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Found 92 results

  1. Arizona Paleontology Guide

    Arizona Paleontology Guide Paleontology Guides Master Index link My Favorite Paleontology Resources Guide link This is a guide to the most relevant literature, websites, photos and The Fossil Forum content relating to paleontology in Arizona. This main page is a continually updated and monitored index with links to subpages of paleontology resources. Click on links on this page to see content in the subpages. Click on link in the upper right of every subpage to go back to this main page, the index. This is a modest start for an important resource. I have more to add. Please contact me if you if you have any questions, suggestions or content that I should add. Feel free to send a link to this Guide to anyone that needs information about Arizona Paleontology. Thanks to Fruitbat, Joe, for his inspiration and many of the reference citations. Enjoy, John Arizona Paleontology Literature by Formation & Member etc. link Arizona Paleontology Literature by Geological Age link Arizona Paleontology Literature by Taxonomy link Arizona Paleontology Maps link Arizona Paleontology Photos link Arizona Paleontology Websites: General link Arizona Paleontology Websites: Museums, School Depts., Parks & Societies link
  2. Arizona Paleontology Websites

    Paleontology websites for Arizona. Click on underlined links for content. Back to main page Museums Museum of Northern Arizona link Arizona Museum of Natural History link School departments Arizona State University link Search for paleontology in search box to find paleontology faculty. Northern Arizona University link University of Arizona link Parks Petrified Forest National Park link The best fossil forest park in the world. Kohl's Ranch Naco Paleo Site link Near Payson with lots of fossils. Societies Mineralogical Society of Arizona link Great society dedicated to geology, mineralogy and paleontology of Arizona. Lots of field trips including ones for fossils. Southwest Paleontological Society link Great publications, lectures and field trips to collect mostly vertebrate fossils including dinosaurs.
  3. Spinosaurus: quadrupedal or bipedal?

    Can anyone give me an answer?
  4. Arizona Paleontology Papers

    Here is an annotated list of the best Arizona paleontology literature. Back to main page Precambrian Cambrian ISCS Field Conference (2011). Cambrian Stratigraphy and Paleontology of Northern Arizona and Southern Nevada. The 16th Field Conference of the Cambrian Stage Subdivision Working Group, International Subcommission on Cambrian Stratigraphy, Hollingsworth, J.S., F.A. Sundberg and J.R. Foster (eds.), Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin 67. Devonian Huddle, J.W. and E. Dobrovolny (1952). Devonian and Mississippian Rocks of Central Arizona. U.S. Geological Survey, Professional Paper 233-D. link Great stratigraphy paper. Helps to identify several fossil bearing formations in northern Arizona. Mentions several fossil bearing areas. Hussakof, L. (1942). Fishes from the Devonian of Arizona. American Museum Novitates, Number 1186. link Mentions Mt. Eldon Fauna near Flaggstaff. Meader, N.M. (1977). Paleoecology and Paleoenvironments of the Upper Devonian Martin Formation in the Roosevelt Dam-Globe Area, Gila County, Arizona. Masters Thesis - The University of Arizona. link Mentions many fossils and severals sites where they are found. Carboniferous Dilliard, Kelly & Rigby, J.K.. (2001). The New Demosponges, Chaunactis olsoni and Haplistion nacoense, and Associated Sponges from the Pennsylvanian Naco Formation, Central Arizona. Brigham Young University Geology Studies. 46. 1-11. link Huddle, J.W. and E. Dobrovolny (1952). Devonian and Mississippian Rocks of Central Arizona. U.S. Geological Survey, Professional Paper 233-D. link Good overview of Devonian and Mississippian rocks. Easton, W. H. and Gutschick, R. C. (1953) Corals from the Redwall Limestone (Mississippian) of Arizona. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences: Vol. 52: Iss. 1. link Quality paper for descriptions, pictures and localities of corals. Lundin, Robert F. and Colin Sumrall. (1999). Ostrocodes From The Naco Formation (Upper Carboniferous) At The Kohl Ranch Locality, Central Arizona. Journal of Paleontology. 73. 