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  1. Mikrogeophagus

    Gauthieria sp.

    From the album: Ozan Formation

    Gauthieria sp., Travis Co. Campanian, Cretaceous Oct, 2022 My friend Lari gifted me the NSR guidebook and I found this name while reading through it. After some searching online it seems to match up with this urchin I found in the Austin Ozan last year. The tubercles are imperforate and crenulate. Gauthieria has been found up north in the NSR, but is extremely rare. In Austin I've found so far this compressed specimen which I sadly broke trying to extract (still kicking myself) and a smaller fragment still in my collection. I'm gonna have to make a return trip to the spot at some point and attempt to redeem myself!
  2. Mikrogeophagus

    Gauthieria sp.

    From the album: Ozan Formation

    Gauthieria sp., Central TX Campanian, Cretaceous Oct, 2023 A rare species of regular echinoid that is actually uncommon for my site. They manifest as flattened disks and are sometimes interspersed between heart urchins.
  3. Hi all - found this at a site in Central Texas that I believe is part of the Ozan formation. I’ve found a couple of similarly poorly preserved fossils that I’ve been told were likely marine reptiles of some sort. Anyone have an idea of what this gnarly thing might be? Looked like a jaw bone at first glance, but I have no real idea. I gently scrubbed it to clean it a little but the gravel is cemented on there pretty strongly. Thanks!
  4. Hey again everyone! I have a LOT of overdue trip reports, experiences, and finds I’d love to share. Ive been busy traveling around Texas exploring and having the best outdoor fun before I buckle down and start my academic journey. I want to start off saying Happy Holidays and Happy New Years to everyone here! I will never forget anyone who has been kind to helped me, especially this year, and I wish everyone only the best. I literally mean it! Some of you remembered me from years ago and scrambled to help me like a guardian angel- I’ll make you guys proud someday. These adventures are me trying and improving- handling life the BEST I can and spending time outdoors. This year for me has been… insane. Some of you already know this, if not long story short, only months ago I found out I was diagnosed with a serious and legitimate trauma-related amnesia where I lost most of my memory from a set of years which unfortunately included most paleontology related things I knew and did & any trace of my blossoming paleontology career when I was 17/18 years old when I even had a science job. During the pandemic I started remembering random terms & latin names, instinctively and luckily found my way back here but at that time only for collecting. It wasn’t until late summer this year I remembered who I actually was, what I wanted to DO and WHY I moved to Texas. The shock was… very intense. I have made phenomenal progress processing & accepting… having to relearn so much and move forward. The progress I’ve made in only months takes a lot of patients years to reach to my point of mental healing and I’m proud. I really believe if I keep at it I’ll catch up to my peers academically AND become closer to the person I used to be, become who I should have been by now. I’m even ready to relearn how to drive again so I can go on more adventures with other future paleontologists! This post is me trying my hardest and even seeing new things. My roommate is helping me study both for paleo-memory related things & for my placement test. Late in November I decided to join DPS! What better way to re-learn and meet people than to join a club. We went out on a private trip to the OK border and I instantly found a giant Eopachydiscus and a few other ammonites including multiple Mortoniceras & a baby Oxytropidoceras. Im actually working on a personal research paper for the giant ammonite- for FUN! I want to be able to publish this ammonite’s story someday- there appears to possibly be deep predatory teeth marks on one side of the “shell” and I want to know more about my prehistoric friend. That day was extremely important because I met Roger F. for the first time- the gentleman who co-wrote my TX Cretaceous shark book! He’s one of my favorite people now to talk to since we both love prehistoric sharks. I was SO flattered I was mentioned heavily in the December paleo newsletter for my recent finds- it’s reassurance that others see I already made significant progress! MORE PICTURES! In-situ too! Next adventure, I wanted to take a weekend off to explore the Red Beds of northwest Texas in early December! I went to the Seymour Whiteside museum and to try to find my own Permian freshwater shark Orthacanthus teeth! I came out here to also see an artist friend but I also accidentally met one of my female paleontologist heros, legendary Holly Simon, and she presented me with an Otodus meg. shark tooth- wished me luck on my paleontology career. I wasn’t prepared! While Mesozoic marine vertebrates are my career-goal focus I thought it would be fun to get my nails ruined in that red Permian soil and learn about other animals- especially Xenocanthids! The Diplocaulus on display were adorable. Ya’ll should definitely visit the Whiteside Museum of Natural history! MORE PICS Excited to get my own hands dirty and 3 hotel muffins later- we drove waaay out across Archer & Navarro formations to find a good public exposure. Some great nature shots! I found a giant centipede exo which I took home! I found an excellent exposure which we actually used a Permian lithography map of a formations in Utah (same age!) to help locate a layer where the teeth could be! (Successful btw!) I saw what I needed and scooped up some of this gravely stuff the rain washed out in a baggie for later. I surfaced picked a tiny microfossil fish tooth (?) and later when I got home- MY PRIZE! Tiny little Orthacanthus microfossil! When we were actually there we tried looking through the gunk and wet sieving it in the creek with no luck of a larger tooth. We were also very close to Wellington Formation in OK and another day took a trip out there. That drive was wild because we drove through a park for a picnic area that had like 15 wild turkeys appear out of nowhere running around and they were even falling out of the trees over us! It happened so fast… I couldn’t react to take a photo but I have an IG vid of it. We drove around EVERYWHERE in search of a famous pond- now super closed to the public btw. I eventually found out where it was and we got as close as we could in the “creek” off the roadside without actually potentially trespassing. I lucked and found the TINIEST gravely spot in the “creek”of what I was looking for, crossing my fingers, scooped a baggie for home. SUCCEESS AGAIN! Two more teeth and wow different color than my Texas one! I still have most of the bag to sift through! We drove alll that way. For micro freshwater shark teeth. xD MORE PICS TO BE CONTINUED- Reached photo MB limit
  5. Jared C

