I have used and love ROCKQUAT for cleaning fossils in shale and clay. It is NO LONGER available. I have just a very little bit left so I use it sparingly. But yesterday I put a piece of Middleport shale in it that had a very nice cystoid visible. I know what this stuff can do but not to this point. Within just a few hours I looked inside the gladware container and saw rubble. The rockquat had shattered the shale and the cystoid was just laying on top. Sooooo. I started removing the shattered shale and found another cystoid in the rubble, then another, then another , then another. I found a total of 5 more cystoids in the rubble of the rock when I thought there was only one. I really like this stuff, it works great. There is some stuff like it but I haven't yet tried it. There are other liquid products but I haven't used or reserached them. I geo-chemist friend of mine at Missouri State Science and Tech University found a possible replacement. LAROSTAT it is another Quartenary Amonium solution, but like I said I have never used it.
Cystoids Silurian Period Rochester Shale Caleb's Quarry Middleport, New York
Anyway - bonus I now have 6 cystoids when I thought I only had one. Still have to clean them a bit more but wow - bonus.
Had I thought this might happen I would have taken before during and after pictures.
Picture 1 rubble left after a few hours in Rockquat Picture 2 Cystoids after they came out Picture 3 Better picture of the cystoids. the Largest is just over 1 inch long. Still more cleaning needs to be done.
An exposure in Alpena, Michigan in a quarry that is not accessible. This is a formation - POST ICE age that I saw several years ago and was able to access and called in several paleontologists from Wayne State and Cranbrook to study.
The bottom layer, the bedrock is Devonian Limestone approx 365 million years ago. it is a limestone formation. Above it is a layer of sand deposited by Lake Algonquin that covered the area after the Ice Age retreated north approx 12 K years ago. Above that is a mixture of peat and other material after the water had retreated and forests grew. Above that is a layer of White Marl. This was a calcium carbonate layer deposited by transgression of water across Michigan that most likely formed Lake Nipessing around 5600 to 5700 years ago. A stump from the lower forest bed yielded a radiocarbon date of 4,990 ± 30 14C (5,740 to 5,660 Cal) yrs BP.
Inside that layer we found many gastropods and pelecypods seen in he pictures below.
Above that is more peat, above that is topsoil and above that is a mixture of all of that piled so people don't fall into the quarry.
It has been a long winter here in Michigan and I have been wanting to get out and get digging. Even today we are expecting 2 inches of SNOW here. Well, went Silurian and Ordovician fossil hunting in Ohio and Indiana this past Friday and Saturday. Visited a good old friend and many quarries and locations. Started at St. Leon at the roadcut and picked up lots of Brachiopods, mostly Hebertella, Platystrophia and Rafinesquina ponderosa some Grewingkia corals some really nice multi species blocks. A great day with PaleoJen pickin'. Saturday we went to two quarries in Ohio. They are Silurian and we were digging and breaking rock to find crinoids and cystoids. We did find the right layer. They were mostly internal molds of the calyxes and stems however we did find some really nice external molds showing exceptional detail. The crinoids remain unidentified but some of the cystoids are clearly caryocrinites. have some really nice impressions. Also as we were getting ready to leave we found some spectacular and large Pentamarid brachiopods. These were also internal molds. They were quite large averaging about 4 inches long. The big block in the pictures is at the quarry office, WE DID NOT find that one. As I look out the window...it is snowing so Time to start prepping the fossils we found. I have the Masters on in the background and time to start cleaning. Also stopped at Paulding, so sad. We used to be able to get in the quarry but now they have dump piles and unless you are there the day they dump, pickin's are slim. But did see a Killdeer nest.
Last post for the week...at least from home. Leaving tomorrow for two days of fossil diggin'. Boy it has been a long cold winter. Can't wait. PaleoJen is coming too.
Anyway to finish up the week here is a picture of a few of my Czech trilobites all in one picture. Enjoy.
The big guy in the middle is a Hydrocephalus, the one just in front is a Paradoxides and the two on each side that was a nodule is a split Ectillaenus. There are also, Ellipsocephalus, dalmanitina and many many others.
