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Found 24 results

  1. Hi all, I've been searching the internet pretty thoroughly the last few weeks, checking everywhere multiple times a day to find a low-quality keichousaurus to practice prepping on, (knowing that 95% of specimens are fabricated or heavily restored) and I think I may have found one. The price is so reasonable that I really don't care whether or not it's partially fake or restored, as it will make a decent display or even a gift if it turns out to be 100% fabricated. So I suppose I'm wondering how much of this specimen looks fabricated, and if it would even be possible to attempt an air abrasive or acid prep for this guy? How rare is it to fabricate or even partially restore a keichousaurus that's still mostly covered in shale?
  2. Advanced Dinosaur Egg Guide

    The Advanced Dinosaur Egg Guide Please share this with those who have egg questions. When possible, technical terms were avoided or defined. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, but it is always important to do your own research. This guide is merely a snapshot of information taken from many scientific publications. I am not an expert on eggs, rather I just love sharing what little I have learned over the years, what science has learned over the years. For an overview on how to spot a fossilized dinosaur egg and the sizes of eggs, see the basic guide: Somewhat outdated yet still a good overview of dinosaur reproduction and eggs, with a focus on Mongolia: What is so special about eggs? The amniotic egg is one of the most significant evolutionary adaptations as it allowed vertebrate life to permanently exist on land. Long before the dinosaurs and their modern descendants including the chicken, the egg came first. In fact, the better question to ask is “Which came first? The lizard or the egg?” Before the amniotic egg, amphibians and some fish were the only vertebrates able to even venture on land and only for rather short periods of time. A great deal of information has come from studying eggs. What we have learned is summarized as: From University of California Museum of Paleontology Egg Anatomy: Using the best known modern avian dinosaur, the chicken--scientifically Gallus gallus, let us go over the different parts of an egg: “(A) The generalized anatomy of an egg. (B) The chicken eggshell comprises three crystalline layers, including the mammillary layer, prismatic layer, and external layer. The cuticle layer overlying the calcareous eggshell is further divided to two layers, including a HAp inner layer and a proteinaceous outer layer. The shell membrane, namely membrane testacea, is also characterized by two layers. (C) SEM image of the cuticle on the surface of the Gallus eggshell, showing a patchy and cracked pattern. (D) SEM image of the radial section of the Gallus eggshell. The white arrow indicates the cuticle layer that lies on the calcitic eggshell.” From Yang et al. 2018 Fig. 1 Those were technical terms, so how about we simplify. The chicken egg has three distinct shell layers mainly made of calcite, then a soft membrane on the inside of that. What is known as egg whites are the albumen which surrounds the yellow yolk located near the center. The embryo develops within the albumen and is fed with nutrients stored in the yolk. The surface of eggshell is full of openings, tiny pores, and these allow for gas to pass through the shell. A developing embryo needs to breathe just like any animal. Additional information: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/science/eggshell/eggshell1.php How to spot a fake egg: First, the best way to avoid fake eggs is to go and collect them yourself. Always make sure to follow the laws and have permission to collect. In the United States, typically a good way to follow the law is through collection on private land with expressed permission from the landowner. Views of paleontologists do range on private ownership of fossils with many not condoning or endorsing. I personally have little issue with it since amateur collectors have made countless important finds while prospecting for their personal collection. If you are going to buy, do everything possible to ensure the egg or any fossil was legally collected. Often with fake eggs everything seems too perfect. Eggs are delicate and easily crushed or damaged so if there are no signs of any damage or natural alterations be very wary. If the surface has ridges, check to see those ridges continue across a crack or break of the shell. Many fake eggs are mosaics made up of real eggshell fragments assembled together in an egg shape. These mosaics tend to not have the eggshell match on opposite sides of a crack. If you would like more information beyond what is provided or have an unanswered question, feel free to start a thread. If after reading, you want to purchase an egg then please ask the seller for the best pictures they can provide of that egg with something to show scale such as a ruler and start a thread. There are many on the forum who are happy help determine if an egg is in fact real. Just please, whether collecting or buying, make sure you know the laws and follow them. A few good threads on real vs fake eggs: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/69391-examples-of-commonly-faked-dino-eggs/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/83533-red-flag-on-hadrosaur-egg/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/71462-beware-of-hadrosaur-eggs/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/79465-this-is-how-realistic-a-fakereplica-oviraptor-egg-looks/ How are eggshell and eggs classified? Many people try to name an egg to a specific dinosaur, usually incorrectly. With embryonic remains, however, an egg can be scientifically linked to a particular dinosaur (explained in the next section). Another accepted way for eggs to be linked is through a pregnant female, there are examples of females which died while carry eggs internally. Adults on top of a clutch can be used however only with caution. Eggs are given their own naming scheme just as animals have theirs. In normal taxonomy, we have species, genus, and family whereas eggs have an oospecies, oogenus, and oofamily. The term used for egg taxonomy is parataxonomy. Parataxonomy is used in place of traditional taxonomy when an actual animal or plant cannot be linked, for example--from a lack of data. In the case of Troodon formosus, its eggs are the oofamily Prismatoolithidae, oogenus Prismatoolithus, and oospecies levis. Parataxonomy is the same system used for trace fossils, such as footprints which are normally not linked to the dinosaur who made them. What is inside a fossilized egg? Is there a yolk? What about bones? Very rarely are embryonic bones found, typically eggs have been filled in with sediments. These then lithify (become rock) and so the inside of nearly all fossil eggs is rock that is similar, if not identical, to the surrounding rock. Eggshell is brittle by its nature and so often cracks, these cracks allow whatever sediments are surrounding to fill in the egg and, depending on how recent it was laid to said crack, allow the amniotic sac and other fluids to drain out. Here is a CT scan of some eggs I am working on. You can see how the surrounding rock is very similar to the inside of the eggs. In addition to looking for embryonic material, the scan gives us information on the infill, the true shape of the eggs, and reveals anything which could otherwise not be seen within them. Sometimes insects can be found near an egg, for example. Embryonic bones from the oviraptor Citipati, this embryo is curled within the egg. From Wikimedia Commons Importance of Embryonic bones: https://youtu.be/cubdagTiRHE?t=48 Embryonic remains are vital for an actual animal ID, so any chance of them being present must be investigated. If you have any tiny bones which can be seen inside an egg or directly near it, I would strongly encourage you to take the specimen to your nearest paleontology related museum or university. If it does have embryonic remains in or near, then the specimen is invaluable to science. The