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ammonite,na, Ammonite, Ammonite,Harpoceras, nitescens, Stolz, Ammonite, Brachiopode, Sponge, Oyster,Gryphea, arcuata, Ammonite,Choffatia, Choffatia, orion, Oppel, Giant, Great, White, Shark, tooth,Carcharocles, sp, Ammonite,na, Ammonite,Parkinsonia, Nautilus,na, Ammonite,Amaltheus, margaritatus, De, Montfort, Crinoid, Sea, Lily,Scytalocrinus, sp, Lias, Zeta, Ammonite,Lytoceras, sp, Ammonite, Ammonite, Ammonite,na, Ammonite,Echioceras, raricostatum, Zieten, Ammonite,Hecticoceras, Rossiensiceras, savoiense, n, subsp, Zeiss, Ammonite,Grossouvria, Grossouvria, quenevexa, Dietl, Ammonite,Hecticoceras, Putealiceras, punctatum, exile, STAHL, n, subspZEISS, Ammonite,Hecticoceras, Zieteniceras, evolutum, LEE, Ammonite,Hecticoceras, Lunuloceras, sub, -, matheyi, LEE, Ammonite,Hecticoceras, Putealiceras, punctatum, exile, STAHL, n, subspZEISS, Nautilus, Ammonite,Amaltheus, gibbosus, Schlotheim, Ammonite,Reineckeia, Reineckeia, sp, Ammonite,Echioceras, raricostatum, Zieten, Ammonite,Indospinctes, Elatmites, curvicosta, Oppel, Ammonite,Reineckia, stuebeli, Corroy, Ammonite,Kosmoceras, Zugokosmoceras, jason, Ammonite,Phlycticeras, polygonium, lavigatum, Quenstedt, Ammonite,Hecticoceras, Putealiceras, krakoviense, transiens, ZEISS, Ammonite,Hecticoceras, Zieteniceras, tuberculatum, DE, TSYTOVITCH, Ammonite,Reineckeia, Reineckeia, sp, Ammonite,Wagnericeras, suspensum, Buckman, Belemnite,Belemnites, Belemnite,Belemnites, Belemnite,na, Belemnite,Belemnites, Shrimp,Acanthochirana, cordata, Early, Crab,Proeryon, Hartmanni, Trilobite,Paciphacops, sp, Crab,Pinnixa, galliheri, Crab,Palinurina, longipes, Fish, Feces,na, Small, Fish,Tetragonolepis, semicinctus, Leptolepis,Leptolepis, Sprattiformis, Dapedium,Dapedium, punctatum, Collection, of, Various, Shark, Teeth, Gill, Cover,Dapedium, punctatum, Eel-like, Fish,Saurorhynchus, Herring-like, Fish,Diplomystus, dentatus, Bowfin,Amia, sp, Herring,Diplomystus, dentatus, Shark, Tooth,Isurus, sp, Herring,Diplomystus, dentatus, Bowfin,Amia, sp, Giant, Shark, Tooth,Megalodon, sp, Freshwater, Perch,Mioplosus, labracoides, Fish,Tharsis, dubius, Fish,Tharsis, dubius, Dragonfly, Larva,Libellula, Doris, Dolphin, Rib, with, Shark, Tooth,Desmotilia, Dolphin, Jaw,Desmotilia, Piece, of, a, Manatee, Rib,Metaxytherium, Whale, tooth, Ankle, bone, of, a, deer, Common, Cockle,Cerastoderma, edule, Freshwater, snails, Crinoid, Sea, Lily, Starfish,Furcaster, sp, Brachiopode,mucrospirifer, Plant, twig,na, Amphibian,Branchiosaurus, sp, Crocodile, Vertebra,na, Crocodile, Teeth,na, Ichtyosaurus, Vertebra,na, Ichtyosaurus, tooth,na, Ichtyosaurus, tooth,na, Ichtyosaurus, vertebra,na, Pterosaur, vertebra,Dorygnathus, banthensis, Ichtyosaurus, Phalange,na, Ichtyosaurus, Humerus,Ichthyosaurus, stenopterygius, sp, Amphibian,Micromelerpedon, sp, Ichtyosaurus, Vertebra,na, Ichtyosaurus, Vertebra,na, Ichthyosaurus, Rib,Ichtyosaurus, sp, Ichtyosaurus, tail,na, Pterosaur, Tooth,Dorygnathus, banthensis, Crocodile, Jaw, , Squid,Chondrotheutis, Squid, Rostrum,Chitinobelus, Wagneri, Chewed, Squid,Loligosepia, Squid,Loligosepia, sp, Squid,Loligosepia, sp, Arms, of, a, squid,Phragmotheutis, Conocauda, Squid,Chondrotheutis, Squid,Phragmotheutis, conocauda, Squid,Teudopsis, bollensis

Lias zeta ammonite. PCollecting ammonites in the clays that overlay the Lias epsilon slates is a thankless task. The clay is exceedingly dry and dusty in the Summer, and exceedingly sticky and messy in all other seasons. It always reminded me of cake mix before you bake it. Usually it's peppered with broken belemnites and ammonite fragments. Sometimes you do get whole ammonites in various states of decay. P Interestingly enough the clay doesn't appear to have changed its adhesive properties much in the last 170 million years - often the underside of an ammonite will be beautifully preserved, while the upper side is badly corroded and ground down, sometimes revealing the chambers within. Obviously whatever got stuck in the that mud was there to stay.Lias zeta ammonite. PCollecting ammonites in the clays that overlay the Lias epsilon slates is a thankless task. The clay is exceedingly dry and dusty in the Summer, and exceedingly sticky and messy in all other seasons. It always reminded me of cake mix before you bake it. Usually it's peppered with broken belemnites and ammonite fragments. Sometimes you do get whole ammonites in various states of decay. P Interestingly enough the clay doesn't appear to have changed its adhesive properties much in the last 170 million years - often the underside of an ammonite will be beautifully preserved, while the upper side is badly corroded and ground down, sometimes revealing the chambers within. Obviously whatever got stuck in the that mud was there to stay.Lias ZetaThis Ammonite is