Thursday, September 20, 2018

Sinodelphys szalayi Mammal Fossil


This picture is of a Sinodelphys szalayi (Luo, Ji, Wible & Yuan, 2003) mammal fossil. It was found in Liaoning China. The fossil dates to Lower Cretaceous Period (Barremien - 125 million years ago).  Fossil  displayed at Muséum National D'Historie Naturelle Jardin Des Plantes Paléontologie et Anatomie Comparée, Paris, France.  Image taken August 2016.

Learn more at their website: https://www.mnhn.fr/en/visit/lieux/galerie-paleontologie-anatomie-comparee-paleontology-and-comparative-anatomy-gallery

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Calamoseris Coral Fossil


This image is of a Calamoseris coral fossil. It was found in Wagnon Ardennes France. The fossil dates to the Middle Jurassic Period. It was displayed at Muséum National D'Historie Naturelle Jardin Des Plantes Paléontologie et Anatomie Comparée, Paris, France.  Image taken 2009.

Learn more at their website: https://www.mnhn.fr/en/visit/lieux/galerie-paleontologie-anatomie-comparee-paleontology-and-comparative-anatomy-gallery

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Placophyllia dianthus Coral Fossil


This image is of a Placophyllia dianthus coral fossil. It was found in Lirchingen Wurtemberg Germany. The fossil dates to the Middle Jurassic Period. It was displayed at Muséum National D'Historie Naturelle Jardin Des Plantes Paléontologie et Anatomie Comparée, Paris, France.  Image taken 2009.

Learn more at their website: https://www.mnhn.fr/en/visit/lieux/galerie-paleontologie-anatomie-comparee-paleontology-and-comparative-anatomy-gallery

Monday, September 17, 2018

Calamophyllia Coral Fossil

This picture is of a Calamophyllia sp. coral fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Corals like this existed in the Jurassic Period. The fossil was found in Monte Serra Colle Rufigno Bugnara Abruzzo Italy.







Learn more about the museum at: http://www.dst.uniroma1.it/musei/museo_paleontologia/index.htm








Image taken in June 2014.

Learn more about this type of fossil at University of Bristol site: http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/palaeofiles/fossilgroups/anthozoa/record.html

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Asiatherium reshetovi Mammal Fossil


Asiatherium reshetovi mammal fossil displayed at Muséum National D'Historie Naturelle Jardin Des Plantes Paléontologie et Anatomie Comparée, Paris, France. It was found in Barun Goyot Formation of Gobi Desert Basin in Mongolia. The fossil dates to Late Cretaceous Period. Image taken August 2016.
Learn more at their website: https://www.mnhn.fr/en/visit/lieux/galerie-paleontologie-anatomie-comparee-paleontology-and-comparative-anatomy-gallery

Info about this mammal at this link: http://fossilworks.org/bridge.pl?a=taxonInfo&taxon_no=183890

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Eomaia scansoria Mammal Fossil


Cast of Eomaia scansoria extinct mammal fossil displayed at Muséum National D'Historie Naturelle Jardin Des Plantes Paléontologie et Anatomie Comparée, Paris, France. It dates to the Lower Cretaceous Period (Barremian Age). The fossil was found in Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, China. Image taken August 2016.

Learn more at their website: https://www.mnhn.fr/en/visit/lieux/galerie-paleontologie-anatomie-comparee-paleontology-and-comparative-anatomy-gallery

More information about the creature can be found on Wikipedia at this link:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eomaia

Friday, September 7, 2018

Phareodus testis Fish Fossil


Phareodus testis bony tongue fish skeleton fossil displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, USA. It was found in Wyoming, USA. The fossil appears to be from the Green River Formation and dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period. Image taken July 2018.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Plecia Fly Fossil



Plecia sp. fly fossils ("twist fly") displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, USA. They were found in White Mountain Wyoming, USA. The fossils appear to be from Green River Formation and dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period. Image taken July 2018.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Boavus idelmani Snake Fossil (Cast)


Boavus idelmani snake cast fossil ("boa ancestor") displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, USA. It was found in Wyoming, USA. The fossil appears to be from Green River Formation, Fossil Butte Member and dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period. Image taken July 2018.

Learn more at the Fossil Butte National Monument Wyoming web site.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Platanus Leaf Fossil




Platanus sp. sycamore leaf fossil ("plane tree") displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, USA. It was found in Garfield County, Colorado, USA. The fossil appears to be from Green River Formation and dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period. Image taken July 2018.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Museum Fire

National Museum of Brazil on fire 2018-09-02
Photo by Felipe Milanez on Wikipedia Commons

Sad news in that the 200 year old National Museum of Brazil caught fire on September 2, 2018. The museum has over 20 million items in its archive including geological and fossil specimens. Hopefully, they had some digital records and images of the important items in the collection. This is the reason I am such a big proponent of digitizing collections in case something like this happens. Unfortunately, this museum suffered from funding issues which appears why they did not have a sprinkler system so I am guessing no budget for digital records either.

