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Bringing Fossils Back To Life


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A few months ago I was displaying some Kentucky nautiloids at one of Lexington's public Libraries. I was describing what these fossils looked like in life and most people were able to visualize what I described. Some of the younger kids had a harder time understanding what cephalopods were or looked like. I came up with an idea to make molds of my better fossils and add soft parts so what they looked like alive could be seen.

Picture 1, 2, & 3. Here is the display I had at our clubs mini show at the public library. These were only nautiloids from the lower Mississippian from Kentucky.




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Picture 4, 5, 6 & 7. I started with an Ordovician age coiled nautiloid (Trocholites) I. I found in Carroll Co. KY It didn't have a living chamber preserved so I took some clay and modeled one before I made a mold. Then I had to mold the soft parts out of clay.




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Picture 10 & 11. I made mold of two small coiled nautiloids that I have yet to identify, (Subclymenia? Coelonautilus? or Epidomatoceras?) from the lower Mississippian age of Madison Co. KY. I used the heads of Belemnite toys.



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Picture 12, 13 & 14. I used a medium sized coiled nautiloid (Maccoyoceras) also from the lower Mississippian age from Madison Co. KY. I had to add a little clay to the fossil to make a better mold. I also had to make a mold for the soft parts which came out so-so.




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Picture 15 & 16. I got a little more industries and tried a little bigger nautiloid. made a mold of a nice specimen of a loosely coiled nautiloid (Strobceras) from the lower Mississippian of Rowan CO. KY. I used a larger head I got from an Ammonite Toy.



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"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"_ Carl Sagen

No trees were killed in this posting......however, many innocent electrons were diverted from where they originally intended to go.

" I think, therefore I collect fossils." _ Me

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."__S. Holmes

"can't we all just get along?" Jack Nicholson from Mars Attacks

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Picture 17, 18 & 19. I went all out and made a mold of a very large Coiled Nautiloid (Apheleceras) from the lower Mississippian of Madison Co. KY. I could not find a larger head for this mold so I had to fashion out of clay.

I now have examples of what the actual fossils I found might have looked like when alive. Of course I am guessing at shell textures and colors, but I used todays Nautilus as a model for that.




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excellent! they look fantastic! :goodjob:

I'm CRAZY about amber fossils and just as CRAZY in general.

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Not bad at all! Something to help the kids visualize..

I'd be happy if I could just find good reconstruction drawings of all the organisms I find in my area to go alongside the specimens I display, but you're going a step further!

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Good job! It makes sense, as most kids are more visual learners. I appreciate you efforts to educate the masses to Earth's past. I always say, the more you know about the past, know the relevance of the present, the more you can undoubtly predict the future to a certain degree.


"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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Good interpretive displays don't assume any pre-existing level of knowledge in the viewer, and your life-models, displayed with the fossil remains, are really good! Well done!

"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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