from England - it was a trade. This little brachiopode comes from the Lias Alpha (lower Jurassic) deposits near Kirchheim/T. P pIt's not much to look at.This is a sponge from the upper Jurassic cliffs of the Swabian Alb.An oyster from the Lower Lias Alpha, found at Kirchheim/T. Germany. These oysters are also known as "Devil's toenails". In some areas the bedrock is formed of nothing but these oyster shells. Upper CalloviumThis tooth is from Miocene deposits of Peru. The Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde was conducting digs there in the 1980's. I got this tooth from one of the scientists in trade for a deer tooth from Ursendorf.Lias zeta ammonite. PCollecting ammonites in the clays that overlay the Lias epsilon slates is a thankless task. The clay is exceedingly dry and dusty in the Summer, and exceedingly sticky and messy in all other seasons. It always reminded me of cake mix before you bake it. Usually it's peppered with broken belemnites and ammonite fragments. Sometimes you do get whole ammonites in various states of decay. P Interestingly enough the clay doesn't appear to have changed its adhesive properties much in the last 170 million years - often the underside of an ammonite will be beautifully preserved, while the upper side is badly corroded and ground down, sometimes revealing the chambers within. Obviously whatever got stuck in the that mud was there to stay.I bought this ammonite at a fossil show near Stuttgart - there was no strata information, but supposedly it's middle jurassic.Lias zeta Nautilus. PNautilides in this strata are pretty rare. I never found one but was lucky to be able to trade with another collector who had two of them. PCollecting ammonites in the clays that overlay the Lias epsilon slates is a thankless task. The clay is exceedingly dry and dusty in the Summer, and exceedingly sticky and messy in all other seasons. It always reminded me of cake mix before you bake it. Usually it's peppered with broken belemnites and ammonite fragments. Sometimes you do get whole ammonites in various states of decay. P Interestingly enough the clay doesn't appear to have changed its adhesive properties much in the last 170 million years - often the underside of an ammonite will be beautifully preserved, while the upper side is badly corroded and ground down, sometimes revealing the chambers within. Obviously whatever got stuck in the that mud was there to stay.Stratigraphically this type of ammonite occurs in the Lias Delta, before the Poseidon Shales of Holzmaden. In fact though, I found this one in a landfill which was being capped off with clay from a nearby construction site.This beautiful little crinoid comes from Crawfordsville, Indiana. It was a trade.Lias zeta ammonite. PCollecting ammonites in the clays that overlay the Lias epsilon slates is a thankless task. The clay is exceedingly dry and dusty in the Summer, and exceedingly sticky and messy in all other seasons. It always reminded me of cake mix before you bake it. Usually it's peppered with broken belemnites and ammonite fragments. Sometimes you do get whole ammonites in various states of decay. P Interestingly enough the clay doesn't appear to have changed its adhesive properties much in the last 170 million years - often the underside of an ammonite will be beautifully preserved, while the upper side is badly corroded and ground down, sometimes revealing the chambers within. Obviously whatever got stuck in the that mud was there to stay.Lias zeta ammonite. PCollecting ammonites in the clays that overlay the Lias epsilon slates is a thankless task. The clay is exceedingly dry and dusty in the Summer, and exceedingly sticky and messy in all other seasons. It always reminded me of cake mix before you bake it. Usually it's peppered with broken belemnites and ammonite fragments. Sometimes you do get whole ammonites in various states of decay. P Interestingly enough the clay doesn't appear to have changed its adhesive properties much in the last 170 million years - often the underside of an ammonite will be beautifully preserved, while the upper side is badly corroded and ground down, sometimes revealing the chambers within. Obviously whatever got stuck in the that mud was there to stay.Lias zeta ammonite. PCollecting ammonites in the clays that overlay the Lias epsilon slates is a thankless task. The clay is exceedingly dry and dusty in the Summer, and exceedingly sticky and messy in all other seasons. It always reminded me of cake mix before you bake it. Usually it's peppered with broken belemnites and ammonite fragments. Sometimes you do get whole ammonites in various states of decay. P Interestingly enough the clay doesn't appear to have changed its adhesive properties much in the last 170 million years - often the underside of an