Mast head image, showing two birds flanking Pikes Peak and the best dog I ever had, Blue, a Labrador German Shepherd mix.
Joe's Fossils!
Welcome to Joe's Fossils, this is primarily a showcase of the fossils I've collected.
Florissant, Colorado
Location: Quarry on Teller County 1, just south of Florissant, Colorado.
Age: Late Eocene
Unit: Florissant Formation
Ownership: Commercial Quarry
Access: Turn south onto Teller County 1 from US 24 in Florissant Colorado. Look for the quarry sign on the right.
Fossil Pictures
Precautions: The town of Florissant is at approximately 8300 ft above sea level. Higher altitude sometimes leads to two problems for visitors: altitude fatigue and sunburns due to greater exposure to UV radiation. A lack of humidity (often around 15%) also leads to dehydration. Be prepared to be short of breath, drink lots of water to prevent dehydration, and wear lots of sunscreen.
This locality is locally owned, you pay $20 for either a box of shale to take home or an hour of splitting shale at the quarry. The owners of the quarry are very helpful and have a wonderful working relationship with the National Monument nearby. Make sure to visit Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument before or after you visit the quarry, there is much more to see including the large fossil stumps. Visit Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, and their Online Museum (designed by yours truly).
Lake Jacksboro, Texas
Location: Park at approx: N33° 14.716' W98° 07.010', Walk to approx: N33° 14.664' W98° 07.720'
Age: Pennsylvanian
Unit: Finis Shale
Owned by: City of Jacksboro
Access: Park and walk ~0.5 miles across levee to spillway
Map | Aerial Photograph | Fossil Pictures
This locality has been around for many years and is well known throughout both the scientific community and to local amateur collectors. There is plenty of exposure for hundreds of people to collect. I have been out there many times and each time I find something new and interesting!
Precautions: Dress for the weather. As this is a long walk on a high and steep-sided levy, be cautious, especially with children. In summer months, bring a small weather radio along. I have come across Diamond Back Rattlesnakes at this locality, so be mindful (this one was stepped on before it made any noise at all). The city leases the spillway to local ranchers on occassion, so do not approach the cattle, especially sows with a calf. No significant vegetation, so ticks aren't a real concern.
Wewoka, Oklahoma - No longer exists
Location: Land fill near the town of Wewoka
Age: Pennsylvanian
Unit: Quivira Shale
Owned by: Ownership changed several years ago and the new owner no longer allows access. Also, observations made from recent aerial photographs indicate that the locality has been destroyed..
Access: No longer exists
Map | Fossil Pictures
One of the piles towards the east end of the landfill was excavated from deep in the pit to the level of the Quivira Shale and dumped on the hillside for use as future landfill material. This locality produces many large (large for the Penn at least) marine invertebrates and a few rare ammonoids and crinoids. This is unfortunately the nature of paleontology, urbanization, housing development, road construction, all act to not only reveal new localities, but destroy them as well. Maybe one day, thousands of years from now, for some lucky scientist, this will be an archaeological/paleontological jackpot.
Ft. Washita near Madill, Oklahoma
Location: Small roadcut near Ft Washita
Age: Cretaceous
Unit: Washita? Shale
Owned by: Oklahoma Department of Transportation
Access: Public
Map | Fossil Pictures
A small roadcut near Ft. Washita produces small pyritized ammonites in abundance (depending on rainfall and erosion) and the occasional rare fish bits (teeth, vertebrae, bones, scales) but nothing large or whole. The largest ammonite I found there was an inch in diameter. I have been told by some paleontologists that this is a "dwarf" community.
Precautions: Some areas of thick vegetation so ticks, chiggers, and snakes might be a small problem. Pull as far off the road as possible, watch for traffic.
Decatur, Texas - Cretaceous Goodland Formation.
Location: Approximately N33° 14.390' W97° 34.312'
Age: Cretaceous
Unit: Goodland Formation, Edwards? Limestone
Owned by: I think it may be the City of Decatur, road crews seem to be using this area as a road materials quarry. There are no fences, but as it is in a commercial area, and a good location, one day soon it may be developed, so collect as much as possible while you can.
Access: Public, as long as you stay away from the equipment.
Map | Aerial Photograph | Fossil Pictures
A real fun locality that I haven't hit in a while. Large (3 feet in diameter) to small (a few inches in diameter) ammonites, fish bits, one whole fish in limestone, sharks teeth, irregular echinoids (mostly Hemiaster), gastropods, Exogyra, Innoceramus, and many other odds and ends. This locality is quite easy to get to and easy to work with nice gentle slopes, and a gas station right across the street if you get thirsty or have to answer the call of the wild.
