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Caliche Chris

Fossilized corral

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A friend of mine found a huge chunk of fossilized corral on the mountain I've been prospecting on. I didn't get any pics of the actual piece yet but here's a couple off Google that look similar. It is pinkish or light orange in color and in great shape. It's about the size of a softball or a little bigger. I remember a friend of mine in Kentucky who use to collect and sell those, but they were smaller and looked slightly different, any idea what one of these would go for? post-26514-0-62761200-1380633703_thumb.jpost-26514-0-91584900-1380633712_thumb.j

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Stromatolites, They are fairly common in the lapidary world. They are an accretion of Cyanobacteria from about 850 million years ago

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Don't know what that first picture is, but that second picture looks very much like a petoskey stone. Petoskey stones In the rough sell for about $6.50 a pound.

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It is definitely NOT a stromatolite. I would say it is coral of some type.

Take a look back in this forum and you will see several stromatolites and discussion on them. They are chunks of layered bacteria... a mass of single celled organisms. What you have is obviously some type of creature with a cone shape and tubes to filter water...like a coral. Single celled organisms don't often get together to plan a network of capillaries like that.

So by simply knowing a stromatolite is made of single cells we can definitely say what you have is not a stromatolite because the critter is obviously a multi celled organism.

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My first take when I picked up the rock was that it was absolutely some type of coral. When I post better pics it should be easier to see. The lady told me she found it about a third of the way up the caballos. I will keep a look out for them because it really is neat looking.

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Chris,

The limestone layer of the Caballos sitting up there above the granite and ironstone layers is just full of neat fossils. Must of them are fairly common but there are some nicely detailed specimens that come from that layer.

You see shells and leaf fossils all the time drywashing. I have several agatized snail looking shells from the screen. There are dragonflies forever in a layers up there.

Our area has a lot more insanely cool fossils than nuggets. There are agatized mammoth tusks, opalized camel teeth and amber with big carpenter ants in it. There was even a big ancient ground sloth preserved in a volcanic vent at Kilbourne Hole! Right there iat Elephantt Butte there are TONS of big bones from all sorts of extinct critters. And just north of Cruces there are acres of trackways. A bunch of big dinosars are preserved nearby and carnivore teeth are a cool find.

You are really good at seeing what is out there rather than looking for one thing. That is a valuable asset my friend. It is going to pay off one of these days.

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Thanks Bob, Wow, the caballos just keep getting better and better! I will have to hike around and do some fossil hunting soon. That is cool to hear that there are so many different kinds close by. I really want to add some fossils and some ancient predator teeth to my collection.

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Chris, I am sure you have been warned by now that collecting vertrabrate fossils is in a NO-NO ! But I say tell hell with them ,they can't even keep the parks open must less police all the fossil beds, more fossils are destroyed everyday by grazing and weather that we could all collect!

Case in point: Just out side of Rifle. CO on Highway 13 N there are cliffs of shale along side the Rifle River some of them 100,s of feet thick!

The building of the Highway causes erosion and in spots there are continual slides of shale coming down, this shale contains fossils of : Birds, Butterflies, Mosquitos, Ants, Leaves, Fish, Snakes, Leafs, and many other rare and unusual vertrabrate and non- vertrabrate fossils!

Now what happens to those fossils that slide down to the road side? If you pull off in a wide spot and there are many wide spots, to pick up some you will be at the least ticketed by : BLM Ranger, A game warden , A policeman of some sort ! SO what do they do with this spoil? Well the county, state and local ranchers haul it off for road fill, gully fill what ever fill ! Do not collect ,Do not pass Goal, collecting is a violation of federal law !

I'll let you in on a secret ! They all go home at 4PM , pull of in one of the nice wide spots, parking is not prohibited, the fishermen must be able to park and fish, then gather all the 5 gallon buckets of shale to carry off to split and check at your leisure!

I am going to publish every one of the spots I can remember from time to time.

Be careful over in NM big brother plants devices that signal if the Dino foot prints are disturbed, same for Anazi pit house sites. Be especially wary if you are anywhere near one of those radar balloons, they receive much more than radar signals, the transmitters they plant are about silver dollar size and are capable of sending signals to a booster station that can send them to a satellite even.

Good Luck in NM!

Max

PS: This is the same area in Colorado that the deer are the size of a dog and starve to death every winter from over population, can't shoot Bambi!

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Max,

That's wild man, I had no idea that collecting those corals and such was off limits. But then again, if I'd found that sucker myself, I think the temptation would be too great and it would be coming home with me. That sounds like a really neat spot up there in Colorado. If I ever head north for a road trip I will definitely look for that spot. I've yet to see the big fossilized Dino tracks around here, I would literally be in awe the first time I saw that. I've seen fossils in museums and I've always been fascinated by dinosaurs but I'm sure it's a whole new thrill seeing a fossil in nature as it's been sitting for millions of years. If I came across some serious ruins or old structures I would have to check them out but carefully and with respect to their historic value. It's the people who come across that stuff and loot and destroy it in the process that bothers me. I'm sure as hell not saying I wouldn't pick up an arrowhead or two if I found them. I'd do my best not to disturb any thing structurally and nine times out of ten leave nothing more than tracks in the dust. So far I don't think I've found any areas or ruins valuable enough for anyone to be that concerned with. After hearing this I would be more paranoid around any major sites, but hopefully minimal interaction wouldn't be enough to raise the alarms.

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Most fossils are okay to collect from public land, and private land if you have permission from the owner. That fossil coral is probably okay to pick up. It's the vertebrates (things with skeletons) and the evidence they leave behind you have to be careful of.

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Chris, As D_Day says corals are non-vertebrates and are legal to collect, plants are legal, its just animals, fish and stuff like that that are not, insects are a shady area with some BLM people, especially if they are rare.

Around Kemmer, WY (and in many other places) fossil fish are found in shale beds there is even a commercial quarry where you can pay to dig them, the thing is that 100's of square miles have deposits, some easily exposed some not. But its illegal to collect them! The government has dug miles of irrigation ditches through them and piled them into spoil banks, roads are built through them exposing the to the elements. The beds extend across 4 or 5 counties all the way from the Kemmer area to Farson, Eden the Fontenelle Reservoir

and S to Green River and Rock springs and who knows how many more places. Around Fontenelle I have saw oil rig pads built entirely of shale from the fossil beds.

Big Sandy Reservoir N of Farson has huge deposits of petrified wood including petrified Cane, the wood is legal to collect but the big logs sometimes found are not, you have to report them to the BLM.

All over SW WY you will find fossil fish for sale. Some times Turtles ,Rays, and Snakes are found, these bring thousands of $$.

Good Luck

Max

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That's cool I can atleast snag the corals without worrying. I'm going to take a hike up this mountain near me and try and find some fossils soon. I will get some good pics to post.

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