Friday, May 22, 2015

Volute Gastropod Fossil

This Volute gastropod fossil is on display at the Mesa Verde National Park as of August 2014.

The area is rich in geological history going back 2 billion years. The national park was founded in 1906 to protect the Anasazi Native American sites found on the mesa tops, cliffs, and canyons. The exposed areas found in the park are from the Mesozoic Era, Cretaceous Period (about 100-78 million years ago). They make up four formations: Cliff House, Menefee, Point Lookout, and Mancos.

Guide to the Geology of Mesa Verde National Park by Mary O. Griffitts, 1990, ISBN 0-937062-11-1
Available at at this web link.

Friday, May 15, 2015

AMNH The Tiniest Fossils Video

Episode 6 has been released for April 2015 and it is entitled The Tiniest Fossils. These fossils have such intricate geometric patterns packaged in such a small shell. Essential for early fuel exploration and now researched as possible indicators for climate change. This video highlights some of the research work being done at the museum on these types of fossils. I especially liked the part showing the creation of 3D computer models and the creating them with a 3D printer. Image above is of a microscopic type fossil found Indiana of the Carboniferous period foraminifera Endothyra baileyi.

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) located in New York city has created a monthly series of videos highlighting some of the 33 million specimens and artifacts held in their collection. Paleontological specimens make up 17.3% of the collection. Invertebrate fossils are a large part of the collection with approximately 4.5 million specimens. In 2014, they received the Mapes collection from Ohio University composed of more than 500,000 marine fossils. So the museum has a lot of material to pull from for creating videos.

Last picture is of a modern foraminifera found in the waters around the island of Guam. It is the Peneroplis plantus.