October 08, 2014

2:55 AM | Tachiraptor admirabilis, a New Theropod Dinosaur from the Earliest Jurassic of Venezuela
     MAURÍLIO OLIVEIRAThe paper will be out on October 8th, but Science's website already has a news article up about the find. It is from the same locality as the early ornithischian dinosaur Laquintasaura, which was described earlier this year.
1:30 AM | Iereopsis Sponge Fossil with Bioclaustration?
The picture displayed is of an Iereopsis polystoma sponge fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Creatures like this existed at the time of the Upper Cretaceous Period (Campanian). The fossil was found in Misburg, Hannover, Germany. There appears to be a trace fossil on this sponge that I have seen something like before. We find these marks sometimes on
1:06 AM | Challenge Accepted – Save Happiness
Two weeks ago I found a bunch of magnetic words and made some goofy poems and sayings in one of the classrooms. I wrote about them here. I left the magnets on the board, and invited students to write their … Continue reading →

October 07, 2014

11:00 PM | Scrappy, Bloodthirsty Dino Found in Venezuela
Venezuela now has its first meat-loving dinosaur, a scrappy carnivore known as Thief of Tachira.
10:36 PM | Evolution in the Slow Lane
One late spring weekend a few years back, my wife and I drove out to Delaware to see …
4:00 PM | The Damned Dromaeosaurs of Stock Image Island
If you have not read Witton, Naish, and Conway's State of the Palaeoart, make a point of doing so. The article is the culmination of a discussion that seems to have begun in earnest back in the spring of 2011, when the Dinosaur Mailing List played host to complaints from Gregory S. Paul about other artists copying his famous mid-stride skeletal pose. Though GSP kicked off a righteous ruckus with his assertion that he owned that pose, the argument was also a chance for people to air their […]
2:00 PM | Omnom Autumn
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Tell us about your favourite autumnal edible treat. —— The thing about autumn is that is seems to be a time of great eating. It makes good sense, I … Continue reading →
1:30 AM | Pyrite Trepospira Gastropod Fossil
This gastropod fossil is interesting as it pyrite embedded in a dark shale. It appears to be a Trepospira. It was found in a coal mine at a depth of 60-250 meters. My identification source is Fossils of Ohio (Bulletin 70, Rodney M. Feldmann Editor, State of Ohio, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, Columbus Ohio 1986) pages 162-173, figures 13-14 of specimen from

October 06, 2014

8:46 PM | Solite Excavation: Day 9
We are at a point with the excavation where we are making steady progress in collecting the insect bed each week. With a crew of 2 volunteers and 5 VMNH staff, we collected another ~5 cubic feet of insect bed and made good progress … Continue reading →
7:29 PM | Iowa’s Enigmatic “Horse Collars”
I love museum collections. They are truly wondrous places that document the curiosities of nature as well as …
2:00 PM | Pumpkin Booby-traps!
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Pumpkin spiced flavoured everything: can’t get enough OR enough already! —— Oh pumpkin spice, how I love thee! Really. I simply adore pumpkin spice. So you’d think this time … Continue reading →
3:02 AM | Stink Bug – Chapter 38
I sat facing the door, expecting it to open again at any moment. The grey had left rather suddenly. Maybe it would be back. V’x was still cooing quietly. I twisted to see her sitting outside of the cage. W’x’tl … Continue reading →
2:36 AM | Coal Mine Cephalopod Fossil
This fossil is somewhat rare because it was found at a depth of 60-250 meters underground. The fossil was situated above the coal seam so it might be from the Pennsylvanian Period (late Carboniferous). It was found in Webster County Kentucky USA. The mines there are part of the Eastern Interior Basin. The formations found there are Sturgis, Carbondale, and Tradewater. The limestone layers are 
1:05 AM | Random Scene Sunday
“Seth!” Rott’s voice echoed through the dark cavern. “Seth! Are you all right?” Daggers of pain swept through his body as Seth tried to draw a breath. He inhaled dust and coughed. The pain was sharp. All he managed was … Continue reading →

October 05, 2014

2:19 PM | Here’s that sheep-skull multiview you ordered
Remember I picked up those three sheep skulls (and some other bones, including a complete neck) from a shallow pit in a field near where we live? Here is first first of the skulls, cleaned up and photographed in orthogonal views. It’s interesting to compare it to the pig skull from way back: Sheep and […]
1:30 AM | Cnemidium Sponge Fossil
The image shown is of a Cnemidium pertuscum Reuss sponge fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Animals like this existed at the time of the Upper Cretaceous Period (Cenomanian). The fossil was found in Bilin, Bohemia, Czech Republic. Image taken in June 2014.

