Special Fossils Finds (for) Chronicles*

Matteo

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Aug 8, 2012
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*see what I did there?

After massive demand** over on the Photo Challenge thread, I've decided to start a fossil thread. A place where members can post photos of fossils that they have found - so nothing purchased from dealers, or received as gifts. A place where members can post photos of fossils, ask questions, and discuss issues surrounding the finds. Try to give as much detail as possible: location, type of rock, species, name, age, etc.

I've been interested in geology since I was a child. And not just dinosaurs, but actual geology; the rocks, formations, fossils, etc. But it was fossils that really got me going - the idea that I could find something that was millions of years old and be the only person to ever see it. Whenever I was on a beach, I always had my eyes downward - and was lucky to have grandparents who would take me to various beaches in South Wales on the weekend where fossils could be found. I took Geology at O and A Level went on to do a degree (though in "industrial geology") and would have loved to continue it professionally - but that was not to be.

In the 80's (in my teens) and the 90's I hunted around South and West Wales and had a few trips to South West England, but since moving to Belgium at the very end of the 90's have not continued - though my interest has not waned.

So, the start with, here a a few of favourite animals...trilobites. The first three were posted already on another thread (extinct animals you wish were still alive) but I've added a few others I found after a hunt in the attic this weekend.

These were found near Builth Wells in the mid/late 80s. Most likely Ogyginus Cordensis (the large one has been identified as such), Ordovician in age (485-445mya). I don't remember if they were found "as is" or after I split open a rock, except for the largest which I distinctly remember doing so.

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And lastly, this one from a disused quarry in nearby Llandrindod Wells. Again Ordovician and I think Ogygiocarus buchi. When I was there specimens were easy to find but unfortuntely in very fragmented rock - I didn't find a complete one - just lots of cephalums (heads) and pygidiums (tails). I thought I had a lot more of these but I think I got rid of most when I moved over here. This was the only one could find:

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**well... @Mouse and @THX1138
 

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Excellent specimens @Matteo! I like the photo of the Ogyginus Cordensis as well as the Ogygiocarus buchi.
Time to get the camera out and take some photos...And I'll do my best in getting an approximant time period too.

Come t think of it, there is a Hog Back formation just W of here that has some dinosaur fossils that you can look at in the rock formations. I'm a native and have never been there...but this spring might be my first time! :)
 
*see what I did there?

After massive demand** over on the Photo Challenge thread, I've decided to start a fossil thread. A place where members can post photos of fossils that they have found - so nothing purchased from dealers, or received as gifts. A place where members can post photos of fossils, ask questions, and discuss issues surrounding the finds. Try to give as much detail as possible: location, type of rock, species, name, age, etc.

I've been interested in geology since I was a child. And not just dinosaurs, but actual geology; the rocks, formations, fossils, etc. But it was fossils that really got me going - the idea that I could find something that was millions of years old and be the only person to ever see it. Whenever I was on a beach, I always had my eyes downward - and was lucky to have grandparents who would take me to various beaches in South Wales on the weekend where fossils could be found. I took Geology at O and A Level went on to do a degree (though in "industrial geology") and would have loved to continue it professionally - but that was not to be.

In the 80's (in my teens) and the 90's I hunted around South and West Wales and had a few trips to South West England, but since moving to Belgium at the very end of the 90's have not continued - though my interest has not waned.

So, the start with, here a a few of favourite animals...trilobites. The first three were posted already on another thread (extinct animals you wish were still alive) but I've added a few others I found after a hunt in the attic this weekend.

These were found near Builth Wells in the mid/late 80s. Most likely Ogyginus Cordensis (the large one has been identified as such), Ordovician in age (485-445mya). I don't remember if they were found "as is" or after I split open a rock, except for the largest which I distinctly remember doing so.

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And lastly, this one from a disused quarry in nearby Llandrindod Wells. Again Ordovician and I think Ogygiocarus buchi. When I was there specimens were easy to find but unfortuntely in very fragmented rock - I didn't find a complete one - just lots of cephalums (heads) and pygidiums (tails). I thought I had a lot more of these but I think I got rid of most when I moved over here. This was the only one could find:

View attachment 99306

**well... @Mouse and @THX1138

Trilobite survived on earth for about 300 million years in great abundance and then a slow decline and finally went extinct the Periman Triassice extinction event 251 million years ago Their closest surviving relative is the Horseshoe crab .
 
Ooh, I love those, @Matteo !! Would love to find something like that.

Well, here's my fossil finding video again for those who haven't seen it:

And the field behind where I used to live is weirdly covered in fossils so I'll take a pic of one and post it tomorrow.
 
As promised:
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So this was found nowhere near the sea but in a field behind where I used to live. The field always had lots of fossils in - weird seeing them not by the seaside. There was a geological survey done there once but I don't know what the findings were.

(I mean, I know you don't always find fossils by the sea but ammonites are sea creatures and it just seems odd finding them elsewhere, even though I know landscape has changed over time.)
 
Nice!
(I mean, I know you don't always find fossils by the sea but ammonites are sea creatures and it just seems odd finding them elsewhere, even though I know landscape has changed over time.)

I know what you mean. What really blows your mind is that you can find sea fossils on the slopes of Mt. Everest :) (which makes perfect sense if you think about how it was formed, but your first thought is "huh?"). Though they are much older than that ammonite and usually very fragmented.
 
