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>DIPLEURA TRILOBITE HUNT - Fossil Hunt in the Mahantango Formation


Fossil Hunt in the Mahantango Formation

Dipleura Fossil Hunt

A Fossil Hunt in the Mahantango Formation

A large enrolled Dipleura trilobite found on the trip. It's 3 1/8" across (around 7" if unenrolled).

Looking for Dipleura Trilobites in the Mahantango Formation of Central PA

I went to my favorite Mahantango fossil collecting spot in central PA with the DVPS to catch up with some club members and look for Devonian era fossils, including the large Dipleura trilobites.

This is my favorite spot, because here, the Mahantango sea floor had a siltier bottom than at other places. The silty bottom was a good habitat for Dipleura trilobites. So, although the trilobites Eldredgeops (Phacops) and Greenops are much less common here, Dipleura are fairly common. Most of the time molted segments of Dipleura are found. Complete enrolled ones are seldom found. Fortunately, I found a large enrolled one this trip! The head is slightly squished, but it's complete and large, about 3 1/8" across. If unenrolled, it would have been slightly over 7".

Besides for Dipleura trilobites, a plethora of brachiopods and bivalves can also be found. Since these fossils are so plentiful, it makes for a fun fossil hunting trip. To learn more about the Mahantango formation, including fossils and locations go to the Mahantango page.

Below are pictures and fossils from the Devonian Mahantango fossil hunt:

Fossil Hunting - Those Dipleura are hiding out somewhere in the rubble!

The Dipleura Trilobite when it was found

An Orthonota razor clam - These are some of the coolest fossils in the Mahantango.

A bivalve fossil - Grammysioidea sp.

A gastropod internal mold - Bucanopsis sp.

A cluster of mucrospirifer brachiopods.

Recommended Books for Devonian Fossils:

Fossil Collecting in the Mid-Atlantic States: With Localities, Collecting Tips, and Illustrations of More than 450 Fossil Specimens
This book is a must for West Virginia! It's also a classic!
Out of the 45 fossil collecting sites, 22 are from West Virginia, and another 10 or so are just across the border! Although the book is getting old, many of the sites are roadcuts and are still accessable. Many of these sites are roadcuts that expose the Mahantango Formation.

What makes this book a classic is Jasper Burns incredible sketches of the locations and the fossils found at each location. It is a very descriptive and useful guide book. Even after all these years, I still find myself referencing it!

Fossil Collecting Locations in this book are from Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware.

Trilobites: Common Trilobites of North America (A NatureGuide Book)
by Jasper Burns, 2000

I love Jasper Burns. His Fossil Collecting in the Mid-Atlantic book is still one of my favorite fossil books. His drawings are spectacular and the books are well laid out. This book serves as a field guide and identification guide to North American trilobites. If you fossil hunt for trilobites in North America, you should have this book!

Trilobite Fossils:

Trilobite fossils are some of the most beautiful and collectible fossils in the world! There are countless species and countless colors of trilobites. They make beautiful display pieces and conversation pieces. Common ones make very affordable for gifts to fossil and paleontology enthusiasts. Fossil Era has a huge selection of top quality trilobites from many states and many countries. It's fun just to browse through the inventory and look at all the different types!

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