rik-rat corn pile

Monday, September 24, 2012

Skunk River. Fossil Hunting in Iowa.

It was an Ames, Iowa kind of a weekend.  The Skunk River runs through the town and there have been rumors of a dry river bank.  A dry river bank makes for good fossil hunting so KP, the dog, and I decided to check it out.  Lo and behold, that damn river was dry.  We counted 2 puddles in a 2 miles stretch.  There were hundreds of minnows and frogs in each patch of water.  It was an interesting microcosm if not a little crowded for the poor guys. 

Here's one of the pieces I found on the river bank.  I believe it to be a solitary coral of some sort.  It looks unlike the other solitary corals I've found in the past (see horned coral).  I know it takes a lot of pressure to make a fossil so perhaps it's just a squished horned coral.  I'm not an expert, I'm still a novice but none of my fossil books have a picture of this fossilized fellow.  If any of you know anyone I could ask that would be great.  Maybe I'll put the image on a fossil forum website later today and get back to you.

This is the back of the same solitary coral (or what I believe to be a solitary coral).  It's about the size of a dime.

Left to Right: 1. a rock that looks like a silly profile. 2. This fossil was odd, I'm not sure what it is.  If you hold a magnifying glass up to it it has a pattern like some kind of a dense coral.  Lots of circular patterns. 3. A piece of a fossilized bone (the outside). 4. A piece of a fossilized bone on the inside, you can see the marrow. 5. A piece of a fossilized tooth.  This one was a heart breaker because it would have been so awesome had it not been broken.  The enamel of the tooth looks like pottery glaze.  Sigh.  Oh, well.  At least I still found it. 6. A piece of native American pottery.  This piece was found in Marion County.


  1. The unidentified coral looks like a bugle. The snack food, not the instrument. I like that face fossil that looks like pac man. I think one day I will take you up on your invite to go fossil hunting at lunch.

  2. you keep me posted. I'll plan ahead and bring crappy shoes.

    mmm, bugles.