OK. I finally found my samples, took photos and will get them up-loaded in a day or so. There is a tree sample, or two, that I might, at some point, image under my digital magnifier to get a closer look at the growth-rings.

This link will give you more of the Geological/Paleontology view of the Denver and surrounding areas. This sight does not talk much about the ice-age and the glacier that carved out the valley that Denver and many of the cities along I-25 run. I-25 is also called 'The Valley Highway' for obvious reasons. I grew up on the east side of Denver, now living on the west side in Lakewood. Dinasaur Ridge (Part of the Dakota Hogback) is just a few miles west of us. Anyway, until I get the images up...
A Geological Tour of Denver, Golden, and Colorado's Front Range
 
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OK! Here are my petrified wood samples from the creek about 75m from the house where I grew up in. The creek's water level is about 15 feet below the ground level (Prairie land) It's 5 samples in 4 posts. (I used an Auto Lens, so apologies for the poor DOF)


Found this one in knee deep flowing water. This is the bark side, and you can see where a twig once was in the center.
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This shows where part of the tree rotted away while it was alive.
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Here is the cross view as I found it. You can see the heart wood and the rotten wood. Looks like it might have been a dual trunk tree.
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A poor close-up of the tree rings.
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Here is sample #2. A tree branch, possibly of an ancient fir? Again, found in knee deep water.
Inside view.
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Bark side view. More inner bark survived.
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End view. Here you can see the core wood and part of the bark.
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Last group of 2 samples. (4 and 5) Both found in shallow water.

Sample #4 looks like another branch. View of inner bark side.
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Here you can see that it is a branch (inner bark view) and where it broke off from the tree (dark mineral and quarts) Possible rot?
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End view showing growth rings and core, part of the inner bark and point of rot fracture? (Dark mineral/quarts)
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Sample #5 Just one view of the bark side. Ancient Walnut maybe going by the bark? The bark is thinner than pine. This is a smaller size sample that I still have. The others where a 1/3 size larger and of ancient conifers. They matched living pine bark perfectly and I had about 8 samples, now gone...
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As promised:
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So this was found nowhere near the sea but in a field behind where I used to live. The field always had lots of fossils in - weird seeing them not by the seaside. There was a geological survey done there once but I don't know what the findings were.

(I mean, I know you don't always find fossils by the sea but ammonites are sea creatures and it just seems odd finding them elsewhere, even though I know landscape has changed over time.)
Some species of Amonites got quite large, as big truck wheels , They all died out 65 million years ago with the Dinosaurs.
 
I'll be posting in chronological order, so my petrified wood will have to wait.

Next up, some graptolites (middle Ordovician, 470mya) from Abereiddy Bay in west Wales. I found this on a field trip late 80's. Very easy to find (at least they were then). I had quite a view specimens but got rid of all but this one (the nicest) when I moved over here - after all, they're not that exciting to look at. More info here: Graptolites - British Geological Survey

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I really should have more diligent when I collected my fossils - I did very little research and have very few notes. My only excuse, and it's a poor one, is that back in the 80s "research" meant going through my own books or visiting the library - no internet then. However, I'm fairly certain I found these crinoid fossils in Pembrokeshire (they are common there) and so should be Lower Carboniferous (though crinoids have been around since Ordovician times) so 360-340 mya. I also have a small specimen that shows an individual segment that's Jurassic but it didn't photograph well. More info here: Crinoids - British Geological Survey

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Moving up the geological timescale a little, this next specimen is Upper Carboniferous (Westphalian) and aroun 318-307mya. One of the first fossils I found (the very first is coming... :) ). I was just a kid, pre-teens, (late 70's or very early 80's) and wandered up Caerphilly mountain to the "clay-pits" after getting vague directions from my father. As far as I remember this was the only specimen I found.

The "leaves" (fronds) are most likely Neuropteris (a seed fern). The specimen in the top right (which popped out of the rock in one piece) is a piece of "bark" probably from a lycophyte (clubmoss) called Lepidodendron). The whole specimen hasn't photographed that well, so I've included a close up.

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Continuing the journey up the geological time line, my very first fossil - from early Jurassic (200-190mya) found at Southerndown in South Wales. I would have been less than 10 and on Sundaya trip with my grandparents. Back then they were easy to find. I used to have many more, including individual (loose) examples but they were left behind when I moved over here I think. This was one of the nicest examples. It's Gryphea (aka Devil's Toenail) a bivalve mollusc.

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Staying with the Lower Jurassic, these were from a day trip to Lyme Regis. Would have been late 80's. Very (perhaps too) famous for its fossils. Unfortunately I did not find any of the really beautiful calcite ammonites, but did find the well-known iron pyrites examples - though mine are not as shiny as they once were. These date from 192mya - probably Eoderoceras.

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The other ammonites I found probably date from 189mya as the rock is softer (the older, Blue Lias, rock is harder). You can see the largest example where I was able to clean away some the matrix - with a dentist's pick given to me by our family dentist. Unfortunately, this specimen has deteriorated over the years.

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Finally a couple of belemnites, also 189mya.

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Posting these has inspired me to do some reasearch about locations in Belgium. The last time I did this (admitedly some years ago) I found very little. There's a bit more available now, but even so it seems there are very few decent sites (people in the UK are really spoiled!). I still need to do some reasearch but I have a couple of places in mind and once the weather gets better intend to take a trip and see what I can see.

Next post will be a big jump up the time scale and a journey to Sicily...
 

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