presence of those tiny remains allows for the next question to be asked. Do we know who laid this egg? Which particular dinosaur? Most likely no, there are some wonderful exceptions though. Several ootaxa (eggshell type) are known to the dinosaur genus or family they were laid by. Here are some examples of eggs and eggshell which were linked scientifically to a particular dinosaur from embryonic remains. Dinosaur or family and its known egg type, oogenus or oofamily. This list is not comprehensive as new discoveries and revisions are made every year. Allosaurus sp. known to Preprismatoolithus coloradensis. (This is debated) Beibeilong (Oviraptor) known to Elongatoolithidae. Citipati (Oviraptor) known to Elongatoolithidae. (See the picture above) Gobipipus (Avian) known to Gobioolithus minor. Heyuannia (Oviraptor) known to Elongatoolithidae. Hypacrosaurus (Hadrosaur) known to Spheroolithus oosp. Lourinhanosaurus (Theropod) known to cf. Preprismatoolithus. Maiasaura (Hadrosaur) known to Spheroolithus oosp. Oviraptorid known to Elongatoolithidae. Therizinosauroid (med to large theropod) known to Dendroolithidae. Titanosaur (Sauropod) known to Megaloolithus patagonicus. Troodon (small Theropod) known to Prismatoolithus levis. Generally, be wary of any claim that an egg was laid by a certain dinosaur! Additional information: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/science/eggshell/eggshell3.php What groups of dinosaurs do we have eggs for? The vast majority of eggs are from non-avian theropods. This group includes dromaeosaurs (like Velociraptor), allosaurs, and tyrannosaurs. We also have eggs from Mesozoic aves (birds), hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs) and sauropods (long-necks). It is worth noting when we say that the majority of eggs are therapod we mean it. Around 61% of the eggs found globally are therapod and between 41-64% are maniraptorans (birds and their closest non-avian dinosaur relatives). For the others the numbers are much smaller: 7% are sauropods, 13% are ornithischians (hadrosaurs and relatives) with 19% still unknown and that is no yolk. Here is an example of a clutch from an oviraptor, elongated eggs are typical of many theropods: Pic from The Zuhl Museum On the non-dinosaur side of things, we also have eggs from turtles, crocodiles, lizards, and pterosaurs (flying reptiles). There are several groups of dinosaurs who have no egg representation in the fossil record yet. Despite many people trying to find them, there are still no ceratopsian (horned dinosaur) eggs. There are no ankylosaur (armored dinosaur) or stegosaur (spiked/plated dinosaur) eggs as of yet either. This could simply be due to bias in the fossil record but there also could be other factors. Perhaps, it is a case like the ichthyosaur (marine reptile), which gave live birth, unlike most reptiles that lay eggs. Most of us are familiar with the platypus in the mammalian world, which lay eggs despite being a mammal. Maybe some dinosaurs did not actually lay eggs. Now that would be an eggciting discovery! Below one can see how similar clutches are for two very different types of hadrosaurs. The above is a rather typical egg clutch for a hadrosaur with spherical shaped eggs. Some of these eggs had embryonic remains which allowed them to be identified to a dinosaur. In this case they were narrowed down to within the lambeosaurinae subfamily but sadly could not be narrowed further. Pic from Museum of the Rockies Clutch of another hadrosaur, the good mother Maiasaura. Again, the eggs are spherical and embryonic remains allowed the eggs to be linked with Maiasaura. Pic from Museum of the Rockies The great identification mistake: Now that it is abundantly clear the only way to link a dinosaur and an egg is with embryonic bone. Why is that? Surely there must be other ways to ID who an egg is from. Well, let me share the story of poor Oviraptor, who was wrongly accused of stealing eggs. When the first Oviraptor was discovered, the skeleton was not alone. Underneath it was a clutch of eggs. At the time there were no embryonic remains in these eggs, so it was assumed that the strange looking animal was, in fact, stealing the eggs from Protoceratops, hence the name oviraptor meaning “egg thief.” Later, not far from the original site, another nest was found, this time with an almost perfectly preserved embryo. The embryo was clearly of that of an Oviraptor to be eggs-act. So, with both discoveries, paleontologists determined that Oviraptor was actually a brooding dinosaur much like birds today. This story is an eggcellent example of science improving upon itself and the need to be careful with assumptions. Paleontology is an ever-changing field, which constantly works to improve our understanding of the prior natural world. A common incorrect identification nowadays is that of “Tarbosaurus eggs.” Tarbosaurus is very similar to Tyrannosaurus rex, however, it lived in Asia. Among the largest of eggs ever found, were two measuring 11 cm (4.3 in) wide and an amazing 60 cm (24 in) long. The elongated shape meant they were probably from a large theropod and so were thought to be from Tarbosaurus. Scientifically these eggs are the oogenus macroelongatoolithus. Based on detailed analysis, these eggs most likely are from a large oviraptor and not Tarbosaurus. Alright, so then how are eggs differentiated and how without embryonic bones would an egg likely be from an oviraptor? How are eggs distinguished from each other? We went over how to link a dinosaur to an egg, what about one egg to another or finding differences between eggs? Well, there are a few different ways, one is the surface of eggshell. Many eggs have different textures but surface texture can be eroded or altered so cannot be used alone. Thickness and porosity of eggshell can be measured and provide solid data points for comparisons. Two of the best techniques for examining eggshell are with the use of SEM and thin sections. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) is a very powerful microscope, which can view objects in eggstreme detail. Petrographic thin sections are tiny slices of a rock so thin that light can actually pass through it. Both SEM and thin sections allow for the tiny details of eggshell to be visible, meaning unique traits, variations, and similarities can all be seen. Below are two types of eggshell, how many differences can you spot? A thin section of hadrosaur eggshell, there is only a single continuous layer. Pic from University of Calgary A thin section of oviraptor eggshell, there are two distinct layers with the arrow showing the point where both meet. Pic from University of Calgary On thick eggshell, the cross-section view can often show many details otherwise too small to see. Below is Faveoolithus eggshell, which is large enough to show the internal structure of the shell itself. Pic from Montana State University, taken by P. Germano Naming: Dinosaur eggs, much like actual dinosaurs, are named following a convention with information in the name, and normally an honor to an individual or location where it was discovered. As already covered, naming uses a system of parataxonomy and with eggs, this is called ootaxonomy. Using the method covered above, similarities and differences of eggshell can be identified. Based on these similarities and differences, eggs can be grouped. Some of these groups are associated with a type of dinosaur. As already covered, from embryonic remains or other methods an animal can be linked and associated to its eggs. Sometimes eggs can be grouped based on similarities yet there are no ways to associate them with a dinosaur, so these are listed as unknown. An egg group being associated to a type of dinosaur does not mean all eggs within the group are exclusive to that single type of dinosaur. Some eggs were named prior to the naming convention being established or do not fit any of the known groups, as such these have a truly unique name. That said, most eggs fit one of the following: Name- dinosaurs associated Sphero- Hadrosaurs Ovalo- Unknown Faveo- Unknown (Could be sauropods) Megalo- Titanosaurs Dictyo- theropods Dendro- Therizinosaurs