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Found 8 results

  1. Well, it finally happened ... made the time to stop off this summer at the Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Oregon. Specifically in Hillsboro, Oregon. And wow, WOW .. what a collection !! One that rivals or equals a good number of natural history museums that I have visited. The most impressive was the extensive collection of petrified wood. Some of the slabs could have easily swallowed me. The minerals, as you will see were also quite impressive. Outside there was a seeded rock pile that the kids could dig around in and save their treasures for a minimal fee .. 1.00/lb. The first fist-sized mineral was free. Palm wood from Texas ... Some fantastic corals too ...
  2. Calke Abbey

    Calke Abbey is a Grade I listed country house near Ticknall, Derbyshire, built in 1701/4. Taken over by The National Trust. Sadly it is a house in decline only remedial work but no restoration has been done and interiors are almost as they were found in 1985 so the decay of the building and its interiors has been halted but not reversed. Before the National Trust's work of the late 1980s everything had remained untouched since the 1880s. It houses a great collection of natural history objects with lots of taxidermy birds. A lot of this collection was sold to pay death duties . The Booth Museum in Brighton purchase the most . The Booth is another favourite place of mine. Hope hope you enjoy my photos and thread. All the best Bobby
  3. Hi! I made a small visit to the Natural History Museum in Maastricht today to visit the new small exhibition named "Whale: Locality Maastricht" which centers around some Eocene whale bones from an undescribed whale found in the ENCI quarry in Maastricht. The exhibition explores further into the evolution of whales, it's a small exhibition but worth a visit if you haven't seen the museum or if you are really interested in whale evolution. Should any of our Dutch, Belgian & German members decide to visit (or international members who are in the area), then you should really grab a copy of the exhibition book. It is really cool and informative, it's only €2,50 but 125 pages long (both in dutch & english) and it covers the evolution of whales, the ENCI whale, modern whales & their biology and about whaling and whales in human history & myth. The exhibition book alone is well worth the visit in my opinion, I kinda compare it with the EOS magazine about Iguanodons & the book "Mammoths: ice age giants by Adrian Lister" but then about whales. So here are the photo's I made of the exhibition. The Exhibition Room: left: Metepocetus sp. neurocranium with preserved ear bones from Liessel in the Netherlands (Miocene) Right: Isoluted vertebrae of various whale species from Liessel in the Netherlands (Miocene) Isolated vertebrae of Eocene primordial whales (Archaeoceti) dredged from the buttom of the North Sea, for comparison with those of the "ENCI whale" Isolated vertebrae of Eocene primordial whales (Archaeoceti) dredged from the buttom of the North Sea, for comparison with those of the "ENCI whale" Smallest jaw: possibly Dorudon sp. from the late Eocene of Ad Dakhla in Morocco. Bigger jaw: possibly Pappocetus lugardi, from the middle Eocene of Ben Gueran in Morocco.
  4. After visiting the Natural History Museum in Oxford England last year, I really recommend it, London eat your heart out. Easy to get to via train, within walking distance of rail station. I think the displays of fossils are well laid out around the outside of the gallery as well as the larger ones in the middle. I hope to take more photos of the displays as I am going again this year. Well worth a visit, prefer it to the NHM in London. Their website is: http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/
  5. Had a wonderful day at the Natural History Museum in Stockholm , especially as I spotted some fossils on display from my home town of Peterborough in the UK.
  6. My family was heading to the zoo today but decided that we would like to go to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History when we approached DC...none of us knew it was National Fossil Day today! Stand by for more photos!
  7. The Paleo-Tourist

    The Paleo-Tourist (http://paleo-tourist.typepad.com/the-paleo-tourist/) is a blog that is partly about science, partly about travel, and entirely about natural history. In it, I describe my travels and adventures including visits to museums, fossil sites, dinosaur digs, book reviews and pretty much anything else related to paleontology in the places I happen to go.
  8. Willey Ley's Exotic Zoology

