You must have been "over the moon" when you found your trilobites. Your original post caught my attention because I got the sense that as a child
you got the same rush as I did (and still do) when I come across a particularly unique specimen. I possess only a basic knowledge of paleontology but
I have a fascination with the great antiquity of these fossils and the 'snapshot' of history that they provide. Thank you for sharing your pics.
The brachiopod on the top right is my prize of this modest collection. It is a full 1.5" (4 cm) across. All of those fossils were found in the
condition that you see in the photos. They originated on a beach on the north shore of Lake Erie. Instead of enjoying the panorama of the lake as I
walk the beach, I always find my eyes fixed on the rocks and pebbles at my feet.
I have a few specimens not included in the photos that are stentor (trumpet) shaped but are in poorer overall condition.
Other than my brachiopods, I have not identified any of the others.
I admit that when I found and realized the condition of the trilobite in the first post I was ecstatic. I honestly felt a rush of joy and felt like I
was floating. To date that is the best fossil I have found. The shark's teeth were cool but finding a really good trilobite is not something that
comes easy. Talking with some others it looks to be one of those amazing finds.
Sure I have some better trilobites, the ones I bought come to mind. However, because I did not find them personally they are not favored over the one
I did find.
After all of the amazing finds I see come from up that way I have to get up there someday and do some hunting. There is a gentleman in Canada who
collects just on the border in that area and he finds some beautiful Eurypterids. I love the fossils you all are finding up there.
I had a trip to Florida back in the 90's. Everyone else was going to the beach to do normal beach stuff, yet I was looking for shark's teeth and
other stuff. I found several shark's teeth that I should get IDed that I found on that trip.
You are right about the rush though. I got one as a kid and boy do I still get them when I find something really cool.
Last Saturday my son a friend and myself went to a new place. I have never found a whole Blastoid until that day only bits and peices. Blastoids are
an echinoderm related to starfish, erchins, and crinoids. en.wikipedia.org... en.wikipedia.org...
That day I found two different species of blastoid.
One of them is a bit longer and narrower than the other.
The first is Pentremites pyriformis (at least I believe this is correct)
The second I have not determined any further than being Pentremites sp.
It could be either of these Pentremites clavatus, Pentremites springeri, Pentremites okawensis.
These are all Late Mississippian in age of the Chesterian series.
This puts these blastoids from 318.1 - 328.3 million years old.
These blastoids came from the Golconda formation.
Haha please do. I have more stuff I need to throw in here, just finding time to get things IDed and then take photos.
I really have a ton of stuff to do. I need to build my blast box for my air eraser, need to put together a storage/display cabinet, need to start
doing a lot more prep, do a lot of IDing, take a lot of photos, and enter it all into the program that keeps track of it all.
Then I have to fit the rest of life in as well as some collecting
This is a great thread thanks for posting it..I'm not a collector but i enjoy looking at fossils of all kinds i live in Minnesota and Ive never seen
any fossils around hear unless I'm not looking in the right places..
My parents gave me a piece of a dinosaur jawbone and a large clam shell that they brought back from Utah that i think is really neat one of my prize
I hope the mods gave you an applause for this thread you did great with it and posted some wonderful pictures..peace,sugarcookie1 S&F
I still have a ton to learn and I am trying to keep it as accurate as possible though I might have to correct things as I go. There are a lot of
things to learn while doing this. If I had not taken some time away from doing it for many years I would have more knowledge than I do
I am not sure of the laws where you are but often a good place to start looking for fossils are road and railway cuts (where you see large amounts of
exposed rock). Here for instance it is okay to collect a road cut as long as you park at the nearest off/on ramp and walk to it, and as long as you
are not doing something that might weaken the cut and cause lose rocks to fall (so basically no hammer and chisel on the rock walls ). As long as
you are collecting the rock that is lose and already fallen you are fine though.
I have plenty more to add though some that I have bought because I do not have access to finding it here and plenty of stuff I have found.
I forgot to add that this is also something that my son and I can share interest in. It is really nice to have something that can both educate and
bring us together. Sure he is only 6 (just hit 6 actually) and gets bored at times and some places are not safe to take him but he really enjoys
getting to see fossils even if he cannot be there to help collect them.
He already knows more about dinosaurs than I did at his age. Honestly I think he knows more about them and what they looked like than I do now
In August I attended an outdoor art show in my home town. One of the exhibitors was selling fossil jewelry. As attractive as these items were, I was
bothered by seeing outstanding brachiopod specimens drilled through the middle and turned into keychains. Somehow this strikes me as unnecessary
defilement of an artifact of value. Maybe this works as 'jewelry' for others, but not me.
