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4138 Steve Reynolds Boulevard
Norcross, GA 30093-3059

GMS Field Trip

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GMS Field Trip
Middle to Late Cambrian Fossils in Alabama
Saturday, January 6, 2018

Though there was some concern that a bitter cold snap would take a nasty bite out of our intended fossil frolicking, the January field trip proceeded as planned. Ultimately, the weather was fine, even somewhat pleasant. At the first location, Charles Carter led members to a location loaded with limestone chunks covered with unidentified indentations. We are still not sure of the origins of the markings, so the quest for answers will go on. The trip continued in some shale, where Middle to Late Cambrian trilobites have been sleeping peacefully for around 485 to 509 million years. Many of our little arthropod friends were carefully nudged from their beds and will now have new homes in members’ collections. Jason Leatherwood and trilobite expert Bill Montante found some spectacular trilobites in concretions, too! After a quick lunch, the group headed to the last site for the day. We searched gravel and found several brooksellas, sometimes called “star cobbles”. They may be a type of sponge, although many still consider them problematica, i.e. a fossil or possible fossil whose classification has not been determined. There were lots of curious concretions there as well. I think everyone went home with several prizes after a fun day of collecting. Many thanks to Dr. Bob Madden for pioneering this area, and Charles Carter for arranging this multi-location trip!

Lori Carter
On behalf of Charles Carter, GMS Field Trip Chair
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Site 1

Photo by Lori Carter

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Lots of shale to search
Photo by Lori Carter

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Partial trilobite in a concretion
Photo by Lori Carter

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Trilobite impression
Photo by Lori Carter

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Pretty big one!
Photo by Lori Carter

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This is how a trilobite looks like in loose shale -- can you find it?
Photo by Lori Carter

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There it is! (Around 11:00 in the picture above)
Photo by Lori Carter

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Positive and negative of a large trilobite
Photo by Lori Carter

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Jason Leatherwood found this superb group of trilobites
Photo by Lori Carter

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Another of Jason's stunning trilobites
Photo by Lori Carter

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A very large specimen!
Photo by Lori Carter

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Rose found this positive and negative specimen on her first trip with GMS!
Photo by Lori Carter

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This is my best trilobite for the day
Photo by Lori Carter

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This is my tiniest trilobite for the day
Photo by Bill Montante

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Bill Montante found this specimen that he described as a "possible partial Olenoides" trilobite
Photos by Bill Montante

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Bill found this boulder with corals, tentatively identified as "Mississippian tetra corals"
Photo by Lori Carter

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Daniel Miller found some slag and gave me this piece
Note the crystallization in the close-up
Photo by Lori Carter

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The ice and mud made spectacular patterns
Photo by Lori Carter

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Bob & Olga Jarret found this curious creature

Site 2

Photos by Lori Carter

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Example of the limestone with unidentified indentations

Site 3

Photo by Lori Carter

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Brooksella with part of the surface weathered away (top and bottom view)
Photo by Lori Carter

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A nice collection of brooksellas
Photo by Lori Carter

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Brooksella side A and B
Photo by Lori Carter

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Couple of brooksellas. The one on the left may be 2 or 3 specimens in one.
Photo by Lori Carter

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Classic brooksella "puffy flower" look
Photo by Lori Carter

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This brooksella has thin lobes
Photo by Lori Carter

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You have to look hard, but there is a brooksella here
Photo by Lori Carter

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Another pair of brooksellas, top and bottom view
Photo by Lori Carter

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Collection of partial brooksellas
Photo by Lori Carter

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Brooksella shown both sides on top of a mud crack specimen
Photo by Lori Carter

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Top and bottom view of a brooksella that may have somethign else on it
Photo by Lori Carter

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More Brooksellas!!!
Photo by Lori Carter

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Charles found this brooksella that is partially exposed in a curious way
Photo by Lori Carter

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There are a lot of these -- algal fronds? -- burrow traces?
Photo by Lori Carter

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Maybe a sponge?
Photo by Lori Carter

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Possibly a hyalith cast?
Photo by Lori Carter

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Partial shell?
Photo by Lori Carter

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Hamburger or delicious concretion?
Photo by Lori Carter

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Concentric layers -- not sure what this is...
Photo by Lori Carter

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Gilligan looks a little guilty, but those are recently washed brooksellas

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