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Found 107 results

  1. Here is a parody of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” that points out my fossil and rock collecting philosophy. Roads are good to take you to the areas that few people search, especially the creek beds. Remember, I like to leave no stone unturned. I challenge all TFF members (especially @snolly50) to send in your paleontology related original poems. Consider your own version of Frost's poem. The Roads Not Taken by John, AKA DPS Ammonite Two roads diverged in a rocky wood, And not sorry to travel either one And being an adventurer, long I stood And looked up the nearby creek bed as far as I could To see the rocks glistening in the sun. I took the downstream side, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better rocks Because it was fossil rich and wanted wear; Paleozoic creatures preserved there stood out in massive limestone blocks. The up and downstream sides equally lay In rocks no one had collected. Oh, I kept the upstream side for another day, Knowing fossils that occurred that way, should not be left uninspected. I shall be telling this with never a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the creek bed nearby, And that has made all the difference.
  2. CALVERT MARINE MUSEUM DESIGNATED AS MARYLAND STATE PALEONTOLOGY CENTER http://www.calvertmarinemuseum.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=278&ARC=418
  3. We owe Jurassic Park a debt of gratitude (?)

    Palaeontologist Steve Brusatte: we owe Jurassic Park a debt of gratitude By Andrew Anthony, The Observer, May 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/may/13/steve-brusatte-palaeontologist-debt-gratitude-jurassic-park Yours, Paul H.
  4. Scientifically vital fossils vanish, Masol’s claim to fame in danger Siddarth Banerjee | TNN | April 30, 2018 https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/scientifically-vital-fossils-vanish-masols-claim-to-fame-in-danger/articleshow/63969904.cms 2.6-million-year-old ‘priceless’ fossil on sale for just Rs 4500 Sidharth Banerjee | TNN | July 24, 2017 https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/2-6-million-year-old-priceless-fossil-on-sale-for-just-rs-4500/articleshow/59729760.cms Some papers are: Chapon-Sao, C., Abdessadok, S., Tudryn, A., Malassé, A.D., Singh, M., Karir, B., Gaillard, C., Moigne, A.M., Gargani, J. and Bhardwaj, V., 2016. Lithostratigraphy of Masol paleonto-archeological localities in the Quranwala Zone, 2.6 Ma, northwestern India. Comptes Rendus Palevol, 15(3-4), pp. 417-439. https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01323986/ Malassé, A.D., Moigne, A.M., Singh, M., Calligaro, T., Karir, B., Gaillard, C., Kaur, A., Bhardwaj, V., Pal, S., Abdessadok, S. and Sao, C.C., 2016. Intentional cut marks on bovid from the Quranwala zone, 2.6 Ma, Siwalik Frontal Range, northwestern India. Comptes Rendus Palevol, 15(3-4), pp. 317-339. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292209224_Intentional_cut_marks_on_bovid_from_the_Quranwala_zone_26_Ma_Siwalik_Frontal_Range_northwestern_India https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anne_Dambricourt_Malasse Malassé, A.D., Singh, M., Karir, B., Gaillard, C., Bhardwaj, V., Moigne, A.M., Abdessadok, S., Sao, C.C., Gargani, J., Tudryn, A. and Calligaro, T., 2016. Anthropic activities in the fossiliferous Quranwala Zone, 2.6 Ma, Siwaliks of Northwest India, historical context of the discovery and scientific investigations. Comptes Rendus Palevol, 15(3-4), pp.295-316. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292077679_Anthropic_activities_in_the_fossiliferous_Quranwala_Zone_26Ma_Siwaliks_of_Northwest_India_historical_context_of_the_discovery_and_scientific_investigations https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anne_Dambricourt_Malasse Gargani, J., Abdessadok, S., Tudryn, A., Sao, C.C., Malassé, A.D., Gaillard, C., Moigne, A.M., Singh, M., Bhardwaj, V. and Karir, B., 2016. Geology and geomorphology of Masol paleonto-archeological site, Late Pliocene, Chandigarh, Siwalik Frontal Range, NW India. Comptes Rendus Palevol, 15(3-4), pp.379-391. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281291986_Geology_and_Geomorphology_of_Masol_paleonto-archeological_site_Late_Pliocene_Chandigarh_Siwalik_Frontal_Range_NW_India https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anne_Dambricourt_Malasse Gaillard, C., Singh, M., Malassé, A.D., Bhardwaj, V., Karir, B., Kaur, A., Pal, S., Moigne, A.M., Sao, C.C., Abdessadok, S. and Gargani, J., 2016. The lithic industries on the fossiliferous outcrops of the Late Pliocene masol formation, Siwalik frontal range, northwestern India (Punjab). Comptes Rendus Palevol, 15(3-4), pp.341-357. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/293332452_The_lithic_industries_on_the_fossiliferous_outcrops_of_the_Late_Pliocene_Masol_Formation_Siwalik_Frontal_Range_north-western_India_Punjab https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Claire_Gaillard2 Yours, Paul H.
