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Fossil Site Statistacal Data Recording


ckmerlin

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Hi all

I have been collecting from a Westphalian -A Pennine lower

coal measures site which has produced a reasonable amount of Paleozoic fish remains

I have just completed an interesting exercise which Id like to share

I wanted to collate some statistics about the site as a whole so Ive set up a spread sheet

which has given me some surprising insights about the site

For example:-

I have found Chondrichthyes , Sarcopterygii , and Actinopterygii species mostly in the form of scales, teeth , and disarticulated skull and bone remains. I had previously thought that the majority of finds were Actinopterygii but have now found that the statistacal evidence points to Sarcopterygii as bieng in the majority the vast majority of which are Ceolacanth s.p possibly Rhabdoderma elegans

In the spread sheet I put in the number of each find , say teeth for each fish genus/species

and then the total amount of finds from the site from this I could calculate the percentage totals for each type of fossil and also what percentage each was of the total amount of fossils found

so out of 124 paleozoic fish finds in total ( up to now) the results are Chondrichthyes are 8.06 % of the total , Sarcopterygii 49.19 % and Actinopterygii 42.8 %

obviously these figures can change with new finds , but that is the beauty of having the spread sheet set up it will now do the calculations for me :)

This has been a very useful exercise for me

Im sure others of you out there have done the same so I would be interested to know if you had any surprises or what results you found

best regards Chris

Edited by ckmerlin

"A man who stares at a rock must have a lot on his mind... or nothing at all'

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Cheers, Chris!

I haven't done this type of thing, but fully applaud your efforts in doing so. :1-SlapHands_zpsbb015b76::fistbump:

Interesting findings, to be sure.

I am impressed with your effort to get an overall picture of the ecosystem of that time.

Sounds like a lot of hard work has paid off, though.

Thanks for posting this.

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

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Cheers, Chris!

I haven't done this type of thing, but fully applaud your efforts in doing so. :1-SlapHands_zpsbb015b76::fistbump:

Interesting findings, to be sure.

I am impressed with your effort to get an overall picture of the ecosystem of that time.

Sounds like a lot of hard work has paid off, though.

Thanks for posting this.

Regards,

Cheers Tim ,

It is very interesting and as you say Im gaining a very good insight of the upper carboniferous ecosystem of the site

thanks for your kind words and encouragement :)

best regards

Chris

"A man who stares at a rock must have a lot on his mind... or nothing at all'

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Awesome. That sounds like something everyone should consider. Especially me.

Thanks RyanNREMTP ,

I found it a very useful and interesting exercise , let me know your results if you try it

I would be interested to see them :)

best regard Chris

"A man who stares at a rock must have a lot on his mind... or nothing at all'

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Good idea... I have wondered if there would be any useful info on my local site from doing a similar stats study, since I have by now accumulated quite a few specimens from there, but maybe my results would be skewed as I have not bothered to collect a number of things, specifically common things if they were not in good shape or would have been difficult to extract.

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Interesting stuff.

In a Pennsylvanian black shale in my area, I've noticed certain skeleton elements tend to be found in concretions, particularly some large bones that may be branchial elements of fish. Just as interesting (but disappointing) are all the other elements that are not found. Why the preservation bias? Perhaps entering everything into a spreadsheet would provide some insight into the many different processes -- predation, scattering of remains, sedimentation, etc. -- that occurred at the time.

Context is critical.

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Good idea... I have wondered if there would be any useful info on my local site from doing a similar stats study, since I have by now accumulated quite a few specimens from there, but maybe my results would be skewed as I have not bothered to collect a number of things, specifically common things if they were not in good shape or would have been difficult to extract.

yes that's a good point Wrangelian and one I need to consider also as I have not included partial teeth etc hmmm time to look again at my figures should be interesting thanks for your input

Best regards

Chris

"A man who stares at a rock must have a lot on his mind... or nothing at all'

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Interesting stuff. In a Pennsylvanian black shale in my area, I've noticed certain skeleton elements tend to be found in concretions, particularly some large bones that may be branchial elements of fish. Just as interesting (but disappointing) are all the other elements that are not found. Why the preservation bias? Perhaps entering everything into a spreadsheet would provide some insight into the many different processes -- predation, scattering of remains, sedimentation, etc. -- that occurred at the time.[/quote

This is also a good point and one which I have given some thought in pursuing, one area of the site

Has shale which produces larger specimens of teeth , skull plates scales etc which have all been

Sarcopterygii with the exception of one xenacanthus tooth also a larger specimen than others found elsewhere at the site I'm thinking that a study of data from each area of the site may be very useful too

Thanks for your input which has given me some thoughts to chase up on

Cheers Wrangelian

Best regards

Chris

Edited by ckmerlin

"A man who stares at a rock must have a lot on his mind... or nothing at all'

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Chris,

This work reminds me of some work that was done on a fossil fish site here in CT, back in the 70's.

They took an area of the outcrop, and systematically split the layers and took counts of the types of fossils found on each bedding plane.

The results were interesting.

This is the website I am talking about - LINK

They were able to make some interesting conclusions from the data they received from the study, as well.

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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Also keep in mind that for lakes or terrestrial environments, the environment can change radically over a few years. Look how the recent drought has changed some of the niches of California.

That doesn't mean that stat data should not be taken, analyzed, or believed, but you always have to keep in mind that there might be variables to the environment in play and the data is a temporal smear across this changing environment.

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Chris, This work reminds me of some work that was done on a fossil fish site here in CT, back in the 70's.They took an area of the outcrop, and systematically split the layers and took counts of the types of fossils found on each bedding plane. The results were interesting. This is the website I am talking about - LINKThey were able to make some interesting conclusions from the data they received from the study, as well.Regards,

hi Tim thanks for this link very interesting sorry for late reply been doing overtime at work

"A man who stares at a rock must have a lot on his mind... or nothing at all'

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Also keep in mind that for lakes or terrestrial environments, the environment can change radically over a few years. Look how the recent drought has changed some of the niches of California. That doesn't mean that stat data should not be taken, analyzed, or believed, but you always have to keep in mind that there might be variables to the environment in play and the data is a temporal smear across this changing environment.

Yes another great point tmaier the coal measures where my site is has at least two thin layers of coal between the three layers of shale I collect from all within a height of aprox 30 metresmetres so the estimated time span between these layers has to be considered along with the change to the type of ecosystem/environment at each layer

More food for thought for me to pursue thanks for your input

Regards

Chris also apologies for late reply

"A man who stares at a rock must have a lot on his mind... or nothing at all'

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