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Found 23 results

  1. Ammonite Anatomy and Terms

    In my goal to identify ammonites I have been seeing in Alaska have had to learn much such as ammonite anatomy and terms. My scientific illustrator, graphic artist wife helped me with these depictions of a generic ammonite. I have been reading about the various ways ammonites are described in the scientific papers and needed to be able to learn them for the descriptions to make sense. I would like input from those more knowledgeable than myself to see if I have this cheat sheet accurate. See attached PDF. Thanks for any input. Ammonite Anatomy & Terms.pdf
  2. I an putting together some hand-outs for the Dallas Paleontological Society table to use at local events. We are committed to educating the public about the science of paleontology. Below is one proposed list that I have put together from different sources and re-worded to fit in a small space. Some of you may find mistakes or other things to add or even a better way to explain something. I would appreciate any help you can offer. Anyone should feel free to use this in any way you like. Any other material you think would make a good hand out would be appreciated. We have a nice deep time chart and a hand-out on age-dating fossils as well as diagrams of local strata. Thanks. 20 WAYS FOSSILS CAN BE FORMED DUPLICATION 1 Internal Mold (sediment in contact with inner surface solidifies then original dissolves) 2 External Mold (sediment in contact with outer surface solidifies then original dissolves) 3 External Cast (original outer surface dissolves and space fills with solidifying material) 4 Internal Cast (original inner surface dissolves and space fills with solidifying material) MINERALIZATION 5 Permineralization (space between cells fills with minerals that solidify) 6 Petrification (space between cells fills with silica binding to cellulose) 7 Repalcement (cells replaced with new minerals that solidify) 8 Recrystallizaion (replacement when the new minerals are a crystal form) TRACE FOSSIL 9 Tracks 10 Infilled Burrows 11 Coprolites (animal droppings) 12 Feeding Traces 13 Urolite (urine splatters) 14 Regurgitants (animal vomit) DESSICATION 15 Peat Pit 16 Tar Pit 17 Frozen Tundra OTHERS 18 Compression (thin carbon film formed by chemical change under pressure) 19 Resin Inclusion (Life trapped in resin which hardens into amber or copal) 20 Bioimmuration (impression formed on a shell by growing over another life form)
  3. Part 1 Scientific Integrity in Education; Part 2: “The Great Dying” – end Permian extinction John Geissman, University of Texas at Dallas Geologists of Jackson Hole https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nYTuDP54ZI Yours, Paul H.
  4. TFF, one of a kind!!

    Six years has elapsed since my fascination with fossils began. Without the Fossil Forum, I would not be where I am today with regards to both my fossil finds and the knowledge gained through the forum about my discoveries. Let me thank the MANY, MANY individuals that have helped with my adventures. I must first of all thank (from me) and blame (from my wife) @Bev for getting me initially involved in fossils . From our early hunts, a passion for the hobby emerged. But you all deserve a BIG pat on the back for helping not only me but so many others trying to gain knowledge in such a wonderful segment of science. More specifically, I have had the opportunity to taste the wonders of Floridian fossils over the last few years. @digit,@dalmayshun, @Plantguy, @MikeR, @Sacha @Shellseeker, @joshuajbelanger and more have all assisted me in one form or the other, making my vacations to the Sunshine State successful. Special thanks goes out to @jcbshark. He is the Florida version of Bev to me, taking this fledgling under his wing and making sure that I experienced an exceptional hunt each and every time that I visit him. Hopefully, he embraces our new friendship as much as I do. By the way, Jeff, are the fish biting????? It won't be long. During my first trip to Florida, Jeff volunteered to guide me to some fossils and took me to the infamous "Cookie Cutter Creek", known for its very tiny Isistius shark teeth. As a newbie to the art of shark tooth hunting, like everyone during their first hunt, I wanted BIG teeth, and I was successful at pulling a 2"meg out of the gravel!!!! As I sifted for more, Jeff was collecting fine matrix. It just looked like sand to me as I peered into his full 5 gallon bucket that took a day to gather, not appreciating what he had. Fast forward to today, I have matured a bit (don't tell anyone) and now totally appreciate the fact that bigger is not always better. Presently, I kick myself in the tush for not having done a little sifting for Cookie Cutter shark teeth, especially since the stream has currently been "cleaned up" and all the fallen trees removed, leaving the creek just a straight flat rock bottomed drainage ditch. My hopes of sifting for some cookie cutter teeth sadly disappeared with the