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Recently, I did some prep work on a couple of specimens that may turn out to be new crab species. This prep work was done in exchange for some trade specimens that I didn't have in my collection. As part of the trades, my new friend generous provided a starfish fossil. This starfish specimen was loose and a small part of one arm was missing. Since I prefer specimens in the matrix, decided to try to mount the specimen in some matrix. However, since I didn't have matrix from the location, my friend later provided a slab with some oysters in it. Apparently, starfish are often found (when found) in association with oysters. Both sets of specimens needed some preparation. After prepping and reconstructing the missing part of the starfish and the oyster plate, I excavated and molded a spot for the starfish. Wanted to be able to remove the starfish so you could look at the oral side. This starfish shows its madreporite and the small spines on the oral side. Very cool. I recognize that this was a created association, however, it represents an association found in natural environment of the locale. Hopefully, this plate falls within the preparation category. Finished this work in May. Wish I had taken pics of the befores and afters...Argg.
Here's a treat for the troops. These have been hidden from public and scientific view since they were acquired from the finder. I purchased them from a civil war relic hunter and collector, who claimed to have these found together, but he wouldn't divulge exactly where. I suspect coastal Charleston, north to possibly southern NC, based upon his distance of travel from the sale, which was the old Civil War Museum, located in downtown Myrtle Beach - Mid 90's.(A friend who worked there, alerted me of the seller's presence.) The owner also collected fossils and displayed these, so it was known as a place of trade and sale for both artifacts and fossils. When I first saw them, I immediately recognized the possibility that they were a pair, and likely land finds, but what I didn't expect to discover, was their curious potential axial relationship. Published relative axial ratios of known or suspected associated sets reveal similar math to what I've found in these Both appear to be from the same side of the jaw, which makes a reasonable argument for how they may have literally, come together in the first place. I've managed to contact one nationally recognized expert who seems intrigued. Unfortunately, there's probably no DNA remaining, but if you've ever watched Forensic Files on TV, more than just DNA is often used to establish beyond a reasonable doubt. I think this is also a good time for a poll, recognizing of course that you can't see these in person.