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  1. The Vertebrate Paleontology department of the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) has a way that you can contribute to science AND... you get to keep your specimens! https://education.ufl.edu/news/2022/02/23/uf-researchers-earn-grant-to-teach-middle-schoolers-about-shark-teeth-using-ai/ https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/earth-systems/shark-ai/ For the last couple of years Bruce MacFadden at the FLMNH and Thompson Earth Systems Institute (TESI) has headed a group developing lesson plans for STEM teachers in Florida. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming a hot topic and one that students are eager to learn about. Combining that with fossil shark teeth (another favorite topic) resulted in a program to use Google's neural network AI to recognize fossil shark teeth. The initial lesson plan only used a limited number of images of the Otodus megalodon and Hemipristis serra. Since then the number of images of specimens have have increased and additional taxa have been added. Presently, Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas), Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias), Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier), and the Mako/ancestral White Shark (Isurus/Carcharhinus hastalis) have joined the initial taxa. The team working to provide the imagery to train the AI has been busy raiding the collections of the FLMNH and the Calvert Marine Museum (CMM) to find good quality specimens to photograph. They've built up an impressive collection of imagery but some species are in more limited supply than others. There is still a need for some additional GW teeth (and to a lesser extent some hastalis teeth). The good news is that the team only needs good quality imagery of reasonably complete teeth and not the actual specimens. Teeth should be of decent quality as they will be used to train the AI. It seems that the roots of GW teeth tend not to be very dense and they often do not preserve well. A substantial portion of the GW teeth in the collection are missing significant portions of the root making them less desirable for training data. If you have some nice quality GW (and hastalis) teeth and you would be willing to take some well lit and focused images of them, they would be a great help for this project. At present only a single photo of the lingual (curved side) is needed--a planar view of the tooth resting on the more flattened labial side. It is important to see the complete tooth (so no hand holding of the teeth). A nice plain background will be helpful as the images will be post-processed to select the tooth and delete the background. The images may be submitted as high quality JPGs but will be processed to PNG images with transparent backgrounds (see examples): Anybody with a nice collection of carcharias/hastalis teeth who would be interested in contributing images of these specimens are encouraged to drop me a PM. I can answer any additional questions you might have and will coordinate to assist in sending the images. This is a great way to contribute to science and education without having to part with any of your nice quality fossils. Cheers. -Ken
  2. Since moving to Gainesville I've had the opportunity to work more closely with the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH). In addition to volunteer digging at the Montbrook site I also get to work on prepping fossils in the prep lab on campus. This brings me into contact with the major players at the museum which is a great fringe benefit to be able to have access to chat with those with lots of paleontological experience. Bruce MacFadden is on the second year of a program to develop an interesting course plan for STEM teachers around Florida. It's an interesting program combining science, paleontology (kids love fossils) and AI which is really trending these days (I promise this text was not written by ChatGPT). As part of this program the teachers will train an online AI program to recognize megalodon teeth from photos. After training one of the things they will do with the class is to see how the AI will do at recognizing partial megalodon teeth (AKA fraglodons). Since each teacher is given a number of fraglodons to use while teaching this program to their students we have a need for less than perfect megs. The teachers get to keep the fraglodons as they will (hopefully) continue to teach the program year after year. I've been able to contact some fossil hunters I know who would likely have a cache of broken megs looking for a good use. Those donations were helpful for the first cohort of teachers but the second cohort (new STEM teachers) are getting ready to work this program into this year's class and we are in need of new fraglodons for them to use. Bruce brought in some of the fraglodons they used while teaching the program this year so I could take a photo showing the variation in completeness. Note that these are all Florida fraglodons so they are all the usual grayish-black in coloration. Bruce mentioned that color is not a factor and broken megs of any color would be very welcome (even little corners of a root with just a bit of serrated enamel showing). He said that they could really use around 100 fraglodons so I'm putting this out to the forum to see if any of you have some of these less than perfect teeth sitting around in your collection looking for a higher purpose. If you think you have some fraglodons that would help this year's STEM teachers get kids interested in AI and fossils, please contact me via PM. Thanks in advance for all who have something they'd like to contribute. Cheers. -Ken
  3. Super folks and fossils! I had a decent trip to Penn Dixie with the experts recently and thought I would share a few finds. The first is the lower third of a crinoid calyx. I measures 4 cm and has an intact stem attachment segment. Aside from stems, its the first decent crinoid part I have found since 2015. I am fascinated by the geometry of the echinoderm organization- 6 around the stem, them 12 around the next whirl, makes we wish I had the entire calyx.
  4. L.S., Hopefully the collective knowledge of TFF community will once again prove able to identify something that has stumped me. This time I need your help with these curious stem fragments! A good friend of mine purchased these at a mineral show on the US mainland. The specimens potentially originate from Kane County, Utah, but this provenance is far from bulletproof. It is quite likely, however, that they come from somewhere within the USA. The stems exhibit a hollow centre, with a ribbed internal surface (pith structure?). None of the specimens show nodes or other signs of axial segmentation, however. The cross-sections (both rough and weathered as well as polished) show seemingly regularly spaced vascular structures. The larger "pores", especially, are quite striking. Scale on images is in centimetres. If the Kane County provenance is correct, then a Mesozoic age seems likely. But, again, provenance is very much in question still! Has anyone on TFF seen this type of petrified stems before? Any information you could provide would be very much appreciated! Thanks, Tim
  5. Alexthefossilfinder

    Stem shaped object

    Found this object on a piece of shale. I suspect it might be a crinoid stem but it's really hard to see very much detail as it's so small. There is a trilobite when I split the piece in half in case that helps, though I'm looking for some more experienced eyes to help me out with id, thanks!
  6. Gabby Collins

    Possible Crinoid

    Found in the French River. Possible Crinoid?
  7. I know how Crinoid columnals looks like, but which are the features of other echinoderm classes (Rhombifera, Diploporita,...)? Image of a crinoid columnal mould (scale bar 5mm).
  8. nala

    Carboniferous stem

    first time i see these "spines" on the side of a stem,Lepidodendron or Sigilaria? full of cyperites on the other side,an idea?
  9. mbarco

    Crinoid or Rhombifera stems?

