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Showing most informative content since 03/21/2017 in all areas

  1. 23 likes
    Hi all, I am noticing an increasing number of sellers (especially those based in Asia) who advertise on Facebook, Instagram, WeChat and other social media instead of eBay. Unfortunately, many of them do not use Paypal. As you know, not every payment platform has buyer protection. To protect yourself, please carry out these checks: 1) Find out why the seller doesn't use Paypal. Is it for a legitimate reason? E.g. a Lebanese seller can't use Paypal as it's restricted there. Mainland China sellers apparently, CAN use Paypal, so take extra care if they refuse to use it. 2) Check the seller's track records. Ask friends and trusted collectors if any of them have ever made successful dealings with the seller. 3) Beware of similar photos on multiple platforms. Scammers sometimes create fake profiles that look just like a legitimate dealer, and steal their pictures as well. Perform background checks. Don't just assume that a dealer has multiple accounts, FIND OUT. Message him on his separate accounts (e.g. Facebook and eBay) and see if he notices. 4) Beware of non-Paypal platforms such as AliPay, WeChat and Western Union etc. There is little-to-no buyer protection on them. Don't send your money over unless you are absolutely sure of this deal. 5) Ask questions! Does the dealer know what shipping to use? Can the dealer take multiple photos of the fossil for you at specific angles you request? Is the dealer evasive with his answers? Is the deal too good to be true? There is no such thing as too much checking. 6) Be objective. It doesn't matter how friendly a dealer is. He could be the friendliest man on the planet, asking you about your family and work, laughing at your jokes, liking all your pictures. Most of the time, all they want is your money. Dealers who genuinely want to be your friend are rare gems, and worth holding on to. 7) Facebook mutual friends / Instagram followers doesn't matter. Scammers can make attractive accounts and add a thousand friends just to look trustworthy. I've seen a scammer FB account that shared over 100 mutual friends with me. 8) Does your credit card protect you? Assuming the dealer is sketchy, but you are somewhat sure of this deal, find out if your credit card/bank can protect you if this is a scam. Take note that AliPay doesn't work with many major credit cards. 9) If all else fails, demand Paypal. If the dealer genuinely wants business, and he operates in a country with Paypal, then it's in his best interest to use Paypal. Remember - great fossils appear every other day. Is this deal so special as to be worth the risk you're taking? Lastly, don't forget to post some pictures here at TFF; there are many experts here more than willing to share their expertise. Good luck!
  2. 23 likes
    The discovery of the Tyrannosaurus rex led by a team from the Burke Museum made news last year. I've attached some photos of the preparation of the skull provide by the Burke Museum to show their progress with this dinosaur They have named this animal "Tufts-Love Rex" after Jason Love and Luke Tufts, the two volunteers who discovered it. Lower Jaw is exposed from its tomb. What a beautiful set of chompers The Skull is next. Maxilla More will follow as work continues..... @Pagurus
  3. 20 likes
    Posted here are some very nice fossils for collectors just be aware that the descriptions might not be as advertised. Seller calls this a Pterosaur claw, I'm not sure what it belongs to but nothing is published to support his claim Seller list this as a superb Spinosaurus phalanx toe bone. Looks more like a hand bone, carpal or metacarpal. Also we do not know if it comes from the species Spinosaurus better described as Spinosaurid indet. Seller is describing this as a Spinosaurus caudal vertebra. Spino caudal vertebrae are typically more box shaped so I doubt it's from one. Not certain what's it's from. Seller is offering a very nice upper and lower jaw bone from the Pterosaur Alanqa saharica. I question if these are associated and if either are lowers jaw sections.. Ibrahim's reconstructed jaw shows the mandible as being much thinner than the upper and more like the offering. I also will add that isolated upper jaws may be hard to identify to a specific species and are better described as Azhdarchoid indet. since along with Alanqa the new species Xericeps may have similar uppers but it's currently unknown. Seller is offering this pair of bones as a Spinosaurus Phalanx bone and Claw. Unfortunately the phalanx is a hand bone, carpal and not associated with the claw. The claw may belong to one of the Spinosaurid's but without a ventral view it's uncertain its one. Offering for a large toe bone from a Spinosaurus. Looks more like a Carpal from an unknown Spinosaurid. Offering big money for this Spinosaurus complete foot. Unfortunately there are many things wrong with this foot. Most of the phalanx don't fit their positions and may not be Spinosaurid. The claws are undersized for the foot and cannot determine if they belong to a Spinosaurid with the photos that are provided. A foot should look like this Remind buyers that all teeth offered as Spinosaurus may not belong to that species but one of the other Spinosaurids that may be present in that fauna either currently described or yet to be identified
  4. 19 likes
    Not all rocks that look like poop have a fecal origin. Here are a few things to consider when trying to determine whether or not you have a coprolite: 1. Location, Location, Location – If you haven’t guessed, the first and most important thing to consider is the location your rock was found. Don’t expect to find a coprolite unless you find it in geologic area/layer where other fossils are found. If you find things like bones, teeth and fish scales, or prehistoric tracks, you may just be in in luck. 2. Shape – While fecal matter can be rather free-form when exposed to the elements or when digestion issues arise, most coprolites are shaped like poo. As with modern extrusions, fossilized feces can be shaped like pellets, spirals, scrolls, logs, piles, etc. Their shape is dependent on shape of their producers intestinal and anal structure. Look for things like compaction folds and pinch marks. 3. Texture - Most coprolites are fine grained. If your specimen appears granular under magnification, it is most likely not a coprolite. There are some exceptions, such as marine creatures that feed on bottom sediments or coral. That is why knowing the location and geology of the area where it was discovered is so important. 4. Inclusions – Many times, coprolites will have visible inclusions. Things like fish scales, bone fragments, and teeth may not get fully digested, and can be visible on the surface. Some animals ingest stones for ballast or digestive purposes. These are known as gastroliths, and if present, are generally smooth. 5. Composition – Because herbivore scat tends to break a part and decompose rapidly, it rarely survives the fossilization process. So most fossil poo that is found is from carnivores. The reason for this is that their poo is usually high in calcium phosphate, the same mineral found in bone. This mineral can appear in many forms. It can be hard and dense or soft and porous. If the potential coprolite appears soft and porous, there is a quick test that is often used in the field. If you touch to stone to the tip of your tongue and it sticks, chances are, it is high in calcium phosphate and could be a coprolite. If you are not that brave, you can also touch it with wet fingers to see if it feels sticky, but this is not nearly as fun. If the calcium phosphate takes a harder, more dense form, the “lick test” won’t work. In some instances, chemical analysis is required to definitively identify the mineral composition.
  5. 19 likes
    In a large number of instances, the Admins and Mods make every effort to remove posts that encourage, or are complicit with, illegal collecting practices. It is our view that we do not condone such practices, and discourage others from flouting the laws. We do try to keep on top it, but sometimes it is not always clear that illegal collecting has occurred. There are a number of posts where questions of legality have come up, particularly around the issue of not knowing the laws, to which we provide the usual refrain: "it is the responsibility of the collector to avail her or himself of the laws of the land, and abide by them; ignorance is no defence and the consequences of getting caught far outweigh any apparent benefits of finding an interesting fossil." At other times, questions of legality are focused on the more abstract discussions on the practicality of laws. This is no way condones breaking laws, but in questioning the value of those laws or alerting other members to changes to those laws. In at least one case I can recall, there was discussion about the "ethics" of collecting with reference to public input on a proposed change to collecting laws. Debates in the abstract can be generative along the lines you suggest, with one side making a good case for protecting the fossil heritage for experts, while the other side can point to the disservice to science in allowing potential specimens to erode into nothingness. To my mind, it isn't a debate anyone can win, for paleontology also owes a strong debt in its partnership with dedicated amateur collectors (some of whom are featured in our Paleo Partners thread ). Laws and regulations do change over time, and sometimes with more knowledge, public pressure, awareness, or combinations of all three. But, as they say, the wheels of justice grind finely and slowly. That being said, breaking the law is not the appropriate route by which to change the law. It is for that reason that it is pretty much our policy here not to encourage, condone, or promote illegal activity of any kind.