Elongato- Oviraptors Prismato- Troodontids Egg and dinosaur associations, from top to bottom, Elongato- with Oviraptors, Sphero- with Hadrosaurs, Prismato- with Troodontids, Dictyo- and similar eggs from unknown theropods. Pic from the Royal Tyrrell Museum What time periods do we have eggs from? Nearly every egg from the Mesozoic is from within the Late Cretaceous. One study found of 238 eggs examined, 225 were from the Late Cretaceous, 10 from the Early Cretaceous, 2 from during the Late Jurassic and a single egg from the early Jurassic. Since then more eggs have been found, yet the trend holds. A likely explanation for such massive bias would be the Late Cretaceous is more recent so eggs from then are more likely to be preserved and undergo less alteration. Did an egg hatch? The hatching question is a difficult one to answer scientifically with most egg specimens, of course, a nearly complete egg is likely unhatched. Much of the strength in eggs comes from their shape and this means once there is an opening in the shell that strength is lost. There are many ways for an egg to break, one of which is the baby breaking out, but many of the broken eggs we find may have yielded no baby. The term unhatched and failed are often used interchangeably but the term failed is preferred as “unhatched” which implies the egg was fertilized and had a real chance. It is possible and likely probable that no fertilization was the cause for many eggs to not hatch. An overview of the different ways an egg can be filled. From Mueller-Towe et al. (2002) Nest? For as rare as eggs are, finding an egg clutch within a sedimentary structure is many times rarer. There have been several sedimentary structures found around egg clutches, which were interpreted as nests. One of the most interesting of these is a “U” shaped structure which looks similar to a horseshoe, see the picture below. In the center of this “U” shaped structure was a clutch of Troodon eggs. It is possible many nests were constructed like modern bird nests, with sticks, straw, leaves and other such material. This material in nest building, unfortunately, means they would most likely not preserve. Possible nest structure for Troodon, tape measure equals 1m (39in) and the white plaster jacket is covering a clutch of Troodon eggs. Modified from Varricchio et al. 1997 How can we tell what happened to an egg and the nest? By studying modern nests, it was found eggshell fragments tend not to travel very far while remaining in large concentrations. This means when a large grouping of eggshell fragments are found, it is unlikely they have moved much. Modern eggshell fragments can be found in ratios of concave up vs concave down based on what happened to the nest. For example, if a nest had a predator come and eat eggs, the eggshell would be concave up vs down in a ratio of about 70:30, sometimes 65:35. Obviously, if the eggshell fragments are moved then ratios will not work, but again, where high concentrations of eggshell are found, there was little to no movement. The ratio technique is still in the early stages of being applied to nest from the Mesozoic so in time there may be more information. The Emu eggshell above is concave-up. Pic by P. Germano The Emu eggshell below is concave down. Pic by P. Germano In both pictures, different layers of the eggshell can be seen and such layering indicates the eggshell is from a theropod, in this particular case, an avian. Where in the world are dinosaur eggs found? Eggs are extremely rare and there are only a select number of places where they have been found so far. Eggshell fragments, on the other hand, are actually rather common and can be found in many formations. One main reason eggshell is relatively abundant compared to complete eggs is that a single egg when broken can become dozens of fragments. Geographically eggs so far were found in Argentina, Canada, China, Columbia, France, Great Britain, India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Peru, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United States, and Uruguay. Within Canada, eggs are exclusively found in Alberta. Within the USA, eggs have been found in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. The vast majority of eggs are found in Asia. Additional information: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/science/eggshell/eggshell4.php Did dinosaurs care for their young? It seems that many dinosaurs did in fact care for their young. Evidence for this has been found on multiple continents. There is still debate over the type and amount of care the parents may have provided. There are two major variations in care being debated, and these come down to whether the offspring were altricial or precocial. See the list of terms near the end of this guide for definitions. One possibility is that a group of adults would use cooperative breeding to care for a clutch, this is basically the village raising a child approach. With theropods, in particular Oviraptor, the presence of adults on eggs does support incubation and possibly even brooding. Hatchlings have been found within a nest and could have died there for many reasons, brood reduction and siblicide are both entirely possible. Given the diversity of dinosaurs, it is likely different dinosaurs provided varying levels of care for their young. Modern example showing a female crocodile providing care: Modern example of a spoonbill bird raising young: Some dinosaurs such as the sauropod titanosaurs, likely did not care for their young but rather used the same strategy as sea turtles. A large group of females would lay hundreds of eggs at once to overwhelm the predators and just by sheer numbers allowing some of the babies to live to adulthood. Are there any diseases or mutations of eggshells? Yes, we have paleopathologies found in eggshell. Paleo meaning ancient and pathology being the study of diseases, so paleopathology is the study of ancient diseases. One of the more common is where two or more layers of eggshell overlap in a way where the pores no longer pass through the entire shell, this reduces the amount of oxygen an embryo can receive. Too many of the pores being misaligned can be fatal. What color were eggs? One of the most recent breakthroughs in egg research is an ability to determine colors present within fossilized eggshell. Interestingly, from the eggs so far examined there seem to be many colors and patterns. With this being rather new to the field, not many eggs have been tested plus there is likely some error and bias. Even so, there are remarkable results. Some eggs were simple, just white. Some were speckled. Many were dull earthy colors, while others were green and blue. Given their close relationship, it is logical to assume dinosaur eggs could show any variations of what we see from either crocs or birds. Modern crocodiles have white eggs whereas modern bird eggs range in color and pattern. Interestingly, even within the same bird species there is a range in color, so it is entirely possible dinosaur eggs from the same species also vary in color. Three modern chicken eggs showing variation in colors and size. From Wikimedia Commons What is working with eggs like? Fieldwork: The basic process of removing eggs from the ground is very similar to that of removing fossilized bones. The approximate size of an egg is figured out and then the area around it is trenched until a plateau is formed. Next, a plaster jacket is made encasing the plateau. The bottom of this is removed until the whole thing can be “popped.” After which it is flipped and then is ready to be brought back to the museum. An egg at a new nesting site just after I uncovered it. Pic from the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center Jacketing an egg at Egg Mountain in Montana. Pics by D. O’Farrell. To find small fragments of eggshell and embryonic bones, removed rock is often sifted. Since they are so small—and also a rock surrounded by rocks—many times until sifted, the tiny bones or eggshell are not visible. Sifting for eggshell, here I am showing Paleontologist Barbie an example eggshell fragment. Pic from Coffeewithhallelujah