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We are having a blast talking shark evolution at the Gateway Science Museum. There are several activities including shark tooth ID, a science experiment involving buoyancy and our evolution station. We call it the Shark Takeover and we do it several times a year. This time we have the microscope out and are showing off our early shark micros !!!! So so much fun
Carter and I began work on a website for Fossils on Wheels which is pretty exciting for us. Our primary goal with the website will be giving teachers a chance to learn more about what we do and to be able to see what we do. We have three shark programs next week at Paradise Ridge which we can photograph/video and two dinosaur programs in early February in Yuba City that we can also photograph. We will also have testimonials from teachers that should let people know that we are pretty good at what we do. We hope to be able to make it easier for teachers and/or institutions to book programs via a calendar. It looks like we will be launching a week from today after we have some video. We will let you all know what it is up and running !! In another news, we are heading up to Paradise next week as I mentioned for the first program will be doing with our new shark fossils that expand the timeline and new science that I have worked hard on studying. This is pretty much the shark program I was hoping to have. We can cover shark evolution as it is currently understood, show kids even older shark fossils, and get way deeper into adaptations than before. I am really super excited about this and have worked extra hard to make sure every fact is checked and that we provide the best possible program we can. These kids have already had dinosaur programs so they know us and we know them which makes this extra special. These kids will also be getting additional fossils to take home. I think we are over 1400 bags of fossils given away but it turns out it is really pretty hard to keep track of since we give them away outside of classrooms too lol We are staying busy and I think our hard work is paying off in the form of stronger programs and better ways for teachers to see what we do
I have done this periodically on the forum with quite a bit of success so I thought we would try it again. I am working on going deeper into shark evolution in our programs and expanding the range of sharks we cover by a few million years. We are set with our Cenozoic and Mesozoic sharks but we are still tinkering with the Paleozoic sharks. Currently the goal is extending the timeline backward and covering the very early sharks. Our earliest shark fossils were 340 million years old but we have been able to find a few that are older and really help us but I am wondering if we can find more. We recently acquired some Chondrichthyes scales from the Harding Sandstone. While likely not "true" shark scales, they are a link in the chain which is what we need. I think this was a good starting point. We also picked up a Diplacanthus fossil from Scotland which gives us a nice example of what the ancestors of sharks were and again provides us with another link in the chain. Carter and I both thought these were fossils we needed to add to really show the kids shark evolution through the fossils. We also picked up some micro fossils from the Genudewa Limestone of New York which should provide some interesting shark material. This formation is the same age (Givetian) and same general location (New York) as the formation that Wellerodus is described from. There are teeth and denticles that are at least superficially pretty close to those of Wellerodus. This is probably our best shot at finding shark fossils that could potentially be from Antarticlamnidae. I know there are also teeth found in these micros that look Cladodont in nature as well. Outside of these micro fossils, I am coming up blank on Devonian shark fossils. I have been researching the heck out of Paleozoic sharks and I know the Devonian stuff is rare but I have seen a little bit in collections so in my mind it might be possible to add a tooth or some denticles from other formations. Obviously we are not looking for a full shark fossil from the Cleveland Shale or anything like that but I believe we can scrounge up some additional fossils from the Devonian. None of my usual sources have turned up any material at all so we need a push start here lol So TFF friends, share your knowledge with us if you can. What, if any, options are there as far as Devonian shark teeth or denticles that appear on the market ? Are there formations that we should look into that people collect from? Basically any information that we can get might be helpful. The goal is filling in that timeline of sharks and we have a bunch of shark programs this winter and spring so this is the collecting priority for us. Thank you in advance for any and all replies !
Today is a big day for Fossils on Wheels. It is our first multiple school, multiple program adventure. Three programs at two schools, 1 shark and 2 dino programs. I am excited to the point of being hyper, which could also be due to too much coffee lol This is a great challenge for me as I have to rapidly switch gears from shark adaptations to dinosaur adaptations. It is a physical challenge as well just setting up the different programs. My son is at school today so it is all me though he will be with me for a program tomorrow. By the end of today, more than 100 students will have gotten fossil education and free fossil starter kits. It took me several hours yesterday to reload our supply of fossils kits as we have already given out more than I anticipated but this is a fantastic problem to have