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Found 31 results

  1. *Looking for some advice from paleologists and/or geologists* I am thinking about going back to school. I dropped out of college 10 years ago because I was never quite sure what I wanted to do. I have taken a lot of course hours, but I do not have a degree since I basically took anything that interested me. Now that I am 30 and a bit more stable, I would love to go back. I am extremely interested in paleontology, but I know that it requires a lot of school, and it isn't easy. From the small amount of research I did, it seems like most paleontologists do their undergraduate degree in either biology/geology. I would love to hear advice from anyone who has either done or looked into doing this. I live in Florida, so I am thinking UF might be the best choice, but I am also wanting to look into doing as many online courses as possible. Thanks in advance!
  2. Deposits Magazine is quite a popular read here in the UK. And I can thoroughly recommend it to all aspiring fossil and mineral collectors. The Magazine on Fossils, Geology & Minerals. Deposits is both a printed and online magazine featuring articles by high profile authors. I hope to help on a article in the magazine some time in 2017. As I continue on my self educated journey. Utilising my free lessons of advice here on TFF. https://depositsmag.com/
  3. This is GREAT info for fossil hunters in the "tricounty" area around Charleston! http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2013/1030/
  4. Iturralde-Vinent, M. A., A. García-Casco, Y. Rojas-Agramonte, J. A. Proenza, J. B. Murphy, and R. J. Stern, 2916, The geology of Cuba: A brief overview and synthesis. GSA Today. Vol. 26, no. 10, pp. 4-10. http://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/26/10/article/i1052-5173-26-10-4.htm http://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/26/10/pdf/i1052-5173-26-10-4.pdf Travels in Geology: Journeying through Cuba's geology and Culture by Debra Hanneman, Earth Magazine, July, 2013 http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/travels-geology-journeying-through-cubas-geology-and-culture Yours, Paul H.
  5. I am having trouble figuring out a geology mapping problem. The problem is "Slickensides Oligoshain Formation pitch 60 degrees N on a fault oriented at 335 degrees, 60 W. What is the plunge of the slickensides". I kept getting arctan of 1.5 as my answer, but the answer key disagrees. Any help would be appreciated.
  6. Stumbled on this today. Dated 1936 but has some great info in it about time periods and shore lines with relative elevations. PDF format. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0ahUKEwi92tatsvXMAhVKaT4KHanOAHMQFgg1MAM&url=https%3A%2F%2Fpubs.usgs.gov%2Fbul%2F0867%2Freport.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHJWSf2eOZOiDbN9Ow2rqkMe5vxaQ&sig2=mfMXvhHbqU1RQtOcJaoPjw&cad=rja
  7. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on a decent stratigraphic wall map of North America? Or a stratigraphic atlas of the United States? I've seen very pretty ones, but I can't find one that is commercially available. Thanks in advance!
  8. Over Christmas, my husband and I visited and photographed the Orton Geological Museum in Columbus, OH. It's a small, single-room museum in the geology building of Ohio State University. It's well worth visiting! My photoset is a compilation of four different photo sessions, one from my first visit in 2010, the other three on different visits during this trip. If you want to know which visit a given photo is from, look at the image title: my format is a picture number, a photoset letter, and an image description. The 'a' set are from 2010, the rest from 2015. Where I had multiple images, I chose the best one to post here. I'll start with some views of the geology building, Orton Hall. It was purpose-built in the early 1890s to house the geology collections and library, out of Ohio stone and clay. The tower houses a set of bells to ring the hours, and is ornamented with a lot of gargoyles: More building pictures next. Unfortunately, my photos are too large to include more than a few of them in a single post, and my image compression software doesn't have an option for another 50% reduction.
  9. Almost there! Over 270 pages of full color fossils from the Pennsylvanian of North Texas The long-awaited sequel to the Pennsylvanian Fossils of North Texas (2003) Available Q4 2015 in hardcopy, digital and e-reader formats.
  10. I still carry my trusty Geologic Map of New Mexico, tucked inside my gazatteer, right next to the BLM use maps. But this... ...mapView:Geologic Maps of the Nation... ...has been a wonderful prospecting tool. You can overlay geology onto road, topo and satellite imagery! Fossils, look out!...explorers are on the way. Happy Hunting! -P.
