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Thread: Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils

  1. #1
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils

    Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils … the first creature with a mouth, gut and anus … 555 million years

    https://phys.org/news/2020-03-ancest...n-fossils.html

    dunk
    "I know not how to abstain from reading" … Samuel Pepys

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    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils … the first creature with a mouth, gut and anus … 555 million years

    https://phys.org/news/2020-03-ancest...n-fossils.html

    dunk

    Fascinating. As a lifelong collector of fossils I recognise it's significance, but have to say I find Trilobites a little more, well, interesting. And the earliest are nearly as old - 520-540 million years.

    I have some like these - incredible variety and the extraction techniques are so far ahead of where they were when I first started collecting as a two year old boy. It takes incredible skill with an air pen to do this, and they aren't cheap! I find it astonishing that you can even see the texture of the primitive eyes in someting so ancient.

    [IMG] [/IMG]
    So clever my foot fell off.

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    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Fascinating things

    Have you read Richard Fortney's excellent book?

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    purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis"

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    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    WOW TFB, I didn't know you could get them like that. The only ones I've ever seen have been the usual embedded ones. It must take a serious amount of effort and, especially, time to extract them.
    Best Regards - Peter

    I hate being bipolar, its brilliant.

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    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velorum View Post
    Fascinating things

    Have you read Richard Fortney's excellent book?

    Sent from my SM-G970F using TZ-UK mobile app

    I haven't - is it Earth: An intimate history you are referring to?
    So clever my foot fell off.

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    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    I started buying / studying fossils 35 years ago and once found a complete 50cm diameter ammonite in a Peterborough brick pit - I was not allowed to keep it - the leader of the museum's fossil enthusiasts' group 'retained' it. Nowadays I seldom buy fossils because there are so many fakes on sale. If specimens on sale appear too cheap and too 'neat' they are likely fakes. Fake fossils are big business in China … both carved and stick-on … they can look genuine to rookie collectors. If you want to start collecting fossils, start studying and search for genuine specimens in suitable locations e.g. in quarries, cliff sites, and brick clay pits.

    From my fossil collection … Keichousaurus hui, a Pachypleurosaur marine reptile from the Middle Triassic of Guizhou, South China … just 20cm in length.



    But is it genuine? Purchased from a dealer 15 years ago.

    dunk
    Last edited by sundial; 24th March 2020 at 12:28.
    "I know not how to abstain from reading" … Samuel Pepys

  7. #7
    I took my kids fossil hunting this weekend. We got loads of bivalves, gastropods and tower snails. No shark teeth which disappointed my 6 year old - but we loved the day out.

    We'll definitely be going again when the situation allows it.

    Even the young fossil I have in my hand is at least 10x older than humanity.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    I haven't - is it Earth: An intimate history you are referring to?
    Probably this one:


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    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils … the first creature with a mouth, gut and anus … 555 million years

    https://phys.org/news/2020-03-ancest...n-fossils.html

    dunk
    Fascinating stuff - shame that we can't see the genome.

    B

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    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dapper View Post
    Probably this one:

    That's the one!!!

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    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dapper View Post
    Probably this one:


    Great - thanks for that. I'll get it ordered.

    Incredible and fascinating creatures.
    So clever my foot fell off.

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    Craftsman earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    Fascinating. As a lifelong collector of fossils I recognise it's significance, but have to say I find Trilobites a little more, well, interesting. And the earliest are nearly as old - 520-540 million years.

    I have some like these - incredible variety and the extraction techniques are so far ahead of where they were when I first started collecting as a two year old boy. It takes incredible skill with an air pen to do this, and they aren't cheap! I find it astonishing that you can even see the texture of the primitive eyes in someting so ancient.
    Trilobite compound eyes are remarkable things - in some, each individual lens is a single flawless calcite crystal, nothing like it exists today - insect compound eyes are entirely organic.


    Quote Originally Posted by Velorum View Post
    Fascinating things

    Have you read Richard Fortey's excellent book?
    I have few claims to fame - and those trivial - but I worked with Richard Fortey for 11 years when I was a curator at the NHM's palaeo dept. Genuinely lovely fella, and still active in the field nearly two decades post-retirement.


