Saturday, September 26, 2020

Darwin's Fossil Sand Dollar at Harvard

 


After watching more videos from the The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) YouTube channel. I found another interesting one to highlight. It was created 2019 for the Specimen Spotlight Wednesday presentation May 25-31 meeting. The presenter was Jessica D. Cundiff of the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Echinarachnius juliensis (Desor, 1847) was collected in Port St. Julien, Patagonia, Argentina during the HMS Beagle voyage (1831-1836) by Charles Darwin in 1834. Darwin sent the echinoid to Swiss biologist Louis Agassiz who also started the MCZ in 1859..  Described by Pierre Jean Édouard Desor in France Geological Society Bulletin vol. 4, number 2, pp. 287-288 in 1847. It appears this fossil is from the Neogene Period (aka Late Tertiary).

Learn the more about this story by watching the video in the player below or go to the YouTube link.

Link to video is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhOOU3eqyG8



Images used for this post:

Portrait of Charles Darwin by George Richmond (1809-1896) water-colour from 1840. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 100 years or fewer. 

Image of Louis Agassiz circa 1870 from Schweizerischer Beobachter,14/2011, p. 36This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or fewer. 

Image of Pierre Jean Édouard Desor from 1863. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or fewer. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Something New From The Waldron Shale

 

Last Saturday (09-19-2020) I visited a Waldron Shale site and found a fossil I have not seen before. At first I thought it might be some sort of colonial coral. I showed it to my cousin Kenny and he thought it might be a parasite on a crinoid column. Similar to a fossil he found in 2015, on a Mississippian Period fossil. See this posting for more info. See image below of a Mississippian crinoid stem with what appear to be galls from parasitic marine worms.

One can see the similarities with the current Waldron Shale find.

He will need to prep this new find to see there is a crinoid column this fossils are attached to or part of. These shapes do look similar to galls of putative myzostomids (small marine worm) on crinoids as seen on a researchgate.net page showing an image from the book Fossil Crinoids by Hans Hess, William I. Ausich, Carlton E. Brett, and Michael J. Simms (Cambridge University Press, 1999).

Upon further Internet searching I came across the Time Scavengers blog with a 2017 post about The College of Wooster's paleontologist Mark A. Wilson. He posted an image Upper Ordovician cobble with encrusting crinoids (three volcano-like fossils). These shapes have some similarity to this fossil find has well. Could they be a cluster of small crinoid holdfasts?




Link to scan of the paper on Tremichnus by Carlton E. Brett from 1985:
http://webcentral.uc.edu/eprof/media/attachment/eprofmediafile_1303.pdf

Link to paper Phosphannulus on Paleozoic Crinoid Stems by James R. Welch 1976:
https://www.jstor.org/stable/1303489

Link to chapter entitled Biotic Interactions among Recent and among Fossil Crinoids by David L. Meyer and William I. Ausich. See section on Parasitism and Table V for information about parasites that infest crinoid.
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_Meyer16/publication/283756496_Biotic_Interactions_among_Recent_and_among_Fossil_Crinoids/links/568ad15008ae1975839db6d3/Biotic-Interactions-among-Recent-and-among-Fossil-Crinoids.pdf

Link to paper entitled Host-specific pit-forming epizoans on Silurian crinoids by Carlton E. Brett. The images show mostly boring holes and not the structures with holes seen in this fossil.
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/75404/j.1502-3931.1978.tb01229.x.pdf?sequence=1

Link to article Phylogeny of Myzostomida (Annelida) and their relationships with echinoderm hosts by Mindi M. Summers and Greg W. Rouse.
https://bmcevolbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12862-014-0170-7

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Ammonites opalus nomen oblitum Fossil Video

 

Today while researching a fossil I found, I came across a video from the The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC). It was created June 12, 2020 for the Specimen Spotlight Friday presentation. The video was entitled "What's in a Name? David Dale Owens' Ammonites opalus nomen oblitum" by Paul S. Meyer of the The Field Museum. Since I recently returned from a visit to that museum and earlier in the year I was at New Harmony, Indiana USA where David Dale Owen lived I thought this would be a good topic to blog about.

Above is an enhanced image of the original illustration from Table VIII Figure 6 of the Ammonites opalus described in Illustrations to the Geological Report of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota by David Dale Owen Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co. 1852. It is described as from the Cretaceous Formation of Nebraska Great Bend of the Missouri River, associated with Inoceramus Cripsii. Below is pattern on the shell.


