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Birthday fossil hunting trip (Cretaceous of Belgian & Dutch Limburg)


ziggycardon

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Hello everyone, 

Yesterday my girlfriend & I went fossil hunting for birthday. :) 
This was the first fossil hunt the two of us did on our self, our previous hunts were all excursions with the Belgian Association for Paleontology. 
We visited two locations, but locations are part of the Formation of Gulpen, around 68 million years old, dating back to the Maastrichtian (these outcrops are part of the Maastrichtian type location where the first mayor Mosasaurus discovery was done). 

The first location we visited was a limestone outcrop next to the Albert Channel here in Belgium, only a 20 minute drive away. I discovered this outcrop while looking out the window whenever I drive to Maastricht and yesterday we decided to check it out. 
It is quite a little outcrop, no more than 70 meters wide, but one of the few places left where you can hunt in Limburg. We hunted here for around one and a half hour and we only searched the fallen and loose bits of limestone that were the results of erosion. We didn't want to start hacking in the rock. 
We mainly found ancient sea shells of different species and some bryozoa's in this location. And a some pieces of wall where teeming with urchin fragments, but we didn't find any intact one near the surface. But since the urchin graveyard was deeply enbedded in the rock and we didn't want to hack in it, we left it as it was :) 

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The second location we visited was the "Grote Bos" in Beutenaken in The Netherlands. Here there are holloways in the forest that expose some limestone outcrops. 
This spot is known for it's belemnite which can be found on the forest paths, because the soft limestone gets eroded but hard belemnites remain, making them very easy to find.

We found around 25 belemnites during our 1 hour hunt there as well as a shell imprint and a mystery fossil. 
Like the previous location, the patch of limestone where these belemnite can be found is also only around 70 meter long, but luckily very rich. 
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Very nice! Glad to see you were able to find some things on your first outing by yourselves. Thanks for the report! :) 

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So here are our finds from both locations which I think are not bad given we only searched one and a half hour at each location :) 
Most find are pretty rough and still need some cleaning and prepping :) 

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Some of the Belemnites we found at Beutenaken

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A shell imprint we found at Beutenaken (Neithea regularis)

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The mystery fossil we found in Beutenaken. 
My initial though when I found it was "omg I found a turtle shell" but I highly doubt it. 
I am more inclined to point in the direction of Nummulites or coral, or maybe not even fossil but geological.

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A Neithea regularis from the outcrop near the channel

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Some oysters (Agerostrea ungulata)
A species we didn't found on our first hunt in Eben-Emael.

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And we found a lot of these tiny shells.

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6 minutes ago, FossilNerd said:

Very nice! Glad to see you were able to find some things on your first outing by yourselves. Thanks for the report! :) 

Thank you, yes we were very happy with the finds from out first individual hunt together. 
We found way more than we anticipated :) 

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The mystery fossil is not a fossil at all, but a geologic formation called Beekite Rings.

 

Nice report and finds. :) 

Thanks for bringing us along!

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15 minutes ago, Fossildude19 said:

The mystery fossil is not a fossil at all, but a geologic formation called Beekite Rings.

 

Nice report and finds. :) 

Thanks for bringing us along!

Thank you, I had never heard of Beekite before. 
Thank you for helping me out, you saved me from making a fossil ID request post :D 

 

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FranzBernhard

Very good report and nice finds - thanks for sharing. I really love "unspectacular" finds and common fossils. "Hey, its long-gone sea life, think about it!" ;)

Btw, I especially like the belemnites (these are simple enough for my simple mind :D) and here I like the double matrix specimen most! Very fine specimen! Congrats!

Franz Bernhard

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The sort of hunt I love, nothing spectacular, but worthy. 

I love some of those belemnites and shell pieces. 

Thanks for sharing, great photos.:)

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Happy birthday Ziggy . Nice report and I like the belemnites. You have a fine lady their, to go fossil hunting with you in February. She is a keeper.

 

cheers Bobby 
 

 

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@FranzBernhard @Tidgy's Dad
Thank you, we are very pleased with our finds :) 
It took a very long time to find spots nearby where collecting is still allowed, most fossil locations here in Limburg are either closed and off-limits for collecting. 
Those will probably become frequent hunting spots of ours, especially the outcrop near the Channel as it is on route to my work. Might be fun to visit after work in the summer :) 

 

3 hours ago, Bobby Rico said:

Happy birthday Ziggy . Nice report and I like the belemnites. You have a fine lady their, to go fossil hunting with you in February. She is a keeper.

 

cheers Bobby 

Thank you! She most definiatly is! :D 
And while she doesn't share the same enthousiasm for fossils itself, she is a huge outdoors person and she loves fossil hunting as much as I do (maybe even more), so that's an absolute win! :D 
She usually finds the best things as well, the double belemnite block and the shell imprint were found by her, as well as our amazing C. hastalis tooth during our previous hunt in Rumst. 