creek's improvements. Then came the 2019 Rolling Auction to benefit the Forum, where @Darktooth kindly offered up "cookie cutter matrix". My wife knew my emotional attachment to this creek and my desire to find access to some matrix. So, since my birthday was the following week, she gave me the OK to bid away. I contacted @digit ,who collected the offered matrix, to see the likelihood of Isisteus teeth being present. With Ken's comments to me, I began bidding, that is until it jumped from my bid of $65 to $100 with many days left until the auction ended. Who was this @MSirmon character. How dare he blow my bid out of the water! Fearful that the bidding would go beyond what even I was comfortable spending, I elected to hold off further bids until hours before the auction ended. This was a mistake as you will soon see. And MSirmon won the auction with no additional bids. After reading the auction results and taking a few deep breaths, I posted this congratulatory note. Posted July 13 Congratulations @MSirmon. Great donation to the forum and great batch of fossils offered up by Darktooth who accomplished his goal of a $100 bid. Enjoy!!!!!!! My wife knew I wanted the cookie cutter mix terribly. My first fossil hunting trip to Florida was on this creek and it is a special place to me, full of wonderful memories that I will cherish. To make a long story short, as a "birthday gift" next week, she said BID AWAY!!! My intent was to be that last hour bidder making sure the prize came home! BUT unfortunately, I fished in the heat all day yesterday, came home, ate a great meal, and proceeded to fall asleep at 8:00. Slept until 2:30, at which time I woke up in a sweat, realizing what I had done. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! So watch out you future bidders, I have a green light if I see anything that tickles my fancy. To return to the point of this post, that being how wonderful forum members are, I will continue my story. A package postmarked from New York arrived a few days ago and was HEAVY. I questioned my wife if she had purchased any fossils for me and she said no. Still not believing her, I said if this was from her, then she would also owe me 100 backrubs. She agreed to this, convincing me that the origin of the package was unknown. I was perplexed. To solve the mystery, I went ahead and opened the package. Inside was a huge bag of "sand" and a note from Darktooth saying "Happy Birthday! This package is being sent on behalf of MSirmon (Mike) as a birthday gift. These are the items he won from my recent offerings (yes, there was more than the cookie cutter matrix in the box)............ I was stunned to say the least. What generosity from a person that I do not even know!!!! I now want to say to a special person THANK YOU MIKE, from the bottom of my heart And a smaller, yet also heart felt thank you to everyone else. Mike
  5. Hi, I know back when cable was big there were channels like the discovery channel, history channel, etc. Anyone have a good list of shows that are good in terms of factual educational content of things like natural history + fossils? I am happy to pay for these shows/videos. Youtube is also welcomed. Audio books are another option but I prefer video. Thank you
  6. Hey everybody, My team writes math textbooks and we want to include dinosaurs in them. We're trying to find a document that states the amount of bones (approx.) in different kinds of dinosaurs. I would really appreciate your help! Thanks, Gonzalo from Uruguay
  7. Shark presentation

    Today was time for me to give my Shark presentation at the Onandaga County Free Library, in Syracuse, New York. Originally I was to do a presentation on sharks, for the kids in the morning, and a second presentation on New York trilobites, for adults, in the afternoon. Due to the death of a friend, I had to cancel the trilobite presentation to attend to funeral services. But I gave the presentation on sharks as I did not want to cancel that, and let the kids down, who had registered for this event with the library, in advance. I really enjoyed giving this presentation today. While I never claim to anyone about being an expert, I do enjoy sharing the knowledge that I do have, with others. There were about 16, of the 23 kids, who had signed up for this, as well as their parents. Not a large group, but that's ok. I talked a bit about sharks of the past, modern sharks, shark fossils, and how and where to find them. I only had an hour to talk, and the time seemed to fly by, but the smiles on the children's and parents faces made it rewarding. At the end of the discussion I gave each kid 2 sharkteeth and 2 stingray plates to take home.They all seemed very pleased with that. The teeth I gave away were all from my recent hunt from Cookie Cutter Creek, as I had plenty. The highlight was when one of the children approached me after the talk. She looked at me and whispered " You know, you talked just a little too much". I had to chuckle. I told her how much a appreciate constructive criticism.