  5. I am planning a trip with my 12-year-old grandson (and future paleontologist) to a dinosaur dig this summer, and would like to get some first hand advice on choosing a good outfit. We can go about anywhere in the U.S., several days to a week, but since we'll likely be flying we can't easily bring along much gear of our own. I've researched dozens of dig sites. Some sites were outdated, some sketchy on details, some had age limits or are already filled. PaleoAdventures and Hell Creek Fossils, Dinosaurs of the Western Slopes are possibilities, but I would welcome any comments on organizations to avoid, or ones you have had a good experience with.
  6. Nice to see discoveries like this by dedicated avocational paleontologists! Who would think to look on the ceiling of caves for ancient footprints? "Fossil hunters also responsible for finding dinosaur tracks in Tumbler Ridge, B.C." http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/tumbler-ridge-south-africa-1.4555438
  7. Africa's Fossil Heritage Is Underappreciated

    Africa’s rich fossil finds should get the air time they deserve Julien Benoit, University of the Witwatersrand The Conversation, February 21, 2018 http://theconversation.com/africas-rich-fossil-finds-should-get-the-air-time-they-deserve-91849 https://www.wits.ac.za/news/latest-news/in-their-own-words/2018/2018-02/africas-rich-fossil-finds-should-get-the-air-time-they-deserve.html Yours, Paul H.
  8. Hello, for me currently Paleontology is only a hobby, but I want to have a future in this. So what I am asking for is some advice, what is the best universities in Europe especially in Germany and how should I best prepare myself to gain acceptance. When I say this I am speaking for all the young enthusiasts that want this to be more than just a hobby, but a life long career. I would like to dedicate my life to this field. All advice would be appreciated, regards Leander.
  9. Hello All- I am doing a talk next Tuesday on the difference between Archaeology and Paleontology. I am looking for published instances where the two are used incorrectly. Can anyone help? Thanks.
  10. Hi all, I just wanted to let everyone interested in eastern North American dinosaurs know that my paper reviewing and analyzing Appalachian dinosaur faunas was published as Brownstein (2018). The full citation and doi are below. Brownstein, CD. 2018. The biogeography and ecology of the Cretaceous non-avian dinosaurs of Appalachia. Palaeontologia Electronica 21.1.5A: 1-56. All the best, Chase
  11. Hi Everyone, I am trying to figure out my summer plans right now. I'm going to be going into my senior year of highschool. I'm hoping to spend the summer or part of the summer focusing on fossils and paleontology. My dream would be to find a program where housing is provided that i could be out in the field collecting fossils. In my dream world, fossils to study and keep for myself, but again, realistically, just any work out in the field collecting and searching for fossils. I am especially interested in fossils from the miocene period but I would be perfectly content to go collecting and maybe even study fossils from other periods. I'm not terribly interested in plant fossils, but everything from ammonites to trilobites to shark teeth to mammals is of great interest to me. I live in Massachusetts so it would most likely have to be out of state in which case it would need to be something that could provide housing. Doesn't have to be an official job with a specific museum or anything. Maybe a job or internship at a fossil quarry or something like that. Maybe working with a museum to go on collection trips. That kind of thing would be amazing. Any advice or leads would be a tremendous help. Thanks in advance!
