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Southern Arizona Fossils
Wednesday, 4 July 2012
Mid year update.....

Wow, nearly six months since the last enrtry? Times sure fun when your having flys.  We've been out on several trips since the last update, the most noteable was a two day excursion through the Chiricauha Mountains. A lot of this range has burned over the past few years, but there are still plenty of nice areas in this secluded sky island. We set off to find the ammonites reported from the area by several paleontolgists. After a few hours of searching we were able to locate a nice outcrop with a nearly complete mold in the float surrounding the outcrop.

We also made an afternoon trip to the waterman mountains to photograph the late paleozoic section exposed there. We found a few late paleozoic corals exposed in the Concha limestone there, but nothing Earth shattering.
Happy trails,


Posted by saffossils at 10:37 AM MDT
Tuesday, 3 January 2012
Finally Time for an Update....

We'll we finally got a break from work and made our way out to a few locations to see what we could see. Some of our best discoveries were in the Horquilla Limestone near vail where we found abundant syringopora corals and a few brachiopods. 











We found a few more paleozoic fossils in Mississipian sediments in the Galiuro mountains. See it all on our updates page at:



Happy Trails,


Posted by saffossils at 5:58 PM MST
Thursday, 20 October 2011
First trip of the "season" with out much to show....

We'll the weather has cooled off enough for us to actually enjoy long climbs up the sides of steep hills. This generally affords us the opportunity to see things that not many other folks have. We decided to take a bit of a gamble on the most recent trip to the Sonoita area and look through areas that look impressive on the map and from Google Earth, but we could not find a lot of information on these specific areas. We searched most of the day for an isolated outcrop of Mural Limestone that looked easy to find on the map, but was actually quite concealed by vegetation and steep canyons. We finally did find the outcrop but it contained a typical assemblage of small early Cretaceous Molluscs. We've seen better. We did snap a couple of pictures of the best fossils we could find. We also stumbled on a few fragments of petrified wood in the  lower Cintura Formation just above the Mural Limestone. Again, not too impressive. We spent the best part of the next day looking over some outcrops of lower Earp formation, with not much to show. We finished off the trip walking a couple of canyon floors looking for anything interesting. We did see a few Mississippian corals which we photographed, but again we've seen better. Still a great adventure in the beautiful Arizona back country, and the trip was definitely worth it. At least we know now where not to look . You can see the photos we did snap Here. We've also snapped some cool wildlife which you can catch Here.


Happy Trails from:

Southern Arizona Fossils

Posted by saffossils at 7:15 PM MDT
Thursday, 22 September 2011
Where did the summer go?

If you're like me, your wondering where the summer went. With most of Arizona up in flames, we were forced into looking around in the lower deserts in the heat of summer which did not bring about many interesting finds. We did take a drive to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon where we photographed a typical assemblage of late Permian invertebrates in outcrops of Kaibab Limestone.


I managed to snap a nice photo of a Desert Tortoise. We've seen this guy out a couple of times this year.

With the summer rains and cooler weather knoking on our door, we'll be out in the field with our cameras soon.


Happy Trails!


Posted by saffossils at 7:42 PM MDT
Updated: Thursday, 22 September 2011 7:43 PM MDT
Saturday, 11 June 2011
Sometimes it's better to let things lay.....

We recently received an email from the Flint Hills Discover Center in Manhattan Kansas. They are setting up an exibit and requested the use of one of our website images. The only issue was that the image was taken almost 10 years ago, and the native resolution was only 1280 X 960. For most this might be a show stopper. Not for us. Since we seldom collect anything we simply took our best camera back into the field and took the image again. They seemed pleased with the results, and we're definately pleased that they chose to use our image. Sometimes it's better to let things lay.


We made another excursion to the Whetstone mountains, where we looked over outcrops of Mesozoic Limestone, and Permian Colina Limestone. We found a Gastropod that seems to be the same species as a Gastropod we found in the Tucson Mountains. Here are the two images....




 Based on that, we believe that this is actually fresh water limstone, and not equivalent to Mural Limestone. Mural limestone appears to be cropping out higher up in the section.







We also looked over outcrops of Colina Limestone and photographed a nice assortment of Permian Gastropods and echinoid debris. All in all it's been a busy time here at Southern Arizona Fossils.

