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Texas Day Trippin' (Waco Pit, Mammoth Site and More))


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Took a little overnight trip to hit up a few fossil sites. It was a lovely balmy 80 degrees the day before, but a cold front blew through that night and dropped the temp to the upper 30s with drizzle! But my husband and I  had already commited to a dinner with cousins and a B&B stay in Waco and a "guided" tour to the Waco Research PIt the next day, so snarge the weather, off we went.   First site was to Brownwood in an attempt to find a supposed Pennsylvanian roadcut to look for crinoids and such. The drizzle finally stopped when I found what I thought "might" be the site, but it certainly was not what I was expecting....I knew it was supposed to be a large roadcut....and this one was not. So I poked around, found a few crinoids and some branching bryzoans and one nice big hashplate, but that was IT. Not at all what I was hoping for. So, dissapointed, we headed down the road since we had dinner plans and needed to get to Waco. I figured I had time to stop at one more stop if I saw a worthwile looking roadcut. So over the river and through the woods (okay, scrub oaks)  we headed down the road and over top of a hill, the sun broke through the clouds and WAS ACTUALLY SHINING ON A LARGE ROAD CUT on the next hill. I told my husband, "I guess I should stop at THAT one." hahhaha!!  And I am glad we did. It was getting colder but I decided i could tough it our for 20 minutes or so and I filled my bag easily in that 20 minute. I think I was in the Walnut Formation due to what I was finding.....heart urchins, tylostoma gastropods, a nice sized Pinna comancheana bivalve, some turritellas and what always makes it a good day for fossil hunting ; two medium size Phymosoma urchins and a small Coenholectypus. Not well preserved, but I was happy with them nonetheless. Turned a dissapointing day around, for sure. 

 

Had a nice dinner at George's in Waco and a lovely stay at the White Rock Creek Bed and Breakfast (AMAZING breakfast....stuffed french toast,  eggs, bacon, yogurt and fruit...yum) and then off to the Lake Waco Research Pit! Got our permits and met my new friend Matthew who was kind enough to give us a guided tour of the stie and helped me identify my finds (even though i did not find what I was REALLY after...crabs and starfish)! Ah well.  Next time. Found a lovely hetermorph Mariella (which was one of the things I really wanted to find) , a pycnodont tooth plate (another thing I have been hoping to find for a while),a nice ammonite (not sure the species, Matthew told me but I don't remember...will have to look it up), and a Cidarid plate (would have LOVED to have found a whole one...still on my bucket list).   Now I know that is four fossils... I took my husbands two. He was happy to give them to me. :D (You are only allowed 2 fossils from the site which is absurd because there are SO MANY FOSSILS THERE).  Anyways, it was a fun gloppy messy muddy morning of fossil hunting with Matthew and his two galumphing doggos - Bella and Poppy. I did not envy him the clean up he was going to have to do on those dogs. 

 

Lastly, on our way out of town, we stopped by the Mammoth Site which is really astounding.  I got to see it about 25 years ago, before it had really even been turned into a park it was just a dig site. My step-grandfather knew the land owner so we got to see it...hopped a fence to see the site even!  So it was great to see it so many years later as a National Monument.  Good interpretive tour by the guides, a good view of the mammoths and the potential for more in the future (they are in phase one of three parts to bring the original excavated mammoths back to the site from their storage, so the future site will be even better!). 

 

So that concludes a little two day tour around Texas. Next time I'll find that roadcut. It's there somewhere.  I just know it. 

 

Pennsylvanian stuff:

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Cretaceous Stuff: 

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Aside from the urchins, which are always a favorite find, this one was my "best finds" of the day. I have not found one so well preserved with the detail of the shell striations. I think its a Homomya bivalve, but I am not one hundred percent on ID. 

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Greyson / Del Rio finds at Lake Waco Research Site: 

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Galumphing Dog: 

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Mammoth Site: 

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Very nice! Did you happen to take any photos of the sites? Love to see the environment you are hunting in.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Just now, digit said:

Very nice! Did you happen to take any photos of the sites? Love to see the environment you are hunting in.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 Just getting those uploaded! 

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A dang shame about the new rules on the Waco Pit. Awesome little pyritized ammonites!

 

I suspect that the Del Rio formation is exposed at other locations, just waiting to be found. Army Core of Engineers need to go build a road or dam and stop wringing their hands over that exposure that they already tightly control. 

 

Great finds, thanks for sharing. 

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Lots of amazing finds! 

Love the heteromorph, but the bryozoans are my favourite! :wub:

Thanks for sharing. 

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I think that is great that you swoon over the most humble little bryzoans....they deserve our love too eh? hahhahah! 

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Great trip report, thanks JL.  :)

3 hours ago, JamieLynn said:

swoon over the most humble little bryzoans

I'm with Adam.  I too love the bryzos.  :wub:

 

4 hours ago, JamieLynn said:

my "best finds" of the day.

And I love that you love the bivalve.  Texas Cretaceous has such a large variety of bivalves; and they often do not get their due for some reason.  :D 

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So I was wondering which site to visit tomorrow as I am visiting Texas currently, and I think your post made up my mind. The Waco pit and mammoth museum will see me tomorrow forsure! I love the heteromorph shell, it is amazing looking! :envy:

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Sounds like you had a successful outing. Thanks for sharing. I love galumphing dogs.

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Is this the Mariella heteromorph ammonite?  I LOVE it!!! :wub::wub::wub:

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Congrats on finding a nice assortment of fossils!!!

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Nice report and some great finds! I bet it was very exciting and nostalgic for you to visit the Mammoth Site. Thanks for sharing! 

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@Monica - yep, that is the Mariella! Lovely little thing, isn't it?  :)  Thanks all of y'all. We are so lucky here in Texas to have so much amazing geology and paleontology all within a days drive. Of course, it TAKES a days drive to get OUT of Texas....when you are smack in the middle.

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