Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fossils I found at the farm

Last year, a coworker invited my team to her family's farm/ranch in Blum, which is near Glen Rose, TX for a "team building" event. We ate, hiked, built a bonfire and just hung out, enjoying each others' company. If you don't know, Glen Rose is home to many fossils and dinosaur tracks.

We had a great time. So much so, that this past May, hubs and I rented one of the houses at the farm for the weekend. We had access to over 900 acres of beautiful farmland, creeks, hills and cliffs, which overlook the Brazos river.

Hubs fished from all of the ponds, we rode our mountain bikes all over the farm, hiked the cliffs and saw lots of wildlife, including hawks, snakes (including cotton mouths!), cows and roadrunners. We even had a near run-in with wild boar! Hubs had forgotten his fishing pole in the truck, so while he walked back up the hill to get it, I waited along the creek bed. All of a sudden I heard snorting and stomping. It was a "holy crap" moment, because we'd been warned of the wild boar that will "eat your teeth" if they get angry. It sounded as if the boar were within a few feet from me, behind the bushes. Fortunately, we never saw them.

This place is so amazing.

My friends' family farm is very rich in fossils. They welcome guests to scavenge for them and take them home.

Here is info and a photo of the many types of fossils can be found in the area.

The Glen Rose Limestone formation is part of the Trinity Group of Lower Cretaceous Rocks. The famous beds containing dinosaur tracks in the Glen Rose, Texas area are near the base of the Glen Rose formation, at or near the Aptian/Albian boundary, dated at approximately 110 million years. The Glen Rose formation was deposited during the periodic retreat and advancement of a large shallow sea, which may be considered the ancient gulf of Mexico. The deposits represent low subtidal to supratidal environments and typically exhibits alternating beds of hard limestone and softer marl (limy clays and shales).

A. Ammonites (coiled-shelled animals related to squid),
B. serpulid worm tubes, snail steinkerns (internal molds) such as
C. Tylostoma and
D. Anchura, bivalves such as
F. the oyster Texigryphea,
G. the scallop Neithea (left), and the clam Lima waconensis (right),
H. Various clam steinkerns, often called "deer hearts" by locals;
I. regular (round) urchins,
J. heart urchins, and
K. Porocystis, which looks like a ball with many small pores and a larger opening at one end. It has often been mistaken for a sponge, but is actually an algal fruiting body.

And here is what I found (everything from the above list except C, D and I)!! Be sure to click on the pics to see them enlarged. The fossils are so cool!

Check out the picture below. The fossil on the top left is a HUGE ammonite! HUGE! It's just a piece of one, and it's about 2 feet long! I found it on the banks of one of the fishing ponds. Hubs was fishing, and I was just walking around, making sure a snake didn't sneak up on me. There was a pile of rocks on the edge of the pond, and one looked different. It was C shaped. I picked it up, turned it over, and discovered the distinct markings of the ammonite! Score! I couldn't believe it! I had been hoping to find a whole ammonite, since several of my coworkers had on the farm trip last year, but this, while not whole, was so big, that I was thrilled!

I suspect the fossil on the top right may be a piece of dinosaur bone. The large weird fossil on the bottom right is a chunk of fossilized coral! Beside it are several small pieces of fossilized coral. But that huge chunk is a huge score! It's difficult to see in the picture, but embedded into the fossilized coral are small shell fossils.

As you can see, I found quite a few "heart" sea urchins. It took me quite a while, but once I spotted one, they seemed to pop up all over the place. They have a very distinct heart shape, and on the front, there is a similar "star" pattern that you find on a sand dollar. One area of the farm is even called "the sea urchin bed" because so many are found there.

I love searching for fossils. I'm the same way at the beach...I walk around with my head down, beach combing. I could spend hours and hours doing this. I know you aren't allowed to take fossils from the state parks in Glen Rose, but we are fortunate enough to know people who have property in the area.

The farm is absolutely amazing. It's a true testament to God's power and nature's beauty. It's very isolated and quiet and calming. I am hoping we can take another trip out there in the spring.

So what do you think of my fossils?


AJ said...

Very cool!! Love the heart shaped urchins. How neat to get to do something like that so close to home!

Valarie said...

The blogger world makes me feel so, wow. I love digging around for fossils. My husband found what I think is a sponge and brought it home to me, I was ecstatic! I used to sit in my driveway and dig through the rocks, and surprisingly, I found a few.
And, Im the same way at the beach. Give me a bucket and a low tide and I'm in heaven.

Gwen said...

I think your fossils are really cool. The boys would go WILD on that farm!

Pleasant Drive said...

very cool! I've heard that area of our great state is beautiful!

Ally0005 said...

I think your fossils are wonderful.
And that place wow, what a place to go and just be.

ka1t_lyn said...

Wow, that is just amazing. What a neat experience, in such a beautiful place. So neat!

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Wow, this is very cool. So strange for me to look at photos of your warm and sunny day when it is Below Zero out here in Colorado. I got cold just seeing you in shorts and a tank top, because I am all bundled up in sweats! :)

Shannon said...

Very cool!

Your scenery pictures were beautiful!

Sweet Simplicity said...

What a neat place! I love unique getaways in small towns or in your case a 900 acre farm!

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

Wow, that is awesome! My son would LOVE that place! You were able to find a lot of amazing things there! :)

I hope you are having a good week so far! :)

Johann The Dog said...

Very cool. I think I would love that place!!!! And it's warm :)

Candy Allen said...

How did I miss this post? Wow! You and your husband went to an amazing place. It's amazing you found as many fossils as you did. How fun! I can see why you love that place.

Sandy Toes said... fun!! I can't believe all those fossils..amazing! What great pictures!!

I am hoping for a slr camera by son said I got it..I am so bad..I know I know!!!

-sandy toes

Cali Girl said...

you know, i hope i do too BUT i probably wont get any of it because no one knows my list.. lol.

how are you doing lately? hope you're doing okay. the new year is almost here!!! new year, new good things!

did you see this post:

Cherry's Jubilee said...

Very cool! That place is beautiful! When I was a little girl I wanted to be an archeologist. cherry