  6. 18 likes
    Many forum members are familiar with Cookiecutter Creek in South Florida. This is a small creek that well-known forum member Jeff @jcbshark was kind enough to share with me a little over 3 years ago. Jeff had posted photos of the tiny Cookiecutter Shark (Isistius triangulus) teeth that he had found picking through micro-matrix from this creek and that started my quest to obtain a tooth from this very unusual little shark. After picking through many gallons of micro-matrix from the Peace River and some of its feeder creeks without once laying eyes upon a single Isistius tooth (but finding tons of other micro fossils), Jeff informed me that he didn't think Cookiecutters could be found anywhere other than one special little creek and agreed to take me and Tammy to collect some micro-matrix there in mid-December 2014. It didn't take long for me to find my first complete Isistius. Several more soon followed including some from the positionally rare symphyseal spot in the middle of the lower jaw. It is possible to identify a symphyseal as the thinner area where each tooth overlaps the adjoining tooth is usually found with one overlap area seen on the inner and one on the outer surface of each tooth but not symphyseals. Since these teeth overlap BOTH the tooth to the left and right (like the top row of shingles on the ridge of a roof) the overlap marks are both found on the inner (lingual) surface of the tooth and no marks are found on the outer (labial) surface. Once you know how the teeth of the lower jaw overlap and how to identify the outer (labial) side of the tooth (the enamel does not stop at a well defined line but extends down from the triangular crown and onto the square root), you can also tell which side of the jaw (left or right) that the tooth came from. Aside from the symphyseal position most of the other teeth cannot be identified to position other than the last one or two posterior positions. These teeth have the crown angled with respect to the root. Here are some of my old posts showing Cookiecutter Creek and the micro-fossils that have come from this unique locality in Florida: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/51286-collecting-cookiecutter-shark-micro-matrix/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/55298-more-micros-from-the-peace-river-and-cookiecutter-creek/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/71406-optimizing-micro-matrix-sorting/ Recently, I've been working on a project with a PhD student from the University of Florida which was initiated when it was realized that the Isistius triangulus teeth that I donated to the FLMNH were not yet recognized as occurring in Florida. Additional research revealed that specimens of Squatina (Angelshark) teeth from this creek were also not known from Florida (though I've also found this genus in micro-matrix from the Peace River). I made another collection of micro-matrix from Cookiecutter Creek as I had exhausted my supplies. A couple of flat-rate boxes of this material made their way into the hands of a couple of forum members--who I hope are having fun with this unique micro-matrix. Tony @ynot had sent me photos of another interesting find from Cookiecutter Creek. Jeff had collected some additional micro-matrix on the day that he introduced me to this site. Some of that collection was later made available to Tony as an auction to benefit the forum. While looking through this micro-matrix, Tony discovered a small specimen of what appears to be a Catshark (Scyliorhinidae) tooth. Tony is graciously sending that tooth to me so that I can pass it along to be added to the collection at the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) as this is the first record of this shark family in the Florida fossil record (and another first for Cookiecutter Creek). Tony's photo if this micro beauty: Since learning of the possibility of this taxon being found in the micro-matrix of Cookiecutter Creek, I've been searching through my remaining stash from this locality hoping to find a second Catshark tooth (no luck yet). While I've (so far) struck out in duplicating Tony's amazing find, I did have a bit of luck last week with something else new from my searching. While picking through the micro-matrix I came across an elongated item just about 10mm in length. If I'd not been familiar with this type of highly unusual shark tooth before I might have passed it by thinking it was just some unidentifiable fragment of bone. Experience and knowledge (even just a small amount) allowed me to recognize this as a tooth type that is reasonable common in another type of wonderful micro-matrix--Shark Tooth Hill (Bakersfield, CA). The unusual tooth from Cookiecutter Creek is actually quite common in STH micro-matrix. It comes from a Horn Shark (Heterodontidae). Since there is currently only a single genus described for this small family of small sharks, it can actually be identified down to the genus Heterodontus. These are placid little sharks that I remember seeing resting on the bottom during the few dives I did among the kelp forests in southern California's Channel Islands. They have distinctive ridges over the eyes and a single spike at the leading edge of their two dorsal fins. They feed mainly on hard-shelled invertebrates (crustaceans, molluscs, and echinoderms). Their name "Heterodontus" derives from the Greek meaning "different teeth" and referring to the fact that the front teeth are pointy with larger central cusp flanked by a smaller cusp on either side. The back teeth elongated with a long ridge running the length of the tooth and are adapted to crushing the hard shells of their prey items. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horn_shark Currently, most members of this family are found in the Indo-Pacific--like the well-known Port Jackson Shark (Heterodontus portusjacksoni) and only the Californian Horn Shark (Heterodontus francisci), the Galapagos Bullhead Shark (Heterodontus quoyi), and the Mexican Hornshark (Heterodontus mexicanus) are found in the eastern Pacific off the west coasts of North and South America. It's difficult to make any firm conclusions from the scant images available online but the rear teeth of the Mexican species to have a reasonable resemblance to the specimen that turned up in Cookiecutter Creek. Today, there are no species from this family inhabiting the Atlantic (or the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico regions). Devoid of any factual information but attempting a modestly educated guess, I'm thinking that one of the species of Bullhead Sharks must have extended over into the waters surrounding Florida some time before the Isthmus of Panama formed some 2.8 mya separating the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and separating the fauna on either side to either develop into distinct species (or to go extinct regionally). Since this family is not currently known from the Atlantic (eastern or western extents) it seems more reasonable to assume that the Florida specimen derived from an eastern Pacific species given the (geologically) recent connection to those waters. Fun to speculate and if Marco Sr @MarcoSr has jaw samples of extant eastern Pacific members of this family, perhaps a better comparison to the anterior teeth might be possible. Both this tiny Heterodontus tooth and Tony's find of the Scyliorhinidae will soon be headed toward Gainesville. I'm hoping to get up to volunteer at Montbrook in the next couple of weeks and plan on dropping off a few donations to expand the museum's diversity of shark teeth from Florida. Cookiecutter Creek is a special little creek and is best known for its relative abundance of Isistius triangulus teeth. The more we investigate this locality and the more micro-matrix we pick through from there the more unusual taxa seem to turn up. Seeing a perfect little Cookiecutter tooth appear from the micro-matrix is always a thrill but this creek is no longer a one-trick pony. It seems to have hidden depths (for a creek that is only knee high ) and I'm looking forward to seeing what else might appear out of the gravel in the future. Cheers. -Ken
  7. 18 likes
    I think that criticism of unnamed TFF members over their imagined offenses reeks of pomposity. Danthefossilman has been spending too much time with professional paleontologists . . . he's beginning to sound like one. Perhaps the tension between amateurs and professionals (and their institutions) remains more infectious than generally realized. A clue to the scope of the problem may be found in the procedings of the 1987 annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontologists. At that meeting, the vast majority of professionals voted to reject the recent recommendations of the National Research Council on regulating paleontological collecting. The NRC recommendations are a blueprint for reconciling the interests of professionals, amateurs, and even commercial collectors. For most of us, it is hard to find fault with the insights, the logic, and the compromises recommended by the NRC panel of experts; but, the SVP professionals manage to do so. The SVP has consistently lobbied for the most restrictive laws and regulations. What motivates vertebrate paleontologists (and their institutions) to reject compromise, to want it all their way? Their argument is well known: "There is a Sacred Duty to collect, curate, and interpret the limited vertebrate fossils resources in order to add to the pool of human knowledge." Whether or not they believe in the Sacred Duty concept, some professionals (and institutions) seem to find it a convenient rationale for exploiting amateurs. In the professionals' view, amateurs are usually a necessary evil, sometimes a curse, rarely an asset; amateurs and commercial collectors are the competition! The reality is that professional careers are built on acquiring significant fossil material. Significant material means institutional prestige. It also leads to publishable research; publication leads to a better job, tenure, grant money, status among peers, travel, and other good things. Getting significant fossils can mean the difference between being curator at a prestigious museum or teaching earth science at a community college. Considering the importance of significant fossils to the professional, it is understandable that he may perceive amateurs as unreliable and undesirable competition. In this light, it becomes clear just how useful to an ambitious professional the "Sacred Duty" rationale can be: it is at once the moral high ground AND an excuse for actions which would be unthinkable in another context. Holding this self-erected moral high ground and driven by ideology or career ambition, perspective and sense of fair-play can become distorted. Fossil collectors, both amateur and commercial, may be seen as the forces of chaos and destruction which must be defeated or, at least, controlled (permits). Compromise may be viewed as a victory for evil. I think these are the notions which may cloud the judgement of professionals and their institutions. Despite the Sacred Duty demagoguery, there may still be professionals who try as best they can to deal honestly and equitably with collectors. There will always be misunderstandings and misperceptions in this arena of conflicting interests, but a totally predaceous professional probably is as rare as a collector motivated solely by greed. Collectors must seek out the cooperative professionals and institutions to share information, sites, and fossils; and they must avoid the predaceous ones! Unfortunately, the good guys are not always readily distinguishable from the bad guys in this arena. A collector should SHOP for a professional paleontologist as he would for any other professional, say like an automobile mechanic. How has he dealt with other collectors? Is he accessible? Does he perform as promised? Is he honest? An auto mechanic who does not earn a good reputation gets FEWER NEW CUSTOMERS and NO REPEAT BUSINESS. So it should be with the professional paleontologist and his institution! Collectors should apply this free-market strategy relentlessly in their dealings with professionals. When getting access to significant fossils becomes more clearly tied to reputation for fair-play, professionals will be more inclined to enter into cooperative, non-exploitive relationships with collectors. There is, after all, a duty which transcends the professionals' "Sacred Duty." That transcendent duty is usually called the Golden Rule.
