Category Archives: Fossil Friday

Fossil Friday – crocodile jaw

December 8 Fossil FridayA few months ago, WSC hired Dr. Andrew McDonald as our paleontology Curator. Going forward, Andrew and I are going to split responsibility for writing Fossil Friday posts. Today is Andrew’s first post. – ACD Continue reading


Fossil Friday – deer antler

Over the last few weeks we’ve been continuing both our studies of the collection of Pleistocene fossils from the Harveston neighborhood of Murrieta, as well as setting up and learning to use our new 3D scanning and printing capabilities. These two projects have rapidly started to come together. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – ceratopsian rib

A few months ago Dr. Andrew McDonal joined the staff of WSC as our new curator. Andrew has been excavating for several years in the Cretaceous Menefee Formation on federal land in New Mexico, and now some of that material is making its way to WSC. This morning we opened our first Menefee Formation field jacket on public view at the museum’s Exploration Station.  Continue reading

Fossil Friday – printed bison calcaneum

IMG_6056At our annual Science Under the Stars fundraiser last September, or donors provided us with funding to start a #D scanning and printing lab the the Western Science Center. While some of our equipment is still on order, our first printer arrived a few weeks ago and we’ve been printing as much as possible while we train ourselves in its use. During the Valley of the Mastodons Symposium, Bernard Means from the Virtual Curation Lab scanned a number of our specimens. While we wait for our scanner to arrive we’ve been printing some of Bernard’s scans. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – deer humerus

One of the collections at WSC comes from the Harveston neighborhood of Murrieta in Riverside County. While this is a fairly small collection, it’s amazingly diverse, with well over a dozen different species of mammals. A group of us have started going through this collection to document it. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – printed mastodon molar

Each September, Western Science Center holds an annual fundraiser called Science Under the Stars to raise funds for museum operations. At the end of the evening we often do a final “Special Ask” to raise dedicated funds for a particular project. This year, for the Special Ask we requested funds for a 3D-scanning, photogrammetry, and printing lab. Our donors, led by the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, came through in spectacular fashion. Continue reading

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