Saturday, December 16, 2017

Platecarpus Mosasaur Fossil


This image is of Platecarpus ictericus mosasaur skull fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). It dates to the Campanian Age (about 80-85 million years ago), Late Cretaceous Period. The fossil was found in the Upper Niobrara Formation, Iowa, USA.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Friday, December 15, 2017

Sand Worms


I have always been intrigued by scolecodonts (fossil worm jaws/teeth) ever since finding one on a Ordovician road cut back in 2009. When visiting Dr. Conkin one day I saw a jar in his study with jaws similar to fossils I had been finding. As it turns out these were modern day Nereis sand worms. Here are some images of these creatures, there was no label showing where they were found.




While watching the Smithsonian channel I saw a video on Bobbit worms whose jaws seem very similar to the scoledonts found in the Ordovician rock. See this Wikipedia entry on Eunice aphroditois.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Good-bye Dr. Conkin

On December 3 2017 12:12 PM EST James Elvin Conkin passed away at the age of 93. From what I can tell, he had a full and productive life though raising a family, teaching at the University of Louisville for 44 years and traveling the world. Image above was taken March 2012. His obituary can be found at this legacy.com link.

I cannot recall when I first met Dr. James Conkin, a retired geology professor from the University of Louisville. If I remember, it was during his visit to Falls of the Ohio State Park fossil festival where he had a table where he sold his publications on paleontology. Some how or the other I started helping him photograph some of his microfossils for new publications he wanted to work on.

Here is a link about one of those documents: http://louisvillefossils.blogspot.com/2012/04/chinese-foraminifera-carboniferous.html and it was followed with a 2012 Louisville Studies in Paleontology and Stratigraphy No. 23 Reconnaissance Studies of Paleozoic Foraminifera from China: Part 2 - The Middle Devonian and Carboniferous-Permian of Hunan, Guizhou, and Jiangsu.

Hunting for charophyte fossils in Louisville September 2011

Dr. Conkin gave me new insights on very small fossils called foraminiferas and charophytes. His last lesson for me was as you grow old, still maintain a curiosity of the world around you.


I will end this tribute with a quote from Dr. Conkin's 2006 book "I SEE... WONDERFUL THINGS".
Yet this celebration of enlightened ignorance is one with an eventual dreadful ending, both individually and collectively, but glorious until that time of the death of the individual or of our star system, or indeed all space and time. Let us rejoice until then in those "wonderful things" we see and in the old, old stories they tell as we continue to learn more and more of their "spoken babbles." Even the rocks themselves "sign." Though a complete mastery of all their divers formal tongues, dialects, and patois is unattainable, we can, nevertheless, revel in their exquisite syntaxial beauty and eloquence, even though only for our life's ephemeral tenure.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ammonite Fossil from Morocco


This image is of Schloenbachia sp. ammonite fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). They date to the Campanian Age (about 80 million years ago), Late Cretaceous Period. The fossil was found in Morocco.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Cone Shaped Rudistid Clam Fossil



This image is of Eoradiolites davidsoni clam fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). They date to about 120 million years ago, Early Cretaceous Period. The fossil was found in the Denton County Texas USA.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Ptychodus whipple Stingray Fossil Teeth


This image is of Ptychodus whipple fossil ancestral stingray teeth on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). They date to the Campanian Age (about 80 million years ago), Late Cretaceous Period. The fossils were found in the Eagle Ford Shale Grayson County Texas USA.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lettered Olive Shells


While in Charleston, South Carolina USA we stayed at Folly Beach (August 2017). During beach time, I tried to find shark teeth, phosphate fossils and shells.  Luckily, I found some the the state's official shell, the Oliva sayana aka lettered olive snail. Dr. Edmund Ravenel (1797-1871) named it this due to the patterns found shells reminded him of hieroglyphic symbols. The dark shell in the image might be a Pliocene fossil.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Close up Isotelus Trilobite Eye



My cousin sent me these images recently after he saw some magnified images of Isotelus trilobite fossil eyes showing the remains of the many lens that made up the eye. We are use to seeing this compound eye more on the Devonian Phacops trilobite fossils found in the area. He took some images under the microscope and you can see some of the lens pattern left on where the eye was.

This fossil dates to the Ordovician Period and was found in Franklin County Kentucky USA.

Thanks to Kenny for the images.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Xenorophid Whale Skull Fossil


This image is of a Xenorophus sp. whale skull fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). It dates to the Oligocene Epoch (about 32-30 million years ago) of the Paleogene Period. The fossil was found in Ashley Formation, Charleston County South Carolina USA.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Odontocete Whale Skull Fossil


This image is of a Cotylocara macei whale skull fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). It is named after Mace Brown. It dates to the Oligocene Epoch (about 28 million years ago) of the Paleogene Period. The fossil was found in Chandler Bridge Formation, Bed 2, Berkeley County South Carolina USA.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Friday, November 24, 2017

Brontops Skull Fossil


This image is of a Brontops robustus rhino-like skull fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). Its name means thunder face (bront ops). It dates to the Early Oligocene Epoch (about 34-32 million years ago) of the Paleogene Period. The fossil was found in Custer County South Dakota USA.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Subhyracodon Rhino Skull Fossil


This image is of a Subhyracodon occidentalis rhino skull fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). The animal it belonged to is a cow sized extinct hornless rhino-like creature. It dates to the Early Oligocene Epoch (about 33 million years ago). The fossil was found in Pennington County South Dakota USA.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Trigonia osborni Jaw Fossil


This image is of a Trigonia osborni jaw fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). The animal it belonged to is an extinct hornless rhino creature. It dates to the Early Oligocene Epoch (about 35 million years ago). The fossil was found in Pennington County South Dakota USA.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Archaeocidaris Sea Urchin Fossil


This image is of an Archaeocidaris sp sea urchin fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). It dates to the Late Carboniferous Period (about 290 million years ago). The fossil was found in Brown County Texas USA.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Monday, November 20, 2017

Hexanchus microdon Shark Fossil Teeth


These images are of Hexanchus microdon fossil shark teeth on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). This animal was also known as a six-gilled cow shark. They date to the Eocene Epoch (about 55-50 million years ago), Paleogene Period. The fossils were found in Atlas Mountains, phosphate pits Ouled Abdoun Basin Morocco.


The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Hexanchus agassizi Fossil Shark Teeth


These images are of Hexanchus agassizi fossil shark teeth on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). This animal was also known as a cow shark. They date to the Eocene Epoch (about 45 million years ago), Paleogene Period. The fossils were found in Harleyville South Carolina USA.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/


Monday, October 30, 2017

Echinoconchus alternatus Spiny Brachiopod Fossil


This image appears to be an Echinoconchus alternatus spiny brachiopod fossil. It was found in the Indian Springs Formation of Crawford County, Indiana USA. The fossil dates to the Mississippian Period. Scale on image is in millimeters.

Thanks to Kenny for image.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Dichocrinus Crinoid Calyx Fossil



This image appears to be a Dichocrinus sp. crinoid calyx fossil. It was found in the Indian Springs Formation of Crawford County, Indiana USA. The fossil dates to the Mississippian Period. Scale on image is in millimeters.

Thanks to Kenny for image.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Loggerhead Turtle Fossil


This image is of a Carolinachelys wilsoni loggerhead turtle fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). They date to the Oligocene Epoch (about 11-5.3 million years ago), Paleogene Period. The fossil was found in Summerville South Carolina USA.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Pygmy Sperm Whale Ear Bone Fossils


This image is of pygmy sperm whale (family Kogiidae) ear bone fossils on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). They date to the Late Miocene Epoch (about 11-5.3 million years ago), Neogene Period. The fossils were found in Hawthorn Formation of Bone Valley Florida USA.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Coeloma Crab Fossil from Russia


This image is of Coeloma taunicum crab fossils on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). They date to the Oligocene Epoch (about 25 million years ago), Paleogene Period. The fossil was found in Kazakhstan, Russia.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Macropipus Crab Fossil - Italy


This image is of a Macropipus tuberculatus swimming crab fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). It dates to the Miocene Epoch (about 10 million years ago), Neogene Period. The fossil was found in Sardinia, Italy.

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located at the College of Charleston, 202 Calhoun Street, 2nd Floor, Charleston, South Carolina 29424.

Learn more at their blog: http://blogs.cofc.edu/macebrownmuseum/

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Unknown Coiled Cephalopod Fossil


Recently, I was e-mailed these pictures of coiled cephalopod fossil. It was found by an 11 year old boy in rock from a quarry in northwest Illinois. The rock dates to the Silurian Period.

I think it might be a Lechritrochoceras. See the drawing of one at the Illinois State Geological Survey web site: http://www.isgs.illinois.edu/outreach/geology-resources/cephalopods


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Amusium mortoni Bivalve Fossil


Recently I visited The Charleston Museum in South Carolina USA. It is one of the oldest museums in the United States. Founded in 1773 and opened to the public in 1824. I was hoping to see the natural history exhibit with special interest in fossils and minerals on display. Unfortunately, these areas were undergoing remodeling during my visit. In the main entrance area, they did have some minerals and this fossil was on display.

The picture above is an Amusium mortoni Ravenei 1844 saltwater clam fossil. Fossil dates to the Pliocene epoch (Neogene Period) and was found in Charleston County South Carolina.

Outside the closed Natural History Gallery was a model showing what the renovated area will look like when it re-opens September 23, 2017.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Rhactorhynchia inconstans Brachiopod Fossil


This image of a brachiopod identified as Rhactorhynchia inconstans (J. Sowerby). Other genus names used to describe this specimen are Torquirhynchia and Rhychonella. It was found in the Lower Kimmeridge Clay Weymouth Dorset England. The fossil dates to the Jurassic Period.

Fossil was on display at the British Natural History Museum in London, England on August 2016.

Learn more at this web site: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/Corallian-Fossils.htm

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Camptonectes auritus Scallop Fossil


This image of a bivalve identified as Camptonectes auritus (Schlotheim). It was found in the Corallian Beds Malton Yorks. England. The fossil dates to the Mesozoic Era, Jurassic Period, Upper/Late Oxfordian stage.

Fossil was on display at the British Natural History Museum in London, England on August 2016.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Hemicidaris intermedia Sea Urchin Fossil


This image of an echinoid identified as Hemicidaris intermedia Fleming. It was found in the Corallian Beds Coral Rag Calne Wilts. England. The fossil dates to the Mesozoic Era, Jurassic Period, Upper/Late Oxfordian stage.

Fossil was on display at the British Natural History Museum in London, England on August 2016.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Paracidaris florigemma Spine Fossils


This image of two echinoid spines identified as Paracidaris florigemma (Phillips). They were found in the Corallian Beds Coral Rag Calne Wilts. England. The fossils date to the Mesozoic Era, Jurassic Period, Upper/Late Oxfordian stage.

Fossils were on display at the British Natural History Museum in London, England on August 2016.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Phacops stokesi Trilobite Fossil



This image shows an intact Phacops stokesi Edward trilobite fossil. It was found in the Silurian Period Wenlock series of Dudley Worcestershire England. Image taken August 2016. The fossil was on display at the British Natural History Museum.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Encrinurus variolaris Trilobite Fossil


This image shows an intact Encrinurus variolaris (Brongniart) trilobite fossil. It was found in the Silurian Period Wenlock series of Malvern Worcestershire England. Image taken August 2016. The fossil was on display at the British Natural History Museum.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sphaerexochus britannicus Trilobite Fossil


This image shows an intact Sphaerexochus britannicus Dean trilobite fossil. It was found in the Silurian Period Wenlock series of Malvern Worcestershire England. Image taken August 2016. The fossil was on display at the British Natural History Museum.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Eucalyptocrinites decorus Crinoid Calyx Fossil


This image shows an intact Eucalyptocrinites decorus (Phillips) crinoid calyx fossil. It was found in the Silurian Period Wenlock series of Dudley Worcestershire England. Image taken August 2016. The fossil was on display at the British Natural History Museum.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Polypora Bryozoan Fossil


Bryozoan fossils are pretty common but in general they are found in fragments or just large mats on limestone matrix. This fossil find is quite nice in that this bryozoan has part of its holdfast and three-dimensional matrix where the little bryozoa lived. It appears to be a Polypora shumardi. The fossil was found the in Beechwood Limestone of Clark County, Indiana USA. These little creatures lived during the Devonian Period.

My cousin Kenny provided this image and was able to extract it out more by using a slow drip acid preparation technique.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ancyrocrinus Crinoid Fossil Anchor


This crinoid had any interesting angle on existing in the Devonian Period sea. At its base was a pod with spikes that allowed it to anchor on the seabed. These pictures show an Ancyrocrinus sp. crinoid fossil. It was found in the Beechwood Limestone of Clark County, Indiana USA.



Saturday, July 8, 2017

Isotelus gigas Trilobite Fossil

Here are some images of an Isotelus gigas trilobite fossil. It was found in Franklin County Kentucky USA in the Lexington Limestone. This creature existed in oceans of the Ordovician Period. My cousin Kenny prepped this fossil and the results can be seen from his hours of work. Nice!
Below is picture of what looked like before he started.



Friday, June 30, 2017

Camptonectes Bivalve Fossil


This picture is of a Camptonectes cf. Calvus bivalve fossil. It was found in the Blue Lias of Pinhay Bay, Lyme Regis England. The fossils date back to the Lower Jurassic Period.

Specimen displayed at the Lyme Regis Museum in England as of August 2016.

Learn more at www.lymeregismuseum.co.uk

See it on this site as well: http://jurassiccoast.org/fossilfinder/1192-camptonectes/