  8. 17 likes
    First up, the seller of this egg stated upfront this is a replica, so this isn't a scam warning. Here, we have an oviraptor egg that could fool even experienced collectors. It looks realistic because it's made out of real oviraptor eggshells. It's even covered with a coating of matrix. This is common practice; I've seen hadrosaur eggs are faked this way, with plaster mixed in to make the egg seem round and heavy. For reference, here's a real Oviraptor (Elongatoolithus sp.) that's been professionally prepped. Oviraptor eggs are commonly faked, so four ways to get a real one is: 1) Get a prepped one, preferably with matrix removed. The eggshell should be black 2) Avoid eggs that are perfect. Real eggs have cracks, and sometimes missing entire chunks of shells. 3) Get one without a matrix base. This isn't a sure-fire method, but I've noticed many fake oviraptor eggs have matrix bases, whereas I can't say the same of those free of matrix. Perhaps the fake eggs require a matrix base for support during their construction process. 4) Price. Again, this is arguable, but the real Oviraptor eggs I've seen often comes with price tag several times that of dubious ones. Having sent some eggs for prepping in the past, this is justified because the cost and time of prepping may cost more than the actual egg. Some scammers like to lure people in with bargain prices. Chinese eggs flood the market, and for many collectors, a dinosaur egg is a must-have. There are more fakes than there are real ones, so take extra care if you seek to buy one. As always, if you're unsure, post pictures here and we will try to help.
  9. 16 likes
    This is a huge announcement I have to make. It has been under wraps for quite a few months now and some of you may recall my damselfly find from the July 2017 Fossil of the Month contest. Well a HUGE thanks is in order for @oilshale for pointing me in the direction of one of his friends to help identify this beautiful specimen. Turns out this is not just a new species, or even genus, but an entirely new FAMILY that will soon be published!!! This damselfly will be labeled as the type specimen (Holotype) for the Family, Genus, AND Species. I donated this beautiful bug to my friends over at Fossil Butte National Monument where staff has been working to catalogue and name many of their unidentified insect specimens. This Damselfly will be a great addition for them as they build a new exhibit focused on insects of the Green River in the next year or so. This bug was a very special find for me, and knowing that it was going to be the type specimen adds even more to it. I haven't been able to post this in part because it was meant as a Christmas present for my wife. She was speechless to find out that the species will be named after her. I have no idea how I will ever up myself from this, but here's to trying. This has definitely been a highlight in my fossil career and I can't imagine ever finding another type specimen. I am happy to know that you all will share in my excitement and when the paper is finally published I will make sure to share it here as well! Attached is a copy of the letter from Fossil Butte National Monument, edited of course, and if you read it you will see why!
  10. 16 likes
    We have read many posts of members wanting to know the age of a bone found in a river because it looks really old, only to be shot down with the news that it is a modern bone. So I decided to conduct an experiment to see just how long it would take for a bone to take on an aged look enough to look like fossil bone. This past winter, we had some tremendous storms that our shores haven't experienced in a long time which deposited many things upon the beach including a bloated beached whale and many dead cattle along with their bones. As I was walking the beach I came across several cow bones and gathered a few. I took a nice white vertebra and wanted to do the experiment on it. All it took was a small plastic tub filled with water and a handful of dead leaves. The vert was placed in the tub, along with the leaves and water. It was then sealed with the lid, left sit for a month and shabam! An instant fossil. So the purpose of these little test was to prove that it doesn't take very long for tannic acid to do its thing and change the look of modern bone. Hope you enjoyed this project, I did. The last picture has another leg bone showing what the vertebra looked like originally.
  11. 15 likes
    Hi everyone, I've had a couple people lately asking me how I restored the megalodon tooth I posted about a couple years ago here. I decided to pick out a damaged tooth on Ebay for $15, and take you through it step by step. Here we go! What You'll Need: PaleoBond Sculp Hardener and PaleoBond Sculp Resin (You can substitute with epoxy putty but dries faster and is less malleable) X-Acto Knife Wire brush or any brush with very stiff bristles Any brand of acrylic paint from Hobby Lobby or Michaels (specific colors listed further below) A small paintbrush of reasonable quality Fine sandpaper and steel wool SITUATIONAL: Clear gloss used for acrylic paint Step 1: Examine the fossil and the damage. This is the bargain tooth I purchased. It's over 5 inches, and you can see it's actually in nice condition minus the chunk missing. The broken edge is still sharp and jagged, so it appears that the damage occurred recently as opposed to millions of years ago. To fix this tooth I will need to recreate parts of the root, bourlette and enamel. Since the tooth has fairly nice detail I will definitely need my razor blade to create fine lines and serrations. Step 2: Prepare and apply the putty Pull out a small chunk of putty from both the PaleoBond Hardener and Resin containers. Knead them together with your hands until the colors mix completely. Mix thoroughly otherwise the putty will be squishy in some places and will not harden properly. Once mixed, take a very small piece from your ball of putty and mash it into the damaged area of your tooth. Step 3: Building your shape Less is more when you're working with putty. Smaller pieces are much easier to manipulate, so build gradually piece by piece. You may get to a point where you're putty structure is not stable enough to continue building on. Take a break for 2-3 hours to let the putty dry and come back. When building the root of my example tooth, I had to take two or three breaks in order to get a foundation sturdy enough for me to continue building up. Pay attention to how your repair is taking shape and keep the edges of your putty level with the natural edges of the tooth. This is one of the most difficult parts of the repair, but it makes a big difference when you get it right. Wash your hands every once in a while to keep them from getting to tacky and sticking to your putty. Step 4: Begin to work in detail As your repair begins to fill out, work in natural-looking cracks and lines with your X-Acto knife and fingernails. Mimic the natural aspects of your tooth as best as you can. When repairing my tooth's root, I created fissures and cracks that matched up with the real side of the tooth. This really helped create the illusion that the repair is natural. To mimic the heavily detailed surface of the tooth's root, I gently pushed my wire brush into the surface multiple times. Try to do this when your putty is still wet because if the putty is dry it takes much more effort. ALSO, make sure to keep the putty very smooth in areas of enamel (excluding line/crack detail). Once the putty dries, take some fine sandpaper and smooth it out further. Steel wool can then be used to make the surface even smoother. (Thanks to steelhead9 for those two tips!) Be very anal retentive about this. You will appreciate it in the next step. Step 5: Paint! This is my favorite part because it's the point in this process where the repair finally comes to life! It also happens to be the most frustrating part. Depending on your tooth's coloring you will likely need the following colors in your arsenal: Umber Black White Sienna (maybe) Red (maybe) Blue (maybe) This step is where perfectionism (making the putty super smooth in areas of enamel) really pays off. Paint highlights the imperfections of your putty, so don't be disappointed or surprised if you have to start over. I started over probably two or three times. As far as painting technique, I would love to give more instruction, but that is really an entire lesson in itself. Don't be afraid to paint a little onto the actual fossil. You will need to do this in order to properly camouflage the merged area of putty and tooth. In fact, don't be afraid to overlap your putty a millimeter or so onto the tooth as well. My biggest tip though is make sure you paint in a well lit room. Painted colors can look spot-on until you step into good lighting... Step 6: Apply a finish depending on your tooth Some teeth with top-quality enamel will need a glossy finish applied in order for the repair to look natural. My tooth did not require a high-gloss coat. Either way, you ought to apply some kind of light finish to your tooth in order to preserve the repair from scratches and humidity. I have not yet found the perfect finish to do the job, and am still experimenting with spray finish, clear acrylic gloss, clear furniture gloss, low-gloss nail polish, etc. Feel free to add your thoughts and recommendations below! Below you can see my repaired tooth. The root could use a bit more texture and the enamel and bourlette are a little rough in places. Overall, I'm happy with the result though. I hope these instructions were helpful! If anything is unclear or too general I'd be glad to elaborate further. Good luck!!!! Your Fellow Fossil-Fanatic, Lauren
  12. 15 likes
    The past few weeks at the Tucson Fossil I ran across a few fake Spinosaur claws but also was surprised how many good ones there were on the market. I also understand the issues with online claws so decided to put this topic out to help collectors gain a better understanding of them since they are very expensive. These are my opinions and welcome others since no one person as all the answers. There is no bullet proof approach you can take to insure you have a claw that is not totally fake or composited. There are some things you need to consider. - First try dealing with what I call preferred Moroccan merchants, those are typically found at big shows and a few have online or FB sites, ones that specialize in Moroccan material are the best. They typically know what to look for and can point out issues with claws. Makes life a bit harder to get one but you want a good claw don't you. This does not take you off the hook its still YOUR responsibility to know what you are buying. - Unless you are an expert never buy one from Auction site. If you see one that interest you see seek assistant from an expert, not a collector friend, or post it here on the forum we have lots of opinions here. - 2D photos are not always the best to see what is going on with a claw, I prefer handling one. Composited claws can be good and photos don't show you all the issues. - Good preservation and quality are key for making life easy in deciding if its a good claw or not. There is where it pays to focus on the better claws. Claws that are deformed, partial, compressed, beat up or have matrix on them are very difficult to insure you have a good one and especially hard for experts to positively say its good. It always best to save and wait to buy a higher end one. - As a general rule try avoid claws that have matrix glued on them or have seams with matrix. The matrix is there for only one reason to hid trouble. Matrix is a red flag, just tread carefully when looking at one of these. Ask yourself why risk it and buy a potentially problem claw, there are plenty out there that are clean. PRICE = Preservation (Quality) + Size - Repairs - Real claws are expensive, simple as that. Nice ones in the 6+ inch range can easily fetch over 1K depending on quality, 7+ inches can go over 10K . So if you see big claws under 1K there must be a reason unless its the deal of a century and they exist. Most of the claws I show are in the 1-2K range for 4-6 inches. Here are a few from the Tucson show to give you an understanding what real ones look like. Focus on shape, the articulation end, blood grooves and preservation. These two are clean no matrix, no compression may have been broken and reattached, reasonable preservation. Nice claws for any collection Higher Grade - Fatter, nice surface finish, good preservation, few if any repairs. Couple of more examples. Honest merchant shows, some repair and resto. Excellent high end claw around 7 inches very very expensive Fake Claws These two were laying in the box and the merchant said he just had them fabricated. They look pretty good to a novice both reasonable size and configuration. Probably copied from a good one. Red Flags : Check out the graining its does not follow the curve of the claw but is straight. Uniform Color and looks too clean. Finish is flat with no hit of sheen seen on bone. Super long ones are the most suspect, here are two in a box. Unusually long and thin, usually the dorsal curvature is not smooth to the tip has kinks, the preservation is odd, hard to see bone, lots of surface repairs. These may be composited, faked or combo? Who knows to risky to find out. Off an auction site - terrible fake easier to spot- 6.9 inch claw One of the hardest items to replicate is the blood groove that is on either side of the claw. The groove is the widest at the articulation end and slowly tapers to a point to form a channel at the tip that extends outward beyond the dorsal surface. Here is an example of a perfectly preserved one. Here is the tip of the claw from above and you can see the blood groove is just a channel in the claw. Another Characteristic on these claws is that when looked at from the top or bottom they are shaped like an isosceles triangle. Much bigger at the articulation end than the tip. Preservation may affect this but most should be tapered. Like most theropods, hand claws vary depending on digit so there will be variations depending on that and the number of different Spinosaurids that exist in Kem Kem. This is a big unknown and we believe these type of claws all belong to the Spinosaurid family. But here are a couple more you can check out the blood grooves, articulation and shape
  13. 15 likes
    Hello all! Recently I have been obsessed with cephalopods and realized there is a real lack of reconstructions of the color patterns on extinct nautiloids and ammonites! This led me to compile a list of known fossil color patterns on cephalopods. After a year of on and off research, I found about 90 species of cephalopods retaining official or undescribed, original patterning on their shells. These are the first 15 species on my list. The color markings are based both on descriptions and photographs of the fossil material. The shades of the markings are based on the fossils, but also inferred. I Hope you will appreciate my work!
