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2011 - Paulding, Ohio Fossil Hunt


The Great Trilobite Fossil Hunt of 2011

Ohio Trilobite Fossils from the:
Paulding Quarry - Devonian - Silica Formation (~370 - 400 m.y.o.)
April 2011

The Great Wine Tour of 2011... errr... The Great Trilobite Hunt of 2011. Im on Catawba island, holding some Catawba wines...

The Great Wine Tour of 2011... errr... The Great Trilobite Hunt of 2011. Im on Catawba island, holding some Catawba wines...
I always try to make the best of my fossil trips. There are a TON of great wineries along the lake in northern Ohio.

The Great WIne Tour of 2011... errrr... The Great Trilobite Hunt of 201

I've come to realize over the past year or so that my fossil hunting trips have not been very productive. Fossil hunting is hit or miss, and I have appeared to miss most of the time. Since I've missed so often, I've recently found myself side tracked during hunts... hiking, chasing butterflies, lizards, and other cute little creatures (lizards are cute)... So, with a trip via the North Coast Fossil Club to the Lafarge Quarry in Paulding Ohio looming, I decided to make this trip a hit regardless of fossils.

It just so happens that I have to drive right along Lake Erie for 217 miles to get to Paulding. There also happens to be 23 wineries along the lake. 23 wineries sounds like a good way to get side tracked. I figured "The Great Wine Tour of 2011" will easily offset any fossil hunting disappointments. Heck, if I played my cards right, I may not even remember the fossil hunt!

Soon I packed the vehicle... Hard hats, rock hammers, portable saw, reflective vests mandatory for the mine, steel toed shoes, an empty trunk for a possible trilobite, cases of wine, aspirin... and off I went! By the time I hit Paulding, finding trilobite fossils was the last thing on my mind. I was too busy discussing body, aroma, legs, and tannins... who cares if no trilobites would be found!

After caravanning into mine from the parking lot, we started the hunt! There were two large blast sections we could hunt, so everyone spread out with ample room. Initially my strategy was to find a good section of shale and split it, looking for the trilobites. However, I soon realized there was so much surface area in the boulder fields, it would be more productive to visually search and move around the rocks, looking for the little guys already eroding out. This strategy appeared to work, as I found a few nice enrolled Eldredgops (formerly Phacops).

During the middle of the hunt, I turned over a large boulder that had split to find part of an eye, nose, and some thorax segments! I will add it was a large eye, a large nose, and large thorax segments from a huge trilobite fossil! Surely this was my lucky day, a complete large and prone Eldredgops!

It was in a ~50 lb piece of rock, so I diligently started to chisel it into a more manageable piece. After getting no where for 20 minutes, I went back to the car and grabbed the battery operated saw. It works well for about 1 specimen, then the batteries die. This was surely the specimen to use it on! I started sawing, and sawing, and sawing... Unfortunately, the blade wasn't long enough to cut through the rock... Eventually, instead of continuing to mess with it and accidentally destroying it, I decided to lug the whole 50 lb rock home. I slowly carried it to the trunk, moved the wine bottles aside, and wrapped it in towels.

Once home, I carefully cut the critter out of the rock and air abraded it... To my horror, the critter had no tail!!! I thought it surely would be complete. O well, the wine was good!

Finding Trilobite Fossils in Ohio

If you want to find your own Ohio Trilobites, Go to the Ohio Site page, it has directions and info for finding Ohio Trilobite fossils.

Recommended Books and Educational Materials about Hammerhead Sharks

As an educator, I get to sort through many educational books and supplies. Below are my two recommendations:

Fossils of Ohio (Bulletin 70)
by Rodney M. Feldmann (ed)
Copyright 1996
State of Ohio Div. of Geological Survey

This book is a MUST for anyone collecting in Ohio or nearby Devonian formations. It has detailed descriptions and images of 100's of fossils one can find throughout Ohio, including the Silica formation. It can be ordered through the link above.

Below are pictures and fossils from the Trilboite Hunt:

The Lafarge quarry in Paulding Ohio. UPDATE: The mine is now closed to fossil collecting. I would like to thank Lafarge for letting fossil clubs collect in the mine in the past.

A view from in the mine. The white specks on the brachiopod are shell and coral fragments.

This is an enrolled eldredgeops (phacops). Unfortunately, his calcite shell is shattered with pieces missing.

Fossil hunters in the mine.

This is the first whole enrolled eldregeops (phacops) trilobite fossil I found. It still has matrix on it, which is good. That means it's probably in good shape.

Another view of the quarry.

Here is the large prone eldregeops (phacops) when found. I thought the tail was there, just in the rock...

The large Eldredgeops (Phacops) milleri crassituberculata without a tail. This trilobite fossil is 2 1/8" without the tail.

The large eldredgops (phacops) trilobite fossil without a tail showing the preparation steps.

Another view of the large eldredgops (phacops) trilobite fossil without a tail.

This is one of the enrolled Eldredgeops (Phacops) rana crassituberculata. A quick airblast, and it's almost perfect. The tail broke off and is inside it, as seen from the underside view.

Another view of the enrolled eldredgops (phacops). The trilobite fossil is about 1 3/8" wide (35 mm)

This is the other enrolled trilobite fossil being prepped.

Another view of the eldredgops (phacops). It's about 1.5" wide (38 mm). The trilobite still has a tiny bit of matrix on it, but that's the best my crude air unit can do!

Another view of the eldredgops (phacops) trilobite fossil.

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