  8. Tips for Fossil Education

    Hi! I'll be teaching a group of kids about Geology this summer via 4H, and I'm looking for suggestions on activities/topics/etc that we can cover related to fossils. I'm planning for two meetings on fossils (one invertebrate and one vertebrate), with the rest covering a host of other geology topics. I have some general ideas, but I'm hoping to gather lots of suggestions. I'm mostly looking for ideas on different activities that we can do. I'll be bringing some of my personal collection for display, but I want this to be as hands on as possible (and yes, we will be doing field trips). Any sort of activity that will keep kids engaged.
  9. My son and I are doing our first Shark Adaptation classroom education program in March. We are using fossils from across the timeline of sharks to explain to the students how sharks have managed to stick around this planet for some 430 or so million years. I am very proud of the relatively small fossil shark collection we have. The kids will get to see and in a lot of cases handle some fossils from badass sharks. I thought it would be fun to put some of that collection and bits of the information we present. Eventually I will include the art work my son is producing. He is 5 months away from graduating high school so I limit his time on this art while he works his final art projects for school. The first shark we cover is also one of the most fun for me. The Cladodont sharks are pretty cool and as I recently learned present a perfect opportunity to utilize them in two different spots in our presentation. They start off the program because of Cladoselache. They were not the first shark but they are the basic design for sharks that would be recognizable to 3rd and 4th grade students. They had body type that modern sharks use and they had some fearsome looking teeth. They may be really small teeth but they were deadly if you were a small fish. Science thought these little sharks went extinct during the Great Dying but in 2013 that theory was proven wrong. There were Cladodont teeth found in France that dated to 120 million years ago. They survived the Permian by moving to deeper waters. The small shallow water sharks apparently became very successful as smaller deep water sharks. The physical adaptations are important but the adaptive behavior of sharks is a huge part of how sharks have survived for so long. We only get a few minutes on each shark so that is the basic stuff we will tell the kiddos. Here are the teeth. Pic 1- the unidentified Cladodont tooth. I love this tooth. It is one of my favorites. Under the micro eye, it looks so freaking cool. It could be a Symmorium. It could be something else. It might even be something new. It is from Russia and dated to 320 million years. This will get donated for research at some point. Pic 2- Cladodus belifer. A Mississippian tooth from Biggsville Quarry in Illinois.
