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Field trip in yamaguchi prefecture, japan


David in Japan

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David in Japan

TFF friends, 

How are you?

 

It's been a while i post here although i still read almost daily posts on the forum.

 

Last month on the 30 and the 31th, i had the opportunity to make a 2 days field trip to the yamaguchi prefecture with the association of the Goshoura Cretaceous Museum's friends.

 

We spend 2 days there discovering the local geology and history with paleontologists friends.

 

Let me share with you this experience.

 

 

 

 

First day.

 

We left kumamoto at 7 in the morning and drove for about 3 hous to our first destination called Mine.

 

Around the city of Mine and particularly on the northern part of the city can be found the toyoura formation. It is a clastic sediment marine formation that formed during the sinemurian-bathonian period. This formation formed the same way Holzmaden formed and a lot of very well preserved marine organisms such as bivalves, ammonites, belemnites and plants can be found.

 

We first explored a small river without much success. While everybody found plant fragments, i found 2 nice belemnites. I read that belemnites were pretty rare and that only one specie was described from this formation so i believe they are Acrocoelites mantanii from the megateuthidinae sub-familly. 

 

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We found only few fossils there but it was a great occasion to enjoy our meal under a japanese cherry tree, symbol of the japanese spring.

 

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We then followed the stream until the main river where we search the river bed for ammonites. We found some nice specimens (Dactylioceras, Cleviceras and Protogrammoceras) and some plants material (i love the coloration) but we had to leave quickly the river bed as the water level rose-up in a blink of an eye. Weather was good but where we were but you never know what happen upstream. One cannot be too careful.

 

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We leaved the field and were about to drive to the Hotaru Museum when somebody told us by inadvertancy that the older part of the parking lot was filled with fossiliferous limestone from the Akiyoshidai locality. We didn't have to think twice and went through all the gravel in hope to find carboniferous fusulinas, brachiopods, and corals.

 

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We spend 30 minutes there and were about to leave when we noticed tortoise bones were here and there, lying on the floor. Do i have to explain you what followed?

 

TREASURE HUNT!

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We finally left the place for the hotaru museum. It is a small museum dedicated to the fireflies but part of the exhibit contained also fossils. Here some pictures.

 

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After the museum, we checked-in at the hotel and had a rests with well-deserved beer, some card trick and a lot of fossils conversations.  

 

It is being late here so i will post the next post tomorrow. I hope you have enjoyed this one.

 

 

David.

 

 

 

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Tidgy's Dad

I did enjoy it.:)

Very interesting, good photos and some nice finds.

Look forward to tomorrow's chapter.

:popcorn:

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Very interesting indeed!  Thanks for bringing us along.

 

Don

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2 hours ago, David in Japan said:

We leaved the field and were about to drive to the Hotaru Museum when somebody told us by inadvertancy that the older part of the parking lot was filled with fossiliferous limestone from the Akiyoshidai locality. We didn't have to think twice and went through all the gravel in hope to find carboniferous fusulinas, brachiopods, and corals.

 

FB_IMG_1555595117061.jpg.7ba8429660cd1ca0972e793bfe91e99f.jpg   FB_IMG_1555595127603.thumb.jpg.8d40879d1d1c548651ba81ff95180aa7.jpg

 

We spend 30 minutes there and were about to leave when we noticed tortoise bones were here and there, lying on the floor. Do i have to explain you what followed?

 

TREASURE HUNT!

FB_IMG_1555595477230.jpg.0290073a3ba2516cde22b7dde490330e.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks David for the report - I too enjoy a lot finding fossils in most unexpected places :) Like the parking lot :dinothumb:

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sixgill pete

David, thanks for sharing your trip. I always enjoy seeing your posts. It brings us to places not normally associated with fossils.

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Congratulations on the rare belemnite finds, David!  I'm looking forward to seeing what else you find on this trip... :popcorn:

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David in Japan

Thank you all for your kind comments.

 

Let me continue to sum-up what happened the next day.

 

 

 

Day 2:

 

First we stopped at an Hotel in the Akiyoshidai area. The Akiyoshidai area is a very special place in Japan where you can see particularly exceptional landscape very unusual in Japan. The plateau was 300 million years ago a coral reef and now due to erosion and dissolution of the limestone, all the area is a huge Karst plateau doted with limestone pinnacles.  We left the comfort of our room, early in the morning and walked to Akiyoshido. The Akiyoshido is a 9 Kilometer long cave resulting of the dissolution of the underground limestone. The cave is really spacious as in some places there was 80 meter between the ground and the roof of the cave.

 

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As we entered, we were welcomed by a statue dedicated to the Sacrificial goddess of mercy.

 

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It was the first time for me and I was very impressed by the beauty of the geological formation I was able to see here. Shape and color were awesome and I even more enjoyed it the more I read the name the Japanese gave to those. Pumpkin rock, Straw-wrapped persimmon, Crepe rock... You can easily say how important food is in Japanese culture. 

 

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After leaving the cave, we had a stroll to the top of the plateau where we were able to have a nice view on what Mother Nature had to propose. As far as you could see, the Karst was expending in around us. Absolutely gorgeous! We took a break at a small coffee house and then went to an old and small natural history museum.

 

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David in Japan

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It wasn't very large but it had this old museum particular smell. Old wood, old books and dirt smell. It reminds me the time I spend in the old library when I was a child.

Few but very nice fossils were stored in glass boxes and a nice series of diorama was there. It was so cool to see those 50 to 60 year old diorama. even if not accurate according to modern standards,  It shows us a lot about our beloved science's evolution and perception.

 

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After a quick lunch, we rode to another cave called Kagekiyodo. Compared to the Akiyoshido cave, Kagekiyodo cave is smaller and not as gorgeous however it is the only cave of the area where you can do a bit of speleology. Equipped with our safety equipment and a flash light, we entered the cave. Darkness and silence (well as silent as 7 paleontologists in a limestone cave packed with fossils can be) for only companion, it was a delightful experience. We of course looked for fossils there but we also find some messages form a more recent history. Indeed as we were searching for fossils on the walls and the roof of the cave, we also found messages from the Edo period (late 19th century under the Tokugawa shogunate just before the emperor restoration) left by the persons (maybe geologists) who explored the cave. 

We left the cave after finding tons of corals and brachiopods but not seeing a single fusulina. Our 2 days field trip touched at its end and we now had to drive back to Kumamoto, already thinking at the next year field trip destination.

 

 

 

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It was a nice trip, learned a lot and spend real quality time there. I hope you enjoyed this small trip report.

 

David.

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David in Japan

Last pictures just to illustrate the haul.

 

Acrocoelites mantanii

Toyoura formation, early jurassic (bathonian)

 

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plant material found at the same outcrop. I totally fall in love with the colours.

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I think it is a Dactylioceras helianthoides but not sure because of the presence of a kind of spike

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Carboniferous fusulina and brachiopod

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