    Cretolamna cf. sarcoporthea

    From the album: Texas Campanian (Cretaceous)

    Cretolamna cf. sarcoportheta Campanian (Ozan fm) Texas An uncommon genus for me to encounter, it was a pleasant surprise to see a Campanian example of the taxon.
  6. Between the long days of classwork, I've been making time to check out some new and old places in and around South Texas. No real homeruns this month necessarily, but each venture has been a success in one way or another. Along with my fossiling, I've picked up my aquarium hobby again which pairs pretty well. Here and there I've collected various souvenirs to decorate my tank with. Expect my aquatic garden to be the backdrop in a lot of fossil photos from now on. A little over a month ago I decided to check out some river localities around Uvalde in hopes of discovering Eagle Ford. In all of my walking I came away with only a single tooth from what I am pretty sure is Kef. I don't think it is identifiable to a species sadly, but it was still cool to get something concrete out of the day. The geology in the area is super interesting as the land is speckled with the remains of ancient volcanoes. There is actually a huge quarry along the Frio River digging up basalt from one of said volcanoes. Despite the lack of fossils, I came home with a bag full of basalt rocks for the aquarium. Kef shark tooth and basalt rocks Several weeks back I explored some developments cutting through the Anacacho Limestone (Campanian). It took visiting a few duds before I finally found my first productive Anacacho honey hole where I was met with a handful of new echinoid species, mostly Mecaster texanus. I was pretty excited when I finally turned over the unusual, but locally common Petalobrissus cubensis. The prize find of the day, however, was a rare regular urchin named Lanieria uvaldana. Petalobrissus cubensis and Lanieria uvaldana The week after I took a lowkey trip to an old site a ways up north in the Ozan. Somehow it'd already been nearly a year since I had last hunted the spot, and with my maturation as a hunter I came in bearing a fresh perspective on things. I scored a neat pair of associated shark verts. Sadly there was no associated dentition with it. Things went really well in the invertebrate department. Usually, I refrain from extracting the ammonites there as they are completely shale and often impossible to extract in one piece. This time I got lucky in finding a robust one and got it mostly complete. I believe it is either Menabites danei or Submortoniceras sp. I would say the biggest prize came at the end with the best example of Gauthieria sp. I have found so far. These guys are extremely rare up in the NSR, but at my spot their fragments are uncommon. The real challenge is finding one complete. Menabites danei?; Two views of Gauthieria sp. a rare Ozan echinoid. While in the area, I collected some of the creek wildlife to fill out a jar of microfauna for my growing aquarium. I lucked out with some wild Ludwigia and Hornwort which I had no idea were native to Texas. The Ludwigia looksespecially stunning in the fish tank, growing most of its foliage emersed above a bed of Crystalwort. Ludwigia from a creek in Central TX The next trip was in the Canyon Lake area for some lower Glen Rose hunting, a new region for me. Even though I had some really promising locations lined up, it turned out to be somewhat of a disappointment. The fossils were a lot sparser than I assumed they'd be, but I did come away with some interesting things. I managed to snag a couple Hyposalenia phillipsae which are a first for me. I also picked up a small Coenholectypus, but I think it is too damaged to tell the species (planatus vs. ovatus). Besides these I gathered several unremarkable crustacean bits and a pycnodont tooth. Hyposalenia phillipsae and Coenholectypus sp. Fast forward to today and I made a brief foray into my Corsicana spot. I haven't found any new mosasaur material since my initial expedition, but I think that's to be expected given the rarity of such things. Regardless I made some cool finds including my best shark tooth yet for the place: a complete Cretalamna maroccana! Several smaller Serratolamna serrata teeth were found as well. I also happened upon a rarer echinoid known as Cardiaster leonensis. It's not cleaned up yet so I do not have it pictured at the moment. Cretalamna maroccana I've been in South TX for 2 months already and yet I've hardly made a dent in the list of fossil spots I want to explore. Keep an eye out for future reports!
  7. Solved: it’s an egg case! Most likely for a cockroach that snuck into the clay. Gross/interesting. Hi all - wanted to see if anyone can provide any insight into two little “fossils” I found in a chunk of gray clay, likely from the Cretaceous, Ozan formation, in Central Texas. I’ve included a photo of the matrix as well. It’s a really light, gray clay that dissolves into mush in water. I ran some of it through a garden sieve and pulled out these two little fossils so far. The first looks like a little razor blade tic tag. Not sure if the other one is a tooth or a fragment of something else. Thanks for the help!
  8. Hi all - found this in Central Texas. It was a surface find in an area mapped as Ozan formation. Thought it was an old railroad spike at first. Is there enough left of it to give a general ID? Kind of looks like some mosasaur vert pics I’ve seen. Any ideas appreciated. Thanks!
  9. Fullux

    Pachyrhizodus? Xiphactinus?

