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More Bone Fossils From 3-14-2014 Hunt North East Simi Valley


cowgirlfossils

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I know what most of these are from previous posts. Just wanted all to see if there is anything different here. I know the one with the ridges is where feathers attached. Sunday I'm going to take a screen up and see what I can find like that. Most everything I just pick up off the surface. After 100 days of wind and 1 rain the sand settles around the items. I would love to find a scull or even a partial. one! Love all the discussion! This is how all us novices learn! The ledge is where I found these bones. All within a 15' square area.

The birds seem to be nearer the surface in this area. Fish, sea cows, and whales lower in spots. But then boom...sea creatures above birds. Very cool. Confusing but cool.

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Did you say "very cool"? I'll second that and add very special. :D The site photos are really nice, too.

The human mind has the ability to believe anything is true.  -  JJ

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Any land site that yields even a few bird bones is pretty special; this one is extraordinary, and probably paleontologically important.

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about." - Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” - Thomas Henry Huxley

>Paleontology is an evolving science.

>May your wonders never cease!

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Any land site that yields even a few bird bones is pretty special; this one is extraordinary, and probably paleontologically important.

100% correct

It could have been an ancient nesting ground for this bird species! Im sure Auspex knows this, but where a bird nests tells a LOT about it! Also many opportunistic carnivores take advantage of such bird nesting grounds, so you could find some pretty significant stuff.

I would start to catalog your findings and locations to maybe one day help the scientific community. Also your status of "novice" might bump up to "amateur paleo"! Lol

~Charlie~

"There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why.....i dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" ~RFK
->Get your Mosasaur print
->How to spot a fake Trilobite
->How to identify a CONCRETION from a DINOSAUR EGG

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Hey Cowgirlfossils,

Beautiful specimens! How large is your collection now? I've sent the photos along to my colleague N. Adam Smith in North Carolina, who has published a few articles on west coast fossil marine birds.

My suspicion is that these are marine, and are not from a terrestrial sedimentary unit. If the sediment is homogeneous through the section, and you find marine fauna above and below, odds are it's marine. Furthermore, for some reason - probably owing to the lack of bone weathering in the marine environment - birds actually have a somewhat higher preservation potential in shallow marine settings than in terrestrial settings. Two of the elements are fish spines. If this is the same unit that produced the Hydrodamalis cuestae bones, then this is likely Pliocene in age.

Keep your eyes peeled for marine mammal (pinniped and dolphin) teeth, and whale ear bones!

Bobby

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Hey Cowgirlfossils,

Beautiful specimens! How large is your collection now? I've sent the photos along to my colleague N. Adam Smith in North Carolina, who has published a few articles on west coast fossil marine birds.

My suspicion is that these are marine, and are not from a terrestrial sedimentary unit. If the sediment is homogeneous through the section, and you find marine fauna above and below, odds are it's marine. Furthermore, for some reason - probably owing to the lack of bone weathering in the marine environment - birds actually have a somewhat higher preservation potential in shallow marine settings than in terrestrial settings. Two of the elements are fish spines. If this is the same unit that produced the Hydrodamalis cuestae bones, then this is likely Pliocene in age.

Keep your eyes peeled for marine mammal (pinniped and dolphin) teeth, and whale ear bones!

Bobby

Thank you Bobby. I look forward to your replies. I always wanted to find some wale ear bones. It's odd I hardly ever find shake teeth and I would think they should be everywhere. I have found one tooth in the area and no one could identify...I'll find it and get a good picture and post again. I think it's a mammal tooth of some sort. If you have someone for me to send the bones to I would be happy to comply. The collection is growing!

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Any land site that yields even a few bird bones is pretty special; this one is extraordinary, and probably paleontologically important.

Thank you! When ever you chime in I know I'm on the right track...I asked Bobby if he has someone I can send some bones to for study. Would love it.

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Hey cowgirlfossils,

As suspected the bones are from seabirds. Here's what paleornithologist Adam Smith had to say about these:

"Hi Bobby,

Hope things are going well. I don't have any comparative material here at home but most of the specimens (cmc's, ulnae, tmt's, coracoid?) look like cormorant (Phalacrocoraciidae) to me. There is one alcid humerus third from the bottom in the attached photo.... almost certainly an auklet of some sort (Aethia) based on size (assuming my cormorant ID is correct for scale) and a couple of other osteo features.
Cheers,

Adam"

Now, on to your comments - I know we've talked about this before, but in order for these to be studied they have to be donated somewhere for posterity. My top picks would be the University of California Museum of Paleontology at UC Berkeley, or the San Diego Natural History Museum in San Diego. Both have extensive Neogene fossil marine bird collections and these specimens would definitely be at home there.

Other than Adam and myself, there aren't really many other folks actively engaged in studying fossil marine birds from this area. So, count me as interested. I'd love to get a chance to see the locality myself - but won't be back in the US for another year, year and a half or so. Some other marine mammal fossils from this locality would be just lovely, especially if you could find some nice pinniped bones! Also, if you're able to get another photo of that mystery tooth, I am chomping at the bit to take a peek.

My advice at present, would be to continue just as you have been, and let your collection grow. You are guaranteed to uncover some more interesting material.

I'll also echo a comment I may or may not have made before: Pliocene marine vertebrates from this area are unheard of. The closest areas with good Pliocene marine vertebrates are the Pismo Fm. near Pismo Beach, and the San Mateo Fm. near Oceanside. I'm super interested in Pliocene marine mammal assemblages, and the addition of localities like this, along with better known localities such as the San Diego, San Mateo, and Purisima Formations - and better sampling of this new locality and the Pismo Formation - might help and determine north-south differences in the distribution of certain species during the Pliocene.

Keep up the great work! Also, do not hesitate to send photos of any marine mammal material my way!

Lastly - go ahead and PM me, I can send you some recent publications that can help with the identification of isolated marine mammal bones.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Are you willing to share where this ledge is? I have been finding nice sea snails, turretellas and scallop fossils in Simi lately. Last weekend I pulled out what seem to be cow bones - not lithified / rock-like, so I'm pretty sure from that alone they are recent and therefore probably from a cow or horse (they are very large). Buried / poking up up right on the trail. PS I did find a fossil, vertebra I'm guessing, about an inch long in Simi, in the area where I was collecting marine fossils. I will post a pic soon as I would like any input possible on what it is.

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Are you willing to share where this ledge is? I have been finding nice sea snails, turretellas and scallop fossils in Simi lately. Last weekend I pulled out what seem to be cow bones - not lithified / rock-like, so I'm pretty sure from that alone they are recent and therefore probably from a cow or horse (they are very large). Buried / poking up up right on the trail. PS I did find a fossil, vertebra I'm guessing, about an inch long in Simi, in the area where I was collecting marine fossils. I will post a pic soon as I would like any input possible on what it is.

Cow and horse bones are abundant! Cattle have been out here since the 1700's. Can't wait to see the vertebra! Love our area! I sent you a personal message to explain about seeing the ledge. We are going to try to get a pro up here sometime in the future to explain the formations a little as they are so convoluted in our area. Check some of my old post for some great fossils all from here. Jo

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