  11. This was totally spontaneous and done as we moved through the project. My only suggestion if anyone else wants to do it is get your ingredients for a legit cake or brownie recipe first and use the flour for your initial glacier project... the texture of our "creation" was not very cake-like, but it was good nonetheless. http://fossilforay.blogspot.com/2015/06/a-fun-and-yummy-way-to-show-kids-geology.html
  12. While looking for some of our crystaline finds from a trip to Rose Creek Mine (Franklin, NC) my 12 yr old, Duncan, found he had what I believe is fossilized coral. I've searched the web and it seems to be a correct guess - any corrections greatly appreciated! Struggling with a migraine but the best I can seem to find is that Rose Creek Mine is in the Blue Ridge Belt. NC Geological Survey Map has it labeled as Biotite Gneiss with pegmatites interspersed. The pegmatities are shown to be from the Devonian to Silurian periods 390-435 mya.The biotite gneiss are shown to be within the Ashe Metamorphic Suite and the Tallulah Falls Formation. This is a decent map of the area around the GA/SC/NC/TN mountains showing the geologic formations. So what I've learning while searching for information on this fossil is that the area was once part of the sea between Laurentia and Gondwana (info). When Laurentia and Gondwana began to collide to form Pangea, that is when the Appalachian Mountains were born. Learned tons looking up this one fossil! Love it! About to school the kids on it now. Again, if I've made any errors in my research, please let me know. Thanks!
  13. Hey there! I know I know, I've been missing in action for the past few months. Work and Field work kept me busy. But I've now am taking the time to update my blog, and sharing some of my recent adventures. This one is not so much of a fossil hunting trip, but of discovery on fossil history in New Brunswick. A few weekends ago I went for a day trip to Saint John to meet up with my friend Matt at the New Brunswick Museum's Steinhammer Lab. He's currently doing a stint at the research facility and I couldn't resist, desperately wanting to tour this historic place. This building was the original New Brunswick Museum until it needed more space to accommodate a growing collection. In the 1990s, the exhibition displays found a new home downtown (Market Street area), but most of its collection (closed to the public) was kept at the original building on Douglas Avenue. This museum is considered Canada's oldest, housing collections dating back to its first proprietor, Abraham Gesner. The influence of the Steinhammer Club, comprised of geologists from the area and abroad, was pivotal in the history of Geology across the globe. They founded the Natural History Society of New Brunswick, and from there the contributions to science have been crucial to the advancement of several fields. I had also wanted to meet up again with Dr. Randall Miller, curator of the collections and museum, but he was currently out of town. I arrived at the old museum in one piece after dodging a hellish traffic and weird road designs. Beautiful city, crappy roads. Matt making sure Steve is hard at work I got to the museum and after talking to the wonderful staff, I met up with Matt and one other friend, Steve. Steve is an amazing fella and will keep you on your toes. They were in the middle of taking specimens collected in recent field work (a couple that I've participated in) and offered to lend a hand. We unloaded the material to the lab, and headed out for a bite to eat. After parting ways with Steve as he headed back to Fredericton, we proceeded in taking a tour of the Steinhammer Palaeontology Lab. I didn't take any pictures as Randy wasn't around and didn't want to take any just in case he didn't approve. Going through the collection, I've seen some incredible representations of various paleobiological and paleobotanical specimens, including many type specimens. Trilobites, which a cast of one of the biggest I've ever seen barely fit in the collection cabinet. Eurypterids, or sea scorpions, that could give you nightmares, were the size of your average family dog. Fish, bones, and even the remains of a wooly mammoth (Mastodon) graced the collection. This animal was collected from the Hillsborough area, near where I live. The tusks were incredible to behold. Walking through the halls, it was easy to get lost amidst the many artifacts laying around, beckoning, hungry for your attention. Even going to the washrooms you have to pass a wall of jars, each filled with animals living, and extinct. One doesn't linger too long in the bathroom let me tell ya. Also among the specimens at the lab were the many trackways that we collected, waiting to be analyzed and studied. Seeing specimens that you helped bring up in the light of day and residing in this place was quite a special feeling. As the day winded down, me and Matt chatted about the importance of keeping collections together, and the crucial role that these play. Every effort must be made to help save these as they help us understand our past and help dictate a future most rich. Our friend Margaret arrived near the end of my stay. As we said our goodbyes, I felt that it was imperative that I participate in the discovery and safekeeping of fossils, and to contribute in the advancement in the fields surrounding those of paleontology and biology. That is why I love geology, as it makes me have an intimate rapport with science, to which I love and am passionate to no end. To understand and comprehend, wonder even for what nature has left in our path, often hidden, for us to uncover and rediscover. Cheers! - Keenan Saint John River, view from behind the museum