We are still trying to get more experienced fossil hunters, but we are talking about going abroad to fossil hunt. :) 

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7 hours ago, Fossildude19 said:

The mystery fossil is not a fossil at all, but a geologic formation called Beekite Rings.

 

Nice report and finds. :) 

Thanks for bringing us along!

Yep. Looks like beekite to me too. I love beekite. Fascinating stuff. Sometimes it encrusts fossils as well. So you may have something underneath. 

Here is a link to an older thread with some great examples. :) 

 

 

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Congratulations on your birthday hunt. The belemnites and oysters look similar to ones we find in New Jersey. 

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FranzBernhard
22 hours ago, ziggycardon said:

especially the outcrop near the Channel as it is on route to my work.

It has great potential for large bivalve matrix specimens. Many medium-sized blocks seem to stick rather loose to the outcrop and can be rather easily retrieved? Do you know of big matrix bivalve specimens from this or similar sites in museums or other collections?

 

22 hours ago, ziggycardon said:

She usually finds the best things as well

That´s usual case, absolutely usual case: "The Keeper finds the keepers" :D!

Good luck for your next fossil hunts!
Franz Bernhard

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Happy Birthday, Ziggy!

 

Like Franz, I love the two belemnites still on matrix, as well as the bivalve imprints - awesome finds! :dinothumb:

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7 hours ago, FranzBernhard said:

It has great potential for large bivalve matrix specimens. Many medium-sized blocks seem to stick rather loose to the outcrop and can be rather easily retrieved? Do you know of big matrix bivalve specimens from this or similar sites in museums or other collections?

Well during our first hunt in Eben-Emael which is part from the same formation and is only 5 km away from this location, we did find this large Pteria approximata. 
Not sure is there are many other big species, maybe one or two others that I remember seeing in the NHM in Maastricht but I am not entirely sure.

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23 hours ago, FossilNerd said:

Yep. Looks like beekite to me too. I love beekite. Fascinating stuff. Sometimes it encrusts fossils as well. So you may have something underneath. 

Here is a link to an older thread with some great examples. :) 

 

 

It turns out some of the Belemnites have small Beekite rings as well. 

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On 15-2-2020 at 2:14 PM, ziggycardon said:

The second location we visited was the "Grote Bos" in Beutenaken in The Netherlands. Here there are holloways in the forest that expose some limestone outcrops. 
This spot is known for it's belemnite which can be found on the forest paths, because the soft limestone gets eroded but hard belemnites remain, making them very easy to find.

We found around 25 belemnites during our 1 hour hunt there as well as a shell imprint and a mystery fossil. 
Like the previous location, the patch of limestone where these belemnite can be found is also only around 70 meter long, but luckily very rich. 

Next time you go to this location let me know. I will give you some tips on hunting at this location. Last time my dad and i went there we found like a few hunderd of belemnites in an hour. 

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18 minutes ago, Indagator said:

Next time you go to this location let me know. I will give you some tips on hunting at this location. Last time my dad and i went there we found like a few hunderd of belemnites in an hour. 

Thank you, I will let you know next time I visit :) 
I read that with luck you could find 1 kg per hour, but snarge a few 100 in an hour that's a lot! :D 
Ever found other things beside belemnites at Beutenaken? We found the little shell imprint and the piece with the Beekite, but not sure if there are other things to be found.

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5 minutes ago, ziggycardon said:

Ever found other things beside belemnites at Beutenaken? 

I did find a brachiopod one time and some belemnites with serpulids and others attached on it. 

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1 hour ago, ziggycardon said:

It turns out some of the Belemnites have small Beekite rings as well

Nice! :dinothumb:

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Manticocerasman

Great report Ken,

good  to see that you found a few outcrops where you still find some Maastrichtian fossils, you two did realy wel :)

 

I realy like the double belemnite :D

 

 

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@Manticocerasman Thank you, we are very glad we were finally able to find a spot where we can still hunt for Maastrichtian fossils, I was getting a bit desperate :D 

I am already looking forward to the next time to go hunting :) 

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Here are the finds after cleaning and minor prepping :) 

 

The finds from Beutenaken

Belemnitella sp.

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The beekite

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The finds from the outcrop near the Albert Channel

A bivalve which I suppose is Entolium membranaceum

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Agerostrea ungulata oysters

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Acutostrea uncinella

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Acutostrea uncinella

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A piece of bivalve shell?

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Shell imprint

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Some shells that might be Acutostrea uncinella

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Some tiny shells, of which I don't know the species

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A small sea urchin which I guess is a Hemiaster koninckanus

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I agree with hemiaster but to determine if it is a hemiaster prunella or koninckanus i need pics of the side. Prunella is more flatter(and less rare) then koninckanus. 

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