After viewing the example fragment, my esteemed colleague Paleontologist Barbie was able to find an eggshell fragment. Can you find the piece of eggshell below? Pic from Coffeewithhallelujah Preparing and reconstructing an egg: Eggs tend to be more tedious and require more patience than normal prep work. Eggs are not that difficult to prepare, however, to an even greater extent than bones, they are very unforgiving. Reassembling a fossil bone after a mistake is not necessarily easy, however it is normally possible. The same often cannot be said for fossilized eggs. If you ever want to try and reconstruct a dino egg, just save the last chicken egg after cracking it and then try to reassemble. Remember, chickens are dinosaurs and their eggs make a decent modern analog to a classic theropod egg. Eggs in context- The Two Medicine Formation: To bring us all the way back to the beginning, what is the importance of studying eggs? Why bother? The primary geologic formation I have spent the last seven years working in is the Two Medicine and in terms of eggs, it is the most significant location in North America. One newly discovered nest I am fortunate enough to have an ongoing role in excavating and scientifically describing. From eggs and embryonic remains, the ecosystem of the Two Medicine is relatively well known compared to nearly every other formation. In terms of paleoecology, nesting sites show where adults felt safe and secure with enough food, water, and other resources. Within this formation was true evidence for parental care, particularly care in the form of nurture similar to birds. Behavior is nearly impossible to deduce from the limited fossil record, yet the care for young is strongly supported thanks to discoveries in the Two Med. Three dinosaurs from the formation have been linked to their eggs, Hypacrosaurus, Maiasaura, and Troodon. It may not seem impressive but three dinosaurs with embryonic remains is a truly remarkable find and incredibly rare. Even now, after over forty years of study, the Two Med continues to surprise with new nesting sites. Read about how the Two Medicine and Maiasaura was discovered: Additional information: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/science/eggshell/eggshell_case1.php https://www.nps.gov/articles/mesozoic-egg-mountain-dawson-2014.htm https://serc.carleton.edu/research_education/mt_geoheritage/sites/augusta_choteau/paleontology.html http://www.georgialifetraces.com/2014/07/15/tracing-the-two-medicine/ http://www.georgialifetraces.com/2014/08/04/fossil-visions-in-the-two-medicine/ Dinosaurs as living animals: Eggs allow us to see these animals as just that, animals. There is a reason many feel sad when seeing a baby dinosaur still in its egg, yet the same sadness tends to not be shown for adults. Why? The poor baby was deprived of an actual life and it is easy to relate. When covering a natural disaster, one goal of reporting is to humanize the story. In a similar way, when reporting on dinosaurs, it is important to try and do the same. Eggs allow us to come far closer to dinosaurs as true animals than I feel we ever will through bones alone. Eggs and reproduction give a window into the lives of these wonderful animals. When trying to describe what separates something living from an inanimate object, the ability to reproduce is used as a major criterion, therefore making it one of the most important aspects of dinosaurs to study in detail. Some Relevant Terms: These typically are used for modern birds and the classic theropods. Altricial: A developmental classification where at hatching, the offspring are relatively immobile, lack feathers or down, have closed eyes and are completely dependent on their parents for survival. Altricial birds include herons, hawks, woodpeckers, owls, and most passerine songbirds. Brood (n): The offspring of an animal which are hatched or cared for at one time. Brood (v): To sit on and keep warm. Brooding: To sit on and keep offspring warm when they cannot maintain their own body temperatures. Brood reduction: A reproductive strategy where the female lays more eggs than can be cared for and raised. The smallest and weakest of the brood typically starve or are killed by siblings. Clutch: Total number of eggs laid by a female in one nest attempt, often 3 or more. Conspecific: Of the same species. Cooperative breeding: Breeding system where non-parental adults assist other breeding pairs (usually their own parents) to rear offspring, instead of dispersing from the nest or breeding themselves. Incubation: The process by which parents keep eggs at the proper temperature to ensure normal embryonic development until hatching. In most cases, birds sit on eggs and transfer their body heat through a patch of skin known as the brood patch. In many species, only the female incubates; in other species, both males and females incubate. Less common is where only the male incubates. Precocial: Offspring are capable of a high degree of independent activity immediately after hatching. Precocial young typically can move about, have their eyes open and will be covered in down at hatching. They are generally able to walk away from the nest as soon as they have dried off. Siblicide: The death of a young animal usually as a result of fighting with siblings over food, common in years when food is in short supply. Further reading and information: https://www.amnh.org/our-research/paleontology/about-the-division/more/fossil-identification/dinosaur-eggs-fossil-identification http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/science/eggshell/index.php http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/science/eggshell/eggshell_hirsch.php http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/science/eggshell/eggshell5.php https://feederwatch.org/blog/raptors-make-good-neighbors-hummingbirds/ Images: University of California Museum of Paleontology: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/ Yang et al. 2018: https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.5144 Montana State University: http://www.montana.edu/ Two Medicine Dinosaur Center: http://www.tmdinosaurcenter.org/ Royal Tyrrell Museum: http://tyrrellmuseum.com/ Museum of the Rockies: https://museumoftherockies.org/ The Zuhl Museum: https://zuhlmuseum.nmsu.edu/ Dr. Tony Martin: http://www.georgialifetraces.com/ Mueller-Towe et al. 2002: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260391508_Hatching_and_infilling_of_dinosaur_eggs_as_revealed_by_computed_tomography University of Calgary Hadrosaur eggshell: https://www.ucalgary.ca/drg/imagesort/00S000500 Oviraptor eggshell: https://www.ucalgary.ca/drg/imagesort/00S001300 Varricchio et al. 1997: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232793785_Nest_and_egg_clutches_of_the_dinosaur_Troodon_formosus_and_the_evolution_of_avian_reproductive_traits Coffeewithhallelujah: http://coffeewithhallelujah.blogspot.com/2015/07/paleontologist-barbie-at-two-medicine.html Wikimedia Commons Citipati: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citipati Chicken eggs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_as_food List of open access egg related papers: Thanks to the late Joe Gallo for this wonderful list. Disclaimer: For legal purposes, it should be noted links to an institution does not constitute endorsement by the respective institution and pictures are used here for educational purposes only. All rights belong to their respective owners. From the 2018 SVP meeting, my poster, which was a presentation on new dinosaur eggs. Pic from the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center Many thanks to J. Cozart and L. Murphy for writing some sections as well as edits. Thanks to D. Lawver, Ph.D. for reviewing the information presented. I especially would like to thank @Fossildude19 for assisting me and additionally thank these members for input and suggestions: @Troodon . @Seguidora-de-Isis . @HamptonsDoc . @-Andy- Eric P.
