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  1. Today I went through a few small containers of concretions that were collected in the late 70’s / early 80’s. These were not collected by me, these are from a collection that I purchased last year from a friend. These were in multiple freezer/ thaw cycles. A lot popped today, mainly Essexella asherae and possibly another species. A decent Tully Monster also opened- it has the neck, transverse bar with eyes and a nice body. A couple shrimp, worms and a leech. Annularia- A large fern concretion that did not open very well. A few other pieces of flora. Back to more freeze and thaw, I have a lot more to go.
  2. Runner64

    Mazon Creek Collection

    I'll update this thread with my Mazon Collection over the next few weeks. With some good weather out yesterday, I managed to get my first fossil hunt in for the season and will post a report in this topic. I will be moving this upcoming summer which will put me even further from Mazon Creek so I have purchased a few pieces to fill in the genus/species I haven't found yet and will mention if I purchased a fossil. I still hold out hope to find some of these pieces I purchased eventually but will realistically be difficult if I only can make 1 trip a year. Fauna Tullimonstrum gregarium A weathered eye-bar I found on my first trip several years back. There is an eye spot evident under the right light. Still the only piece I have found at this point. Euphoberia armigera (Purchased) Acanthodian indet. (Purchased) Note: Under magnification the scales are present. Cyclus americanus What's a Mazon Creek thread without some Essexella asherae? I still like finding these guys despite the vast amount I have found. Here are a few of my favorites: Note: My largest piece, this is about 6-7 inches in diameter. A couple shrimp pieces. I believe Belotelson magister (Traded for the first one) Here is a cool insect wing from the order Palaeodictyoptera. (Purchased) Now I believe this piece may be a Dasyleptus sp. and if it isn't one, I would love to be corrected! Europops danae (Purchased) Mazonomya mazonensis I'll add to this thread with additional fauna and flora later and will continue to add as I go through freeze-thaw cycles.
  3. Oxytropidoceras

    Is the Tully Monster a vertebrate?

    New details of Tully monster revealed 3D scanning of enigmatic fossil may have brought an end to debate about whether it is a vertebrate or invertebrate University of Tokyo, Nature, April 17, 2023 70-Year-Old Mystery Over Bizarre 'Tully Monster' May Finally Have Been Solved Science Alert, April 18, 2023 The paywalled paper is: Tomoyuki Mikami, Takafumi Ikeda, Yusuke Muramiya, Tatsuya Hirasawa, Wataru Iwasaki, Three-dimensional anatomy of the Tully monster casts doubt on its presumed vertebrate affinities, Palaeontology: April 17, 2023, doi:10.1111/pala.12646. Yours, Paul H.
  4. Yesterday I had the pleasure of getting out for one of the nicest opening days of the fossil hunting season at Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area that I’ve experienced. The sun was shining, the ground was relatively dry and temps were in the 40s-50s. And I only encountered 1 tick! I ran into a few other collectors over the course of the day, including @connorp. The park was mostly quiet as usual, with the sounds of birds and passing cars nearby, as well as the distant rumble of trains and planes. My hunting area for this trip was south of Monster Lake- after getting nearly skunked when it came to interesting fossils the last two years I wanted to go back to a site that had given me more success in the past. It’s about a one mile hike to get down to the collecting area, although I was able to pick up a few concretions on the way there. I’ve been using an 8 inch wide plastic rake the last few trips to clear leaves and litter from the ground and I have found it really effective. It’s a full length rake like this one: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ames-60-in-handle-Collector-8-in-Poly-Shrub-Rake-2915900/204476248 so maneuvering it in the underbrush can be annoying sometimes, but since I’m already trying to fit a 6’3” frame through there it doesn’t make it notably more difficult to get around. Here are a couple concretions in an area where I didn’t clear things up: I didn’t find too many already split concretions- a few dirty plants I’ll share once I’ve had a chance to clean them up and some mystery things that may or may not prove to be anything (and one exciting find I will detail below). As usual, there were also plenty of split Essexella blobs to be found, but I didn’t bring any of those home. Towards the end of the day, I found myself at the base of a small hill that was veritably covered in both split and unsplit concretions. At first I thought it might have been a dump pile from a collector back in the day, but the number of unopened smaller concretions made me question that, as well as the next find I made- a very partial Tullimonstrum gregarium! It’s a wee one, but only the second example of our state fossil that I’ve found. Here is a wider shot of the hill where I found it: By this time I was starting to get pretty sore, so I decided to head back. I ended up with around 2 gallons of concretions, a pretty average day at Pit 11 for me. Here is my bucket at the end of the day: I’ve got about 10 gallons of other concretions in the queue ahead of these, so it may be a while before I start freezing and thawing them, but I will work on getting them cleaned up and ready to go in the meantime. As @Mark Kmiecik famously said about hunting Pit 11, I left “bruised and abused and grinning from ear to ear”. It’s a tough experience, but you can count on me keeping at it as long as I can. Anybody else planning to make it out to the park this week?
  5. Diplocaulus

