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  1. Pepper

    Marine reptile bone?

    I was wondering if anyone would know what type of bone this is? I suspect it is a marine reptilian bone of some sort? It was found on a beach near the Mikanui Stream in the South Island of New Zealand. The location is Cretaceous in age and would have come from either the Okarahia Sandstone or Conway Formation. Many thanks in advance.
  2. Hi everyone, Explored a couple of coastal North Island New Zealand locations on the weekend, late Miocene. Some lengthy hikes and tide timings as usual, but all part of the fun. Location number 1. I had to engage climbing mode when I spotted a find up high. I found a tusk shell (Mollusca Scaphopoda) which took some careful extraction, finds in this matrix are very prone to crumbling, and found a small gastropod (a few options to identify as yet). I am still to clean them up. Location number 2. At this location you have to keep an eye on the tide, as your return path eventually gets cut off. I also said to myself this time to return with some managable small rocks. This translated into one large rock that barely fit into my bag, and was conviently found at the futherest point from where I had to carry it back to. The large concretion, which was slightly irregular, had no real discernable indications of anything inside but I decided to have a go at opening it up anyway. At this stage I am not entirely sure of what I have found.... Not too long after this find the tide and remaining daylight dictated heading back to the car. This was probably a good thing as there was no more room to bring anything else back. All in all a most enjoyable weekend.
  3. Lazasaurus

    Kia ora from New Zealand

    Hello everyone, I am located in the Taranaki region of the North Island, New Zealand, born and bred. I have always loved exploring what our country has to offer. I have greatly renewed interest in fossil hunting thanks to my children. I look forward to learning a great deal on this forum, as well as sharing my discoveries.
  4. Hi everyone. Had an unscheduled look at a location today that I was driving by, due to the small tide window for access being perfect. Unfortunately I had none of my gear on me due to being on another mission. I did however have a screwdriver in the car that measures 26cm's (just over 10 inches) that I used for a make shift scale. I didn't take the rock with me as it weighs approximately 50kg's (110lbs). I am unsure if it is plant or bone, or something else, which will derermine whether or not I go back to collect it. The area is late Miocene, approximately 9 million years, mostly deepwater sandstone.
  5. Pepper