454-460. link Microfossils from classic now gone site. Irmis, R.B. and D.K. Elliott (2006). Taphonomy of a Middle Pennsylvanian Marine Vertebrate Assemblage and an Actualistic Model for Marine Abrasion of Teeth. Palaios, Vol.21. link Reid, A.M. (1968). Biostratigraphy of the Naco Formation (Pennsylvanian) of South-Central Arizona. Ph.D. Dissertation - The University of Arizona. (340 pages) link Micropaleontology only. Reid, A.M. (1966). Stratigraphy and Paleontology of the Naco Formation in the Southern Dripping Springs Mountains, Near Winkelman, Gila County, Arizona. Masters Thesis - The University of Arizona. link One of best papers on Naco fossils. Lists many species and has so so photos. Permian Chronic, Halka. (1952). Molluscan fauna from the Permian Kaibab Formation, Walnut Canyon, Arizona. Geological Society of America Bulletin 63. link Very good resource for molluscs. Graham, John. (2008). Walnut Canyon National Monument Geologic Resource Evaluation Report. Natural Resource Report NPS/NRPC/GRD/NRR—2008/040 Link Mostly info on Kaibab Formation fossils. Hunt, A.P., et al. (2005). Permian Vertebrates of Arizona. In: Vertebrate Paleontology in Arizona. Heckert, A.B. and S.G. Lucas (eds.), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bulletin Number 29. link Vertebrates are not common in the Arizona Permian. Wilt, Jan Carol, (1969). Petrology and Stratigraphy of the Colina Limestone (Permian) in Cochise County, Arizona U of A MS thesis link Triassic Heckert, A.B. and S.G. Lucas (2003). Stratigraphy and Paleontology of the Lower Chinle Group (Adamanian: Latest Carnian) in the Vicinity of St. Johns, Arizona. In: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 54th Field Conference, Geology of the Zuni Plateau. link Heckert, A.B., S.G. Lucas and A.P. Hunt (2005). Triassic Vertebrate Fossils in Arizona. In: Vertebrate Paleontology in Arizona (Heckert, A.B. and S.G. Lucas, eds.), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bulletin Number 29. link Kirby, R.E. (1989). Late Triassic Vertebrate Localities of the Owl Rock Member (Chinle Formation) in the Ward Terrace Area of Northern Arizona. In: Lucas, S.G., and Hunt, A.P., eds., Dawn of the age of dinosaurs in the American southwest New Mexico Museum of Natural History Martz, J.W. and W.G. Parker (2010). Revised Lithostratigraphy of the Sonsela Member (Chinle Formation, Upper Triassic) in the Southern Part of Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. PLoS ONE, 5(2). link Parker, W.G. (2005). Faunal Review of the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of Arizona. In: Vertebrate Paleontology of Arizona. McCord, R.D. (ed.), Mesa Southwest Bulletin, Number 11. link Spielmann, J.A., S.G. Lucas and A.B. Heckert (2007). Tetrapod Fauna of the Upper Triassic (Revueltian) Owl Rock Formation, Chinle Group, Arizona. In: The Global Triassic. Lucas, S.G. and J.A. Spielmann (eds.), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bulletin 41. link Jurassic Irmis, R.B. (2005). A Review of the Vertebrate Fauna of the Lower Jurassic Navajo Sandstone in Arizona. In: Vertebrate Paleontology of Arizona. McCord, R.D. (ed.), Mesa Southwest Museum Bulletin Number 11. link Cretaceous Hattori, K.E. (2017). Architecture of a mid-Cretaceous patch reef: High resolution mapping provides new insight into facies geometries and ecological relationships at Paul Spur, Bisbee, Arizona. Masters Thesis - The University of Texas at Austin. link I would love to find some of the rudistid reefs. Hayes, P.T. (1970). Cretaceous Paleogeography of Southeastern Arizona and Adjacent Areas. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 658-B. link Arizona cannot compare to the fossil abundance of Texas. Lucas, S.G. and A.B. Heckert (2005). Distribution, Age and Correlation of Cretaceous Fossil Vertebrates from Arizona. In: Vertebrate Paleontology in Arizona. (Heckert, A.B. and S.G. Lucas, eds.) New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin Number 29. link Stoyanow, A. (1949). Lower Cretaceous Stratigraphy in Southeastern Arizona. Geological Society of America Memoir 38:1-156 Miocene Morgan, G.S. and R.S. White (2005). Miocene and Pliocene Vertebrates from Arizona. In: Vertebrate Paleontology in Arizona. (Heckert, A.B. and S.G. Lucas, eds.), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin Number 29. link Pliocene