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A couple of months ago I collected a small bucket of shale from the Stark Shale Member in the Dennis Formation of the Kansas City Group.  My purpose was to find conodonts. Today, I had a chance to look at the shale and I found a conodont this afternoon--the first one I've ever found :).  I was able to extract this with a small needle in a pen vise.  I took the pictures with a Celestron MicroCapture Pro.  For any locals that are interested, this came from the Firemen's Memorial.

 

Russ

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 I know next to nothing about conodonts, but that is extremely beautiful and so very tiny! 

You must have felt pretty good when that was discovered. 

Diligence pays off! :)

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Congratulations on your first! :fistbump:

I know those things are fragile and hard to get out of the black shale.

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20 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

so very tiny

Yep.  I am glad I did not loose it somewhere in the extraction and photographing stages.

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18 minutes ago, Bullsnake said:

fragile and hard to get out of the black shale

Well, it was partially beginner's luck.  I had never even identified a conodont before, and the first one I saw came out easily, entire, and photogenic.

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Nice! I don’t have any yet, but formations near me are rumored to contain them (that being said, they are also supposed to contain many other things I have yet to find)

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They're normally extracted by treating samples with formic or dilute acetic  acid,washing the residue with deionized water,

more often than not followed by heavy liquid separation( e.g. sodium polytungstanate)(apatitic fossils*!).

*mostly francolitic

Looks slightly gondolellid*,but the preservation is mediocre

*that's not a "taxonomic assignment",which would not be warranted in this case

Glad you like your find!

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Arizona Chris

You might want to take the rock it was found in and do the acetic acid bath to see if any more are inside!

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9 hours ago, doushantuo said:

gondolellid

Thanks, doushantuo.  I know little about conodonts, but one of the two fossil-invertebrate reference books I own is Moore, Laliker, and Fishcher's Invertebrate Fossils (1952), and I saw on a page of drawings of conodonts (p. 735) that the genus Gondolella was similar and that it is known in the Pennsylvanian subsystem.    So, I was pleased to find something similar to my specimen and to see that you saw the similarity too.  My interest is piqued, so perhaps if I find more with better preservation I'll be able to confirm an ID.

 

Russ

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10 hours ago, doushantuo said:

treating samples with formic or dilute acetic  acid,washing the residue with deionized water,

more often than not followed by heavy liquid separation( e.g. sodium polytungstanate)(apatitic fossils*!).

*mostly francolitic

Thanks for the information.  I plan to try some of this.  I am of thinking of using white vinegar.  Is there another readily available source of formic or acetic acid? I see some undiluted acetic acid available online.  If I got this, how would I dilute it?

 

Russ

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4 minutes ago, KCMOfossil said:

If I got this, how would I dilute it?

Water, just measure it out to whatever dilution you would want and mix.

 

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" Approximately 1 kg of bulk material was processed for each sample. Limestones were dissolved in 15% (by volume) acetic acid, and shales were disaggregated in bleach (5.2% or 7.5% sodium hypochlorite) or 12% H2O2. Shale samples took up to six months to break down in bleach, although 12% H2O2 disaggregated gray shale in 2–24 h. Black shales disaggregated more rapidly in H2O2 than in bleach but still required several months. After dissolution/disaggregation, we used tetrabromomethane (Austin, 1987) and a magnetic separator to concentrate the conodonts."

(Bright et al(GCA /2009))

THIS IS NOT a recommendation from me to be fooling around with miscellaneous chemicals.

I hope everybody realizes that

A lot of Carboniferous(/(Paleozoic) shale is chemically heterogeneous.

 

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2 hours ago, doushantuo said:

THIS IS NOT a recommendation from me to be fooling around with miscellaneous chemicals.

Thanks for the information and the reminder.  I need to do more reading.  I am readily finding conodonts on the surface so I assume there are more in the matrix.  

 

Russ

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27 minutes ago, KCMOfossil said:

Thanks for the information and the reminder.  I need to do more reading.  I am readily finding conodonts on the surface so I assume there are more in the matrix.  

 

Russ

Thought I would add, be careful when diluting any acid other than acetic (in Muriatic f and others it will start to heat up and boil the water, shooting acid everywhere which is not ideal)

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1 hour ago, WhodamanHD said:

Thought I would add, be careful when diluting any acid other than acetic (in Muriatic f and others it will start to heat up and boil the water, shooting acid everywhere which is not ideal)

It’s not a problem if you add the acid TO the water which is standard lab practice as the endothermic reaction will be negligible. :) 

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3 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

be careful when diluting any acid other than acetic

Thanks for the word of caution.  I have no experience with this at all.

2 hours ago, JohnBrewer said:

add the acid TO the water

Thanks, John, for the tip.

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1 hour ago, KCMOfossil said:

be careful when diluting any acid other than acetic

No, be careful with all acids acetic or otherwise. I use glacial acetic acid amongst many other chemicals. It’s particularly nasty on skin   

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