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Message #2689 of 4034  *NEW*
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Larry Levy  
Topanga fossils
2/12/06, 10:58pm
graphic
There's a nationally-known fossil site right here in the San Fernando Valley. No its not the La Brea Tar Pits, these fossils are a whole lot older. They are from the mid-miocene to be exact, some 12 million years ago.

Its known as part of the Topanga Formation, the uplift of an ancient shallow sea that makes up the geology of the Los Angeles Basin, more specifically the hills surrounding the basin. The fossils are primarily small clams and snail shells and can be found throughout the Santa Monica Mountains, but are concentrated in road cuts along Old Topanga Road between Woodland Hills and Calabasas. This is about one mile south of Mulholland Highway. Unfortunately, the site is on private property and the owner's have had enough of amateur and professional paleontologists and geologists tramping all over their hillside, so now there are "No Trespassing" signs posted. I have heard that these fossils can also be found both south and north of this site along the road. You sometimes don't have to dig much either. The fossils get washed out of the hillside by rains and end up on the surface or in the "float" (loose, beside the road).

I tried driving up there today and saw the "No trespassing" signs and "No parking anytime" signs as well. The road is very narrow and curving, and there aren't many areas to pull off, but it worth checking out further to see if there are any "legal" collecting areas.

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" I lift up mine eyes to the hills, whence cometh my help.", Psalm 121
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Message #2690 of 4034  *NEW*
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Larry Levy
Robert Jones  
Re: Topanga fossils
2/12/06, 11:26pm
I have an interest as a fossil hound too. My experience is limited as I am distracted by animals, animal sign, birds, plants, trees, insects and anything else nearby. I do have a limestone are that I retreived some fossils for identification. I am thinking about returning these fossils to the site and releasing them unharmed and only slightly identified.

I do have a number of megaladon teeth that I collect and am utterly fascinated with. I think I brought it with me to show Rob and Marie. I don't think I brought them to our dinner though. Next time I'm out there I will try to bring them with me for showing and telling.

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Message #2691 of 4034  *NEW*
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Robert Jones
Larry Levy  
Re: Topanga fossils
2/13/06, 9:39am
graphic
>I have an interest as a fossil hound too. My experience is
>limited as I am distracted by animals, animal sign, birds,
>plants, trees, insects and anything else nearby. I do have a
>limestone are that I retreived some fossils for
>identification. I am thinking about returning these fossils
>to the site and releasing them unharmed and only slightly
>identified.
>
>I do have a number of megaladon teeth that I collect and am
>utterly fascinated with. I think I brought it with me to show
>Rob and Marie. I don't think I brought them to our dinner
>though. Next time I'm out there I will try to bring them with
>me for showing and telling.

Cool! I'd love to see those teeth. The only fossil I have is a trilobite that my junior high science teacher gave me. I do want to figure out a way to "legally" snag some of those shell fossils I talked about.

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" I lift up mine eyes to the hills, whence cometh my help.", Psalm 121
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Message #2704 of 4034  *NEW*
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Larry Levy
murphy brown  
Re: Topanga fossils
2/16/06, 8:50pm
graphic
>>I have an interest as a fossil hound too. My experience is
>>limited as I am distracted by animals, animal sign, birds,
>>plants, trees, insects and anything else nearby. I do have
>a
>>limestone are that I retreived some fossils for
>>identification. I am thinking about returning these fossils
>>to the site and releasing them unharmed and only slightly
>>identified.
>>
>>I do have a number of megaladon teeth that I collect and am
>>utterly fascinated with. I think I brought it with me to
>show
>>Rob and Marie. I don't think I brought them to our dinner
>>though. Next time I'm out there I will try to bring them
>with
>>me for showing and telling.
>
>Cool! I'd love to see those teeth. The only fossil I have is a
>trilobite that my junior high science teacher gave me. I do
>want to figure out a way to "legally" snag some of those shell
>fossils I talked about.


When I was a youngin I belonged to a rock club. Cant remember where we went locally but we found a ton of white rock with fossils in them. We would collect rocks and send them over seas in trade for rocks we didnt have. One thing that always fascinated me was diatamacious earth...which seems like nothing but a white powder when in fact its made up of fossils as I recall.

--------------------------------------------------------
"Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave
safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in
sideways, totally worn out, shouting..Holy Shit!!
What a Ride!!"
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Message #2710 of 4034  *NEW*
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murphy brown
Larry Levy  
Re: Topanga fossils
2/16/06, 9:14pm
graphic
>When I was a youngin I belonged to a rock club. Cant remember
>where we went locally but we found a ton of white rock with
>fossils in them. We would collect rocks and send them over
>seas in trade for rocks we didnt have. One thing that always
>fascinated me was diatamacious earth...which seems like
>nothing but a white powder when in fact its made up of fossils
>as I recall.

Yep, that it is.

That's neat that you were in a club. There's some clubs around here and in Ventura Co.

I've always been interested in rocks, weather and space, even way back when I was a kid. I guess that's why i minored in earth science in college.

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" I lift up mine eyes to the hills, whence cometh my help.", Psalm 121
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Message #2738 of 4034  *NEW*
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Robert Jones
Larry Levy  
Re: Topanga fossils
2/18/06, 11:43pm
graphic
I hiked around in the mud between the road edge and the hillside today. When it rains, this unstable hillside drops small rock chunks down to the roadside. These rocks usually contain fossils. So, all I had to do was walk along the road edge and I could find all I wanted. I only took home three small rocks, but in them are oyster shell fossils and turretellas, which are like snail shells, but long and cone shaped.

