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Found 101 results

  1. Fossil fish ID

    Hi all, I got this fossil fish from an uncle of mine but he didn't know ID and origin. Could you please help me out identifying the right species? Thank you
  2. Hello, Last saturday I had a trek in a mountain area in the northen Italy alps and I found this fossil (I'm not actaully 100% sure that it's a fossil, but I don't know what else could it be). It looks like an echinoderm fossil to me, but I'd like to ask your opinion about it. Thanks a lot, have a nice day. Oz
  3. Animal tooth ID

    Hello everyone, I was just searching the internet to find out what animal's tooth I found the other day, when I came across this lovely forum full of expertise. So I'd kindly like to ask if someone would help me identify the animal that was once the proud owner of this tooth. Some info: - Find place: southwestern Siciliy - age: some 2500 years / late Holocene - found in an archaeological context Any ideas greatly appreciated. Steffen
  4. Another new extinct mysticete-related paper is available online: Bisconti, M., Damarco, P., Mao, S., Pavia, M. and Carnevale, G. (2020). The earliest baleen whale from the Mediterranean: large‐scale implications of an early Miocene thalassotherian mysticete from Piedmont, Italy. Papers in Palaeontology doi:10.1002/spp2.1336 Atlanticetus lavei constitutes the oldest fossil mysticete from the Mediterranean Basin, considering that the fossil record of mysticetes from the early-middle Miocene in the Mediterranean basin is very sparse. Note that the authors of this paper make the basal thalassothere "Aglaocetus" patulus the type species of Atlanticetus.* Four nominal thalassothere species from Miocene deposits in the North Sea basin ("Amphicetus" rotundus, "Idiocetus" longifrons, "Mesocetus" latifrons, and "Plesiocetus" burtinii) were referred to Aglaocetus by Steeman (2010) based on some similarities with patulus, but the renaming of patulus as Atlanticetus and the much younger age of burtinii and rotundus raises the question of whether longifrons and latifrons could be similar to Atlanticetus, and whether rotundus and burtinii could constitute an unnamed genus or belong of the existing basal thalassothere genera from the late Miocene. *Two left tympanic earbones referred to the nominal thalassothere species 'Mesocetus' pinguis are identified by Bisconti and colleagues as similar to the earbones of Atlanticetus patulus and A. lavei, as is the little-known Miocene taxon 'Aulocetus' calaritanus. The presence of duplicate left tympanics in the 'Mesocetus' pinguis hypodigm makes clear than the material assigned to that species comes from more than one individual, and one of the cranial elements of that taxon may have been designated the lectotype.
  5. Paleoichthyology,Part one

