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Found 19 results

  1. I was invited to set up an educational booth at the Cranbrook Rock & Lapidary Club's Mineral, Fossil & Gem Show in October. It was a huge hit with the local collectors and members of the public. I was able to chat with a diversity of people ranging from families to fanatics and even some familiar faces from social media swung by to say hi. I am excited for the next event and will definitely be spending more time in Cranbrook. Such a welcoming community of fossil hunters and great number of Cambrian sites. Here are some photos of my table display. I wanted to spice things up and add fossils from around the world for this event as well as feature some of my current work.
  2. Frightmares

    Trilobite information?

    So, I will admit, I am severely uneducated when it comes to trilobites, but I’d love to learn more about them — the different species, what’s rare, what’s common, formations they’re found in, etc. I don’t have any in my collection yet, and I’d like to change that. Any recommendations where I could start my learning? Books, articles, papers, anything is appreciated.
  3. Hello! My name is Raúl Falcón, and I am a design student at the Rhode Island School of Design. I’m currently working on a research project focused on online paleontology resources for anyone interested in dinosaurs and paleontology. I would appreciate your feedback and input on this project, which can be accessed through the attached link here. This research project is part of my Design Principles class User Experience Final project. The goal of this study is to gain insight into how individuals learn about prehistoric life and engage with online learning resources. To achieve this, participants will be asked to complete a form with three questions related to their learning experiences and preferences for educational content. Please note that all responses will be kept confidential and used solely for research purposes. My ultimate objective is to develop online paleontology resources that cater to the needs and preferences of anyone interested in paleontology. I would be more than happy to respond to any questions or comments you may have. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email at rfalcon@risd.edu. Thank you for your time and assistance in this project. Best regards, Raúl
  4. Some of you may remember my struggles with the COVID lockdowns and having to shutdown my event rental business. Sad times. Well… my wife is at it again! She recently started another business venture (about 8 months ago. I think…) This time it’s an imaginative indoor play area specifically for kids in the age range of 0-8 years old. It’s been well received by our community and she is doing great! Why does The Fossil Forum care? I’m glad you asked! Today my wife had her first Fossil Event for the kids. A private event with a limited number of tickets. The event consisted of kids getting to dig open a “dinosaur egg” which contained a plastic dinosaur toy that was hidden inside. A grab bag full of goodies, snacks, special fossil themed play areas, and open play to the entire facility. She also had a local fossil expert on hand to show real fossils to the kids. That’s me! All of the children were 5 years old or less. I spoke to each of them in turn since they had to come to me to get an identification for the dinosaur they just found in their egg. It was a joy to watch their face light up when I showed them the Megalodon tooth or petrified wood. I equally enjoyed their nose wrinkling in disgust when I handed them fossil poo**. The insect could go either way. I also gave each kid a real fossil to take home in their goodie bag. My meager fossil setup is shown below. It’s not much, but was enough for the 5 year olds (and younger). Showing them things they could understand and relate to was key. A big tooth, wood, a bug, poo. I also threw in a few local specimens that they may find in their own backyards. It was a fun time and I thoroughly enjoyed spreading a bit of my fossil enthusiasm to the younger generation. I will certainly do it again in the future. **I know that the “fossil poo” I brought is not likely a coprolite, and may even be strictly geological, but to a 5 year old, if it’s the shape and color of poo, then it must be poo!
  5. Hello, I am the executive director of the West Virginia Botanic Garden in Morgantown. Since my undergraduate paleobotany class I took long ago, I've had an interest in local fossils and the natural history story they tell. Of course, West Virginia is known for coal, but I've long wanted to tell a richer story of the state's underground forests at the state's flagship public garden. We do not have an indoor space for an exhibit, which makes development more difficult. It has to be designed to face the elements and secure fossil artifacts so they don't get stolen. Thanks to a small grant, I'm finally able to get moving on production of a custom panel with locked shadow boxes. I couldn't be more excited! The panel will be 6' wide by about 3' tall mounted to posts. As I said, there will be 8x8" shadow boxes made of aluminum attached to the back. An acrylic window at the front and on the top will allow light in. Each box will be lockable. All fossils will come from my personal collection. Even though a couple of the specimens are not ideal, I can easily replace them when I find better pieces. Now, here is where you all come in! As I said, I only had one undergrad course. With that and a handful of books, I know enough to seem like I know what I'm talking about. But I'm humble and am nervous about putting my draft into production where tens of thousands of visitors will see potentially incorrect information. I have sent the draft panel to public agency officials and some local university folks, but have not heard anything back. In trying to get this thing done sooner rather than later, I could really use some critical editing help!!! You won't hurt my feelings. I'm a little reluctant to just post the draft panel image up here for fear of a mountain of possibly conflicting advice, but perhaps that's the best way to do this. My education director helped with the draft since she has expertise in interpretive signage, but she can't help with the substantive content. The gray areas are where the windows will be. I have something that will represent each of the areas. My Sigillaria fossils are pretty awful and I'm not 100% certain any of them are actually of that, but I'll augment it by putting one of my good Stigmaria pieces in with it instead of over with Lepidodendron. My only trilobyte is like 1/2" big, so the animal display will probably have a nice crinoid and a really nice Lithostrotionella piece. (Note: images were purchased legally) Fire away!
  6. ElizabethHarris

