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5/13/19 Oglesby, IL Roadcut- Pennsylvanian shark bits, brachiopods and more


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deutscheben

A week ago today, I took the day off work to hit one of my favorite sites, a roadcut above the Illinois River in Oglesby, Illinois. This cut exposes the Pennsylvanian LaSalle Limestone member of the Bond Formation and produces abundant brachiopods as well as occasional other fauna including gastropods, cephalopods, coral, trilobites, and shark teeth. 

 

The weather was perfect, sunny but not too warm, when I pulled up. 

 

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The cut is a somewhat unstable slope of cobbles and boulders of varying size, almost all with at least some fossils in them. To get up to the slope, you have to hop across a small ditch with running water. 

 

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I have a good sampling of the common brachiopods from here, so I am looking for unusual fossils when I go now. I was very happy to quickly find a piece of trilobite as I started to search the rocks at the base of the hill. (I will put pics of everything I brought home in a response post) 

 

One interesting find that I was not able to bring home was this Linoproductus brachiopod with some shell preserved and a really pretty dendritic pattern on it- it was very delicate and firmly embedded in the middle of an ~80 lb boulder. 

 

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I was able to stay for 4 hours, and I felt like I gave most of the site at least a quick look. I am very happy with what I found- I was able to check off many of the rarer things I was looking for, including shark teeth, a trilobite, cephalopod material, and a brachiopod with spines attached, as well as some nice crystallized brachiopods. I will post all of my finds below. 

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deutscheben

Here is the lone trilobite bit I found- I think it is part of an Ameura cephalon.

5ce2f2c807799_2019-05-1920_16_23.thumb.jpg.6a0aab006853456f31ad7a26fcb09fce.jpg

 

Here is a piece with a small cross-section of a cephalopod as well as an Echinaria brachiopod. 

 

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This next brachiopod was found in one of the softer, shaley layers, instead of the hard limestone. I have found more delicate fossils preserved in this way, although shells are usually crushed. This was on my wish list for the site, a brachiopod with spines preserved still attached to the shell. I believe it is an Antiquatonia.

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More to come in the next post...

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deutscheben

I initially grabbed the next piece because of the nice crystals, but when I got home I realized it was actually a cephalopod (or gastropod?) containing the crystals instead of the more common brachiopods. 

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You can see the bumps below that run along the outer edge.

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I think this flat, very smooth piece is a fragment of a Pinna bivalve, but I could be wrong. 

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I'm not quite sure what this next piece is- it sort of looks woody, but doesn't have the carbonization I would expect to find if that was the case. Any ideas?

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deutscheben

And now onto some fish/shark material. Most of what I found is only showing a little bit, so more prep will be needed to determine what exactly it is, or if it is anything more than just scrappy bits. For instance, each of the rocks in this pic show a little spot of black- there is some kind of fish material there. 

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The next one is also heavily obscured. There may be a lot more there. 5ce2fabf627c5_2019-05-1920_21_33.thumb.jpg.8ff6f3800712f7681d66021728370884.jpg

 

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deutscheben

Here are two more teeth of some sort- the first seems to be more complete, but I can't identify it yet. 

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The second one here is much more mystifying. It appears to be part of a tooth embedded in a small Juresania brachiopod! I can't tell if it was just a piece that was swept in as they were both lying on the seabed, or if it represents an actual life interaction between the two, nor have I been able to figure out exactly what portion of tooth it is. 5ce2fbdb25f8b_2019-05-1920_27_43.thumb.jpg.576bb114a96c4274954df8866d6727eb.jpg

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Sounds like a good site to go to.

Good luck with the hidden bits You found. Looking forward to seeing them prepped.

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deutscheben

And finally, here are two teeth that have more complete portions visible. The first I can identify as Peripristis semicircularis- a species found at this site before by myself and also by @Nimravis, and recorded in a scientific paper describing the chondrichthyans of the area. It is unfortunately missing part of the crown and most of the root, but I hope I can prep the rest out cleanly.5ce300ca2cc70_2019-05-1920_15_23.thumb.jpg.67ec2a0a26495e603498252b92a7feee.jpg

 

I don't know if enough of the next tooth is visible to get an ID, but it appears to be a crushing tooth of some sort- Deltodus, Helodus, and Psephodus are all known from this formation. 

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All in all it was a wonderful trip, and I'm excited to get to prepping these pieces and finding out what they really are! Thank you for reading and please let me know if I got any IDs wrong. 

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Nice report - I like the shark teeth :)

-Christian

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Great finds and trip report, hopefully one of us will find a complete shark tooth.

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deutscheben
4 hours ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

Thanks for the tour. 