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    The internet is full of improperly identified dinosaur material, not only on auction sites but from very trusted dealers. Remind everyone that the best way to avoid being disappointed is do not assume what is written is accurate, educate yourself in what your interest are or post items here on the forum for feedback. Most of the discrepancies I see are not intentional just lack of knowledge on the part of the seller/dealer or believing what the digger told him. Lets start with the Hell Creek Formation- again Dromaeosaurus is not a species you find in this or the Lance formation, they are all over the web. Dromaeosaurus come from an older deposits, Campanian. Most all the teeth I see sold appear to be Nanotyrannus. The only two Dromaeosaurid teeth in this age are Acheroraptor and Dakotaraptor. A tiny example of what I currently see sold, these look like Nano teeth This individual is selling a Troodon claw. Troodon or now properly called Stenonychosaurus look nothing like this claw and I've provided images of what they should like. This is a reptile claw. The real deal foot claws These vertebra are described from Dinosaur raptors. They are from Crocks or other reptiles, definitely not dinosaur Kem Kem material - I could fill up this site with all the improperly identified material. Please post your interests here before you buy. Reminder we do not know what Rugops or Deltadromeus teeth look like and Rugops is not a species that is described from the Kem Kem deposits its known from Niger. The same is true for Dromaeosaurus that species does not exist in the fauna. Most believe a Dromaeosaurid like dinosaur exist but identifying its teeth is still uncertain. Most of the teeth sold that look like this with the distal edge perpendicular to the base are Abelsaurid indet. not Dromaeosaurid or Rugops etc I saw this tooth being sold, its a huge Carcharodontosaurus tooth 16cm. Please use caution, the seller just talks about slight glue and dirt in some areas but to me there appears to be lots of work done on that crown. Hard to tell whats going on but its more than slight glue and dirt. Just be cautious there is more there than meets the eye and it can get very expensive.
  15. 14 likes
    We cannot be a repository for all laws concerning fossil collecting, for all states or countries. It's just not feasible. We also have no ability to investigate posts for the legality of hunting at a certain location. It is assumed, and we trust, that the people reporting their collecting experiences here have the necessary permissions to collect where they do collect. If a member posts something that is questionable in any way, then the party recognizing the alleged violation should alert the Admins/Mods of possible legality concerns. There is a report button to make this an easy step. I personally have no issue calling someone out when they are suggesting illegal measures. But we should also bear in mind that they may not have mentioned it, but they may have permission from the state, county, city, township or federal government to collect where it appears to be state or federally owned land. This happened recently, with a whale skull that was collected on park lands in the presence of park rangers. People were jumping to conclusions, not having read the posts properly. There is also the issue of beating a dead horse. How often must we mention legality? It is incumbent upon the collector to know the laws and abide by them. From the Forums Rules and Community Standards: The analogy to a publishing house ends here: The Fossil Forum is not a publisher. You alone are responsible for the content of your submissions. Any opinions stated are not to be considered those of the administrators/moderators, and by posting any text or image, you are attesting that you have the copyright or permission to do so, and that you agree to the following rules: Prohibited on The Fossil Forum, including private messages and the chat room (transcripts of which are recorded and monitored) are: Pornography, obscenity, illegal acts and expressing disregard for the law, flaming (personal attacks designed to disparage, berate, or insult), offensive or discriminatory remarks (racial, ethnic, sexual, theological, political, etc.), threats, defamation, providing links to any of the above, Spamming, posting of the same text again and again, nonsensical posts that have no substance, or bumping a post for the same effect. Multiple memberships are not allowed. Violators of the above are subject to action up to and including banishment. Our position is stated clearly here. Bottom line ? We don't want it posted here if it is encouraging trespassing, breaking laws, or violating standards set by legitimate collection groups.
  16. 14 likes
    Posted are a few concerns I found wandering through the internet. These are but a few examples of the type of issues you may encounter. I send this out as a reminder if you're shopping for fossil presents of any kind. Sellers mis-identify material simply through lack of knowledge but it's up to the buyer to know what they are looking at. Don't hesitate to post interests BEFORE you buy. BUYER BEWARE when it comes to fossils of any kind. Seller wants huge money for this Saurolophus osborni lower arm from the Two Medicine Formation. Looks like a nice arm but some of his facts are incorrect. This species is not found in the Campanian of the Two Medicine Formation but the early Maastrichtian age of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation. Another key point is that it's very difficult to determine taxons from post cranial bones of Hadrosaurs especially in an fauna where multiple species exist. Nice lower arm from somewhere and from some unknown Hadrosaur. What's this seller thinking the "2 Medicine Man Formation" really attention to detail not one of his strong points. Someone tell him its the Two Medicine Formation. Maybe he watches lots of Westerns Seller describes this as Pachycephalosaurus in my opinion it's Thescelosaurus Seller is properly describing this beautiful jaw as Ornithischian but in detail description adds that it was discovered where many Pachycephalosaurus fossils were found giving one the impression it's Pachy. In my opinion it's Thescelosaurus. Teeth of these two species look similar inquire before you buy. I see a lot of these being offered or sale, nice Christmas gift. For those of you that are new to collecting the only thing real here are the crowns. Nice gift Seller is offering this Claw and Identifying it as Velociraptor from the Hell Creek Formation. It's a very worn Anzu wyliei hand claw.
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    In April Forum member @Sagebrush Steve posted an account in the "Fossil Prep" section detailing construction of display stands for some of his collection. He employed a slightly different approach and interested readers would be well served to view that post as well as this one. I do believe that the use of attractive display techniques can enhance the "decorator" value of fossils as well as allowing them to be viewed in a manner far better than resting on a shelf. A short while ago I posted a prep series on a pair of Halisaurus jaw sections. That post concluded with discussion of the display stands employed. Rustic bases made from salvaged wild cherry wood were the support for brass rods bent to hold the pieces. Here is one of those pieces. That project led to the idea mounting other fossils in a similar style. To this end I acquired a box of assorted blanks from an exotic woods dealer. I believe those slabs were intended for turning on a lathe to produce small bowls. I chose them for use as stable, heavy bases. The natural beauty of the various wood was also a factor. Here are some of the blanks. the are partially dipped on wax to seal them for storage. They are: Bubinga, Purpleheart and Yellowheart. Here is an assortment of wood that has been subjected to an orbital sander in preparation for finishing. They are: Ambrosia Maple, Canarywood, Bocote and Jatoba Here is a block of African Mahogany, that will serve as a base for the first stand. Shellac, mixed from flakes and denatured alcohol is applied to the unstained wood. A cloth dauber is utilized for application. Holes for mounting the brass rods have been pre-drilled in designated spots. Here is the project prior to assembly. The blue strand of flexible, electrical wire was used to form the approximate desired shape needed for the brass rod configurations. In that manner a measure could be established for the placement of bends. A simple jig was used to make the bends. It is, however, more difficult than one would imagine. Well, at least is was for snolly. Visible are the fossil specimens to be mounted. Here are a couple views of the finished project. This was a fun experience and the other blanks will be utilized to mount other medium sized specimens. Triceratops sp partial chevrons Hell Creek Formation Powder River Co, Montana
  18. 14 likes
    Welcome to the Forum. This looks like fish material - you can clearly see a fish vertebra in your second to last photo. The plates look like the left side of the skull, and possibly more. Neat find. You might be able to scrape away the excess matrix using dental tools. Thanks for posting this - and Welcome, again. Regards,
  19. 14 likes
    Listen and learn, Grasshopper. There is much to know; take the time to know it Please understand that an erroneous comment made here, and left uncontested, will be read by thousands of people, some of whom will take it as true. Best to stick with what you know and have verified, or to ask your thought as a question ("Is it usually difficult to classify any further than "fish" with just that much bone?").
