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Icy? Well, compared to some areas in the US or Moscow, it had only a few degrees below zero (Celsius) last Sunday. The nights had about -10°C, the days about -2°C. This period lastet from last Friday to Monday. No snow at all and very, very dry air. The last two days we had about 0°C during the night and +10°C maximum during the day. Still very dry.


So without any snow and clear, but "cold" weather, I checked out a few Miocene sites around St. Josef in western Styria, Austria. I have made a detailed report about the area more then a year ago here:


Rocks and fossils were mostly firmly frozen to the ground, and in some places more than 10 cm long fibrous ice was growing from the ground, pushing up leaves, soil and in some places fossils. Sites looked mostly the same as during my last visit, except Höllerkogel-10.


Here at Höllerkogel-10, the farmer had removed a little bit of material from the bank of the forestry road. The sites contains mainly Granulolabium snails, but also a variety of other molluscs (see topic above). A little bit surprising last Sunday were an echinoid mold and a leaf impression, both ready to be picked (see pics, fossils as found frozen to the ground ;)). Echinoids are known from this site, but I have not seen myself such a "big" leaf in this formation until know. First I thought that this leaf is a recent leaf, sticking to the rock. But it isn´t, its a fossil. The echinoids occur as molds in the upper part of the outcrop; the lower part contains quite well preserved shell fossils (gastropods and bivalves). Nearly everything was frozen to the ground, of course, and large blocks of fossiliferous sediment were frozen hard like concrete. Maybe I will visit the site again in the near future to pick through some of the fresh debris. The large blocks have probably disintegrated then.



That´s all, thanks for looking!

Franz Bernhard

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