesiosaur and mammoth are at the entrance by the Imax and away from the main evolutionary trail.
  21. bigred97

    Wisconsin Fossil?

    Hello! I'm a new fossil enthusiast in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I find Silurian and Devonian crinoids, gastropods, brachiopods, bryozoans, and corals here, mostly on the Lake Michigan shore. I found the attached rock in Door County, Wisconsin, about 3 hours north of here, in the water off of a public beach. It doesn't resemble anything else I've ever found. I am very curious about it so I would be thrilled if anyone can identify it or provide possibilities. The first pic is a little blurry but should give an idea about size. The other two should be good closeups. Thanks!
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