  14. a book review of: "The Monkey's Bridge: Mysteries of Evolution in Central America" by David Rains Wallace. Trinity University Press trade paperback edition (originally published by Sierra Club Books, 1997). 277 pages. Suggested Retail: $18.95 USD. The formation of the Isthmus of Panama, the land bridge connecting the Americas, was the most recent, significant tectonic event of the Cenozoic Era. It occurred just over three million years ago and carried with it not only local but also global consequences. The land connection allowed terrestrial plants and animals to invade new territories north and south as it also cut off a seaway between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It would later pose a confounding and deadly obstacle course to Old World explorers and fortune-hunters - a land untamed even into the 20th century. "The Monkey's Bridge" tells three stories: how the Isthmus of Panama evolved in geologic time; how Europeans discovered Central America across the past five hundred years and how the author arrived at his understanding of it across his adult life. David Rains Wallace is an award-winning natural history writer. He has also collaborated with the National Park Service publishing handbooks about Yellowstone and Mammoth Cave. His research leading to the "The Monkey's Bridge" involved extensive travel through the Americas which also produced his earlier book about Costa Rica's national parks (Wallace, 1992). Following a 10-page prologue, the book is composed of two parts: Exploration and Evolution. Part 1 introduces the European explorers and naturalists who encountered the landforms, organisms, and native peoples of Central America. Part 2 focuses on the landforms, organisms, and peoples themselves. While the first part could be said to be the history section with the second, the prehistory section, the paleontology of the region is also discussed in the first and historic figures reappear in the second. Across both parts Wallace recalls his own trips taken from 1971 to 1994, traveling by hitchhiking, by bus, and often on foot. Wallace writes in a very literate but also readable style different from the comparatively flat descriptions of people, places, and things in the average paleo-related story. It's the difference between a professional travel writer and a scientist who is also a writer. He looks for more connections between history, art, and science while a scientist writing the same book might translate the technical into the popular without unpacking as many adjectives. While this book is clearly well-researched as Wallace cites several publications and quotes numerous people, the reader might sense that he is not a scientist from a few minor fumbles. He refers to the Florida Museum of Natural History twice as the Florida State Museum (p. 70, 71). He thinks that extinct horses did not have toes - just hooves (which he calls "hoofs"). In reality they did have hooves on their toes. Related to that, he notes that "three-toed horses were replaced by larger two-toed horses." Actually, three-toed horses had one-toed descendants without a two-toed transition. Wallace does reveal a good knowledge of today's plants and animals of the Americas. He recognizes species he didn't expect to see in Central America - forms seemingly more at home in parts of the United States. They add more diversity to the picture of the intercontinental exchange of organisms after the formation of the isthmus. Other than a map at the beginning of each of the two parts of the text, there are no illustrations. The writing will hold the attention of the average natural history fan and perhaps even interest the more casual reader used to more visual support. However, I think when dealing with extinct organisms and colorful living ones, an author should include some photos and figures to break up the text. Wallace did not feature much illustration in his "Beasts of Eden" (2004) a book about two museum murals, but he did in his "Neptune's Ark (2007), which discusses several extinct animals of the west coast of North America. Even with so little illustration I highly recommend "The Monkey's Bridge" to anyone interested in natural history. It is very informative with an excellent mainstream explanation of the geologic processes that created the Isthmus of Panama. Throughout the book, the reader travels along and experiences the author's first-timer surprise in different areas of the land bridge: the limited stretches of jungle, the sudden expanses of near-desert, and the abrupt changes in elevation. Wallace meets interesting people, visits remote museums, and seems to find himself on the edge of a bad situation more than a few times so it is an adventure well worth reading. Jess
  15. Hi everyone, Here is a PDF called Guidelines for the Curation of Geological Materials it’s freely available from the Geological Curators Group website and is really a must read. Theres also a Geological Curator PDF publications archive on the website. Regards, Darren.
