No Mushrooms? No Problem… We Found Fossils!!

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

That's right, turns out if you don't focus all your time in nature on spotting fungi you may realize you're surrounded by thousands of historical artifacts!

After a little over a year, we made it back to Indian Creek Campground on Mark Twain Lake in Missouri. Last year, we found Lion’s Mane, Hen of the Woods, and Veiled Oysters, all within a short walk from our site.


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This year?! Well, it’s dry.... So after an unsuccessful forage hike followed by an invasion of micro-ticks, I started looking elsewhere. *Foragers beware, this was not my first micro-tick rodeo unfortunately. Learn more about these horrific insects and how to avoid/safely rid yourself of them in our blog post here*


Mark Twain Lake is in the north eastern part of Missouri. If any of you are familiar with the “butcher” shape in US geography (you know, the one from grade-school) picture us as a pen sticking out of the breast pocket of the butcher’s shirt. After some research we found we’re surrounded by what’s called the Burlington Formation.

“The Burlington Formation is a marine limestone, found in rock layers laid down during the Mississippian Period (325-360 million years ago).”

Yep, you read that right. 325+ million years ago! Here's what we found:

We were so excited to find what looked like geodes mixed it with all the fossils. As it turns out, when objects become fossilized, crystallization can form:

"Water seeps into the remains, and minerals dissolved in the water seep into the spaces within the remains, where they form crystals. These crystallized minerals cause the remains to harden along with the encasing sedimentary rock."

From what we found we know most of the rock was either limestone or whats called "Chert" which is a widespread form of sedimentary rock with a large array of types. Some of the small organisms found fossilized in this chert and limestone include:

Crinoids










Brachiopods











Bryozoa










Colonial Corals










P. S.

On our last day after light rains all week we finally spotted some Lion's Mane and filmed a video about it! Watch it here ⬅️


 

Sources:

https://www.lakeneosho.org/Miss26.html


https://www.thoughtco.com/pictures-of-chert-4122739


https://www.livescience.com/37781-how-do-fossils-form-rocks.html



#fossils #nature #crystals #rocks #mushrooms #education #travel


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