About the trip

This four-day post-meeting trip will feature trilobite localities in the classic Ordovician-Devonian of the Mohawk and Niagara-Lake Erie regions of western New York State.

Tuesday, July 19

The first day will mainly be a driving day; We will leave Cincinnati at 9:00 AM and drive to the Niagara Region., arriving in mid-late afternoon. We will do a tour of some of the classic tourist sites: Devils Hole, Whirlpool, Niagara Falls and will stay at a motel near the Niagara Gorge.

Wednesday, July 20

This day we will provide an overview of the classic Silurian Niagaran, with emphasis on the Wenlock (Sheinwoodian; ~430 MA) age Rochester Shale, which has abundant Dalmanites, Bumastus, Trimerus, Calymene, and rarely, the bizarre large lichiid Arctinurus and small proetids as well as a high diversity of other invertebrates.. The autecology, community paleoecology and taphonomy of these trilobite assemblages will be emphasized. Surface collecting is permitted but restricted in an active fossil quarry.

Sites to be examined: Niagara Gorge, Lewiston, NY; special visit to Middleport shale pit in afternoon.

Thursday, July 21

This day will feature the Middle Devonian (Givetian, ~385 Ma) Hamilton Group).of the Erie County region. It is well known for exceptionally preserved phacopid (Eldredgeops, Greenops, Bellacartwrightia) and proetid trilobites (Basidechenella), including clusters of bodies and of molts. This portion of the trip will examine the gray mudstones and concretionary limestones of the spectacular Lake Erie region, to include the well-known Penn Dixie Quarry. The taphofacies concept was originally developed for these particular trilobite-rich facies (Brett and Baird, 1986; Speyer and Brett, 1986) and discussion will include the meaning of variations in preservation, as well as associated faunas and paleoecology. Collecting is permitted.

Sites to be examined: Lake Erie shore north of 18 Mile Creek; 18 mile Creek sections, in the morning and Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Preserve in early afternoon. In mid-afternoon we will head east for about a three-hour drive to Utica, NY where we will spend the night.

Friday, July 22

The fourth day will focus on trilobites from the Upper Ordovician of the type section for the Trenton Group, near the Trenton Gorge of West Canada Creek. The early afternoon will feature a visit to the Walcott-Rust Quarry will be particularly exciting. Obrution deposits at this famous locality contain exceptionally preserved trilobites, including the first reported trilobites with appendages (Ceraurus pleurexanthemus, Flexicalymene senaria). We will conclude this day with a stop at the “Gold Bug” Quarry in the Upper Ordovician Frankfort Fm. This privately-owned quarry produces stunning pyritized fossils, especially Triarthrus with preserved appendages and antennae. The day will end back at Utica in the same motel.

Saturday, July 23

The final fourth half- day of the field trip will be a stop at the Pretzel Farm locality, Hallsville, NY. The Otsquago Creek, crossing Pretzel Farm runs over bedding planes of Utica Shale (Indian Castle Mbr) exposing abundant Triarthrus specimens for collection. We may have time for an optional stop at a Middle Devonian section for large Dipleura trilobites. The later afternoon will for driving participants to airports for departure. Albany or Syracuse Airports.

We recommend that participants set up flights from one of those airports. Others can return to Cincinnati Airport. Leaders will start the long trip westward and will arrive in Cincinnati by 11 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Isotelus gigas

Triarthrus becki, Utica Shale, Oneida County

Eldredgeops rana