Fossil Friday – possible bobcat tooth

Confession time: I’m not an expert on most of the organisms I feature on Fossil Friday, and it sometimes takes me a fair bit of research to work out what I’m going to say. Because of that, when I’m swamped with other work (like this week), I will usually pick a Fossil Friday specimen that is straightforward so that I can write about it quickly. But sometimes the choice backfires. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – possible mastodon bones

A common theme on this blog is that we can often get a lot of information from very incomplete material. Even so, as a general rule, the more remains we have from a given fossil organism, the more we can say about it. But sometimes we can have multiple bones, and even something as basic as a species identification can be elusive. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – mammoth tooth

With the influence of Max Mastodon, Diamond Valley Lake mammoths sometimes get short shrift around here. But while DVL mammoths are not nearly as common as mastodons, there is still plenty of interesting mammoth material. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – horse metacarpal


One of the joys of paleontology is that every fossil has a story. Through our understanding of anatomy, geology, ecology, and a host of other field, we can often reveal part of that story, and even a relatively small, nondescript fossil takes on a larger meaning. Continue reading

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