    Not quite sure if this piece of fish jaw is X-fish or Pachyrhizodus. What do y'all think? Found in the Ozan formation of Fannin County, Texas.
  10. Hey everyone, I've recently been interested in a weird tooth morphology I have found a couple times in the Middle Campanian Ozan of Austin. At the moment, I have it ID'd as Serratolamna cf. caraibaea based off of a paper on Aguja sharks (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2016.08.008). My specimens seem to be a single anterior and single lateral. These teeth appear to have a nutrient groove, multiple pairs of cusplets, smooth labial and lingual faces, and a basal bulge overhanging the root. They are each about 11 mm from root to tip of the cusp. Something to note is that S. caraibaea had previously only been found in Mexico, Trinidad, and West Africa. I wonder if it's some warmer water species? I wish I could read the species's original description, but alas I have no access to the paper. (Left): Anterior tooth (L) and lower? lateral tooth (R); (Right): Anterior tooth (L) and lateral tooth (R) (Left): Labial view lower? lateral tooth; (Right): Lingual view lingual tooth I've done some digging trying to find this tooth online from places like the NSR and New Jersey, but the closest I can find is Carcharias samhammeri which I think has too many differences. C. samhammeri imo has a more pronounced lingual protuberance, only a single pair of cusplets, and no basal bulge on the labial side, and "thinner root lobes" (hard to put into words sorry). Carcharias holmdelensis has similar issues along with the presence of striations on the lingual face. Scapanorhynchus doesn't look right and neither does Cretalamna. In fact, what partly prompted me to make this post was noticing this tooth's apparent similarity to a Paleocene/Eocene taxon called Brachycarcharias lerichei. What makes the story even more interesting is its criminal history, formerly being under the name Serratolamna lerichei before the creation of Brachycarcharias of the family Odontaspididae. Brachycarcharias lerichei from elasmo.com. Note the anteriors and laterals! Brachycarcharias lerichei lower lateral from elasmo.com The genus Serratolamna itself also has some shakiness to its name. A similar taxon, Serratolamna khderii, of the Campanian in France and Jordan has a past of jumping in and out of the families Odontaspididae and Serratolamnidae. All this to say I'm beginning to wonder if there is a taxonomic connection between my specimens and the genus Brachycarcharias or at least Odontaspididae that isn't yet recognized in academia. One major issue though, is that I only have a couple of these teeth (I've got a really bad itch to hunt in Austin again, but that'll have to wait). I am wondering if any other Campanian hunters have come across something similar and has photos to share? And for the shark experts, I wonder what are your thoughts on this information? Does it pique your interest or is it a "nothing burger"? Any clarification is immensely appreciated! It's not the craziest or coolest tooth design by any means, but it's enough to keep me longing for some answers.
  11. JacksonFarmer

    JacksonFarmer NSR finds

    This will be my first attempt at identifying and photographing my collection of NSR finds. Please correct any of my mistakes. I can easily modify the photo captions. Sadly I haven't figured out how to italicize the font on my photo editing app yet. The only phosphatic mold of a bivalve that I have found. It's a dead ringer for the same specimen photographed in the NSR Fossil Hunter's Guidebook. Current consensus is that the Guidebook is wrong for labeling this A. argentaria.
  12. Jared C

    Hemiaster beecheri

    From the album: Texas Campanian (Cretaceous)

    Hemiaster beecheri Campanian Texas The Ozan may be known for inverts around the NSR, but those invertebrates are overshadowed by the charismatic vertebrates characteristic of the formation. Those northern exposures far overshadow its southern exposures, in both vertebrates and especially invertebrates. Now knowing that, this echinoid is a rare find for the Ozan, and its delicate nature means that once exposed it wouldn't even survive a single rain.
  13. Jared C

    Tylosaurus cf. proriger

    From the album: Texas Campanian (Cretaceous)

    Tylosaurus cf. proriger Campanian Texas Ozan fm Tylosaur tooth found in gravel. I'm of the opinion that perhaps the assignment of T. proriger to the Ozan Tylosaurs is hasty - though it's difficult since the obvious differences between these and the holotype are restricted to a single cranial element. Not sure I should say much more on that - while it's not an existing research question it's not my original observation.
  14. Mikrogeophagus

