Jump to content

Recommended Posts

ThePhysicist

During the Summer, I had the fortune of driving near Seymour, TX and thus the opportunity to pay a visit to the WMNH. The WMNH is a small but unique museum in Northern Texas, specializing in the Early Permian fauna that lived nearby ~ 290 million years ago in the famous Texas "red beds." 

 

The land around Seymour was once an equatorial bayou, humid and inundated with rivers and lakes. In the rivers were lungfish like those that live today, various ray-finned fishes, and cartilaginous fish like the Xenacanth "sharks." Amphibians like Eryops, Seymouria, and Diplocaulus also spent much of their lives in the water, but were capable of venturing onto land. The most famous not-a-dinosaur Dimetrodon was the terrestrial apex predator, living among other stem-mammals like Edaphosaurus and Secodontosaurus. Early Dinosaurs and mammals were still tens of millions of years in the future. Most of these interesting animals are rarely found in museums, so the chance to see so many of them in one building was an uncommon privilege.

 

IMG_2749.thumb.jpeg.2e30c2384216368e8495fb9fb47b1723.jpeg

 

IMG_2751.thumb.jpeg.f113b2a2596a431b0b0d63aca78d5604.jpeg

Outside the building, a larger-than-life Dimetrodon stands watch over the murals. The building is also lined with large Ammonites.

 

IMG_2660.thumb.jpeg.d2445e9c4bb583361272c1ddd2d508d3.jpeg

an Eryops tries to find some shade

 

Inside, there are several life reconstructions of some of these animals, the first one being Dimetrodon

 

IMG_2662.thumb.jpeg.63f655c3d185ba36841407dceb52039d.jpeg

 

IMG_2661.thumb.jpeg.326642cdb486c9b99a57efda3be788f1.jpeg

 

IMG_2741.thumb.jpeg.4cc9aa6c08d49e46017e75b0f5f9c54c.jpeg

 

The first of several Dimetrodon individuals, "Bonnie"

 

IMG_2663.thumb.jpeg.f0766106d34c860d002f3fdc678a56bb.jpeg

IMG_2665.thumb.jpeg.46df072b9842f40df465aeac321e3e41.jpeg

The red matrix has been coated with a dark grey material to increase contrast with the bones. There is a partial Diplocaulus amphibian skull in its belly

 

272486643_IMG_26642.thumb.jpeg.b36639a1dead23cbc0db5680f0e99a7b.jpeg

Something I hadn't known: Dimetrodon may have been venomous?? I look forward to the publication of the evidence

 

A couple of large Eryops, their skulls were comparable in size to those of large Alligators

 

IMG_2668.thumb.jpeg.f912763fa1f16cddd9089287eb61f27e.jpeg

IMG_2666.thumb.jpeg.47ba4bf41c90dc57179cc650d185d329.jpeg

 

IMG_2667.thumb.jpeg.8b7a1cb8b0ade0497a35b21baf5d3e5a.jpeg

 

Various skeletal elements

 

IMG_2670.thumb.jpeg.cc50f888526e4e509d8dd9cec47c8cd2.jpeg

IMG_2673.thumb.jpeg.75de53050af7bccf518b677067842fe1.jpeg

1. D. grandis femur, 2. Dimetrodon sp. femur, 3. Edaphosaurus pogonius tibia, 4. Dimetrodon sp. tibia, 5. Edaphosaurus pelvis, 6. Dimetrodon sp. pelvis, 7. Secodontosaurus pelvis

 

Diadectes, a herbivorous tetrapod

 

IMG_2677.thumb.jpeg.13c88073d636ae76482fcca19853c012.jpeg

IMG_2678.thumb.jpeg.e9e0008de5ebf6e14ec35ff2916bb5e8.jpeg

IMG_2680.thumb.jpeg.e7d9a70d3ad6a013eb3b66cba27a2e7d.jpegIMG_2679.thumb.jpeg.ed760d60fcb0df366a354ccaa6ecc81f.jpeg

incisorform and molariform teeth indicate it was capable of stripping and masticating vegetation, a novel development among tetrapods of the time. It also had a secondary palate like we do, meaning it could chew and breathe simultaneously.

 

Diplocaulus, the "boomerang-headed" amphibian

 

IMG_2676.thumb.jpeg.0a18e1f4da9c5a107a0ef3a828eae9f4.jpeg

IMG_2674.thumb.jpeg.70e26fbc41410e621ba526281e00b9b1.jpeg

IMG_2675.thumb.jpeg.df01bc90d438e70b66aa1455c01c887a.jpeg

 

Dimetrodon elements

 

IMG_2687.thumb.jpeg.93a1d316cc79e890e874c1104b2f6ce3.jpeg

IMG_2688.thumb.jpeg.770a83b824833da35d288af3994b37c2.jpegIMG_2689.thumb.jpeg.aeffa9f3a1d4f88f453bb078447b8aed.jpeg

Neural spine with a pathology, a healed break possibly from the attack of another Dimetrodon

 

IMG_2684.thumb.jpeg.afe82e5dc0853cd2515d145c7c1c2ddf.jpeg

Maxilla with a broken canine, proposed to be broken in life

 

 

IMG_2681.thumb.jpeg.51ef5be857aa02e5140291cdec91abd4.jpeg

Pelvis with bite marks, possible evidence of cannibalism

 

Another Dimetrodon

 

IMG_2691.thumb.jpeg.7c2c2b93b40a20d8f361f9fea1885a8a.jpeg

 

Some plants

 

IMG_2708.thumb.jpeg.a81a4c03447b26b56c5c85f25e6a75d7.jpegIMG_2709.thumb.jpeg.f219f30e0b60de39cf7a1a435958cbdf.jpeg

Edited by ThePhysicist
  • Enjoyed 7
Link to post
Share on other sites
ThePhysicist
Posted (edited)

Seymouria is an interesting amphibian, with a mix of traits, hinting at the transition from water-bound amphibians to the terrestrial amniotes. Unfortunately no real fossils were on display (that I noticed). As you might guess, it was discovered and named after the town.

