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  1. Mosasaurhunter

    Partial Scapanorhynchus tooth

    From the album: Georgia Cretaceous fossils

    The partial tooth of a possibly juvenile Scapanorhynchus. Found in Blufftown formation.
  2. Hello, Looking for help with these Upper Cretaceous shark teeth from Post Oak Creek, Sherman, Grayson Co., TX, USA (Warning: Some of these are heavily eroded). Thank you! Squalicorax? Species? Cretodus or Cretalamna? Mix of both? Scapanorhynchus sp? @ThePhysicist
  3. 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!
  4. A couple of weeks ago, @Jackito, his son, and I took a trip out to one of his favorite Eagle Ford sites. For those of you who are familiar with Carter's posts, this was once the famed location of the so-called "giving rock", so the bar was set high for the day. I've come across some of Austin's eagle ford material in the past, but it was always only the leftovers of what had been washed through miles of rushing creek water. This was my first time getting to poke through the source material, so I was eager to see what could be found. The water was low and the temperature mild. I was thankful I wouldn't have to suffer trudging around in soggy shoes. As we walked beside the creek, Carter explained the various layers and where the best stuff could be found. He pointed out the notable spots where things like pseudomegachasma and pliosaur teeth had been dug up. I knew to not get my hopes THAT high up, but it was certainly a good motivator to stay attentive and expect the unexpectable. It took me a while to get the hang of pinpointing which slabs were best to open and how. Carter was nice enough to share some of his finds, and I must admit, not everything pictured below was necessarily first spotted by me . I was quickly surprised by the sheer number of shark teeth we started finding. Being the completionist that I am, I would immediately try to excavate every tooth I found. Carter advised me that simply bringing the matrix home and processing it there would be the most efficient use of time which I have come to agree with. Every tooth had fantastic preservation and would often pop right out of the shale (though not necessarily in one piece). The Ptychodus teeth were the most mesmerizing. They basically broke off without a speck of matrix still attached and had a beautiful shine. Thankfully, they were also robust and rarely fell apart. A decently sized Ptychodus still in matrix The amount of Cretoxyrhina to be found was also staggering. Unfortunately, they required a little bit more delicate prep than what I had to offer in the field, so my ratio of broken to unbroken teeth was higher than I'd like to admit. In my defense, I managed to lower that ratio as the day progressed. Squalicorax was also a common sight along with various fish teeth. Carter's son managed to find some turtle material... that was still alive and may or may not have come from out of the stream . For most of the hunt, Carter and I had some nice discussions on things to be found here in Austin along with various chats about life. The hours seemed to fly by so fast, it wasn't long until Carter and Jack had to head on out. They'd been wanting to find some mosasaur material for a while, so I sent info on one of my favorite sites (the place where I came out with 4 mosasaur verts in a day). Hopefully we'll get to hunt together over there some time in the near future. I stuck around as I had a couple hours to kill before needing to drive to a friend's birthday. The rest of the time was spent doing more of the same. I managed to come across a huge Cretodus tooth, but the root was unfortunately nowhere to be found. I also started gathering some of the leftover matrix for later processing for microfossils. The layer was just so rich, how could there not be something cool to find? I filled up a couple Ziploc bags with the stuff and made my way out, thinking of ways I could clean this while residing in a college dorm. The richness of fossils in the matrix. This piece was a little too stony to break down though. Might try vinegar. Suffice it to say, I figured out a way to clean it without clogging the communal sinks, but it's a slow process. Though, I must admit, it's nice to come home each day to a cup's worth of dried micro matrix ready for screening. In only my first batch, I found something I think is pretty amazing. What was at first just a shiny little speck, upon closer analyzing, may, in fact, be a tiny coniasaur tooth! It has that characteristic bulging crown that is instantly recognizable. Hopefully I'm not jumping the gun on this one. A couple rounds later, and many many puny Ptychodus teeth, I managed to spot what appeared to be the tooth plate to a Pycnodont fish or something similar. After some delicate cleaning and lots of paraloid, it's still a little bit scuffed, but there are definitely some little round bulbous teeth in close association. The tooth plate before and after cleaning. Can anyone confirm if it's Pycnodont? There was plenty bony fish and shark material. Interspersed within them were some that eluded my identification (including mayyybe Paraisurus?). I've got plenty of matrix to still go through, so I will post updates if anything cool is found. For now, here are some pictures summarizing the finds: Please excuse the hand pics. It's just that the details come out better on a slightly darker surface as opposed to white paper. Closeups of Coniasaur(?) Tooth L to R: Bony bits, "Coniasaur" tooth, and "Pycnodont" tooth plate The best of the Ptychodus and a close up of the smallest one. The bottom left is smoothed over. Is this maybe feeding damage? Also, any ID for species is much appreciated : Cretoxyrhina mantelli. My favorite is the fat one on the left Best of the Squalicorax falcatus. Right two are a little strange. Possibly symphyseal? Best of Scapanorhynchus and huge rootless Cretodus (hard to see in pic, but its got the wrinkling): Paraisurus? I saw that genus mentioned in a Shawn Hamm publication on the Atco and thought it could be a match. The roots are very skinny on both specimens and the teeth seem vertically stretched. The larger tooth on the left initially appears to be missing half the root, but it is actually nearly complete. The only break is a tiny portion of the root at the very top. The right specimen is very fragmented. No signs of cusps nor nutrient groove on either one. Cantioscyllium orals and Sawfish Rostral Teeth: L to R: Enchodus, Protosphyraena, and Pachyrhizodus Some oddballs. The left is a fragment of some sort of multi-cusped shark tooth. The middle is a a segment of some barbed material that seems similar in appearance to the fishy bits found in the matrix. The right specimen is a shiny crescent shaped thing that I have found in other micro matrixes from Moss Creek and POC. Never kept them, but now I'm curious after finding them again: Thanks for reading!
  5. ThePhysicist

    Cretaceous sharks

    From the album: Sharks

    Just a handful of Cretaceous species, most from North Texas. The sea that bisected North America ~85 million years ago played host to a diverse and burgeoning ecosystem that supported many species of sharks. It was likely due to specialization that allowed these sharks to all live in the same place and time.
  6. ThePhysicist

    Scapanorhynchus raphiodon

    From the album: Post Oak Creek

    I'm pretty sure these are S. raphiodon teeth. They are much smaller than S. texanus with a narrow main cusp and finer striations than S. texanus. Compare: http://oceansofkansas.com/sharks/Kansas/shscap3.jpg
  7. ThePhysicist

    6/17/21 Trip

    From the album: Post Oak Creek

    Nothing extraordinary, but I found an area with several chunks of matrix with teeth in them.
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