Due to the continuing corona virus situation, this meeting will be held online through Zoom.
MEMBERS’ REPORTS ON PALEONTOLOGY
Sunday, September 18, 2022 2:00 P.M.
Every month from October to May, our Society offers talks by paleontologists, geologists, students and collectors about their work in paleontology and fossils. But, our members frequently have experiences of a paleontological nature that are also of interest to their fellow members.
So, we put aside one meeting each year - our September meeting - to provide an opportunity for our members to report on their work or experiences, especially over the past Summer, concerning paleontological research, fossil collecting, fossil exhibits and geologic features visited, etc., etc.
Usually, they report on topics in paleontology, including any collecting they have done, research they have participated in, fossil preparation that they have undertaken, any paleontological exhibits that they have visited, etc. These reports are mostly very brief - 10 to 15 minutes or so - and usually are particularly useful to those interested in fossil collecting, especially in the Northeast, but also collecting in the Western U.S. and even around the world. This is a good time to pick up information about fossil sites. We also include summaries (with images) of the Society’s most recent field trips.
This September, due to the ongoing corona virus situation, we will meet online.
We will begin our reports on or Society’s Spring 2022 field trips. The weekends for these trips were assigned to our field trip leaders by the hosting institutions. The first was to well known quarries in the Catskill area belonging to the Lower Devonian Helderberg Group on May 28th and 29th. These quarries are rich in marine invertebrate fossils, including cephalopods and trilobites. We visited a number of quarries in the area to collect on both Saturday and Sunday. We also visited the nearby Cave House Museum of Mining and Geology near the town of Howe’s Cave, N.Y. (not to be confused with Howe’s Caverns), housing many exhibits relevant to the local area.
Our June 4th and 5th was to collect at the famous Penn Dixie Quarry near Hamburg, N.Y. Many readers may be familiar with the excellent finds from this site, but, once a year this quarry hosts a “Dig with the Experts” event. This special event is open to the public during which you can collect in freshly excavated sections of this quarry, guaranteeing some nice finds for attendees. The fossils are from the Middle Devonian Windom Shale Member of Moscow Formation, containing trilobites, cephalopods, fish remains, brachiopods, corals, fossilized wood, and a range of other marine invertebrates. We also arranged for visits to other collecting sites in the Buffalo area.
There will be information on the geology, stratigraphy and the fossils found or observed. If you have photographs of some of your finds, there will be an opportunity to have them identified, as well as any photos of specimens that you've found elsewhere around the country.
We will also have reports by our members on their paleontological experiences , especially over the Summer just past. The reports can cover anything that they have been involved with. In the past members have reported on their research or fossil collecting experiences in the area, or even around the world. Many have described their visits to or work at classic fossil localities. Some have described visits to museum collections around the country and the world.
For example, last September, member reports included a report on the fossil exhibits at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Maryland. This museum highlights the Miocene marine fossils found in the famous Calvert Cliffs area on the west shore of the Patuxent River. These fossils include a rich variety of invertebrate fossils, including some of the first fossils found in and described from North America. There are also a large number of vertebrate species found, mostly fish fossils but also including bones of seals, porpoises, dolphins, and even whales. But, by far the most famous are the teeth of the giant mega-toothed shark Carcharocles megalodon. known popularly as the megalodon or “meg”. The exhibit also includes one of only two restored complete skeletons of this monster in the world. One member described his experiences on a “Dig with the Experts” event at the well known Penn Dixie Quarry in western N.Y. He illustrated his talk with slides of the trilobites Phacops (now Eldredgeops), Greenops, crinoids, brachiopods, horn corals, etc. from the Smoke Creek layer. He also mentioned that they had opened up the “placoderm” fish layer (North Evans layer). Two members discussed their cross country trip during which they visited a large number of fossil sites and areas of geological / mineralogical interest. Among these were the Sylvania Fossil Park (Ohio), Mazon Creek (Illinois), Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota), the latter to see fossilized trees. They also visited many fossil sites in Montana, some of which allow collecting. These included the Baisch Dinosaur Dig site, where one can see vertebrate fossils including some dinosaur material. Finally, a member discussed Eurypterids - “sea scorpions” - from the Silurian of New York, a state famous for the fossils of theses creatures. In fact, one species - Eurypterus remipes - is the official state fossil on N.Y. Other species include E. lacustris, Hughmilleria and the potentially very large Pterygodus - one over 9 feet long, making it possibly the largest arthropod that ever lived. He especially discussed the geology and stratigraphy of sites near Otisville, Orange County, N.Y.
You also may have had some interesting paleontological experiences. If you've had some or have done work in paleontology, collected at or visited fossil sites or museums this Summer, or have an interesting anecdotal story to tell, please feel free to talk about it at the meeting. The atmosphere is informal.
If you're a member and interested in presenting something please contact the president by email at email@example.com .