  20. 13 likes
    I have not posted in a while and wanted to share an amazing fossil that i collected in December of 2017. Sharks usually do not come to ones mind when discussing Illinois fossils. Many collectors are not aware that you can find complete shark skeletons. Illinois is fortunate to be one of the few places in the world to find complete Pennsylvanian aged sharks. The vast majority of these fossils are found within siderite concretions in the Mazon Creek deposit. These rare sharks are always found as immature individuals. Illinois also has limited exposures of black shale similar to the Mecca Quarry Shale of Indiana. This shale was extensively studied by Rainer Zangerl in the 1960s and 70s and is known for the variety of sharks that he uncovered. I have been collecting a small exposure of this shale for the past 20 or so years finding a variety of bivalves, crustaceans, nautiloids and occasional fish. Most of the fish are fragmentary and usually not well preserved. I have shared pictures of a few of the specimens I have collected in past posts. One of the most interesting fish that I have collected is a little known group of sharks called Iniopterygians. They are also referred to as flying sharks due to the unusual placement of the pectoral fins mounted high up on the shoulder. It is believed that these fins would have functioned similar to the fins in modern flying fish. They have large eyes, club like tails and very unusual tooth batteries. There are several described types mostly known from fragmentary remains. Since preservation in black shale is usually poor, most of the described specimens are x-rayed rather then prepped to help identify bones and bone structures. The specimens that I have collected have all been relatively small ranging from five to six inches. This new specimen is by far the largest and best preserved example that i have ever seen. The specimen measures a little over a foot in length. Due to the quality of preservation, I had a friend spend nearly 40 hours prepping out the fish. It appears to be quite a bit different from other examples that I have found. If anyone on the forum knows of any researchers who work with these sharks, please let me know. Enjoy!
  21. 13 likes
    Here's a new fossil shape I just learned that maybe others will find interesting or useful. This muffin is a broken segment of the "annulosiphonate deposits' from a Carboniferous nautiloid. I can certainly say this would've completely stumped me had I found one of these before learning this!
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    So, lets figure out vertebrae from the Kem Kem beds. As many of you know the Kem Kem beds has a pretty enigmatic palaeo fauna. There is some literature about it, but not a whole lot. Some of it is behind a paywall and much information is pretty scattered. So I got this idea that maybe we could combine our knowledge and information to collectively get a better picture of which bone belongs to which animal, in this case, vertebrae. I know some of you have some fantastic specimens in your collections, if we combine these in this thread we might be able to see some patterns. We probably won't be able to put a genus or species name on each type, but perhaps assigning certain vertebrae to a morphotype might be possible. With that I encourage everyone that has any vertebrae from the Kem Kem beds to share photos of their specimens and post them here so we can use this thread as a sort of library as well as an ID thread that everyone can use to better ID their Kem Kem vertebrae. So please, share your photos! And it might help to number your specimens for easier reference. I will be updating this first post as new information arises with examples to make ID easier. Theropods Spinosaurus aegyptiacus Spinosaurus is known for it's tall neural spines, which are pretty characteristic. Unlike Sigilmassasaurus, Spinosaurus does not have the ventral triangular rough plateau on the centra Spinosaurus cervical vertebrae Spinosaurus dorsal, sacral and caudal vertebrae Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis Sigilmassasaurus is a Spinosaurid that might be closely related to Baryonyx and Suchomimus. It differs from Spinosaurus in that it has a ventral keel on many vertebrae and a triangular rough plateau on the bottom back end. A is Sigilmassasaurus, B is Baryonyx Sigilmassasaurus cervical vertebrae Sigilmassasaurus dorsal vertebrae Indeterminate Spinosaurid vertebrae Not a whole lot has been published yet, so some bones can probably not be ID'd on genus level. Spinosaurid caudal vertebrae From Paleoworld-101's collection Charcharodontosaurids Due to an old paper Sigilmassasaurus vertebrae are sometimes misidentified as Carcharodontosaurid. These vertebrae should be identified on the basis of the original description by Stromer. Carcharodontosaurid cervical vertebrae Abelisaurids Abelisaurid dorsal vertebrae From Troodon's collection Deltadromeus agilis better examples needed Sauropods Rebbachisaurus garasbae Not a whole lot is known about this titanosaur, as only a few bones have been found. Notice that the vertebrae are very extensively pneumaticised. Rebbachisaurus dorsal vertebrae Unnamed Titanosaurian mid caudal vertebra Crocodiles more examples needed Kemkemia This crocodile is only known by a single terminal caudal vertebra. Kemkemia caudal vertebra Turtles examples needed Pterosaurs Azhdarchids Azhdarchid (probably Alanqa) posterior fragment cervical vertebra Azhdarchid Mid cervical vertebra Sources Spinosaurids https://peerj.com/articles/1323/?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_campaign=PeerJ_TrendMD_1&utm_medium=TrendMD http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0144695 Sauropods Jeffrey A. Wilson & Ronan Allain (2015) Osteology of Rebbachisaurus garasbae Lavocat, 1954, a diplodocoid (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the early Late Cretaceous–aged Kem Kem beds of southeastern Morocco, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 35:4, e1000701, DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2014.1000701 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304214496_Evidence_of_a_derived_titanosaurian_Dinosauria_Sauropoda_in_the_Kem_Kem_beds_of_Morocco_with_comments_on_sauropod_paleoecology_in_the_Cretaceous_of_Africa Kemkemia sisn.pagepress.org/index.php/nhs/article/viewFile/nhs.2012.119/32 Pterosaurs https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thefossilforum.com%2Fapplications%2Fcore%2Finterface%2Ffile%2Fattachment.php%3Fid%3D432009&fname=journal.pone.0010875.PDF&pdf=true https://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/RIPS/article/view/5967
  24. 13 likes
    See below from Welton 1993: Your tooth is probably Orthodont and you are seeing the pulp cavity exposed because of tooth damage. Marco Sr.
  25. 13 likes
    I'd like to announce that i have donated two pterosaur humeri to a Pterosaur expert in Dallas, Texas @ SMU (Southern Methodist University). Dr.Myers has described many of the Lone Star state's flying reptiles, so he seemed to be the best man for the job. Here's how i "found" these. I frequently will find myself on eBay trying to find good deals, fossils to prep and/or misidentified fossils. These happened to be the latter. A man had found these near Grapevine, Texas. And needless to say, he had no clue what he had found, but i did. I thought it would be a great opportunity to make a few bucks, so i bought them both for under $50. Sweet! Now to find a species to label them with for resale. Well a weeks worth of research had lead me to the simple fact that these could be (and probably are) a new species of pterosaur never found in Texas before. Ok, donation time. And I'm not going to lie, i spent a full day thinking about going to the dark side of just selling these for a crazy amount (kinda tough when you're living paycheck to paycheck to let a money making opportunity slip away). But i figure paleontology has given me SOOOO MUCH, and has literally shaped my reasoning, understanding, passion, etc. There shouldn't even be a question not to donate these to science, and the World. Time traveling and finding fossils is my therapy. And you can't put a price on that. Lol If these do turn out to be a new taxon, expect a reconstruction drawing from yours truly. And hopefully i can name it after my Son. ....and yes, i will be contacting the seller to tell him about his great finds, but only after i get more information on these. I will keep everyone updated. Charlie
  26. 13 likes
    I thought I would share an exciting Mazon Creek fossil that I collected on March 1st of this year and just split open today. This is an extremely rare legless amphibian named Phlegethontia longissima from Pit 11. For a Mazon Creek fossil collector, this is about as good as it gets. Amphibians are extremely rare in the deposit and most collectors never find one. I have been collecting these fossils for over thirty years and can finally check it off my bucket list. It has been estimated that only one in five hundred thousand Mazon concretions will contain an amphibian. It needs a bit more cleaning and is fairly complete. The ribs, teeth and skin impressions are clear under magnification.