  3. This post isn't so much about the fossils, but about me honoring the memory of Joe Gallo. It was the day I went out to do that in my own way and say goodbye and find closure for myself. So, if you're all about the fossils you may want to move on to another post. Two weeks ago Saturday I was on call. I had planned to go poking around at a Pleistocene area I had seen the day before NE of where I lived, but I got called into work to work on a kidney transplant. I worked from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. By then it was too late to go to the Pleistocene area since it was over an hour away from where I worked and I’d have little time to hunt before sundown. I opted to go to a place about 20 minutes from my work where Joe Gallo, Fruitbat had taken me in April, this past Spring to fossil hunt. As I drove there I got emotional and tried to stifle my tears. I pulled into the area and parked my car. I sat there a few seconds trying to figure out what to do and how to go about this. I came here to remember Joe and say goodbye. I wasn't really sure how I was supposed to do it. I'd never done a fossil hunting memorial thing before. This was the only thing I could think of to get some closure and honor our friendship. It was going to where he had taken me. All the other places we had hunter were places I took him. I got out of my car and stood there looking at an open field of sorts strewn with a network of eroded washes and rocks. Joe had parked his Jeep Liberty right there. I visualized the position of everything how it was that Spring day when we were there. I remembered our conversation, where we walked as we hunted there and the poor mama killdeer bird Joe harassed. He wanted to see her nest. She was fierce and courageous. I laughed at him for harassing her. He said he didn't want to accidently step on the eggs and destroy them. I stood there and cried remembering. The field was an area of the Eagle Ford group I had not been to before that day in April. It had chunks of Kamp Ranch material all over the place, which consisted of finely crushed shell material imbedded in thin orange plates of something resembling sandstone. There really weren’t any obvious fossils there. That day in April we both looked. Joe mostly harassed the mama bird (I'm joking). This was the mama killdeer standing up to Joe. While I went to investigate some of the network of washes to see if I could find anything in them. I didn’t find anything. After a few minutes I walked back over to Joe. He held out a small piece of the Kamp Ranch to me and said “Here look at this.” He had a smile in his eyes as I took it. He didn’t say what it was. I looked at the plate looking at the tiny pieces of crushed shells. I didn't see anything so I flipped it over. Then on the other side there I saw a small little shark tooth! My face lit up with a smile. I said "That is really cool!” I held it out to give back to him and he said “No, it is for you.” Now he had a big smile on his face. I was touched. I said something to the effect of “Awh, thank you Joe. Are you sure you don’t want it?” He insisted I keep it. He often tried to give fossils to me that he found while we were out hunting. Some I insisted he keep. The shark tooth is my favorite though. It sits in my kitchen window above the sink. I walked off to looked bit longer. I found a pretty cool looking plate of ammonite impressions. It was the only fossil I found there worth keeping and the only thing I saw related to ammonites, but it was pretty cool. This was the shark tooth and my ammonite plate I found We had hunted a few other places that day and at that point it was getting close to sunset. I needed to go home. I stood there talking to Joe. He always seemed like a rather lonely man to me, although he denied that was the case. He was a loner and when I asked about friends he had he said that most had died or moved away and lived elsewhere. He didn't have any in the area. From what I gathered it seemed he didn’t have people he spent time with on a regular basis at all, if ever, besides his daughter who lived a few hours away. He had retired within the last year, so maybe he was still getting adjusted to being retired after teaching for 39 years in the Dallas Independent School district. Over the short time we had known one another we had talked about our childhoods a bit and had things in common. Our childhoods had been painful and difficult. I guess you could say we were both wounded souls. Part of our friendship was based on that connection of understanding what it was like and how it impacted our lives even now. I had found significate healing and come to a beautiful peace about my childhood over the years and was happy to help anyone along on their journey who was interested in finding it too. We had many shared interests. He had a B.S in Chemistry, a B.S. in Biology and a Masters in Molecular biology . I had a B.S. in Biology and Medical Technology with a minor in chemistry and I did a lot of molecular biology in my work. So we had a lot in common in our educational background. We both love of plants. We both had a strong interest in ferns. Joe knew so much more than I about them. He had collected native ferns all over Texas. We both liked gardening, camping, photography and traveling and of course fossils. I have 50/50 custody of my kids. On the weeks I was without them I needed to occupy myself with something, because my house seemed so empty without them. That was when Joe and I would occasionally go out to dinner, go fossil hunting or just talk. He had been married twice and divorced from both. I was still going through divorce and had been for a year at that point. His last spouse and mine would have made a good match. We had enjoyed hunting and talking that day in April. He was a really nice, sweet guy with a quiet disposition. He was quite a bit older than I was. Our interest were simply friendship and someone to hang out with occasionally and go hunting now and then, nothing more. I also was eager to learn anything related to paleontology from him that I could. I hoped that he would be willing to be a mentor of sorts and he seemed delighted to do what he could to teach me what he knew about paleontology. As I stood there talking with him somehow I felt the void of people in his life. I am a very warm and affectionate person to my friends and family. I give hugs when I see them and when we part. Human touch is important to me. Many years ago when I did my clinical year of rotations for my Med tech degree I had lived with my grandmother in Florida. There were numerous times she would want to just hold hands with me. She said it was lonely getting old. She usually lived alone when I was not there. So I would sit and hold hands with her. Human touch meant a lot to her too. She taught me to see the need in others for human touch and have compassion for them in their need. I was of the belief that Joe didn’t get to experience human touch very often, since he lived alone. I thought I could be an agent to impart that to him. I can’t imagine how deprived I would feel if I didn’t get to hug and kiss my kids everyday. I thought about living alone as Joe did and I felt a sadness for him never getting to experience human touch and hugs and such. So before we parted I asked if I could give him a hug. I always feel awkward when I ask a man that so I always feel the need to qualify it. I told him it wasn’t romantic or anything like that, it was just the belief that all humans need to experience human touch and I thought he had a shortage of that in his life. He admitted that he never really got to experience human touch. So he gladly accepted my offer of a hug. I gave him a nice big hug. I think the hug really touched him. The look on his face became very soft, like I had melted his heart. It felt good to communicate care to him. We said goodbye and we got in our cars and parted ways. As I remembered that the tears really started flowing. I felt happy that I had not been too shy to offer the hug and miss the opportunity to communicate care for someone who would be gone too soon, in only a little over 4 months or so. I had come here to remember our friendship and hunting together and to say goodbye to him in my own way since I was not able to attend any service. I gave myself a moment to grieve. I bought