ALL PHOTOS BY DAN SNOW
Peanut Wood from Western Australia. It is petrified wood. It was driftwood that sank to the floor of a shallow sea. Then it was set upon by a bivalve called, Teredo or shipworm. It was covered with mud and the borings were filled with sediment which are the white areas. Formed during the Cretaceous Period, 120,000 million years ago.
Photos by Dan Snow
Scyphocrinites elegans: Crinoid with lobolith float Upper Silurian Period, Djebel Issoumour, Alnif, Morroco
CRINOIDS are know as feather stars or sea lilies and are echinoderms. A familiar form of echinoderm is the starfish. Crinoids are alive today in the oceans but were more prevalent in prehistory. They live primarily in shallow water but have also been found in extreme deep sea environments.
Crinoids resemble a flower with tentacles but are in fact animals. They are filter feeders and have feather-like appendages that strain food particles from the ocean currents. Some live as floating organisms but most are attached to the ocean floor by the means of a segmented stem. Most fossilized crinoids are found disarticulated in beds of numerous fragments but they also can be found in articulated forms as they once were when alive. The first occurrences of crinoids in the fossil record as found in the Ordovician Period.
Show-Me Rockhounds – show-off some of their activities and display specimens of rocks and minerals. Credit for the display and arrangement goes to Steve. He put together two very nice posters showing some club activities including wire wrapping, field trips and related photos of interest. One poster asks it you might be a rockhound. All specimens are from Steve’s and other members collections. What a great variety! Something for everyone. Photos by Connie Snow
Adult Door Prizes
#1 Pendant created by artist Marv Dahmen. Valued at $55 (I think it might be more valuable than that -ed.)
#2 Polychrome jasper from Madagascar. 6 1/2″ tall and weighing 5 1/2 lb. Valued at $100
#3 Large trilobite from Morocco. 16″ long. Valued at $250
Kids’ Door Prizes
#1 Bismuth specimen. 2 1/2″ X 2 1/2″.
Valued at $65
#2 Sphalerite and marcasite specimen from Potosi, MO. 6″ X 7″. Valued at $75
#3 Rock Tumbler. Valued at $60
October 11, 2017 is National Fossil DayTM. This year, the logo features heterostracans (Greek for “different shields”), which are a group of extinct fish who lived between the early Silurian and late Devonian period (358 million years ago). According to their website,
The heterostracans were characterized by an external covering of bony armor plates and by having only one common gill opening on each side of the head region. These early fish lacked any paired or mid-line fins and in many cases developed extensions of the armor plates that were not flexible but helped provide control in the water. Heterostracans lived in shallow marine environments around an ancient continent known as the Old Red Sandstone (ORS) Continent, which was composed of present day North America, the Canadian Arctic, and Western Europe….
The heterostracan species illustrated in the logo are Panamintaspis snowii in the foreground and Phyllonaspis taphensis in the background. Panamintaspis is named after the Panamint Mountains in Death Valley, which is where the original fossils were found and the species name recognizes the individual who helped to discover the specimen. Phyllonaspis taphensis means “leaf shield from the tomb” referring to the fact that the specimen comes from Death Valley. Phyllonaspis is particularly interesting as it is a member of a group that is otherwise only known from the Canadian Arctic, suggesting dispersal of these organisms from the arctic and around the margins of the Old Red Sandstone Continent.
Go to the NFD website to read more about heterostracans and David Elliott, a paleontologist who studies them and even found some in Death Valley National Park. There are also several activities you can do to celebrate the day.
To further celebrate National Fossil Day, Paleoaerie has a great article about the fossils that can be found in Arkansas.
After our meeting on July 15, 2017 we decided to go on another mini field trip and look for fossils. There were crinoid stems, composita, and other fossils, as well as lots of blue shale. There was also something red and nobody knew what it was. I don’t have many pictures because it was very hot outside and my phone said something about battery temperature too high.
At the end of our meeting on May 20, 2017, David said, “Hey, we should go to [redacted] to get some fossils. It’s really close by.” Several members came along and looked for fossils.
We had to climb a little bit to get to the good spot, but once we did, there were crinoid stems, brachiopods, encrusting and branching bryozoa, and other things. It was easy to get fossils out of the ground because it had recently rained. Afterward, David suggested another place nearby to go to find composita, so some people came along for that, too.
In the summer weather, we expect to go on more spontaneous field trips like this in the Kansas City area. Make sure you come to our meetings dressed for adventure* if you want to come along!
*dressed for adventure= long pants, closed toe shoes, bring gloves and bug spray
Update: We took another mini field trip in July.
When you come to the show, don’t forget to enter the drawings for door prizes.
Paleontologists at the University of Toronto just found collagen in a 195 million year old fossil. This makes it the oldest protein that has ever been found. Previously, the oldest protein sample was only 80 million years old (it was also collagen, from a dinosaur bone). They also found hematite crystals in the fossil, which possibly came from the blood. The dinosaur was a Lufengosaurus that lived in Yunnan Province, China.
Some other paleontologists didn’t like the new, non-invasive methods that the team used used to identify the collagen, but other scientists thought the methods were fine. Read the whole article here https://cen.acs.org/articles/95/i6/Collagen-found-195-million-year.html and let me know what you think.