    Tully Monster?

    Saw this one listed as a tully monster online, but I'm decently sure that its been misidentified. Am I correct on this?
  6. I know that some fossils from Morocco are composites, but that also occurs sometimes when it comes to the Tullimonstrum gregarium (Tully Monster) from Mazon Creek. The only difference with the Tully Monster composites is that they are easily recognizable. Here is a nice 7” example of what I am talking about. With this piece, the added part is the tail, and I think that you would agree that it is a pretty close match. The scale cube is 1 cm. The neck portion, though the jaw is not visible. Transverse bar with the two black eyes. The tail-
  7. Megalodoodle

    Recommended Gear for Mazonia?

    So I was wondering what gear you guys would recommend bringing to Mazonia. I know the brush is insanely thick, but I know very little beyond that. Oh, I also know digging isn’t allowed. Is it marshy in some areas? Do I need muck boots or waders (the kind fly fishermen use)? Is bug spray required? What is the best month to visit? Is the collecting better or worse after it rains? Should I bring sunscreen and bug spray? Any other tips for gear would be helpful in my never-ending quest for the elusive Tully Monster.
  8. Charlotte787

    Tully Monster?

    Hi all, I've had this Mazon Creek fossil in my collection for a few years now. It is labelled as a Tully Monster, and seems to match up with other Tully Monster fossils I've seen on the forum and online, but I am by no means an expert, so I would appreciate any help with confirming the ID!
  9. Hello- My son and I recently found this Tully Monster. I am wondering what everyone's thoughts are on cleaning this, and what approach may be best? I have cleaned jellyfish and some other white calcified looking material from these types of concretions using vinegar for a few minute soak, but have heard that it may not be a good idea since it removes some of the material that helps define the imprint. The Tully we have was found in two different scenarios. The first image, the side was facing down in the dirt a the top of a hill. The second was found face up in a pile of leaves at the base of a hill. The side with the darker green black seems to be the one with the most potentials for cleaning but I am no expert so wanted to check to see if we are better off just leaving the sides as is. thanks in advance, -tom
  10. Hello all. Does anybody know the best way to preserve a 'Tully monster' specimen. I recall once reading that the surface often needs to be coated with a preservative against oxidizing, etc. One of my specimens has a tiny bit of red on the one eye, which I don't recall being there last year. Please see photos; advice deeply appreciated.
  11. Agos1221

    Mazon Creek ID help?

    Hi all, Wondering if anyone can assist with IDing this fossil nodule from the Mazon Creek area. I think it’s a body fragment of a tully monster but not 100% by any means. I think there is an eye bar present so near the head area before the proboscis. Any help is greatly appreciated!
  12. New study reveals Tullimonstrum was a vertebrate: https://www.livescience.com/ancient-tully-monster-vertebrate.html?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=542020_Educational_Kits&utm_medium=email
  13. TheRocksWillShoutHisGlory

    The Tully Plushie

    While on a field trip to the Field Museum in Chicago I spotted this, and just couldn't pass up the opportunity to give my son a stuffed animal of an animal which I have an actual fossil of. Behold, the Tully Plushie. Trying to recreate my Tully fossil. But I oriented the eye bar the wrong way.
  14. deutscheben

