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September 2016 Trip to our Eocene/Oligocene Nebraska Ranch


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I’m posting a few pictures from the trip I took with my sons in September 2016 to our Eocene/Oligocene Nebraska ranch.  There are a couple of really neat areas on the ranch itself of which pictures are shown below.

 

This is one small area of Eocene Chadron Formation on the ranch.  The vast majority of the ranch is Oligocene Brule Formation.

 

M&M Ranch Chadron Formation 2 r.jpg

 

M&M Ranch Chadron Formation 3 r.jpg

 

It is difficult to see clearly in these pictures but this area of the ranch has many visible different layers of the Brule Formation.  The layers really stand out when the formation is wet and the colors are much more vibrant.

 

20160915_155838.jpg

 

20160915_155850.jpg

 

These are two different dens in another part of the ranch.  One had large footprints with five toes and claws all round it, probably from a bear.  The other had large footprints with four toes and no claws all around it, probably from a mountain lion.  I really wanted to get closer and get pictures inside the den but didn’t think that would be wise with the fresh footprints all around.

M&M Ranch Den 1c Titanothere Valley r.jpg

 

M&M Ranch Den 2a Titanothere Valley r.jpg

 

We took out a good number of jacketed mammals and tortoises/turtles.  However, none have been prepped yet.  We still have over twenty specimens to prep from our May 2016 trip.

 

I spent a couple of days collecting anthill matrix for the micro terrestrial vertebrate specimens that it contains.  Below are a couple of the anthills I collected from with a garden trowel for size reference.

 

Ant Hill 1b Cow Trail M&M Ranch.JPG

 

Ant Hill 3a Cow Trail M&M Ranch.JPG

 

I wound up with around 8 ½ gallons of processed matrix from 8 areas in the ranch.  Below are group pictures of the nicer specimens that I found so far in the matrix.  I still have 1 ½ gallons of matrix to search.  The fossil hackberry seeds and rodent incisors really stand out in the group pictures but there are a myriad of other specimen types if you really look closely.  I also have thousands of bone fragments that I picked to send to Dr. Krister Smith who will search them for squamate skull fragments.  You need quite a bit of experience and expertise to recognize these skull fragments which I can’t recognize currently.

 

Specimens Titanathere Area eigth gallon BC.jpg

 

Specimens Cow Trail Area quarter gallon B r.jpg

 

Specimens Front Road Area Back half gallon B r.jpg

 

Specimens Front Road Area Back one gallon B 1a r.jpg

 

Continued in next reply

Marco Sr.

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group pictures of the nicer specimens continued:

 

Specimens Front Road Area Back one gallon B 1b r.jpg

 

Specimens Front Road Area Front one gallon B 1 r.jpg

 

Specimens Front Road Area Front one gallon B 2a r.jpg

 

Specimens Titanathere Valley Area third gallon B r.jpg

 

Specimens Tortoise Area fifth gallon B r.jpg

 

Specimens Wash Area Left one gallon B r.jpg

 

Specimens Wash Area Right half gallon B r.jpg

 

Specimens Wash Area Right one gallon B 1a r.jpg

 

Specimens Wash Area Right one gallon B 1b r.jpg

 

Continued in next reply

Marco Sr.

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I’ve only had time to take a couple of individual pictures of two squamate jaws and a squamate premaxilla.  I probably won’t have the time to take more as I’ve spent nearly 4 months searching this matrix and need to move on to the matrix for my Virginia vertebrate fauna studies.

 

Jaw1b L 3mm  W .5mm H 1mmb.jpg

 

Jaw2b L 5mm  W 1mm H 3mm.jpg

 

lizard premaxilla 5mm x 3.5mm.jpg

 

Here are a few other interesting specimens in 1.75 inch diameter gem jars.

 

Specimens Front Road Area Back one gallon B 1.jpg

 

Specimens1 Front Road Area Front one gallon B 1.jpg

 

Specimens1 Tortoise Area fifth gallon B.jpg

 

Specimens1 Wash Area Left one gallon B.jpg

 

Specimens Wash Area Right one and half gallon B.jpg

 

Marco Sr.

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FossilDudeCO

Thanks for sharing as always Marco.

Your micro matrix finds are fantastic and your photos are always enjoyable.

 

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Nice!! Love the preservation of those fossils!

Thanks for taking the time to share them!!

Tony

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Really beautiful looking place.  I would love to see some pics of some prepped turtles.  Thanks for sharing!

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Marco, Oh I enjoy these kinds of threads! Thanks for sharing! Great photos. Regards, Chris 

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That is so cool! Do you also find any larger vertebrate material at this site as well?

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8 minutes ago, TNCollector said:

That is so cool! Do you also find any larger vertebrate material at this site as well?

 

Yes, we have almost 40 jacketed mammals and tortoises/turtles from our ranch from our September 2015, May 2016 and September 2016 trips to prep.  Below are a couple of prepped saber cats (Skull and associated skeleton with skull) from our May 2015 trip that my older son found.

 

11990676_907716139299344_4669783574126920698_n.jpg

 

11951479_955308831206741_417999639935904162_o.jpg

 

Marco Sr. 

