Celebrating the Richness of Paleontology through Fossil Hunting

Fossil Trilobites in Ohio - Fossil Hunt

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Ohio Fossil Collecting Site: North West Ohio is a Great place to find Trilobites!

The Trilobite Gallery

Trilobite Collecting Site: Western New York has its Share of Trilobites!

Utah Trilobite Hunt
Fossil Hunting Trip Report

Fossil Quarries in Western Ohio:
Silurian and Devonian

October 14th, 2006

"The Lonely Tree"

Amy, Roy , and I traveled to western Ohio in search of Trilobites. We traveled 100's of miles and hopped from quarry to quarry in search of these elusive critters. For those of you not familiar with the mid-west, it is very flat and full of farm fields and not much else. Most roads are straight as an arrow. It's actually kind of boring, and even more boring to drive through; hours and hours go by and all one sees is farm fields from horizon to horizon. Cornfields, Soy fields, Plowed fields... it all looks the same. To fight this boredom throughout the trip, Roy and I pondered deep philosophical questions that have intense meanings and life-altering implications... while Amy slept. Below are some example questions we pondered for hours upon hours, even days.
1: Ohio is flat; therefore they actually need to build large hills in order to make bridges for overpasses. Where does Ohio get the dirt to make these hills? Is it imported from other states?

2: Why does Wrong Way Rob always get a sore throat prior to a fossil hunt?
3: When looking at any vast farm field, there is usually a lonely tree, standing acres away from any other tree. The poor tree looks awfully misplaced. What is the purpose of this lonely tree?

Roy was keen on the first question proposed. He noticed these large ponds on the side of the road. After viewing 100's of such ponds for 100's of miles, we realized there was a correlation between an overpass and a pond. Every pond was near an overpass. Question solved. They dig a hole next to the bridge to be built; the hole eventually turns into a pond.

The second question is still a great mystery. We have teams of paleontologists working on this question as you read.

The third one is also a mystery. We have various hypotheses, but no clear-cut solutions. Obviously, the tree is in the way. Farmers must harvest and plant around this tree every season, which would become a nuisance. Therefore the tree must serve a purpose. Is it superstitions that keep the tree there? Is it a place to rest while on break? Does it mark some underground object? Buried treasure perhaps? Is it a place for birds of prey to roost?

If you know the answer to #2 or #3, please send me an email!!!

Anyhow, this is a fossil website, so onto the fossil trip report!

On Saturday we met up with Dave. Dave is the incredibly nice person who led us on a tour of the western Ohio Fossil areas. Make sure you check out his Bedrock Bugs website, it has some outstanding trilobites! Thanks Dave! Anyhow, our first stop was a quarry in Miami County run by Western Ohio Cut Stone. This quarry has rocks blasted from the Silurian era, which means Calymene celebra trilobites (aka Gravicalymene celebra). Rocks were full of them, many were found! Plus the mine operators were incredibly nice, they gave us coffee, offered us food, and even helped chip the trilobites out of the rocks. Thanks!

After departing Western Ohio Cut Stone, we headed to a quarry in Paulding for some Devonian Trilobites. The fauna here is just like 18-mile creek, but the Phacops are, on average, larger here. Dave, his wife Connie, and Roy all found some fairly large enrolled ones. Amy and I didn't fare as well.

The next day he hit a few other Devonian spots in the Silica formation in search for more Phacops trilobites. A few were found, again, none by Amy and I. After that, we checked in at Fossil Park to see how the park was doing. They just had fresh material delivered, and people were eagerly searching through it.

After the jaunt to Fossil Park, we said our goodbyes and headed back east, pondering life's greatest mysteries the entire way home... while Amy slept.

Images from the Silurian Quarry:

fossil quarry in ohio
This is the quarry in Miami county where all the Calymene Trilobites were found

fossil trilobite - calymene from ohio
Here is Amy holding the best Calymene found. She found it while walking around drinking coffee! See it prepped below. It's the first Calymene image.

enrolled trilobite calymene fossil
Here is the only enrolled Calymene found. See it prepped below. It's the second Calymene image.

Images from the Devonian Quarry:

paulding Quarry
This is the quarry in Paulding. It's actually a blackmail shot. Amy is wearing around 10 layers plus a safety vest.

phacops trilobite fossil from ohio
Here is Amy searching for and splitting Silica shale, where the large phacops are found.

Fossils Found from the Silurian Quarry

calymene trilobite fossil
This is the nice Calymene Amy found. It's about 1 3/4"

another calymene fossil trilobite
This is the enrolled Calymene I found.

another calymene fossil trilobite
Another Calymene about 1 3/4"

calymene trilobite fossil
A few more Calymenes all between 1 1/2 and 1 3/4"

another calymene fossil trilobite
Another one

more calymene trilobite fossils
A few smaller Calymenes

Fossils Found from the Devonian sites

a nice enrolled phacop trilobite fossil from ohio
Here is a nice enrolled Phacops Roy found. It would be a little under 3" if prone.

horn corals and brachiopod fossils from ohio
Of course the standard Brachiopods and Horn corals are present in the Devonian Silica Formation