  12. ideas for paleontology class

    Hey everyone, within the next couple of months I am going to start teaching a paleontology class to middle school students, it will run until June. I've been thinking about how I'm going to structure the class. I don't want to make it too complicated but also want to make sure it's interesting. I was thinking about having each month be a different topic, maybe go through the time periods from the oldest fossils to the youngest but I'm afraid that will be too complicated. I was wondering if any of you have ideas of how I could structure the class. Thanks in advance for your help!
  13. Interested in Mongolian Paleontology here is a listing of publications you can checkout from Mammals to Dinosaurs to Burgess like deposits. https://www.scienceopen.com/search#collection/394de4be-f6b1-4ab3-a48b-f917e76bccb5
  14. I was in southern Mexico for 9 days on a trip to see an amber mine I've been leasing. I wrote an article about the trip I'd like to share with everyone. Unfortunately I can't share all my photos for fear of someone bootlegging them (I have a couple of competitors), but I will share those with my face in them as I know no one is going to be bold enough to use those. All photos are mine and may be used with my permission (just ask). If I knew of how perilous the journey was, perhaps I would never have gone…but it was worth the risk and I will never forget my journey to the Amber mines of Chiapas… You see these beautifully polished pieces of amber from Mexico, but do you have any idea where they come from or how they are mined? Do you know their true story? I’ll tell you, both their story and mine, and of the people who scratch the amber from the bowels of the earth. Let’s start with a brief history of Chiapas amber. What we know is that it formed some 23-30 million years ago during the Oligocene. Giant trees of the species Hymanea were damaged via hurricanes, earthquakes, and other means, releasing copious amounts of sap from these giant trees. Insects, flowers, leaves, and sometimes frogs, crabs, and lizards were trapped in the sticky resin that flowed from the trees. Sometimes pieces of resin would fall to the ground, encasing other plants and animals. Through floods and other means, these trees and resin were transported to the shallow ocean, where the resin hardened, oysters grew on its surface, and eventually the resin was buried under ocean sediments. Over millions of years, with constant heat and pressure, the resin hardened into copal as volatile organic chemicals left the structure of the copal, eventually turning it to the true amber we know today. This amber was originally discovered by the Mayans, who valued this stone and even included it amongst jaguar pelts and cacao on their inventory scrolls. Eventually, it gained value amongst modern cultures as well who now demand this amber both for its beauty and rare inclusions. In 1953, an archaeologist named Frans Blom discovered the deposits, soon after bringing a group of scientists from the University of Berkley in California to study the amber deposits. It was not until the 1980’s that mining began taking place for amber, with production skyrocketing after the 1993 film, Jurassic Park, to meet demand for amber. This is where I come in... I've been a part of the process of bringing this amber to the United States. Not only do I acquire the amber to add to my own collection, but I also acquire scientifically significant specimens for future paleontological research. These pieces would otherwise be sold to other countries, primarily China, where the pieces would be completely lost to science. I make a point of collecting these specimens and making them available in perpetuity for research, only to be sold to a museum if sold at all. This leads to the reason for my adventure. I’ve been leasing a mine in the rainforest, from which I’ve derived countless pieces of amber for my personal collection. From this mine and others in the area, I’ve brought insects, leaves, carvings, jewelry, wine stoppers, and other things of amber to the US. Through amber, I’ve been able to support more than a dozen families in Chiapas who depend on the amber for their survival. From the miners to carvers to bead makers, they all rely on the amber and subsequently my business (and Americans purchasing the amber from me) to feed and clothe their families and to keep a roof over their heads. Regardless of the importance of this, few people know where the amber comes from or how hard the indigenous people work to find it. When I met all of the workers in Chiapas and spoke to them, that is what really hit home for me on this trip and one of the reasons I risked my life to go where no other “gringo” has gone before—to the heart of this precious stone. I needed to tell Their story. The day started early…about 6AM. My friend, a native from Tuxtla Gutierrez, and myself left via taxi to the bus station to start our journey to the mines. The trip started out