  27. 12 likes
    I post this as a reminder to Dinosaur tooth collectors that the Kem Kem Beds is not the only place that you need to be careful when you are looking to buy teeth but offerings from the States can be problematic. New collectors should to be especially mindful that sellers are not always accurate in what they are selling. Best to ask us B4 you buy. Here are a few examples: A beautiful Tyrannosaur tooth is being offered and sold as Albertosaurus from the Judith River Formation of Montana. Unfortunately this species is not described from this locality and currently only known from very late campanian, early maastrichtian deposits of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation in Alberta. You cannot distinguish between species of Tyrannosaurid teeth from campanian deposits. So this tooth is either a Daspletosaurus or Gorgosaurus tooth. Best identified as Tyrannosaurid indet. Aublysodon pre-max tooth is being offered from the Judith River of Montana. Unfortunately this species is no longer considered valid and teeth of this morphology are assigned to other Tyrannosaurids. In this formation, it's either a Daspletosaurus or Gorgosaurus tooth. Nice tooth best identified as Tyrannosaurid indet. An offering of a Nodosaurs tooth, Edmontonia rugosidens from the Hell Creek Formation. Unfortunately this species is not described from the Hell Creek Formation. Currently only Denversaurus schlessmani is the only described Nodosaur from the Hell Creek/ Lance Formations. Again a nice tooth. Be aware that other Nodosaurs may exist in these localities and this tooth is best described as Nodosaurid indet. but until those discoveries are made calling it Denversaurus is acceptable. The Ceratopsian Leptoceratops gracilis is being offered from the Hell Creek Formation. Again this species has not been described from this formation. The teeth are however identical to those L. gracilis and should be identified as: c.f. Leptoceratops gracilis. until we have a named species described. Daspletosaurus tooth being offered from the Judith River Formation. Similar comment as my first one. You cannot distinguish between species of Tyrannosaurid teeth from campanian deposits. Either a Daspletosaurus or Gorgosaurus tooth. Best identified as Tyrannosaurid indet.
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    Velociraptor is a dromaeosaurid so it hand claws have the morphology typical of that family. This species claws are not very large in fact they are pretty small, this one is about 4 cm straight line so that is one key feature. The articulation surface is more of a half moon shape. The species Oviraptor philoceratops has much bigger hands with claws that are quite a bit larger, see photo scale. Another feature to look at is what I call the "trigger" or the lip on the dorsal edge that I have circled, it's very pronounced. The shaft is also wider (see arrows) on the side view where Dromaeosaurid's have much more of a curvature
  29. 12 likes
    I'm not an expert on this. But there are a few reasons why there are more teeth for sale on the market. Reptiles do not grow teeth the same way we mammals do. We get our milk teeth and those are later replaced by our adult teeth. But we never grow any new ones after that. Reptiles replace their teeth their whole lives. A little bit similar to sharks in a way, though not as ridiculous in terms of number of teeth. A shark can produce around 3000 teeth in a life. I've heard somewhere that a typical reptile can produce some 1000 teeth in a lifetime. I'm not sure if that's completely accurate, but the point stands that one animal can produce an abundance of teeth while they only have a single piece or set of a bone. So naturally bones are more rare. Then there's simply what sells. Teeth from ancient monster predators are scary and cool. So more people probably collect carnivore teeth than bones. So there might also be a collecting bias in favour of teeth. You see this in pricing as well. Dinosaur teeth often have very high prices. But bones can sometimes still be bought for much lower prices. And teeth are the hardest part in the body of an animal. During the fossilisation process many things can degrade or get destroyed or lost completely. But teeth generally survive the longest.
  30. 12 likes
    I know there have been several threads on TFF that talk about storage cabinets for fossils, but since they are all a bit old I will start a new one to describe the storage cabinet I am in the process of making. It's not done yet but I thought I would show progress as I make it. A few things about the design. First, I wanted it to look at least somewhat presentable so I wouldn't have to stash it in some out-of-the-way location in our house. To keep the cost down I am going with oak-veneer plywood for the outside case, not solid oak. I'm using ordinary sanded plywood for the drawers, with solid oak dress panels at the front. The overall dimensions were driven by a couple of factors. First, I don't own a table saw or miter saw, so it had to be something I could make by just using my handheld circular saw. (I use a guide to make long straight cuts.) Also, I don't have a pickup truck so I had to have the 4x8 plywood sheets cut in half at Home Depot so they would fit in my SUV. That limited the maximum dimension to somewhat under 48" (Home Depot saw cuts are pretty atrocious on plywood). I decided to go with a design that had 10 drawers whose inside dimensions are 20x17". The lower two drawers are an inch taller than the rest. I also decided to use drawer slides for a smoother operation when opening the drawers. That meant the overall cabinet design was just about 36" high by 24" wide by 20" deep. Since I'm an engineer by training I felt it necessary to design the entire thing in Visio and use an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the dimensions of each piece, taking into account the exact measured thicknesses of the plywood. Here's what the design looks like: I've been leisurely working on building it for the last couple of weeks and estimate I still have about a week to go. Here's what it looks like so far: Partially assembled, held together by clamps and screws: Drawer design. Note that I have done a somewhat unusual design. Instead of using 1/4" hardboard that is held to the sides by dado cuts (which would be OK if the drawer was for storing lighter things like clothes or towels), I used much more solid 1/2" plywood screwed to the sides. You might question this design, but look closely at the drawer slides and you will see they have "L" shaped ledges that screw to the underside of the drawers. So the drawer slides are supporting the drawers by their bottoms, not their sides. This design is better for holding heavy objects like fossils. To keep the cost down I used inexpensive drawer slides rated for 50lbs each, which should be sufficient for the invertebrate fossils I collect. Now I need to finish gluing and ATTACHING all the sides together, add the top, install the dress panels around the top and bottom, cover the screw holes with wood plugs, cut the drawer dress panels to final size and mount them, stain everything, and add a clear polyurethane coat to finish it off. Should be done by Christmas.
  31. 12 likes
    Most everything you see sold on the commercial market as far as Sauropod teeth, from the Kem Kem of Morocco, is label Rebbachisaurus garasbae or Rebbachisaurus. Are they identified correctly is the topic of the day. Feel free to add your teeth to show variations. What do we know of Sauropod teeth from this fauna? - very simple answer, very very little in fact less than we know of Theropod material which is very little to begin with. I have seen nothing published on isolated sauropod teeth from this locality to base any ID on. In the Kem Kem there is one described species a Diplodocoid, Rebbachisaurus garasbae and evidence of a large Titanosaurid. That evidence on the Titanosaurid is based only on a single caudal vertebra. The holotype that described Rebbachisaurus contained only one complete dorsal vertebra, parts of another vertebra, some neural spines, rib fragments, ischium, humerus and a few more fragmentary material but NO skull, NO teeth. Like many Theropod dinosaurs we have teeth but no skull to identify them against and label them to a family level. Why should we not do the same with sauropod teeth there is no difference. The other fact that I find interesting is Rebbachisaurus once thought to be a large bodied Sauropod has been redescribed to a smaller animal and the Titanoaurid from this fauna is a very large one. I used some of the sauropod teeth in my collections to look at the variations across teeth. Are these just due to jaw to jaw variations, positional variations, growth cycles, evidence of multiple sauropod species, preservation, environmental factors, sampling...etc... No answers but there is variation and to label all sauropod material as one genus I believe is not appropriate at this point. There are two groups one with small teeth and the other that are significantly larger. The first smaller group show variations with all of them and I call them Morph Type 1 to 4 Does not look like a Diplodocoid tooth, peg like more Titanosaurid? This tooth is faceted all around the crown. Very round This tooth includes a base with enamel on it Large Teeth Typical Diplo type tooth, weak cutting edge Two very crisp cutting edges and very rough texture in the enamel, no wear facet maybe sign its an unerupted tooth. Have not see the texture on any other tooth. Very pointed Crown - positional? No cutting edges More peg like, no cutting edges This tooth shows wrinkles around the shaft. No its not a Spino no cutting edges Felt sorry or these two orphans just added them to the mix. Positional, no cutting edges
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    Hello, and welcome to the Forum. Unfortunately, fossil preparation is not something that is easily adaptable to "hacks". There really are, as far as I know, not many 'tricks' or 'shortcuts' that can be applied. Patience, a steady hand, sharp tools, and knowledge of how the rock or matrix reacts to your tools, are the main tenets to Fossil Prep. This requires lots of practice, and some heartbreak by learning the hard way. Tips I would give : 1. Be aware that you will break fossils. Despite our best efforts, the rock doesn't always cooperate with our wishes. This seems to be a pretty common occurrence. It can happen less with more experience, but sometimes, stuff just happens. Occasionally this is repairable. Sometimes, not so much. 2. Never trim in the field. This is the best way to ruin a great fossil. Unless you have a saw, breaking a piece of matrix down to a small size can have unexpected and potentially heartbreaking consequences. 3. When removing a fossil from a larger piece of matrix in the field, put some glue (superglue) or tape over the fossils on the matrix you are trying to remove it from. This will keep the fossil from going flying off of the matrix, and keep any pieces together should the fossil break during removal. 4. Sometimes Mother Nature does the best prep. Leave fossiliferous blocks out in the elements, and let them weather. This can create natural cracks to exploit when beginning prep. This also can lessen the prep process immensely. 5. Go slow, and have patience. This is a hard one for some. Going slow will bring out the best results in fossil prep. Rushing, or hurrying, tends to lead to mistakes, mishandling of tools, and ruined fossils. "Slow and steady wins the race." 6. Do not start to learn to prep on a potentially great fossil. When you are collecting. grab some similar material so you can practice. Practice increases your skill, with handling your tools, and your knowledge of the matrix tendencies. 7. Keep bladed and pointed tools sharp. When they start to not work as well, ... re-sharpen. 8. Consider using a sandbag as a base for your fossil to rest on, while prepping. It will conform to the shape of the matrix, and still give a firm, yet softer, yielding base, that can help to absorb some shock from vibration or impacts. 9. Listen and learn from others with more prep experience. Their techniques have been honed, skills sharpened, and their mistakes have been already been made. Learn from theirs, to minimize yours. 10. When in doubt, ask The Fossil Forum. Reading and doing are 2 very different things. If you get stuck, or are unsure how to proceed, ask for advice from others. Reading every thread in the Preparation Forum, while commendable, is no substitute for the wisdom of experience. Hope this helps. Regards,
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    These are pseudofossils; nodules slickensided by burial compaction: Guilielmites
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    Without visible inclusions or knowing where it was found, it is almost impossible to determine whether or not it is a coprolite. Most of the siliceous rocks identified in rock shops (especially those identified as coprolites from the Morrison Formation in Utah) are questionable. With coprolites, you want to consider the following: Shape - Is there evidence of sphincter (pinch) marks, intestinal folds, etc? Proximity - Was it found near body fossils, footprints, or a nesting area? Are there visible inclusions (bone, scales, etc.) Is it phosphatic? Carnivore coprolites primarily consist of calcium phosphate - the same mineral prevalent in bone. Does it contain backfilled burrows? Dung beetles create backfilled burrows that are sometimes visible when herbivore coprolites are cut. Does it contain undigested plant material? In my own collection, I usually classify specimens like yours as dubiocoprolites. I hope this helps.