    A Classic Hunt on the NSR

    I think North Texans will relate when I say that now and then, the urge to take a drive out to the NSR and spend the day hunting some Campanian gravel bars can spontaneously take complete hold. I had one of those moments just after the series of heavy rains and powerful winds our region encountered some days ago. Previously, my luck with weather at the NSR had been rather poor. Each time, the temps were either nearing a hundred degrees or only just above freezing, making a full on adventure crossing muddy waters and crawling atop unshaded gravel beds too much to handle. I had yet to experience a proper adventure at this historic site, so I decided that this week would be the one where I changed that. Luckily, my friends @PaleoPastels(Lari) and Cole where kind enough to invite me out to their special spot along the river. After waking up bright and early, I got in my car and followed the rising sun. After jumping out of our vehicles and exchanging brief greetings, we quickly slid our way down to the shale bed and beelined for the first bar. Cole has a bit of an aversion for water, so he stuck around at the entrance for most of the day while Lari and I got our clothes wet hopping from bar to bar. The weather and water temp were absolutely perfect, and the lack of footprints assured us it would be a productive day. It's not often you beat the crowd to a place as popular as this! Although I maintained measured expectations coming in, the sheer variety of strange and interesting fossils/artifacts that are known to come from this area kept me on my toes from the outset. When we arrived to the first bar, we started off strong, picking up a variety of shark teeth. Lari had an eye for them, immediately spotting a few super big Scapanorhynchus texanus, a staple of the Ozan Formation. Despite my protests, she was very generous in donating a few to me due to my limited NSR collection . Finally one I spotted myself! Scapanorhynchus texanus Scapanorhynchus texanus of the day. Some may be Carcharias samhammeri as I am still working on differentiating the two. In between crawling the gravel, I did some sifting which yielded a few interesting specimens including Squalicorax kaupi, Cretalamna sarcoportheta, Carcharias samhammeri, and a vole tooth which I will ignorantly assume to be Pleistocene in age. Cretalamna sarcoportheta, Squalicroax kaupi, and Carcharias samhammeri Sifting also yielded a plethora of shark vertebrae and I was fortunate enough to come across a beautiful spiral shark coprolite. I found one solitary coral which I assume is Trochocyathus sp. Shark verts, shark coprolite, and Trochocyathus sp. As I scanned the gravel looking to spot a complete Cretalamna, I was instead met with the first mosasaur tooth of the day! It was mostly in tact and showed some nice detail. I was relieved to know the entire trip was already made, and I could spend the rest of my time playing with house money. The only other mosasaur tooth previously in my collection has a beat up crown, so this new specimen certainly complements it. Don't know much about mosasaur genera in the NSR, but I will go with Tylosaurus proriger for now. Throughout the day, we also found tons of very large Enchodus fangs and jaw sections. I'm so used to finding these teeth in their miniature forms as I sift for micros, I almost forgot how big they could get. Lari did good with spotting the Ischyrhiza mira rostral teeth and quickly built up a small collection. She was nice enough to give a large one to me. Top: Fused fish vert and Pachyrhizodus tooth. Bottom: Enchodus jaw section and large fangs. Ischyrhiza mira By now we had hopped a couple of gravel bars and there was still plenty ways to go. It took me longer than it should have, but reaching the third bar finally brought me a large tumbled mosasaur vertebra. Not far from it, there was a section of finer gravel. Used to the routine, I once again got close to the ground and began scanning every pebble. After tossing the millionth shrapnel of shark tooth, I finally locked eyes with the most perfect mosasaur tooth I had ever seen. As I picked it up, I could tell something wasn't right, however. Of course the best side was on full display, but the rest of the tooth was cleaved cleanly off. Oh well, at least it'll look nice in pictures. Not long after, I found a second mosasaur tooth that was decently complete and hooked albeit tiny. Two nicest mosie verts. A slice of an exquisitely preserved mosasaur crown. The next oddball find came awhile later. My initial impression was that it might have been a segment of a Xiphactinus tooth, but the curvature suddenly ended along one of the edges of it. At this sudden end, there were two columns of small protrusions running longitudinally. I was debating on throwing it out, but my history of carelessly tossing neat finds convinced me to play it safe and take it home for identification. I'm glad I did because after the hunt, I immediately googled my hunch and it seems to be correct. This is a fragment of a hybodont spine! I wish I could pin down a more specific ID, but the info on them seems limited. I will say that, out of Moss Creek, I had found a tooth belonging to Lonchidion babulskii last year which could be the culprit. Quite an uncommon find for the NSR! Wondering if any shark experts here might have any ideas @ThePhysicist@Al Dente. Hybodont fin spine. Lonchidion babulskii is a candidate. By the penultimate gravel bar, I thought the best finds had surely been made. All day Lari had been talking about how this was THE spot to find Globidens teeth and how every visit she would find at least one fragment. Well, the walkable land was starting to run out and she expressed how disappointing it would be not to come across one that day. I find Globidens to be really interesting, but I think of it as one of those finds I would never expect to make on any given hunt. For me, not finding one would not define the day as a let down. As I was beginning to form those thoughts into words, I reached down to pick up a circular fragment of a tooth with a peculiar texture. Finding the right angle of light soon revealed the undoubted best find of the day: The top of a Globidens sp. crushing tooth! The whole day I had been hallucinating "finding" Ptychodus teeth. Funnily enough, this may very well be the tooth that ended their supremacy as shell crushers of the WIS. Seems too coincidental that Globidens suddenly appears right around the last occurrence of Ptychodus. I wonder if they directly competed Ptychodus out of existence or if Ptychodus went extinct on its own and mosasaurs simply filled in the niche . I don't think the Globidens of the Ozan Formation has been formally described yet. Globidens sp. Mosasaur teeth of the day! Despite having hunted for over a year in the creeks of Austin, I am surprisingly bad at spotting artifacts. Throughout the span of the day, the both of us had found a few chert flakes, but no sign of anything more even as I was trying to make a conscious effort to spot one. On the same bar as where the Globidens sp. was found, I noticed a worked edge of stone so big even someone as archaeologically blind as me could never miss it. Without an ounce of self control, I yanked it from the sand before I could finish yelling the word "arrowhead"! I seriously need to work on milking the moment . I did a little bit of searching online later and found that the point is likely a Darl or Hoxie. Both put its age in the thousands of years! Darl or Hoxie point. It measures 8.5 cm in length. On the way back, we kept our eyes