ammonite will be beautifully preserved, while the upper side is badly corroded and ground down, sometimes revealing the chambers within. Obviously whatever got stuck in the that mud was there to stay.Lias BetaUnteres Mittel - CalloviumUpper CalloviumLower Middle CalloviumMiddle CalloviumMiddle CalloviumLower Middle CalloviumThis is a cretaceous nautilide. I got it at a fossil show - there was no further information available.Lias DeltaOrnate ClayLias betaLower to middle CalloviumFrom the Jason-zone of the Ornate claysLower Middle Calloviumfrom the Jason-zone of the ornate clays, middle CalloviumMiddle CalloviumMiddle CalloviumMiddle CalloviumFrom the condensed Bathonium. This guy took a blong/b time to get out of the rock! I only saw a little bit of it sticking out of an otherwise smooth rock wall. With a pickaxe I had to work off the overburden, which wasn't easy because one stray blow could have ruined the piece. p What's really interesting about this guy is the fact that it's bcovered/b with marine growth - oysters, worms, bryozoas, you name it, it's got it. The fact that the growth is equally strong on both sides and seems to be somewhat oriented to the animal being in an upright position makes it evident that the growth occurred during the animal's lifetime. p I guess that makes this one a “moss-covered veteran.”Belemnites are the inner shells of squid-like animals. They are extremely common - it's the one fossil, apart from some form or ammonite, that I can guarantee you will find when you visit a Quarry in Holzmaden. P We have a pretty good idea what the belemnite animal looked like because specimens with soft tissue preservation have been found at Holzmaden. They featured 10 long tentacles with double rows of chitinous hooks. In the males, two of the tentacles bore huge hooks, which might have been used in mating. IMG SRC=images/belem.gif align=center P Soft-tissue belemnites are impossibly rare. When a belemnite animal died its body floated around, buoyed by the air chambers (iphragmocon/i) contained in the shell. Only after some time, when the flesh had long decayed and buoyancy was gradually lost, could the shell be embedded. p What sets all known soft-tissue belemnites apart is that they have ibroken shells/i. As their buoyancy was lost, they sank straight to the bottom and got preserved, tentacles and all. It is believed that these specimens were attacked by predators. Sharks for example will swim into a school of fish, jaws snapping wildly, and then later go back and collect the dead and injured animals. No doubt something similar happened here.pIMG SRC=images/belemnit.jpg align=centerp I found one of the large mating hooks, which I traded with Mr. Hauff. Alas, the soft-tissue belemnite "with the broom on," as they say, eluded me. pBelemnites are the inner shells of squid-like animals. They are extremely common - it's the one fossil, apart from some form or ammonite, that I can guarantee you will find when you visit a Quarry in Holzmaden. P We have a pretty good idea what the belemnite animal looked like because specimens with soft tissue preservation have been found at Holzmaden. They featured 10 long tentacles with double rows of chitinous hooks. In the males, two of the tentacles bore huge hooks, which might have been used in mating. IMG SRC=images/belem.gif align=center P Soft-tissue belemnites are impossibly rare. When a belemnite animal died its body floated around, buoyed by the air chambers (iphragmocon/i) contained in the shell. Only after some time, when the flesh had long decayed and buoyancy was gradually lost, could the shell be embedded. p What sets all known soft-tissue belemnites apart is that they have ibroken shells/i. As their buoyancy was lost, they sank straight to the bottom and got preserved, tentacles and all. It is believed that these specimens were attacked by predators. Sharks for example will swim into a school of fish, jaws snapping wildly, and then later go back and collect the dead and injured animals. No doubt something similar happened here.pIMG SRC=images/belemnit.jpg align=centerp I found one of the large mating hooks, which I traded with Mr. Hauff. Alas, the soft-tissue belemnite "with the broom on," as they say, eluded me. pBelemnites are the inner shells of squid-like animals. They are extremely common - it's the one fossil, apart from some form or ammonite, that I can guarantee you will find when you visit a Quarry in Holzmaden. P This specimen has a marked bend in the tip — it makes you wonder how that may have affected its ability to swim straight. P We have a pretty good idea what the belemnite animal looked like because specimens with soft tissue preservation have been found at Holzmaden. They featured 10 long tentacles with double rows of chitinous hooks. In the males, two of