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    After and result This Ichtyosaurus present one pathology, he have 6 fingers and normally this specie have 5... Work time : 150h (for two-tree guys).
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    Periodically you see theropod material offered for sale from Patagonia and to a collector that's awesome. Typically its specimens obtained before the embargo laws went into affect from Argentina. My experience in looking at what has been offered is that it's often mis-identified as to locality, age and species. Sellers put commonly known dinosaurs identification tags to their specimen like Carnotaurus with complete disregard to the actual age and locality of where that dinosaur was described. That may simply be the information provided to them but they don't verify it and it's easy to do. The reality is that theropod diversity in Patagonia is huge, over vast collecting areas, several provinces, numerous formations and ages. Understanding theropods from this region is just beginning and little is understood, sound familiar Identification of isolated teeth unless there is something diagnostic about the tooth is virtually impossible. I have a difficult time accepting the notion that local diggers knew all the science around what they were collecting, maintained accurate records and provided detailed information to foreign buyers. It was all about the Peso. A recent publication sheds some light on discoveries and I've attached a couple of images to help with diagnosis of the locality and age of specimens you may see offered for sale. Material from this region is very cool but be careful, don't let emotion take over. Just make sure it's was legally acquired and be prepared to identify it as Theropod indet. and don't be fooled that the name offered is valid. Be happy you're just having the opportunity to acquire such a rare specimen. Evolution of the carnivorous dinosaurs during the Cretaceous: The evidence from Patagonia Fernando E. Novas, Federico L. Agnolín, Martín D. Ezcurra, Juan Porfiri, Juan I. Canale
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    Last month, @Troodon kindly posted a notice of the offer of the Dino 101 course from U of Alberta. This online course (MOOC) was pursued by several Forum members. I hope they have enjoyed it, as I did, when I was previously enrolled. Yesterday, I signed up for "Paleontology, Ancient Marine Reptiles" also an online course offered by U of Alberta. The course is available through Coursera.org, the same group that sponsored Dino 101. It is set to start on March 28. However, the lectures and all course material is currently available. I have already completed the first lesson. I assume, when the course officially kicks off there will be a real time discussion board added, that is monitored by U of Alberta grad students. That's the way other courses via Coursera have worked. It's FREE!!!!! That is, unless you wish an official certificate of completion. snolly has all the official academic baggage he will ever need or want at this stage of life; so it's the cheap route for me! Parenthetically, I think these online courses are brilliant examples of the value of the Internet (This Forum being another). There are a couple of profs listed for the course. However, the first lesson's lectures were all delivered by W. Scott Persons, a doctoral student supervised by Dr. Currie. While I chuckled at Mr. Persons' affectation of an Indiana Jones fedora, worn as he lectured; the content was first rate, fascinating! Mr. Persons' style of delivery, energy, and mastery of the subject insured that the lectures easily maintained my attention. As an autodidact in the field, I find opportunities like this one extremely valuable. Check it out. I think you will be pleased.
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    Gone are the days when high quality dino eggs were freely sold at public auctions. I recently borrowed some catelogues from Bonhams, IM Chait and Heritage Auction that were 10-20 years old and was amazed by what was once available for sale! Here are a few eggsamples of pictures I took from the catelogues. Therizinosar Eggs with embryo exposed. Two examples of oviraptor nests with the remains of their mother guarding her young from whatever disaster took all of their lives. A spectacular nest labeled Troodon formosus. A saltasaurus egg, one of the most prized dino eggs to collectors. Large section of an oviraptor nest. A nice example of a hadrosaur nest.
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    I saw this on a number of different posts by the Tyrrell and thought it would interest our members. Clips and photos courtesy of RTMP. The Royal Tyrrell Museum collection includes one of the best-preserved Daspletosaurus theropod skulls. The skull is unique in that it is a disarticulated skull, where all the bones were found separately and were not crushed flat during fossilization. Daspletosaurus was a large tyrannosaur that lived 77.3 – 75 million years ago in Alberta and is closely related to Tyrannosaurus rex. The left maxilla (upper jaw). Note the teeth at various stages of growth. Dinosaurs continually replaced their teeth throughout their lives why the different sizes in the jaw The skull bones of the Daspletosaurus torosus were first discovered in 2000 near the Milk River in southern Alberta, and it took until 2011 for all the pieces to be collected. Since the individual pieces of the skull were separated, it was not obvious where each bone was located in the quarry. Researchers waited until further pieces of the skull eroded out of the ground, rather than searching for them. The left pre-maxilla (front of the upper jaw) in the field. Left pre-maxilla (front of the upper jaw) prepared. As fossil bones are extremely fragile and often heavy, they can be difficult to manipulate and handle. That makes it difficult for researchers to study certain specimens, or for them to be displayed. Although they have the majority of the skull of Daspletosaurus torosus in our collection, it is too fragile to piece back together. As a solution, they decided to create a cast and display it as an exploded skull. Exploded skulls are a common tool used to teach anatomy, allowing for examination of the individual pieces of a skull. This will allow researchers to examine all the bones that make up a theropod skull from multiple angles. Since certain pieces of this skull of Daspletosaurus torosus are too delicate to be cast using traditional methods, they created a digital model of the skull using photogrammetry. By taking multiple photos of each piece, their technicians were able to create digital models of the skull that were then 3D printed. This project is the first time the Museum has 3D printed a cast of a specimen and it was very successful. To show all 41 bones of the skull of Daspletosaurus torosus, they mounted the cast as an exploding skull. They suspended the specimen in the air to determine the position of the pieces. Once the positions were finalized, a mount was constructed to hold the specimen A mount is then created. Daspletosaurus torosus is now on display! This display was one of their most difficult and technical projects yet, using new technologies and artistic techniques to create the cast and mount. As far as they know, it is the only exploded dinosaur skull in the world Photo of player Found that the player moves quite fast. Move the forward > with your finger for better results DWLAqm2XcAEohbq.mp4
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    Morph Type 9 (Spinosaurid indet.) Vertical ridges on both sides of the crown (one side strongly developed, weak on other) Carinae present around midline of the tooth Morph Type 9A (Spinosaurid indet.) Vertical ridges on only one side of the crown Carinae present around midline of the tooth Morph Type 9B (Spinosaurid indet.) Vertical ridges absent on both sides of the crown Carinae present around midline of the tooth Morph Type 10 (Carcharodontosaurid indet.) Anterior tooth Distal margin is slightly concave Mesial margin recurved Mesial Carina extends to the base Denticles are oriented toward the tip Interdental sulci present (Blood Roots) Serration Density: Distal: 2/mm (More dense toward the base) Mesial: 1.6/mm (More dense toward the base) Morph Type 10A (Carcharodontosaurid indet.) Anterior lateral tooth Distal margin is slightly recurved Mesial margin recurved Mesial Carina extends to the base Interdental sulci present (Blood Roots) Serration Density: Distal: 2/mm (More dense toward the base) Mesial: 1.6/mm (More dense toward the base) Morph Type 10B (Carcharodontosaurid indet.) Distal lateral tooth Distal margin is fairly straight Mesial margin recurved Mesial Carina extends to the base Interdental sulci present (Blood Roots) Serration Density: Distal: 1.8/mm (More dense toward the base) Mesial: 1.5/mm (More dense toward the base) Additional Example of a Infant Tooth Crown Height: 12 mm Serration Density Distal: 3.6 mm Mesial: 3.5 mm
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    A few items I recently picked up at the Tucson show. Others will follow Nice size Pterosaur upper beak. Big Dorsal from a Sauropod - needs to be prepped to remove matrix glued on the bone. Will tackle after the show. Very Arthritic bone.. believe its Phalanx 2 but fits well with the above carpal. A Theropod indet but similar to a Spino on the most recent paper. Who really knows at this point with how little we have to go with and just sketches
  42. 11 likes
    A few Kem Kem items that I picked up for my collection A Spinosaurid and Sauropod tooth with interesting pathology An unknown Theropod possible hand claw A very large partial upper beak from a pterosaur possibly Alanqa Possible wing bone from Pterosaur Big carpal from a Spinosaurid Toe bone from a indeterminate theropod Partially rooted tooth theropod.
