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  1. MaizyMae

    Mazon Creek

    Greetings! My grand daughter and I are planning a trip to Chicago in May. And we were excited to locate a place close to Chicago to hopefully find a fossil or two to take home with us. We have no idea what we are doing, only that we want to do this. We are looking for someone who is experienced and knowledgeable about Mazon Creek. If this is you, please contact me via PM. Thank you
  2. Today I decided to take a Personal Day today and head down to the cooling lakes and do a little fossil collecting at Pit 11, I was only out for about 2 1/2 hours. The day was cool, 37 degrees and with a 13 mph wind, it made the “feels like” temp 30 degrees. Luckily, I was collecting in a bowl like depression at the top of a high ridge, so I did not feel the wind and I only needed a light hoodie to stay warm. Pit 11 is no way near what it use to be. Back then there was no vegetation and the concretions were easily found. After the reclaiming of the land and reseeding, it
  3. Current forecast is perfect – rain all weekend but sunny and clear on Monday. Fingers crossed it stays that way! Hope to see some of you out there.
  4. Thomas.Dodson

    Pit 11 Summer Fossils

    Over the Summer I conducted research in Illinois so naturally I spent as much time as I could collecting fossils. I had a particular interest in collecting Mazon Creek concretions. I had the fortune of making one trip to the area once over a decade ago but that was short and I didn't collect any Essex stuff. Because of that I focused in on Pit 11 this time. Summer may not be the best time for collecting there but my time in Illinois was limited and going in summer beats not going at all. Over the summer I persistently traveled to Pit 11 from Urbana 5 or 6 times. Most of the concretions are now
  5. Hi all, I've been working on the pit 11 concretions I collected this summer and some difficult identifications have piled up. These might not be preserved enough to be identifiable but they seem preserved decently enough that some people might have a better idea for identification. Any help is appreciated. Measurements are the lengths of the fossil and not the concretion. The first fossil measures 30 mm across. This seems like it's probably just a weird shrimp molt? Fossil #2 measures 15 mm across. I don't hold out much hope for this one as it's rather broken up an
  6. Thomas.Dodson

    Pit 11 Poychaete Identification Help

    Hi all, this is one of the polychaete worms from the batch of Pit 11 concretions I'm working on. From what I can see of the conical jaws it most closely resembles Didontogaster corydylina but the jaws blend a bit together and aren't as distinct as some other specimens I've found. The body profile seems a little off (no swollen front section for one) so I wanted to ask for second opinions. Am I getting too hung up on the profile of a body that could just be more outstretched? I appreciate everyone's thoughts.
  7. Hello all, I have been a long time lurker of the forum (simply reading has been helpful enough these years) but have finally decided to request identification help on some fossils. I spent the summer conducting research in Illinois and spent my spare time collecting fossils. I was fortunate enough to collect Mazon Creek fossils about 14 years ago on a trip so I was thrilled to finally return to the area and collect at the Mazonia Braidwood Fish and Wildlife Unit. I have Key to Identify Pennsylvanian Fossil Animals of The Mazon Creek Area as well as Jack Wittry's The Mazon Creek Fossil Flo
  8. bluegilldvm

    Mazon Creek Unknown

    Probably not anything that is able to be ID’d but the “eye” spots make me wonder if it is something worthwhile.
  9. minnbuckeye

    Mazon Creek Pit 11

    Next weekend we will be in Marblehead, Ohio visiting my sisters. I had hoped to stop at St Paul, Indiana on the way to look for some fossils. Unfortunately the quarry does not allow visitors at this point due to Covid. My thought then was to consider Mazon. About a month ago, a post was made similar to this one. It was suggested not to visit due to the ticks and other creepy crawlers. Are the critters still a problem??? Does covid close this park too?? I am all ears to suggestions. Thanks!! If this is not a good choice, there is always the go to Paulding, Ohio!!!! Mike
  10. Cheecheecago

    Newbie ID Help 2 - Fish tail?

    Hi, my kids and I are completely new to this, would love some help. Also if there is a paleontology version of "Let Me Google That For You", or Fossil ID for Dummies, etc., we'll gladly take those too! We found this one in Pit 11 of Mazon Creek a few weeks ago, on an eroded slope under heavy shrub cover. It was cast in a concretion/nodule that we exposed through freezing and thawing. The nodule was already broken, so we do not have the whole fossil. To my untrained eye it looks like a fish tail (my 8 year old is convinced it is the claw of a Tully monster, of course). Can anyone ma
  11. Cheecheecago

    Newbie ID Help 1 - Snails and a twig?

