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Firstly, a big THANK YOU to @Jeffrey P for hanging out with me for the day! What a knowledgeable, generous, and all around swell guy! If you ever get the opportunity to hunt with Jeff, I highly encourage you to. :) 

 

Jeff and I met at around 8:30 am, and after a quick transfer of his gear to my truck, we were off. We first drove about 45 minutes south to the small town of Wax, to hunt the Upper Mississippian. Specifically to look for blastoids and crinoid calyxes that were known to be found in the area. As it happens, luck was with us!

 

Unfortunately, I didn't take the field pictures that I typically do. Due to the fact that I went swimming with my phone a month or so ago :SadSmile:. I am down to using my wife's old phone that I found in the junk drawer (Yes Jeff, it's pink... :P ). I didn't take it out much to avoid the inevitable drop down the hill side. Especially since it doesn't even have a protective case... Jeff snapped a few pictures. Maybe he will chime in and add them when he is able.

 

For the first few minutes we didn't find much besides crinoid stems, bryozoans, and the deflated or crushed brachiopods common to the site. The main species of brach found in the area doesn't seem to have fared well during the fossilization process. Finding a nice inflated one is a rarity. After a few minutes of adjusting our eyes to spot the small finds located here, we started to pick out the blastoids. Jeff was the first to find one, and gifted it to me as he had already collected a few on his previous trips here. Thanks Jeff for gifting me my first blastoid!

 

Most of the blastoids, while small, were whole and nicely preserved. Here are a few examples.

 

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     I did happen to find the largest blastoid from the site, and one of the larger ones Jeff had seen from here. Super pumped about this one!

 

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Crinoid calyx were also to be found here. We only found a few, but being that these were also a first for me, I was extremely excited to find them!

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The brachiopods I previously mentioned were abundant, and besides crinoid stems, were the most abundant fossil to be found here. Again, they are almost always deflated. Finding a nice inflated one would be a real treat.

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These other little Spirifer(?) brachiopods could also be found. Although they were more uncommon that the previous ones. They are very small and delicate. Often crumbling when trying to pick them up.

 

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Bivalves could be found here also, but were extremely rare. Jeff was excited to find a couple, but I struck out. Other things that could be found were crinoid stems, the odd solitary rugose coral, and of course the ever present bryozoans.

 

We then headed to a site a few miles down the road in Leitchfield. Stay tuned! 

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The Leitchfield site is the same exposure at the Wax location. Glen Dean Limestone (Jeff correct me if I am wrong), Upper Mississippian. Many of the same species can be found here, although the preservation quality and abundance of certain species differs. This site is also larger and more plentiful in fossils. Crinoid stems and branching bryozoans litter the ground.

 

This site has blastoids as the previous site, but are often crushed or broken.

 

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They are sometimes found inflated, in decent shape, and can be larger here.

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The below was my favorite find of the day. Not only is it an inflated blastoid from a site that they are typically found crushed, broken, or deflated, but it is massive for the area. The largest one that Jeff has ever seen here. He even went so far as to suggest it might be the largest @Herb has seen! Very exciting!

 

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The other exciting finds from this locality were the crinoid calyx. Jeff assured me that they were some of the rarer finds here, but luck was with us. We seemed to hit the jackpot.

 

These were the more common variety.

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Here is an example of other varieties that could be found. Not as common.

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For me, the below were the most interesting variety, and usually one of the rarest finds here. Jeff and I both were pleasantly surprised to find more than a few. :) 

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Below are a few pictures of some other things that could be found at this location. The common deflated brachs were here as well, but I won't post additional pictures of those.

 

Crinoid stems and fragments were of course very common. I picked up a few of the more interesting ones. The far left in the below picture is encrusted with some form of mineral. Pyrite perhaps? The one on the far right also has a brown outer layer of mineral that is delicate and will flake if handled too much. 

 

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Horn corals were also present, and preservation was better than most. On some, external features could be seen.

 

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Large echinoderm plates and spikes were also a common sight. Some fossilizes rock chunks, were almost entirely composed of them, and those that eroded out littered the ground.

 

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The ever present bryozoa. Archimedes screws and branching varieties were common.

 

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I consider the below a double edged sword. A nice find, but a bit of a heart breaker as well. It's a large blastoid. Maybe even larger than my favorite find of the day, but it is crushed, The typical preservation here.