uneventfully…maybe an hour and a half ride to the next town from which we needed to take another bus to our final destination. Cramming into the small 8-person bus now loaded with 10 people, my friend begins to explain everything to me…now that we are at the point of no return. He first explains the arrangements he made weeks before. He had to ask for the blessing of the village chief and the elders to take a “foreigner” to see the mines… after explaining who I was and my intentions, and a contribution of course, they agreed to allow me to visit the mines for just this day. Then the owner of the lands had to be consulted, who luckily also gave his blessing upon an explanation and another contribution. Lastly, the manager of the land, a friend of my friend, would meet us and escort us around the mines to further guarantee my safety. Next, my friend began to tell me stories of how other foreigners had not been so fortunate after visiting just the town on their own. About five years ago, the Chinese first started visiting the town to buy amber, but the people grew angry with these foreigners and their tactics (basically bullying) to get the lowest prices possible from the people. Things are not so cordial as they once were. A South Korean man had driven to the town just a month before, setting out a table with about 12 million pesos on one side and a loupe, flashlight, and blue light on the other half… After all the villagers had sold him all the amber they had, he left and began his journey out of the town. Unfortunate for him, the villagers had set up a road block to prevent him from leaving. They promptly took his amber and remaining money at gun point…at which point they allowed him to return to San Cristobal crying, where I was told he drowned his sorrows at a local bar while still crying and telling his plight to anyone who would listen. Just three months before, three Chinese men had visited the town to buy amber as well. Upon their insulting bargaining tactics (throwing amber across the table and calling it trash that they wouldn’t pay more than 1/5 the price for), they were promptly ran out of town with bullets following closely behind them. About a year ago, a Polish man was similarly robbed as the South Korean, with his unfortunate mistake being to refuse to give up the amber, at which point he was promptly shot in the stomach and the amber still taken. Another story was told to me about a Chinese man disappearing over a year ago, but you get the point… the police cannot help you if you upset the people. As my friend finished his stories, he continued to tell me how dangerous the journey is with many people being killed by car accidents on the road…by falling boulders and rock/mud slides from the mountain, and by running off the cliff into the valley below. He further tells me how lucky I am to be going on that day, as the workers had just finished rebuilding the road the day before. It’s at this point I look to the right and see a large section of roadway that had sloughed off the side of the mountain in the last earthquake…no embellishment here…the entire roadway just “fell” off the side of the mountain… It’s at this point I truly became terrified of the journey…. The driver was driving Fast, constantly passing other vehicles on a two lane road, swerving around pot holes and parts of the roadway that had crumbled and fallen over the mountain side…around boulders, stalled vehicles, fallen trees, and remnants of mudslides we went. At one point we were nearly hit head on by a vehicle passing a stalled truck in the opposite lane. The driver did nothing other than a small Hail Mary and a laugh. I’m glad I used the restroom that morning… After seemingly endless twists and turns on this death trap of a road, we arrived at our destination. Upon exiting the cramped bus, we met the friend of my friend who manages the land. We were escorted to the edge of the rainforest, passing villagers who stared at me intently as I walked by…I must have been a strange sight, being pale skinned and a foot taller than anyone in the village. We proceeded to follow a small dirt path into the rainforest, along which I felt like a child. I was captivated by the wild orchids growing on trees, an ants nest of a species I’ve never seen on a nearby tree (whose sting I discovered feels and looks more like a Burn than a fire ant bite), countless banana trees, and coffee bushes (from which I savored a few coffee fruits). We followed the path for maybe two or three miles until it narrowed along the mountain side. I distinctly remember a point at which the path narrowed to maybe a foot in width with a sheer drop of a few hundred feet for anyone who lost their footing. If this was not terrifying enough, there was a gap of maybe two or three feet where this path had been washed away…jumping across such a gap is not an easy task while your legs are shaking from fear of the height. After a long trek, we finally reached the first of the mines with an amazing view of the