tissue with me and had a good cry for the loss of him and the plans we made, but were never able to do. Then I said a little prayer for God to comfort me in my loss to help me find a new hunting buddy and mentor type. I also prayed for help to find something really nice to honor the memory of Joe and our friendship. That done I put the tissue away, pulled myself together and got my pack out of the trunk of my car and began the hunt. There really aren’t many fossils to speak of other than the crushed shells. So I was skeptical that I would find anything at all, but I wanted to believe that I would find something worthy of serving as a token and reminder of friendship. I had no idea my request would be grant, but it was. I walked around for a few minutes looking at the Kamp Ranch material. I wasn’t finding much of anything. I crossed over into a grassy area and walked around for a bit. I found a few cool pieces of septarian nodules with almost all aragonite that still had shell in them. They were cool, but didn’t really measure up to the kind of thing I was looking for to serve as a memorial type specimen for me personally. I walked around a couple more minutes and then from about 30 feet away I saw something! A big smile spread across my face. My heart began to beat a little faster as the rush of excitement at the potential this find may have. I quickly walked over to it to check it out. I knew exactly what it was. These things can be really good or they can be complete duds. I didn’t see anything yet to tell me it was going to be good, but I just knew in my heart it had to be for the sake of my friendship with Joe. It was going to be something to serve as a memorial to him in my house, so it had to be. This is what I found. I took off my pack and pulled out one of my trusty chisels and little sledge hammer. I placed the chisel over a crack running along the top of the rock. I gave it a couple of whacks. The rock looked loose enough to pry out. As I pulled out the 3 inch chunk of rock I saw a large cavity filled with small, fine, yellow calcite dog tooth crystals. Jackpot! This is the rock I pulled out of the cavity. This is what was inside. Sorry, no fossils really, but it did form around mollusks of some kind, maybe ammonite. It was better than I had even hoped for. I had been wanting to collect one of these since I found them for the first time nearly a year before. I didn’t find them here, but at a location not too far away. They were large and intimidating. Some that I saw were about 3 feet long, 2.5 feet wide and maybe 20-24 inches thick. I estimate they would weigh a few hundred pounds. The worked needed to extract them and break them up had always seemed so daunting to me. I had believed they would required more brawn than I thought I had or was willing to exert to be able to bring it home. So I had never attempted to collect one. Today would be the day though. I was determined to extract this large chunk of rock. I didn’t measure it, but my guess it was just over 2 feet long and maybe 18 inches wide and about 14 inches tall. I have no clue on the weight, but maybe 200 pounds or more I’d guess. This is a hint that I saw after I had already taken out the chunk. The little veins of aragonite showing on the outside of the nodule. I put the chunk aside and attempted to pull out a larger segment of the rock. I soon realized that I needed to dig a trench around the rock to get it out. I didn’t have digging tools in my pack. Thankfully my car was only a couple hundred yards (200 meters) away. I had a small shovel and small hoe type thing with three prongs on the other side. This was a thick clay which my little shovel wasn’t a match for, but the hoe tool worked pretty well to hack into the thick clay and pull out large chunks of it. I dug a little trench around one side and the end about 10 inches deep and 6-8 inches wide. With this I was able to pull out a few large chunks of the rock. I removed them and then laid them to the side and worked to remove more. I had to use the chisel a few times to split it up. There was no way I could lift it out or haul it to my car without breaking it up. I have removed a few big chunks and dug part of the trench around it here. The color and lighting are off on this one. The light was getting low so my phone camera was having difficulty with the lighting. This is it from the side after a bit of the outside chunks were removed. By this point the sun had sunk down behind the hill to the west of where I was, but it wasn’t sunset yet. I only had about half of it out. I had been working for about an hour or so already. I began to worry I wouldn’t be able to get it all out before dark. I had to work quickly. I began trying to remove the chunks on the back side of the nodule, but it wasn’t going too well. So I had to dig a bit of a trench on the back side hacking away at the clay again. As I hacked away I kept hitting the rock, but assumed I was just hitting the gray shale coating . I didn’t care much how it looked or if I chipped it so I kept trying to dig out the side. Only later did I realize that the septarian must have fractured and lost a large chunk from the backside of it. Sadly the rock I was hitting was not shale, but the exposed calcite crystal covered in thick clay. The sun had basically set, but there would still be light for a bit longer. The last two pieces I wanted to leave a bit larger. They were essentially loose, but I couldn’t get them to budge. The bases were attached to shale that was still imbedded in the ground. I sat down on the ground a couple feet away and put my feet on one of the pieces and pushed with my legs to dislodge it. It came lose after a couple attempts, but then it was so big and heavy I could barely lift it, but I was determined. The next piece was even more stubborn. I had to dig out from behind it a bit more and then I sat down again to try to dislodge it with my feet and legs. Instead of push it out of place I ended up pushing myself back. I dug deeper into the clay and removed it. I tried again to push it out. Finally it came lose. I began to quickly take the chunks to a little hill with a level embankment near my car and pile them there. After a couple trips I looked down at my muddy hands in the dim light and realized both of my hands were bleeding and covered in blood. The dog tooth calcite felt sharp, but I had not realized that I was being cut by it. It was too late to do anything about it now. The sun had fully set and it was getting dark pretty quickly. I continued carrying the rocks to the hill. Then there were little fragments and small, but good size rocks with crystal on them. I put those in two backpacks I had and carried them to my car with my tools. I left the hoe tool there and then came back to fill the hole back in with the dirt and other rocks lying around and tried to pack it back down so that it didn’t leave a little pit. Then I pulled my car up as close as I could to the pile and loaded it into my trunk. Finally I was done! In all it must have taken me close to 2 hours to dig it out and haul it to my car. It indeed was a lot of work, but I was so thankful it was so close to my car. I had some bottled water I used to pour over my hands to wash off the mud. Then I had wet wipes to clean them a bit more. My hands weren’t bleeding too bad. The cuts were more like bad paper cuts, but my palms and fingers were covered with the little cuts, but in my mind it was so worth it. I got in my car and pulled up to where I had parked before. I took one last look at the field, I was a bit teary eyes, but I felt this had been a good trip. No real fossils to speak of, but I honored the memory of a friend. I think he would think the nodule was cool. He would have liked it. The next day I spent quite a bit of time cleaning up crystal. It was very time consuming. I must have spend over 4 hours cleaning them. Since the septarian had broken open prior to me finding it all the cracks and crevices had filled with mud. Even with all that work I only managed to get maybe half of them cleaned to a reasonable degree. I'll post a few pics of them cleaned up next.
  4. echinoderm or what?