    Cretaceous bone

    Hello. I was wondering if someone could please kindly help me identify a bone I found. It resembles some marine reptilian vertebrae that I have found at this same site, but is really small in size. It was found at a Cretaceous beach site, near Oaro, New Zealand. It appears to have processes? on the top and bottom of the bone (both a smaller pair and a larger pair).
  6. Hello everyone, I was recently looking at one of our local beaches. I didn’t have a lot of time so went where most people go. Sometimes even though it is picked over you might still find something special. I often think, there could be just a few mm of sand covering up something special! I saw this sitting there waiting for me and thought. That’s cool. Level of excitement maybe a 6 out of 10? I hadn’t seen associated verts like this at this site and was thinking “shark or fish” (p.s. photos are at home after finding it in better light. But pretty much what saw on the beach) I was leaning towards shark and then flipped it over. Excitement went to 9/10!! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This looked like preserved shark “skin” or at least in situ dermal denticles. A first for me at this site. If you’d like to join me down a wormhole on learning about shark dermal denticles. Read on! This is a normal journey I take as I learn as much as I can about each fossil. Every fossil has something to teach. About the environment the animal lived in or the creature itself. I’ve learnt a lot about biology/ecology this way. if you zoom in under the scope, there are 2 layers of denticles. The top one most visible in the above photo seems to be looking at the base of the denticles from underneath, like a skin has folded on itself these look like the “roots” of the denticles. In the photo below. Each one about 1-2mm across In the photo below is the underside of the top of some denticles A tricuspid type. A few mm across. So zoomed in more than the above photos. these look like the “drag reduction” type tricuspid denticles top left in the figure below. This figure shows that sharks will have different types of denticles on different parts of the body. The proportions and types differ depending on ecology. Pelagic (requiring drag reduction) vs bottom feeding (demersal) requiring protection from abrasion. I searched around the specimen and found a few examples looking at the top of the denticles. Below. Unedited Photo above with red sketch to highlight features below. denticle is a couple of mm across. You can see the crests typical of the drag reduction type. below: looking side on at an individual denticle. The “root” at the bottom and tricuspid denticle on top. so how to move forward? The matrix isn’t acid soluble. But I’d like to be able to clearly see some complete denticles. Gentle air abrasion? I’m not sure if an ID to family will be possible. I have shown a shark tooth/denticle expert (from Japan) and he thought we could narrow it down to Triakidae (hound sharks) or Pentanchidae (deep water cat sharks). The age range is Miocene- Pliocene for the coast in this area. I think Late Pliocene for this based on lithology. So now…..where is the rest of the shark? Thanks for following along!
  7. Hello everyone, I have quite a few projects going on and I'm going to be a bit more active on here to share things. Sorry I've been a bit quiet! I see there are a few threads on here about CT scanning, 3D printing and segmentation, but I thought I would add this one. I've been doing it for a few years, but just bit the bullet and bought a machine custom built to do this. I really think we should create a sub section of fossil preparation for CT scanning and segmentation? Resources are scattered around the internet and it would be great to document them all on here. I have lots to learn and I'd like to "upload" this knowledge here as I aquire it. E.g. Hardware set up, software, things like digitization tips and tricks (stylus pen and tablet vs mouse). The same sort of thing we have for physical prep on here: set-up, tools and techniques. Anyway. I just acquired a very powerful computer and I fired it up last night. I have a CT scan of a Pliocene gannet skull that was found last year that I've been sitting on. At least I think it is gannet. I am using imageJ to do the segmentation. Segmentation is just the process of telling the computer what is bone, what is rock and what is air. I don't have a photo of the concretion, but here is a 3D model above. It is about 10cm long. This is looking from above. Here is one of 760 slices from the CT scan of the skull. A vertical slice with the top of the skull at the top of the image. Pixel size is about 30 microns! Here is the view after ONE round of training the computer. I selected some areas of bone, some of rock and some of air. Then the computer thought about it, using 160 GB of ram (out of my total 192 GB) and the latest Intel chipset in a water-cooled CPU to classify every pixel as bone (red), rock (green) or air (purple). It does this for every of the 760 slices. This is a first pass. You can go back and train the computer further and correct it. It gets better with each round. Here is the first reconstruction of the skull. You can see there is still a bit of noise. I could get rid of that with a few more learning phases. A lot of loose pixels could be removed in rendering software such as Blender too. Hope you enjoyed this. I'll keep you posted as I improve the model. And I'd like to 3D print it at the end!
  8. A friend of mine - who I met when we were neighbors - sent me a photo of some bones she found sticking out a cliff. She has just joined TFF @Jo Ludgate She wondered if they were Moa. I said yes! And thought it was interesting to find 2 bones together. Where she found them we usually find isolated bones. here’s the photo Jo sent me: There is one bone eroded out, and a toe bone still in the clay. Here they are cleaned up: Well I went back with Jo to see if there was more. We got there in the late evening as that’s when the tide was right. We had 3 hours to check it out. I was really suprised at the setting. It is at the base of a rock slide. The Siltstone has collapsed along a 100m stretch of beach and continues to “ooze” out into the beach and get nibbled at by the ocean. This looked to be a chunk of the Pleistocene deposits incorporated into that rock slide. A miracle that it survived! I carefully dig further into the clay, then saw nothing. I was about to give up and I hit bone after 15 mins!!! in the fading light we saw more and more bone!!! So hard to tell what is bone and the clay is so sticky, like cream cheese! well we had to call it quits and go back the next day. Luckily, the tide hadn’t gotten into the cover we out over our dig and we managed to delineate the bone cluster, pedestal it and extract it as a block. Not enough to have the entire bird, but loads of bones in there. Sorry not much to see as it’s really hard to clean the bones in that sticky clay. Bonus was what looks like fish bones that we got out to the right of the spade. Originally thought it was the continuation of the Moa skeleton.
  9. Hi all. I haven’t posted on here for a while. But thought I’d share this beautiful Mauithoe insignis gastropod I found and prepped recently in New Zealand. It’s about mid Miocene age (12 million). There are only 2 sites in New Zealand where you can find this species. You usually find Mauithoe specimens around 4 cm in length, 7.5 cm is listed as the largest in the Bible on NZ fossil molluscs. Well this beast is bigger than that. As found After prep:
  10. Doctor Mud