Czaplewski, N.J. (2011). An Owl-Pellet Accumulation of Small Pliocene Vertebrates from the Verde Formation, Arizona, USA. Palaeontologia Electronica, Vol.14, Number 3. link Without owls we would not know much about the small vertebrate of the Verde Formation. Morgan, G.S. and R.S. White (2005). Miocene and Pliocene Vertebrates from Arizona. In: Vertebrate Paleontology in Arizona. (Heckert, A.B. and S.G. Lucas, eds.), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin Number 29. link White, R.S. and G.S. Morgan (2005). Arizona Blancan Vertebrate Faunas in Regional Perspective. In: Vertebrate Paleontology of Arizona. (McCord, R.D., ed.), Mesa Southwest Museum Bulletin Number 11. link Arizona has a rich Blancan flora. General Gidley, J.W. (1925). Fossil Proboscidea and Edentata of the San Pedro Valley, Arizona. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 140-B. link Gidley, J.W. (1922). Preliminary Report on Fossil Vertebrates of the San Pedro Valley, Arizona, with Descriptions of New Species of Rodentia and Lagomorpha. U.S. Geological Society - Shorter Contributions to General Geology. link Lindsay, E.H. (1984). Windows to the Past: Fossils of the San Pedro Valley. Fieldnotes from the Arizona Bureau of Geology and Mineral Technology, Vol.14, Number 4. link Thrasher, L.C. Fossils of the San Simon Valley, Graham County, Arizona. U.S. Bureau of Land Management. link Twenter, F.R. New Fossil Localities in the Verde Formation, Verde Valley, Arizona. New Mexico Geological Society, Thirteenth Field Conference. link Wilt, J. and D. Schumacher (1993). Fossils of the Paleozoic Formations of Southeastern Arizona. link
  5. Best Arizona Paleontology Websites General

    Here is an annotated list of my favorite Arizona paleontology websites. Back to main page Arizona Fossil Adventures by TFF member Chris Schur. link My favorite site with lots of photos of fossils and their localities. Fruitbat's Pdf Library of Arizona paleontology literature. link Comprehensive list with links to literature available without paying or sign ups. Great resource; thanks Joe. T-Rat by Ron Ratkevich. link Great site for Arizona paleontology and archeology information. Lots of general directions to collecting sites. Southern Arizona Fossils by Walt. link Lots of photos and a few videos of mostly in situ southern Arizona fossils. Photos of Fossils by Cochise College geology instructor, Roger Weller. link Great photos of fossils, many from Arizona. Arizona Fossils and Paleontology WebRing by Jack D. Mount. link There are lots of indexes of Arizona paleontology articles from several publications. A gem. Arizona State Geological Map link The Fossil Forum Arizona Fossil Sites subsection. link
  6. How an Amateur Collector Changed Paleontology Forever To those of The Fossil Forum, I wish to share with you the story of Maiasaura peeblesorum and Marion Brandvold, both good mothers. Maiasaura was discovered forty years ago in June of 1978; this is the month and year of the Maiasaura. Marion and her son, David Trexler, found fossils fascinating long before Jurassic Park popularized dinosaurs. They would often take a vehicle out and go prospecting in their backyard geologic formation known as the Two Medicine. One hot summer evening when walking back to the vehicle, Marion took a small detour and came upon some tiny fossilized bones. In 1937, the Trexlers had opened a rock and jewelry store, and over the years had created a successful jewelry manufacturing and wholesale business along with their ranching interest. However, Marion's heart was always with the land and the animals, and when her husband passed away, she opened a retail store for her merchandise rather than try to keep up with the wholesale business. That way, she still had time for the ranching and rock hunting that she loved. Marion and David had discovered a partial dinosaur in 1971, and they traveled the State of Montana to compare it to all the wonderful previous discoveries they had read about that had been made in Montana. To their surprise, the only dinosaur on display in the entire State was in a little museum in the basement of the high school in Ekalaka, Montana. It had been assembled by a couple of ranchers who had worked with paleontologists from elsewhere who had come to the State, collected, and left. Chagrined that nothing was