    Knowing Carnevale's musical predilection,I can pretty much guess the origin of the genus name Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana, 58 (3), 2019, 295-307. Modena ISSN 0375-7633 doi:10.4435/BSPI.2019.18 A dragonet (Teleostei, Callionymoidei) from the Eocene of Monte Bolca, Italy Giorgio Carnevale & Alexandre F. Bannikov CarnevaleBannikov2019-Gilmourella.pdf
  6. Hello everybody can somebody help me identifying my fossil fish (4cm) I am pretty convinced that it concerns the exellia velifer from monte bolca looking forward to Your replies regards Rienk
  7. Hello dear members, Today I'd like to talk about my latest fieldtrip, to the Late Triassic tracksite of Zone, Lombardy prealps, Italy. However, I'd like to make it clear that it involved no fossil collecting, because of the scientific interest of the site and of italian laws, that prevent (almost) any form of this activity. I know there is the "Fossil sites" section, but I thought that here my post would have reached more people. I apologize in case this is not allowed. Let's not waste any more time! Italy is quite well know for its tracksites, in particular those bearing dinosaur tracks: Altamura (the largest tracksite in Europe!) and Lavini di Marco, just to give an example. On the other hand sites of Late Triassic age, bearing archosaurian footprints are poorly documented. Zone is a tiny village located nearby the Lake Iseo, in the Southern prealps, some 80 km (50 mi) east of Milan (see the red arrow on the map below). Back in the Late Triassic (Carnian) this area was an alluvial fan, characterized by a semiarid climate and, further to the south, by the occurrence of a series of volcanic edifices. Tracks are, in fact, preserved in terrigenous-volcaniclastic beds. Ripple marks and groove casts can be found too. The material is represented by a total of about 70 footprints, arranged in six trackways on two different layers. The older displays three trackways that cross each other, the younger three distinct trackways. Footprints are only moderately preserved, nonetheless several anatomical details are evident on those of the younger level. In addition to traditional mapping methods, a laser scanner was employed to obtain high-quality 3D digital models. Let's talk about who left this footprints for us to admire! Those of the younger level are referred to a quadrupedal trackmaker with plantigrade, pentadactyl pes (distal portion of the hind limb) and manus (distal portion of the fore limb). They have been assigned to the ichnogenus Brachychirotherium, known by a global distribution and probably left by a crurotarsan archosaur. It is not clear whether it was a rauisuchian (predator) or an aetosaur (armored vegetarian). On the field, I must admit that I was a little disappointed. Judging by the pictures published in the 2009 paper that described the outcrop, at least two trackways were quite distinct and visible. However, that was not the case: only 4 tracks (two manus and two pes) were indeed immediately identifiable. I guess that's possibly due to two factors: on the one hand weathering (the fine grained sandstone is very fragile), on the other hand inclination of solar rays. Tracks are best visible in raking light, but I visited at around 10-11 am in a clear February day. In the summer period I'm quite sure that much more could be seen!! In order to highlight the footprints and compare with the presente state, I chose to show also a pictures taken from the paper: you can distinghuish it easily, because it is in b/w. Today this is the best that you could ask for in this section (older layer) The overall best preserved manus-pes track, in the younger layer. Reconstruction of this set of footrprints Close up of the Manus, scale bar is 5 cm (2 in). total lenght of the track: some 30 cm (11,8 in). The second best preserved manus-pes association Reconstruction of a rauisuchian (on the left) and an aetosaur (on the right). On top lower right digital model of the best preserved trackway (I showed you the picture of the first two sets of imprints). A rauisuchian The significance of the Zone tracksite is that it represents the first definite ichnological record of archosaur tracks found in Lombardy and footprints are among the best preserved, although an upcoming paper is going to feature recently found tracks that are even better preserved (and I gave my contribution in the excavation campaign!). On the field, I must admit that I was a little disappointed. Judging by the pictures published in the 2009 paper that described the outcrop, at least two trackways were quite distinct and visible. However, that was not the case: only 4 tracks (two manus and two pes) were indeed immediately identifiable. I guess that's possibly due to two factors: on the one hand weathering (the fine grained sandstone is very fragile), on the other hand inclination of solar rays. Tracks are best visible in raking light, but I visited at around 10-11 am in a clear February day. In the summer period I'm quite sure that much more could be seen!! Anyway, it was a great experience: easy access, few people walking by, great scientific value! I hope that you liked my short report, Fabio
  8. Carangopsis dorsalis

    From the album Vertebrates

    Carangopsis dorsalis Middle Eocene Monte Bolca Verona Italy length 10cm
  9. From the album Plants

