Sunday, February 28, 2021

Florrisant Snail and Plant Fossils

 

 

This image shows an unidentified snail and plant fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Doug for the image.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Florrisant Snail Fossil

 

This image shows an unidentified snail fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Doug for the image.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Colorado Insect Fossils

 




These images show unidentified insect fossils found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. They date to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Doug for the images.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Florissant Plant Fossil

 

This image shows an unidentified plant fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Doug for the image.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Nymph Insect Fossil

This image shows an unidentified insect nymph fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Doug for the image.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Winged Ant Fossil

 

This image shows an unidentified winged ant insect fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Doug for the image.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Unidentified Insect Fossils From Florrisant Colorado

 




These images show unidentified insect fossils found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. They date to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

The field of view (FOV) for the pictures in order of view: 1mm,5mm, 2mm, and 4mm.

Thanks to Kenny for the images.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Unidentified Florissant Insect Fossil

These images show unidentified fossils found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. The field of view (FOV) for the top one is 6 mm and the bottom image is a close up of the insect's head. They date to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Kenny for the images.


 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Unidentified Eocene Leaf Fossil

 


This image shows an unidentified leaf fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. The field of view (FOV) is 4 cm. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Unidentified Insect Fossils

 






These images show unidentified insect fossils found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. They date to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

The field of view (FOV) for the pictures in order of view: 2mm,6mm, 8mm, 5mm, and 4mm.

Thanks to Kenny for the images.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Insect Larva Fossil

 

This image shows an unidentified insect larva fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. The field of view (FOV) is 7 mm. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Termite Fossil

 

This image shows an unidentified beetle termite insect fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. The field of view (FOV) is 2 mm. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

UPDATE (2021-02-20): Kenny informs me this might not be a beetle but instead a termite. I have updated the labels in the post.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Bee Fossil

 

This image shows an unidentified bee insect fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. The field of view (FOV) is 2 mm. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Ostracod Fossil


This image shows an unidentified ostracod fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. The field of view (FOV) is 500 μm. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Ant Fossil

This image shows an ant insect fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. The field of view (FOV) is 5 mm. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Unidentified Florissant Fossils

 


These images show unidentified fossils found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. The field of view (FOV) for the top one is 2 mm and it could be a fragment of horsetail plant with predation holes. The second could be a seed or a coprolite and its FOV is 5mm. They date to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Kenny for the images.


 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Possible Larva Fossil

 

This image shows an unidentified insect larva fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. The field of view (FOV) is 3 mm. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Insect Fossil from Colorado

 


This image shows an unidentified insect fossil found in the Florissant Formation of Teller County, Colorado, USA. The field of view (FOV) is 5 mm. It dates to the Eocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

The Fossil Woman Book

 

Recently, I acquired a new book entitled The Fossil Woman A Life of Mary Anning by Tom Sharpe (published by The Dovecote Press, 2020). The subject of this book is perhaps one of the best known fossil hunters known for finding Jurassic age marine fossils in the 19th century. It is somewhat rare that I buy a modern book about fossils but I was intrigued enough to purchase this book from Blackwells of Oxford, England and have it shipped to the USA. An added incentive was the author is donating part of the proceeds to a campaign in Lyme Regis to create and display a statue of Mary Anning.

Lyme Regis Museum building as it looked in August 2016. Site of the house where Mary Anning was born, lived and had her fossil shop till 1826. Original house was demolished in 1889 so museum could be built.

Lyme Regis England Coastline at high tide August 2016
 
The Cobb at Lyme Regis England in August 2016

The book is a creation of a lot of thorough research and contains modern images and events pertaining to Miss Anning. It clears up some of the myths and misinformation about this most famous paleontologist. As the author notes in his introduction, there is much information not known about Mary Anning due to a lot of her correspondence and journals being lost over time. Mr. Sharpe does a fine job with the material he does have to weave a story about her life. I would highly recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about Mary Anning, British paleontology in the 1800s, and the Jurassic coast of southern England.

Public domain image of William Buckland that is misidentified as Mary Anning. Picture can be found on Wikipedia at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mary_Anning.jpg

One piece of misinformation I learned was an sketch of person walking along a landscape in a top hat and holding a rock hammer. It was misidentified as being Mary and drawn by De la Beche. Mr. Sharpe marked as image 40 in his book as being a Thomas Sopwith sketch of William Buckland in Snowdonia (Wales) in 1841. The image is on Wikipedia's entry for Mary Anning (as of this writing) and it references the image on page 78 of a document entitled "Nomination of the Dorset and East Devon Coast for inclusion in the World Heritage List" by the Dorset County Council in the year 2000 [LINK]. I also wondered about this image when I first saw it. How it was so different from the others of Mary. I assumed since she lived in poverty she would be very thin and the person in the image look almost overweight (so I assumed it was a lot of padding layers for the cold, windy environment of Dorset).