left behind when professional work was done, they decided to start a small museum in the back of the family store. The goal was to display a dinosaur skeleton from their local area. After all, if ranchers from Ekalaka could do it, so could they. As far as professional training was concerned, Marion had to rely on her familiarity with the ecology of the modern world, as she had no formal education on the subject. However, a ranch foreman when she was young had taught her the art of tracking, and had shown her how each organism interacted with other organisms and its environment. So, when looking for fossil skeletons, Marion expected to see very young and very old animal pieces, but not much in-between. On the fateful evening mentioned previously, Marion, Dave, and Dave's wife, Laurie, were out collecting what they believed to be a fairly complete duckbilled dinosaur skeleton. It is a long, tedious job collecting all the bones present in a dinosaur, and they had uncovered 15 or so at that point. As tools were being put away, Marion went for a little walk, and when Dave and Laurie caught up with her, she was sitting on a small mound of dirt with a big smile on her face. She said, "look what I found!" She was holding several baby dinosaur vertebrae. Within a few minutes, they had found many more, and Dave had found a piece of a jaw with obviously duckbilled dinosaur teeth attached. However, the entire jaw section could be covered by a nickel! They had a baby dinosaur to go with their adult in the museum. Bill Clemens, a mammal paleontologist from Berkely, had stopped in Marion's shop on his way to dig on fossil fish with some colleagues, and was impressed with what had been done in creating a fossil museum without any formal training. At the fish site, he encouraged Jack Horner, then a fossil preparator at Princeton, and Jack's friend Bob Makela, a high school teacher from Rudyard, Montana, to stop at Marion's shop and see the displays. A few days later, Jack and Bob left the fish site and visited Marion's rock shop and museum. Jack introduced himself to Marion, and for the next few hours, they had a wonderful time going over the specimens Marion had on display. Jack then asked if she had anything else, and she showed him a couple of the vertebrae she had picked up from the baby site. Jack's interest was immediately piqued, and he asked if she had more. Marion directed him across the street to where Dave was reassembling the baby bones they had collected. Jack realized immediately that Marion and Dave had something they didn't understand. He asked, "do you know what you have here?", and Dave replied, "Obviously not, since you are so excited." The concept of babies and old animals dying and being preserved in the fossil record, it turned out, was only partially correct. While that cycle probably did occur, baby bones were generally not preserved in the fossil record. The bones Bob and Jack were staring at turned out to be the first baby dinosaur remains known from North America. Jack asked to be allowed to borrow the fossils in order to write them up in a formal publication. The bones were carefully wrapped and placed in a coffee can, and Jack transported them to Princeton. A visit to the site was also in order, and Marion and Dave took Jack and Bob out to the site. Dave also showed Jack a poorly preserved skull that Laurie had discovered, and Jack offered to try to remove it and clean it up for display in Marion's museum. However, after a few years and the specimen was recovered and prepared, it turned out to be the type skull for Maiasaura, and Laurie donated it to Museum of the Rockies, where Jack was working by then. Baby dinosaurs together in a nest past hatching showed a totally different picture of what dinosaurs were thought to be. Jack returned for many years, and eventually the Museum of the Rockies purchased the land where the babies were discovered. The area has become a mecca for paleontological research. The discovery of all this led to a massive shift in the view paleontologist and indeed science as a whole had for extinct animals and modern reptiles. A realization occurred that dinosaurs were truly living, breathing, majestic animals who cared for their young, much like the life we often see around us today. Hungry and thirsty, often looking for a mate, just trying