the tentacles bore huge hooks, which might have been used in mating. IMG SRC=images/belem.gif align=center P Soft-tissue belemnites are impossibly rare. When a belemnite animal died its body floated around, buoyed by the air chambers (iphragmocon/i) contained in the shell. Only after some time, when the flesh had long decayed and buoyancy was gradually lost, could the shell be embedded. p What sets all known soft-tissue belemnites apart is that they have ibroken shells/i. As their buoyancy was lost, they sank straight to the bottom and got preserved, tentacles and all. It is believed that these specimens were attacked by predators. Sharks for example will swim into a school of fish, jaws snapping wildly, and then later go back and collect the dead and injured animals. No doubt something similar happened here.TABLE width=100%TRTD align=centerIMG SRC=images/belemnit.jpg/TD/TR/TABLE I found one of the large mating hooks, which I traded with Mr. Hauff. Alas, the soft-tissue belemnite "with the broom on," as they say, eluded me. p Belemnites are the inner shells of squid-like animals. They are extremely common - it's the one fossil, apart from some form or ammonite, that I can guarantee you will find when you visit a Quarry in Holzmaden. P This is a large, beautiful specimen with a good amount of air chamber (phragmocon) remaining. P We have a pretty good idea what the belemnite animal looked like because specimens with soft tissue preservation have been found at Holzmaden. They featured 10 long tentacles with double rows of chitinous hooks. In the males, two of the tentacles bore huge hooks, which might have been used in mating. IMG SRC=images/belem.gif align=center P Soft-tissue belemnites are impossibly rare. When a belemnite animal died its body floated around, buoyed by the air chambers (iphragmocon/i) contained in the shell. Only after some time, when the flesh had long decayed and buoyancy was gradually lost, could the shell be embedded. p What sets all known soft-tissue belemnites apart is that they have ibroken shells/i. As their buoyancy was lost, they sank straight to the bottom and got preserved, tentacles and all. It is believed that these specimens were attacked by predators. Sharks for example will swim into a school of fish, jaws snapping wildly, and then later go back and collect the dead and injured animals. No doubt something similar happened here.pIMG SRC=images/belemnit.jpg align=centerp I found one of the large mating hooks, which I traded with Mr. Hauff. Alas, the soft-tissue belemnite "with the broom on," as they say, eluded me. pThis little guy is unfortunately not very well preserved. Many of the legs are missing, which leads me to believe this may be a shed shell rather than a complete animal.This type of crab is better known from its descendents iEryon Arctiformis/i, which are found at Solnhofen. As opposed to the latter, our iProeryon/i is extremely rare. That being said, it is most abundant in the Koblenzer strata. You are likely to find bits and pieces of shed crab shell and/or limbs as well as the odd abdomen, but it takes a lot of luck to turn up a complete specimen. BR This is the only complete one I ever found, and it's pretty beat up. I assume it was tossed around in the water for a while before being embedded. Some people thought it might be a shed shell that happened to stay in one piece, but there seems to be some soft tissue preservation in the abdomen, so I don't think that's likely. BR When these crabs are prepared with the traditional scrapers and needles you lose a lot of the surface detail - all the little knobs and spikes are cut off. This one was prepared using an airbrasive tool and it came out great! PIMG SRC=images/description/crabnobs.jpgPA common trilobite from the Haragan Formation of Coal County, Oklahoma (Lower Devonian. This was a purchase.Aguajito Shale Formation, Miocene of Jacks Peak County Park of Monterey County in Central California. This was a gift.This little crab is barely visible.The science of iCoprolites/i deals with fossilized excrements. Holzmaden occasionally yields yellowish phosphate nodule in various shapes that are clearly feces of large fish or reptiles. Some of these contain fish scales or bones. PMostly unnoticed are the feces of smaller fish, which are abundant on the underside of the iOberer Stein/i strata, and which often contain the tentacle hooks of squid. PThey're really not much to look at, so I only kept this one specimen. This little guy came to me by accident - it was propped up conspicuously, the slab had been sized somewhat with a hammer, and there was a smear of blood on it. This indicated an unfortunate event - someone had found the piece, left it there to collect it later, or to get some newspaper to wrap it in — and then couldn't find it