The world of the dinosaurs was populated by some of the most gargantuan and charismatic animals ever to roam our planet. It is easy to forget that the Mesozoic Era was just as rich with all sorts of life as our modern world. Continue reading
Category Archives: Invertebrate fossils
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
While the Diamond Valley Lake fossil fauna is best known for its mammals, there were also thousands of mollusks recovered. These are mostly minute freshwater species, and even though we have thousands of them the all fit easily in a single specimen case. Continue reading
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
Western Science Center has a relatively small collection of invertebrate fossils, but we’ve been working over the last two years to increase our holdings of invertebrate specimens.
To human eyes, the most noticeable parts of every ecosystem are the big, charismatic organisms; there’s a reason the blog is called “Valley of the Mastodon”. But in terms of numbers of individuals and, usually, total biomass, small organisms actually dominate ecosystems. That’s often reflected in the fossil record as well. Continue reading
During the Mastodons of Unusual Size road trip, Brett and I made several stops to collect fossils for WSC. Since I was 20 years old, I’ve made several visits to the small, well-known (to paleontologists) roadcut in Graf, Iowa (the photo below was from a trip I made there in 2007): Continue reading
During the Pleistocene, Diamond Valley seems to have been quite a bit wetter than it is now (at least, than it was before it was turned into a reservoir). A fair number of organisms associated with standing water were collected in these deposits, including snails. Continue reading
As Brett, Tim, and I headed back to Virginia after our fossil plant collecting trip to Beckley, West Virginia a couple of weeks ago, we made a second brief collecting stop in Princeton, WV. Several years ago, Tim and I stumbled onto a fossiliferous outcrop while fixing a flat tire of my field truck, so we revisited this site to collect some specimens for WSC. Continue reading