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  1. Hi all! Here is a reconstruction of Berthasaura leopoldinae I created! I've always been super excited by new discoveries.
  2. Necropedia


    Hello everyone. My name is John and I recently graduated with departmental honors in Paleontology from the university of Oregon. I regularly collect from the Astoria formation of the Oregon coast and produce replicas of specimens collected there. I'm currently trying to get into graduate programs. I have a few research ideas relating to paleoecology of dinosaurs and the functional morphology of various features seen in dinosaurs and extinct mammals. My main interest is dinosaurs, however my research currently undergoing peer review relates to how ecology, diet, and body mass drive reproductive strategies in extant carnivorous mammals. I currently make fossil replicas using an eco friendly plant based mold making compound that has a low melting point. This material can be melted down in the microwave and poured to produce molds. The benefit to this is that as molds degrade or get damaged they can be broken down and the material reused. I believe I'm the first to use this method of fossil replication. I've attached a section from the left dentary of an Albertosaurus that I replicated using this mold making material.
  3. E.Zwart

    Something New

    Hello I'm new to the group and need some help with revealing what I have been researching for the past 5 years. It would be nice if I could get someone to come and see what I have and guide me in this process of making it known to the geology world. I live in Virginia on the North end of Rockbridge county. The elevation here is right around 1800ft. The closest stream to me is a mile away and flows west to east. My property is a sediment bed from when water flowed east to west over a waterfall. In this sediment bed I have found something new. Please help.
  4. Putting a shout-out here to see if any members have any nice specimens of pet wood from the Blue Forest locality in SW Wyoming. A researcher in the paleobotany department of the Florida Museum (FLMNH) is doing research on the species that are found in this locality. She has already identified several specimens as palm and (interestingly) a species in the avocado family. She is presently searching for additional specimens to possibly widen the floral diversity of this site. https://www.mindat.org/loc-216297.html I gave away virtually all of my specimens that I collected back in 2009 and my remaining pieces are presently on display in Powell Hall (the public display museum) on campus (see below). If any members out there have some nice pieces from this locality that they might wish to offer up for research purposes I'd appreciate hearing from you. If you can PM me with some nice (higher resolution) clear images of your specimens I'll forward those on to the researcher to see if they appear to be useful for her research. Thanks in advance. Cheers. -Ken
  5. Hello Everyone, I hope you are all in good health and living well. Within the discipline of Paleontology, one often observes and, in rare instances contributes, a diverse taxonomy of academic literature. Some papers deal with a single landmark find, others are literature reviews at different levels of specificity (e.g., a locale or a formation), and further others focus on a single genus or species, one which can perhaps be found across many continents. These examples fail to capture the variety of paleontology literature is out there (I very much admit a grand naivety for this, as my sample of literature in paleontology has been very biased and is also small, generally speaking) but are sufficient to get the brain thinking. Among the publications I've amassed on the Upper Cretaceous fauna of New Jersey and nearby locales (this subset of paleontology being a great source of my interest in other paleontological pursuits), there are seldom instances of publications being unoriginal or overly superfluous with their treatment of "established knowledge in the field"; of course, I cannot agree with or support all of the claims I come across, but that is a story for another day. So, there are many paleontology papers types out there and, among most papers I've encountered, few seem "trite". These 2 statements got me thinking somewhat—a "paper type" that did not seem common was the publication of independent collected samples from the same locale(s). The second order thought here is that, if such a publication was commonplace, then there might be more an element of triteness in paleontology literature, but there might also be benefits as well. By publication of independent collected samples from the same locale(s), I mean separate individuals carefully sampling from locales in a manner more professional than is typically done and then putting forth their sample results (i.e., formation(s) sampled, counts per species collected, GPS coordinates, and photography of the formation(s), among other things) in an academic publication. In a world where this practice was standard, one might expect to see the gradual accumulation of independent samples from different points of the same locale. These independent samples might provide more information about a given locale, especially when the frequencies of finds or specimens in the literature that are relied upon by researchers without access to a locale are outdated. In the current world, where this type of academic reporting does not seem to be the case, there are often only a few publications on a locale or region that contain sampling counts, and even if many people collect the site in a recreational manner (as is the case for NJ Cretaceous sites), there seems to be a norm against more individuals publishing their sampling runs, even if those runs where published with a high degree of epistemic precision. My question to you, the community, is what might be some pros and cons of the two situations: (1) The current framework, where people are disincentivized against publishing small collected sampling runs (a single or several collecting trips from the same N by M area of in-situ formation) (2) An alternate framework, where people publish short, frequent, and standardized reports of their sampling runs, ideally in a way where these runs can be aggregated into some database for a given locale or region. —Thank you