again! After this experience I made it a point to set up a well-marked "drop spot" for all my finds at the beginning of each excursion. P The fish itself is not very common, there are only two specimens displayed at the Museum Hauff. While it is decently preserved overall, the front of the belly has been dislocated, and the tail is bent downward. The original shape of the fish is almost round, not unlike a hatchet fish. There are no scales to speak of, only a small amount of elongated ganoid plates along the ventral rim. pThis little guy is the most common fish in the Poseidon shales. iLeptolepis/i can be found in virtually all layers, but most commonly in the upper iTafelfleins/i. Unfortunately, the iTafelfleins/i is rarely cut into, because it lies more than a meter below the commercially mined iFleins/i and has no economic value. It doesn't split very well, and the surface is an unattractive, ashen color. PThe iLeptolepis/i form a spread-out mortality community in that layer, much like the iFischliflinz/i in Solnhofen. In addition, the iTafelfleins/i contains a relatively large number of small squid with soft tissue preservation. PDon't turn down an opportunity to split some if you find that a new drainage pool has been dug in a quarry!Fish are considered the most common vertebrate finds in Holzmaden literature. - Yeah right. I've rarely heard something more misleading. Fish are exceedingly rare, and good fish even more so. Most of the fish I found were not worth keeping. p One of the less rare fish is iDapedium/i. Dapedium didn't have much of an endoskeleton and it falls apart pretty quickly. Most finds consist of single bones or scales, sometimes patches of skin. pThis piece of roadkill is the best example I found. It would probably not have been worth the time to prepare it, but I was fortunate enough to be able to use an airbrasive tool at the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart, which allowed me to prepare the whole mess in less than three hours. p iDapedium/i was a Semionotiform "Holeostean" fish - deep-bodied, rather flat and most probably a stillwater herbivore.This “sampler” shows the different types of shark teeth you can find at Ursendorf. The location is a sand and gravel pit on the edge of town.Single fish bones are quite common. This one is a gill cover plate, nicely ornamented, and comes from the Upper Bonebed. (Upper ashes)This fish looked very much like an eel - long, slender body, small fins, elongated head. Well, *really* elongated head! BRThe body was very fragile and usually got separated from the body well before hitting the bottom. Only a couple of complete specimens have ever been found. The heads do turn up occasionally and are usually in pretty good shape. pI didn't have to sweat in a quarry for this find - I bought it off of a kid at a local flea market.A fish from the Green River formation of Wyoming. These fish are very popular because of their abundance. Good examples, however are pretty expensive, not least because of the effort that goes into the preparation. This one was prepared by hand, though I did use an airbrasive tool on the head and spine.This fish comes from the famous Eocene deposits of Messel, Germany. Known as "bowfin" or "dogfish", Amia's only living relative, Amia calva, inhabits the southern and eastern waters of Florida. pIMG SRC=images/description/amiasm.jpg ONCLICK="window.open('pic.asp?file=amialg.jpg', 'Clava','width=596,height=191,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=no,status=no,toolbar=no,resizable=no');" A baby herring. pInterestingly, this was my first American acquisition after my arrival here. I purchased it at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, home of the giant iKronosaurus/i skeleton (derisively known as iPlasterosaurus/i because of the massive amount of - speculative - restoration done on it)A shark tooth from the Upper Miocene.In 1996 my wife and I made a trip "Out West" and visited the Ulrich quarry near Kemmerer, WY. We dug for fish all morning and came away with a relatively small number of iKnightia/i and iDiplomystus/i. pIt's worth it for the experience, but not for gathering good fossil material. For that you're better off buying unprepared specimens at the Ulrich shop. pThis fish comes from the Eocene deposits of Messel, Germany. Known as "bowfin" or "dogfish", Amia's only living relative, Amia calva, inhabits the southern and eastern waters of Florida. pIMG SRC=images/description/amiasm.jpg ONCLICK="window.open('pic.asp?file=amialg.jpg', 'Clava','width=596,height=191,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=no,status=no,toolbar=no,resizable=no');" The size of this tooth indicates a monstrous shark as its former owner. Size estimates for this species used to be in the 90 foot range, but have since