    Cetacean bone

    Hi folks. I found this very dense bone today. It was already weathered out of the Siltstone. It’s 16cm or 6 inches long most likely late Pliocene I think definitely cetacean and wondered about premaxilla. “Top” oyster shell attached top of picture remains of barnacles visible in other photos. ends. Note the canals. Couple of oblique views to show surface texture such as longitudinal grooves thanks for looking.
  11. One of the places I frequent used to have a sheep that lived all by itself it it’s own gully. I presume it had got down into it as a lamb and couldn’t get back up. It had a tail and lots and lots of wool. don’t worry there is a fossil in this story! I used to go visit him every time I was there until one day I discovered him lying down in his flax bush bed. Never to get up again. Who knew you could get so attached to a sheep. I went to visit the gully today and at the bottom of the gully this was sticking out the ground. It is the first complete one I have found. I just had to lever it out with my pick and rinse it. It had nicely weathered out of the host rock that can be very hard. it’s Crassostrea, which has a time range from Late Pliocene to early Pleistocene. it’s aptly named as “crass” means thick in Latin. It’s a chonk alright! Theres a little matrix still attached. I might just leave it there.
  12. Hi All I found my largest shark tooth this past weekend here in New Zealand. I thought it was a Great White at first but a few people have thought it might be a transitional one. I was wondering if one of the shark tooth experts could have a look and let me know their thought Here is a bit of video of it as well: https://youtu.be/U-i8W2aOtLE?t=373 Thanks!
  13. svcgoat

    Crab from New Zealand

    I started prepping this crab I purchased when I was in New Zealand. I am relatively new to prepping so not sure how much more to do. I cleaned up the crab and revealed a little bit more of it so far. Not exactly sure how much more is hiding under the matrix
  14. Doctor Mud

    Vertebra puzzle

    Hi folks, I haven’t posted in a while, but I still visit and enjoy the forum most weeks. Thanks everyone. Just a curiosity. A find at the end of the day that, made me think….that’s a little odd, is that normal? I don’t know enough. but I know where to ask! Here is half of a vertebra. 2 inches across. At this site it can be anywhere from Cretaceous to Pleistocene marine. New Zealand. we’ve found Miocene and Pliocene cetaceans, seals and penguins. Plus cretaceous plesiosaur and Mosasaur vertebra. There is huge variation in the preservation of bone from these ages. This vert fragment doesn’t seem to fit into what I’ve seen from cetaceans or marine reptiles. But that’s just the bones I’ve seen. It has thick dense cortical bone and much more open cancellous bone than I’m used to for cetacean. But wondered since it’s small if it could be an ontogenetic thing. Thicker cortical bone in juveniles. Anyway just a curiosity and an opportunity me to learn something. Thanks
  15. Entoloma