  16. Professional Geology and Paleontology Language Codes.... There are TWO languages in the Sciences: (1) Professional Language (2) Amateur Language There are TWO major sources of Geological Information: (as far as this Topic is concerned) (1) Professional Journals and Books written by Specialists (books, papers, monographs, etc.) (2) Amateur books written in the layman's language (hobby, fossil books for the public) Often, and I probably should emphasize, OFTEN, the amateur collector of fossils or minerals will read a technical paper and not understand some or much of the terminology. There is no disgrace not understanding the terminology being used... but there is also NO EXCUSE not to deCODE the terminology to comprehend what has just been said. I was reading a bit on Cambrian trilobites and it was to prepare for some exploring some Cambrian trilobite locations. It applied to "blind trilobites" known as Agnostid Trilobites. Terms like oceanic-neritic boundaries, pelagic life, lithotypes, laminated strata, mimicry and other Scientific Code Words are used frequently. I am using "Code Words" for a lack of a more interesting term. Scientists can take one word that has a definite meaning. It would take several paragraphs or even a book to define the term... but they know what it means and use these "words". To an amateur, as myself, I must have a way to deCode the language. I have a book in mind that should be on every amateur's desk top, like a dictionary. Once YOU understand the definition of the terminology your understanding will benefit you for the rest of your life. Since most of the terminology has been in use for many years, the Second or Third Edition will provide enough information that is accurate. I see a Fourth Edition is available, but I would not spend the money for a copy, unless you are a Professional needing to use current terminology. A paper written in the past is what you most likely will be using and the terms will be defined in this book. Inliers or Outliers... very important stratigraphy terms in the UK that until I read the meanings... they meant very little to me at the time. Just simple things bring in large consequences. If you have already rolled your eyes back into their sockets... I understand. Many hobbyists have no use for a book to deCode Scientific language as they are not interested in getting into depth of the subject. There are 20% who are curious and want to understand. They are the most active on a Forum in identifying and explaining a subject in layman terminology. Want to find any crystal forms of Corundum? How about a fibrous silicate? Even mineral terminology needs some deCoding at times. Bates and Jackson Glossary of Geology "It is not really a mark of distinction for a geologist's writing to be so obscure that a glossary is required for its comprehension." Jules Braunstein "Definition is that which refines the pure essence of things from the circumstance." Milton "A leader who is lost during the hike, was lost before the hike began and needs no encouragement from those who persist in following, by sharing information lost in the translation." Donkey Jenkins
  17. www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/co/programs/minerals.Par.44677.File.dat/Rockhounding%20Brochure.pdf Get the Rockhounding & Fossil Collecting BLM State brochure(s). Each area in a State can vary somewhat, so check in with each local or regional office. They KNOW what is going on for decades, so just ask... do not play stupid. For other State BLM Offices... inquire. Even the small local offices will provide you with information when you stop at the offices. There are also National Forest Service (NFS), National Grasslands, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service, State Parks and Recreation.... and others. This example is for the Colorado BLM. Best local information: Local Rock Shop(s). They know everything that is going on in the area. They also sell books, booklets and maps at some larger shops. The "tourist shops" sell mostly Brazilian amethyst geodes and Morocco fossils... just kidding... but you know what I am saying. Nothing seems to be local at these shops and I haven't time to look at the same stuff you can buy in Tucson at the February shows.