been revised to about 30-40 feet, which still exceedes by far any living Great White shark. p Shark teeth of this kind are probably among the most sought-after fossils today. I wonder if this would be the case if “JAWS” had never been made. A voracious predator of the great Green River lake of Wyoming. BR These fish are very popular because of their beautiful preservation, abundance and relatively low price. I bought this specimen unprepared and used my home-made airbrasive tool to prepare it. Commercial abrasives are far too harsh on the delicate scales, but with some tinkering I found the right material. Unfortunately only the negative slab of this specimen was found - the other half got away! I got this piece in trade for another not-so-great fossil. It still makes a great decoration!This fish is exquisitely preserved. Even the contents of the intestines are visible! Under UV light the scales glow bright white. Micoene, ItalyThis is quite an interesting piece — a bit of dolphin rib with a bshark tooth embedded in it/b. Obviously this dolphin was attacked and eaten by one or more small sharks. A tooth got lodged in the bone and snapped off. This is not an unusual event as such - that's why sharks continuously replace their teeth, after all, but it is unusual to find a fossil to document this. P Dr. Heizmann of the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde was quite excited to see this piece. The tooth slides out, but I have only pulled it out once because I don't want to wear it out.With the teeth and alveoles rolled off in the surf, I didn't recognize this bone for what it was. I took my entire haul from Ursendorf to the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart, where I showed it to Dr. Heizmann, the resident Tertiary Expert. He identified this piece as a right lower jaw of an early dolphin.Manatees have a thickened, extra heavy rib cage to make it easy for them to submerge and stay at the bottom of rivers and lagoons, where they feed on vegetation. The Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart has a complete skeleton of a Manatee, where these thick ribs are very evident. pIMG SRC=images/metaxy.jpgp Bones, especially the larger ones, are often fragmented at Ursendorf, not least because this deposit consists of re-deposited material, so everything had been worked up and rolled before it came to rest here. Whale or dolphin teeth are not the most common finds at Ursendorf. This one was broken in several pieces - the white stuff is plaster which I used to put it back together. (I purposefully didn't match the color)Bones of land animals are not exactly common at Ursendorf, but they are not impossible to find. In a long day of searching, I found about 100 shark teeth, ranging from minuscule to inch-and-a-half pieces, a piece of manatee rib, a deer tooth, a dolphin jaw and this peculiar bone - which I couldn't identify for the life of me. Dr. Heizmann of the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart identified it as an ankle bone of a small deer.This is not a fossil at all - it's a shell I picked up on the beach at Wangerooge Island (Germany). p The reason I kept it is that it shows quite clearly the face and headdress of an Indian Chief! p (If you don't see it, stand back a few steps from your computer and squint)A collection of freshwater snails from Steinheim am Albuch. During the Miocene a two meteorites slammed into what was to become Southwestern Germany. The larger of the two craters formed the Nördlinger Ries, the smaller the Steinheimer Becken. The Steinheim crater soon became a lake with a very diverse, subtropical fauna. The most prominent fossils are also the tiniest: freshwater snails lived and died here by the trillions and formed massive banks with their shells. pIncidentally, these snails were one of the first groups of animals in which evolutionary change could be observed. This poor thing has had a rough life - it's originally from the Lyme Regis deposits of Southern England. Somebody put it into a slab of Holzmaden iFleins/i and put a thick layer of lacquer on it. I got the piece in trade and put a layer of English shale on top to make it look right.The Hunsruck Slate found near Bundenbach, Germany is one of the best-known locations for Devonian fossils. The slate mines (not quarries) have been closed, and good fossils are now very hard to come by. A Brachiopode from the Ordovician of Canada. This was a gift.Because Holzmaden was quite a ways away from the nearest land, plants are the most exotic rareties. I have known collectors who found specimens of pretty much all the known species in Holzmaden and are yet to find a single plant fossil! This little guy was found in the lower Permian deposits (Rotliegendes) of Odernheim, Germany. p iBranchiosaurus/i lived