 

IMG_2707.thumb.jpeg.e77eaa256e5ca59210b993f84dc908bf.jpeg IMG_2706.thumb.jpeg.35573b5237ebb31225d3a2685fcc0665.jpeg

 

My favorite display was the Dimetrodon tooth-bearing skull elements ('cause teeth are cool!). Dimetrodon means "two measures of teeth," indicating the different kinds of teeth in its mouth for different purposes - similar to our own dentition. 

 

 

IMG_2694.thumb.jpeg.10820a1a080c304debad1611bd663229.jpeg

IMG_2699.thumb.jpeg.26d2c0d878e05eef8186b061f35dbcad.jpeg

IMG_2700.thumb.jpeg.d4a6a9ea682e3278e97b32934c9714f7.jpeg

IMG_2697.thumb.jpeg.048225bb21cbd2e9ba0aaa3ee79f8c60.jpegIMG_2704.thumb.jpeg.b9269158da3af0d2aa97f09105469131.jpeg

IMG_2701.thumb.jpeg.212f5a2f16f99edb8f00f0a12eb9ee54.jpeg

IMG_2738.thumb.jpeg.de41bec4fb2387f5b94c880d4ad9293e.jpegIMG_2703.thumb.jpeg.eac7f441a64ff3d0f21f5da93df1e729.jpeg

IMG_2695.thumb.jpeg.4661e18ade8d696316898d389a777586.jpeg

 

Even more Dimetrodon's

 

IMG_2742.thumb.jpeg.58162cc60eb83953f6cd9f867d449fd4.jpegIMG_2744.thumb.jpeg.87ce7c4547d5b3fc1a191cba91f045f1.jpeg

IMG_2743.thumb.jpeg.63bce7ea1018c3f1e1788097909309b0.jpeg

 

IMG_2710.thumb.jpeg.de18d2e501bf051f548afa7db6024c6e.jpeg

 

They also opened a new wing in the museum this month, the hall of Ichthyology. I'll only show the sharks, so there's something left for you to see when you visit (there's also many more rooms to this museum that I haven't shown)

 

IMG_2716.thumb.jpeg.2e839de3c393550f22f1b04ad88333b9.jpeg

IMG_2717.thumb.jpeg.eb69924468900f9dc475dbc364690405.jpeg

IMG_2718.thumb.jpeg.b506b61ed1724d9f4dbc60e3bc069e64.jpeg

 

 

IMG_2729.thumb.jpeg.6eabe33dc81bbcb8a8fec871bd02f61c.jpeg

Sculpture of Orthacanthus, a permian freshwater cartilaginous fish

IMG_2719.thumb.jpeg.3acbe5a4aae0730238e55a2add1c7848.jpeg

Orthacanthus tooth

In the prep lab there was another Dimetrodon 

 

IMG_2731.thumb.jpeg.1979a31c2729dd457efe7fbbe38fa883.jpeg

 

Once you leave, you can see a lot of exposures of the red beds around town.

 

IMG_2762.thumb.jpeg.61bf73e8181b17f816a68f2d1d2436b9.jpeg

Edited by ThePhysicist
  • I found this Informative 2
  • Enjoyed 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
ThePhysicist
Posted (edited)

Can't forget Edaphosaurus! It was an early herbivorous synapsid, the same kind of "stem-mammal" as Dimetrodon, it even had a sail. Though, it's structurely different with those "crossbars" on the spines.

 

IMG_2692.thumb.jpeg.f3fbe3c2d0d206b3a0775ab60c0bd388.jpeg

IMG_2693.thumb.jpeg.138ef640dfc516f8786026d44c4acab1.jpeg

Edited by ThePhysicist
  • Enjoyed 9
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for sharing these great images of a museum 'built', managed and curated by @dinodigger and crew!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

:Jumping:great!!! 

Thanks for the pics and the info about the museum, fantastic material and PERMIAN!!! Not common in the most museums

Edited by rocket
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

This was a great read! Ever since I first heard about the Whiteside Museum last year I've wanted to go but unfortunately haven't ever been anywhere close enough to justify the drive (especially with how bad gas prices were for most of this year).

My only experience with Permian fossils or the famous red beds was a short trip I took to Waurika, Oklahoma a long time ago despite how much synapsids interest me - the Dimetrodon vertebra I found is still one of my favorite fossils I've ever come across. 

  • Enjoyed 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
ThePhysicist
On 9/8/2022 at 9:53 PM, GPayton said:

This was a great read! Ever since I first heard about the Whiteside Museum last year I've wanted to go but unfortunately haven't ever been anywhere close enough to justify the drive (especially with how bad gas prices were for most of this year).

My only experience with Permian fossils or the famous red beds was a short trip I took to Waurika, Oklahoma a long time ago despite how much synapsids interest me - the Dimetrodon vertebra I found is still one of my favorite fossils I've ever come across. 

Glad you enjoyed! I don't usually get out that way so I knew it was worth a stop. I haven't been to Waurika (though I have tons of micro's from there); it's on my bucket list for sure!

 

On 8/30/2022 at 6:05 AM, rocket said:

:Jumping:great!!! 

Thanks for the pics and the info about the museum, fantastic material and PERMIAN!!! Not common in the most museums

Not common at all, it's a shame these animals don't get as much attention from museums, though that may simply be due to scarcity

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow that looks fantastic. Very interesting museum, with an enchanting collection. That Permian material is great to look at in the photos, a period that interests me immensely. Thanks for sharing!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...