Paul talks about the type specimen at The Field Museum (FMNH UC 6377) which is now called Rhaeboceras halli. John Evans a forward guide for the Owens survey expedition collected this specimen in 1849 which Owen described in 1852. The link to this video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC7yCm4ue_I


A scan of David Dale Owen's survey report can be found at: https://archive.org/details/reportageologic00owengoog

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Bumastus harrisi Trilobite

 


Above is an image of a prone trilobite fossil called Bumastus harrisi. A trilobite fossil dates to the Silurian Period. It was found Chicago, Illinois, USA and appears to be made of dolomite. 

The fossil was on display in the Evolving Planet section of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago Illinois, USA as of August 2020. Accession number is P11447. Learn more at the Virtual Silurian Reef Project web site.

More about this type of trilobite can be seen here:

https://silurian-reef.fieldmuseum.org/narrative/430

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Prepped Snout Nosed Weevil Fossil

 

The image above has recently been prepped, the picture below is what it looked like before. I originally posted this on August 12, 2020. Field of view (FOV) is about 5 mm.


The images show a snout beetle or weevil insect fossil of the Order Coleoptera, Family Curculionidae found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period. Thanks to my cousin Kenny for the image who prepped it. His cousin Doug found this fossil.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

AMNH Video Tour of Trilobite Collection

 

On Friday, July 24, 2020 the American Museum of Natural History streamed live a presentation by Melanie Hopkins Associate Curator in the Division of Paleontology and PhD student Ernesto Vargas-Parra. They hosted a brief virtual tour of part of the museum's trilobite collection on the fifth floor. 

At around 1:45, it looks like they start off with a famous locality for Cambrian trilobites from Utah. Around 8:20 in the video, a Silurian Trimerus trilobite fossil shows up maybe from New York's Rochester Shale. The next plate has quite a few trilobites mixed with brachiopods with maybe some being Calymene. At 9:40 a cluster of Silurian Dalmanites trilobite fossils followed by a box with three more Trimerus and ending with one large Trimerus. What looks like an Estonian graptolite fossil shows up at the 12:20 mark in the video. It looks somewhat odd to me being white as all the graptolite fossils I tend to find are black. By the time the video is at 18 minute mark, I think they are looking at Moroccan trilobite fossils.

I visited the museum in July 2018 and I do not recall very many trilobite fossils being no display so this video was a great way to see the collection area that few members of the public get to see. When I was there, I found a display case in the lower level with some wonderful display grade specimens. See picture above. I have documented most of the fossils seen in the case in previous postings on this blog.

If the video player does not display in your browser, here is the direct YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x4xI9KupaY Recently, every Friday at 1 PM EST they present another museum video, hopefully we will get to see some more of the fossil collection.


Monday, September 14, 2020

AMNH Tour the Hall of Vertebrate Origins Video

 

Today, I found a great video series being created by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York city. During the Covid epidemic, the museum is publishing videos every Friday at 1 PM EST as live stream. The last video was presented by fossil fish researcher Allison Bronson. She does a great job narrating a video tour of the Hall of Vertebrate Origins at the museum. I was there in July of 2018 and I wished I had watched a video like this before my visit. After watching the video, I missed taking pictures of at least two special specimens she highlighted. Have to go back now :)

I am weak on my understanding of fossil fish and vertebrates in general as we do not find a lot of those fossils in the Louisville area. When I was in this museum section, the Devonian shark Cladoselache caught my attention (see posting here, to know why):

https://louisvillefossils.blogspot.com/2010/07/cladoselache-shark-fossil.html

After seeing her talk about the shark at the 7:20 mark, I realize I am pronouncing its name wrong.

It was amusing at the 22:05 mark in the video, Allison talks about the happy tortoise which is one of the most photographed specimens in the museum. As it turns out, I blogged about the Geochelone atlas specimen in December 2018, so count me in that large group of photographers!

https://louisvillefossils.blogspot.com/2018/12/geochelone-atlas-tortoise-fossil.html 

If you cannot see or use the embedded video viewer in this blog post, here is the direct YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRuy7KfvqWs&t=479s

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Snail Imprint in Bryozoan Fossil

 

These images show an interesting fossil combination. The fossil ensemble was found in the Kope Formation (Latonia (Eden) Shale) of Carroll County, Kentucky, USA. The main fossil appears to be a Prasapora simulatrix (Ulrich, 1886) bryozoan. The colony grew on top of the shell of a Hormotoma gracilis (Hall, 1847) gastropod. The imprint of the shell's spiral looks intact. These fossils existed in the Ordovician Period. I have found that when in an area with Kope Formation fossils that bryozoans tend to cover other fossils and preserve details on the fossils they cover. See the cephalopod fossil in this 2010 posting.