valley spread before us. The first mine was not by any means the most impressive, yet I was as excited as a dozen childhood Christmases combined. I eagerly asked for permission to enter, at which point I was told no and shown the overhanging rock that was ready to fall at any moment… my heart dropped a bit, until I was told I could enter the next mine. You see, millions of years ago, the amber was deposited where this mountain now stands. One side of this strata was uplifted, causing a diagonal stratigraphic trend of approximately 140 degrees from my estimates. The mines had been dug along this diagonal strata with one mine being followed perhaps 15 vertical feet below the last and 30 yards down slope. The second mine was not currently being worked—lucky for me as I carefully entered what looked like the home of a prehistoric mole at first glance. I gleefully pulled a 365nm UV flashlight from my backpack (the same one I later gave to my friend for his birthday) and proceeded to sweep the floor and walls for amber. The amber pieces shown like stars in the pitch black mine and I happily scooped them up, regardless of their small size. It was the first amber I had found in my life…a childhood dream finally come true…a dream laughably originally implanted in me since watching “Jurassic Park” as a 4 year old. I was shown the dump pile where mine tailings were thrown for children to later break apart the clay to find smaller pieces of amber. I again found some amber in matrix, which my friend promptly put in my backpack, remembering that I needed some amber in-situ for educational purposes. We continued on to several other mines where I was able to frolic in this geological playground and find more amber…passing a couple of mines that had previously caved in…a stark reminder of the dangers of these mines. After passing a few more mines, we came to one that was being worked at the time. Upon first approaching this mine, I could hear the faint sounds of picks on clay walls…then the sound of an approaching miner from within the bowels of the mine. A child of maybe 12 emerged from the mine, a wheel barrow preceding him, loaded with clay. This miner proceeded to run to the end of the small path from the mine and dump the contents of the wheelbarrow before running back into the mine. It was at this point that the manager of the lands asked if I would like a picture with the boy, explaining that the miners only knew Cecile, an indigenous language, and that he would have to ask the boy for us. I was told I needed to pay the boy for the picture, maybe 50 pesos. I happily agreed, at which point the boy was stopped on his next round and asked if he would like to have his picture taken. The manager translated that the boy was excited to have his picture to be taken, and that he exclaimed with joy that he “would be famous in America”. He also added that I was “as big as a bear”. After a picture, we proceeded into the mine, where the manager explained that this one was about 300 meters long, but others could go up to 400 meters into the mountain. The mine is no fun place to be past the entrance…it gets Dark…pitch black…and cramped, narrowing from 5 feet to maybe 3 feet in height in some places—just tall enough for the wheel barrow to make way. The width of the mine is again maybe 4 feet at most. I’m told they keep them small to prevent cave-ins, as there are no braces or ceiling anchors to stabilize the mine shafts. I continued down the shaft, the humidity and heat causing me to sweat profusely…the floor was wet and slippery with mud…as I approached the end of the shaft where the miners were working, the air was thin and stale. I could only stay for a few minutes before nearly passing out, and which point I needed to get out while I could. Every second I was in that cave I kept thinking of the collapsed mines…there was no rescue if a cave in occurred…the mine could also serve as a grave. Upon exiting the cave, I was greatly relieved, as if I had escaped from Hades itself…I inhaled the fresh air with zealous and relished the sunlight that I had been robbed of for seemingly an eternity. A few minutes later, my friend emerged with the land manager and the other miners. They were all fascinated by me and I by them. I was told that other foreigners had visited the village to buy amber, but none had ever visited the mines nor shaken hands with the miners…all the others only cared about the stone, not how it was found nor for the people who found it. I felt honored by this…granted that Richard Attenborough (John Hammond in Jurassic Park) had been my hero as a child, I had now met the true heroes of the story, without whom we would not have this precious stone. Out from the mine was lastly carried a small gourd bowl with a shoe string handle. This bowl contained all the amber found that day for the workers, maybe 200 grams of amber (which would later be maybe 160 after polishing). I took the amber and paid the workers more than what is usual for these workers, in