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Found 10 results

  1. Beetle

    From the album Beetle

    A small beetle exquisitely preserved in 99 million year old Burmese amber.
  2. Hello Fossil Forum members. I have recently been expanding my amber collection. I have all sorts of amber from all over the globe, from Chiapas amber to Baltic Amber. But one type of amber in particular has caught my attention recently. Burmese amber, or as some call it “Burmite”. It is from the cenomanian around 99 million years old. It comes from northern Myanmar (Burma). The inclusions within this amber where alive when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. I have recently been obsessed with Burmese amber. I just bought a small piece of Burmese amber from a Chinese dealer online. It is small (about 2 centimeters). But don’t let its size fool you!! Within the small piece is a very significant inclusion (in my opinion). There is a female biting midge. It is engorged with the blood of some unknown vertebrate. Doing my research on blood engorged insects in amber, I came upon this article https://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/amphtml/Science/2013/1015/46-million-year-old-mosquito-filled-with-blood-is-a-scientific-first It says that the chances of finding a fossilized blood engorged mosquito was unlikely, due to the set of circumstances that would have to occur. A mosquito was found engorged in blood, from the middle Miocene of Montana. About 46 million years ago. Blood engorged insects have only been reported on a handful of occassions. But perphaps the most exciting and interesting thing about the biting midge I bought, was that it might have bitten a dinosaur, since it is from the middle Cretaceous. So could It have DNA? Maybe, small fragments of DNA could be preserved within Amber (theoretically). But not nearly enough to clone a dinosaur. The piece of Burmese amber with the biting midge will arrive in about 2-3 weeks. I am hoping to be able to photograph it better with my microscope, and get a close up look at its blood engorged abdomen. Here are the pictures the seller provided,
  3. Today is my last day off of work which means I have time to do fossil stuff. It is also the last day for a little while that I will be discussing dinosaur fossil very much. We have shark programs starting at the end of this month so my mind has to get back on the sharks. Dinosaurs go on the back burner again for awhile. I will post a bit more of the collection but I also wanted to share a little bit about my experience with Jurassic dinosaur fossils during the early stage of building our collection. Hopefully it provides something useful to another collector. As we started window shopping in preparation for beginning a dinosaur collection, one thing stood out about fossils from the Jurassic era. They are expensive. The prices are so far out of my range that I did not bother to research them beyond the ones we first encountered from various dealers. I would have to sell a kidney to get a hold of anything from that era. I saw sauropod teeth for up to 2500$ and none under 600. Don't get me started on theropods from that era. It all looked just too expensive. Our collection is built on inexpensive fossils from formations (Bull Canyon, Kem Kem, Judith River, Hell Creek) that produce some great bargain stuff. i saw nothing in the way of bargain fossils from the Jurassic beyond bits of bone or bits of bone assigned a species even though I doubt you could assign a species to those bits. They are chunkasaurus not Camarasaurus is my theory lol Anyway, I had little belief that we would add anything Jurassic except for the chunkasaurus bones for kids to handle. It did bother me though that we would have a glaring hole in the program. Kids associate the Jurassic era with dinosaurs and vice versa thanks to the movies Jurassic Park. Even if the dinosaurs from those movies were not Jurassic, the word association is unavoidable. I decided to back track the origins of the super expensive fossils from that era. I have a theory that there has to be a primary source for all of those high priced dealer bones. I think one or two entities probably supply the vast majority of fossils from the Morrison Formation which seems the primary formation for North America fossils out there. I think I was successful in the attempt to find one of the sources of the fossils. I have seen affordable Jurassic fossils for the first time and I would tend to trust the ID's because these folks dug them up. I suspect season collectors will the know the folks I am talking about. I saw a few fossils that were in the price range that we set for ourselves. It is not a lot of money at all but I saw fossils that we CAN get. We can not buy right now. The Judith River Anky and I are in a firmly committed relationship so until that tooth comes home, I am frozen on purchasing for a bit lol I do have a source though and time to start learning about Jurassic dinosaur fossils before I buy any. I know the general profile of what type of dinosaur fossil we will add. It will be a bone, not a tooth, of a sauropod. It will give us a Jurassic dinosaur to fill that blank space in the program plus it would give us some visual flair. Point is...... a little bit of above ground virtual digging can unearth the fossils you want even if they at first seem to expensive to afford. Be patient, be diligent, do your homework, and you can build a pretty awesome dinosaur collection, with out going broke
  4. https://qz.com/1322128/could-chris-pratt-really-train-velociraptors-to-do-his-bidding-a-paleontologist-says-yes/