    Book Review: "Willey Ley's Exotic Zoology" (Capricorn Books edition, 1966) is composed of revised chapters from three natural history books written across the previous twenty-five years: "The Lungfish, the Dodo, and the Unicorn" (1941); "Dragons in Amber" (1951); "Salamanders and Other Wonders (1955). So far, I have only read "Dragons in Amber" (see my review of it in a previous thread within the Fossil Literature category). Perceptible edits in the four chapters from "Dragons in Amber" seem to be limited to capitalization corrections. Some chapters from the other two books include substantial additional text (as indicated by footnotes postdating the releases of those titles). Following an introduction which offers a brief history of progress in the field of zoology, profiling scientists from Aristotle to Darwin, the 22 chapters are grouped into 5 parts, each a general topic. Part 1 covers mythical beings that had or appeared to have had a basis in reality. Unicorns, dragons and men abominable or otherwise are discussed along with a surprising account of how the unassuming barnacle came to be understood. Part Two is devoted to extinct animals with chapters on Triassic reptiles, ichthyosaurs, mammoths, and early flying vertebrates. Notes on the fossil deposits of Holzmaden and Solnhofen are provided to the reader as well. Part Three attempts to unravel various mysteries of the sea such as sea monsters and a certain gigantic nut considered as the most valuable collectible among the super-wealthy across the 17th century. Part Four visits far-flung islands with reports on particular extinct or near-extinct animals or legendary plants. The reader learns about the moa, the dodo, the kiwi, giant tortoises, and the story of a man-eating tree. Part Five looks at living fossils: modern organisms belonging to ancient, much more diverse groups and surviving on the last outposts of a once vast geographic range. The playpus, tuatara, lungfishes, and the coelacanth are among those studied. I enjoyed reading this book. Ley clearly loved natural mysteries and oddities and apparently enjoyed digging deeply into the legends and finely tracing the backstories which were sometimes peopled with historic figures. He reveals the all-too-human tendency to embellish an already-interesting tale. It dates back at least as far as human history remembers and lives today in our books and movies "based on a true story." The reader learns that the graceful unicorn was just a rhino many edits later (much to the chagrin of Marco Polo) and some mysteries remain unsolved after the last page, including that of an unusual fish scale obtained by a Tampa souvenir shopowner (p. 429). The author also seemed to have been amused by the misinterpretations overcome in the path to the current understanding of the earth both in the sense of modern geography (islands with more than one name in more than one language) and the zoology (animals with more than one name in more than one language). In his narrative Ley shows he was comfortable with a few languages as he weaves French expressions, his native German (and some Latin) into the English text. Furthermore, he did not shy away from quoting passages from 17th century English works (legible to the average American as a given sentence is often just a few vowels or a word once removed from modern usage). He seemed to have been intrigued as much by the origin of some of the terms used in the storytelling as in the path of particular histories. This book is not abundantly illustrated and limited to line drawings but the selection of topics would appeal to many on the forum and the writing style is casual. Ley teaches science here but the instruction flows within field trips through time and across the world. I did not get a feeling that the text could have used additional visual aid at any point. While the book is nearly fifty years old and some of the information may be dated, the reader will find value in some of the accounts - perspectives on how the world was observed by laymen and scientists in previous decades and centuries. Furthering its role as a time capsule this book reveals plate tectonics as relatively new to science. It came to be a widely-accepted theory only in the 1960's. Alfred Wegener had proposed that the continents were once joined together earlier in the 20th century but it was not until the late 50's that case-closing evidence was accumulating rapidly. The various chapters were written across that time. Ley observed (p. 268): "...these same more recent ideas encourage the concept that the continents are not solidly anchored to the earth but may move. When such movements take place, the reasoning runs, portions of the continent may become detached and be left behind, as Madagascar looks like a piece of Africa that was left behind..." That passage seems to have been written at a time when continental drift was gaining acceptance but perhaps just a few years before seafloor spreading and other lines of evidence rendered it undeniable. Ley recognized the changing tide in geology and seemed to be rolling with it since previous explanations of continental development sounded less likely. For decades Ley was more widely-known as an early rocket researcher and popular science writer in the fields of rockets and space travel. Sadly, he died less than a month before the triumph of the Apollo moon landing in July of 1969.
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