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That is amazing!:envy:

 

Just let me know the address of the ranch and when I can come and take a few fossils off of your hands!;)

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3 hours ago, CBOB said:

Really beautiful looking place.  I would love to see some pics of some prepped turtles.  Thanks for sharing!

 

We have a large number of tortoise/turtles to prep.  Below is a 27 inch long tortoise after excavation that I found in our May 2016 trip that my older son will be prepping soon.

 

IMG_1479 r.jpg

 

Marco Sr.

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3 hours ago, FossilDudeCO said:

Thanks for sharing as always Marco.

Your micro matrix finds are fantastic and your photos are always enjoyable.

 

 

3 hours ago, Plantguy said:

Marco, Oh I enjoy these kinds of threads! Thanks for sharing! Great photos. Regards, Chris 

 

Thank you.  I enjoy taking the pictures and posting when I have the time.

 

Marco Sr.

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3 hours ago, ynot said:

Nice!! Love the preservation of those fossils!

Thanks for taking the time to share them!!

Tony

 

Tony

 

Thank you.  Your reply in another of my posts reminded me that I should post at least something on our September 2016 trip.

 

Marco Sr.

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12 minutes ago, TNCollector said:

That is amazing!:envy:

 

Just let me know the address of the ranch and when I can come and take a few fossils off of your hands!;)

 

My sons actually lead or good friend Frank Garcia leads fossil trips to the ranch.  Daily rates aren't cheap because you get a guide and get to keep absolutely everything that you find.  A saber cat alone can be worth 10K to 15K prepped.

 

Marco Sr.

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14 minutes ago, MarcoSr said:

 

My sons actually lead or good friend Frank Garcia leads fossil trips to the ranch.  Daily rates aren't cheap because you get a guide and get to keep absolutely everything that you find.  A saber cat alone can be worth 10K to 15K prepped.

 

Marco Sr.

Oh wow! Send me a link! I might try it out sometime!

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FossilDudeCO
28 minutes ago, MarcoSr said:

 

My sons actually lead or good friend Frank Garcia leads fossil trips to the ranch.  Daily rates aren't cheap because you get a guide and get to keep absolutely everything that you find.  A saber cat alone can be worth 10K to 15K prepped.

 

Marco Sr.

 

I second that.

I would be interested if you will share the info.

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1 hour ago, MarcoSr said:

 

Yes, we have almost 40 jacketed mammals and tortoises/turtles from our ranch from our September 2015, May 2016 and September 2016 trips to prep.  Below are a couple of prepped saber cats (Skull and associated skeleton with skull) from our May 2015 trip that my older son found.

 

11990676_907716139299344_4669783574126920698_n.jpg

 

11951479_955308831206741_417999639935904162_o.jpg

 

Marco Sr. 

Definately the cats meow!

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Love those cat pieces!!!:wub::envy:

Your Son did a good job prepping them!:dinothumb:

 

Tony

 

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sixgill pete

Fantastic Marco.

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Nice micros, marco.  I did get the chance to collect a White River anthill after I saw you guys and got some good stuff out of it.  Not as rich as yours, I would say.  And there are sopoooo  many hackberry seeds there in Nebraska.  We rarely see them here.  Your third photo down looks like a lizard premax.   I am a bit confused by the cat skeleton photo... what is the big yellowness coming out of his eye?  

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2 hours ago, ynot said:

Love those cat pieces!!!:wub::envy:

Your Son did a good job prepping them!:dinothumb:

 

Tony

 

 

Tony

 

These saber cats were prepped by a woman in SD who is really good.  My sons only started prepping this year.  It was costing us thousands of dollars a year to prep and restore specimens so we had to start prepping ourselves to keep the costs down.  We still send the really nice specimens like cats to Sandy.

 

Marco Sr.

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7 minutes ago, jpc said:

Nice micros, marco.  I did get the chance to collect a White River anthill after I saw you guys and got some good stuff out of it.  Not as rich as yours, I would say.  And there are sopoooo  many hackberry seeds there in Nebraska.  We rarely see them here.  Your third photo down looks like a lizard premax.   I am a bit confused by the cat skeleton photo... what is the big yellowness coming out of his eye?  

 

Jean-Pierre

 

The prep picture of the cat is not the finished specimen.  What you are seeing is in process restoration which still needed some work and paint.

 

Yes, lots and lots of hackberry seeds.  I'm glad you found a productive anthill.  The anthills on the ranch have a very high fossil density.

 

I think also that the third picture is a lizard premaxilla.  I took the picture to send it to Dr. Krister Smith, the squamate researcher who is looking at all of the squamate specimens from the ranch.

 

Marco Sr.

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5 hours ago, Miguel said:

Marco Sr. Very thanks for this post. Marvellous :)

 

4 hours ago, CBOB said:

WoW!!!! Incredible finds!!  

 

2 hours ago, sixgill pete said:

Fantastic Marco.

 

Thank you.  The ranch has a lot of really nice macro and micro specimens.

 

Marco Sr.

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