appreciation for their hard work. It was at this point that I realized how hard these people work and couldn’t help but wish they were earning more. We continued on to the neighboring mine, and I was told that this is from where my amber was coming. The workers came out to greet me and to show me their finds for the day. These miners were not what you would expect. No special tools, bare feet to keep from slipping, no shirt as it was too hot for one…only shorts, a hand pick and an ancient flashlight strapped to their heads. This is how all the miners work, with the exception of some still using candles instead of flashlights. The miners were kind and jovial despite the harsh working conditions…the work was hard but they were happy to be able to provide for their families. I couldn’t help but think of how miserable and complaintive someone in the US would be of working in such conditions for so little pay. The workers first presented me with a gift of a high quality piece of amber, after which they showed me all of their other finds from the day. After paying the workers what they had earned for the amber, I paid them more still to take a photo with me in front of the mine. They happily agreed and posed with me in all their mining gear (shorts). After telling them goodbye, we continued down the mountain, myself darting from mine entrance to mine entrance looking for whatever scraps of amber the workers had left behind…these scraps were of little monetary value, but regardless I was savoring the hunt. After reaching the last mine, the land manager tells us that it would be easier to continue down the mountain rather than back up... meaning we still needed to cross the creek, and hike to the road where we could get a ride in a taxi…if only it were as easy as it sounded! The descent was Steep and treacherous…again, narrow paths along the mountain with a couple of washed out gaps that I had to jump over and pray that I landed on my mark…too short and I would fall…too far and I would fall too. We finally reached the edge of the mountain near the creek, at which our then guide, the land manager, proceeds to rappel down vines and tree roots down the cliff side onto slippery boulders in the creek. I would be lying if I said it was easy, or even halfway within OSHA regulations to get down that way…but climbing and clawing my way down the side of the cliff, I finally touched my feet on the rocks below. Then a hop, skip, and a jump across the rocks in the raging creek and I was home free to the road…or so I thought. A taxi stopped for us surprisingly soon as we arrived at the roadway…with 3 passengers in tow. One of the passengers crammed into the front seat with the other, with now four of us squeezing into the back like we were in some clown car on the way to a circus. With a third try of closing the door after being told “Mas Fuerte! (Stronger), I finally slammed the door with a sound that startled everyone in the car…they should have been more specific on how much stronger... The driving began crossing the creek with his now human sardine can of a car…slipping and sliding over rocks in the creek….one rock rolling under the car with such violence that I could feel the rock with my feet…scratching and bending the bottom of the car….the car struggled to cross the creek and I began to see water come into the floorboard…it’s not a good feeling seeing water enter a car when you’re crammed in it with 6 other people… Finally we crossed the creek and were back safely in the village for now. Next we were invited to the land managers house to look at some amber he had to sell. We entered the small house…it had windows but no glass; a blue painted concrete floor, orange adobe walls, and a tin roof. The man asked his wife to fetch some fresh orange juice for us while we talked business. As we drank together, the man dumps out maybe three kilos of amber for us to sort through and to select the pieces we wanted. Many pieces were of common insects but a few struck my eye…a giant ant, millipedes, an ant with fungus, a termite filled with water, a large wasp, a flower, and a few other pieces struck my fancy. The man told me what prices he wanted for the pieces and joked with my friend about how he usually wouldn’t give such good prices, but he would for me. I bought the pieces for a decent sum of pesos, after which the man agreed to drive us to the next town to catch the bus. Don’t think the story is over so soon…we are almost there! You see, it was getting dark at this point and Foggy…and I was getting a bad migraine too (maybe from the altitude), not that this point matters. The way down the mountain was even more terrifying than the way up…which seemed impossible before. With the darkness and dense fog, I could no longer see the road, cliff, boulders, road washouts, or hardly anything else. It terrifies me to think about the probable…that our driver couldn’t see these things either…that he was driving mostly from memory of the treacherous road and had