to stay alive in an unforgiving world were the dinosaurs. Far from terrible lizards, they were much like animals and we humans are today. All this came from Marion’s tiny little find. It was her tiny find which led to a surge of interest and public attention. It was her tiny find which started Jack Horner’s career. It was her tiny find that indirectly caused Spielberg to help create Jurassic Park which in turn inspired many into paleontology and many more into other sciences. Those she indirectly inspired have contributed a near inconceivable amount to mankind through science. They range from medical researchers curing diseases, to those looking for extraterrestrial life, and all the way down to myself. A great many started their interest in the sciences with an early love of fossils and dinosaurs. A love Marion Branvold started and continues through her past contribution. Sadly, I never had the opportunity to meet her and she passed away in 2014, at the age of 102. Over the course of my short time in paleontology, I had the honor to stand where her tiny find was made. As the search for more discoveries continues I have been privileged to search with both Jack Horner and Dave Trexler. In the great quest for knowledge, she played her part well, now it is for us to carry on with the next act. What a massive contribution from an amateur and so tiny a find. As others ogle over the next major discovery, keep all this in mind and tell us more of your own tiny find. Eric P. Made with great assistance by David Trexler
  7. Fossil Hunting on Mars

    Looking For Fossils On The Surface Of Mars Brian Koberlein, Forbes, May 28, 2018 https://www.forbes.com/sites/briankoberlein/2018/05/29/looking-for-fossils-on-the-surface-of-mars/ McMahon, S., Bosak, T., Grotzinger, J.P., Milliken, R.E., Summons, R.E., Daye, M., Newman, S.A., Fraeman, A., Williford, K.H. and Briggs, D.E.G., 2018. A Field Guide to Finding Fossils on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. First published: 02 May 2018 https://doi.org/10.1029/2017JE005478 https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2017JE005478 PDF file at: https://authors.library.caltech.edu/86220/1/McMahon_et_al-2017-Journal_of_Geophysical_Research%3A_Planets.pdf https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324904704_A_Field_Guide_to_Finding_Fossils_on_Mars Yours, Paul H.
  8. 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.
  9. CALVERT MARINE MUSEUM DESIGNATED AS MARYLAND STATE PALEONTOLOGY CENTER http://www.calvertmarinemuseum.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=278&ARC=418
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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!
  19. Hello! I am a novice on the forum and in this hobby too. And I have started my collection fossils not so long ago, in fact most interesting examples are on their way to me. But I think that it would be reasonable to make a thread about Moscow Paleontological Museum, because it is one of my favorite and often visited museums in my native city. Not so long ago I visited it once again and made some photos. Mammoth Myxopterus (cast)
  20. 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!
  21. 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
  22. There is a new paper about the paleontology of Bears Ears National Monument that is available online as a preprint. It is: Uglesich, J., Gay, R.J. and Stegner, M.A., 2017. Paleontology of the Bears Ears National Monument: history of exploration and designation of the monument. PeerJ Preprints, 5, no. e3442v1. https://peerj.com/preprints/3442/ https://peerj.com/user/62073/ Another paper, which is available online, summarizes the archaeology of Bears Ears National Monument. It is: Burrilio, R.E., 2017. The Archaeology of Bears Ears. The SAA Archaeological Record. 15, 5, pp. 9 -18. http://www.saa.org/Portals/0/Record_Nov_2017 SAAweb.pdf http://onlinedigeditions.com/publication/?m=16146&l=1#{"issue_id":455593,"page":0} http://www.saa.org/AbouttheSociety/Publications/TheSAAArchaeologicalRecord/tabid/64/Default.aspx Yours, Paul
  23. 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.
  24. 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?
  25. 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
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