Also, in the past month this interesting fossil-related article appeared in a local newspaper. When I read it, I thought of you:
I agree with the jewelry thing. It really bugs me to see such things destroyed in my opinion. However, I guess to each their own. I also am not a fan
of the polished Ammonites. My mother gifted me one for my anniversary and I graciously accepted it but I prefer the natural look myself. I have seen
some that would not prep out well cut in half giving them a more attractive appearance and making it possible to see the growth chambers, while cool
it still seemed strange seeing them in an unnatural form.
Wow those trilobites were pretty nice. They look to be from around the Great Lakes area. I bought a few from a forum member (a different forum) that
lives in New York from up that way. There are some fabulous shale exposures up that way with amazingly preserved fossils in them.
The other fossils look like they might be fish, it is hard to tell. It seems that they could have reclaimed the property that it was only seized
because they did not declare what they were (if I am reading it correctly). Though from speaking with a few Canadian collectors the laws vary up that
way depending on where you are. In some areas you cannot collect anything without a permit and the finds are considered property of the state if I
remember correctly. Other areas are only really protective of vertebra fossils (similar to the U.S.).
I have never sold a fossil; I have given several away because I think everyone should get to see them though. I have considered selling a few things
on eBay though to help at least maybe compensate some of my costs for collecting. I do not have hopes of using fossils to be rich though and am still
not sure I could part with anything I have I do though think it is very important to note where you found each fossil. Formation names and
sometimes species names might change but the location will always remain the same and knowing where you found it helps to maintain the scientific
value of each.
I am really glad people are enjoying this thread. Being out in the field and collecting, as well as all the other stuff that goes a long with it
brings me a lot of joy. I am glad to be able to share that joy with others.
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.
FYI don't forget to right click and click on view image to see the whole photo. I left them at about 25% original so you can see details.
Thanks for posting your photo’s. I’ve been an avid collector since age 9. I earned a degree in Geology in my youth, even though I never worked in
When my Father died in 1971 I was forced to sell our joint collection as his Union cheated my Mother out of his death benefits, but that’s for
another thread. I sold most of the gemstone but kept my mineral / crystal / fossil collection until 1978 when circumstances forced me to sell that.
In 1999 I sold my second collection to help with my relocation to Alaska so I don’t have much left.
My wife was cleaning her lenses when I noticed your thread and she quickly took some shots of a few items for me in the sun on our enclosed back porch
so please forgive the quality. She did not have time to set up a light box.
First is a Crinoid from Utah about 100 miles southeast of Dougway Proving Grounds. Matrix is Mudstone and Crinoids are quite common there. This is
pretty good one. Mostly you find beds of stems and brachiopods in clay and mudstone.
Next is some fish from Wyoming that were collected near Kemmerer, Wyoming a famous location. I do not know the species.
Next are two Carcharodon Megalodon teeth collected in Florida and if I recall these two are from a river mouth on the Gulf Coast in S. Florida. I used
to have some large ones over 6” but sold those. I kept these two as they are very nice specimens with the serations on the edges intact.
The one with three teeth includes one from Morocco I picked up in a shop somewhere. It’s a Mackerel Shark but I don’t recall the correct name (old
This one is Dinosaur bone from the Greenriver Formation in Utah. It’s a small specimen of gem quality silicate replacement. There are sill locations
you can legally get this material provided it’s on old enough patented Homesteads. The best I collected in my youth were sold to a Natural History
Next is a leaf I picked up near a Coal Mine a couple of hours from Anchorage.
These next two are from China. First is a Keichousaurus (reptile) and the other is an Dinosaur egg. These are legal authenticated specimens with
provenance that were aquired while it was still legal. No way of knowing what the egg is from and most of the many thousands that were found are never
classified. This is not a very good one as it has very little of the shell still intact, but interesting all the same.
Note: Anyone thinking of buying items from china in shops beware! Most for sale now are either illegal or fakes. The keichousarus are mostly fakes and
so well done it takes someone who knows how to tell the difference to buy them safely. Even if they are real, if you can’t document to the source
you may have a Felony in your hand. Beware unless you know what you are doing. These were purchased from a person I know who was one of the first
businessmen into China when it opened up and predate the current laws.
If you find a vertebrate fossil don’t touch. The scientific community has manipulated politicians to make collecting illegal for amateurs. Before
touching make very sure you have the landowners permission in writing and that the land was homesteaded early enough and patented so you can legally
own the item.
As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.
edit on 9/9/2012 by Blaine91555 because: (no reason given)
edit on 9/9/2012 by Blaine91555 because: (no reason given)
I can use it to keep track of the fossil, where I store it, the location I found it (I can link it to Google Maps), I can upload photos of the fossil
to it and I can back it all up and more. It is a pretty amazing program.
Wow you have some amazing fossils. That crinoid is beautiful. I must admit to being a bit envious of it. I find crinoid bits all over but have never
found anything near that nice. Absolutely stunning preservation on it.