    Quote Originally Posted by Griswold View Post
    WOW TFB, I didn't know you could get them like that. The only ones I've ever seen have been the usual embedded ones. It must take a serious amount of effort and, especially, time to extract them.
    The highly elaborate species in OP's pic are commonest in Morocco and Tunisia - a lot of the work is done by kids with their pin-sharp eyesight. They're found by cracking rocks open and looking for rows of dots in the rock - the two halves containing what you *hope* is a complete individual are then glued back together and the entire thing painstakingly excavated with airbrasives and consolidants.

    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    From my fossil collection … Keichousaurus hui, a Pachypleurosaur marine reptile from the Middle Triassic of Guizhou, South China … just 20cm in length.

    But is it genuine? Purchased from a dealer 15 years ago.

    dunk
    Sadly there are a LOT of fakes nowadays - when I moved from the NHM to Oxford, I used to handle most non-entom enquiries, and never saw a genuine Keichousaurus. Always hard to say from a photo - but if yours *is* a fake, it's a good quality one. The best are assemblages of real bits with a bit of paint and modelling. Works of art in their own way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post

    I have few claims to fame - and those trivial - but I worked with Richard Fortey for 11 years when I was a curator at the NHM's palaeo dept. Genuinely lovely fella, and still active in the field nearly two decades post-retirement.
    Ha, I wonder if I know you. Was at the NHM 1973-1990.

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    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    Trilobite compound eyes are remarkable things - in some, each individual lens is a single flawless calcite crystal, nothing like it exists today - insect compound eyes are entirely organic.




    I have few claims to fame - and those trivial - but I worked with Richard Fortey for 11 years when I was a curator at the NHM's palaeo dept. Genuinely lovely fella, and still active in the field nearly two decades post-retirement.




    The highly elaborate species in OP's pic are commonest in Morocco and Tunisia - a lot of the work is done by kids with their pin-sharp eyesight. They're found by cracking rocks open and looking for rows of dots in the rock - the two halves containing what you *hope* is a complete individual are then glued back together and the entire thing painstakingly excavated with airbrasives and consolidants.



    Sadly there are a LOT of fakes nowadays - when I moved from the NHM to Oxford, I used to handle most non-entom enquiries, and never saw a genuine Keichousaurus. Always hard to say from a photo - but if yours *is* a fake, it's a good quality one. The best are assemblages of real bits with a bit of paint and modelling. Works of art in their own way.
    Fake trilobites https://www.paleodirect.com/fake-tri...w-to-identify/

    Fake ammonites http://www.fossilmuseum.net/collect/fossilfakes.htm

    Google 'fake fossils' for more examples … it's a racket

    I now have access to freshly excavated clay in a Peterborough brick pit where there are plenty of genuine fossils. Unfortunately with C'virus restrictions I'm unable to visit in the foreseeable future. But looking forward to finding e.g. sharks' teeth, ammonites and possibly some plesiosaur fragments.

    dunk
    Last edited by sundial; 24th March 2020 at 15:42.
    "I know not how to abstain from reading" … Samuel Pepys

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    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    Fake trilobites https://www.paleodirect.com/fake-tri...w-to-identify/

    Fake ammonites http://www.fossilmuseum.net/collect/fossilfakes.htm

    Google 'fake fossils' for more examples … it's a racket

    I now have access to freshly excavated clay in a Peterborough brick pit where there are plenty of genuine fossils. Unfortunately with C'virus restrictions I'm unable to visit in the foreseeable future. But looking forward to finding e.g. sharks' teeth, ammonites and possibly some plesiosaur fragments.

    dunk

    Years ago I used to have access to the pits at Kensworth and around Bedford. I found some fabulous stuff - often in quantities so large I only kept the very best specimens. I've had this splendid little fella a long time:

    [IMG] [/IMG]
    So clever my foot fell off.

  16. #16
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    ^^^ do you have an ID for the specimen?