  5. How an Amateur Collector Changed Paleontology Forever To those of The Fossil Forum, I wish to share with you the story of Maiasaura peeblesorum and Marion Brandvold, both good mothers. Maiasaura was discovered forty years ago in June of 1978; this is the month and year of the Maiasaura. Marion and her son, David Trexler, found fossils fascinating long before Jurassic Park popularized dinosaurs. They would often take a vehicle out and go prospecting in their backyard geologic formation known as the Two Medicine. One hot summer evening when walking back to the vehicle, Marion took a small detour and came upon some tiny fossilized bones. In 1937, the Trexlers had opened a rock and jewelry store, and over the years had created a successful jewelry manufacturing and wholesale business along with their ranching interest. However, Marion's heart was always with the land and the animals, and when her husband passed away, she opened a retail store for her merchandise rather than try to keep up with the wholesale business. That way, she still had time for the ranching and rock hunting that she loved. Marion and David had discovered a partial dinosaur in 1971, and they traveled the State of Montana to compare it to all the wonderful previous discoveries they had read about that had been made in Montana. To their surprise, the only dinosaur on display in the entire State was in a little museum in the basement of the high school in Ekalaka, Montana. It had been assembled by a couple of ranchers who had worked with paleontologists from elsewhere who had come to the State, collected, and left. Chagrined that nothing was left behind when professional work was done, they decided to start a small museum in the back of the family store. The goal was to display a dinosaur skeleton from their local area. After all, if ranchers from Ekalaka could do it, so could they. As far as professional training was concerned, Marion had to rely on her familiarity with the ecology of the modern world, as she had no formal education on the subject. However, a ranch foreman when she was young had taught her the art of tracking, and had shown her how each organism interacted with other organisms and its environment. So, when looking for fossil skeletons, Marion expected to see very young and very old animal pieces, but not much in-between. On the fateful evening mentioned previously, Marion, Dave, and Dave's wife, Laurie, were out collecting what they believed to be a fairly complete duckbilled dinosaur skeleton. It is a long, tedious job collecting all the bones present in a dinosaur, and they had uncovered 15 or so at that point. As tools were being put away, Marion went for a little walk, and when Dave and Laurie caught up with her, she was sitting on a small mound of dirt with a big smile on her face. She said, "look what I found!" She was holding several baby dinosaur vertebrae. Within a few minutes, they had found many more, and Dave had found a piece of a jaw with obviously duckbilled dinosaur teeth attached. However, the entire jaw section could be covered by a nickel! They had a baby dinosaur to go with their adult in the museum. Bill Clemens, a mammal paleontologist from Berkely, had stopped in Marion's shop on his way to dig on fossil fish with some colleagues, and was impressed with what had been done in creating a fossil museum without any formal training. At the fish site, he encouraged Jack Horner, then a fossil preparator at Princeton, and Jack's friend Bob Makela, a high school teacher from Rudyard, Montana, to stop at Marion's shop and see the displays. A few days later, Jack and Bob left the fish site and visited Marion's rock shop and museum. Jack introduced himself to Marion, and for the next few hours, they had a wonderful time going over the specimens Marion had on display. Jack then asked if she had anything else, and she showed him a couple of the vertebrae she had picked up from the baby site. Jack's interest was immediately piqued, and he asked if she had more. Marion directed him across the street to where Dave was reassembling the baby bones they had collected. Jack realized immediately that Marion and Dave had something they didn't understand. He asked, "do you know what you have here?", and Dave replied, "Obviously not, since you are so excited." The concept of babies and old animals dying and being preserved in the fossil record, it turned out, was only partially correct. While that cycle probably did occur, baby bones were generally not preserved in the fossil record. The bones Bob and Jack were staring at turned out to be the first baby dinosaur remains known from North America. Jack asked to be allowed to borrow the fossils in order to write them up in a formal publication. The bones were carefully wrapped and placed in a coffee can, and Jack transported them to Princeton. A visit to the site was also in order, and Marion and Dave took Jack and Bob out to the site. Dave also showed Jack a poorly preserved skull that Laurie had discovered, and Jack offered to try to remove it and clean it up for display in Marion's museum. However, after a few years and the specimen was recovered and prepared, it turned out to be the type skull for Maiasaura, and Laurie donated it to Museum of the Rockies, where Jack was working by then. Baby dinosaurs together in a nest past hatching showed a totally different picture of what dinosaurs were thought to be. Jack returned for many years, and eventually the Museum of the Rockies purchased the land where the babies were discovered. The area has become a mecca for paleontological research. The discovery of all this led to a massive shift in the view paleontologist and indeed science as a whole had for extinct animals and modern reptiles. A realization occurred that dinosaurs were truly living, breathing, majestic animals who cared for their young, much like the life we often see around us today. Hungry and thirsty, often looking for a mate, just trying to stay alive in an unforgiving world were the dinosaurs. Far from terrible lizards, they were much like animals and we humans are today. All this came from Marion’s tiny little find. It was her tiny find which led to a surge of interest and public attention. It was her tiny find which started Jack Horner’s career. It was her tiny find that indirectly caused Spielberg to help create Jurassic Park which in turn inspired many into paleontology and many more into other sciences. Those she indirectly inspired have contributed a near inconceivable amount to mankind through science. They range from medical researchers curing diseases, to those looking for extraterrestrial life, and all the way down to myself. A great many started their interest in the sciences with an early love of fossils and dinosaurs. A love Marion Branvold started and continues through her past contribution. Sadly, I never had the opportunity to meet her and she passed away in 2014, at the age of 102. Over the course of my short time in paleontology, I had the honor to stand where her tiny find was made. As the search for more discoveries continues I have been privileged to search with both Jack Horner and Dave Trexler. In the great quest for knowledge, she played her part well, now it is for us to carry on with the next act. What a massive contribution from an amateur and so tiny a find. As others ogle over the next major discovery, keep all this in mind and tell us more of your own tiny find. Eric P. Made with great assistance by David Trexler
  6. My Theropod collection