Indiana University Science Hall erected 1874 burned down 1883

Locally, Indiana lost quite a large collection of books and specimens in an 1883 fire. Indiana University had a 3 story building burn down due to a lightning strike. The building housed 14,000 volumes and 85,000 specimens in Owen Cabinet (named for geologists Richard and David Dale Owen). Learn more about this fire at this link. Oddly, a partial skeleton of a giant ground sloth Megalonyx jeffersonii survived but where it is today is not known (except for four of its bones ended up in the Indiana State Museum). Learn more at this link.

Indiana University Department of Geology Lecture Room circa 1904

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Chamaecyparis Seed Cone Fossil

This plant fossil was found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. The fossil appears to be a Chamaecyparis sp. seed cone. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period. Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Bee Fossil

This bee fossil was found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period. Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Mosquito Fossil

This mosquito fossil was found in the Florissant Formation of Teller county, Colorado, USA. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period. Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Carcharodon megalodon Shark Tooth Fossil


Carcharodon megalodon shark tooth fossil displayed at the Hall of Vertebrate Origins at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, USA. The fossil dates to the Miocene Epoch of the Neogene Period.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Megalodon Shark Jaw Model


Suspended from the ceiling in the Hall of Vertebrate Origins at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, USA, is a model of Carcharodon megalodon shark. This shark was one of the largest to ever exist and dates to the Neogene Period (Pliocene and Miocene Epoch).


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Diplocaulus magnicornis Nectridean Fossil


Diplocaulus magnicornis nectridean head fossil found in 1895 at Baylor County, Texas USA. This aquatic creature lived in the early Permian Period (275 million years ago).

Fossil on display at American Museum of Natural History in New York City, USA.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Mecochirus longimanatus Claw Fossil


Mecochirus longimanatus crustacean claw fossil found at Eichstätt, Germany. The fossil dates to the Jurassic Period.

Fossil on display at American Museum of Natural History in New York City, USA.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Pterocoma pennata Crinoid Fossil


Pterocoma pennata crinoid fossil found at Solnhofen Germany. Genus also known as Comaturella. Fossil dates to Jurassic Period.

This fossil was on display at American Museum of Natural History in New York City USA as of July 2018.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Precambrian Stromatolite Fossil


These images are of a 900 million year old stromatolite fossil from Atar rock formation of Mauritania, Africa. This fossil is from the low oxygen atmosphere Precambrian Period. Stromatolites are mats of aerobic cyanobacteria and anaerobic bacteria that grew under shallow water. It is thought that since an ozone layer had yet to form around the Earth at this time in history that water protected life from intense ultraviolet light but allowed energy from other wavelengths allowing growth.


The mats of bacteria formed colonies that stacked overtime to form columns with grey carbonate mud in between branches. The specimen was cross cut and polished to allow better viewing of layers. Second picture is of the outer surface of specimen.



Fossil on display at American Museum of Natural History, New York City, USA as of July 2018.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Louisville Magazine Fossil Article



The August 2018 issue of Louisville Magazine contains an article I was interviewed for. I was asked about finding fossils in Louisville, Kentucky, USA and related the story about finding a Silurian Period trilobite in the Waldron Shale (see link below about trilobite).

http://louisvillefossils.blogspot.com/2013/05/cleaned-silurian-trimerus-trilobite.html

The article is entitled The Fossils Under Our Feet by Eric Burnette and photos by Mickie Winters. It can be found on pages 47-52 of the magazine. Find out how to obtain this issue at their website https://www.louisville.com/



Monday, July 30, 2018

Fossils at Obelisk in Central Park


If you visit New York City's famed Central Park, consider stopping by the Egyptian obelisk located behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The white limestone base the granite obelisk rests on contains a lot of visible fossils. The obelisk (known as Cleopatra's Needle) were created to celebrate the 30 year reign of pharaoh Thutmosis III (1479-1425 B.C).


Their original location was at the Temple of the Sun in Heliopolis, Egypt. They were constructed from pink granite at the quarries in Aswan. Roman Emperor Augustus had them moved to the temple Caesarium around 12 B.C.

The Khedive Ismail Pasha of Egypt exchanged this obelisk for economic aid from the City of New York, United States in 1881. Earlier, it's twin obelisk was transferred to London, England in 1878.


The Romans added a Egyptian limestone base and steps plus 4 bronze crabs to stabilize the obelisk on its new base. Only two of the crabs partially survived when the obelisk was being made ready for transfer to the United States. Once it arrived, Brooklyn Navy Yard workers forged 4 new 418 kg  crabs in about 10 days. Molten lead was used to secure the crabs to the obelisk thus re-enforcing its broken corners. The claws are inscribed in English telling of who replaced them.



The remains of the two Roman bronze crabs are on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art at the Temple of Dendur exhibit. It looks like they were mostly plundered for their metal or as souvenirs by long ago visitors. The claw as a Greek inscription on the outside stating Roman prefect Barbarus and architect Pontius erected the obelisk in the 18th year of an emperor (Augustus?). The original crabs donated by Lt. Commander Henry H. Gorringe who transferred the obelisk to New York in 1880-1881.





When I first encountered the base I was not sure what type of fossils it was covered with at first I thought they might be pelecypods or brachiopods. Now I am convinced they are foraminiferan Nummulites fossils.