in shallow bodies of water. Most of the specimens found are not much longer than a finger. Because external gills are often observed it is assumed that iBranchiosaurus/i is a larval stage of other amphibians found in the same deposits.This vertebra may be from the species Eurynosaurus, which is not very common at all. P Ichthyosaur vertebras are not exactly uncommon. If you went hunting every weekend for a month I'd bet you'd gather two or three of them. Most of the single ones you find are small or medium-sized tail vertebra, as this part of the body disintegrated quickly while the rest of the body kept together much longer. POccasionally vertebrae of astounding proportions are found. These point to the existence of Ichtyosaurs that may have attained the size of sperm whales.Teeth, besides coprolites and single bones, are the most common indicator of the presence of reptiles. A number of sea-going crocodiles (or at least their bodies) were visitors to the Holzmaden area. Single teeth were most likely lost during feeding, as most of them don't have any root and seem to have been snapped off level with the jaw-bone.Small chest vertebra PIchthyosaur vertebras are not exactly uncommon. If you went hunting every weekend for a month I'd bet you'd gather two or three of them. Most of the single ones you find are small or medium-sized tail vertebra, as this part of the body disintegrated quickly while the rest of the body kept together much longer. POccasionally vertebrae of astounding proportions are found. These point to the existence of Ichtyosaurs that may have attained the size of sperm whales.Ichthyosaur teeth are a fairly common find. I think that's because ichthyosaurs start out with a great many teeth in their youth and lose them as they grow older, until in old age - which may very well have been a hundred years or more - they are humped and toothless.Ichthyosaur teeth are a fairly common find. In my mind that's because ichthyosaurs start out with a great many teeth in their youth and seem to lose them as they grow older, until in old age - which may very well have been a hundred years or more - they are humped and toothless. P This one is a bit odd, in that it seems to have lost most of the enamel before it became embedded.Ichthyosaur vertebras are not exactly uncommon. If you went hunting every weekend for a month I'd bet you'd gather two or three of them. Most of the single ones you find are small or medium-sized tail vertebra, as this part of the body disintegrated quickly while the rest of the body kept together much longer. POccasionally vertebrae of astounding proportions are found. These point to the existence of Ichtyosaurs that may have attained the size of sperm whales.Pterodactyls - flying reptiles - are among the greatest rarities. Only thirty-odd finds have been made in the last 100 years. Holzmaden was located fairly far from shore, and the common assumption that these few pterodactyls were blown out to sea by storms or otherwise lost their way until they ditched in the Jurassic sea and drowned. Some have broken wings. PBecause I've set out with the certain knowledge that I would never, ever find a pterodactyl, I was all the more suprised when I came across this bone. I found only one other remain - a tooth. Both pieces were lauded as "important finds" by Dr. Wild. Ichthyosaurs had highly specialized forelimbs - they were formed into sturdy paddles, which acted as stabilizers. PIndividual finger bones are about as common as vertebras.On my very first expedition to the Holzmaden Quarries I found a whole bunch of mixed up ichtyosaurus bones. This is a particularily nice humerus of a small specimen.The skull of a Permian amphibian from Odernheim, Germany. Note the teeth and the big eye sockets!This vertebra came from the chest area of the animal. You can see the knobs where the ribs attached to the spine. Ichthyosaur vertebras are not exactly uncommon. If you went hunting every weekend for a month I'd bet you'd gather two or three of them. Most of the single ones you find are small or medium-sized tail vertebra, as this part of the body disintegrated quickly while the rest of the body kept together much longer. POccasionally vertebrae of astounding proportions are found. These point to the existence of Ichtyosaurs that may have attained the size of sperm whales.Small lower body vertebra PIchthyosaur vertebras are not exactly uncommon. If you went hunting every weekend for a month I'd bet you'd gather two or three of them. Most of the single ones you find are small or medium-sized tail vertebra, as this part of the body disintegrated quickly while the rest of the body kept together much longer. POccasionally vertebrae of astounding proportions are found. These point to the existence of Ichtyosaurs that may have attained