remembered every death trap along the way. The most I could do was to frantically wipe the condensation from the windshield to help him to see whatever he could and hope that he didn’t forget an inch of that unforgiving road….in the darkness and dense fog… We finally made it to the next town to catch a bus…after a three hour, perilous journey. On the way back I saw two more buses that had crashed head on…I was extremely thankful that it had not been us…we were very lucky to have made the journey safely despite all of the dangers. I have some final thoughts I want to share while I still have your attention. I want you to think about the people of Chiapas and about the amber they toil for. I used to work in the oilfield as an instrumentation specialist and it was a miserable job…working 12-20 hours a day…14 days straight, sometimes up to 140 hours in a week when things went awry…carrying heavy equipment in horrible, dangerous working conditions. I used to complain all the time about that job…until I met these workers. They have far worse working conditions than you or I ever had…they get paid much less too, yet they are happy because they can provide for their families. Why do they get paid so little? Because people will only pay so much for the amber... After paying the workers, leasing fees, monetary conversion fees, money sending fees, Mexican government taxes, labor fees to my friend for polishing the amber and managing operations, shipping fees, income taxes, and other overhead, there isn't a lot to make…but I don’t do this for the money; I do this because I love amber and now that these families depend on me, I can’t let them down. So next time you look at a piece of amber, don’t just look at the stone, think about the people who are sacrificing so much to bring this stone to you…when you think a piece of amber is expensive, think about what you would ask if you were the one who had to dig for it. Some additional details about the journey of the amber after the mines: After the amber is mined, it is washed, windows are polished to see if insects are inside and to check the quality of the amber. Pieces with insects are polished and sold as-is. Tiny pieces are used as chip beads, small pieces for other types of beads, medium sized pieces for small carvings and pendants, and large pieces primarily for carvings. If you have questions please feel free to contact me.
  15. Hi everyone, i don't know if this is the right section; if it's no, i'm sorry. I want to become a paleontologist, I was suggested to continue my studies at the University of Bristol. Can anybody give me some general information about Bristol or suggest other universities in Europe, where i can continue my studies?
  16. The apparent demise of the best California, Utah and Nevada area paleontology website is premature. Inyo.coffeecup.com (created by a former TFF member) is up and running. Check out his great write ups with pictures about trips to many sites many now under protection by state and Federal governments. http://inyo.coffeecup.com/site/cf/carfieldtrip.html#fossilspages Download his fieldtrip guide: http://inyo.coffeecup.com/site/fieldtripbook.pdf Here are two of my favorites sites: Red Rock Canyon State Park in the California Mohave desert http://inyo.coffeecup.com/site/redrock/redrockfossils.html and see the magnificent silicified insects from the Miocene lake deposits near Barstow, CA http://inyo.coffeecup.com/site/barstowfossils/barstowfossils.html Thanks to TFF member @John for alerting us that his wonderful website was down. In a related matter, I would hate to see Inyo.coffeecup.com dissapear if the creator is incapacitated or runs out of money to support the site. Besides The Internet Archive AKA The Wayback Machine, I wonder if any institutions would be willing to archive a version for posterity. Books are archived in libraries; where should websites be saved? I wonder if The Fossil Forum would be willing to archeive copies of significant paleontology websites. Have we made plans to carry on and archive The Fossil Forum in case disaster strikes? Maybe geology libraries and paleontology departments at colleges/universities should store and archeive quality paleontological websites. Sometimes quality websites such as Mindat.org (minerals and occasion fossils) find institutions to preserve and support their continued operations. Mindat has Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Has The Fossil Forum ever considered forming a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization to support our activities or finding an institution to partner with? As an added bonus donations to TFF would be tax deductable. Cheers, John
  17. Apps for the Fossil Hunter

    I've been wondering if anyone on the forum has a favorite App or Apps they've found useful in searching for fossils? I haven't been able to locate any apps that focus on mapping your location in relation to underlying bedrock data, and it got me curious. Thanks! Have a good weekend!
