Sunday, May 31, 2020

Alethopteris and Neuropteris Plant Fossils

These pictures are of plant fossils from St. Clair, Pennsylvania. These plants grew in the Late Carboniferous or Pennsylvanian Period and can be found in the Llewellyn Formation.

St. Clair is famous for the white appearance of their plant fossils which caused by aluminum silicate or pyrophyllite. This first image is of fossils are what appears to be Alethopteris (top) and Neuropteris (bottom).

The next image is a close up of the Neuropteris fossil.

Thanks to Dave H for this fossil specimen so many years ago.

The last image is with a ruler to show the size of these fossils.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Acidaspis Trilobite Fossil Fragment

These images show what appears to be the front part of a cephalon of an Acidaspis trilobite fossil. It was found in the Kope Formation of Carroll County, Kentucky USA. The fossil was photographed under 40 magnification of a microscope and is approximately 1.3 mm long. This fossil dates to the Ordovician Period.

This next image is of the same fossil when it was wet.

This last image is of the fossil in the matrix. It is located next to a cephalon fragment of a Cryptolithus trilobite fossil. My personal experience is the matrix from the Kope Formation is best hunted under the microscope. This small world yields a diverse graveyard of sea creature that once roamed an ancient earth.

I documented similar fossils about 10 years ago.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Geniculograptus Graptolite Fossil

I believe this graptolite fossil is of the genus Geniculograptus. The fossil was photographed under a microscope at 23 magnification. The fossils is approximately 5.1 mm long. It was found in the Kope Formation (Edenian Stage?) of Carroll County, Kentucky, USA. Fossil dates to Ordovician Period.

Learn more about this fossil at this site.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Venericardia alticosta Bivalve Fossil

This bivalve fossil was found in Monroeville, Monroe County, Alabama in the Gosport Sand Formation.  It existed in the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period. The fossil appears to be a Venericardia alticosta (Conrad 1833).  I think I have had this fossil since 2010 but just recently cleaned it and found its name. Thanks to Herb & Pam for the fossil.

Identification based on plate 167 figure 16 of Index Fossils of North America (Shimer & Shrock, 1944).

Monday, May 25, 2020

UV Fluorescent Mercenaria Clam Fossil

This posts shows some images of a Giant Venus Clam fossil (aka Mercenaria permagna) of the Fort Drum Member, Nashua Formation of Ruck's Pit in Okeechobee County, Florida, USA. This animal lived in the Calabrian Stage (780,000 years ago to 1.8 million years ago) of the Pleistocene Epoch of the Quaternary Period.

What is special about this fossil is that the calcite crystals that form inside the shell are yellow fluorescent to ultraviolet (UV) light. The above image was using an LED array to illuminate it.

Thanks to Rusty for this fossil.

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Oyster Sidewalk

When I visited Savannah, Georgia USA in August 2017, found this interesting oyster concrete sidewalk. This sidewalk was at the corner of 300 Habersham St. and 321 E Liberty St. According to a 2017 report on historic pavement in Savannah Georgia, some sections of the city have "1950s Concrete with oyster shell aggregate". This sidewalk might be one of these sections.

I don't think these shells are fossils though maybe one day they will be. This concrete is an interesting way to use shells though and thought it might be worth noting.

Read report at this site:

See map of city with areas marked here:

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sea Robin Fish Snout Fossil

In August 2017, I visited Folly Beach near Charleston, South Carolina USA. While there, I spent a number of hours looking for shark teeth on the beach. For all my effort, I found one tiger shark tooth. While at the beach, it was somewhat disorienting looking for fossils. One, I was not sure what color the teeth and other fossils would be, were they white, gray, brown, blue, or black? In addition, I knew there were vertebrate parts of different animals that were phosphate fossils. Also, seashells were plentiful but also distracting from trying to find teeth/skeleton shapes.

So I would tried to find black shapes which I assumed were phosphate. I did not find a lot of them but one that stood out to me is pictured here. I thought it might be some sort of small animal skull. The first picture is the top of the skull. The next image is side view of the bottom of skull turned up. The picture below is view of the bottom of the snout of the skull.