    this is 1/2" across, the opening is 3/8" sandstone matrix, calcite thingamacallit found in Meade Co, KY about 300 feet above the Ohio River. Thanks for help
  5. Calcite ammonite prep

    I found this lovely calcite ammonite at Saltwick Bay along the Yorkshire coast of the UK a while back. There was no shell remaining from what I can tell, leaving just the calcite formed inside. Not sure if this is common at all?
  6. Not a fossil.. what is it?

    Hi all, Would anyone be so kind to enlighten me as to what this is? I'm pretty sure I've ruled out any kind of coral. The outside appears to be calcite but I just can't work out the sponge-like looking formation inside. The location was Tor Bay, on a bay just north of Saltern Cove in-between Goodrington and Broadsands Beach. Mudstone and Limestone - Devonian. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  7. Navasota what the heck?

    So i stop by the Brazos in Navasota and find calcite reminiscent of rucks pit- And this....
  8. Well hello everyone!!! Are trip to the Texas Boarded and Ammonite Beach was one of top trips in Texas. The rumors about large ammonites were very true and our research and friends came thru with some locations. The biggest part of our trip was the work in getting our finds back to our vehicle. We had such a great time on Friday checking out the area as we promised our selves to just look and no collecting until we knew how far our searching areas is and if we found some to be patient. Well that rule went out the window with my wife as the ammonite fever hit her hard. She was grabbing everything in sight... oh lord I needed some extra strength if I was going to make it thru the weekend.... Well I’m use of carrying heavy packs when I go primitive camping. I know my limits and a canoe and pack is about 130-150 lbs but our portage’s are a couple100 feet. But I was tested for sure as as we started hiking to our spots. Location #1 Was a location we hit that allowed us to follow a railroad track for the first 1/4 mile and then on our turn we had to climb a couple of deep cliffs. So I told my wife that if we find any big pieces that she would have to make a choice. Picture or she can carry it out. But after she saw what we had to go thru she agreed and kept her mind on smaller fossils. We found some smaller ammonites at our location and we were pretty happy with the scouting. But we did noticed some tracks of other hunters that were pretty fresh. No big ammonites i cant remember how to insert the picture and keep telling you all our adventures. So I’ll add more pictures to this feed as the sizes are not edited yet.
  9. (Not sure of the tags I should use.) This is the first instance I've found of any sort of 'bloom' on a fossil in my collection. Luckily it's not the best specimen but it is an echinoid and they are not as easy to find here as in some other places. Sandstone from the Haslam(?) Fm on Vancouver Island. Is this a calcitic bloom from some sort of acid or off-gassing from something in my storage media? I'm not sure how long this has been in this condition but I think it's happened within the last 10 years. I'm trying to keep things away from my collection that might cause this sort of thing. I've got wooden (not oak) cabinets, and the little white fold-up boxes with cotton or cloth substrate. I'm trying to get rid of plastics, foams or anything else questionable, and I can't think of what else there might be that could be a problem, unless simple humidity in the Summertime will do it. (This is indoors)
  10. Hello! I would need help to figure out if this special type of calcite mineralisation reflects the structure of the coral or it is just something that comes with de disolution of calcite and therefore would not be a source of info on the coral morphology. Thank you in advance Best wishes Pierrette
  11. Looks like petrified wood chips?