    oak leaf, (Quercus). Pléistocène Re (Val Vigezzo) Italy
  10. Dear members, today I want to tell you about one of the most epic misinterpreation in the history of italian palaeontology. A story that many newspapers and websites rushed to spread, but that was nothing but a leap! As you read in the title, it's about how an ammonite got mistaken for a dinosaur, in particular for a skull. How that could possibly happen? Let's see. Vigevano is a small town 31 km (20 milles) west of Milan, northern Italy. Famous since the Middle Ages (Leonardo da Vinci resided there several times), today a castle and a porch are its main attractions. But we will focus on the cathedral: built between the XVI and XVII centuries it is decorated with frescoes, paintings and decorative stones. Many italian churches feature very impressive decorative stones in their architecture: one of the most widely adopted is the Rosso Veronese (Red Verona's marble, even though it is a sedimentary rock!), a red and white stone that usually preserves fossils. In the Vigevano case, a slightly different rock was used, called "Broccatello". Still nowadays it is quarried in the swiss town of Arzo, extremely close to the Italian-swiss border, 60 km (38 miles) north of Vigevano. It is a marine limestone that dates to the Early Jurassic; common fossils found within include brachiopods, sponges and crinoids. Ammonites and other molluscs are more rare. On the map the red arrow shows the location of Vigevano and the purple arrow that of Arzo. Well, in fall 2010 one of the most respected italian newspapers shared the news that a dinosaur skull had been discovered in a slab of "Broccatello" that decorates a balaustrade in the Vigevano Cathedral. Responsible for the discovery was Andrea Tintori, then full professor of vertebrate palaeontology at the University of Milan. He reported that the in the cross-sectioned specimen, a cranium, nasal cavities and numeros teeth could be seen. At the beginning he thought it belonged to an Ichthyosaur or a crocodile, then he was convinced that it was a dinosaur. He also claimed to be intentioned to remove the slab and put it through a CT scan, in order to see it in 3-D. You can see a picture of the balaustrade and of the "skull" (the latter taken by me). After 9 years, however, the slab is still in its original location, untoched. Why? Well, because it is absolutely not a dino skull! A close (but not very sophisticated) analysis can easily show that is actually a cross-section of an ammonite shell: no teeth at all can be seen and other features (like symmetrical knobs or indentations) are not even remotely consistent with the original interpretation. (Picture obtained with permission of the original author) So, this is the end of our story: maybe a little disappointing, but in my opinion it teaches that any claim or fact should always be checked two times rather than one! You can read an article about this story from the Smithsonian Magazine website: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/a-dinosaur-in-an-italian-church-86306076/
  11. Hello everybody, My new museum tour focuses on the Geological and Palaeontological Museum of the University of Padua, Italy. I have visited more than 30 institutions in Italy, but this one remains my favourite. And it is generally acknowledged as having the most important collection of all the Italian universities. After seeing the pictures, I think that you'll agree with me!! The origin of the museum can be traced back to 1734 when the son of a professor donated his dead father's collections that were housed in a brand new natural sciences museum. in the following decades many more scholars helped to expand the collections. The museum moved in the present location, a XVII building decorated with frescoes, in 1932. After having been closed for many years, it reopened to the public in 2018. Unfortunately the whole invertebrate collection (more than 45.000 fossils) has been stored due to the building restoration. That's why only the plant and vertebrate collections can be visited, but nevertheless it is not short of surprises and amanzing specimens!! In this post I'll show you only the plant section. It is housed in a single large room and specimens are displayed like the XIX c. collections, but with modern equipment. It does nothing but enhance the astonishment. Padua is located 35 km west of Venice and 55 east of the Pesciara di Bolca, that is undoubtedly the most famous Italian palaeontological site (you can see specimens in the New york and Washington D.C. museums for example). it dates to the early Eocene and has yielded exceptionally well-preserved fishes, palm fruits and terrestrial and acquatic leafs. Most people don't know that around Bolca there are other important lagerstatten sites, with a similar age, that have yielded very different assemblages. For example in the Purga di Bolca, complete or isolated palm trunks and leafs have been found, as well as crocodiles and turtles. In the nearby province of Vicenza, an Oligocene outcrop preserves even more spectacular palm trees! I would have liked to explain in more detail the history of research in this areas and a description of flora and ancient environment, but it would take too long. If you are interested, I suggest you to read the most comprehensive and up-to-date work about the Bolca lagerstatten. You can download it for free from many sources. "CARNEVALE, G., et al. The Bolca Fossil-Lagerstätten: A Window into the Eocene World. 2014." Back, to Pauda, in the center of the room, plant specimens dating from the Carboniferous to the Pleistocene age and coming from all over Italy and other countries are exhibited. Now it's finaly time for the pictures!!! Let's start with two complete views of the room! It's impressive, isn't it? In the first case that I show you, you can see a wide range of plants from the Pesciara of Bolca, another outcrop near Bolca and from the province of Viceza: conifers, angiosperms, indeterminate specimens and horsetails. The close-up images are those of two conifers and of a horsetail. Next an undetermined plant showing inflorescences. In the Pesciara di Bolca, spectacular palm fruits can be found, some of them more than 30 cm (12 inch) long!! And now the amazing and almost breath-taking palm fronds! There are so many that you cannot take pictures of all of them, it would take so long!! Found from both in the Verona and Vicenza province, they show different stages of the growth of palms and and come from different parts of the plant. Of all of the aforementioned palm fronds, one stands out above all. It is actually a whole palm tree, 3 m (10 ft) tall. Definetely one of the most amazing fossil specimen that I've seen in any museum of the world. It belongs to the species "Latanites maximiliani" and was found in the Chiavon valley, Vicenza province. The next picture shows me (1,8 m or 5'9" tall) for size comparison. In the next post I'll explain to you the other plant exhibit. But first, enjoy this part!!
  12. Not Sure What It Is