  10. I'd like to make an announcement that a new species of stegosaure has been found in Indiana... A young grad student has uncovered what appears to be a baby stegosaure that can glow in the dark! I'm sure this find will be published in all the big name magazines and that National Geographic Channel will cover down on this scientific discovery. It's great when you can share your hobby and teach your children
  11. New Fossil Blog

    I've had a lot of friend requests on Facebook lately from my paleontology peers, but my personal page isn't really focused on fossils. So, yesterday I launched a new blog about my family's expeditions, details about our finds, and our experience sharing our discoveries and our passion with the community. Take a peek if you're inclined: https://www.facebook.com/I-Gotta-Rock-374330346479428/
  12. On March 24 10, our mineral club (Finger Lakes Mineral Club) will be having an Open House at the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, NY. This will be a Winter Free Day for the Museum, when they allow visitors in without charging the usual admission. I'm planning to put together a new display board, titled "What's so interesting about a rock?". This was a remark a visitor was overheard saying as she left our room, after a quick look at all of our displays. I told some of our new Club members about this at our latest meeting, then thought "That would be a good topic for a display board". So, I'm looking for suggestions! At the moment, I have ideas a few categories of interest. -- What rocks can teach us about geological history (including fossils) -- Minerals you (probably) use every day (Example: Quartz, lead, copper and iron.) -- Minerals that were important to stone and copper age peoples (flint, granite, gold, native copper and copper ore, etc. with photos of tools) -- Minerals used in Roman history (limestone for mortar, copper and tin ores for bronze, copper and silver ores for coinage, lead ore for plumbing) -- Minerals used in modern industry (Iron, diamond, zinc, tungsten, etc.) -- Rocks with cool properties! (Includes a sign pointing the way to my Fluorescent Minerals display box). One of the people I was discussing this display with suggested making it interactive. I'll have cardboard flaps with photos (and a question) on them, and underneath will be another photo and a brief answer. As an example, under "Minerals You (Probably) Use Every Day", I'll have a photo of a quartz crystal on a flap with the question "What do I use this for?" Under the flap will be a photo of a wristwatch with a brief description of the quartz movement. If I'm missing a category, or if anyone has specific suggestions within a category, I'd like to hear it!
  13. Virtually every book on paleontology includes a picture or table on the geologic time scale of some sort. But have you ever noticed that virtually none of them is drawn in true proportions? As a result, many of us have no good, from the top of the head insight in the true propotions of the geologic periods and epochs. Who truly realizes that the Cretaceous for example, represents a larger time span than the whole of the Cenozoic? In any case, for a long time I did not, and the drawings I devoured as a kid did not really help me to grasp the true dimensions of each of the geological periods. Obviously, drawing such a chart poses quite some challenges in terms of layout. In 2015, admittedly a bit frustrated by the lack of such diagrams in literature (I might simply overlooked them), I made a first effort to overcome these challenges and draw a truly proportional infographic of the geologic timeline. It was published in a simplified form in a Belgian book on local geology. Still I kept finetuning it and adding some basic information and then it was resting on a digital shelf for over a year. Today I decided that was rather pointless, so I translated the infographic to English and shared it under the creative commons license for all to use: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Geologic_Time_Scale.png I hope it can be useful for educators. Feel free to provide me with feedback so I can further improve it. From the moment I'm completely satisfied with the infographic, I plan on releasing the original layered vector file, so everyone can use, edit, adapt and reshare the work in complete freedom.
  14. 2017 AURORA FOSSIL FESTIVAL AND TFF MEMBER MEET UP The 24th Annual "Aurora Fossil Festival" will be held this Friday through Sunday, May 26 - 28, 2017, in Aurora, NC. There will be a parade down Main Street at 1100 am on Saturday morning, educational displays at the Community Center from 1000 am - 4 pm Saturday, Paleontology Lectures going on throughout the day Saturday AND fresh piles of overburden from the Lee Creek Mine dumped around town, ripe and ready for screening and fossil hunting all weekend. Multiple piles of "FRESH" matrix will be near / adjacent to the Aurora Fossil Museum. There will also be a Live Fossil Auction starting at 3 pm on Saturday, lasting until........... If you have never been, you should definitely plan a trip. If you have never had the "privilege" of hunting Lee