So this will be a two to three part post where I will display my most treasured fossils, and of course, I'll save the best for last. Let's begin.
These are a few specimens I collected while employed at Coon Creek. One of my duties was to explain to visitors how to clean and display their fossils. You always want to save the matrix that your fossil is embedded within, as that marl is 65 million year old beach sand. The unique feature about Coon Creek fossils is that the entire animal, including shells and bones, have been perfectly preserved within this waterproof aquaclude and you see it pretty much as it was when it lived. Of course, as Coon Creek was on the fringe of the Mississippi Embayment (Fig. 5), all of our fossils there are marine in nature. What you see above are as follows: Crassatella, Culcullaea, Turratella (long and tapered), Drillutra (snail), and ghost shrimp claws.
Above, are various Exogyra (primitive oysters), Pyncnodonte, Ghost shrimp claws and legs, Crassatella, Dentallum, Anteglossia, and a few snails.
The above is one of my most cherished possessions: a near complete crab from the Selmer crab site. The claws are to the left. The rest are halves or legs of those late Cretaceous crabs. This picture does not do these animals' justice.
That object in my hand is a rather large example of the Exogyra oyster from the late Cretaceous. And it's heavy. I have the complete oyster in my hand. They grew them rather large back then. :-)
Skipping over to my Middle Tennessee Devonian site, you can barely make out some of my Trilobites and fish bones. On the bottom left, you can actually make out Trilo-eyes; so far, the only one I managed to find to still have them.
Various gastropods and molluscs are frozen in this Devonian limestone.
Another trilobite-big one this time.
More trilobytes, tube worms, and molluscs.
Also Devonian, snails, molluscs, tube worms, and snail trails.
And the caption says it all, except that the landslide was so powerful that the rocks from the top traveled halfway up the other side of a facing mountain. They're ugly, but they are some of the oldest rocks in California.
Most of the above is basalt, with the exception of the Pyrite embedded in shale and the lapis lazuli in its pure form (2nd rock from the right). These items come from Hawaii, Columbia River plain, and Craters of the Moon Park.
Part 2 and possibly a Part 3 next time. And we'll really get to the good stuff. Later!