the size of sperm whales.The picture doesn't do this piece justice - it's VERY big for a common Ichthyosaur rib. The animal this one came from was at least eight meters long. pThis is the largest single bone I found. PRemarkable is the fact that the rib stayed intact after the skeleton it belonged to disintegrated.This was a lucky find — the tail of a badly decomposed ichthyosaurus. p The beautifullly articulated specimens shown in museums around the world are the exceptions, certainly not the rule when it comes to Holzmaden Ichthyosaurs. Dr. Bernhard Hauff estimated that for each decent ichthyosaur discovered about 10 more or less decomposed ones are found.Pterodactyls - flying reptiles - are among the greatest rarities. Only thirty-odd finds have been made in the last 100 years. The area of Holzmaden was far out to sea then. The common assumption is that these few pterodactyls were blown out to sea by storms or otherwise lost their way until they ditched in the Jurassic sea and drowned. Some have broken wings. PBecause I've set out with the certain knowledge that I would never, ever find a pterodactyl, I was all the more suprised when I came across this tooth. I found only one other remain - a vertebra. Both pieces were lauded as "important finds" by Dr. Wild. This piece is problematic. If you know what this is, please A HREF=mailto:oliver@waldenfont.comfont color=whitelet me know/font/A. The shape points towards the lower jaw of a small crocodile, but the teeth aren't crocodile teeth. The alternative would be the lower jaw of a fish, but I can't find a matching fish in the literature. Here are closeups of the teeth and the “snout”:P IMG SRC=images/description/teeth.jpgPIMG SRC=images/description/snout.jpg This squid is very similar to Phragmotheutis, but much smaller. The arms are very long and are studded with double rows of very fine, long hooks, the whole forming something of a sieve with which the animal probably filtered its prey from the water.This appendage is assumed to belong to Chondrotheutis, but as far as I know, no conclusive evidence for this has been found yet.This was my first squid. It's a mess. The animal was attacked by a predator, but somehow didn't get eaten. The cuttlebone which is usually very tough is completely crushed, yet soft tissue remains (even veins are visible on the ink bag). IMG SRC=images/description/squidveins.jpg align=rightThere is also a circular hole in one of the shards, which could have been made by a predator's tooth.This was my second squid from the Koblenzer layer. The slab was very weathered and started cracking in all directions. I used liberal amounts of poly resin to keep it together. Luckily the fossil itself didn't suffer damage.The most complete and beautifully preserved large squid I have!p In addition to the common soft-tissue preservation (ink bag, striped muscle) this specimen shows some preservation of the head as well as bstomach content:/b pIMG SRC=images/description/squidgut.jpgp Under the microscope you can distinguish tentacle hooks of smaller squids, such as Chondrotheutis. Most likely this animal hunted smaller squids and fish. p The preservation of striped muscle is very fine: IMG SRC=images/description/squidmuscle.jpgp Front part of a squid. This type of squid had double rows of small hooks instead of suction cups on its tentacles. While the flesh was not preserved, the hooks remain iin situ/i. p IMG SRC=images/description/squid.gif width=170 While iPhragmotheutis/i is not extremely rare, specimens with a good "brush" are uncommon. This one would have been great, but the slab had broken right behind the tentacles and I couldn't find the missing piece. I guess that makes this "the one that got away". This squid is very similar to Phragmotheutis, but much smaller. The arms are very long and are studded with double rows of very fine, long hooks, the whole forming something of a sieve with which the animal probably filtered its prey from the water.This type of squid had double rows of small hooks instead of suction cups on its tentacles. While the flesh was not preserved, the hooks remain iin situ/i. p IMG SRC=images/description/squid.gif width=170 While iPhragmotheutis/i is not extremely rare, specimens with a good "brush" are uncommon. This is the best example I found - note the preservation of the mother-of-pearl lining of the shell, and the complete set of arms (usually one or more are hidden). Mr. Hauff was very impressed when I showed him my find!This is a rather portly fellow - it probably looked very similar to the living isepia/i. BRLike all good Holzmaden squids it has some soft tissue preservation and a big bag of black ink. Usually the ink bag is nice and round, but this one might have ruptured. It's flat and the contents are spilled all over the place.