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Recent Early Jurassic Conifer Finds


Fossildude19

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Hello Forum Folk.

Just thought I would post some of my recent plant finds.

I got out for a few hours here and there in mid to late April, to hit my central Connecticut, Early Jurassic (Hettangian) Shuttle Meadow Formation plant locality.

Here is a pic of the outcrop.

post-2806-0-27422500-1368715405_thumb.jp

My target area is actually out of view, to the right of this picture.

This place can be fairly hit or miss, which is, unfortunately, the usual, … even considering the amounts of shale there are to look through. The Newark Supergroup is a hard task mistress.

Recently I had noticed that the tree was sufficiently rotted to be able to roll down the hill with little effort, and the soil and detritus were eroded away to a workable level.

So I started to excavate an area where I had, back about 8 years ago, found a rare and fragile multi-plate of conifer shoots of Brachyphyllum sp. The area was covered with soil, and detritus, and a fallen tree that would have taken quite a bit of time and effort to remove.

I was able to spend about 6 hours total, (spread out over the course of two different visits) to remove the overlying soil and leaf litter from atop the area to be excavated, and then to begin to remove parts of the underlying shale shelf.

The first visit was necessarily short, as I didn’t arrive at the site ‘til almost 4:30 PM. The prep work was accomplished quickly, and I was able to spend a bit of time checking out shale that I removed from the outcrop.

Careful splitting and dissection of the layers handed me a number modest conifer bits. None worth photographing, however, as the preservation was poor.

This visit was to turn out to be fairly productive, ending with me finding two multi plates!

Again, the rarity of these little finds is fairly remarkable. In 17 years of hunting this outcrop, I have only found two other multi-plates.

The first one was of the horsetail , Equisetites sp., with several nodes showing.

post-2806-0-43059300-1368715572_thumb.jp

This is a rare find to begin with at this location, as I don’t find many at all here. They are more common in the black shales of the fish site I frequent.

Then, shortly thereafter, I pulled out a small multi-plate of Brachyphyllum sp. – Possibly Brachyphyllum scotti.

post-2806-0-90740500-1368715593_thumb.jp

I was able to secure another rather exceptional find for this locale. With the sun threatening to set, I left and tried to figure out when I could return.

********************************************

My next chance came about two weeks later.

This time I got an early start, and arrived at the site around 7:30 am. I had family plans for the afternoon, so I had to be home by 11:30am.

Again, careful removal, splitting, and inspection of the shale yielded more small conifer fragments. Some well preserved, yet tiny, and others not so well preserved.

My best find of that second trip came at about 10:50 am. I split one piece of shale, and found what I believed to be a conifer cone! Not allot of detail, but enough to make me believe that I had found my first cone at the site!

post-2806-0-11706900-1368715835_thumb.jp

Part and counterpart:

post-2806-0-45925200-1368715876_thumb.jp

After a few days of trying to figure out just what I had, I took advantage of a contact that was given to me by a friend on the forum, and contacted a respected paleobotanist who confirmed that I did indeed have a pollen cone, referable to the conifer family Cheirolepidiaceae, and the cone form genus: Classostrobus.

Better yet, this pro-pal actually asked me to keep in touch, and let him know if I find any other interesting plant fossils in the area, as he is hoping to do a write up of the conifers of the Newark Supergroup at some time in the future. J

With these finds, I feel I am closer to narrowing down an extremely productive layer or pocket of plant fossils that could be scientifically important, at some point.

Thanks for looking.

Regards,

Edited by Fossildude19

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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excellent stewardship of your site, tim

Grüße,

Daniel A. Wöhr aus Südtexas

"To the motivated go the spoils."

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So rare, and so rewarding! I am particularly excited about your cooperation with the pro-pal, as you continue to develop your hard-won site :)

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about." - Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” - Thomas Henry Huxley

>Paleontology is an evolving science.

>May your wonders never cease!

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Wow! Congratulations Tim. I know first-hand how much effort it takes to find the nice *little* pieces of Brachyphyllum and I know how much time and effort you put into your finds. The mult-plates with those terrific specimens, along with the horsetail plate and that conifer cone are all a testament to your dedication. I'm glad the paleobotanist you contacted realizes the importance of your finds. All Spring I've been wanting to go hunting with you again but just haven't been able to manage it yet.

Great finds!

Start the day with a smile and get it over with.

 

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excellent stewardship of your site, tim

Thank you, Dan.

I hope to find more that can shed light on these under studied plants of the Shuttle Meadow Formation.

Regards,

Awesome Tim! That looks like a good site!

Thanks, Jim. :)

It appears to get more interesting with every visit.

Regards,

So rare, and so rewarding! I am particularly excited about your cooperation with the pro-pal, as you continue to develop your hard-won site :)

Thanks Chas.

I am beyond thrilled with this turn of events - the plants of the northeast rift basins are sadly lacking in research, and in need of some serious updating.

The thought that perhaps my finds can help with that process is thrilling to me, as well.

Regards,

Wow! Congratulations Tim. I know first-hand how much effort it takes to find the nice *little* pieces of Brachyphyllum and I know how much time and effort you put into your finds. The mult-plates with those terrific specimens, along with the horsetail plate and that conifer cone are all a testament to your dedication. I'm glad the paleobotanist you contacted realizes the importance of your finds. All Spring I've been wanting to go hunting with you again but just haven't been able to manage it yet.

Great finds!

Thanks, Mike.

I know the feeling - have not been out much myself in the past few months. Only 3 hunts since January.