    12kg Tumidocarcinus prep

    A few months ago, I came across this big crab concretion sticking out of the sand. It was my second largest of the day, but only by a mere 10kg! Still! 12kg aint too bad. Where I found it, was quite sandy, and another fossil hunter had been there before me, but fortunately he hugged the cliff face, there and back. I walked towards the ocean and spied some legs sticking out of the sand! I started this prep with my ZOIC chicago and rounded chisel tip. It removed 2kg of rock in two hours. Not the fastest, but it beats my old dremel by a long shot!
  16. To pass some time I've been recently researching early Paleocene life and I keep coming back to researching (in my view) the two strangest and controversial Late Cretaceous-Early Paleocene Formations I know of. These are the Hornerstown Formation dating 66.5-65.5 Million Years ago in what is now New Jersey, U.S. And the Takatika Grit Formation dating 66.5-60.0 Million Years ago in what is now the Chatham Islands, New Zealand. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/document?repid=rep1&type=pdf&doi=0b3baee9ab1afc7973337f5047495b723fcfa4f2 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315461615_The_age_of_the_Takatika_Grit_Chatham_Islands_New_Zealand https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195667109000184?via%3Dihub I've read many reports about these formations and the pretty controversial stuff that's been found in both these areas (Paleocene ammonites and reports of archaic marine reptiles like Paleocene Mosasaurs). I'm really not 100% sure what to make of this as I've heard conflicting hypotheses on whether these more archaic marine reptile fossils were reworked from older formations while others say it's not too too likely? https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-paleontology/article/abs/maastrichtian-ammonites-from-the-hornerstown-formation-in-new-jersey/4F051D07668B7B893EEFECF0506E2F1B https://bioone.org/journals/acta-palaeontologica-polonica/volume-57/issue-4/app.2011.0068/Short-Term-Survival-of-Ammonites-in-New-Jersey-After-the/10.4202/app.2011.0068.full For most of these "controversial" specimens, I would say reworking is likely while some I'll admit I'm not sure? For the Mosasaurs, it's clear that the astroid impact 66 Million Years ago caused their total extinction, but I'm still not 100% convinced that none emerged from the event alive (at least barely) and swam the seas in the very first days of the Danian Paleocene but not too long after. Unlike the mostly terrestrial Non-Avian Dinosaurs, which could only hide in so many places and it's very unlike more than a tiny amount of individuals (not enough to support a population) made it into the Paleocene, the Oceans have slightly more areas to hide and more even for endothermic air breathing animals like Mosasaurs (though as an endotherm, food does become a major issue especially when the ocean food chain nearly collapsed completely). What I'm wondering is how valid are at least "some" of these supposed archaic marine reptile and ammonite fossils from the earliest Paleocene sections of the Hornerstown Formation and the Takatika Grit? Also, of all the Maastrichtian Mosasaurs known so far, which ones would have been the mostly likely to have (at least briefly) survived the Cretaceous-Paleocene Extinction Event of 66 Million Years ago (would it have been generalist feeders, ones that specialized in deep sea hunting, ones with cosmopolitan distributions, ones small by mosasaur standards but still around the same size of the few confirmed large reptiles that survived the event like the 8 meter (26 feet) in length Thoracosaurus, or ones with all these traits and advantages)?
  17. Fossils of 10 unknown species found by sewage plant Paleontologists sifted through thousands of 3 to 3.7 million year-old fossils in New Zealand, which also included great white shark teeth and the spine of an extinct sawshark. by Laura Baisas, Popular Science, August 28, 2023 Auckland wastewater pipe dig reveals 'fossil treasure trove EurekAlert, August 28, 2023 The open access paper is: Bruce W. Hayward, Thomas F. Stolberger, Nathan Collins , Alan G. Beu, and Wilma Blom, 2023, A diverse Late Pliocene fossil fauna and its paleoenvironment at Māngere, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics. Published online: 27 Aug 2023 Yours, Paul H.
  18. Life in maars: why it’s worth protecting a spectacular fossil site NZ almost lost to commercial mining interests John G. Gordan and otehrs, The Conversation, July 20, 2023 Foulden Maar: Dunedin City Council saves fossil site from mining by buying land RNZ, February2, 2023 Saving Foulden Maar-GSNZ lnvolvement Daphne Lee, Bruce W Hayward and Jennifer Eccles GSNZ Geoheritage Subcommittee Bruce Hayward publications A book on this site is: Lee, D., Kaulfuss, U. and Conran, J., 2022. Fossil Treasures of Foulden Maar: A Window Into Miocene Zealandia. Otago University Press. Yours, Paul H.
  19. After doing some research a few weeks back on the distribution of the extinct Haast's eagle (Hieraaetus moorei), I discovered there was a much larger array of large Accipitridae on island environments than I previously realized (the result of island gigantism) during the Pleistocene-Early Holocene. Sadly, many of these animals are now extinct asa result of direct human hunting or hunting of their food sources by the early-late Holocene. I've decided to make a quick list of all those I've identified, which hopefully can demonstrate the diversity these magnificent animals had during the Pleistocene-Early Holocene. Let me know if I forget any examples. New Zealand - Haast's eagle (Hieraaetus moorei) (Pleistocene-late Holocene (At least 1450 A.D.)) Eyles's Harrier (Circus teauteensis) (Pleistocene-Holocene) Crete - Cretan subspecies of the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos simurgh) (late Pleistocene) Cuba - Gigantohierax suarezi (Holocene) (0.012-0.005 years ago) Gigantohierax itchei (Holocene) (0.012-0.005 years ago) Borras's eagle-hawk (Buteogallus borrasi) (Pleistocene-early Holocene) Bahamas - Bahamian Titan Hawk (Titanohierax gloveralleni) (Pleistocene-Holocene) Hispaniolan Titan Hawk (Titanohierax sp.) (Pleistocene-Holocene) New Caledonia - Powerful goshawk (Accipiter efficax) Madagascar - Malagasy crowned eagle (Stephanoaetus mahery) (Pleistocene-late Holocene (at least 1500 A.D.)) Hawaii - Haliaeetus sp. (either new Haliaeetus species or a subspecies of the extant White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)) (Pleistocene-Holocene) What do you guys think?
  20. Apology not accepted: Man who took 23 million-year-old fossil receives mixed response. (Karamea, New Zealand) Sinead Gill, Stuff, March 1, 2023 The legal quirks behind the 'theft' of a 23-million-year- old whale fossil cut from West Coast rock. (Karamea, New Zealand) Joanne NAsh and Sinead Gill, Stuff, October 26, 2022 Yours, Paul H.
  21. Leon Meads