    Hi, my kids and I are completely new to this, would love some help. Also if there is a paleontology version of "Let Me Google That For You", or Fossil ID for Dummies, etc., we'll gladly take those too! We found this one in Pit 11 of Mazon Creek a few weeks ago, on an eroded slope under heavy shrub cover. It was found as-is (exposed), this was not inside a nodule. The rock is harder than the sandstone of the nodules. To my untrained eye it looks like debris in pond muck: snail shells, and a twig. I found a very similar fossil last summer on a rocky beach of Lake Michigan, thoug
  12. Roby

    Acanthodes sp. Mazon Creek

    Just opened April 19, 2020. Lock down surprise. Identification source: Jack Wittry (2012). The Mazon Creek Fossil Fauna. Esconi. 202 pgs., ISBN 978-0578111483. Page 134.
  13. Anyone out there have any Tully Monsters they would be willing to trade. Partials ok. PM if you want.
  14. deutscheben

    Another Mazon Creek ID thread

    I wanted to join the squad of great Mazon ID threads we have had in the last week. These two were found split on my opening day trip to Mazonia-Braidwood/Pit 11. I only found half of the first one. It doesn't look like much, and it may be nothing, but its worth asking! The second one was split, but both halves were present. It is much more clearly something, but I'm not sure what, as there are not any clear features, although it is preserved with good definition and a nice contrasting color.
  15. flipper559

    Mazon Creek Finds, ID help please !!

    This first piece is a Mazon Creek fossil from Pit 11. Any help appreciated !! The second one is from the Creek itself, could this be a "fiddlehead" @fiddlehead . Thanks for looking !! Thanks, Phil
  16. Hi guys! Newbie here and finally joined so i could post this after our recent opening day trip to Mazon Creek, Mazonia-Braidwood and Pit 11. My daughter and I found this one and I can't tell if its nothing or something. Maybe an essexella asherae jellyfish? or maybe i'm dreaming. It was already split, we haven't done our freeze/thaw yet on the whole nodules yet. Seems we did manage to get at least two of the pieces that go together - could possibly have the last piece in the bucket still as we are still going through our haul, but after a preliminary look, I suspect this is a
  17. Who is going to be heading out to Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife area for the start of the Pit 11 fossil hunting season on Sunday? They are forecasting a high of 58 degrees right now, practically t-shirt weather! (but watch out for those ticks) I am planning to be there Sunday and Monday, my first time trying two consecutive days. I hope to run into some other fine forum members out there.
  18. Ruger9a

    Jellyfish sharing

    I only have a two of these but they are nice (to me anyway). They're Essexella asherae jellyfish from Pit #11, Francis Creek Shale, Braidwood, Illinois. Middle Pennsylvanian period. The first measures 3' x 2" and the second measures 2.75" 2.5".
  19. This weekend I made my first trip out to Mazon Creek! Sorry this is such a scroller, I'm going to try and have this post be informational since there is definitely some stuff I wished I'd known about in advance and some stuff I did that really aided my success. There are pictures at the bottom. The most important thing I did before my trip was print off a topographic map of the area that I pulled from ArcGIS online. It really came in handy. It was also necessary to have a permit to collect there, something I only discovered the night before. Here is a link to a PDF of the permit.
  20. Jones1rocks

    Mazon ID Help

    I am thinking that this is a Drevotella proteana, with, but not necessarily attached to, a Palaeolima retifera.
  21. Jones1rocks

    Mazon Creek

    Coprolite?
  22. Jones1rocks

    Mazon ID Help

  23. Jones1rocks

    Mazon Creek

    From a flat of specimens identified as from Pit 11. Three dimensional. Small leaf? Thanks! ~Paul
  24. Jones1rocks

    Mazon Creek

    From a flat of specimens identified as from Pit 11. Mouth looks familiar as that of Achistrum, but no dessication cracks. Looking to confirm identification. Thanks! ~Paul
  25. DisorderedK

    Are any of these Mazon Creek Fossils?

    Hi everyone, After the thunderstorm yesterday, me and some friends drove up to the Ponderosa area of Mazon creek park to look for fossils. It was our first time, and we didn't know the specifics of what to look for, but we spent three hours walking the whole perimeter of the lake, braving the aggressive swarms of biting insects. Can anyone here tell me if any of the rocks we found are the right ones to possibly contain fossils? Attached is a picture of all the rocks, and an album with closeup pictures. https://photos.app.goo.gl/XoCZQJwgWU7dbcoS7 Thanks
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