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Found 182 results

  1. Wolfe City Fine

    From the album Fossiljim Micro

    Microfossils from screened (30 mesh) Texas redbed material.
  2. Gift Of A Bag Of Dirt

    A couple of weeks ago, a friend gave me a bag of "Permian dirt". No info on where it came from, but I will pry info out of him at the next paleo meeting at HGMS. I washed some, screened it at 10, 40 and 80 mesh. I have been spending a great deal of time with the 10-40 stuff and am amazed at the number of vertebrate microfossils I am finding. (Thank goodness I married a tolerant woman 35 years ago. Microscope, dirt and misc. containers have been on the kitchen table for 3 weeks!) I wanted to quantify the richness of the material, so I filled a 1" x 1" ziplock bag with 1/4 ounce of the materials, then sorted and counted. There were 32 xenacanth teeth and a total of 275 teeth, denticles, fish scales as well as an uncounted number of fossilized shark cartilage pieces.
  3. Pliocene Microfossils, Uk

    Dear All, I have these two pictures that I took it from my sample of Pliocene microfossils, but am not sure about them. Could you please help me to identify them: the firs one is transparent wall (hyaline) i think, elongated with narrows end in both sides: the second picture: Cheers, Majed
  4. Just wanted to share an idea for taking better stack of photos when imaging microfossils. For some background, ostracods, foraminiferia, conodonts and scolecodonts are three dimensional despite their small size. As microscope magnification is increased a smaller and smaller vertical section of the fossil is in focus making it nearly impossible to take a decent photograph. Stacking software (e.g. CombineZP, Helicon Focus) permits you to take a series of photographs at different focal planes and the software then creates a composite photo taking just the in focus parts of each photo in the stack. My microscope doesn't have a fine adjustment knob which made it difficult to take many photos in a stack before the complete fossil was out of focus. I recently purchased a small vertical stage with micrometer on Ebay under Opto-mechanical stages (usually used to adjust mirrors and such in laser setups). The micrometer moves the stage vertically 0.5 mm (500 microns) per revolution of the micrometer and it smallest vertical move is 2 - 3 microns. This allowed me to increase the number of stack photos and hence the focal planes when trying to capture the ornamentation of ostracods and the tooth-like projections on scolecodonts. Check out some of my recent galleries: http://www.thefossil...hale-ostracods/ http://www.thefossil...n-microfossils/
  5. This series of unfortunate experiments may well turn into some fortuitous knowledge. Maybe. Unfortunate in that I acted likea sixth grade scientist when I started these experiments. No protocols whatsoever--I just went wild. I should be starting this thread with a picture of a rock. But I wasn't sure where the rock came from in the first place, and then I messed with the rock. And messed with the rock some more. But I should at least end this post with some picture of the rock. Best I can do tonight. Tomorrow will come the story of the unfortunate rock. Which does appear to be very fossiliferous.
  6. In picking out my sample of microfossils from the Middle Pliocene Coralline Crag Formation, Suffolk, England, I noted a few fragments of what appeared to be a species of the ostracode genus Pterygocythereis, a particularly spiny-looking genus of the family Trachyleberididae. I assumed it to be Pterygocythereis jonesi (Baird, 1850), the common species of the North Sea. As luck would have it, while finishing the picking of the last bit of the sample, up popped a complete valve, in almost perfect condition. To my surprise, it turned out not to be the common North Sea species; rather, it is Pterygocythereis siveteri Athersuch, 1972. The image does not do it justice, as even with image stacking software, the great length of the alae and the 3-D spininess are not very apparent. (Published dorsal views of the complete carapace are quite impressive!) Further cleaning of the specimen should greatly improve its appearance. In the standard book on the recent Ostracoda of Great Britain, we find the following: "British records of P. siveteri are sub-Recent, and there are, as yet, no live records outside the Mediterranean." (Athersuch, Horne and Whittaker 1989: 146) Presence of this species thus provides further evidence that the Middle Pliocene sea around southern Great Britain was warmer than it is now, and that the ostracode fauna was essentially Lusitanian, characteristic of the modern Mediterranean Sea and of the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa. The genus Pterygocythereis today is commonly encountered in the sublittoral zone, down to a depth of about 200 meters. Faunal studies of the Coralline Crag have suggested that it was deposited in a high energy environment with a maximum depth of about 20 meters, which seems to fit. However, this species is rather rare in the Coralline Crag, suggesting that it may not have been a member of the original, local biocoenosis. Athersuch, J., D. J. Horne, and J. E. Whittaker, 1989, Marine and Brackish Water Ostracods, The Linnaean Society of London.
  7. I have always enjoyed looking at ostracodes of the family Trachyleberididae, for their varied and complex structures, and interesting ornamentation. The family seemingly first appeared in the Middle Jurassic, became abundant during the Cretaceous, and remains abundant in the seas of today. About a month ago, in an exchange of microfossil material with an Italian friend, I received a sample of material from the Coralline Crag of southeastern England, a well-known and extensively studied Middle Pliocene (Zanclean) marine deposit of cross-bedded sands. The deposit averages about 12 meters in thickness, varies from weakly to more strongly consolidated, and is highly fossiliferous. The name comes from an abundance of bryozoans, which early scholars mistakenly thought were corals. Ostracodes and foraminifera are both abundant. Faunal studies have suggested that the sea was a bit warmer when this formation was laid down, perhaps more closely resembling the Mediterranean Sea, or the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa. Hence the Coralline Crag contains many species that do not much resemble those found in the marine littoral deposits of modern-day England. I have recovered quite a few species of both forams and ostracodes from my sample, and am just beginning the identification process. The species I want to show off in this entry is the first I have identified, chosen to be investigated first because it is both common and showy. The taxon is correctly known as Cletocythereis jonesi Wood et al., although it was previously known by various other names through misidentification. It is a typical trachyleberidid, although with much coarser surface sculpture than most. The valves are subquadrate and rather thick, with an amphidont hinge. The surface is coarsely reticulate, with a strong sub-central tubercle, and dorsal and ventral ridges. The anterior margin is also reticulate, divided into elongate, transverse cells. The ventral ridge terminates posteriorly in a complex loop. The eye tubercle, just below the anterior dorsal margin, is large and shiny. Here is an interior view of the same right valve, unfortunately obscured by residual matrix. The ventral margin exhibits a strong concavity; the posterior dorsal corner is not broken, contrary to appearances, and is a close match to images of the type specimens. The hinge of the right valve has a strong, round anterior tooth. The posterior tooth is weaker, and the middle element is of the smooth groove-and-bar type; the right valve has the grooved element, and there is a corresponding thin bar in the left valve. This dorsal view shows the thickened central part of the carapace, due to the dorsal and ventral ridges, and the relatively flat anterior and posterior margins. Personally, I think this is a really handsome microfossil -- considering that its largest dimension is only about 1 millimeter in length! In future entries in this blog I hope to illustrate a few other ostracodes and forams from this interesting formation, if I am able to make more identifications. Fortunately, I have access to a good research library! Two interesting references are: Wilkinson, I. P., 1980, "Coralline Crag Ostracoda and their environmental and stratigraphical significance," Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 91:291-306. Wood, A. M., R. C. Whatley, C. A. Maybury, and I. P. Wilkinson, 1992, "Three new species of cytheracean Ostracoda from the Coralline Crag at Orford, Suffolk," Journal of Micropaleontology 11:211-220.
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