Tag Archives: ammonites

Awesome Ammonites

There are so many known fossil collecting sites in western New York that one rarely elects to “explore” new creeks or seek out new locations.  And the Middle Devonian Hamilton Group is so well known in quality, quantity, and diversity of species that there seems little reason to hunt elsewhere.  But on July 11, that is exactly what five members of the Rochester Academy of Science Fossil Group decided to do.  We stepped up section into the Upper Devonian and headed for a gully exposing the Cashaqua Formation near Middlesex, NY.   Continue reading

Spring Creek in Alden, NY

June, 2016 update on Land Ownership:  

WCGMC has been informed by the new owner of the property off Route 20 in Alden that the Spring Creek area where we have enjoyed collecting pyritized fossils for a long time is now off limits to collecting. The new owner has informed us that in the future he will treat “fossil collectors as trespassers”.  Given the new owner’s wishes, as of June, 2016 WCGMC is not planning any future trips to this area and the site should be considered closed to collecting. 

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Minerals and Fossils Together

Many of us have a special passion for collecting aesthetic and/or unusual minerals, while others prefer the varied forms and diverse variety offered by the early-mid Paleozoic fossil collecting that can be done in western New York.  There is one site that can please both groups of collectors.   Along Spring Creek in Alden, NY, the rich and diverse Devonian fossil assemblage we have all come to know and love is locally fully pyritized. Opening the fissile shale surface not only reveals a 380 MY old fossil, but a shiny mineral specimen as well.  The prize is a pyritized fossil.  Cephalopods, brachiopods, and ammonites are the most common, but two species of trilobites have also been found completely replaced by the iron sulfide mineral pyrite.

Just north of US Route 20 as it passes through the small town of Alden, NY, Spring Creek has carved itself deeply into the Middle Devonian Ledyard Shale Member of the Ludlowville Formation.  Known for decades, the site is readily available to all with two legs, a hammer, a backpack (or even large pockets), and the willingness to perhaps get a little wet and mostly certainly muddy.  A short hike along well beaten trails leads to the creek which can be accessed at several sites.  Fourteen of us can be seen at one of those sites in the cover photo above.

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