Monday, June 27, 2011

Visit from the Shark Tooth Fairy

A fossil collecting goal for 2011 was to find a Paleozoic shark tooth.  That goal has now been accomplished.  This tooth was found in the Indian Springs formation of Crawford County, Indiana.  It is Mississippian Period in age.  Not sure what shark it belongs too though.  It is exposed on a matrix sheet covered with Fenestella bryozoan.  As shown in the second picture it is about 5 mm in size.

Learn more about shark fossils from this area at the Japanese shark tooth web site J-elasmo: CLICK HERE Update (9/7/2019): looks like their website moved here is a new link

Now I just need to find a Troosticrinus (Shumard, 1866) blastoid and my year is complete!

UPDATE: A local shark fossil expert named Mark helped identify this.  He wrote: "Deltodus is a Bradydont type of shark which has a crushing battery of teeth similiar to a sting ray."  Also thanks to Archimedes and JimB88 on the Fossil Forum for identifying this as a Deltodus.  See their postings: CLICK HERE.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Limestone Capital of the World

It is limestone month in Indiana and at the heart of the industry is Bedford, Indiana.  Here are a few pictures from that area taken while traveling to the Bloomington, Indiana mineral/fossil show.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bloomington Indiana Mineral-Fossil Show

For the 46th year, the Lawrence County Rock Club has sponsored the Gem-Mineral-Fossil Show/Swap in Bloomington, Indiana.  It is being held June 24-26, 2011 at the Monroe County Fairgrounds.  I attended for the first time this year and it is quite an event with over 100 dealers.  A number of dealers allowed me to take some pictures of their items for sale.  The first set of fossils were of the famous Crawfordsville, Indiana crinoids.

Learn more at their web site: CLICK HERE.

Some fossils and minerals for sale in one the tents.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Large Holes in Byrozoa Colony

These byrozoan fossils were brought to me for identification which I could not determine what there genus was.  My attention was drawn to several pieces that had either enlarged pores or borings in them.  The first picture seems to have circular borings made by a gastropod?  Fossils are Orodvician and found south of Lexington Kentucky.

This last picture shows more of raised pores like craters. Is this signs of an infection or different genus?  Not sure.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Return of the Serpula

Sometimes a fossil is so nice that it needs to be revisited photographically.  This Inoceramus oyster shell fragment is covered with Serpula worm tubes.  The fossils were found in the Eagleford Group, Kamp Ranch Formation in Dallas County, Texas.  These marine creatures existed in the Cretaceous Period.

Last presented on the blog on December 4, 2009 (CLICK HERE).  Thanks to Herb for loaning me the fossil to photograph.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mystery Rock - It Fell From the Sky?

My friend David visited the other day and brought a number of Ordovician fossils found south of Lexington, Kentucky to get my opinion on their identification.  Toward the end of his visit, he brought out a black-green glassy specimen.  Hopefully, I am getting the story about this right so here goes...

He told me when he lived in California over 20 years ago where this piece was acquired.  While visiting some friends they showed him a place in their garage with some burn marks on concrete.  They said a large blacken mass showed up during a storm in the garage and appeared to have fallen there. [left the garage door open?]  The piece is about 12 cm x 9 cm x 6 cm.  It is a black to olive-green in color with a reflective surface with signs that air bubbles were in it.  It has a white crystalline stones embedded in parts of it.  The piece was part of larger mass that they had given pieces away to other visitors.  My friend got the last piece.

I asked if there were was a heating furnace or stove around. No and the building did not date back to a time when coal heating would have been used.  Upon examination, no metallic pieces were found but I did find a small brown spot in one of the holes.  See pictures of close up this odd hairy object (plant or insect).

My first guess was coal slag though not sure why there are white rocks in the piece.  Looked at it maybe being California obsidian but that does not appear to have bubbles.  Maybe it was part of some sort of industrial process and was thrown from a furnace to this house?  Maybe an glass artist lived nearby and this was failed artwork piece?

Odd, brown object in one of the small cavities.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Opisthopteryx gracilis Fish Fossil

Opisthopyteryx gracilis fish fossil on display at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in 2010.  Fish swam around in the late Cretaceous period in what is now Lebanon.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Huronia Silurian Cephalopod Iowa

Middle Silurian cephalopod fossil on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.  The fossil is labeled Huronia from Iowa (420 million years ago).  Image was taken in 2010.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Trace Fossil in the Making?

The picture shows a fresh water mussel out for a jaunt.  The U shaped trail is about 8-10 cms wide and the creature making it is about 13 cm long. 

I find the shells of this animal on local river banks and lake shores but have not seen one this size alive in its habitat.  It looks it uses its foot to move through the sediment in search of food.  Picture taken in Kentucky.

Thanks to my friend Herb for sending this image along. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Silurian Scolecodont

Spotted a small black speck while trimming down mineral specimens with the diamond saw.  Later took some pictures through the stereo microscope using 23x and 40x magnification.  The matrix is very fragile but this appears to be a scolecodont without the serrated edge. Found in Waldron Shale (Middle Silurian) of Clark County, Indiana.

In addition, here is an interesting specimen of iridescent pyrite also found in the Waldron Shale.

This next image is a microscope shot of a Waldron Shale pyrite ball.

Last picture is not from the Silurian period but much older.  It dates to the Ordovician Period and might be Drake Formation.  Found east of Louisville, Kentucky.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fun With Fluorescents

Smiley face created with uranium marbles being illuminated with a longwave ultraviolet (UV) light.

MARBLES for sale (eBay LINK or eBay LINK) at reasonable prices!!!

A piece of calcite (red) with a few specks for willemite (green) from the famous locality, Franklin, New Jersey.

A calcite geode from Durango, Mexico showing fluorescence under shortwave UV light.

Two uranium marbles illuminated with a UV LED that is for sale on eBay with FREE shipping: CLICK HERE.  See something similar: CLICK HERE

A quartz thunderegg (Oregon) illuminated with white light and UV longwave light.

 A longwave ultraviolet lightbulb illuminating an uranium glass marble and calcite mineral.  Available on eBay with FREE shipping: CLICK HERE

CRACKLE marbles as seen HERE

Friday, June 3, 2011

Carboniferous Plant Fossils

A fern fossil plate from the famous St. Clair, Pennsylvania site.  Fossils date to the Pennsylvanian or Carboniferous time period.  The white appearance is from the compound aluminum silicate or pyrophyllite.  This fossil was collected in the 1970s.

Learn more about this fossil on eBay: CLICK HERE