Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cheirurus Trilobite Cephalon

I believe this trilobite cephalon fragment is from a Cheirurus sp. It was found in the Waldron Shale of Clark County, Indiana and is from the Silurian Period. In March 2010, I documented another fragment that is less complete. See that posting here. This new fossil seems to have one of the compound eyes. Unlike the other which was a cast, this one has fossilized shell.
The fossil shown is over 2 cm in size and has not been cleaned yet. The other eye may still be embedded in the matrix.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Heliophyllum Horn Coral with Aulopora

This fossil has been prepared with abrasive cleaning to reveal a nice Aulopora coral colony growing on a larger Heliophyllum horn coral. The fossil is from the Devonian Period and was found in Clark County, Indiana, USA. Thanks to Kenny for loaning it to me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Eucalyptocrinus elrodi Crinoid Calyx

The fossil shown here is an Eucalyptocrinus elrodi (Miller, 1891) crinoid calyx found in the Waldron Shale of Davidson County, Tennessee, USA. It was found in the 1960s. Fossil dates to the Silurian Period.

The plate texture on this crinoid calyx is very nice.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cipangopaludina Snail

Cipangopaludiana japonica? snail found in the Potomac River outside of Washington, D.C. It is not a native species of the United States but found its way here from Asia. I have posted about this snail before but those were found in the White River of Indianapolis, Indiana. See that entry from November 15, 2010. The specimen was cleaned up and I posted it on April 2, 2011, see post here.

I wonder if this snail is edible. There is a show on Korean television (KBS) called Screening Humanity. They profile different households around Korea every week. One older couple who lived in the countryside was shown preparing marsh snail soup. It looks like the snails are soaked in clean water and then boiled later. A needle is then used to extract the snail out of the shell. I am not sure what is next in the recipe as they did not show that part on the show.

The two specimens shown in this posting have been cleaned.

Thanks to Kenny for specimens.

Smaller specimen shown.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Animal Armageddon Videos

Exploring around on YouTube, I came across a video about the Ordovician/Silurian mass extinction that happen some 450 million years ago. The video was shown on the Animal Planet channel in 2009 and was called Animal Armageddon Episode 1 Death Rays. They speculate that the extinction was triggered by a massive gamma ray burst from a dying star.  This radiation exposed the Earth to fatal levels of energy that wiped out 2/3 of species or 85% of animal life.
It is neat to see computer animations of the sea environment with creatures like straight-shelled cephalopods, Eurypterids sea scorpions, trilobites,  Astraspis fish, and Acanthodian fish. Learn more at the Animal Planet web site for the show and on

The total episode lasts 45 minutes and is shown below:

The second episode entitled Hell on Earth is about the Devonian extinction. They speculate that volcanic eruptions could have caused the extinction.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

More Guam Material

I have been studying some more of the material from the island of Guam. The first picture shows a Baculogysina foraminifera shell be tested it a weak acid (white vinegar). It looks to be a carbonate.

The next picture appears to be an Amphisorus foraminifera.
 The following image of a foraminifera appears to be Calcarina.
The last image is of maybe a fragment of an Amphisorus.
Images have a 2-3 mm field of view.

Thanks to Pam for obtaining the specimens and Herb for getting it to me.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Baculogypsina sphaerulata Foraminifera

Baculogypsina sphaerulata foraminifera found on the island of Guam. Image is magnified 23 times under a microscope which should equate to a 2 mm field of view. I think these creatures are also known as star sand.

Thanks to Pam for obtaining the specimen and Herb for the processed material.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bumastus Cephalon Trilobite Fossil

This fossil is of a trilobite cephalon. The trilobite is a Bumastus. Fossil was found in the Silurian aged Waldron Shale of Clark County Indiana USA. Thanks to Kenny for letting me photograph it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thamniscus niagarensis Bryozoan

This branching bryozoan fossil appears to be a Thamniscus niagarensis. It was found in the Silurian aged Waldron Shale of Clark County Indiana USA. The bryozoan was found with another genus called Lichenalia concentrica.  Thanks to Kenny for letting me photograph it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Exogyra Pelecypod Fossil

This fossil appears to be a Exogyra cancellata pelecypod fossil found in the Coon Creek Formation of Mississippi or Tennessee, USA. The animal lived in the Cretaceous Period along with mosasaurs and plesiosaurs. Thanks to Mary Ann for finding the fossil and to Kenny who is prepping the fossil.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dakoticancer Crab Fossils

This fossil appears to be a Dakoticancer crab fossil found in the Coon Creek Formation of Mississippi or Tennessee, USA. The animals lived in the Cretaceous Period along with mosasaurs and plesiosaurs. Thanks to Mary Ann for finding these fossils and to Kenny who is prepping the fossils. There are 3 different specimens shown in the following pictures.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Louisville Coral Fossil Exhibit

A new display case at the Falls of the Ohio State Park has been unveiled with a variety of Silurian and Devonian coral fossils from around the Louisville Kentucky area. My cousin Kenny Popp has loaned them to the park for a temporary exhibit. A lot of the specimens are museum grade and took quite a bit of time to prepare for display.

The fossil shown in the picture below (gray one on the left) took weeks to extract using gallons and gallons of acid.

If you are in the Louisville Kentucky area consider visiting the Falls of the Ohio State Park and seeing this display.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Unprepped Silurian Crinoid Holdfast

This crinoid holdfast is maybe the most extensive one I have every found. It is still quite embedded in Waldron Shale matrix but the large number of roots are exposed. Somewhat amazing how much this animal has such similar characteristics to that of a plant. While not able to make an exact identification it appears to be the holdfast of an Eucalyptocrinus of the Silurian Period. Fossil found in Clark County, Indiana, USA.

On the other side of the matrix piece, this smaller holdfast was found that appears to be like a large tap root with small branches coming off it.
Identification is based off of images of Eucalyptocrinus roots (holdfasts) from illustrations from Plate 19 (Figures 6-7) Indiana Department of Geology and Natural History Eleventh Annual Report John Collett State Geologist 1881.

Also plate 20 shown below.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pterinea Pelecypod Fossil Fragment

This fossil appears to be a Pterinea brisa Hall (or Ambonychia (Pterinea) striaecostata McChesney 1869) pelecypod fossil found in the Silurian Waldron Shale of Clark County, Indiana. Learn more about it at my earlier blog posting from June 20, 2012.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

T-rex Finger Puppet

My recent posts seem to be centering on the British Geological Survey web site and videos which will continue today with a focus one of their paper puppet activities. It is interesting how looking at one thing can lead you to new knowledge from a slightly different direction. The path that lead me to this puppet was initiated after reading the blog post entitled A Story of the Season on Fossils and Other Living Things web site. It was about story about a Christmas message created with foraminiferas on microscope slide by Arthur Earland in 1912. While searching the Internet for images of this slide I came across the videos and images of the British Geological Survey.

The PDF templates and directions can be found at their web site here:

When I created the puppet I had to resize the image from A4 paper to 8.5"x11" paper. Doing this seems to converted the hand puppet into a finger puppet. The tools I used were:
  • Color printer
  • Cardstock paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch Tape
  • Drywall screw holder (could not find paper fasteners)
The drywall plastic pieces make this puppet look like a FrankenRex monster. I found the activity interesting and something I will share with my plethora of small nephews. Need to be patient when cutting out the teeth on the jaw sections though.

This YouTube video lasting about 6 minutes shows how to assemble the Tyrannosaurus rex hand puppet.