    Looks Like A Petrified Clam

    Is this a measly clam or is it a mother nature made stone? The more questions I asked, the more knowledge I'll gain
  7. I'm considering going back to school for an MS in paleontology, but unfortunately my undergrad degree is in linguistics and I don't have relevant credits to my name. I know admission requirements will vary from school to school, but I'm wondering if any of you have found yourselves in a similar situation and if so, how you handled it - did you get a second BS, another degree like an AS, take some biology/geology/etc classes to get credits without getting a whole new degree, something else? I will be reaching out to specific universities about this eventually, but I'd like to check in with people who've done the same thing first, if you're out there. If you yourself haven't been in this position but have been through/are currently in a graduate paleontology program and have some insight I would love to hear that as well!
  8. In my goal to identify ammonites I have been seeing in Alaska have had to learn much such as ammonite anatomy and terms. My scientific illustrator, graphic artist wife helped me with these depictions of a generic ammonite. I have been reading about the various ways ammonites are described in the scientific papers and needed to be able to learn them for the descriptions to make sense. I would like input from those more knowledgeable than myself to see if I have this cheat sheet accurate. See attached PDF. Thanks for any input. Ammonite Anatomy & Terms.pdf
  9. I an putting together some hand-outs for the Dallas Paleontological Society table to use at local events. We are committed to educating the public about the science of paleontology. Below is one proposed list that I have put together from different sources and re-worded to fit in a small space. Some of you may find mistakes or other things to add or even a better way to explain something. I would appreciate any help you can offer. Anyone should feel free to use this in any way you like. Any other material you think would make a good hand out would be appreciated. We have a nice deep time chart and a hand-out on age-dating fossils as well as diagrams of local strata. Thanks. 20 WAYS FOSSILS CAN BE FORMED DUPLICATION 1 Internal Mold (sediment in contact with inner surface solidifies then original dissolves) 2 External Mold (sediment in contact with outer surface solidifies then original dissolves) 3 External Cast (original outer surface dissolves and space fills with solidifying material) 4 Internal Cast (original inner surface dissolves and space fills with solidifying material) MINERALIZATION 5 Permineralization (space between cells fills with minerals that solidify) 6 Petrification (space between cells fills with silica binding to cellulose) 7 Repalcement (cells replaced with new minerals that solidify) 8 Recrystallizaion (replacement when the new minerals are a crystal form) TRACE FOSSIL 9 Tracks 10 Infilled Burrows 11 Coprolites (animal droppings) 12 Feeding Traces 13 Urolite (urine splatters) 14 Regurgitants (animal vomit) DESSICATION 15 Peat Pit 16 Tar Pit 17 Frozen Tundra OTHERS 18 Compression (thin carbon film formed by chemical change under pressure) 19 Resin Inclusion (Life trapped in resin which hardens into amber or copal) 20 Bioimmuration (impression formed on a shell by growing over another life form)
  10. minnbuckeye

    TFF, one of a kind!!