  18. A typical Post on the Fossil Forum begins... "where can I find a book on (fill in the blank)? This is a very good way to BEGIN your search, but the Fossil Forum is a very diversified "collection of individuals". Members' interests may be focused or wide... but it is impossible to comprehend the large numbers of very significant references that are... as hard to find as the fossils anyone seeks! My approach to finding anything in PRINT, which is quickly being replaced with CD, Digitized or Pdf files. There are numerous sites to "search" for the topic you have an interest. The larger the book site, the more diversified the selection. Ebay: www.ebay.com Amazon www.amazon.com ABE Books www.abebooks.com State and Government geological websites Google Search www.google.com Institutional websites (Carnegie, Chicago Museum, Smithsonian, American Museum, etc., etc, etc.) Some organizations specialize: One for Foraminifera might contain 125 feet of hard bound books and going strong for the Petroleum industry. Saber Toothed Cats... maybe three feet of publications, if you are lucky. Geological Society of London, mostly Great Britain. Geological Surveys: example- United State Geological Survey for mostly USA subjects and some International work. You can also search Meddelelser om Gronland (printed in Denmark in English) for Devonian armored fish. Every country has a Geological Survey... or had at one time. Russian and Chinese geology had been only available in Russian or Chinese text. Today the Chinese also have English texts. So if you speak German... search in German. France... French. Many languages print theirs in English. Almost ALL Spanish speaking countries print in Spanish text... only. So the literature is diverse, you will learn HOW TO SEARCH various countries. Israel... mostly English text. The United States Geological Survey has a library in Denver, Colorado. The main floor is thousands of square feet and this is "some" of the material available to browse. They maintain material from all countries, institutions and whatever else might be of importance to geologists. If you have a USGS library in your area, visit it, browse the isles. It is overwhelming! Associations, Society and Institutional publications: Geological Society of America, Palaeontological Society of London, Geographical Society of America, Journal of Paleontology (Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists and the Paleontological Society), Palaeontology (the Palaeontological Association- London), Palaeo- Geography, Climatology, Ecology (An International Journal for the Geo-Sciences), Lethia and International Journal of Palaeontology and Stratigraphy (Norway), Japanese Journal of Geology and Geography (National Research Council of Japan), Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (Journal of the Geochemical Society- mostly Meteorites and Cosmic subjects) and.... on and on. Remember, British Palaeontology and American Paleontology are spelled with the "ae" and "e", so you sometimes must keep that in mind. The Hunt for information that you want: If you thought that someone knows WHAT book or short paper you really need for yourself... this is just the beginning of your search for knowledge. The more technical the subject matter, the shorter the publication! Some organizations specialize. A group that prints papers on Trilobites, will not have mammals. Crinoids will not be found in a book on Ammonites. IF, you want specialized information. Beginner books or Introductory to.... books: The more general a book, the less useful it will be to you once you have some experience. BUT, they sell more copies as many beginning collectors need a very general book. These are easily found at book shops or advertised for sale in hobby magazines... Rocks and Minerals, Gems and Minerals, Earth Science. The must be general to sell well. The more specific a book, the fewer copies that are printed. First Edition, Second Edition.... Twentieth Edition: Some beginner books are so poorly written, many mistakes are made in identifying a fossil, can be misleading and are often subject to revisions in... future editions. Some are offered in new editions as they correct the text and expand into other areas and provide more information. The First Edition of a general fossil book can also be in the Tenth Edition. You would want as late an Edition you can find. If you know there ARE later editions. They may cost more, but these are corrected and updated each time they are printed... BUT.... Edition and PRINTING are not the same. A new Edition is updated and corrected. A Third Printing is exactly that... the same book but reprinted once it is sold out and there is a demand for more copies. One exception to the first, second, third and fourth Printings would be Index Fossils of North America. They are all the same, unless I missed something. The first printing in 1944 is the same as the Eighth Printing of 1965 and so on. When it goes to the Second EDITION, then take notice it has been updated and any corrections made. **************** This is just a beginning. I have just scratched the surface but you now have the ability to seek and find a technical book that will be current for a life time. A mid 1800's technical volume might have been updated since then, since interpretations change and new discoveries change the geology and science. But, the first recognized identifications have priority to names... unless competing names exist at the same time and one is MORE correct than the other. Cope and Marsh come to mind in Western USA Dinosaurs and Mammals... but I wander. As time permits and if anyone has ANY interest in this Topic... I would be happy to explore those obscure papers that would add to your knowledge of your special interest(s).