Creek Mine matrix, this is your chance for FRESH / VIRGIN material. (Items up for auction can be seen at the Aurora Fossil Museum's Facebook page, link below.) In addition, numerous TFF Members will be attending / displaying / speaking at the festival. It's a great time to put a face with the screen name. Here is what you need to know: Aurora Fossil Museum - Facebook Page and website: https://www.facebook.com/Aurora-Fossil-Museum-344894278856425/ http://aurorafossilmuseum.org/ I will have my laptop and camera with me and will be updating this post in "semi"-real time with photos and information from the Festival. Any TFF Members at the Festival can stop by and see me on the porch of the Community Center and I will let you use the camera and laptop to log in and post your own photos / info. If you see someone walking around in a T Rex costume, that should be Mrs. SailingAlongToo. For those Members who can't make it, check back on this post regularly on Saturday for the updates. I for one am looking forward to Dr. Perez's talk on Cookiecutter Sharks!!!! Hope to see / meet as many TFF Members as possible!!! Cheers, Jack
  15. In a couple days is my birthday, and this year I will be 50. For the past couple weeks I have thought a lot about all of my successes in life, as well as my failers. As a husband, father, fisherman, fossil hunter. As well as just a human being. But as far as a fossil hunter, collector and enthusiast, one of my biggest failers is that I have not learned enough about the fossils I collect in my region. I have stated before in other post that I am not really that interested in brachiopods, gastropods, bivalves, etc. But I have come to realize that is not a good reason to not try to identify those things that I find, wether or not I decide to keep them. I want to become more educated about life from the past. And that may should include all fossils. Not just the ones I am after. So when my wife asked what I wanted for my birthday I told her I would like The Fossil Guide to Devonian fossils of New York by Karl A. Wilson. I was really happy when it showed up a couple days ago. I have already identified a few things that I have been curious about for years. I really don't know why it has taken me this long to want to know more about the fossils from my area. And, I really should clarify that, it is not that I don't find certain fossils interesting. That was a poor choice of words. I find all fossils interesting. But I do favor certain fossils over others and I tend to focus only on the fossils I am after and ignore the others unless I can't find the fossils I want. That is going to change. Not only for myself but as a member of the forum.
  16. Dear TTF Members, I was wondering if you experts on the forum could provide a more in depth explanation of time periods such as the Mesozoic Era and what kinds of creatures dwelled at these times. I would like to learn more about the evolutionary timeline to help me become a better fossil enthusiast and helper in this forums' community. Sincerely,
  17. I'm currently reading Fossils: The Key to the Past by Richard Fortey. So far it's very good - very informative. I'm about half way through, and up to this point I'd give it 5/5 stars. Others may not care for it. Just my opinion. I've read several nonfiction science books over the past several months on everything from embryology to plant diversity to the end-Permian extinction to river and stream ecology. My favorite so far was The Story of Earth by Robert M. Hazen. Brilliant man, Brilliant book. Have you any nonfiction science related books (on paleontology or anything else science based) that you would recommend? Do you have a favorite? A "must read"? Scott.
  18. Fossils at the Fort is March 25 by David Salisbury, Vanderbilt University, March 15, 2017 https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2017/03/15/fossils-at-the-fort-is-march-25/ One of the activities is "Discover and take home 400-million-year-old fossils from a collection site donated by Vulcan Materials Company.' Another is fossil identification. Yours, Paul H.
  19. The article about geology songs is: Showstack, Randy, 2016, Amoeba People Sing Quirky Tunes About Geoscience. Eos. Vol. 97, no. 18, pp. 8-9 https://eos.org/current-issues and PDF https://eos.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/15-Sept_magazine.pdf?cbb367 In the same issue, is “New Insights into North America’s Midcontinent Rift” by Seth Stein, Carol Stein, Jonas Kley, Randy Keller, and others and “Bacteria Preserve Record of Earth’s Magnetic Fields” by Elizabeth Deatrick. A couple of Amoeba People’s songs are: The Geologists Are Coming! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NU51lJIdrg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCYVhPp7cUs and Continental Drift: Alfred Wegener Song by The Amoeba People https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1-cES1Ekto Other tunes are: Country Western Geology - Brad Paisley - 5/10/2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF0iC6DXMQ8 Tiktaalik (Your Inner Fish) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9h1tR42QYA Yours, Paul H.