    Our class found these along the creek walls that border the school's property. They look like large petrified wood chips, but we are wondering if you can tell us what they might be. Part of the schools property is considered preserved wetlands. This might be a reason these are here.
  12. Dendrite psuedofossil

    From the album WhodamanHD's Fossil collection.

    Found in the Newark supergroup, probably new oxford fm, by me. Near Thurmont, MD. A broke a concretion in four pieces, there was calcite in many little crack and niches in the rock, and in one of the calcite side a noticed this dendrite. Not a fossil, but cool. Late Triassic
  13. Can someone identify this please?

    Can someone please tell me what this is? Thanks, Jack
  14. Reading back through the TFF archives I've learned a bit about Rucks Pit in retrospect. Apparently, this was once a hot place to go fossicking for fossil clams with dogtooth golden calcite but, as I understand it, the original owner had health issues and sold the property. It seems the grandson (Eddie) has resurrected this locality and there now seems to be an address a couple blocks from the former location where there are piles of material that can be searched. I've read that this location is not as productive as it used to be (a common story of many long time sites) and I'm wondering if anybody has been to the new site (Fort Drum Crystal Mine) lately? If so, did you find some interesting specimens and did it seem worth the effort/price to hunt there? The location is just two hours from my house and it might provide a novel hunting experience and something different to look for which is always fun. I may end up going regardless and would post my thoughts to the forum if I do. I just figured I'd check to see if any other TFF members have been recently. http://www.thefortdrumcrystalmine.com/ https://www.facebook.com/The-Fort-Drum-Crystal-Mine-497100650319718/ Cheers. -Ken
  15. Fossil id.

    Hi guys i found this a couple of days ago in israel and i want to identified it. Details: covered in (pretty sure) calcite and it has some spiral shape to it.
  16. Calcite crystals on big Cardium fossil

    From the album Recent Finds

  17. In another thread I recently presented a bivalve which I had found whose shell is excellently preserved. All the positive comments prompted me to write a little side note on calcitic and aragonitic preservation of shells. In the course of writing this however, I realized how little I actually know about the subject. Here's what I wrote: "Apparently almost all molluscs originally developed aragonitic shells, which, although less stable than calcite, provided better protection from predators since it is harder. Some combine both polymorphs with aragonite inside and calcite outside, since it doesn't dissolve as readily as the latter and apparently magnesium plays a role here as well. My observations in the field have however indicated to me that at least in the Jurassic layers I am familiar with it is often the case that in any given layer, bivalves and brachiopod shells are as a whole much better and more often preserved than those of the ammonites. I do know that at over some stretch in geological history, the aragonite was converted in most cases to the more stable calcite. Perhaps bivalves and brachiopods had thicker shells or a different shell structure to those of the ammonites, which in turn were more susceptible to dissolution before they could be completely converted? It sure would interest me if anyone else could educate me on this subject." Thinking about this again, I'm not sure if one can generalize in comparing these orders, since I also know that some ammonites have thick shells and some bivalves have thin ones. I was just hoping that someone out there knows a bit more about the subject and could enlighten me a bit.
  18. It was late, my back against an old brick building. Light rain comin down. Felt a bit cold. Pulled up the coller on my trench coat. Wondering how long ive been standing here. I realize there is a glare on the street from the lamp post. I pull the brim of my hat down. Then I see her. I tell myself to stay calm,,,, keep cool. I take the last drag off my ciggerett and flip the butt onto the street. The orange glow snuffed out immediately. I study her from underneath my hat brim. I can tell she has been worked on before. I don't move. I keep studying her. I can tell that she needs work. Just need time. I know the sun will be up soon. Ive got her where I want her. She will be a real looker. Just need time. Ron Bushell Private eye
  19. Mercenaria permagna

    I am currently down to about 100 specimens and will include more pictures when I pull them out of the basement for that purpose. They are heavily traded and many of the better specimens are sought after by collectors and museums. I know that they have been around the Tucson show for more than ten years. Called Mercenaria Permagna with dogtooth calcite spar inclusions. The pit is currently closed but spoil piles are still available to the collector for a fee. More information on this fossil type is available at: SEGS-Guidebook-45.pdf, (State of Florida) online. Or search google images using: "calcite clams".
  20. IMG-0241.JPG and IMG-0247.JPG

    From the album George Prince

    Beautiful dog tooth calcite spar in mercenaria permagna
  21. My first Scunthrope ammonite!

    Hi, Just wanted to share my excitement at finally getting a chance to own a genuine lower lias ammonite from the infamous (now sadly closed/filled in) ironstone quarry in Scunthorpe (United Kingdom,Lincolnshire). The fossils found within this locality are mostly preserved in pure calcite and have a range of colours which include stunning/natural pinks and greens. It's due to arrive tomorrow! but I feel so privileged and lucky to grab one and also from a highly revered/professional prepper in the United Kingdom! : http://www.yorkshirecoastfossils.co.uk/scunthorpe_fossils.htm It's only a small specimen (Aegasteroceras sp) but still stunningly beautiful! Scunthorpe ammonites are among the most beautiful in the world (in my opinion) and if you can grab one, grab one whilst they are still within price range for most people because like all things they will go up in value as the years go by due to the quarry being closed. (As it hasn't arrived yet this photo isn't mine! and is property of "Yorkshire coast fossils", but sharing to share my excitement.)
  22. Appraising Fossils

    Howdy, I'm not actively attempting to sell this find, but am curious to hear your thoughts as to the value of this particular specimen. It was removed from a large block of limestone. The shell was mostly preserved, as it was facing inward. The matrix was carefully worked near the opening, revealing a more solid mass of forms underneath. I believe that in this case there is some soft tissue preservation near the opening. I know that's a bit incendiary, but the textures definitely resemble snail skin. The most amazing thing about this specimen is the crystallization, which can bee seen on the right. Thanks!
  23. Given the enormous number of repaired Megalodon teeth, which we must endure, and in honor of the new sub-forum here, I thought this might be a good time and place to revisit a classic case. It all began with a simple, but hopeful question, put to the membership here, last year. The item below was the item in question.
  24. Hello! 15 years ago, I have found this broken sea urchin (Gymnocidaris?) in the kimmeridgian of La rochelle (France) on the atlantic coast(Pointe du Chay). On the surface, there are cristals of calcite exactly on the tubercules... My question is, are they previous spines in place recrystallized in calcite cristal? Thanks in advance D
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