  18. Mosasaur tooth

    So the other day I visited a local tiny shop that sells minerals and fossils, and snagged a Mosasaur tooth from Khouribga Morocco. The label only said 'Mosasaur tooth, Khouribga, Morocco.' Naturally, as the curious person that I am, Im trying to find the species of the owner. After I researched a bit I narrowed down the species to those found in Morocco, yet I had trouble finding one with similar teeth. Globidens and Carinodens were quickly out of the question, since the teeth are rounded and kinda look like mushrooms to some extent, very unlike mine. Yet practically all the teeth I saw for these other Morocco Mosasaurs had slightly hooked teeth that looked thick and heavy, While mine is practically vertical, with almost no curve to it, small and light. Anyone know any Mosasaur species with teeth like this found in Khouribga Morocco..? The measurement of the tooth without the root is 1.4 inches long. The tooth has a diameter around barely over 1 centimeter. Here are species found in Morocco that I had narrowed down to, minus the Globidens and the Carinodens included- Eremiasaurus, Prognathodon-Anceps, Solyvai, Curii, Mosasaurus Baugei, Tethysaurus, Platecarpus, Halisaurus, and Goronyosaurus. ~If you need another angle of the tooth feel free to ask~
  19. Fossil identification

    hello , i want to know this stone if it is a fossil metal ?? Thanks
  20. Hi everyone, I'm turning the big 50 in November (eek), and I want to do something really fun - I was hoping to find some sort of fossil hunting trip either in the US or internationally - ideally would have liked to volunteer on a dinosaur dig somewhere but mid-November doesn't seem to bring anything up. If anyone has any ideas, much appreciated ! I'm looking on my own as well. Thanks
  21. What Got You Into Paleontology?

    Hey, There are so many people on this forum, I was wondering how everyone got interested in paleontology! Personally, Jurassic Park got me interested in dinosaurs and the Walking With Trilogy cemented it!
  22. Contested National Monuments in Utah House Treasure Troves of Fossils, Inside Science News Service-Jun 13, 2017 https://www.insidescience.org/news/contested-national-monuments-utah-house-treasure-troves-fossils Yours, Paul H.
  23. So, as some of you may know, I'm currently attending UF seeking a degree in geology, with post-grad in Paleontology. The most important reason I decided to do this (among many)at the ripe age of 33 was an inspiration to merge the knowledge of amateur paleontologists with professional paleontologists. I've had this idea that technology may be able to close the gap and eliminate the animosity between these groups, while at the same time actually encouraging and promoting fossil distribution. It is an ambitious goal that requires all those respected and knowledgeable in their field(amateur and professional) to work towards a common goal. I've written a simple proposal and outlined my plan. I've included the names of the Florida Museum of Natural History's paleontologists(as it is public record), but I would also like to include some knowledgeable amateur paleontologists to work towards this goal. If you are interested please contact me, and I will send you a copy of the proposal. I would like to note that this is not a commitment to anything,your information will not be shared, and you will only be contacted by me(maybe). HH joshuajbelanger@gmail.com -J
  24. Cambrian Fossil Hunting

    Hello! I am a new user on this site and I have a few questions that I can't seem to find anywhere else online, I thought there would be no one better to ask than more fossil hunters like myself. For nearly a decade now I have been in love with the sheer idea of fossils and the animals contained inside of them, but instead of the cliché 'Fossils = Dinosaurs' thing, I have always found interest in the Cambrian Period and have loved it since I started researching trilobites. My life goal basically was to research the Cambrian Period at the famous Burgess Shale, but to my knowledge it is illegal to go to (without being on a tour) and collect fossils from. And that basically shattered my childhood dream. The thing is though, everywhere I look I can't seem to find anything on why it is illegal, the only thing I could find was an article about if it was opened to the public it would drain the fossils much quicker than natural weathering. Which is understandable, but expeditions by permitted paleontologists also seems to be out of the question too. Is there any possible way to research fossils at the Burgess Shale? I am willing to do anything when it comes to permits to be able to dig there: may be with a University, museum, etc. As stated before, I am extremely interested in life of the Cambrian Period and am considering it as either a profession or a very dedicated hobby. But the problem is that I live in Central West Virginia, where there are absolutely ZERO fossils, and that makes it difficult for me to do anything with the Cambrian whenever my geological time-period is Devonian-Permian. Thanks for any input! PS: Although it seems quite impossible now, my life goal in fossil digging is to find an Anomalocaris fossil. Thanks Again!
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