Note: There are many other reasonably good collecting localities all over town and with permission from land owners, you might be able to find other nice localities.
Harrisonville, Kansas
Location: It's a secret
Age: Pennsylvanian
Unit: Eudora Shale
Owned by: Top Secret
Access: Wouldn't you like to know :0)
Fossil Pictures
The reason I am being so tight-lipped about this locality is because it is so small, and it has abundant ammonoids (my personal favorite). Also, the fossils you find at this locality are mostly really poor quality, not suitable for framing, but great for scientific study. So, now you see why I don't disclose the location of this locality. The few good fossils you do find take a lot of prep work to get them looking half way decent. I am about half-way there on the few that I have pictures of here.
Noble County, Oklahoma
Age: Permian
Unit: Wellington Formation
Owned by: Various private owners
Access: by permission only
Fossil Pictures - No Noble County Fossils are for sale.
The Wellington Formation of Noble County represents a predominantly terrestrial environment. This environment was only a few miles away from the then shoreline and included rivers and marshes, fresh-water lakes and streams. There is a possibility that at certain short time periods during the Wellington, the ocean encroached into Noble County but only enough as to deposit thin lenses of dolomitic limestone.
Note: Noble county localities are currently being studied by representatives of various academic and scientific institutions, in most instances commercial collecting is prohibited by the Fossil Preservation Act of 1996 and various Oklahoma state laws prohibit the sale of fossil vertebrate material collected in Oklahoma. If you are a scientist interested in studying Lower Permian marginal marine and terrestrial environments, please contact the author for further information. Furthermore, the commercial value of fossils found in Noble County is insignificant, whereas the scientific value is priceless. Many new species and genus of fossil vertebrates and insects are being discovered in this poorly studied area, and as such hold more importance to science than to commercial collectors.
Jefferson County, Oklahoma
Location: Unknown
Age: Permian
Unit: Unkown, for now
Access: a private collector has exclusive supposedly access to this site
Fossil Pictures
The material from this locality is on loan to me from Shawn Hamm, a private collector in the Wichita Area. An acquaintance of his collected bulk material from this undisclosed locality and gave it to Shawn. If you are a researcher in Permian vertebrates, contact me, and I'll see what I can do about persuading this collector to let you tag along.
Stone City, Texas
Location: N30° 37' 39", W96° 32' 42" (WGS84/NAD83 Map Datum)
Age: Eocene
Unit: Claiborne Group: Stone City Formation
Access: Public waterway, bridge access.
Fossil Pictures & Site Info
Precautions: This well-known Eocene marine locality is a small challenge to get to at times. Park in an area just west of the bridge and walk down the bank to the locality. Be careful as it is sometimes steep, slippery when wet, and if there hasn't been a lot of foot traffic, vegetation can get thick. Poison Ivy is a small threat, so remember, "leaves of three, leave it be." As usual, ticks and other parasites can also be a problem. Check with the Corps of Engineers website for stream-guage information, if the river is up, the best collecting is usually out of reach and the water can be dangerous at high flow.
Ft. Gibson Dam, Oklahoma
Location: 35° 52' 12"N, 95° 13' 32"W (WGS84/NAD83 Map Datum)
Age: Mississippian
Unit: Pitkin Limestone
Access: Public
Fossil Pictures
This locality is quite extensive, the cut for Ft. Gibson Dam exposes the Mississippian Pitkin Formation which is extremely fossiliferous nearly all along both the east and west sides of the cut. Be careful of the traffic.
Peru, Kansas
Location: West of Peru, KS
Age: Pennsylvanian
Unit: Robbins Shale
Access: Public roadcut
Fossil Pictures - coming soon
This locality is a large roadcut west of the town of Peru, KS, you just can't miss it! Some small concerns about critters (ticks, spiders, snakes) during summer months, but other than that, just look out for the traffic!
Manford, Oklahoma
Location: Roadcut east of intersection of State Highways 51 and 151 (road over Keystone Dam).
Age: Pennsylvanian
Unit: Muncie Creek Shale?
Access: Public roadcut
Fossil Pictures
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation recently widened Highway 51 and completely ruined this locality. It is gradually eroding (much to ODoT's angst) and should be back up to par in another 10-15 years. The best collecting when the roadcut was in it's best eroding "shape" was on the south side, but it was obliterated. Now all that is left is the north side that has only marginal collecting potential.
Precautions: Beware of fast-moving traffic, especially if collecting with children.
Miscellaneous fossils
Fossil Pictures
These are pictures of fossils I've collected over the years from various localities, some I remember, some I don't.
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