My weekends are booked for May, give me a shout if you have a free weekend day in early June.

Regards,

Edited by Fossildude19

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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Tim.... Great report and very nice finds....Lets hope you get a mention in the publication :)

Cheers Steve... And Welcome if your a New Member... :)

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Maybe you'll get a jonesi out of the deal.....

Grüße,

Daniel A. Wöhr aus Südtexas

"To the motivated go the spoils."

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Tim.... Great report and very nice finds....Lets hope you get a mention in the publication :)

Thanks Steve.

Well, maybe a bit early for that yet, but you never know. The pro-pal already has a lot of material to work with, I can only envision adding my finds in if I happen to find something extremely well preserved, and rare. A possibility, but slim.

Regards,

Maybe you'll get a jonesi out of the deal.....

Haha, Dan.

My nickname in High School all too many years ago was Jonesy. :P

It could happen, but I am not betting the family farm, just yet.

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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To me, the biggest outcome would be for your specimens to fill-in some blanks about the relationships between already-named fragments; seems like these details are a weak point in paleobotany, particularly in under-studied formations. Attached leaves, branches, fruiting bodies...helping to consolidate the bits into whole plants. :)

  • I found this Informative 1

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about." - Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” - Thomas Henry Huxley

>Paleontology is an evolving science.

>May your wonders never cease!

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To me, the biggest outcome would be for your specimens to fill-in some blanks about the relationships between already-named fragments; seems like these details are a weak point in paleobotany, particularly in under-studied formations. Attached leaves, branches, fruiting bodies...helping to consolidate the bits into whole plants. :)

Agreed. :)

Right now, Brachyphyllum and Pagiophyllum are just catchall names, with very little meaning.The absolute lack of information and knowledge of these plants is almost shocking, and to potentially be able to help fill in some of the puzzle pieces would be beyond rewarding, in and of itself.

I can only hope that my gut instincts are correct, and that I will find a wealth of plant material that will add to the collective knowledge.

From here on out, my searching will be more organized, structured, and more carefully documented.

Funny, ... you start out wondering what you can find, just for the utter coolness of it. Then, if all cylinders are firing correctly, you may become more interested in the particulars of what, when, why, and how.

Would be cool to be a party to helping answer some of those questions.

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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Tim,

You, among many TFF members, are an inspiration for adopting proper procedures of the scientific approach to this avocation.

Thank you, and congratulations on a fine report, and finds.

I wish you all the best in finding the zone you are seeking!

Steve

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Steve

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Tim,

You, among many TFF members, are an inspiration for adopting proper procedures of the scientific approach to this avocation.

Thank you, and congratulations on a fine report, and finds.

I wish you all the best in finding the zone you are seeking!

Steve

Thanks for the nice words, Steve. :)

I'm definitely homing in on the right spot.

A matter of time and effort, now.

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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super report Tim, and what a great site to collect, I will have to make it out there :)

"Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the operation of your sun; so is your crocodile." Lepidus

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Congratulations Tim!!!! Looking forward to seeing more of your finds from this site! :)

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super report Tim, and what a great site to collect, I will have to make it out there :)

Carmine

You have a standing invitation to come dig with me anytime. ;)

That would be a blast.

Regards,

Congratulations Tim!!!! Looking forward to seeing more of your finds from this site! :)

Thanks Lissa,

I hope to have more to show you all soon.

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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Glad that all your hard work is yielding great specimens. It takes a lot of patience, perseverance and resourcefulness to so successfully hunt the Newark Supergroup basins.

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Glad that all your hard work is yielding great specimens. It takes a lot of patience, perseverance and resourcefulness to so successfully hunt the Newark Supergroup basins.

Thanks, Traveltip.

My hat is off to anyone who can successfully find things within the Newark Supergroup.

Those who hunt it know the frustration of beautiful exposures full of nothing.

Have you been out at all this year?

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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Nice ones, Tim, I have high hopes that something will come of this considering how little is already known.. .As Peter Ward recently told me, the hard part is finding these things and it's us collectors who are doing that.

Just from an aesthetic perspective, can you tidy up the tool marks somehow, maybe smooth them over with more work and perhaps acid to blend the scratches into the rest of the rock? (of course you would want to try it on lesser pieces first if you haven't done so already) I know the actual collecting is the most important thing so I'm not suggesting you waste time - only if you have the time.

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Nice ones, Tim, I have high hopes that something will come of this considering how little is already known.. .As Peter Ward recently told me, the hard part is finding these things and it's us collectors who are doing that.

Just from an aesthetic perspective, can you tidy up the tool marks somehow, maybe smooth them over with more work and perhaps acid to blend the scratches into the rest of the rock? (of course you would want to try it on lesser pieces first if you haven't done so already) I know the actual collecting is the most important thing so I'm not suggesting you waste time - only if you have the time.

Thanks Eric.

I'm sure that is something that I will be able to work on here and there.

If not, there is always photoshop. :P

Gonna be a while before anything is done on the paper side of things, so I have time before submitting anything for the study.

From the sound of it, this is a project simmering on a back burner.

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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sweet stuff tim!

Thanks Nathan,

Gonna see if I can steal away from life for a few hours there tomorrow morning. :)

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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Once again awesome report and pic's. Thank you for sharing! The Horsetail is outstanding. :)

Process of identification "mistakes create wisdom".

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Once again awesome report and pic's. Thank you for sharing! The Horsetail is outstanding. :)

Thanks Libby.

I thought so as well. It's better than most of the others I've collected. :)

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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