The Barrandian is a great place to find trilobites though it is hard to get permission to dig the famous sites.
Just as in the US permissions should be obtained and research must be done regards to the laws of the particular area you wish to dig. Sites are closing down all over the world and we must try to preserve every bit of our paleontological heritage we can.
NEVER missing the opportunity to teach, here I am at the Indian Mounds rock show in Grand Rapids, Michigan describing and explaining the process of cleaning and preserving dinosaur bone. Great show by the way. Photo by Woods TV and News Service.
This is a spectacular little bug. This diminutive Acanthalomina minuta is very showy and has several long thoracic spines and many very small spines. The trilobites average about 6 mm long.
This trilobite is from the Lichid order, in the Family Odontopleuridae. Many of the trilobites from this order and family come highly ornamented with spines.
Examples such as this are very hard to find. The cephalon shows the many tubercles on the cephalon. The thoracic and pygidial spines are distinct. Again for such a small trilobite the preservation is outstanding. They are often found whit a whitish patina giving them just a bit more pzazz.
Some examples of this diminutive spiny trilobite have also been found in Spain and the Western United States though these from my collection are from the Czech Republic.
Here is a very nice example of DEANASPIS goldfussi. This is a beautifully preserved trilobite from the trinucleidae family similar to the Cryptolithus found in the United States in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, though rarely found intact other than in Pennsylvania. This is one of the more than 1300 desribed species from the Baranndian of Bohemia in the Czech Republic. This historical site is special in that there are so many species found in such a small area of only a few hundred square miles.
It is thought that these trilobites This one as with other trinuclids have a wide cephalon that is full of pits. The glabella is "Pear shaped" and the pygidium is quite small. It is not known what the pits were used for. In the past it was surmised that they were used in feeding though this has not yet been proven.
Heeee's baaaaack. Back from doing a month of Reading Programs in schools across Michigan. As a children's book author as well I am in high demand for school assemblies during March - Literacy Month.. Spoke to THOUSANDS of kids this month. Trilobites, by far my favorite fossil. This week I will be posting fossils from the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is well known for the fossils it produces. The book "Système silurien du centre de la Bohême" Volume 1 Trilobites by Joachim Barrande (11 August 1799 – 5 October 1883) is still one of the standards for fossils especially trilobites of the Silurian. Picture 1 This is a mass assemblage of Ellipsocephalus hoffi trilobites. These were roughly oval in shape and were blind leading paleontologists to believe they inhabited deeper water where sunlight seldom or brightly penetrated. They were bottom feeders eating the detritus - decaying plant and animal matter on the bottom. Picture 2 is of a plaster bust of Barrande and descriptive panel in my traveling museum exhibit.
Finishing up the install of my Fossils of the Michigan Basin exhibit at the NASR Museum at St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, Michigan. From the pictures you can see that they have a vast collection of Ice Age creatures. My exhibit compliments these by telling the story of our ancient DEVONIAN seas that covered Michigan. The exhibit will be here for 3 months.
Saturday March 16th - free college day, I am doing 3 lectures, and according to one of my facebook friends they are already full, great day.
Many of the casts in the permanent exhibit here at the museum were donated by the late Michael Sinchak and his wife Barb. They were super benefactors to the museum. Those of you who many years ago came to the Detroit Rock and Mineral Show in October may remember Michael, he always brought great cast dinosaurs and creatures as the centerpiece of the show.
REMEMBER the Ice Age Creatures are NOT Mine, just showing you some of what the museum has to offer. My exhibit begins after you pass the Mastodon skull.
They also have a wonderful collection of crystals and minerals on display.
Fossils of the Michigan Basin is striking tomorrow at the Kingman Museum in Battle Creek and moving to the NASR Museum in Port Huron for 3 months. If y'all are in the area of Port Huron, stop and see what fossils we can find right here in the great State of Michigan. Also stop by Saturday at the FREE college lecture series at St. Clair County Community College I will be doing 3 lectures there on various subjects. Stop on by and say hello.......You know I will stop at the Palms Krystal Bar for their famous Chicken in the Rough.