    Upper ordovician, n-e Italy. Scale bar 5mm. I'm not sure of crinoid stem (12-13) or ambulacra, Rhombifera stem, Rhombifera stem lumen,...(6-14)
  10. Praefectus

    REMPC-P0001 Plant Stems

    From the album: Prae's Collection (REMPC)

    Fossil Plant Stems Devonian Catskill Sandstone Catskills, New York, USA
  11. From the album: Late Jurassic echinoderms of European Russia

    Ulyanovsk Oblast, Volgian
  12. katherine1977

    Strange Specimen

    Received in an opal parcel, i have been told this is a fossil, maybe of a plant stem. If so, i would like to at least put a definite name of some sort on it. Any and all help is appreciated! feel free to ask any questions! Thank you! IMG_2225.MOV
  13. Hi all Im trying to label the morphological parts of a Lepidodendron stem in thin section for my course. I have found a half decent resource online BUT it is unreadable due to the resolution. I was wondering if anyone was confident enough to clear up the labelling lines for me? pic attached. cheers
  14. Jurassicz1

    Stems on cystoids?

    I have heard that cystoids had stems like crinoids. Is that True? And can u find the stems? Here are some cystoids i found. One of them has like a little hole that looks like a stem would connect. And the other looks like a cystoid with the stem. Not sure if it may be a worm trace. These were found in kinnekulle
  15. Bonehunter

    Fossil coral septae?

    .also had this one since i was a kid-at that time I thought it was a tree branch (heh I was only 12 ) but now I would call it a "coral stem"?. the other coral septae/tabulae I have seen/found are always stacked together. Another south St. Louis county find. Any insight appreciated! Bone
  16. flipper559

    Mazon Creek - Wood ? Bark ??

    Odd looking piece found in the Mazon Creek . Looks to be bark ?? Any ideas ?? Thanks, Phil
  17. My fiance' found this in a pile of river gravel. Shes trying to find out if it's a crinoid stem, or a piece of a crinoid or possibly something else. Found in New Haven Missouri .
  18. matthew textor

    strange wood fossil that needs ID

    Hi everyone this is Matthew again today in the creek I found this strange fossil I think it might be some kind of wood but I am not sure ? does anyone know what this is?
  19. matthew textor

    is this a crinoid ??

    Hi everyone this is matthew again In this fossil I have here I don't know if this is a crinoid flower or just a piece of a crinoid stem can anyone help me ??
  20. FrostbyteFossils

    Unknown marine fossils

    During a trip I purchased a container of small marine fossils. I could identify almost all of them except for a few. Age, location, etc. unknown. Does anyone know what they could be? P.S. feel free to ask for more pictures.
  21. Just reassembled, crinoid stem with a bit of character. Probably Poteriocrinus sp., or maybe Rhabdocrinus, 20cm long, 10-12mm diameter, in a high energy deposit full of crinoid, bryozoan and brachiopod débris. It's unusually well articulated for this bed which mostly contains smaller broken bits of stems, arms and plates. There's a probably pathological swelling towards the top, above the radices. Last photo shows it as collected - very fragile and the main stem had largely broken into calcite cleavage fragments. Prepping so far was just a matter of letting it dry, then gluing, poking off shale with a needle and scrubbing (wet again) with a toothbrush. I'm letting it dry thoroughly and will then consolidate the sides and base of the block with thin paraloid solution. I might then air abrade a bit. Brigantian, Co. Durham, UK.
  22. Good afternoon everybody! During a fieldtrip in Silesia (Poland) last year I visited a rather large spoiltip looking for plant fossils. The spoils left behind by the mining company indicate they still use (or used) the old method to separate the coal from the surrounding debris, allowing the coal to be 'baked' (e. g. the presence of pyrite that turns into sulphuric acid -h2so4- under the influence of wind and rain, ...) something typical for the majority of spoiltips I visited in Western Europe. Unfortunately I have no detailed geological data on the age of the debris in the spoiltip but there is no doubt this is Silesian (upper Carboniferous) in age. I even tend to think this is Westphalian in age based on the fossils found, but let's keep it to upper Carboniferous to be sure. I found several species of Lepidodendron, some Eusphenopterids, both Stigmaria ficoides and S. stellata, etc... And this never-seen-before 'thing'. My initial thought was that this could be some sort stem/branch but, in my 20 years of collecting Paleozoic plants, I have never seen the repetative triangular pattern that covers the branch (or tube if you like). Perhaps this could be some sort of tracefossil? Since my ichnofossil-knowledge is extremely limited someone here can help me out? The height of the 'tubes' varies between 2 and 3mm. Have a nice day! Sven
  23. keldeo072

    Crinoid fossil?

    Hey I was wondering if the stuff next to the crinoid stem is part of the plant and not just smaller stems. All I find are crinoid stems so I was wondering if this was part of the actual crinoid. Found In Cincinnati.
  24. Z24zorpx4

    crinoid id

    Found these In a landscaping rock
  25. Macrophyseter

    Raptorial Physeteroid Incisor (Chile)

    From the album: Marine Mammals

    Scaldicetus sp? Found in Atacama Desert Region 3 of Chile Dated Messinian Stage of Miocene (≈7 mya) Measures 14 cm (5.5 inches)
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