  6. It's great to see that this board is so active, and that there's such a good, positive atmosphere here for amateur-professional interaction. So, in that spirit, it seems that there's scope for a new permanent topic. There is a wealth of extraordinary fossils in the collections here, and we've seen the rewards that a good collaboration can bring in the gallery... and there are probably also a lot of palaeontologists, around the world, who would love something specific to work on that is a bit inaccessible for them. There may also be people working on monographs of particulalr groups from particular areas. Why not give them a place to advertise their needs? There's also the issue of collectors/amateurs who have found something they feel ought to be described, but can't find anyone who wants to do it. A parallel thread showcasing available new fossils might also be a really good avenue to go down. At the moment, the site probably isn't on the radar of most palaeontological researchers (including some of the amateur ones), but there are places like the Palaeonet listserver where this board could be brought to their attention. It could really start building some hefty bridges, if the idea takes off. I've certainly got a 'want' or two that I could throw in to begin with! Is this a route the forum would like to go down, at least to try it? I'm happy to announce it on Palaeonet, if so!
  7. Hello all! You are invited to complete an online survey as part of a research project conducted by Ulises Sabato and Dr. Ashley Johnson (faculty mentor) at Jacksonville University. The research project is called How do Amateur Paleontologists Collect Data if at all, and Why? The purpose of this study is to collect data regarding the data recording practices of amateur fossil collectors. We are looking for responses from individuals who prospect(search) for fossils and who are 18 years old and over. The study involves the completion of a 17-items online survey. The survey may take up to 15 minutes to complete. Participation is entirely anonymous, we will not be collecting any personally identifiable information (e.g., name, phone, IP address, etc.). The survey is conducted through Qualtrics and can be completed anywhere you have access to the Internet. If you know anyone else who might like to fill out the survey, feel free to share it. If you meet the above criteria and would like to participate in this study, follow the link below to access the informed consent and the survey. You may also copy paste the link into your web browser. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Ulises Sabato at Usabato@ju.edu CONSENT AND SURVEY LINK: https://jacksonvilleu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eEgEEkwN35BMkmy Thank you for your consideration. The study is being conducted under the supervision of Dr. Ashley Johnson, ajohnso40@ju.edu). The project has been approved by the Jacksonville University Institutional Review Board, (JU IRB # 2023-012).
  8. Recently, guidelines for posting in the ID section were put in the FAQ section: "Identification Posting For The Uninitiated". There, handy tips are provided to help people pose their ID questions in such a way that other members get the information needed to help them come to a conclusive identification (good photographs, any available age/locality data, etc.). All in all a very useful shortlist. However, reading it I felt something was missing. If someone takes the trouble of producing good photographs and provides all age/locality data he/she has, then this person deserves an answer to match the effort. Therefore, it would be nice if "Identification Posting For The Uninitiated" also includes a "how to properly respond" section. Not sure whether I am in the position to write this, but here are a few things I believe would help posters who respond to ID requests provide answers that are of better assistance with identification. >Please provide your arguments as to why you come to a certain identification (diagnostic features visible on presented photo, age constraints, etc.). These arguments are much more educative than the species name you provide: "what properties do I need to pay attention to if I want to distinguish X from Y?" (Being grossly similar to some specimen on a photo found online is a rather poor argumentation if without any additional reasoning.) >Please accept uncertainty. Sometimes specimens are too poorly preserved (i.e. lacking diagnostic features) and cannot be identified up to species or even generic level. In these cases, providing an identification up to some higher hierarchical level (e.g. order, phylum) is just as valuable. Actually, it is more valuable than an incorrect (misleading) ID at the species level, if you ask me. >Please try to provide references. This could be Google images of similar specimens, but should ideally also be literature references. God knows my own answers in the ID section often don't comply with the standard set above, so I don't really have a right to talk, I guess. However, it is good for us all to have something like this to aim for while providing answers in the ID section. Also, are any additions to the list?
  9. Nanotyrannus35

    How to write a research paper?