peeled for anything we may have missed. I was sifting random spots of gravel, but not having the most luck. Lari casually handed me rock with a pearly white exterior and triangular shape. It was the most textbook mastodon I had ever seen, but she wasn't very impressed with it. She told me she had many of these already and that nonmarine fossils didn't interest her. I won't say I understand her terrestrial prejudice, but I will withhold my complaints since it meant I had acquired my first significant chunk of proboscidean . Mastodon enamel, mammoth enamel, and vole tooth. We finally reached Cole at the entrance. In our absence he had wondered off the other way and found a neat spider to pique his entomology interests and pocketed a few fossils. We managed to make it out by the mid afternoon, but I was so exhausted and content, I couldn't bother checking out any other spots along the river. The spoils of the hunt were amazing, but most of all I was happy to finally experience a classic hunt on the NSR as I had seen so many post about before. Doing it with a couple of friends made the adventure even better! Sadly this place has got not much time remaining, so those of you who have stumbled upon this post, maybe take it as a sign to give this historic spot one last go before the opportunity floats away. Thanks for reading!
  15. I was finally able to take a trip to the NSR in 2023. We had a good 11 foot rise so I was optimistic. My whole goal this trip was to find a point, I couldn't find one to save my life, I however did find a few cool fossils. I don't know if i just don't have the eye for it or if i am just looking in the wrong places. The last two pictures are of an item im not sure about anyone have an idea? Possibly a set of fused vertebrae with the two end ones broken off? The haul The vert The mosasaur thing The in-situ And the I don't know what this is
  16. Hello, I found this small shark tooth near Austin. The geology of the area corresponds to the Ozan formation (early Campanian) ~78 million years. It looks like a Serratolamna serrata tooth, but I haven’t heard of Serratolamna from the Ozan formation. Or could this be a Cretalamna appendiculata instead?
  17. After no rain for many months we got a big 13 foot rise last weekend. I was hoping that would wash away all the mud and uncover many great fossils. Unfortunately it was still few and far between. The mud has been halfway washed away, which is halfway to where we want it, but the fossils are still not uncovered. Here are a few of the things i found: A couple decent but small mosasaur verts. Also the in situ shots. Decent fish jaw. Not sure which species though. A cool shell from the grey shale zone. All I ever see are impressions but this came out whole with nacre. 1. Coprolite? People find it all the time but I just don't have an eye for it. However this looks like a dog just had a fresh one on the ground. 2. No idea. Looks like a modern bone but hard as a rock. Maybe it is just rock? 3. Last looks like a fossilized jaw bone but is modern unfossilized non-jaw bone. It is amazing how much it looks like the fish and mosasaur jaw i found earlier. Anyone know what part of the animal this is from?
  18. I found this item in a creek in central Texas. The creek is known for artifacts and cretaceous (austin chalk, ozan) material in the gravel bars. I don't hunt this creek much so I'm not too familiar with the finds it produces. I found this item on a gravel bar after heavy rains. I picked up this item because it has an unusual shape. I was hoping it was a tusk or horn piece but it was giving me petrified wood vibes. I've never found any tusk, horn, or petrified wood so I was open to the possibility that the item is just a suggestive piece of rock. Naturally I wrote it off as a rock and I decide to take a slice out of it with a small rock saw. I then wet sanded the slice with fine grain sandpaper. The material is very tacky, sort of sticky. I licked it and it really stuck to my tongue (ouch). The material also absorbs water very quickly. It's heavy, dense, and sounds like porcelain/ceramic tile when set down. It's not fragile. I took several picture using my phone and a small digital microscope. Any idea what this could be? Thanks in advance!
  19. Hello all!!! I recently got some micro matrix from the North Sulfur River, Ozan Formation. I think I have properly ID's at least some, but there are quite a few I am uncertain of. I will appreciate any help! Thanks in advance! All are around 1/16- 1/8 inch with maybe a few 3/16ths. The only ones I am for sure of are the following: Pseudocorax granti, but would appreciate confirmation: 1. Scapanorhynchus texanus top row Squalicorax kaupi bottom row 2. I am less confident about my ID of these: 3. And these SEEM like Microcorax crassus but according to the Collectors Guide to Fossil Sharks and Rays by Welton and Farish, they are not found in the Ozan (Campanian), but only in the Cenomanian 4. I think these are Scapanorhynchus texanus but the cusps seem doubled? 5. And now for the ones I REALLY have no idea: 6. A and B 7. C and D - note B, C and D might be Pseudocorax? Now these (A) look like Carcharias sp. A in the Collectors Guide, but again, these are supposed to be from the Cenomanian and not the Campanian (Ozan) 8. 8B - These look exactly like the Odontaspis I found in Missisippi but I can't find any info on them being found in Texas I did find this on Elasmo though: http://www.elasmo.com/genera/cenozoic/sharks/odontaspis.html Two more of what look like Odantaspis 9 C and D
  20. So a couple of weeks ago, I, along with my younger brother, decided to embark on our first field trip with the Dallas Paleontological Society. The destination was Moss Creek, a decently sized waterway on private property that feeds into the NSR. Just like in the main river, we were seeking a red layer exposure of the Ozan Fm (though I read that this red layer is different from the one at the river). This site is famous for its abundance of marine microfossils, namely shark/fish teeth. One of the people on the trip was a researcher (Shawn Hamm) who is currently finishing up a paper on this very site. I hope to read it once it's published! Anyways, the day was miserably hot as expected, but the scenery and air of discovery made up for it. My brother and I took a more secluded route, traveling downstream whereas most headed upstream. After a bit of searching, I came across a part of the creek bed that was red and, upon close inspection, was filled with tiny black phosphatic fossils. Because the matrix of the layer is so sticky, we couldn't really sift through it at the site. Instead, we, like everyone else, filled up a bucket and took it back to our car. It was a fun day and I met a lot of interesting people. One member told me to use baking soda to break up the matrix and that advice worked like a charm! I'm not sure about a lot of these IDs so feel free to correct me. If you know any species names feel free to drop those too . Here are the pictures of the highlight finds. Sorry the quality is bad... taking pictures of things this small was more difficult than expected: Fishes Lots of Enchodus Fangs and Jaw Sections Lots of Hadrodus Teeth Pachyrhizodus? Teeth Protosphyraena? Teeth. Really not 100% on this ID Pycnodont Teeth Fish Neural Spine. 2nd photo is compared to an X-Fish neural spine I found in Austin. Love the size discrepancy of the two. Fish Verts (Left) and Shark Vert (Right) Sharks Hybodont Shark Tooth. This is one of my favorites. Looks like Lonchidion? but that's just my guess. Lots of Pseudocorax Teeth Lots of un-ID Shark Teeth. Distinguishing between Scapanorhynchus, Carcharias, etc. is way above my pay grade . Trust me, I tried... Cretalamna appendiculata Tooth. By far the biggest tooth. Protolamna? Teeth Squalicorax Teeth. For some reason they all came out broken. Unidentified Tooth. Pathological? The crown is just a flat edge. Shark Coprolite? It's ringed like the ones I've seen online. Sawfish Ischyrhiza Oral Teeth Ischyrhiza? Rostral Teeth Ptychotrygon? Oral Teeth Cantioscyllium? Oral Teeth Misc./Enigmatic Finds Brittle Star Parts? Part of an Urchin? It's rounded and the center has a protrusion for where a spine once was. Kinda looks like a denticle, but may be some weird tooth? Bivalves If you would like any additional pics, let me know. Thanks for reading!