    Six years has elapsed since my fascination with fossils began. Without the Fossil Forum, I would not be where I am today with regards to both my fossil finds and the knowledge gained through the forum about my discoveries. Let me thank the MANY, MANY individuals that have helped with my adventures. I must first of all thank (from me) and blame (from my wife) @Bev for getting me initially involved in fossils . From our early hunts, a passion for the hobby emerged. But you all deserve a BIG pat on the back for helping not only me but so many others trying to gain knowledge in such a wonderful segment of science. More specifically, I have had the opportunity to taste the wonders of Floridian fossils over the last few years. @digit,@dalmayshun, @Plantguy, @MikeR, @Sacha @Shellseeker, @joshuajbelanger and more have all assisted me in one form or the other, making my vacations to the Sunshine State successful. Special thanks goes out to @jcbshark. He is the Florida version of Bev to me, taking this fledgling under his wing and making sure that I experienced an exceptional hunt each and every time that I visit him. Hopefully, he embraces our new friendship as much as I do. By the way, Jeff, are the fish biting????? It won't be long. During my first trip to Florida, Jeff volunteered to guide me to some fossils and took me to the infamous "Cookie Cutter Creek", known for its very tiny Isistius shark teeth. As a newbie to the art of shark tooth hunting, like everyone during their first hunt, I wanted BIG teeth, and I was successful at pulling a 2"meg out of the gravel!!!! As I sifted for more, Jeff was collecting fine matrix. It just looked like sand to me as I peered into his full 5 gallon bucket that took a day to gather, not appreciating what he had. Fast forward to today, I have matured a bit (don't tell anyone) and now totally appreciate the fact that bigger is not always better. Presently, I kick myself in the tush for not having done a little sifting for Cookie Cutter shark teeth, especially since the stream has currently been "cleaned up" and all the fallen trees removed, leaving the creek just a straight flat rock bottomed drainage ditch. My hopes of sifting for some cookie cutter teeth sadly disappeared with the creek's improvements. Then came the 2019 Rolling Auction to benefit the Forum, where @Darktooth kindly offered up "cookie cutter matrix". My wife knew my emotional attachment to this creek and my desire to find access to some matrix. So, since my birthday was the following week, she gave me the OK to bid away. I contacted @digit ,who collected the offered matrix, to see the likelihood of Isisteus teeth being present. With Ken's comments to me, I began bidding, that is until it jumped from my bid of $65 to $100 with many days left until the auction ended. Who was this @MSirmon character. How dare he blow my bid out of the water! Fearful that the bidding would go beyond what even I was comfortable spending, I elected to hold off further bids until hours before the auction ended. This was a mistake as you will soon see. And MSirmon won the auction with no additional bids. After reading the auction results and taking a few deep breaths, I posted this congratulatory note. Posted July 13 Congratulations @MSirmon. Great donation to the forum and great batch of fossils offered up by Darktooth who accomplished his goal of a $100 bid. Enjoy!!!!!!! My wife knew I wanted the cookie cutter mix terribly. My first fossil hunting trip to Florida was on this creek and it is a special place to me, full of wonderful memories that I will cherish. To make a long story short, as a "birthday gift" next week, she said BID AWAY!!! My intent was to be that last hour bidder making sure the prize came home! BUT unfortunately, I fished in the heat all day yesterday, came home, ate a great meal, and proceeded to fall asleep at 8:00. Slept until 2:30, at which time I woke up in a sweat, realizing what I had done. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! So watch out you future bidders, I have a green light if I see anything that tickles my fancy. To return to the point of this post, that being how wonderful forum members are, I will continue my story. A package postmarked from New York arrived a few days ago and was HEAVY. I questioned my wife if she had purchased any fossils for me and she said no. Still not believing her, I said if this was from her, then she would also owe me 100 backrubs. She agreed to this, convincing me that the origin of the package was unknown. I was perplexed. To solve the mystery, I went ahead and opened the package. Inside was a huge bag of "sand" and a note from Darktooth saying "Happy Birthday! This package is being sent on behalf of MSirmon (Mike) as a birthday gift. These are the items he won from my recent offerings (yes, there was more than the cookie cutter matrix in the box)............ I was stunned to say the least. What generosity from a person that I do not even know!!!! I now want to say to a special person THANK YOU MIKE, from the bottom of my heart And a smaller, yet also heart felt thank you to everyone else. Mike
  11. Part 1 Scientific Integrity in Education; Part 2: “The Great Dying” – end Permian extinction John Geissman, University of Texas at Dallas Geologists of Jackson Hole https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nYTuDP54ZI Yours, Paul H.
  12. Hi, I know back when cable was big there were channels like the discovery channel, history channel, etc. Anyone have a good list of shows that are good in terms of factual educational content of things like natural history + fossils? I am happy to pay for these shows/videos. Youtube is also welcomed. Audio books are another option but I prefer video. Thank you
  13. Hey everybody, My team writes math textbooks and we want to include dinosaurs in them. We're trying to find a document that states the amount of bones (approx.) in different kinds of dinosaurs. I would really appreciate your help! Thanks, Gonzalo from Uruguay
  14. Darktooth

    Shark presentation

    Today was time for me to give my Shark presentation at the Onandaga County Free Library, in Syracuse, New York. Originally I was to do a presentation on sharks, for the kids in the morning, and a second presentation on New York trilobites, for adults, in the afternoon. Due to the death of a friend, I had to cancel the trilobite presentation to attend to funeral services. But I gave the presentation on sharks as I did not want to cancel that, and let the kids down, who had registered for this event with the library, in advance. I really enjoyed giving this presentation today. While I never claim to anyone about being an expert, I do enjoy sharing the knowledge that I do have, with others. There were about 16, of the 23 kids, who had signed up for this, as well as their parents. Not a large group, but that's ok. I talked a bit about sharks of the past, modern sharks, shark fossils, and how and where to find them. I only had an hour to talk, and the time seemed to fly by, but the smiles on the children's and parents faces made it rewarding. At the end of the discussion I gave each kid 2 sharkteeth and 2 stingray plates to take home.They all seemed very pleased with that. The teeth I gave away were all from my recent hunt from Cookie Cutter Creek, as I had plenty. The highlight was when one of the children approached me after the talk. She looked at me and whispered " You know, you talked just a little too much". I had to chuckle. I told her how much a appreciate constructive criticism.
  15. Allosaurus