    First off, I'm not sure exactly where this topic should go, in either questions and answers or documents, so I hope I put it in the right place. I've recently become interested in writing papers about paleontology. I'm still a kid but I just wanted to write this, but I'm not completely sure what to do. Does anybody have any tips for writing and publishing research papers? I'm writing about the Kem Kem Beds and the theropod teeth. I haven't got very far yet, but here it is. Thanks for any help. The Mysterious Theropods of the Kem Kem Beds: Analysis and Identification of Isolated Theropod Teeth from the Kem Kem Beds Abstract In the Kem-Kem Beds of Morocco, there is a large array of non-avian theropod dinosaurian fauna, including Carcharodontosaurids, Spinosaurids, Abelisaurids, and possible Noasaurids. Since there has not been very much cranial and jaw material found, it is nearly impossible to attribute these teeth to a specific or even a general level. Therefore, teeth are mainly identified to a family level, and at times are called simply Tooth Morphs. This paper is going to go into detail about each of the tooth morphotypes. This will also be able to aid in field identification of these theropod teeth. Others have done work on this subject, and I will be referencing their works throughout my paper. These others include, but are not limited to, Ritcher et. al. (2012), Frank Francino (2020), and Ibrahim et. al. (2014). Systematics Identification of Spinosaurid Teeth Isolated spinosaurid teeth are the most common theropod teeth that are found in the Kem Kem Beds. There are two spinosaurids described from the Kem Kem Formation, Spinosaurus aegyptiacus Stromer (1915), and Sigilmassasaurus Russell (1996). As such, it is not possible to distinguish between these two animals in isolated teeth. Spinosaurid teeth are long and thin. They have ridges along the tooth, parallel to the carina. The carinae are non-serrated, but sometimes can have beaded edges.(See figure to the left Photo courtesy of Frank Francino.) Spinosaurid teeth have circular bases, and are often larger than three inches. The photo below shows a spinosaurid tooth from my collection that has all of the distinctive features of a spinosaurid tooth.
  10. Through my library I am able to access many research papers in JSTOR (PDF of papers is free with some limitations on use). What tools do you use for researching fossil ID and/or formations?
  11. Been a while. Did a few searches and didn't see this already posted. The Paleobiology Database is relatively new, but it is proving to be indispensable as a go-to site for everything fossil. It is an international database and far more useful than MINDAT. This site is likely a bit advanced for the average user, (can be a bit difficult to navigate), but for the pros and semi-pros, it is a goldmine. An account is required. Non professionals can create a guest account. Professionals and Avocational folks can upgrade for free by connecting to your institution and using your ORCID The excellent interactive map mode makes it easy to find research papers by site.
  12. The Amateur Paleontologist

    Long time I haven't been here...

    Hey everyone, The Amateur Paleontologist here - Hope you all are having a great day Haven't been here on TFF in ages, there's been quite a bit going on... First year university studies, work, life in general, Covid-19... But I've really missed the Forum, so I'm glad to be back on. I've managed to carry on with my work on the fossils from the Danish Cretaceous chalk, and I'll be posting here some updates in the next few days. Really happy to be back here, and looking forward to chatting with you guys again
  13. dinosaur man

