Fossil Friday – Paramylodon skull


Even if a bone is lucky enough to be preserved as a fossil, time is not always kind. There are numerous ways a bone can be altered after burial, including being smushed by the weight of overlying sediment. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – tree frog humerus

The majority of fossils from the Diamond Valley Lake deposits are from small animals. While small mammals are most common, there are substantial numbers of birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – Bison atlas vertebra, part 2

This week’s Fossil Friday features one of Diamond Valley Lake’s most common large mammals, the bison. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – worn mastodon tooth


Volunteer Joe Reavis been hard at work on a collection of fossils from a mitigation project in Murrieta that includes a lot of mastodon material. As far as we can tell so far, all of the mastodon material is consistent with one individual, although we did confirm yesterday that there is non-mastodon material in the same collection. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – chewed-up Bison tibia

I recently finished reading Anthony Martin’s book about dinosaur trace fossils, Dinosaurs Without Bones, so I’ve had trace fossils on my mind. Even though I’m not a trace fossil specialist I find them intriguing, because they are essentially fossilized behavior.  Continue reading

Fossil Friday – sloth mandible

Greg McDonald’s visit last month to look at sloth remains gave us a reason to open our display cases, which include some of our best sloth fossils. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – camel lumbar vertebra

While we only have one well-preserved skull of the extinct camel Camelops hesternus from Diamond Valley Lake, we have a large number of post-cranial remains. Continue reading

Fossils of my youth

Inspired by the #GatewayFossil hashtag on Twitter, I’m reposting this piece that I originally published at “Updates from the Paleontology Lab” on June 9, 2009.

My first exposure to fossils in the field (as opposed to in a museum) occurred when I was around 5 years old. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – mastodon molar

For the last few weeks, volunteer Joe Reavis has been diligently reconstructing a box of tooth fragments that came to the museum several years ago via a mitigation project in Murrieta, California. It quickly became apparent that the fragments were mastodon, and it seems they all come from a single tooth. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – oreodont skull

We’re in the process of taking in a number of specimens collected by the late Harley Garbani, which are being donated to the museum by his wife Mary. The first item to come to us was a nicely preserved and prepared skull of an oreodont, the first in the WSC collection. Continue reading