 Happy Trails,


Posted by saffossils at 7:17 PM MDT
Updated: Sunday, 26 June 2011 2:41 PM MDT
Sunday, 27 March 2011
The Waterman Mountains....

We recently did some exploration among limestone cliffs of the Waterman Mountains. The Mountains are composed of a large block of late Permian sediments tilted to the south, exposing a large block of Concha Limestone. We found a typical assemblage of late Paleozoic fauna including many gastropods.


Special Note: The Waterman Mountains are located inside the Ironwood Forest National Monument, no collecting is allowed...... 



Posted by saffossils at 8:56 PM MDT
Updated: Sunday, 27 March 2011 9:03 PM MDT
Monday, 17 January 2011
Revision Time...

Well, I predicted several months ago that if we ever got hold of a detailed map of the Canelo Hills, we would be making revisions to a few previous trips. I was right. After a few trips in the field with a detailed map, we found a few problems. There were no real serious errors, but a few images we had labled as Late Permian were actually Early Permian. A few images we labeled as Pennsylvanian, were actually Early Permian. A few images we labeled as Late Devonian were actually Mississippian. When it was all said and done, we edited just about every trip to the Sonoita area and the Canelo Hills. Having a map sure makes a difference. I think everything is in order now, but we'll probably do more editing as we make more trips into the area. On the most recent trip to the area, we photographed a few nice Ompalotrochus Gastropods.











 We also founds an interesting outcrop in the Mississippian Escabrosa Limestone containing numerous miniature Crinoid Sections which we turned into our lates virtual exploration page.











Happy Trails!


Posted by saffossils at 8:30 PM MST
Updated: Monday, 17 January 2011 8:30 PM MST
Saturday, 4 December 2010
More Paleozoic Fossils from the Canelo Hills.....

We recently had the oportunity to make a couple of trips to the Canelo Hills where we photographed a typical assemblage of Early Permian fossils including some nice Straparollus Gastropods.

Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Karl Flessa from the U of A, we have obtained a wonderful report on the geology in the Canelo Hills. I've followed Dr Flessa's CEAM site for some time which, among other things, has monitored the impact on wildlife in the Colorado River delta from the diversion of Colorado River water. If you've not visited the site, here is a link. I've studied the Canelo Hills report in some detail now, and have some major backtracking do to on a couple of previous expeditions. 

Here at Southern Arizona Fossils, we're always looking for new ways to showcase Arizona's fossil wonders. We've added a new section titled Virtual Exploration. The current page was just an experiment, but we were happy enough with the results that we went ahead and put it on the site. The image and loupe may take a while to load, but once it does you should be able to drag the loupe around the image, and see a magnified view. In this case, we found a nice assemblage of Echinoid debris in the Early Permian Earp formation. If you have any issues with the page, let us know....

Happy Trails,


Posted by saffossils at 6:51 PM MST
Updated: Saturday, 4 December 2010 6:53 PM MST
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Tucson Mountains and the one that almost got away....
Why is it that the image of the best fossil I find in any given locality turns out blurry? It must be the camera, and not my techniqueWink. At any rate, on a recent trip to the Tucson Mountains, we encountered a nice outcrop containing thousands of mixed broken bivavle shells. This layer can be found in several locations in the Tucson Mountains, but is seldom traceable for more than a few hundred feet. In amongst the coquinoidal limestone was a nice plant stem. I managed to get several fair images of the limestone, but all of the plant stem images were somewhat blured. I fixed the best image up as best I could and posted it here. This location is inside Tucson Mountain Park, and is a "No Collect" area. I guess I'll be forced to make another tripSmile.  We also stopped by a local outcrop of Horquilla Limestone and photographed a typical assemblage of Pennsylvanian age invertebrates. You can see all of the images here.

Posted by saffossils at 8:00 PM MDT
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Finally, time for an update....

I finally found the time to update the "updates" page. We recently spent some time near Parker Canyon Lake, and photographed a few nice rudists in the Mural Limestone outcrops in the huachuka mountains. These Worm Burrows are nice as well.




See all of the recent shots on our updates page.

 Happy Trails,


Posted by saffossils at 6:59 PM MDT
Updated: Friday, 1 October 2010 4:42 PM MDT

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