See more examples of Prasapora simulatrix bryozoan fossils:

http://www.drydredgers.org/thumb_by_bryozoan.htm#Prasapora

The Latonia Formation consists of three members: McMicken, Southgate, and Economy.

https://strata.uga.edu/cincy/strata/LithostratSystems.html

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Fossils on the Family Grave Marker

 


After attending a funeral for my aunt today, I visited the family marker that shows the section where my grandparents are buried. The marker is made of Bedford(?) limestone. Time and the elements has eroded part of the surface revealing small crinoid stems and a cross section of a horn coral. Fossils date from Mississippian Period. Marker is in Clark County, Indiana USA.




Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Stink Bug Fossil

 

The picture is of a stink bug fossil. The specimen was found at Fossil Lake, Wyoming, USA. It existed in the Eocene Epoch about 54.8 to 33.7 million years ago. The fossil was on display in the Evolving Planet section of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago Illinois, USA as of August 2020. Accession number is PE 51408.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Arachnid Fossil

 

The picture is of a jumping spider fossil. The arachnid was found at Fossil Lake, Wyoming, USA. It existed in the Eocene Epoch about 54.8 to 33.7 million years ago. The fossil was on display in the Evolving Planet section of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago Illinois, USA as of August 2020. Accession number is PE 60320.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Eocene Wasp Fossil

 

The picture is of a wasp fossil. The specimen was found at Fossil Lake, Wyoming, USA. It existed in the Eocene Epoch about 54.8 to 33.7 million years ago. The fossil was on display in the Evolving Planet section of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago Illinois, USA as of August 2020. Accession number is PE 60851.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Wyoming Bee Fossil

 

The picture is of a bee fossil. The specimen was found at Fossil Lake, Wyoming, USA. It existed in the Eocene Epoch about 54.8 to 33.7 million years ago. The fossil was on display in the Evolving Planet section of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago Illinois, USA as of August 2020. Accession number is PE 60851.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Fossil Lake Bee or Wasp Fossil

 

The picture is of an wasp or bee fossil. The specimen was found at Fossil Lake, Wyoming, USA. It existed in the Eocene Epoch about 54.8 to 33.7 million years ago. The fossil was on display in the Evolving Planet section of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago Illinois, USA as of August 2020. Accession number is PE 60849.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Digging The Past Event


Saturday, August 29, 2020 The Falls of the Ohio State Park held their Digging the Past event. It has been several years since I had last attended back in 2015. In the past I always enjoyed identifying what people found in the collecting piles and elaborating about the minerals or fossils. The downside is the place to do this was at the cleaning screens and by the end of my shift I was quite wet and sometimes muddy.


This year everyone was in masks and social distanced so I only identified a couple of things. I volunteered to give a talk about fossil collecting but ending up talking to 2 people. While I was there I would estimate at least 100 people visited. Most of my time was spent speaking with exhibitors, helping with fundraising by selling fossil/mineral egg cartons or working around the presentation area.



At the end I went in the collecting area which was really muddy and my Estwing rock hammer split apart large pieces of Waldron Shale. It was almost impossible to find fossils in the muddy shale. Splitting the rocks helped in that I found several Eucalyptocrinus crinoid holdfasts, Metopolichas breviceps trilobite cephalon and Dalmanites pygidium.


Outside of the rocks, I found a small Stegerhynchus brachiopod and Platyostoma gastropod. The crowds would have probably been larger if no Covid epidemic and the weather being overcast with it looking like it was going to rain most of the morning. It was nice to be back and I got some exercise walking along the river front and breaking rocks.




Here are some links to past events I have participated at the Falls of the Ohio State Park:

https://louisvillefossils.blogspot.com/2015/09/digging-past-event-2015.html

https://louisvillefossils.blogspot.com/2014/09/digging-past-event-at-falls-of-ohio.html

https://louisvillefossils.blogspot.com/2013/08/earth-discovery-day-august-2013.html

https://louisvillefossils.blogspot.com/2012/10/earth-discovery-day-2012.html

https://louisvillefossils.blogspot.com/2011/09/fossil-festival-fun.html

https://louisvillefossils.blogspot.com/2011/09/2011-falls-fossil-festival.html

https://louisvillefossils.blogspot.com/2010/09/fossil-festival-2010.html

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Damselfly Fossil



The Field Museum of Chicago has an amazing exhibit of insect fossils. The one pictured above was found in 1988 at the Green River Formation of Fossil Lake (Lincoln County), Wyoming, USA. The image is of a damselfly fossil called Zygoptera sp. (Selys, 1854). It existed in the Eocene Epoch about 54.8 to 33.7 million years ago. Damselflies started appearing in the fossil record of the Permian Period.

The fossil was on display in the Evolving Planet section of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago Illinois, USA as of August 2020. Accession number is PE 51414.

Learn more from the museum's Brain Scoop You Tube channel featuring Emily Graslie explaining more about this special research fossil site.