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Pit 11 Summer Fossils


Thomas.Dodson

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Thomas.Dodson

Over the Summer I conducted research in Illinois so naturally I spent as much time as I could collecting fossils. I had a particular interest in collecting Mazon Creek concretions. I had the fortune of making one trip to the area once over a decade ago but that was short and I didn't collect any Essex stuff. Because of that I focused in on Pit 11 this time. Summer may not be the best time for collecting there but my time in Illinois was limited and going in summer beats not going at all. Over the summer I persistently traveled to Pit 11 from Urbana 5 or 6 times. Most of the concretions are now open and I figured I'd share some of the better specimens I collected.

 

First some worms, a nice Didontogaster cordylina and the better of two Dryptoscolex matthiesae.

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IMG_6953.thumb.JPG.f5a95a9984cfdabad6d39e8340a45d38.JPG

 

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Thomas.Dodson

I have a particular fondness for this Bandringa rayi I picked up. The color difference is slight but it's amazing cartilage preserves at all and I'm happy with it.

IMG_6948.JPG

IMG_6572.JPG

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Thomas.Dodson

A little Belotelson magister.

IMG_6959.thumb.JPG.1649d5710fc1776f2713dbf41597e042.JPGIMG_6574.thumb.JPG.5a3bddfde6fac5e31b0c2768913d8663.JPG

An acanthotelson tail.

IMG_6617.thumb.JPG.d4bab58ec369209a379d3d2b8c3d2bd1.JPG

 

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Thomas.Dodson

I don't mind shrimp molts. They may be common from here but I appreciate the overall rarity and variety of preservation. IMG_6955.thumb.JPG.e7c37a870c5d045ddcd35044ed2efe7d.JPGIMG_6956.thumb.JPG.79802c5255a71c853d54b626ebadbff3.JPGIMG_6612.thumb.JPG.4a28f318fb47f839d7b1d868877fb8ab.JPG

Speaking of appreciation for common Pit 11 stuff, I need to at least keep some Essexella asherae in my collection. IMG_6969.thumb.JPG.c3b28013600d39cf6d15b6c9e5172d9f.JPG

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Wow! :wub:

Yum, yum, keep 'em coming. 

:popcorn:

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Thomas.Dodson

I'm guessing this is a fragment of Achistrum sp. based on the septarian style.

Escherium.png.084a2ad9f27a1406248a5f32d73ab318.png

Coprolites may also be common but I like the 3d aspect of this one. Upon splitting the concretion the whole coprolite came out and is free from the concretion.

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A fragmental Thallites dichopleurus.

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Essex or not, I wound up with a lot of terrestrial stuff, a surprising amount (to me) with venation preserved well enough to ID.

I got this nice Annularia stellata.

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A Calamites among the already split concretions.

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And Lobatopteris lamuriana among some less well preserved ferns.

Lobato.png.e6b21d265995721b82ded75050e86a17.png

lob.png.ac4629e343c045abba6682a0291bc918.png

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38 minutes ago, Thomas.Dodson said:

I have a particular fondness for this Bandringa rayi I picked up. The color difference is slight but it's amazing cartilage preserves at all and I'm happy with it.

IMG_6948.JPGIMG_6572.JPG

Very nice stuff :wub:  Are you sure this guy isn't Esconichthys?

 

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Thomas.Dodson

Annularia sphenophylloides with what I believe based on venation is a Pecopteris subcrenulata.

Annularia.png.4a99332093cb92b2ce51d777af1ed449.png

This particular flora of unknown affinity is quite interesting. Based on the help of other members it is probably either some form of Annularia sp. or the fertile structure or Eremopteris zamioides. You can see the interesting discussion here.

IMG_6822.thumb.JPG.44b1d12a00f14b2bc8fcef9c1006b48f.JPG

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Thomas.Dodson
12 minutes ago, connorp said:

Very nice stuff :wub:  Are you sure this guy isn't Esconichthys?

 

Absolutely not sure, I made the identification based on my Mazon Creek books I picked up a long time ago. Esconichthys didn't appear in those books and I assumed part of the snout of this specimen was cut off. Esconichthys does seem more likely for a lot of reasons. Much obliged.

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Very nice finds! I like the plant nodules the best. The Annularia stellatta is my favorite.

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7 hours ago, Thomas.Dodson said:

Absolutely not sure, I made the identification based on my Mazon Creek books I picked up a long time ago. Esconichthys didn't appear in those books and I assumed part of the snout of this specimen was cut off. Esconichthys does seem more likely for a lot of reasons. Much obliged.

You should definitely pick up Jack Wittry's Mazon Creek books if you can. The fauna book was published in 2007 2012 I think and a second edition of the flora book was just released this year. Even if you don't regularly collect MC, the books are worth it just for the pictures I think.

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Thomas.Dodson

I have Jack Wittry's first flora book. It came out shortly after I visited Braidwood the first time and has been great. I didn't know he had a fauna book but that makes sense if it came out in 2007. I'll have to take a look.

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Great finds! Really like the coprolite, the annularia that is just perfectly placed in its concretion,  and of course the Esconichthys - really jealous of that one! Thanks for sharing! 

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That's a nice selection of finds for one summer! I agree with @connorp that the "fish" looks like Esconichthys, which is still exciting! I have yet to find one in my ~4 years of collecting. The worms and flora are also great.  

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