My understanding on vertebra is that as long as it is on private property they cannot say anything about it. I do agree though that you should get a
written agreement with the land owner if it is not your land for such stuff though. Actually it might be a good idea to get some sort of written
agreement regardless if collecting on someone else's property.
Buying from China or Morocco is a gamble. Trilobites are likely fakes as well. If you see any fossil plate that has multiple fossils arranged in
basically a perfect set up it is faked. Mosasaur jaws with teeth are almost always reconstructions.
I have seen some stuff on eBay selling both cheap and very high priced that I know is faked or badly reconstructed and I would not waste money on. I
have seen a few with bids on them that were several thousand dollars and I can say that the people buying it were getting ripped off.
It's a bit more complex than that, but possible. It has to do with the deed to the land and owner must have full rights both above and below ground.
That limits it to homesteads that were patented before a certain date.
The other fossils, fish and things like the sharks teeth are safe to gather though. It's only vertebrates that you have to be very careful about.
It's mainly being careful you know what kind of land your on.
Crinoids are usually like you say, just bits and pieces. The secret is to befriend people who know where they are and get them to trust you and show
you the locations. People are hesitant because they get burned. Never, ever reveal a location to a Rock Club by the way. I've made that mistake only
to see them take a busload of people in and strip the location clean.
I think its important to respect the land and leave it like you found it. The more respectful we are the likelier they are to leave us be.
I don't go out anymore due to health issues but had a passion for collecting mainly mineral specimens (crystals). I had a couple of Uncles into
mining and my Father was into this; we had a lapidary shop in our basement when I was growing up. One of these days I'll have to photograph what I
have left and start a thread.
Anyway thanks again for the thread and I hope some others who are interested contribute also.
I am not a member of any rock clubs so I am safe from even accidentally spilling the beans But yeah, I understand the seeing some place stripped
and being unproductive. Many really nice fossil sites have been over run and depleted by the greed of people searching for a dollar.
I have a great "mentor" though that has shown me some pretty cool spots to collect from.
Sorry to hear about you not being able to really get out any more, at least you can still enjoy the hobby though. By the way your wife did a great job
on the photos, I forgot to mention it in the last post.
I also agree with the litter stuff. I carry a trash bag with me to pick up the stuff others have left behind. I think it is important to leave the
place looking better than before I got there. It sickens me to go out collecting and to see people have just tossed their trash on the ground. One of
my biggest pet peeves is fishing line. I collect near rivers and streams and see that laying around a lot. Seeing that really burns me up, because it
can get wrapped around an animal and cause injury, suffering, or death.
It has been a bit since I last updated this thread, being that life is always moving forward the best I can say is life is busy
That being said I have been back to the Golconda formation twice more since my last update. I only have a few photos to share at this time though
simply because I have not uploaded many yet.
Regardless here are some photos of the actual collection site.
This day I was there I seen a beautiful little beetle larva. He was quite fast moving so getting a good photo of him was hard to do. I believe it was
a Big Blue Ground Beetle larva. bugguide.net...
Here is an unIDed crinoid stem I found that day.
Them I found this really nice archimedes screw and a few like it. At this location it seems there are 2-4 possible different species of the archimedes
bryozoan. This one I have not IDed at this point either.
Here is a close up detailed photo of a bryozoan fan that I found smashed in the shale.
This next bryozoan I believe is a Rhombopora sp. bryozoan.
Then I found a few more blastoids. I am sure there are at least 2-5 different species at this location and I am positive there are at least 2.
This first one is the largest blastoid to date that I have found. It is a whopping 2cm.
I also found this little beauty that measures a mere 5mm.
Then I also found my most unique find yet. A pathological blastoid. It only has 4 ambulacra when it is supposed to have 5. en.wikipedia.org...
This comes from The Stratigraphic Succession in Missouri by Thomas L. Thompson pgs. 89-90.
Golconda formation - The Golconda formation is a limestone and shale succession that can be divided into three members (in ascending
order): the Beech Creek limestone, Fraileys Shale, and Haney limestone. Outcrops are confined to northern Perry county, where the limestone beds in
the Golconda are massive and form steep bluffs and ledges along the Mississippi river and its tributaries. Because the typical sandstone of the
Cypress formation is absent in Missouri, there is a suggestion that an unconformity is present at the base of Golconda.
Beech Creek limestone member - The Beech Creek limestone member of the Golconda formation is a 5-20ft thick, dark-gray to brown limestone,
which contains an abundance of foraminifera, small gastropods, and pelecypods.
Fraileys Shale member - The Fraileys Shale member of the Golconda formation 70-90ft thick, is composed of shale, which contains beds of
dark-colored, crinoidal limestone.
Haney Limestone member - The Haney Limestone member of the Golconda formation is a 50-ft thick, very-light-gray, oolitic, crossbedded
The Above Top Secret Web site is a wholly owned social content community of The Above Network, LLC.
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.
All content copyright 2013, The Above Network, LLC.