Category Archives: Trace fossils

Fossil Friday – traces on a mammoth rib

Organisms don’t exist in a vacuum. The whole concept of an ecosystem emphasizes the interactions between an organism and its environment, including with other organisms. A large organism like a mammoth can have wide-ranging effects on numerous other organisms, even after its death. Continue reading


Fossil Friday – camel elbow

IMG_6264We’re continuing our focus on Pleistocene fossils from Murrieta, California this week with a single bone fragment that has a lot going on. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – proboscidean ulna


Over the last few weeks we’ve started pulling a lot of mastodon material from the collections (more on that in a future post). Some of the bones that are turning up are pretty interesting. 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 – 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

Fossil Friday – Carnivore traces

In any large collection of vertebrate fossils, one of the more common specimen labels  will be “unidentified bone fragment”. But even an unidentified fragment can provide useful information.  Continue reading

Fossil Friday – Stories from Bones exhibit

Stories from Bones logo

For Fossil Friday this week, I want to highlight Western Science Center’s new exhibit “Stories from Bones”, which opens tomorrow. Continue reading

Western Science Center theropod invasion?

I arrived at work this morning to find what appeared to be several muddy tracks in the museum parking lot. While they weren’t arranged in an organized trackway, they were numerous.  Continue reading

Fossil Friday – “Then the rats got him”

Bison are among the most common large animals in the Pleistocene Diamond Valley Lake fauna, but like almost all the remains from these deposits they are usually fragmentary. But even fragmentary fossils can provide a lot of information, including the bison right lower jaw fragment shown here. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – bite marks on a camel skull


One of the specimens we have on display at the Western Science Center is a cranium and partial vertebral column including the neck of the camel Camelops hesternus. A closer examination of the skull reveals some surprising features.  Continue reading