    My Tyrannosaur research

    Hi I decided to make a post about my main research project right now on Campanian Tyrannosaurs specifically Daspletosaurus. Today I have found something to tell teeth from the Judith River Formation and Dinosaur Park Formation. This could also do with the Tyrannosaurs prey or locality. I found out that Judith River Formation Tyrannosaur teeth serrations are more circular and more round compared to the same time Dinosaur Park Formation Tyrannosaur teeth serrations. The Dinosaur Park Formation Tyrannosaur teeth serrations are more longer skinner and more chiseled like but not like other Tyrannosaur teeth from other areas like T. rex’s teeth serrations. Certain Tyrannosaurs in different areas and times would/could of had unique serration morphology probably dew to there prey. I did this on multiple teeth from the Judith River Formation and Dinosaur Park Formation to strengthen my hypothesis. Any opinions on this topic would be great. I will post more on my research here on this and other topics on the Tyrannosaur/Daspletosaurus. I have been doing research on this Daspletosaurus from the Dinosaur Park Formation and it’s close relatives because it was the first dinosaur fossil I’ve ever found. I’ve liked fossils and dinosaurs since I was 2 but in 2018 I went to Alberta and found my first dinosaur fossil which was a fossil from the Dinosaur Park Formation Daspletosaurus sp. Thats why I have been researching on this topic. The serrations I found on Dinosaur Park Formation Tyrannosaur teeth. The serrations I found on Judith River Formation Tyrannosaur teeth.
  14. JustCurious

    Might be a dumb question

    Hi everybody, I’m by no means a fossil head but I have a question that pertains to my research for my artist practice. Is it possible for a fossil to be preserved in a metal? I know it sounds like a dumb question but I am curious if the science makes sense. Is there an example of this phenomenon? If so let me know, again thank y’all so much!
  15. I discovered how much I liked doing crossword puzzles recently. Then I thought, why not make one myself? There should be a theme. How about The Fossil Forum? My son, who is a respected Fossil Forum member, was very helpful in selecting appropriate words and correcting mistakes. There were many. I hope there are none left. Perhaps you will let me know. The first image is the entire crossword puzzle with the clues following. It is probably too big to print, unless you have access to a printing press. The next two images are of just the numbered squares and the clues respectively. You should be able to print those. It took a very long time to put this together. I assume it will take you a long time to come up with the answers. Please let me know what you think and how you did. I learned a lot just by putting it together. I hope you have fun with it.
  16. With laboratories shut, coronavirus forces scientists to ‘stop cold’ Los Angeles Times by Joel Rubin and Amina Khan, April 29, 2020 https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-04-29/coronavirus-forces-science-to-stop-cold This article talks mainly about medical and biological research, but the pandemic also has shut down geological, including some of mine, research cold. Will lose an entire field season. The crash in the price of oil also will disrupt and end geological and paleontological research. This is a major event in science. Fortunately, I am able to get Global Mapper and ArcGIS to work on my home computer so I have something to work on along with finishing a couple of planned papers. Yours, Paul H. "The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner, Act 1, Scene III, Requiem for a Nun (1951)
  17. Hi everyone! My name is Donna Yates and I am an Associate Professor at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. I am here because I have just been awarded a European Research Council grant to study, among other things, the connection that people have to fossils from a sociological point of view. I am hoping that by understanding why people collect fossils I can begin to understand the "darker" side of things, such as fossil forgery and fossil smuggling. I'm going to mostly be working in the Americas, but I have a colleague working out of Africa and another out of Australia/New Zealand so this will be quite a global study. I am hoping to learn a lot here and have fun in the process! About me otherwise: I'm originally an archaeologist from the USA, and I used to only study art crime, but I'm now living in the Netherlands and thinking about fossils all day long! This project is a dream come true for me. In the lead up to getting my funding I spent several weeks in Arizona, Utah, and Colorado, visiting sites, shops, museums, and fairs...just getting a feel for palaeontology generally. I also went fossil hunting for the first time and walked away with a handful of brachiopods and a "feeling" that I have only had before while doing archaeology. Since then I've gone hunting in Scotland, where I was living until January. Now there are basically mosasaurs in my backyard here in Maastricht! There's just something indescribable about holding something so old, so ancient. I think it is that indescribable feeling that I am searching for in my research project. That's what I want to know about. So hello again!
  18. Hi I'm Eddie, I've joined the fossil forum as I'll be taking a degree in palaeontology soon and I would like to delve deeper into the community so I am as prepared as possible. I would like to do extra reading of books and papers that could potentially assist me so if anyone has any recommendations that would be great. Thanks
  19. anastasis008