  21. I went to the North Sulphur River twice in October with little luck. The first time was after a rain that I thought would get a big rise but only got about a 1 foot rise. The second time saw about a 5 foot rise but each time the rain did nothing to wash away all the mud. It was easy walking because the river was so low and dry but no gravel bars as they are all covered in mud. I went to two different parts of the river as well as the feeder creeks and it was the same. Here are a few pictures of the little I was able to find: Some worn chunckasaur, petrified wood, pyrite sun (cool but common), a couple xiphactinus fangs, a decent mosasaur jaw piece, a piece of mammoth enamel, and a couple other oddities. 1. Some odd fish bone? 2. Horse Tooth? 3. No Idea. I would say fish fin but it doesn't have the flaky fish texture though. 4. Any idea what age and formation these shiny shells come from in the top left of this picture?
  22. Took a trip today to one of my new Ozan spots that is rapidly becoming a favorite, despite the headache it is to reach. Although the finds are few and far between, I've always come out with something I haven't seen before. It's definitely been testing my ID skills. I didn't come out with too many things, but I've got a couple I would like to get some informed opinions on. First up is a regular urchin. I've found a few fragments of regular echinoids washed out within a small stretch of creek. Though this is the third I've seen, its the first of this appearance and first to safely make it undamaged (it's a bumpy ride to get in and out). I'm pretty bad with echinoid IDs, but from comparison with the ones I'm familiar with, I think it's a kind of salenia. It also looks like it could be a goniophorus. I don't know the terminology, but the lines of mini tubercles in between the primary tubercles look closer to salenia. They seem to form paired lines. This guy is about 7.5 mm across. If it is salenia, I'm guessing it isn't the typical texana, mexicana, etc. that are found in older cretaceous fms of TX, so I wonder what species it could be if not a new one ! The second specimen I want to share looks like a fish jaw to me. Initially, I was very confused on what it could be. I thought it was tooth shaped, but had enamel unlike any I was familiar with. After some prepping, I think I've found a single tooth socket. Unfortunately, most of the "jaw" had been eroded away. Do you guys think it's a fish jaw? If so, any guesses on genus/species? Thanks for reading and feel free to ask for additional pics!
  23. Apologies for the dramatic title. I thought it sounded cool and stuck with it even though 90 + 80 + 80 is only 250 . Anyways... This past 30 days, I decided to make it a point to check out some new spots. I won't be living in Austin soon, so I thought it would be good to branch out and scout some new locations with potential. I've found lots of creek-worn mosasaur bits and pieces over the past year. I'm ready to find things in situ, and, one day, something articulated. It's a tall order, I know, but I feel like it's the next step and really the ultimate goal I've always had. So, the first step towards this objective was to find locations and, of course, take a look. This is what I saw! Location 1. Austin Chalk: In my usual Ozan stomping grounds, I've come across a variety of fossils ranging from the Eagle Ford to the Ozan itself. Included, was an assortment of spectacular Austin Chalk invertebrates along with the occasional and highly sought-after mosasaur vertebra. They can be readily distinguished from their Ozan counterparts by their yellow-orange preservation and lack of pyritic elements. Honestly, I come across them just as commonly as I do Ozan verts, so I took this to be a sign that the Austin Chalk could be a good bet. In Austin, it's a pretty wide formation with lots of members to look into. I did some research and found a place with some potential. When I arrived, it was a hot afternoon. I picked up my backpack and swapped my school notes out for a rock hammer and a couple of icy bottled waters. Walking down a little trail, I came across the first large exposure of Austin Chalk in what I believe to be the Dessau member. Literally within the first minute, I had to take a double-take at a white glint on the ground. "Surely there couldn't already be a shark tooth," I thought to myself as I kneeled for a closer inspection. Sure enough, it wasn't just a shiny piece of shell; it was indeed the enamel to a bleached tooth from the king shark of the Late Cretaceous seas, the infamous Cretoxyrhina mantelli! Thankfully, it popped out in one piece. A recreation of the tooth in situ and after extraction. I poked around the rest of the surrounding exposure. There were a couple of mangled echinoid bits and gastropods, but not much else, so I continued on to search the main creek. Unfortunately, the only apparent path forward was along a narrow and steeply banked feeder stream. Many of you will know that navigating through these can be a real pain. The brush was densely packed and smelly stagnant water had to be avoided with every step. There were thorny vines dangling from each limb and I was constantly tasked with picking off the burrs that snagged onto my clothing and in my hair. Last year, I was in a similar situation when I was suddenly attacked by a hive of wasps (don't worry, I managed to avoid getting stung too much). It's a fun story to tell friends now, but I must admit that the thought always crawls back into my mind when I am in a position that's a bit difficult to get out of in a hurry. Anyways, after about twenty minutes, I took the final hop over a fallen tree to get to the main creek. It was nice to breathe in the fresh, open air as I sat my backpack down and took a rest, of course, with my eyes perusing along the limestone bed. After the brief sit-down, I began to notice the beauty of the area I was in. The air was filled with the drip-drop of water leaking from the fern-covered bank and the reflection of the greenery was simply mesmerizing. I couldn't help but snap a quick photo. A beautiful, hidden place away from the city. Though, not too far... there's a shopping cart wedged in the gravel just out of frame. In terms of fossils, this place was loaded. Just about everywhere I stepped, I was standing over piles of clams and oysters along with the occasional baculites segment. I didn't bother taking any of these with me, however, as I have plenty already. I noticed there was a decent amount of chert as well, so artifacts were on my radar when I came across a preform. A little farther down the creek, I found a nice ammonite fragment. I didn't intend on keeping it, but sometimes it's nice to have something to hold so I took it along with me. By now, much of the afternoon had come and went. It was about time I