 

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That's it folks! We had intended to hunt another road cut, but were doing so well that we didn't want to leave. After about 8 hours or so of total hunting time, Jeff and I headed back to Etown. We hated to part ways, but dinner with our families was calling. It was a great day with a fossil buddy. Finding firsts, rarities, and above all making great memories! Hopefully @Jeffrey P will post some of his finds after his travels are over. He had some nice ones, and was winner of the find of the day! Thanks again Jeff! 

 

P.S. Sorry some of the photos are not the greatest. This old junk phone is, well, junk... Haha!  

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Fantastic finds! You and Jeffrey really cleaned up, and those plump blastoids are...:wub:

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WOW love all of those!! I've never seen Archimedes screws....those are really amazing that they preserve that well.

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I am :envy:

Those Pentremites are pretty nice, I think you have at least a couple of different species. That big one you found really is a monster! 

I also adore those crinoids, the spiny corals and the bryozoans. 

So all of it.

But my favourites, of course, are the brachiopods, I think you have Cleiothyridina sublamellosa and Spiriferina spinosa there.:drool:

Nice haul, Wayne! 

 

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Very nice finds! You got more than a pocket full of those little gems.

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Really great finds. Especially the blastoid's, wish we could find them here in NC.

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Very nice finds! And yes, Jeff is a great guy to hunt with!:thumbsu:

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Congratulations Wayne. Great report and finds. Those crinoid calyxes and monster blastoid were truly exceptional. And did I mention you were a wonderful companion to collect with and it was great meeting you. My own report won’t be out for another week or two. In the meantime I’ll enjoy rereading yours and admiring your finds.

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Wayne,

 

Loved seeing your finds.  Blastoids are some of my favorite echinoderms.  Also crinoids. Heck, who am I kidding, I like all echinoderms. :P

 

Anyway, great productive trip with some wonderful scores.

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8 hours ago, JamieLynn said:

WOW love all of those!! I've never seen Archimedes screws....those are really amazing that they preserve that well.

They are neat little bryozoans! Their preservation is good or bad depending on your view. The "screw" part is actually the central column of the animal, and it would be lined with fan like fronds. The fronds are usually found in bits and pieces since they are so delicate. Some of which are likely the ones pictured next to the screws in my report (the lace like bits). So the pieces that are left to find are neat, but most of the fossilized animal did not survive all that well. ;) 

 

Here is a link to an interesting article about them from the Kentucky Geological Survey.

 

https://www.uky.edu/KGS/fossils/fossil-month-09-2018-Archimedes.php#:~:text=Archimedes is a fossil that,both eastern and western Kentucky. 

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8 hours ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

I am :envy:

Those Pentremites are pretty nice, I think you have at least a couple of different species. That big one you found really is a monster! 

I also adore those crinoids, the spiny corals and the bryozoans. 

So all of it.

But my favourites, of course, are the brachiopods, I think you have Cleiothyridina sublamellosa and Spiriferina spinosa there.:drool:

Nice haul, Wayne! 

 

Thanks Adam! I'm quite fond of everything myself. :) Most of these were firsts for me, and to haul in such a cool batch of firsts in one go just made my day.  I haven't had the chance to try and ID any of these yet so I appreciate the suggestions! 

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2 hours ago, Jeffrey P said:

Congratulations Wayne. Great report and finds. Those crinoid calyxes and monster blastoid were truly exceptional. And did I mention you were a wonderful companion to collect with and it was great meeting you. My own report won’t be out for another week or two. In the meantime I’ll enjoy rereading yours and admiring your finds.

Thanks Jeff! It was a pleasure meeting you as well! Let me know when you are back in the area. I could always use another excuse to get out. Haha! :) Enjoy rereading my report, but I am axiously awaiting yours! You had some epic finds yourself!  Hope the rest of your trip went well!  

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1 hour ago, grandpa said:

Wayne,

 

Loved seeing your finds.  Blastoids are some of my favorite echinoderms.  Also crinoids. Heck, who am I kidding, I like all echinoderms. :P

 

Anyway, great productive trip with some wonderful scores.

Thanks Tom! Echinoderms are quickly turning into a favorite of mine as well. I love the symmetry and shape of the blastoids. If only we had those lovely little Echi urchins here that you Texans are fond of finding! :P  

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Wow, those are some fantastic finds!! @Jeffrey P is such a great guy to collect with,  this must have such a great trip - congrats!!

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