    How are fossils formed

    Going really basic here being new on the fossil game i wanted to know how a fossil gets created because i have read that the bone gets replaced by rock or sediments and they take its original form but if that's the case then we are not holding teeth, we are holding rocks in the form of teeth when holding a fossilized tooth for example. I don't really know so if someone could please explain to me if the fossil is actual tooth like it was back then or it becomes rock and the general process it would be much appreciated.
  20. I went by the Corps of Engineers office and got signed up to visit the Waco Research Pit but I forgot to ask the hours the pit is open? Does anyone know? The office is closed now, and I'm thinking of going in the morning. Russ
  21. Hello everyone, I’m writing a paper on the great white shark. Can anyone recommend good reliable sources that touch on the topics of its evolution, diet/prey, reproduction, habitat range, lifespan, etc.? Thanks a lot!
  22. Hi, I am now part of the Fossil Forum since 9 Months, but now I think it´s the time to introduce myself. Forgot it at the beginning.. My name is Frank, I am a german collector and Researcher in cretaceous Topics, mainly invertebrates from northern Germany. My main Focus is not to get muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch fossils for myself, I like to discuss, learn about...., and support other collectors in Name their fossils or where they are from. Sometimes I can help, due to now more than 40 years experience, looooooooooooots of field work all over the world and (mostly gone ) several tons of fossil I have had or seen. So, if someone Needs assistance in European fossils I will do my very best
  23. GeneralAnesthetic