October 04, 2014

1:30 AM | Scytalia laevis Fossil
The picture shown is of a Scytalia laevis sponge fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Creatures like this existed at the time of the Upper Cretaceous Period (Campanian). The fossil was found in Nettlingen, Hannover, Germany. Image taken in June 2014. Another German specimen can be seen at this fossil web site:

October 03, 2014

7:03 PM | Fossil Friday: SOVA Career Expo – Youth Expo
During the last two days, the Ray and I represented the VMNH at the SOVA Career Expo for Youth in Chatham, VA. The Career Expo was an opportunity for us to share with middle schoolers and high schoolers the variety of work … Continue reading →
5:25 PM | Friday Headlines: 10-3-14
Friday Headlines, October 3, 2014 THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES   Today’s round-up: Pegmatites and feral rocks An ash fall at Mount Ontake Birds. Dinosaurs. One in the same.   The Origin of the Rose Quartz Monument This week was … Continue reading →
3:36 PM | IPC Day 2 – The evolution of giants
This is a slightly delayed summary of the sauropod symposium on day 2 of IPC4, following sessions the previous day on vertebrate taphonomy and diversity and extinction in the fossil record. This is also the final of these little summaries, and for that I apologise – my laptop is a bit kaput atm, and needs […]
3:11 PM | Mesozoic Miscellany 65
After a really super-long break, we're back with the 65th post in the Mesozoic Miscellany series. I really haven't meant to do these posts so sporadically, but I had some freelance jobs come up that took up a lot of time over the last few months. Sorry about that! I hope to get back on a more regular schedule with them. Around the DinoblogosphereAt Life Traces of the Georgia Coast, Tony Martin wrote a touching post in the wake of his mother's passing, reflecting on how he came from a childhood […]
2:30 PM | The Smell of Dust and Damp, Rotting Leaves
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Which smell lets you know that it is autumn? —— The title of this post gives it away. It’s something about the smell of the summer’s spent leaves as … Continue reading →
7:19 AM | Fossil Friday – more camel bones
Last week for Fossil Friday I showed an example of a metapodial of an extinct camel, Camelops hesternus, which was collected about a mile from the museum’s current location. It turns out that the metacarpals weren’t found in isolation. Several other bones were … Continue reading →
5:11 AM | Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Eocrinoid holdfasts on a Middle Ordovician hardground from Utah
Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, several students and I did fieldwork in the Middle Ordovician Kanosh Formation in west-central Utah. One year we were joined by my friend Tim Palmer of the University of Aberystwyth. Together, Chris Finton (’91), Lewis Kaufman (’91), Tim and I put together a paper describing the carbonate […]
1:30 AM | Sigillaria Plant Fossil
This picture is of a Sigillaria sp. plant fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Plants like this existed at the time of the Carboniferous Period. The fossil was found in Westfalia, Germany. Image taken in June 2014.

October 02, 2014

2:00 PM | Thirsty Thursday – Racking and Readying
It’s October now. That time of year when all the summer seasonal drinks disappear to be replaced with pumpkin spice everything. This weekend I should be bottling my Sam Adam’s Summer Ale clone. You can’t buy it anymore because it’s … Continue reading →
1:30 PM | All the Leaves are Brown…
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Winter and summer are two seasons that have songs clearly associated with the time period. But are there any songs that remind you of fall? —— I always think … Continue reading →
2:33 AM | Swish Crunch Click
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Crunch crunch crunch: leaves are starting to carpet the sidewalks. Tell us about your favourite autumnal sound. —— It’s Fall. This is a difficult time of year for me. … Continue reading →
1:30 AM | Castanea Plant Fossil
Here is a picture of a Castanea kubinyi plant leaf fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Plants like this existed at the time of the Miocene Epoch of the Neogene Period. The fossil was found in S. Angelo, Senigaglia, Marche Italy. Image taken in June 2014.
12:58 AM | In the footsteps of Charles Darwin: Geological excursion into the Central Andes
MENDOZA, ARGENTINA–Today I had one of the finest geological field trips in my life. The scenery was stunning, the geology extraordinary, and the history deeply moving. Being able to share the experience with so many of my geologist friends, old and new, was a bonus. I also thought how much my Wooster Geology colleagues would […]
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