turned around and faced the prospect of navigating my way through the dreaded feeder creek in reverse. As I was coming to a stop, I saw a girl walking along the slanted banks of the creek who almost certainly did not enter the way I did. I tried my best to get her attention without spooking her (keep in mind I look and smell like a swamp monster at the moment). She was nice enough to come close to the limestone ledge and introduce herself as I trudged my way through knee deep waters towards dry land. Turns out, she's a local who often hikes by the creek. We chatted for some time and I ended up giving her the preform and ammonite fragment, hopefully inspiring a future hobbyist. After explaining the situation I was in, she laughed and pointed out a trail that led back to the road. When I climbed out and exited the trail sore and tired, I kicked myself. My car was right in front of me. I could have taken this path from the beginning, but instead I took the road never traveled and boy did it make all the difference. Location 2. Ozan Formation: Although many of the mosasaur verts I come across are from the Austin Chalk, a significant portion are still from the good ole Ozan. With that in mind, I took a trip to a creek I usually don't hunt that had a decently-sized exposure. Something in a book tipped me off to this particular site, so I had high hopes. The trip from the road to the waterway wasn't as troublesome as the feeder creek from the week before, but it was still a challenge. I worked my way along the dirt bank to a place I could safely enter the waters when I saw what I was more so wary of. Across the lazy stream was a tent set up along a slope with a clothesline and shopping carts around it. On the initial drive to this spot, I did take notice of the pronounced homeless presence in the area. From the cover of the trees, I took a moment to scope out the tent and the surrounding area. The last thing I wanted was to have an unexpected encounter in a secluded place like this. Luckily, it seemed nobody was home, so I entered the creek, though making sure to have my rock hammer visibly in hand. When I approached the first gravel bar, I was greeted with tons of broken down blocks of Ozan shale and various Austin Chalk fossils. Curious, I started splitting the blocks open to see what the area had to offer. Each one was filled with heart urchin spines and plates! Most were fragmented and all were extremely fragile. Still, I took this to be a good sign. After hours of splitting the loose slabs, I finally found a complete irregular urchin. It's a definite upgrade from the half of one I had found a while back in the Ozan (though that one did have a nice red color). A compressed heart urchin. Looks to be Pliotoxaster/Hemiaster? It may appear round, but it is totally flat! The slab splitting continued with some compressed ammonites and enchodus teeth, but not much more, so it was time to move on to the main event. As I walked the rest of the gravel bar, however, I was forced to once again stop in my tracks. Lying in the mud right in front of me was, by far, the largest mosasaur vertebra I had ever seen in person. It had the preservation of what I assume to be Austin Chalk (of course as soon as I return to the Ozan). The underside of the vert was badly weathered, but it was, nevertheless, far heavier than any others in my collection. Plus, I only need one decent side to show in my picture . Gargantuan mosasaur vertebra. I wonder how long the whole lizard was. Welp, there's really no better motivator than something like that, so I took the short walk to the main exposure. A large expanse of creek bed was Ozan shale ripe for the picking. I got straight to working chiseling out every strange thing just poking out of the ground. Most of them were only oddly shaped pyritic accumulations, I'm guessing originally bivalves and poop. Now and then I would come across a Hamulus squamosus worm tube or piece of fish bone. The bed was a little difficult to see as the lack of recent rain meant that the detritus and algae had yet to be washed away. I didn't find much in the water. Thankfully, the dry parts of the bed were easy to probe. Eventually, I came upon something unmistakably bony. Before I could stop myself to snap a photo, I was already digging. It popped out easily and was instantly apparent of being mosasaur, the very thing I was seeking most. Frantically searching for a continuation of the vertebral column, I spotted what I thought was the head of the next vertebra behind. In my mind, I could see it all right in front of me. The ultimate prize was right there! Just some minor excavating and I'll have done it! Perhaps in theme with fool's gold, I was fooled by the imprint of the very fossil I had just pulled out . I was bummed out for a second, until I had time to realize that this was my first ever mosasaur vert found in situ! Out popped my first in situ mosasaur vert! Cleaned up, it is a real beauty. The color of the cuboidal pyrite outgrowths looks amazing when moved under the light. "Fool's gold" is a real disservice as far as names go. And with that, the sun was already starting to set. The finds of the day. 2 mosies, a flattened echinoid, a Hamulus squamosus tube, an Austin Chalk ammonite, and an Austin Chalk Exogyra tigrina. Location 3. Ozan Formation: After crossing such a major milestone, I had no choice but to head out for the Ozan again once a brief rain had passed. This new location was similar to number 2 in that it was a large expanse of Ozan creek bed. Unfortunately, the route to reach it from the road was a treacherous one. I didn't intend on swimming across a sudden deepening of the creek waters, so I had to search along the steep banks for ways to traverse the barrier. There was somewhat of a flattened trail along a slope with various obstacles that seemed the most doable to me. For the most part, I side-stepped my way across, hugging the dirt and tree limbs to avoid losing balance or putting too much weight on the unstable ground. Now and then, I'd have to cross through a bush that would replenish the population of burrs covering every part of me. By that point, I couldn't have complained too much as things were going relatively smoothly. That is until I made one misstep and had to quickly catch myself by snagging an exposed tree root. Regaining my composure, I heard the rustling and sliding of a plastic bag followed by a loud splash of water from underneath my feet. I usually carry my dirty pair of tennis shoes in a plastic bag since I swap between them and water shoes on my excursions. Now they were just a white shimmer far beyond reach. I hopped off the bank and landed on firm ground. Most of the bed was readily exposed to the air. There was a high density of deer and raccoon tracks. I was entertained most by the shale claw marks I saw at the bottom of shallow pools that I interpreted to be raccoons taking a refreshing swim. From way up the creek, I even caught a glimpse of a coyote jumping from out of the foliage. He sniffed around a bit before noticing me and darted off the other way. I settled down to catch my breath and inspected broken bits of Ozan shale nearby. Pretty soon I spotted the first regular echinoid I've seen in the Ozan. Unfortunately, it was too fragile and didn't survive the journey home. A regular echinoid and a mess of urchin spines surrounding. This portion of the Ozan is rich in echinoid material, though heavily compressed and often very fragile. Denture clams are the other most common find of which fragments can also be seen here. After some rehydration, I got up