    One of my Jurassic shark tooth fossils




    Peterborough Oxford clay brick pit Pliosauroid fossil 'Pachycostasaurus dawni’ specimen (160 million years) on display in Peterborough Museum … discovered, excavated, prepared by, and named after well known Peterborough / Stamford palaeontologist the late Alan Dawn … photographed by me with Peterborough Museum's permission

    dunk
    "I know not how to abstain from reading" … Samuel Pepys

  17. #17
    Craftsman earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dapper View Post
    Ha, I wonder if I know you. Was at the NHM 1973-1990.
    Shades of Pop Quiz - "One Year Out" - I started in 1991! Where did you work in the museum?


    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    Years ago I used to have access to the pits at Kensworth and around Bedford. I found some fabulous stuff - often in quantities so large I only kept the very best specimens. I've had this splendid little fella a long time:

    Splendid terebratulid! "A worm with a crash-helmet" and a deeply satisfying object to own and handle. Devils to meaningfully identify as they are morphologically variable with age, substrate, etc; most of the traditional morphospecies are meaningless. Amazingly one of the survivors of the K-Pg extinction, they're still with us today.

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    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    Shades of Pop Quiz - "One Year Out" - I started in 1991! Where did you work in the museum?




    Splendid terebratulid! "A worm with a crash-helmet" and a deeply satisfying object to own and handle. Devils to meaningfully identify as they are morphologically variable with age, substrate, etc; most of the traditional morphospecies are meaningless. Amazingly one of the survivors of the K-Pg extinction, they're still with us today.

    Yes - it really is a superb one, I found it many years ago on a quarry dig, and spent a good while presenting it.

    I'll get around to taking a few more pics of some others in the next few days.

    To others interested in this thread - show us your fossils!


    PS - sounds like you had my boyhood dream job! I'm very envious!
    So clever my foot fell off.

  20. #20
    Craftsman earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by th6252 View Post
    Stranger
    Hmm...
    Join date: 19th September 2006
    Posts for 14 years: 0
    Posts since Feb: 125 - all content-free.
    Hacked account, anyone?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    Yes - it really is a superb one, I found it many years ago on a quarry dig, and spent a good while presenting it.

    I'll get around to taking a few more pics of some others in the next few days.

    To others interested in this thread - show us your fossils!


    PS - sounds like you had my boyhood dream job! I'm very envious!
    Do you recall which formation it came from? They're uncommon in the typical brickmaking clays like the Oxford Clay.

    Yep, I was very fortunate - 25 years all told. Sadly for me and thos elike me, museums rely mostly on unpaid volunteers for coal-face curation work now.

  21. #21
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    Hmm...
    Join date: 19th September 2006
    Posts for 14 years: 0
    Posts since Feb: 125 - all content-free.
    Hacked account, anyone?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------



    Do you recall which formation it came from? They're uncommon in the typical brickmaking clays like the Oxford Clay.

    Yep, I was very fortunate - 25 years all told. Sadly for me and thos elike me, museums rely mostly on unpaid volunteers for coal-face curation work now.

    Good question. I think I was mostly frequenting the quarries either at Kensworth or around Bedford at the time, although there is a possibility it could have been found near Rugby.

    I do have some superb micrasters and other assorted urchins from the chalk around Dunstable downs.

    I'm in my second half of my 40's now, and I was visiting and collecting from a very early age, so I am going back probably close to 30-35 years now
    So clever my foot fell off.

  22. #22
    Craftsman earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    Good question. I think I was mostly frequenting the quarries either at Kensworth or around Bedford at the time, although there is a possibility it could have been found near Rugby.

    I do have some superb micrasters and other assorted urchins from the chalk around Dunstable downs.

    I'm in my second half of my 40's now, and I was visiting and collecting from a very early age, so I am going back probably close to 30-35 years now
    Idle-curiosity on my part really. If you do collect anything further going forward, do make a note of exactly where it came from - simply because people who have cherished their fossil collections tend eventually to hand them on to museums, but such collections are well-nigh worthless skip-fodder without good data.

  23. #23
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    Idle-curiosity on my part really. If you do collect anything further going forward, do make a note of exactly where it came from - simply because people who have cherished their fossil collections tend eventually to hand them on to museums, but such collections are well-nigh worthless skip-fodder without good data.
    I agree. I do actually have some records I have made going back many years that catalogue a lot of my finds (although not completely). I will dig them out and see if I can find out anymore about this one.
    So clever my foot fell off.

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