Some more things I learned that Mary Anning was a shrewd fossil dealer and an accomplished fossil preparer. Also that she was well known in the field with a number of newspaper and journal articles mentioning her while she was alive. In addition, the town of Lyme lamented after her absence the number of visitors she attracted were gone from their local economy.

Plesiosaurus dolichodeirus fossil found in 1824 at Lyme Regis, Dorset, England by Mary Anning. It was the first articulated plesiosaur skeleton ever found. The creature lived during the Lower Jurassic Period (203-194 million years ago). Named by W. D. Conybeare and bought by the Natural History Museum of London in 1848 from the estate of the Duke of Buckingham. It was on display at the museum in August 2016.

Termnodontosaurus platyodon (Conybeare, 1822) ichthyosaur fossil found by Mary Anning on display at Natural History Museum of London August 2016. Skylight reflection in display glass in this picture, apologies for image.

Dapedium politum fish fossil probably collected by Mary Anning and displayed at the Lyme Regis Museum in Dorset England on August 2016.

Ichthyosaurus communis fossil found by Mary Anning in 1820 and sold to Georges Cuvier. Displayed at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris France August 2016. 

One sad item the books documents is so many of the Mary Anning fossils were destroyed in World War II bombing of England and museum fires. The book lists the Bristol City Museum fossil collection destroyed in air raids on November 24-25, 1940 (in 1987 they found a partial ichthyosaur skull fossil from Anning 1814 find that survived the bombing) and on May 10, 1941 a night bombing of Royal College of Surgeons in London fossil reptile collection was mostly destroyed (396 of 400 fossils).  In the United States, the New York Lyceum of Natural History had Anning specimens purchased in 1827 by G.W. Featherstonhaugh. This collection was destroyed in a fire on May 21, 1866. The author documents a number of other museums that have or had specimens but lost the labels so it is difficult to know if Anning fossils still exist at those institutions.

When I was at the Natural History Museum of London in August 2016 and waiting in line for it open, I took some pictures of the Victoria and Albert Museum across the street which shows shrapnel damage made during World War II bombings of London. The bombs must have been detonating in the street between the two museums.


Which just re-enforces the need for museums to digitize their collections. These vast store houses are not immune to loss. Which re-enforces that natural history collections need to be digitized and the data distributed across geographical distant servers so some record will exist if the original specimen is lost.

 Image (Tab. 42) of watercolor of Squaoraja fish fossil found by Mary Anning December 1829. Louis Agassiz had image created for his book Poissons Fossiles, Atlas Tome III 1833-1845. He called it Spinacorhynus polyspondylus and the watercolor was painted by J Charles Weber.The original fossil was destroyed in World War II at the Bristol City Museum however the tail section still exists in the Philpot collection at Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Again, I would encourage you to read this book if you are interested in the history of paleontology or if you plan on visiting Lyme Regis or the Natural Museum of History in London.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Termnodontosaurus platyodon Fossil

 

Termnodontosaurus platyodon (Conybeare, 1822) ichthyosaur fossil was found in 1811 by Joseph Anning (older brother to Mary Anning). She would find the rest of this creature in November 1812 (length 17 feet). The skull fossil was illustrated by Professor Everard Home of the Royal College of Surgeons in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1814 (he called it Proteosaurus).  At first it was thought to be a fossil crocodile. The Annings sold it to Henry Hoste Henley for £23. The genus was named by Richard Lydekker and the  species by William Daniel Conybeare

The fossil was found on a beach between Charmouth and Church Cliffs Lyme Regis, Dorset, England and dates to the Lower Jurassic Period (203-194 million years ago).

It was on display at the Natural History Museum of London England in August 2016. They acquired it from Bullock's Museum in Piccadilly in 1819 by Charles Konig for £47. I got to see this fossil in person in August 2016.

Learn more at this informative blog called Incertae Sedis:

https://incertaesedisblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/12/goodbye-temnodontosaurus-hello-proteosaurus/

Reference:

Home, E. (1814). Some account of the fossil remains of an animal more nearly allied to fishes than any of the other classes of animals. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 104(2), 571-577.

Conybeare, W.D. (1822). Additional notices on the fossil genera Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus. Transactions of the Geological Society of London, Series 2, 1, 103-123.

Nicholson, H.A., & Lydekker, R. (1889). A Manual of Palaeontology for the Use of Students with a General Introduction on the Principles of Palaeontology (3rd ed.). Volume II. William Blackwood and Sons.