to start looking for bone. It took some time, but I eventually found a peculiar specimen sticking out of the shallows. It was too suspect to ignore, so I began excavating. Spongey thing as originally found. I was hoping it would be a rib or something, but it just didn't look right. The pores of the cancellous bone were much larger than what I was familiar with for reptiles and the thing didn't seem like fish at all. Typical for fossils in this layer, there was pyrite all over. However, there was an additional mineral I hadn't encountered before. Encrusting the entirety of the underside were selenite(?) crystals in prismatic shapes. As I dug deeper and deeper, the form continued on. The spongey thing was long and had curvature. There was another short one layered just underneath it intersecting close to the hammer. If it's vertebrate, I have no idea what bone it would be. I suspect it's invertebrate in nature. Revealing more of it showed that a separate, shorter piece was present just underneath. Both structures were flattened, fragile, and had to be removed in chunks. From what I could tell, their spongey structure remained consistent across the entirety of their lengths. Once extracted, I searched the surrounding space, but found no sign of continuation. Post extraction I was completely stumped by what I had found. All I could think was spongey, pores, spongey, pores. I am embarrassed to admit it took me way too long to cut off the "y" and realize that it's likely a sponge. Pore bearing (porifera) is about as accurate as you can get when describing it. So, I settled with that as my final guess for what this mystery structure could be. Though, this is still up for debate, so let me know if there are any opposing opinions. From there, I took a couple of paces before stumbling upon the next thing of interest. It was a robust black protrusion with some apparent symmetry. Okay, if the last thing was pseudo-bone, surely this had to be the real thing. As per usual, there was pyritic encrusting on it. From how it was positioned, it was hard to say how long it could be - if there was much more to try and dig out. I got to chiseling and it popped right out within the first few swings. Instantly, I knew I had once again fallen for some pseudo-bone. That being said, it was the first time I had found carbonized wood in the Ozan. I don't usually keep fossil wood, but this guy is interesting enough to warrant it. A pyritized deposit of coal, pretending to be a mosasaur rostral. The fossil wood with a pyritized denture clam and Serratolamna(?) tooth on top. A piece of an artifact and irregular urchin on top. The clam on the right is a cool optical illusion. It's only 3/4 of an inch tall. Here and there I made some other nice smaller finds. A fragment of an artifact, some shark teeth, and an even better flattened irregular urchin to name a few. Though, I had spent a lot of the recent weeks hammering away at things in creeks, so I thought it would be best to call it early and head home to have a nice meal and reflect on my prizes. No articulated mosasaur bits, but a great many lessons learned and special memories to reminisce upon in the future. I know I'm preaching to the choir with this one, but there are few things as magical as traveling alone and exploring a side of the outdoors you hadn't encountered before. It's hard to explain, but I love just parking somewhere and walking into a part of the brush where few people go, if ever. It's freeing in a sense. But for now, I've creek walked way too much. I'm gonna go hunt a roadcut or something
  24. I decided to take a trip to an Ozan spot after some rain a couple weeks ago. The gravel finds were sparse, but I fortunately remembered to bring some of my trusty excavating tools with me from Dallas to Austin. After the trek to the main exposure at this site, I got to scouring the shaly creek bed. In previous trips, I usually didn't spend much time doing this as I had limited tools for digging. With some newly acquired technology by my side, I encountered a facet of this location I hadn't experienced before. A lot of the fossils that preserve in this formation are too fragile to survive once exposed to the elements. I was surprised to see the wide array of species I had been missing out on in the past. Some things were easy to recognize. I came across a chunk of matrix filled with fragments of heart urchins. Not much of it was worth keeping even after I poked and pried my way through it. In the end, I only decided to keep what I think is a long urchin spine (B) with some echinoid bits on the underside. I also found some crustacean parts for the first time in the Ozan (C). I believe I managed to find the scattered remains of what once was a decently sized crab. It's extremely fragile and there appear to be limbs scattered every which way. I got to this ID by spotting a couple of spiny shelled projections poking out at various points. Later cleaning revealed some more. The thing is so destroyed, however, I might give up on it. I also came across what looks like a piece of a crab claw. My most enigmatic find was something I almost overlooked completely. Here and there throughout the exposure were these broad, dark patches of shale (A). I assumed they were flat, but when I accidentally kicked one, a section popped right out of the matrix and revealed its 3D nature. After working out the others parts by it, I noticed that these things had some regularity to them and perhaps were the remnants of an animal or plant or whatever. On both sides of the specimens, there appears to be a darkened indention running down the midline. I also noticed curved lines running across the pieces in a pattern reminding me of the banding found on the shells of baculites. The cross section of these finds appear to just be shale and do not present much information. The pieces start off wide and gradually thin themselves towards one side before ending in a point. I wish I took pictures of them in situ, but I unfortunately only have pics from my room. One specimen had pyritic inclusions which are typical for fossils from this exposure (I've seen pyrite in bones, crustaceans, urchins, oysters, etc.). When I look at them, I start thinking of cephalopods, but that's a big jump. They could be some sort of trace fossil, but that doesn't quite feel right. I don't know if any Ozan experts on here will recognize these, but I am really curious to try and pin down some ID if there is one to be found. To round off the trip, I also came across a horn-shaped coral (D) that I suppose washed down from the Austin Chalk up stream. Some more typical finds (E) were also to be had. It was nice to get back out and enjoy the cool waters of an Austin creek. I won't be sticking around long, however, as I am about to make a couple of trips across Texas for school interview stuff in the near future, so look forward to future posts outside of my usual grounds. Picture: A). Main Enigmatic Finds. This is the bigger piece. It continued under the shale below the unstable wall of the creek. Decided it was dangerous to dig to the end of it. Second piece I brought back. Much smaller, has pyrite, and still partially in the matrix B). Urchin Spine? C). Crustaceans. The top shows the pyritic scattered one. The bottom shows the claw. D). Coral I think washed from the Austin Chalk. E). Typical finds (Goblin Shark teeth on the left and enchodus tooth on the right. Small mosasaur vert on the bottom I think from the Austin Chalk) Thanks for reading!
  25. BudB

    Tracks in the mud

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