  19. Taken from my blog post: http://redleafz.blogspot.ca/2013/08/tynemouth-creek-gardner-creek.html I've been tallying up a list of new sites I wanted to visit and Tynemouth Creek was on the top of that list. The Tynemouth Creek coastlines, located in Southern New Brunswick between Saint Martins and Saint John, has been the site of newly discovered trackways which had been few before. The formations of this site are about Lower Pennsylvanian (Carboniferous) in age, with the occasional sliver of Pre-Cambrian rock crossing some of the local rock, and Triassic sections further East towards St. Martins. Triassic cliffs at St. Martins Driving there isn't too bad. From Moncton you drive towards Sussex, then head South through St Martins. I took the time to stop in town to check the beach and take a few pics before heading out. I wanted to go down the beach at Giffin Pond but access wasn't easy, so I turned back and made a quick stop at the light house to enjoy the scenery early in the morning. I made it back to St Martins and continued on to Bains Corner, taking a side road South of there to Tynemouth Creek. Same thing here about access. I could have gone down but access wasn't easy to spot. This wasn't also the site I really wanted to check, so I hopped back in my car and headed West towards Gardner Creek. Gardner Creek is kinda split in two where the bridge acts as the divider. The West section has these preserved, unaltered fossils and trackways from the Lower Carboniferous. The East section of these cliffs are more twisted, folder, and faulted, with Carboniferous formation slapped beside Triassic rocks, similarly found further East at St Martins. I chose to walk the East section first. I immediately came upon stigmaria roots and other plant material. The further East I went, the less fossils I would find. Here's a few photos showing folding and faulting. Mini fractures Folding with smaller folds under the contact zone The above pic shows the top strata, or rock layers, at an horizontal position, and the bottom section folded. Exposed fold Fault hidden from view (center), layers changing angle, and folding (far right) West of the bridge at Gardner Creek, heading towards Wallace Beach, the sandstone yielded more fossils and trackways than the previous spot I went to. Most of the layers are not eroding at a fast pace, making the exposed trackways not so well detailed. What's cool about these layers of sandstones are the calamites and other tree-like plants in situ, at a vertical position as they would have been when this place was a forest. The calamites are numerous and concentrated at certain spots. Calamites in growth position Calamites 'stumps' Fern-like plant, very weathered Arthropleura tracks The pic above shows diplichnites, possibly made by a good size arthropleura (a kind of giant millipede). There were reports of some being found in this area and this slab had two sets of these tracks crossing each other. The other set is not as well defined as the other set but you can still make out the direction. Two sets are intersecting at the bottom The site was very interesting and I wished I had stayed longer. Next visit I will have to explore further West towards Wallace Beach/McCoy Head, and attempt to check the cliffs directly at Tynemouth Creek and/or Giffin Pond. That's it! Till next time! - Keenan
  20. a book review of: "Cruisin' The Fossil Freeway: An Epoch Tale of a Scientist and an Artist on the Ultimate 5000 Mile Paleo Road Trip" by Kirk Johnson and Ray Troll. 2007. Fulcrum Publishing. 204 pages. Suggested retail: $29.95 USD. Geology is not a subject we learn much about in grade school or high school. As in any field of science, the math can be heavy and the jargon can be dense. However, geology has also grown from some basic concepts, which with the help of a good teacher, a child can understand even when the explanation dives into the details. In the absence of any grounding in earth science, misunderstandings about the history and structure of the earth abound and extend to paleontology which is a branch of geology. A lot of people still think that studying fossils is the job of an archaeologist. "Cruisin' The Fossil Freeway" is the true story of two guys driving around parts of the American West in search of fossils. The multi-day expedition was more organized than that sounds as they were sticking to a budget but they also knew to stay flexible in case plans fell through. The authors are Dr. Kirk Johnson, paleobotanist and chief curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and Ray Troll, the artist with a particular taste for fishes. I'm not sure there's a word for his style. I tend to remember his vibrantly-colored yet dreamlandish scenes some of which blend the terrestrial with the aquatic or pit the modern against the ancient. It would be easy to label them an "odd couple" but Johnson studied art at Amherst and Troll has always sandwiched hard science among his layers of mixed media. Collectors with moderate experience might immediately identify with Troll, someone familiar with evolution, geologic time, and a variety of extinct animals but largely untrained in fieldwork. By the last leg though, we see the artist has gained an understanding of geology, quickly recognizing the rock formations that had to be pointed out to him when they rolled out of Denver. The chapters chart the authors' progress from Denver, Colorado into Nebraska, back west through Wyoming then northeast to South Dakota, back west to Idaho through Wyoming on into Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico before heading home. Along the way they collect specimens of many forms, visiting fossil-focused people of many backgrounds (scientists, collectors, dealers), and hitting some main street and backroad points of