    Tips for Fossil Education

    Hi! I'll be teaching a group of kids about Geology this summer via 4H, and I'm looking for suggestions on activities/topics/etc that we can cover related to fossils. I'm planning for two meetings on fossils (one invertebrate and one vertebrate), with the rest covering a host of other geology topics. I have some general ideas, but I'm hoping to gather lots of suggestions. I'm mostly looking for ideas on different activities that we can do. I'll be bringing some of my personal collection for display, but I want this to be as hands on as possible (and yes, we will be doing field trips). Any sort of activity that will keep kids engaged.
  16. I'd like to make an announcement that a new species of stegosaure has been found in Indiana... A young grad student has uncovered what appears to be a baby stegosaure that can glow in the dark! I'm sure this find will be published in all the big name magazines and that National Geographic Channel will cover down on this scientific discovery. It's great when you can share your hobby and teach your children
  17. On March 24 10, our mineral club (Finger Lakes Mineral Club) will be having an Open House at the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, NY. This will be a Winter Free Day for the Museum, when they allow visitors in without charging the usual admission. I'm planning to put together a new display board, titled "What's so interesting about a rock?". This was a remark a visitor was overheard saying as she left our room, after a quick look at all of our displays. I told some of our new Club members about this at our latest meeting, then thought "That would be a good topic for a display board". So, I'm looking for suggestions! At the moment, I have ideas a few categories of interest. -- What rocks can teach us about geological history (including fossils) -- Minerals you (probably) use every day (Example: Quartz, lead, copper and iron.) -- Minerals that were important to stone and copper age peoples (flint, granite, gold, native copper and copper ore, etc. with photos of tools) -- Minerals used in Roman history (limestone for mortar, copper and tin ores for bronze, copper and silver ores for coinage, lead ore for plumbing) -- Minerals used in modern industry (Iron, diamond, zinc, tungsten, etc.) -- Rocks with cool properties! (Includes a sign pointing the way to my Fluorescent Minerals display box). One of the people I was discussing this display with suggested making it interactive. I'll have cardboard flaps with photos (and a question) on them, and underneath will be another photo and a brief answer. As an example, under "Minerals You (Probably) Use Every Day", I'll have a photo of a quartz crystal on a flap with the question "What do I use this for?" Under the flap will be a photo of a wristwatch with a brief description of the quartz movement. If I'm missing a category, or if anyone has specific suggestions within a category, I'd like to hear it!
  18. My son and I are doing our first Shark Adaptation classroom education program in March. We are using fossils from across the timeline of sharks to explain to the students how sharks have managed to stick around this planet for some 430 or so million years. I am very proud of the relatively small fossil shark collection we have. The kids will get to see and in a lot of cases handle some fossils from badass sharks. I thought it would be fun to put some of that collection and bits of the information we present. Eventually I will include the art work my son is producing. He is 5 months away from graduating high school so I limit his time on this art while he works his final art projects for school. The first shark we cover is also one of the most fun for me. The Cladodont sharks are pretty cool and as I recently learned present a perfect opportunity to utilize them in two different spots in our presentation. They start off the program because of Cladoselache. They were not the first shark but they are the basic design for sharks that would be recognizable to 3rd and 4th grade students. They had body type that modern sharks use and they had some fearsome looking teeth. They may be really small teeth but they were deadly if you were a small fish. Science thought these little sharks went extinct during the Great Dying but in 2013 that theory was proven wrong. There were Cladodont teeth found in France that dated to 120 million years ago. They survived the Permian by moving to deeper waters. The small shallow water sharks apparently became very successful as smaller deep water sharks. The physical adaptations are important but the adaptive behavior of sharks is a huge part of how sharks have survived for so long. We only get a few minutes on each shark so that is the basic stuff we will tell the kiddos. Here are the teeth. Pic 1- the unidentified Cladodont tooth. I love this tooth. It is one of my favorites. Under the micro eye, it looks so freaking cool. It could be a Symmorium. It could be something else. It might even be something new. It is from Russia and dated to 320 million years. This will get donated for research at some point. Pic 2- Cladodus belifer. A Mississippian tooth from Biggsville Quarry in Illinois.
  19. I_gotta_rock

    New Fossil Blog

    I've had a lot of friend requests on Facebook lately from my paleontology peers, but my personal page isn't really focused on fossils. So, yesterday I launched a new blog about my family's expeditions, details about our finds, and our experience sharing our discoveries and our passion with the community. Take a peek if you're inclined: https://www.facebook.com/I-Gotta-Rock-374330346479428/
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