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Pennsylvanian Road Cut Collecting in Oglesby, Illinois (10-5-2020)


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To day I decided to take a vacation day and stay around the house, but my wife told me that I was getting in her way and why don't I go fossil collecting. So with that, I was off on a 130 mile round trip to Oglesby, Illinois to look around at a road cut that exposes the Pennsylvanian LaSalle Limestone member of the Bond Formation. I have visited this site a number of times before and have prepared trip reports on my finds. I believe I say on every post that this is not a site for young kids and as adults you need to watch yourself for possible falling rocks or falling on the scree that is made up of larger pieces. In my opinion, this site is best visited in the early spring and late fall, when all of the vegetation is dead, it make foot placement a lot easier and really opens up the site, which is not very big.

 

Shortly after I arrived at the site, another car pulled up and a man got out who identified himself as Roy Plotnick. The name was familiar to me, but I could not pinpoint where from, but I knew it was fossil related. Dr. Roy Plotnick is a Professor Emeritus from the University of Illinois at Chicago (Invertebrate Paleobiology and Paleontology), like me, he was just out for a day of collecting. We talked about several topics, including Mazon Creek fossils, and I had mentioned Richardson's Guide to The Fossil Fauna of Mazon Creek book and he stated that he authored the chapter on Eurypterids, and that was when it clicked where I heard his name.

 

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We both collected for about 1 hour and then we went on our separate ways. I did not find anything special today and to be honest, this was the least amount of fossils that I ever collected on a trip, here are some finds and pics of the area, Roy and one of me. I asked him to take a picture of me since I usually collect by myself and never end up in pictures.

 

Roy Plotnick-

 

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Your's Truly-

 

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Pictures of the area-

 

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You have to watch out for the branches with the thorns on them, they are deadly.

 

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I found this cute little snake hanging around.

 

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Composita argentia-

 

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Linoproductus cora-

 

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Juresania nebrascensis-

 

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Crinoid discs-

 

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Hash Plate-

 

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Something odd and crystal filled, but think it is geological and not fossil. If I am wrong, let me know. I left this piece on site, but I know where it is.

 

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I like snakes too, I have a pet corn snake but I still like how you go from

9 minutes ago, Nimravis said:

You have to watch out for the branches with the thorns on them, they are deadly.

 

to

9 minutes ago, Nimravis said:

I found this cute little snake hanging around.

 

Looks like a successful day :)

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Nice report an photos, Ralph. 

And great that you met up with Mr. Plotnick and we get a rare photo of you on site. :)

And, of course, the brachiopods are yummy. :b_love1::brachiopod:

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DPS Ammonite
On 10/5/2020 at 6:00 PM, Nimravis said:

Something odd and crystal filled, but think it is geological and not fossil. If I am wrong, let me know. I left this piece on site, but I know where it is.

 

IMG_2974.jpg.506e37e6d13869d3e364f15a16eaff76.jpgIMG_2975.jpg.7c98ce813dea2d4761707976540c31f7.jpg

It looks like a cross section of a spiraled Bellerophontid.

 

Do you find any Pennsylvanian sponges in the area?

 


See drawing from:

Mazaev, Alexey. (2015). Upper Kazanian (Middle Permian) Gastropods of the Volga-Urals Region. Paleontological Journal. 49. 869-986. 10.1134/S0031030115080018. 

0ADC107B-42A1-468B-A90F-8FAECA0EC848.png

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17 minutes ago, DPS Ammonite said:

Do you find any Pennsylvanian sponges in the area?

Not that I know of, maybe @deutscheben would know that answer.

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49 minutes ago, Top Trilo said:

I like snakes too, I have a pet corn snake but I still like how you go from

to

Looks like a successful day :)

Lol on the post, I use to have a lot of snakes. 
 

I would not call this successful, but it was a lot of fun. 

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Funny, I think I've seen him there before. He pulled up just as I was leaving sometime in the spring. Only other time I've seen someone at this site. It definitely is best not to visit in the summer. There is usually a lot of poison ivy, too much to avoid.

 

1 hour ago, DPS Ammonite said:

Do you find any Pennsylvanian sponges in the area?

Not at this site. I've read that spicules have been found, but I've never found them (or at least noticed them). Some published taxa can be found in the black shales in the area though.

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If that's the smallest haul you've ever come home with then you've never really been to a bad site (never been skunked) - or do you mean only on trips further afield than your usual 'backyard' sites?

Maybe it's not worth a 130mi drive but they are nice nonetheless!

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Those are some great looking Pennsylvanian brachiopods!  I’ll have to look back on some of the trip reports to see what a “good” day there looks like, haha. 

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2 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

If that's the smallest haul you've ever come home with then you've never really been to a bad site (never been skunked) - or do you mean only on trips further afield than your usual 'backyard' sites?

Maybe it's not worth a 130mi drive but they are nice nonetheless!

Smallest haul ever, from any site I have collected. On other visits to this site I collected a lot, it could have just been me today.

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31 minutes ago, ClearLake said:

Those are some great looking Pennsylvanian brachiopods!  I’ll have to look back on some of the trip reports to see what a “good” day there looks like, haha. 

Thanks and Yes, do that.

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Like @connorp, I have always had this site to myself while collecting, so it’s pretty cool that you were able to share it with an Illinois fossil expert! 

I have not found any sponges here either.

 

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On 10/5/2020 at 10:38 PM, jort68 said:

This is crazy, I collected the same roadcut earlier this year! Great place. Did you happen to see a crazy little crevice filled with crystals?

 

Not a crevice, but I do find numerous brachiopods with crystals inside.

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You may not have found a dragon’s horde of treasures, but it looks like you had a great time with great company. Thanks for sharing! :) 

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8 hours ago, FossilNerd said:

You may not have found a dragon’s horde of treasures, but it looks like you had a great time with great company. Thanks for sharing! :) 

That is true- thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/5/2020 at 5:00 PM, Nimravis said:

Roy Plotnick-

IMG_2968.jpg.d3e0c76d0c8376a0888b0df5b17f78f7.jpg

Roy has spoken many times at ESCONI meetings.  He is always interesting, with some controversial ideas like his paper that Essexella asherae is a sea anemone.

 

Or, maybe you remember this from this summer  https://www.esconi.org/esconi_earth_science_club/2020/07/mazon-monday-18-langford-book-inscriptions-mazoncreek-fossils-mazonmonday.html.

 

Cheers,

Rich

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1 hour ago, stats said:

like his paper that Essexella asherae is a sea anemone.

He mentioned that and said it is coming out soon.

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What a steep hunting location!  It looks kind of scary :Horrified:

 

Very nice brachiopods, Ralph! :)

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