Saturday, October 29, 2011

Silurian Reef Database Project

Silurian Reef Database from Field Museum on Vimeo.

Here is an interesting video from the Fossil Invertebrate Department of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. A summer 2011 intern named Alex Lang(?) is the narrator and describes his task of cataloging Silurian fossils into a computer database. He states in the video that only 278 invertebrate fossil specimens are on display of over the 2 million in the collection. The collection is cataloged on books that began with the 1893 Columbian World Exposition in Chicago. Hopefully, they have transcribed the handwritten volumes and keep a copy in a fireproof safe. Better would be to photograph the volumes and store them digitally in various places around the world.

Louisville, Kentucky and Chicago, Illinois both sit on top of the remains of ancient Silurian reefs. The Field Museum also has links to this area in its relationship between local mining tycoon and geologist/paleontologist William Borden. His approximately 30,000 piece fossil collection was transferred from New Providence (Borden), Indiana to the Field Museum in 1923. William Borden and Marshall Field were partners in mining interests in Leadville, Colorado as well. See my post about Mr. Borden for more info:

Learn more about the Field Museum at their web site:

Check out the Fossil Invertebrates Diversity picture gallery (147 images):

Specimens they show of local interest:

Image 16 (UC 14016): Polypora (Fenestella) cultellata bryozoan Falls of the Ohio, Indiana
Image 17 (UC 17494): Constellaria florida bryozoa Covington, Kentucky
Image 21 (UC 28227): Archimedes symmetricus bryozoa Princeton, Kentucky
Image 23 (PE 16568): Hiscobeccus capax brachiopod Abington, Indiana
Image 27 (UC 12329): Kirkidium (Conchidium) laqueatum brachiopod Delphi, Indiana
Image 28 (UC 13212): Pentameus oblongus brachiopod Indiana
Image 29 (UC 13520): Anthracospirifer (Spirifer) bifurcatus brachiopod New Providence, Indiana (Borden collection?)
Image 41 (UC 16542): Onniella meeki brachiopods Brookfield, Indiana
Image 63 (PE 40269): Triangulotarbus terrehautensis  spider? Terre Haute, Indiana
Image 72-74 (UC 12900-1): Carcinosoma (Eusarcus) newlini eurypterid Kokomo, Indiana
Image 90 (UC 2465): Petraster americanus starfish Cincinnati, Ohio
Image 91 (UC 6020): Triamara tumida (Holocystites adipatusas) cystoid Jefferson County, Indiana
Image 92 (UC 6028): Caryocrinites indianensis cystoid Jefferson County, Indiana
Image 94 (UC 6419): Agelacrinites pulaskensis endrioasteroid Pulaski County, Kentucky
Image 95 (UC 6623): Oligoporus sulcatus echinoid? Harding County, Kentucky
Image 96 (UC 8825): Carneyella pilea endrioasteroid Cincinnati, Ohio
Image 97 (UC 9956): Elaeacrinus verneuili blastoid Falls of the Ohio, Indiana
Image 98 (UC 18061): Holocystites alternatus cystoid Jefferson County, Indiana
Image 103 (UC 54070): Carneyella pilea endrioasteroid Cincinnati, Ohio
Image 104 (P 20623): Platystoma Shumardi gastropod Falls of the Ohio, Indiana