Category Archives: Fossil Friday

Fossil Friday – vole tooth

IMG_5803This week is National Rodent Awareness Week. Fossil rodents may not get a lot of headlines, but they are often the most common vertebrate fossils in Neogene terrestrial deposits, and have the potential to convey huge amounts of information about age and paleoenvironment. Continue reading


Fossil Friday – cat skull fragments

With many fossils, particularly vertebrates, small fragments can sometimes be very informative and justify close scrutiny. That was the case with a pair of associated bones from Diamond Valley Lake. One of the fragments, shown above, includes the occipital condyles that form the articulation between the skull and the first vertebra. The condyles sit on either side of the foramen magnum, the opening through which the spinal cord passes. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – Bison molar


At Diamond Valley Lake, five genera account for 93% of the preserved large animals: Bison, Equus, Camelops, Mammoth, and Paramylodon. Of these five, the most abundant are Bison. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – mastodon vertebra revisited


After a highly successful Science Under the Stars fundraiser, I’ve tried to get back into the lab to catch up on neglected science work. Administrative duties are still conspiring to keep me chained to the phone and computer, but I have made some progress. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – mammoth tooth

Mammuthus columbi

Tomorrow is the Western Science Center’s annual fundraiser, Science Under the Stars. That has our entire staff, including me, wrapped up in preparations for 500 guests and a massive benefit auction, so Fossil Friday will necessarily be brief. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – mammoth tusk


I missed last Fossil Friday while I was attending the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Calgary, which included posters on Diamond Valley Lake mastodon tusks and the Valley of the Mastodons Symposium and Exhibit. But I’m now back in Hemet, and ready for some more Fossil Friday posts! Continue reading

Fossil Friday – mastodon vertebrae

Even though the Valley of the Mastodons exhibit is now open, it doesn’t mean that our mastodon work has moved to the backburner. On the contrary, we’re now doing more mastodon work than ever before! Continue reading

Fossil Friday – Aviculopecten

During last week’s Valley of the Mastodons events, museum supporter Doug Shore donated a collection of invertebrate and plant fossils to Western Science Center.  Continue reading

Fossil Friday – mastodon tusks

IMG_5348In three days scientists start arriving in Hemet for the Valley of the Mastodons symposium, and we’re one week from the opening of the associated Valley of the Mastodons exhibit. As a result, I’m a little swamped, and today’s Fossil Friday post will have to be brief. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – mastodon jaw fragment


As we build up to our new exhibit opening, I’ll continue the Month of Mastodons with a partial lower jaw. Continue reading