The fossils are somewhat worn, but the picture on the right with two orange arrows showing two Nummulites with their tops or bottoms cross sectioned.

The base and steps appear to be composed of an Eocene limestone from Egypt. This type of limestone was used to construct ancient Egyptian structures so they contain these fossils as well. Learn more at Wikipedia.





Most of the fossils I saw appeared to be Nummulites stacked on top of one another but picture on the left looks like a gastropod or ammonite whorl.











The picture on the right has an orange arrow pointing to what appears to be a fossil with some sort of spines. It might be a spiny brachiopod or some sort of echinoid.


So if you get a chance to visit New York City's Central Park, allot some time and visit the oldest man-made object in the park.






Learn more about this obelisk and its connection to New York City at Google Books site for The New York Obelisk or How Cleopatra's Needle Came to New York and What Happened When It Got Here by Martina D'Alton from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Spring 1993).

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Crinoid Stem Fossils at Metropolitan Museum of Art


While visiting New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art located at 1000 Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street, I came across a number of crinoid stem fossils. They were embedded in the railing stone of a balcony on the 2nd level overlooking the Arms and Armory large room on the 1st level.

It is difficult to tell what age the fossils are from or location of where the stone was from. There are a lot of small crinoid stem pieces in the stone and maybe some other types of fossils.


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Deinocheirus mirificus Limb Fossil


This is a cast of the front limbs of a Deinocheirus mirificus dinosaur fossil. It was collected by Z. Kielan-Jaworowska in 1965 at Altan Ulaa III in Mongolia. Fossil dates to the Late Cretaceous Period (72 million years ago).



Fossil on display at American Museum of Natural History in New York City USA as of July 2018.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Struthiomimus altus Dinosaur Fossil


This is the skull and jaws of a Struthiomimus altus dinosaur fossil. This animal resembled a modern ground bird and classified as a ornithomimid ("bird mimic"). It was collected in Red Deer Creek, Alberta Canada. Fossil dates to the Late Cretaceous Period (72 million years ago).

Fossil on display at American Museum of Natural History in New York City USA as of July 2018.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Xiphactinus Sword Ray Fin Fossil Cast


This is a cast of sword ray pectoral fin of a Xiphactinus audax. It was collected by M. Triebold in 1993 at Lane County Kansas USA. Fossil dates to the Late Cretaceous Period (85 million years ago).

Fossil on display at American Museum of Natural History in New York City USA as of July 2018.

Image below is a composite of 3 pictures.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Gyracanthus formosus Fish Spine




The spine fossil of a Gyracanthus formosus fish (front pectoral fin). Not much is known about this fish as all that is found of remains are spines. Fossil was found Newsham Colliery of Northumberland England. This fish existed in the Middle Carboniferous Period (325 million years ago).

Fossil on display at American Museum of Natural History in New York City USA as of July 2018.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Asaphus Trilobite Fossil Displayed at AMNH


I visited the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York city this month. It is a massive museum that I could not see in one day. Not for a lack of trying, in that I arrived well before they opened and left when they were about to close. My camera battery depleted about 30 minutes before I left.

While impressive displays and specimens are shown there, for an invertebrate fossil enthusiast, I was a little disappointed. They list their collection of these types of fossils at over 400,000 specimens but I think saw less than 30 on display. In the Grand Gallery was a trilobite display case with world-class specimens. This trilobite fossil was in the Ordovician section and named Asaphus kowalewskii. It was found in the Asery Formation of St. Petersburg, Russia. Accession number is Fl-74836 and was donated by the family of James Kaste.

The museum is a great place to visit. Their dinosaur collection has to be one of the best on Earth and I really liked the display on fossil sharks. Learn more about the museum at https://www.amnh.org/

Their trilobite exhibit was made possible by Dr. Martin Shugar, M.D. and Andy Secher who are also editors for the AMNH trilobite web site.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Egyptian-Greek Lion Statue Containing Fossils at The Met



Recently, I visited New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art located at 1000 Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street. It is an amazing museum. According to Wikipedia it is the 3rd most visited art museum and 5th most visited museum of any kind in the world (as of 2016).  They have extensive artworks from cultures all around the world including ancient Egypt and Greece.

While art and paleontology do not often mix I was able to find a few fossils in an item at the ancient Egypt exhibit.





The fossils were found while visiting the 15 BC Egyptian-Roman Temple of Dendur room, to the right of the temple when facing it are a number of artifacts (see above image of room). One is a reclining lion statue with a number of visible foraminiferan Nummulites fossils on it. The statue is from the Roman period (second to third century A.D.) from Bubastis Egypt. It is made from what appears to be an Eocene limestone from Egypt. A Greek inscription is in the front of the statue that translates to "Thnepheros daughter of Pitikas dedicated for good". Greek custom at the time was to use lion sculptures as funeral monuments. The museum bought the statue from the Egyptian government in 1912.


As for nummulite shell fossils, ancient Egyptians used them as coins and their name is derived from the Latin nummulus meaning "little coin".  This type of limestone was used to construct the pyramids so they contain these fossils as well. Learn more at Wikipedia.