    Tully Monster Coloring Page

    I drew this coloring sheet to give out at an upcoming children's program I will be doing at the public library my mom works at. I have done two previous programs over the years on fossils and dinosaurs, but this time I am going to be concentrating on the fossils of Illinois. Of course, this includes our bizarre state fossil, the Tully Monster! The sheet features a Tullimonstrum front and center chasing after an Elonichthys, with a pair of Essexella making their way across the background. It's not the most scientifically accurate drawing, but I hope it will be fun to color! Feel free to download and share- I uploaded both JPEG and PDF versions. (The PDF version also has some descriptive text on it) tully monster coloring page smaller.pdf
  15. Troodon

    New Study on Tully Monster

    New study on Tully Monster "the findings suggest Tullimonstrum could have been an invertebrate" https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/10/300-million-year-old-tully-monster-may-not-be-creature-scientists-thought-it-was
  16. fossilized6s

    My Monster, Monster

    A fellow member and i went out to Mazon today. We decided instead of by land we would travel by sea today. I brought a canoe and it worked fantastic! We both found some good stuff (worms, ferns, possible insect, shrimp, sea cucumbers, etc). But i think this tops them all. I was thinking of just posting this in my "Mazon Creek Finds" thread, but i think it deserves it's own. Thanks for looking! My 8 3/8" 95% complete Tully Monster! Eye bar Unfortunately when the nod split it didn't split the cleanest, and it left a bunch of random spots on the piece. Does anyone know, could i get this prepped? And please let me know if you think this is "invert of the month" material, there's only a day left! Edit: for what it's worth i also found my biggest Jellyfish to date not 10' from the Tully. The Jelly is about 5"x3"
  17. Fossil hunting season at Illinois's Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area, the iconic Pit 11, runs from March to September every year. I didn't make it to the park at all last year, so I wanted to get out there on day 1 this year. I took the day off work and thankfully the weather cooperated- it was cloudy and in the 30s for most of the day. I picked up my rental car at 7:30 in the morning and hit the road for the 90 minute drive north. I wasn't the first one at the park, though- I saw a few other folks heading out on the trail with buckets in hand as I pulled into the parking lot off 5000 N Rd. Although I have been to Mazonia about 6 times in the last 5 years, I am still finding my way around the overgrown landscape of the park. I started out with an area I had been to before, and had some early success. Unfortunately, I followed that by wandering off to explore a new area, lugging my heavy bucket through heavy brush for 2 hours with almost no success. That (and the fact that I was in the early stages of a head cold) led me to taking it easy in the afternoon. I was only able to add a few more concretions to my bucket, but the sun did peek out briefly towards the end of the day resulting in some lovely panoramas from up on top of a ridge. I was able to chat briefly with another fossil hunter when I got back to the parking lot about the joys and tribulations of fossil hunting at Mazonia- we discussed the hard work necessary in order to have a chance to open an incredible window into a 300 million year old world, and how we wouldn't trade that chance for anything. I finished the day at the former tipple on the western side of the park, wide open ridges of dumped waste from the former mine that remain inhospitable to plant life to this day. It is an alien looking world, and usually has not been a great spot for finding fossils. However, it is easy to access at least and I was actually happy to come across a few rough bark impressions in sandstone that I picked up. The sun was getting low, so I decided to call it a day. I only collected about 1 1/2 gallons of concretions, but I was still glad I could get out to the park and find something. I will put my finds in the next post.
  18. Darwin and Wallace

    Going to Mazon Creek! Tips?

    Hey everybody, I'm planning on going to do a day's worth of nodule collecting at Mazon Creek in a few weeks with a buddy of mine. Any tips on where to go? Also, anyone know of a hotel that's reasonably close to where we can start collecting? Thanks for any and all tips!
  19. TheRocksWillShoutHisGlory

    Tully monster

    From the album: Mazon creek assortment

  20. TheRocksWillShoutHisGlory

    Tully claw

    From the album: Mazon creek assortment

  21. TheRocksWillShoutHisGlory

    Tully monster

    From the album: Mazon creek assortment

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