Unfortunately, I did not have any good guides and my poor understanding/knowledge of vertebrate anatomy lead me to no identification. So I bagged the fossil and put it in a box. Last week, I put some effort into finding out what it is. After much searching on the Internet, I determined I had found the snout of a fish called Prionotus (Lacepède , 1801) aka Sea Robin or gurnard. It probably dates to the Pliocene Epoch and might be from the Goose Creek Limestone. Ironically, I was accessing web pages while staying at a hotel near the beach and on one of the pages was the fossil I had found. Also Sea Robin fish fossils can be common finds on Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico beaches in the United States. If only I known the correct search term to look for in the image databases. Needless to say, I am happy to have finally figured out this mystery and I have a little bit more understanding of fish anatomy.

The picture below is the top of snout with the nose part pointing up. Note the textured pattern plate marking the top.

The next picture is of the fossil back which would be in front of the skull where the eyes and mouth are located. Note the white circles which are bases where more recent corals were growing while the fossil was on the seafloor.

Learn more about the modern Sea Robin fish, a member of the Triglidae family. Note the sea robin is called that because its pectoral fins look like bird wings moving while the fish is swimming.

More about fossils like this at this site:

Learn more about this geological area from a blog by Robert Boessenecker of College of Charleston in South Carolina.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Dictyonema crassibasale? Graptolite Fossil

This graptolite fossil might be a Dictyonema crassibasale. It was found in the Waldron Shale (Wenlockian) of Clark County, Indiana USA. It dates to the Silurian Period (425-419 million years ago).
Thanks to Kenny for the images.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Zeacrinites wortheni Crinoid Calyx Fossil with Stem

This crinoid appears to be a Zeacrinites wortheni (Hall, 1858) crinoid calyx fossil. As a bonus, this calyx has part of its stem. It was found in the Glen Dean Member of Grayson County, Kentucky, USA. The fossilized animal dates to Chesterian, Upper Mississippian Period. I believe this species was named for a paleontologist from Illinois named Amos Henry Worthen (1813-1888). Worthern was James Hall's assistant while he was State Geologists of Iowa 1855-1857.

Next to the calyx is some intricate Fenestella bryozoan fossils.

Thanks to Kenny for this remarkable fossil gift.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Bembexia Snail Fossil

These fossils appear to be Bembexia sulcomarginata? (Conrad 1842) gastropods. They were found in the Jeffersonville Limestone of Clark County, Indiana USA. The fossils date to the Middle Devonian Period.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Unicinulus stricklandi Brachiopod

Here are some pictures of a what appears to be Unicinulus stricklandi brachiopod fossil. It was found at St. Paul Quarry in the Waldron Shale of Shelby County Indiana USA. The brachiopod existed in the Middle Silurian Period.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Cranium Fossil of a "Tuscany lion"

Picture of the cranium fossil of a Panthera toscana (aka panther, Tuscany lion, Tuscany jaguar). It was found near Olivola, Val di Magra, Italy in 1890. This fossil dates to the late Pliocene Epoch to early Pleistocene Epoch (Villafranchian age) of the Neogene Period.

Thought to be an ancestor of the European jaguar (Panthera gombaszoegensis).

Picture taken at Orciano Pisano Whale Exhibit in Museo di Geologia e Paleontologia Florence Italy (Università degli Studi di Firenze) on August 2019.

Learn more at:

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Panthera toscana Mandible Fossil

Picture of the mandible fossil (right jaw) of a Panthera toscana (aka panther, Tuscany lion, Tuscany jaguar). It was found near S. Maria al Tasso, Upper Valdarno, Italy in 1885. This fossil dates to the late Pliocene Epoch to early Pleistocene Epoch (Villafranchian age) of the Neogene Period.

Thought to be an ancestor of the European jaguar (Panthera gombaszoegensis).

Picture taken at Orciano Pisano Whale Exhibit in Museo di Geologia e Paleontologia Florence Italy (Università degli Studi di Firenze) on August 2019.

Learn more at: