Friday, December 29, 2017

Crinoid Holdfast on Dead Crinoid Stem

This pictures show a crinoid holdfast growing on the side of a fallen crinoid stem. The fossils were found in the New Providence Formation of Scott County, Indiana USA. The fossils date to the Mississippian Period. Thanks to Kenny for the images.





Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Divaricella quadrisulcata Sea Shell


These pictures are not of fossils but of a modern day bivalve. It is a cross-hatched lucine (Divaricella quadrisulcata Orbigny 1842). I am posting it because of the unique pattern of its shell. It reminds me of a Waldron Shale brachiopod fossil Dictyonella reticulata not that they have similar patterns but that they have such distinct patterns. Once you see a shell like this, you know what it is because of its unique pattern.

This shell was found on Folly Beach South Carolina USA in August 2017.  See this site for help with shell identifications:

https://www.mitchellspublications.com/guides/shells/articles/pictorial/

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Fossil Christmas 2017

This year's Christmas greeting image was created with specimens from two locations.

The star (thin section of crinoid stem), trunk (eroded crinoid stem), circular ornament (button coral) and drop shaped ornament (anchor crinoid stem) were obtained from the Devonian Period Jeffersonville/Beechwood/Speed Limestone of Clark County, Indiana USA. The anchor crinoid is a Ancyrocrinus sp. found in the Beechwood Limestone and the button coral is a Hadrophyllum orbignyi from the Speed Limestone.

The tree portion is an Atlantic Auger gastropod shell (Terebra dislocata) and the small fragment ornament is a broken piece of a sea urchin. Both of these specimens were found at Folly Beach near Charleston South Carolina, USA.


To visitors of this blog, I wish you a Merry Christmas and hope the new year brings you new finds in search for fossils in the world around you.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Atlantic Auger Shells


Working on this year's fossil Christmas tree which will partially not consist of fossils. I am using some specimens I collected while at Folly Beach near Charleston South Carolina USA in August 2017. The images in this post are of Common American Auger gastropod shells aka Atlantic Auger (Terebra dislocata Thomas Say, he originally named it in 1822 Cerithium dislocatum).



Thanks to this web site for identification: https://www.mitchellspublications.com/guides/shells/articles/pictorial/

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Unidentified fossil?


This image was sent to me recently and the sender asked if I knew what it was. It looks to me to be impressions left by plant stems or leaves. It was found in Breckinridge County, Kentucky USA. The county appears to be mostly in Mississippian Period surface rock but west of the county is Pennsylvanian Period rock.

If anyone has an idea of what this might be, please leave a comment or e-mail me at louisvillefossils@gmail.com. Thanks!

My Fossil Artwork on a Commercial Product


I guess I should feel flattered that an Internet fossil dealer put an image I created on one of the fossils they sell. On October 30, 2009, I posted about Scolecondonts in which I tried to draw an image of what one of these extinct creatures might look like. My first drawing was something out of science fiction. A reader let me know that the image I wanted was more like a modern day clam or sand worm so I created the image above for that earlier posting.

Recently,  I was checking out fossils on the indiana9fossils.com (note site name is changing in January 2018 to Prehistoric Fossils) in the Invertbrate Fossil Worm section and saw my image on the packaging for a scolecodont fossil they are trying to sell for $35.

It is too bad in that the image I created in my opinion made the jaws too big in relation to the body. See this recent post on sand worms. I am tempted to create a new image but on based on a bobbit worm as a scolecodont.

My feelings are mixed about the use of this image: glad that it was good enough to be used on a commercial product but I should have been asked about using this image beforehand. From what it appears to me, the person creating labels for the fossils for sale is using an Internet image search engine to find picture/drawings and then copying them onto the labels. Sadly, the other worm fossil they were showing as of 12/21/2017 was a cornulites but the image used on the label is of a conularia (which I think has little relation to worms).

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Maiacetus Transitional Whale Fossil


This image is of a Maiacetus inuus transitional whale fossil cast on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). It dates to the Eocene Epoch (about 48 million years ago), Paleogene Period. The fossil was found at Habib Rahi Formation, Kunvit, Balochistan Province, Pakistan.

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, December 19, 2017

Cynthiacetus Whale Fossil


This image is of a Cynthiacetus maxwelli whale fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). It dates to the Eocene Epoch (about 38-34 million years ago), Paleogene Period. The fossil is a composite of material found at various sites: Harleyville, South Carolina USA, Hinds County Mississippi USA, and Paracas Bay, Peru (Cynthiacetus peruvianus).

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, December 18, 2017

Atocetus Dolphin Fin Fossil


This image is of a Atocetus fuchsii dolphin fin fossil model on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). It dates to the Miocene Epoch (about 12 million years ago), Neogene Period. The fossil was found in the Sarmatian Marl, Chinteni Village, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

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 17, 2017

Nolmesina septentrionalis Pampathere Fossil


This image is of a Nolmesina septentrionalis giant pampathere (like an armadillo) fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). It dates to the Pleistocene Epoch (about 2-1.5 million years ago), Quaternary Period. The fossil was found in the Suwanee River 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/

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 through 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/