You're welcome, I'm glad I could finally get a report up. I've gone fossil hunting about 6 times this spring so far and had only posted the first one. 

3 hours ago, ynot said:

Sounds like a good site to go to.

Good luck with the hidden bits You found. Looking forward to seeing them prepped.

Thanks! Yard work has first priority for now, but hopefully I will be able to do some prep on these before too long. 

3 hours ago, The Amateur Paleontologist said:

Nice report - I like the shark teeth :)

-Christian

Thank you! I like them too, I was so happy to discover shark teeth could be found right here in Illinois. 

1 hour ago, Nimravis said:

Great finds and trip report, hopefully one of us will find a complete shark tooth.

Thanks! With any luck the proposed fossil park will happen and we can look forward to an actual increase in fossil collecting sites for once. 

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Wrangellian

I do like those brachiopods... of course I'm sure it's a rush to find those shark teeth and all, too. You didn't mention the partially covered brach on that piece with the possible Pinna, but it looks like a good one. Will you be prepping i out?

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Tidgy's Dad

Nice finds indeed. :)

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fossilized6s

Nice teeth!

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Manticocerasman

great finds,

the fauna is very simmilar of what we found a week ago in our area.

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I love the geodized specimen in particular - it's gorgeous! :wub:

 

Congratulations on all of the great finds!

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deutscheben
12 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

I do like those brachiopods... of course I'm sure it's a rush to find those shark teeth and all, too. You didn't mention the partially covered brach on that piece with the possible Pinna, but it looks like a good one. Will you be prepping i out?

I will definitely try to prep a little more in between the two shells, since it seems both might have more to be exposed. 

11 hours ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Nice finds indeed. :)

Thanks!

10 hours ago, fossilized6s said:

Nice teeth!

Thank you!

5 hours ago, Manticocerasman said:

great finds,

the fauna is very simmilar of what we found a week ago in our area.

Thank you, I enjoyed your report too and seeing the similarities. 

3 hours ago, Monica said:

I love the geodized specimen in particular - it's gorgeous! :wub:

 

Congratulations on all of the great finds!

Thanks! I hope with some washing and cleaning up the crystals will look even better. 

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This looks like a fun site! I’d love to check it out some time soon. 

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sixgill pete

Great finds.

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deutscheben

I had some time to do a little prep last night, so here is the Peripristis mostly cleaned:

 

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deutscheben

After some prep I seem to have uncovered the extent of this piece. This seems to be a non-descript piece of fish bone or perhaps part of a tooth root? 

 

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deutscheben

This next one turned out very nicely- it's a small shark spine. 

 

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deutscheben

This little piece of something was on the same rock as the spine above- it's much too small for me to be able to make out any identifying features, unfortunately. 

 

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Finally, I have mostly prepped this piece out- I stopped because small bits were coming off. I would have to consolidate it before going any further and all I have for that is cyanoacrylate. I'm honestly not really sure what it is- it does not have the enamel shine of shark teeth, with most of it looking more like a tooth root. That plus the multiple small cusps/teeth on top make me think it's actually part of a fish jaw, perhaps? I would love to hear the opinions of some folks who have more experience with Carboniferous fish. @Archie @fossilized6s @TNCollector @RCFossils @Elasmohunter

 

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deutscheben

@Fossildude19 helpfully suggested in an ID thread that my last piece may be a fish premaxilla, which got me thinking about another one of my finds, the bit associated with the brachiopod shell in my 5th post above. Looking at it in a new light, I am now thinking it is actually a scale, not a tooth. I tried to take a closer pic, but my phone is limited in resolution unfortunately. Here are couple shots in different light:

 

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On 5/30/2019 at 12:31 AM, deutscheben said:

@Fossildude19 helpfully suggested in an ID thread that my last piece may be a fish premaxilla, which got me thinking about another one of my finds, the bit associated with the brachiopod shell in my 5th post above. Looking at it in a new light, I am now thinking it is actually a scale, not a tooth. I tried to take a closer pic, but my phone is limited in resolution unfortunately. Here are couple shots in different light:

 

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Sorry for the late reply not been able to get on for a while, great finds! This is a really nice example of a Petalorynchid type Petalodont tooth in lingual view, you can see the imbricated basal ridge at the bottom and there's probably be a nice root/tooth base underneath still hidden in the matrix. Coincidentally I prepped one very similar to this last week from a similar aged marine deposit, its in labial view. I couldn't find the root so this is just the crown with the basal ridge (slightly damaged) at the bottom. Your multi-cusped object is definitely a shark tooth too , reminds me very much of the Pristodonts. That spine is really awesome!! :envy:

IMGP7024.JPG

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