    Just starting to get into theropod teeth. Surprised this didn’t happen many many years ago as I was obsessed with Jurassic Park as a kid. After many a times searching on this amazing forum, stumbling across @Troodon‘s Jurassic threads and late night boredom searches through everyone’s favorite online auction site I decided it’s time to expand the collection. I’ve primarily been into shark teeth in my short time getting into fossils serious. I’ve had some stuff since I was a kid but a work trip to Charleston 2 years ago has led a new obsession that’s branching into others... Some spinosaurus indet that I got from the Tucson show a while back Carcharodontosaurus A raptor species of some sort Starting of with some Moroccoan stuff for now as it’s heavily available and not too harsh on the wallet. Really would like to get into some North American theropods but kinda clueless on where to start and where to purchase from. I don’t mind using online auction sites for the Moroccan stuff but I’m hesitant on the NA stuff in there. If you guys have any recommendations please PM me some recommendations. Thanks for looking and please feel free to share pictures of your collection with me.
  7. We owe Jurassic Park a debt of gratitude (?)

    Palaeontologist Steve Brusatte: we owe Jurassic Park a debt of gratitude By Andrew Anthony, The Observer, May 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/may/13/steve-brusatte-palaeontologist-debt-gratitude-jurassic-park Yours, Paul H.

    They will be trying this very soon, i'm sure. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180328-the-increasingly-realistic-prospect-of-extinct-animal-zoos
  9. Interesting non the less

    Stumbled across this while looking for something to watch while eating Chicken madras (which i must say was awesome) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rtIWL7qTYQ Its an old VHS copy which clearly shows in the audio quality but goes over some very interesting ideas and views especially considering this was done over 20 years ago, and also for you poo lovers out there about 40 minutes in they go over coprolites. Anyway hope you enjoy and its not too main stream. Thanks Matt
  10. In 1993, when Jurassic Park was released to the large public, Velociraptor surprised many with its “small” size yet vicious and swift ways. However, there are some scientific inaccuracies (which most can forgive) about Spielberg’s fast robber. First (this may not be so obvious), as the main “raptors” were adults, their pedal unguals (the famous “killing claws”) should have been less pronounced and recurved than in those of juveniles (Martyniuk 2012; which probably explains why young dromaeosaurs would have been more arboreal than mature individuals). Second, the hands: in Jurassic park, the hands of the Velociraptor were very flexible and turned downwards, capable of opening doors. However, in real life, this was not the case. In fact, like birds, Velociraptor and other dromaeosaurids would have their hands turned more inwards. In all Jurassic Park movies, S. Spielberg gave the “raptors” a quite boxy and short head. The fossils however, show a long and narrow snout. The North American dromaeosaurids like Achillobator, Utahraptor or Deinonychus display a stout head, and people would thus believe that he got inspiration from the North American dromaeosaurids. The size. That’s one of Spielberg’s (and Crichton’s) biggest errors concerning the Velociraptor. In J-P, the Velociraptor are as tall as a man. However, this swift hunter reached up to our hips maximum. But, we can forgive this, because when Deinonychus antirrhopus was discovered, there was some confusion and some authors, including Paul (1988 in Predatory Dinosaurs of the World) referred to it as “Velociraptor antirrhopus”. At the beginning of JP-1, the movie featured a dinosaur dig in Montana. The protagonists were digging out a complete Velociraptor skeleton. That cannot be possible at all, because Velociraptor lived in Mongolia (Osborn 1924). Yet another confusion with Deinonychus. However, the biggest mistake is the absolute lack of feathers. There is a huge body of evidence that all dromaeosaurids had feathers, even Velociraptor (Turner et. al 2007). However, this can be forgiven because the first feathered dinosaur (Sinosauropteryx prima) was found 3 years (in 1996) after the official release of Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, upon viewing the movie Jurassic World (in other words Jurassic Park 4), I came to the conclusion that the Velociraptor(s) had retained all the erroneous features I noted above, without a correction in sight.