    Hi Folks, Found this on a beach of the Island of Ischia, Italy (August 2019). Not sure what it is and, though I'd write more about what I think, I have no background or expertise...which of course is why I am here. Glad to provide any additional information if it would help. Thanks for your insights!
  13. Hello guys! Today I want to talk to you about an interesting museum situated where you wouldn't be expecting one: Venice, the City of Water. In a place famous worldwide for its architecture, art and food, the natural history theme is left behind, but it is not devoid of surprises. The museum was founded in 1860 and located in a XIII century palace, that served as a private residence and then as a market. The present appearance of the buidling was given by major renovation works that altered the original aspect. Nevertheless, it is an impressive location for a museum!! The area around Venice is an alluvial plain and no fossil can be found. That's why the museum collection are made up of specimens found in other parts of Veneto region, Italy and of the world. the highlight of the whole museum are the specimens collected during explorations that underwent in Africa in the 70's. In particular, the desert of Niger was explored. Back in the Early Cretaceous rivers and forests flourished there, as well as a very rich faunal assemblage. Italian-french excavations have yielded hundreds of dinosaur bones: theropods, ornithischians and sauropds are known. in the exhibits two specimens stand out above all: First the skull, teeth and back plates of "Sarchosuchus imperator", a crocodyliform and one of the largest crocodile-like reptiles that ever lived. (I only took a picture of the skull) Then the mounted skeleton and paratype of "Ouranosaurus nigeriensis", an hadrosaurid dinosar, 6,5 m (21.3 ft) long. Hadrosaurids had an unusual plant-smashing beak, multiple rows of teeth and they were facultative bipeds. Like in the theropod "Spinosaurus aegypticus", the neural spines of "Ouranosaurus" form a sort of "sail" on his back, its function his unclear; a social (display) role is generally more accepted than that of thermoregulation. The Venice specimen lacks the skull, atlas vertebra, ribs, the distal segment of the tail and few other bones. It was not fully grown, but close to adult size. Other exhibits from the Niger expedition include teeth and bones of dinosaur and a turtle shell: Regarding the other collections, they are less relevant and impressive in my opinion. You can see fish and plant remains from the Eocene of Bolca, a world-famous site not far from Venice. A couple of interesting tracks of amphibians and reptiles from the Permian of South-western United States Two amphibian body-fossil from the Permian of Germany Eocene crabs from Veneto A bird from the Cretaceous of China The skull of temnospondyl amphibian from the Permian of Russia The death track of a limulid from the Jurassic Solnhofen lagerstatten of Germany And a sirenid from the Oligocene of France Overall the Museum is interesting and I was satisfied. I didn't know about the African expedition and of a dinosaur paratype!! It was actualy difficult to take decent pictures (for the little lighting) and for most of the exhibits, labels and boards were minimized. Anyway, if you stop by Venice, don't miss it!! P.s.: if you'd like to have any additional information about the specimen that I uploaded a picture of or those that I left out, please ask, I would love the help!
  14. Ductor vestenae VOLTA, 1796

