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BROWNWOOD LAKE
SPILLWAY


Brownwood Texas is located in Brown County, Texas,
which is about 122 miles West of Waco, Texas.
The Brownwood Lake Spillway fossils are Pennsylvanian,
which are fossils from about 296-300MYA.
(MYA = million years ago. )

One of the fossils found in the area below the Brownwood Lake Spillway is the wonderful Archaeocidaris specie sea urchins. Archaeocidaris are marine animals which after they died still have their spines in place. This is rare. Apparently the mud around these sea urchins was not disturbed when they died. It would appear that death did not come from force but from some other type of sudden cataclysmic event, such as a rapid change in salinity of the water, a temperature change, or a sudden silting over of the area.

Here are some pictures of Archaeocidaris specie sea urchins.

Archaeocidaris sp. Sea Urchin (1)
in matrix with ruler to show size
Pennsylvanian -- Brownwood Lake Spillway
Brown County Texas
Archaeocidaris sp. Sea Urchin (2)
in matrix -- partial preparation
Pennsylvanian -- Brownwood Lake
Spillway -- Brown County Texas

A nice plate of Archaeocidaris
Pennsylvanian (3)
Spiny Sea Urchins found by
PMNS President David Wolf

The following are scenes of the Brownwood Lake Spillway area,
including the dig site for the Archaeocidaris specie sea urchins.

Archaeocidaris Sea Urchin
in situ with rock hammer
for size comparison (5)
A couple of Archaeocidaris Sea Urchins in situ showing details (6)


David Wolf digging
Archaeocidaris Sea Urchins
at Brownwood Lake Spillway (3)
Terry Proctor digging
Archaeocidaris Sea Urchins
at Brownwood Lake Spillway (9)


The terrain around Brownwood Lake Spillway is rugged. It is difficult to cross this area to
reach the fossil digging area.(17)

View below the Brownwood Lake Spillway, showing the 3' to 4' rock layer under which the Archaeocidaris fossils are located. (13)


Brownwood Lake, which is above the Spillway where the Archaeocidaris sp. spiny sea urchins are found. (1) When the lake level is up, the road across the Brownwood Lake Dam is impassable. Walking out and carrying Archaeocidaris fossils can be difficult at best. (2)


The Archaeocidaris fossils lie in layers at certain levels. It takes care to extract them without damage. (4)

The Archaeocidaris fossils are located under this overhanging ledge, which periodically breaks off huge chunks. (15)


The Archaeocidaris fossils lie in layers which require a great deal of digging to get to without damage. (19)

The Pennsylvanian sea floor had many marine creatures which left no body fossil, but did leave evidence of their presence with tunnels which fossilized. (23)


To appreciate the size of rocks in this area, a hat and large roll of aluminum foil was laid on top of a rock. It is about waist high. (24)

View from the ledge, which you must jump off of, to get to the Archaeocidaris fossils located under this overhanging ledge, which periodically breaks off huge chunks. (25)


View across the Spillway showing area which must be crossed to get into and out of to collect the fossils. (30)

Continuing view crossing the Spillway. You are walking close to a drop off and wading in water on slippery rocks to get to the other side of the Spillway. (32)


Another view walking across the Spillway of Brownwood Lake, carrying a heavy pack of Archaeocidaris fossils can be risky. (34)

To complete your trip out of the Archaeocidaris fossil area, this is the shrub on the Spillway which might be your undoing. (35)


Looking back, after crossing the Spillway, you can see the area where you were digging for Archaeocidaris. (38)

Once across the Brownwood Lake Spillway, you then have a steep climb up a rock strewn grassy area to the Lake Ranger's Station at the top. (39)


After jumping into the dig site, this was the 2nd way we tried to get out. Climbing over large rocks and then pulling up on a tree. Not too good!!! (200

Love hurts!!! On the path up and out, was this heart shaped prickly pear. This would make a Valentine with mixed signals. (21)


Blue bonnets are also also along the last leg of the path after leaving the Brownwood Lake Spillway. (41)

Love hurts!!! On the path up and out, was this heart shaped prickly pear. This would make a Valentine with mixed signals. (45)


After seeing the heart shaped cactus above, we thought it would make a good tee shirt and/or Valentine. (Erica 1)

Love hurts says the tee shirt on our lovely model Erica Rodriguez. YOU also can wear this unique tee shirt. Go to the PMNS GIFT SHOP. (Erica 2)

A WORD OF WARNING: As the pictures on this page show, this fossil site is an extremely dangerous place to climb around and dig in. YOU MUST SIGN AN ASSUMPTION OF RISK FORM at the Lake Ranger's Office before going into this area. People have been hurt here and it is easy to fall and hurt yourself or worse. No one except strong individuals with training should venture into this area. It is not for children or youth or persons with frail health or lack of strength. To get and out means either climbing over large boulders from which you may fall and be hurt and/or walking along the edge of the Spillway from which a slip could mean death. Failure to sign the form could result in this area being closed to everyone. Please obey the requirement to sign the form, if you go to this location.