interest (restaurants museums, rock shops). They pause to consider the connections of local histories as well. A couple of the people met or mentioned would be known to armchair paleontologists of all ages (Robert Bakker and Jack Horner). Others might be familiar to collectors who make the annual migration to Tucson for the gem, mineral, and fossil shows (Mike Triebold, Rob Gaston, Bob Harris). The authors also honor generations of paleontologists even risking a bout with the flu to shake the hand that shook the hand of Edwin H. Colbert who worked for Henry Fairfield Osborn, who as a young scientist, met Charles Darwin in his later years. Johnson seems to have done most of the writing since it often sounds like the voice of experience. As he describes to Troll the various stages in the development of the surrounding landscape, he eases into geology lessons with conversational language and an everyday example to clearly illustrate a point. He is patient with his friend - cognizant of when to push to finish a thought and when to cut it short before Ray's eyes glaze over from a fog of information overload. Johnson also reveals himself to be a professional who still has fun getting outside and kicking over some rocks. Most of the chapters start with a full-page map of the area to be discussed and these are no ordinary roadmaps. Along with the roads, rivers, and towns Troll has drawn in some of the ancient organisms of the area. These mini-maps are close-ups of a large, colorfully-detailed poster which can be found for sale online. In the introductory chapter a teaser version is provided with notes on how the original it was made. For every full page of text (and there aren't many) the opposite page carries at least one Troll drawing or fossil photo or "paleonerd" portrait with some illustrations taking up a full page themselves. Troll's informed art, often finding humor in the fascination with creatures long gone, matches well with the informal narrative as the guys track down great milkshakes as well as huge creatures that shook the earth. Across the pages a novice collector might feel like a backseat passenger, absorbing as much as possible about prehistoric creatures and environments and even getting a feel for the modern topography from Johnson noting when they were descending into a valley or heading into highlands. Intermediate and longtime collectors who have collected fossils at least a couple of times in the region will probably learn about a couple of sites/museums to check out the next time they drive through. I think even a paleontologist who tends to avoid non-technical books would enjoy this one. "Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway" would be the first book I would recommend to someone just starting to get interested in paleontology. A kid of any age will enjoy the story and the artwork. It's so much fun to read that the kid might even remember some of the elements and ideas of geology too (legible rocks from fragile mountains and mobile continents testifying to near-unfathomable timeframes). I have heard that a sequel, another roadtrip, this time touring North America's Pacific coast, is going to be published in the near-future. I can't wait. Jess
  21. I've been curious about 'core samples' obtained from wells and geologic exploration. Is there anywhere online that one can look at examples of bedrock cores. For example, I'd love to see what a cambrian core looks like from deep in the Illinois bedrock and how deep the sample was located. I know mostly they are looking at microfossils to determine the age, but I've seen a few times where more easily identifiable fossils are found in the cores. Anyone have examples or know where some are found. And with any examples, it would be of interest to know how many feet deep the core comes from.
  22. For those of you who frequent the North Sulphur River in Fannin County Tx. We were at the south side of the channel at the tributary often referred to as Davis creek. The cliffs are very high there and large columns of dirt are falling off due to erosion. I was examining some of this fall off and noticed a great deal of fresh water muscle shells at a certain level. Looking at the cliff I saw a level perhaps a foot thick at least 12 to 15 ft below ground level and perhaps 12 ft or more from the channel floor. It was loaded with fresh water muscles and chunks of wood. I climbed up some of the debris piles to inspect it at close range and pulled this very fragile bone fragment out of that layer of the bank. There are very few signs of any mineralization. Given the depth that this bone was situated I conclude that it must be of some great age, perhaps thousands of years old. If that were the case then I would suggest that there must be other bones that erode from the upper layers that are not mineralized to much extent. I've perhaps found and left those on the bed of the river thinking they were cow bones. After noticing this shell layer I saw that it was still present a couple of miles west of Davis creek. It was marked by large logs protruding from the cliff and a noticeable band of shell material. I'm sure some of you have seen it too. I figure that it must have been from a very wet period, considering all of the wood perhaps it was after a flood. It must be a boundry line of somekind. Given the organic material found there it would be easy to date if anyone in the scientific community were interested. I've been in the channel many times and never looked very high up the bank before. Perhaps the abundant fossil bones and shells at the lower levels cause many of us ignore the other 40 to 50 ft of sediments. I've looked at pictures and think it might be a humerus, but its hard to find anything that looks just like it. It would be funny if it were a cow bone..right?