    From the album Vertebrates

    Ductor vestenae VOLTA, 1796 Eocene Ypresian Monte Bolca near Verona Italy
  15. Fossil News Summer 19 issue is available

    The Summer 2019 issue of Fossil News features the paleoart of Jimi Catanzaro, an article about late-Cretaceous pterosaurs in Cuba, more on that ammonite in amber you've been hearing so much about, an exclusive excerpt from Enrico Bonino’s new book about fossil medusozoans and how primitive algal mats helped preserve them, and a whole lot more! tinyurl.com/fnsubscribe
  16. Starting Monday, I'm going to have a weeklong trip across multiple parts of Italy. The main attractions being Naples and Sicily, visiting the volcanoes of the country (people may not know that volcanology is my second biggest interest). If there are days of downtime, I'm wondering if there are any spots I should check out while I'm there. Thanks in advance!
  17. Harpactoxanthopsis quadrilobatus

    From the album Crustaceans

    This crab like most other Italian crabs is from an area that is no longer accessible to the public, in a location known as Malo, Vicenza, Italy within the Lutetian limestone and this formation is roughly 40 million years old (Eocene). This species of crab is a mudcrab variant with large front claws and a hardened carapace. This crab was meticulously prepared and is currently on display at the Museum of Ancient Life in Lehi.
  18. What could it be?

    Hello, please could you help me to Id this fossil? I do not know were it come from, I bought it in Milan. Thanks
  19. Hello, can you tell me how it is possible reconize and which are the Differences between Agerostrea and Rastellum? Thanks
  20. Do you guys know if there are any paleontological museums in Italy?
  21. Scipionyx samniticus

    Again something new...Scipionyx samniticus found in Italy
  22. The theropod informally called "Saltriosaurus" is finally published after so many years as a nomen nudum: The following link is available here: Dal Sasso C, Maganuco S, Cau A. 2018. The oldest ceratosaurian (Dinosauria: Theropoda), from the Lower Jurassic of Italy, sheds light on the evolution of the three-fingered hand of birds. PeerJ 6:e5976 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.5976 Although Scipionyx interested me as the first dinosaur found in Italy (it happens to be named after the Roman general Scipio Africanus, who defeated Hannibal at the Battle of Zama in 202 BCE in Tunisia, ending the Second Punic War), I first heard of the dinosaur now called "Saltriosaurus" while reading the book Scholastic Dinosaurs A To Z back in 2003, but what was informally dubbed "Saltriosaurus" is now called Saltriovenator, and after being initially considered a tetanuran, it is apparently an early ceratosaur.
  23. New papers recording new occurrences of fossil Monodontidae are available online: Hiroto Ichishima; Hitoshi Furusawa; Makino Tachibana; Masaichi Kimura (2018). First monodontid cetacean (Odontoceti, Delphinoidea) from the early Pliocene of the north‐western Pacific Ocean. Papers in Palaeontology. Online edition. doi:10.1002/spp2.1244. (describes Haborodelphis japonicus) Pesci et al. (2018). First record of Monodontidae (Cetacea, Odontoceti) in the Mediterranean Basin from the Pliocene sands of Arcille (Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy). Fossilia, Volume 2018: 37-39. Denebola and Bohaskaia were long the only described fossil monodontid species from the pre-Pleistocene, but Haborodelphis and the new monodontid skull from Tuscany shed new light on the distribution of monodontids.