• "Celebrating the Richness of Paleontology through Fossil Hunting"

Black Cat Mountain Fossil Hunt

Searching for Devonian Trilobite Fossils at Black Cat Mountain

Haragan Formation, Lower Devonian


Shootout at the OK trilobite quarry

Here, Roy and I have a shootout at the OK quarry on Black Cat Mountain. The last man standing gets the trilobites.



This is a ~2 minute video of a Huntonia Prep sequence found at Black Cat Mountain.


Black Cat Mountain Trilobite Quarry Operations

"The quarry operations"
Black Cat Mountain is quarried by Robert Carroll, a fossil enthusiast to say the least. He carefully mines this mountain for its world class trilobites. Layers of limestone from the Haragan Formation are carefully excavated and stacked into piles. These piles are then searched for the trilobites. Later he preps them for sale at the Tucson Show.


This is the best find of the trip.  It doesn't look like much now,
 but after it's prepped, this will be a beautiful Huntonia trilobite, one of the more sought after
trilobites on Black Cat Mountain.

This is the best find of the trip. It doesn't look like much now, but after it's prepped, this will be a beautiful Huntonia trilobite, one of the more sought after trilobites on Black Cat Mountain.


The Trilobite Fossil Hunt

From April 30th to May 4th, We traveled to Oklahoma and Texas with Roy and "Wrong Way" Rob from NJ for a fossil trip. The primary goal of this trip was to spend a few days at Bob Carroll's quarry on Black Cat Mountain in Oklahoma. Bob is a world-renowned preparator of Oklahoma trilobites, and Black Cat Mountain is probably the best place in North America to find trilobites.

We spent a few days there collecting trilobite specimens such as a Ketternaspis, Huntonia, Dicranurus, and a bunch of Redops. We also ventured into Texas and hit a spot near Sherman for Ptychodus teeth, a type of Cretaceous shark (I found one...). Finally, we took a brief jaunt to a spot for Ammonites. At the Ammonite spot, we all found some ammonites, mostly fragments though. However, Roy found an interesting arrowhead.

In the end we took back approximately 100 pounds of fossils, mostly trilobites. Enough to keep me busy prepping for months! Unfortunately, I need a more precise air abraisive unit to prep the specimens.


Pictures of the trip and the Trilobite Fossils


Searching for trilobite fossils

Searching for trilobite fossils

Searching for trilobite fossils
Splitting Rock - The Trilobites are found in the rock, usually when the rock is split, an outline of the bug is seen on both sides of the split.  The rock is then glued back together and prepped.

Splitting Rock - The Trilobites are found in the rock, usually when the rock is split, an outline of the bug is seen on both sides of the split. The rock is then glued back together and prepped.


Yes, the place was chalk full of creepy crawlies.  We were warned to stay clear of rattle snake and
scorpion, but no one told us of tarantula!  I believe this one was guarding a trilobite.

Yes, the place was chalk full of creepy crawlies. We were warned to stay clear of rattle snake and scorpion, but no one told us of tarantula! I believe this one was guarding a trilobite.


Besides the creepy crawlies, there were some pretty cool wildlife.  We saw a roadrunner... briefly (they are fast!), some neat looking lizards, and armadillo. The armadillo were curiously laying on the side of the road.. Perhaps they were resting.

Besides the creepy crawlies, there were some pretty cool wildlife. We saw a roadrunner... briefly (they are fast!), some neat looking lizards, and armadillo. The armadillo were curiously laying on the side of the road.. Perhaps they were resting.


Wrong Way Rob lifted a rock to find this lizard.  Although small, he was ferocious and would attack anything
near him!

Wrong Way Rob lifted a rock to find this lizard. Although small, he was ferocious and would attack anything near him!


Huntonia Trilobite Fossil

Huntonia Trilobite Fossil


Another view of the Huntonia Trilobite

Another view of the Huntonia Trilobite


Another view of the Huntonia Trilobite

Another view of the Huntonia Trilobite


Unprepped Phaciphacops Trilobite

Prepped Phaciphacops Trilobite


Unprepped Dicranurus Trilobite Fossil

Unprepped Dicranurus Trilobite Fossil


Unprepped Kettneraspis Trilobite

Unprepped Kettneraspis Trilobite


Unprepped Phaciphacops Trilobite

Unprepped Phaciphacops Trilobite




Recommended Trilobite Books and Fossils



Trilobites for Sale:


Trilobites from Fossil Era
Trilobite fossils are some of the most beautiful and collectible fossils in the world! There are countless species of trilobites. They make beautiful display 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!




Recommended Books



The Trilobite Book: A Visual Journey
by Dr. Riccardo Levi-Setti, 2014

This is an updated (2014) hardcover (kindle available) of his famous 1994 book. It now has color images instead of black and white ones. The images are of prefectly prepared trilobites from all over the world. this book is geared toward the beginner and does not get overly technical. However, it's wonderful just to see the pictures, and a must for any trilobite enthusiast.




Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution
by Dr. Richard Fortey, 2001

Dr. Fortey is a famous natural history writer from the British Museum of Natural History. He brings trilbites to life in this well crafted and enjoyable narrative. He merges science and history together to show us the big picture about trilobites. It's a nice read for anyone interested in Trilobits.





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