    Research and Maps

    I found these maps quite usefull. You may as well. These are the highest resolution maps I have found, and free no less. https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/topoview/
  24. How an Amateur Collector Changed Paleontology Forever To those of The Fossil Forum, I wish to share with you the story of Maiasaura peeblesorum and Marion Brandvold, both good mothers. Maiasaura was discovered forty years ago in June of 1978; this is the month and year of the Maiasaura. Marion and her son, David Trexler, found fossils fascinating long before Jurassic Park popularized dinosaurs. They would often take a vehicle out and go prospecting in their backyard geologic formation known as the Two Medicine. One hot summer evening when walking back to the vehicle, Marion took a small detour and came upon some tiny fossilized bones. In 1937, the Trexlers had opened a rock and jewelry store, and over the years had created a successful jewelry manufacturing and wholesale business along with their ranching interest. However, Marion's heart was always with the land and the animals, and when her husband passed away, she opened a retail store for her merchandise rather than try to keep up with the wholesale business. That way, she still had time for the ranching and rock hunting that she loved. Marion and David had discovered a partial dinosaur in 1971, and they traveled the State of Montana to compare it to all the wonderful previous discoveries they had read about that had been made in Montana. To their surprise, the only dinosaur on display in the entire State was in a little museum in the basement of the high school in Ekalaka, Montana. It had been assembled by a couple of ranchers who had worked with paleontologists from elsewhere who had come to the State, collected, and left. Chagrined that nothing was left behind when professional work was done, they decided to start a small museum in the back of the family store. The goal was to display a dinosaur skeleton from their local area. After all, if ranchers from Ekalaka could do it, so could they. As far as professional training was concerned, Marion had to rely on her familiarity with the ecology of the modern world, as she had no formal education on the subject. However, a ranch foreman when she was young had taught her the art of tracking, and had shown her how each organism interacted with other organisms and its environment. So, when looking for fossil skeletons, Marion expected to see very young and very old animal pieces, but not much in-between. On the fateful evening mentioned previously, Marion, Dave, and Dave's wife, Laurie, were out collecting what they believed to be a fairly complete duckbilled dinosaur skeleton. It is a long, tedious job collecting all the bones present in a dinosaur, and they had uncovered 15 or so at that point. As tools were being put away, Marion went for a little walk, and when Dave and Laurie caught up with her, she was sitting on a small mound of dirt with a big smile on her face. She said, "look what I found!" She was holding several baby dinosaur vertebrae. Within a few minutes, they had found many more, and Dave had found a piece of a jaw with obviously duckbilled dinosaur teeth attached. However, the entire jaw section could be covered by a nickel! They had a baby dinosaur to go with their adult in the museum. Bill Clemens, a mammal paleontologist from Berkely, had stopped in Marion's shop on his way to dig on fossil fish with some colleagues, and was impressed with what had been done in creating a fossil museum without any formal training. At the fish site, he encouraged Jack Horner, then a fossil preparator at Princeton, and Jack's friend Bob Makela, a high school teacher from Rudyard, Montana, to stop at Marion's shop and see the displays. A few days later, Jack and Bob left the fish site and visited Marion's rock shop and museum. Jack introduced himself to Marion, and for the next few hours, they had a wonderful time going over the specimens Marion had on display. Jack then asked if she had anything else, and she showed him a couple of the vertebrae she had picked up from the baby site. Jack's interest was immediately piqued, and he asked if she had more. Marion directed him across the street to where Dave was reassembling the baby bones they had collected. Jack realized immediately that Marion and Dave had something they didn't understand. He asked, "do you know what you have here?", and Dave replied, "Obviously not, since you are so excited." The concept of babies and old animals dying and being preserved in the fossil record, it turned out, was only partially correct. While that cycle probably did occur, baby bones were generally not preserved in the fossil record. The bones Bob and Jack were staring at turned out to be the first baby dinosaur remains known from North America. Jack asked to be allowed to borrow the fossils in order to write them up in a formal publication. The bones were carefully wrapped and placed in a coffee can, and Jack transported them to Princeton. A visit to the site was also in order, and Marion and Dave took Jack and Bob out to the site. Dave also showed Jack a poorly preserved skull that Laurie had discovered, and Jack offered to try to remove it and clean it up for display in Marion's museum. However, after a few years and the specimen was recovered and prepared, it turned out to be the type skull for Maiasaura, and Laurie donated it to Museum of the Rockies, where Jack was working by then. Baby dinosaurs together in a nest past hatching showed a totally different picture of what dinosaurs were thought to be. Jack returned for many years, and eventually the Museum of the Rockies purchased the land where the babies were discovered. The area has become a mecca for paleontological research. The discovery of all this led to a massive shift in the view paleontologist and indeed science as a whole had for extinct animals and modern reptiles. A realization occurred that dinosaurs were truly living, breathing, majestic animals who cared for their young, much like the life we often see around us today. Hungry and thirsty, often looking for a mate, just trying to stay alive in an unforgiving world were the dinosaurs. Far from terrible lizards, they were much like animals and we humans are today. All this came from Marion’s tiny little find. It was her tiny find which led to a surge of interest and public attention. It was her tiny find which started Jack Horner’s career. It was her tiny find that indirectly caused Spielberg to help create Jurassic Park which in turn inspired many into paleontology and many more into other sciences. Those she indirectly inspired have contributed a near inconceivable amount to mankind through science. They range from medical researchers curing diseases, to those looking for extraterrestrial life, and all the way down to myself. A great many started their interest in the sciences with an early love of fossils and dinosaurs. A love Marion Branvold started and continues through her past contribution. Sadly, I never had the opportunity to meet her and she passed away in 2014, at the age of 102. Over the course of my short time in paleontology, I had the honor to stand where her tiny find was made. As the search for more discoveries continues I have been privileged to search with both Jack Horner and Dave Trexler. In the great quest for knowledge, she played her part well, now it is for us to carry on with the next act. What a massive contribution from an amateur and so tiny a find. As others ogle over the next major discovery, keep all this in mind and tell us more of your own tiny find. Eric P. Made with great assistance by David Trexler
  25. MeggyLover

    I'm new

    Hi! I'm new here, so hello from west Texas, I've always been a fan of the Megalodon, I was just wondering if any of you might have references or locations, as to where I could get started. thanks in advance! happy travels and happy Hunting!
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