  43. 11 likes
    I was out collecting in The Tunisian Sahara, in an area that was supposed to contain fossil fresh water gastropods of reasonable size. As often happens, I soon had a following of thirty or so small children asking for pens, sweets and money and curious as to what on Earth i was doing. I responded with my usual good natured snarls and mild threats. I had not yet learned the Arabic for snail ( halzun, or babbouche in Morocco) so I couldn't explain what I was doing. A couple of them brought me pretty stones and bits of quartz, calcite and so on which i ungratefully refused. Finally, I remembered that they often speak French there, as it was a French colony and so I said, "Escargot" They started collecting actual snails for me, though where they found them I'll never know as it was a very dry area, though most of the shells were empty and crumbling. Again I got irritated with the children. Finally, I found a half of a fossil snail and very pleased with myself was examining it with the kids looking over my shoulders to see what I was so interested in. They were amazed and I explained they were very old, Miocene and thus millions of years old. They went away looking rather confused but came drifting back in ones or twos over the next hour - with fossil gastropods! They must have found a couple of kilos for me, including some excellent specimens it would have taken weeks to find on my own and I only had the afternoon at this locality. Lesson learned, Adam.
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    I have just attained a goal of mine here at The Fossil Forum; my number of community reputation points has equaled 50% of my total content points: 440 out of 878 content points. So far currently, I know of only two other people with a moderate number of total points who have achieved that honor: phylloceras and painshill. They both beat me by a mile, congratulations. Painshill has a ratio of content points to community reputation of 62.5% while phylloceras has an amazing ratio of 71.2%. If you want to earn more community points do what works best for me. Help a poster to ID their fossil finds or answer questions by researching on the internet or in your personal library. I like to find a picture or some literature to give to them. If you do find some good paleontology literature that is legally posted on the internet, consider helping to build Fruitbat's library of paleontological documents. Fruitbat has accumulated the best paleontological library on the internet. See: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/14728-fruitbats-pdf-library-table-of-contents/ Thank you to everyone on The Fossil Forum for making this such an awesome website. John
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    I agree that the first one is quite a find. And till now unreported as far as I know from the St Clair area. I believe the second one, which was poorly preserved and only appears more interesting than I believe it to be. Based on the lack of even a crease to show any midveins in the pinnules, leads me to believe they did not have any. The only genus which lacks a midvein is Odontopteris. And the only species of Odontopteris reported at St. Clair is O. subcuneata. I don't know that this species is that "common" there but since O. subcuneata is a polymorphic form Macroneuropteris scheuchzerii and it is a common element in this flora, so it should be readily found there. The other features that can be made out also help confirm the taxon. The first one is very rare even where it is known to exist. So much so it is only described on fertile foliage and only one example of sterile foliage is known to exist. It is called Stellatheca ornata and you have a fertile example. A brief description; The ultimate and penultimate rachis appears wide (though partially due to pinnules being slightly confluent) Each pinnule typically has three sori, but can range from two to five, and are placed near the margin. And the pinnules are generally no more than rounded lobes. Attached is a picture of a Mazon Creek example. Hope this helps, Jack
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    For those collectors that love Moroccan dinosaur material I have some good news and some not so good news. The good news is that we finally have an Abelsaurid described from Morocco its called Chenanisaurus barbaricus . The not so good news is that its NOT from the Kem Kem Beds but from the Maastrichtian Phosphate Mines in the Ouled Abdoun basin. . I reported about this theropod back in 2015 and a jaw, with teeth, was subsequently found which enabled paleontologists to describe this new species. This is what is lacking in the Kem Kem Beds. We should have a march in Morocco to protest lack of Jaws.... Two teeth from my collection Now that we have a name I raise the red flag with all collectors to be cautious of individuals trying to sell Carcharodontosaurus teeth from Kem Kem as this species. The best way insure your getting the correct locality is to have it on a matrix slab. Phosphate matrix is very different than the Kem Kem's. These teeth have been quite rare and I acquired the only two I've seen but now we have a name that always seems to attract entrepreneurs in Morocco . Dentary teeth should follow typical Abelsaurid morphology with the distal side being very perpendicular to the base. Paper: An abelisaurid from the latest Cretaceous (late Maastrichtian) of Morocco, North Africa Nicholas R. Longrich, Xabier Pereda-Suberbiola, Nour-Eddine Jalil, Fatima Khaldoune, Essaid Jourani http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667116303706
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    Here are typical concretions that are found at Pit 11 (Essex Biota-Marine) and that I would collect, they have great shapes and are always on the smaller size, though larger ones are found. Here are typical concretions that are found at Pit 4 (Braidwood Biota-Fresh) and that I would collect, they have various shapes and many are on the larger size. When I say that the Pit 4 concretions are large, they are also heavy. 23 Pounds 15 Pounds When I would collect at Pit 4 or at Pit 11, I would often do it on a bicycle and would put concretions into packs and hang them on my bike and strap them on my back – multiple packs get very heavy. The opening of concretions is a real pain. The best way to do this is by the “freeze / thaw” method, in which you place the concretions in water and freeze / thaw them until the crack open along an invisible “plane line”. The only issue with this, is that it can take multiple rounds in the freezer or outside over the winter to open them. Even after doing this, the concretion may not open and I often revert to the old hammer method. The only problem with this, is that many times you can destroy a very nice fossil, as shown below. Depending on the area that you are collecting concretions from is when the “Ugly” comes in. If you are lucky enough to have a concretion that has a fossil, many times these are not a pristine as they are from other spots and they need to be cleaned. I will usually try tap water and if that does not work, I will soak them in undiluted white vinegar for a couple minutes and lightly go over them with a toothbrush. Care needs to be given to this process since you do not want to damage the fossil. Pecopteris Fern An Annularia is under all that gunk. The identification of some of your finds can also be a problem, especially when it comes poorly preserved or weathered opened concretions. Many times your mind and eyes play tricks on you and you see features that are only suggestive shapes or stains. Unfortunately, I do not have an example to show you since I dispose of them immediately. If you ever have a chance and you are near the Braidwood, Illinois area, you need to make a quick stop to this world famous Lagerstatte for yourself and see what you can find.
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    Traditionally these small coiled attached shells have been identified as Spirobis, a polychaete worm. More recently, studies of the shell microstructure suggests that these are only superficially similar to Spirobis, and they actually belong to the Microconchida, an extinct order possibly related to the lophophorates. Nice specimen! Don
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    Let's try to keep this thread on topic and avoid wandering into a discussion of creationism vs science. The policy of the Forum is to support discussion of paleontology as a science. Discussion of religion has a tendency to generate more heat and smoke than light; there are other web sites that are more appropriate for that topic. Don
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    Perhaps it might be an idea to begin at the end as you conduct course development. Begin first with defining your learning outcomes. What do you hope your students will learn once the class is done? What are the major "take-aways"? Here are some examples: 1. Gain an appreciation of natural history 2. Identify different fossils according to where they are broadly situated in taxonomy 3. Understand the different processes by which fossilization occurs 4. Understand the dynamics of paleo-environments and what these can teach us about environments today 5. Understand how evolution works as a slow, incremental process that responds to changes in an environment 6. Gain an appreciation for what paleontologists do 7. Appreciate both the fragility and resilience of organisms in a world of constant change You wouldn't have to tell your students these outcomes, but instead structure your lessons with these in mind. In my field, I have to write LOs all the time, so it is second nature to me. I do this at the uni, and in professional workshops. Another point would be about pacing the content and making it progress in a logical, systematic sequence. Continue to build on what they have learned. Start with some of the bigger concepts and embroider as you go. Frequent reminders of what they should have absorbed from previous lessons, matching these to new material, is always a winning solution. Although you have a younger group, the same principles apply for even older learners: use lots of illustrative examples (visual aids like PowerPoint, specimens to handle, etc) while also tying it to their experiences. That last bit is very important as they will be able to personalize what they learn, make it part of their lives. Do they have gravel driveways? Have they ever wondered about different layers on a road cut? Making allusions to their experience will win their attention and make it less abstract. As an example, in one of my courses where I teach about digital labour, I canvass my students to tell me about their working experience. I then operationalize that in tying concepts to it. Also, make it a truly open, inclusive, dynamic environment. Don't lecture as much as start a conversation. You'll find students of all ages will be more amenable to dialogue than being passive receptacles being hypodermically injected with information overload. In your course development, allow a lot of space for group discussion and exploration. You will have to "prime the pump" on occasion to get the conversation going, but you'd be amazed how quickly time flies when it turns into an all-out discussion! As I'm not the only educator on this site, I'm calling on a few others who are also teachers/educators to add anything I may missed. @Monica, @BobWill, @Ptychodus04, @JohnBrewer.... (I have missed quite a few others, but they'll be along, I'm sure!).