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RainBoKatchr

Photographing microgastropods

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RainBoKatchr

I have found a number of species in the Astoria Formation near Newport Oregon that are not in the literature, and I am planning on putting up a web site that describes them and makes proposals for their species names.  And several of these are micromollusks.....a few bivalves, but mostly gastropods, with the smallest species being 1.2 mm high (not all that far from the world record of 0.7mm for a gastropod).  And my digital camera, even in "macro-mode," can't begin to provide a usable photo of such an object.  Does anyone have any ideas as far as photography equipment for small items that is affordable for someone on a strict budget?

 

Dave

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goatinformationist

I ran into the same problem (canid intestinal parasites) a couple of years ago.  So I googled USB digital microscope and chose the $20 model from China.

It is a dream machine, with 40x to 1000x it was a little high powered for my fossils but it worked right out of the box.  My scope came with a jointed stand, a cable

to connect to a cheap laptop, and a power cord that I never use.  I snap/print my photos to the laptop to save and print what I choose.  It is always in focus.

Do not under any circumstances load the user disk into a nice workstation; it is written in Chinese and will stop your system cold.  And you really don't need

it anyway.

 

 

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Fossildude19
1 hour ago, RainBoKatchr said:

I have found a number of species in the Astoria Formation near Newport Oregon that are not in the literature, and I am planning on putting up a web site that describes them and makes proposals for their species names.  And several of these are micromollusks.....a few bivalves, but mostly gastropods, with the smallest species being 1.2 mm high (not all that far from the world record of 0.7mm for a gastropod).  And my digital camera, even in "macro-mode," can't begin to provide a usable photo of such an object.  Does anyone have any ideas as far as photography equipment for small items that is affordable for someone on a strict budget?

 

Dave

 

USB microscopes can be pretty good.

 

This is the one I have. 

$30.00 model from Amazon.

 

Plugable.jpg

 

Here is a photo of a small trilobite - only a bit of post production contrast enhancement.

 

 

S20170129_0007.jpg

 

 

Some people have had  some luck with using Free Image Stacking Software, combined with the USB microscope. .

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Auspex

How does one differentiate these tiny ones from juveniles of known species?

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DPS Ammonite

@RainBoKatchr Do not propose names for your species. Doing so may preclude their use in the future when they are properly described using the following ICZN code: http://iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp

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FossilDAWG

I'll second DPS Ammonite's comment.  "Publishing" names on a web site before they are formally published in a proper journal can make them invalid.

 

Don

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RainBoKatchr
On 2/18/2019 at 5:17 PM, Auspex said:

How does one differentiate these tiny ones from juveniles of known species?

If there is a population of this new species in a facies, and not just one individual, you have some indication of its maximum size, especially if there is a lot of consistency in the sizes. 

And even if it is single specimen, if the morphology is different from the known species, then it is probably new.  As far as whether it is a juvenile or not and if it is a good type specimen of the new species and represents its adult size, this can be difficult to determine in many cases, but the extreme juveniles of larger species are not yet calcified and won't normally fossilize.  So if this single specimen is very small, it presumably represents a small species, even if this single specimen is a juvenile.

In the formation I'm collecting in, I have found some "new" species that have multiple representatives, but I have also found what are (to date anyway) one-offs.

 

Dave

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RainBoKatchr

One of the "new" species I have found (a small bivalve) I have thousands of specimens of, and they are quite uniform.  At the other extreme, there are several gastropods that are one-offs.  But among molluscs, juvenile forms are usually just small versions of the adult form, so (unlike with arthropods) if there is a distinctly different morphology than anything in the literature (for example, a gastropod with a different shape, and different spiral and axial lines), then I will assume it is a "new" species.

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