    Fossil penguin or bird?

    I was cracking open concreations and found this inside it. It's looks like some sort of bone to me. It is super fragile and the bone that split is hollow. Found in Taranaki from miocene era.
  22. Doctor Mud

    Giant deep water barnacle

    Here’s something a little different. For years we’ve occasionally found remains of these giant barnacles on the beach at a Miocene site here in New Zealand. I wasn’t sure of the ID, or where exactly they were coming from. It was a bit of a mystery. A few weeks ago we went exploring in an area we hadn’t looked before and found a layer, where the only fossils are these barnacles! There is enough exposed to get a genus: Bathylasma. A deep water barnacle. In NZ the modern species Bathylasma alearum lives in water depths from 400-1600m. I collected this beauty, and just finished roughing it out today. It’s in softish Siltstone so can be prepped with a needle, brushes etc. I’ll update as prep progresses
  23. Some weird looking patterns in the rocks. I suspect it to be a trace fossil or a plant fossil but I am unsure. Does somebody know what they are? They are from northern Taranaki.
  24. Live Science Article Journal article: [paywall, PDF HERE]: One of the images from the article below (1/2. humerus with comparison to Emperor penguin, 3. 5th cervical vert with comparison to EP, 5. end of ulna, 6. patella, 7/8. distal end of humerus): Abbreviations (acr, processes acrocoracoideus; ch, caput humeri; cor, coracoid; cv, cervical vertebral; ft, fossa tricipitalis; hu, humerus; ip, impressio m. pectoralis; mtr, middle trochlear ridge; pat, patella; sb; scapular blade; sup, insertion scar for m. supracoracoideus; tc, tuberculum coracoideum, vtr, ventral trochlear ridge) Skeletal reconstructions of (left to right) Kumimanu fordycei, Petradyptes stonehousei, and Aptenodytes forsteri (modern emperor penguin):
  25. Found on a beach under a cliff , before i spend hours prepping do you think this is a crab? New to all of this so im not sure 20230210_201607.mp4
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