  20. Hi everyone, My lab colleagues and I are looking for fossil pictures of: 1 - Cordaitales, specifically showing the 'V'-shaped leaf and 2 - Strobylothyone rogenti, a fossil Holothurian (sea cucumber) We are currently working on a textbook entitled “Biodiversität und Erdgeschichte" ("Biodiversity and Earth History”), The book is written by Prof. Dr. Jens Boenigk and Dr. Sabina Wodniok, scheduled to be published in 2014 by Spektrum in Heidelberg, Germany. In addition we plan to publish an electronic version as part of an e-book package, which will be sold to scientific institutions. It is important that we'd have permission to publish the pictures in our textbook. You would, of course, be credited for the image. All the best, Edvard --- Dr. Edvard Glücksman Postdoctoral Fellow Jens Boenigk lab Allgemeine Botanik, Universität Duisburg-Essen Universitätsstr. 5, D-45117 Essen Germany Tel (office): +49(0)201183-4514 Tel (mobile): +49(0)17699830154 Departmental website: http://www.uni-due.de/allgemeine_botanik/ LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/glucksman
  21. Here in central Oklahoma, fossils are scarce, all we have is red dirt and blank sandstone. I know of a great many people living here that would love to go fossil hunting, but don't know where to go, not to mention that you have to own or know somebody that owns land to hunt on within the state and that land is probably not close by. I've had an idea for a while to try to get fossiliferous stone delivered somewhere nearby so that people in my area can go fossil hunting instead of traveling several hours away. I've heard of museums and mines that dump their leftovers out for the public to sift through and I'd love to be able to bring the fossils to the people here in my area. How hard would it be to have a dumptruck worth of fossiliferous gravel delivered to somewhere here in central Oklahoma?
  22. Pursue Passion?

    Hey guys i'm fairly new to this site and was looking for some crucial advice from those who share my passion! I hope to be a freshman at the University of Minnesota next year and the scary thoughts of "what will i do with the rest of my life" have krept into my mind. Paleontology has always fascinated me. From dinosaurs to the evolutionary process of the worlds prehistoric organisms...all of it attracts my greatest interest. I have been searching online about careers in paleo and have found many condescending articles on the subject. People claim career outlook is poor due to limited jobs and low wages. I want to do something with my life that contains discovery and a sense of accomplishment. What better then to pair these elements with a passion of mine? Getting a PhD and teaching and researching for a University one day is a great dream of mine. Should i pursue it? I'm very lost...any responses would be greatly appreciated!! again wonderful site!!!
  23. Hello All! I need your help, but first I'd best introduce myself. I'm the new Program Coordinator -- and on-site paleontologist -- for the Waco Mammoth Site. For those of unfamiliar with the site, it's a late-Pleistocene recurrent mass-mortality site for Columbian mammoths and a scattering of other Rancholabrean megafauna. From 68 KA onwards at least two groups of mammoths and their camp-followers got caught in flash floods along a tributary of the Bosque River in what would become the western outskirts of Waco, TX. The site is currently a city-run in-situ display of six of those mammoths, in an enclosed climate-controlled shelter. The facility is loaded with educational potential, but at the moment all we've got is a (very nice) guided tour. I want to do better. One of the educational activities I'm looking to add in the near future is a screen-washing. I'll have the students screen and pick fossiliferous sediment and ID what they've found. They'll be able to keep most of what they find (with exceptions for scientifically important specimens) and all of their findings will get entered into a database that will be run through the PAST statistical package. I'll write up the results and try to get them published -- with the kids listed individually in the acknowledgements. The kids get real fossils, they get to participate in a real scientific study, and I get to do some research. I think it's an idea with potential, with one wrinkle; I'm having a hard time getting the sediment! I've tried buying phosphate gravel from the mines in Florida and North Carolina, but my efforts seem to be stalling. I know that some such gravel is available for resale, but it's a tad pricey. There's no way I could afford to buy the 100 or so kilos I want on the shoe-string budget I've got for the time being. If anyone has a line on a better source of bulk sediment, I'd love to hear from you! In fact, if you've got any ideas for spreading interest in paleontology, we need to talk. Paleontology is the gateway drug of science -- if we want to teach critical thinking in this country, fossils are the best place to start. Please help me work to make that happen. Regards, Don Esker