I'm not sure I would go back to collect. There's really no point in that I have collected a few specimens for my collection and its not the most easily accesable area. Not that its remote or steep, quite the opposite, but Old Topanga Road is narrow and there's few turnouts to park in. You can't even park at the top or the bottom and hike in. The road edge is too narrow and people drive like downhill racers in the Olympics.

--------------------------------------------------------
" I lift up mine eyes to the hills, whence cometh my help.", Psalm 121
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Message #2740 of 4034  *NEW*
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Larry Levy
murphy brown  
Re: Topanga fossils
2/19/06, 6:04am
graphic
>I hiked around in the mud between the road edge and the
>hillside today. When it rains, this unstable hillside drops
>small rock chunks down to the roadside. These rocks usually
>contain fossils. So, all I had to do was walk along the road
>edge and I could find all I wanted. I only took home three
>small rocks, but in them are oyster shell fossils and
>turretellas, which are like snail shells, but long and cone
>shaped.
>
>I'm not sure I would go back to collect. There's really no
>point in that I have collected a few specimens for my
>collection and its not the most easily accesable area. Not
>that its remote or steep, quite the opposite, but Old Topanga
>Road is narrow and there's few turnouts to park in. You can't
>even park at the top or the bottom and hike in. The road edge
>is too narrow and people drive like downhill racers in the
>Olympics.


No kidding? Our friend was born and raised in Topanga Cyn and has never mentioned that. Can you tell me about where you can find these fossils? That would be so fun....to take him there and show him.

--------------------------------------------------------
"Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave
safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in
sideways, totally worn out, shouting..Holy Shit!!
What a Ride!!"
--------------------------------------------------------

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Message #2746 of 4034  *NEW*
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murphy brown
Larry Levy  
Re: Topanga fossils
2/19/06, 10:46am
graphic
>No kidding? Our friend was born and raised in Topanga Cyn and
>has never mentioned that. Can you tell me about where you can
>find these fossils? That would be so fun....to take him there
>and show him.

It's fun. I understand that before the main collecting site was closed, boy scount troops and classes on field trips would go there a lot.

Its not on Topanga Canyon, but on Old Topanga Canyon Road, which is a few miles west off Mullholland Highway. Basically go south on Valley Circle to Valmar and turn right. Go to Mullholland Highway and turn right. Go about 1/2 mile of so and look for the sign that says, "Old Topanga Canyon Road". Turn left. The road at first winds through a neat wooded area with small houses and then starts curving up the hill. Look for road cuts on the right hand side. The first one comes after a tight left hand curve. The main site is clearly marked "No Tresspassing" and it is enforced. The problem was the County Road Dept. claimed that collectors would knock rocks down on the road. Actually, even with much less collecting going on, the hillsides are somewhat unstable and rocks always come down after a rain. There are other road cuts directly below the restricted site and I had no problem finding fossils. The big problem was finding a place to park, and the narrow road edges which don't give much room.

--------------------------------------------------------
" I lift up mine eyes to the hills, whence cometh my help.", Psalm 121
--------------------------------------------------------

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Message #2769 of 4034  *NEW*
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Larry Levy
murphy brown  
Re: Topanga fossils
2/20/06, 8:45pm
graphic
>>No kidding? Our friend was born and raised in Topanga Cyn
>and
>>has never mentioned that. Can you tell me about where you
>can
>>find these fossils? That would be so fun....to take him
>there
>>and show him.
>
>It's fun. I understand that before the main collecting site
>was closed, boy scount troops and classes on field trips would
>go there a lot.
>
>Its not on Topanga Canyon, but on Old Topanga Canyon Road,
>which is a few miles west off Mullholland Highway. Basically
>go south on Valley Circle to Valmar and turn right. Go to
>Mullholland Highway and turn right. Go about 1/2 mile of so
>and look for the sign that says, "Old Topanga Canyon Road".
>Turn left. The road at first winds through a neat wooded area
>with small houses and then starts curving up the hill. Look
>for road cuts on the right hand side. The first one comes
>after a tight left hand curve. The main site is clearly marked
>"No Tresspassing" and it is enforced. The problem was the
>County Road Dept. claimed that collectors would knock rocks
>down on the road. Actually, even with much less collecting
>going on, the hillsides are somewhat unstable and rocks always
>come down after a rain. There are other road cuts directly
>below the restricted site and I had no problem finding
>fossils. The big problem was finding a place to park, and the
>narrow road edges which don't give much room.


Just for kicks and giggles Ive copied your post and will send it to my friend that was raised up there. Thanks Larry.

--------------------------------------------------------
"Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave
safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in
sideways, totally worn out, shouting..Holy Shit!!
What a Ride!!"
--------------------------------------------------------

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Message #2776 of 4034  *NEW*
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murphy brown
Larry Levy  
Re: Topanga fossils
2/21/06, 9:37am
graphic
>Just for kicks and giggles Ive copied your post and will send
>it to my friend that was raised up there. Thanks Larry.

Cool! Let me know if he has any questions.

My search now is to find an area only described as SW of Calabasas where agates can be found.

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" I lift up mine eyes to the hills, whence cometh my help.", Psalm 121
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