  23. About the fossils of the Upper Cretaceous of the Saxonian/Bohemian Cretaceous Basins (German & Czech Republic). Picture: fluvial (albian/lower cenomanian) and marine sediments (upper cenomanian - lower coniacian) in the Saxonian Cretaceous Basin. The Czech part is incomplete on this map. in german:www.kreidefossilien.de english version (rudimentary): www.kreidefossilien.de/en/ Markus
  24. Taken from my blog: http://redleafz.blogspot.ca/2013/04/red-rocks-mcgahey-brook-cape-chignecto.html I've been catching up on a lot of past trips I made in the Maritimes that I didn't have time to post on my blog. One such trip was a rockhunting trek in Nova Scotia in the Advocate Harbour area, West of Parrsboro. Site (circled in red), Isle Haute (bottom left) The topography of the southern Chignecto region is very faulted, showcasing the collision of this part of the continent with North Africa some 400 million years ago, forming the ancient Supercontinent Pangaea. The Carboniferous strata of this regions has been folded and faulted in spectacular fashion, neighboring Jurassic (Early) age basalts from North Mountain, which you can see at Cape d'Or and other locations along the Minas Basin, and rhyolites in the West (ie. Spicer's Cove). Cape d'Or is especially known for its natural copper deposits, once mined in the early 1900s. 1- Actual Location (C-H Carboniferous, Early - Horton Group) CC - Carboniferous, Late - Cumberland Group (ie. Joggins) 2- Cape d'Or, Copper deposits, basalt lava flows, major fault 3- Jurassic, Early - North Mountain basalts (various overlapping lava flows) Isle Haute, composed mainly of basalt (Jurassic) Since the last ice age about 11,000 years ago, the area was uplifted. The land rebounded, leaving raised beaches on top of the cliffs with layers of glacial till. Because the region was involved in this tectonic tug of war, whatever fossils found in the rock has been worked mostly beyond recognition. There are some rare fossils that escaped this calamity, but they are very scarce indeed. Sandstone and other types of sedimentary rock had been metamorphosed, pulled apart and pressed, warped, and molded. Beading, sandstone under tectonic stress Tremendous pressure applied to these rocks introduced minerals such as quartz (quartzite). The shales and mudstone are practically pulverized, ground into a very fine material, resulting in this dark sand all over this beach. Glacial striation for fault scarring? Horsetail (related to ancient club mosses, lycopsids) Nice folding! Folding and faulting Sedimentary strata changed under incredible stress Morphology drastically being modified in several episodes This area is very fascinating and exciting. Here is a place where you can witness the continent being pushed around and shaped over and over during a very long period of time, in various ways, due to harsh and extreme forces exerted by the tectonic activity at the time of continental push and separation over 400 million years. The scale of it is amazing on the grandiose scale to the micro level of change. This shows that rocks can be very malleable under great stress. What doesn't bend, eventually breaks. Cheers!
  25. From my blog: http://redleafz.blogspot.ca/2013/04/economy-point-copequid-bay.html Back in August of 2012, I took part of a walk organized by the Fundy Geological Museum (FGM). It was in the middle of the week (Thursday August 9th, I think), so there wasn't any tourist or non-employee beside myself. The gang consisted of geology students and staff, led by Ken Adams, the curator of the FGM. Looking out towards Cobequid Bay Economy is located in Nova Scotia, East of Parrsboro in Cumberland County. From Parrsboro, you take the 2 road and head East, past Five Islands Provincial Park. Economy Point has many trails that are beach accessible, but the getting there can be messy with the muddy silt snaking within the bay. View of Five Islands (background) The rocks of this area are part of the Wolfville Formation, Triassic aged red siltstone and desert sandstones, a lot of it apparently sculpted by wind. The bottom part of the cliffs along the bay are of this red sandstone, and upon it rests several feet of glacial till from the last ice age that helped sculpt the area. Moving around entailed hiking up and down huge slabs of sandstone that displayed odd physical features. There are all sorts of trackways and burrows, but there are also structures that none of us could readily identify. Burrows? Plant traces? Toolmarks? Triassic sandstone (bottom), glacial till (top) Diplichnites (such as of a myriapod)? Natural caves Water channel Bird nests in the cliffs The further East we walked, the stranger the physical features would get. Even Ken was baffled by some of the structures we'd come across. Here's a few photos taken by my Blackberry and you be the judge. Can you identify any of the following? Bottom of a tree (?) Tree roots (?) Many of the structures are found on this red sandstone Worm burrows? These holes are so odd. At first I thought they were cavities left behind by plants, but some of these exhibit strange patterns around, looking bizarrely like projectile of some sort. Some of these 'projectile' show patterns and/or direction. Am I imagining things? After a long and hot afternoon, we turned back and made it back to our cars, pondering on what we saw. We were intrigued by what we had found. Was this unique? If not, where else could we find these? Any feedback would be much appreciated! =)