Possible traces on a fossil plant?

possible insect bites DB Poli from Roanoke College and her students Travis Lupmkin and Sarah Petrosky have been closely examining our Carboniferous plant fossils from the Boxley quarry in Beckley, West Virginia, in order to make identifications and to look for any unusual features. Continue reading

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All good things…


I first started working for VMNH as an intern in 1989, shortly after the museum opened. In 1999 I started working here full time, initially as the Laboratory Manager and later as Curator of Paleontology. So it’s a little surprising even to me to announce that I’ll be leaving VMNH at the end of the month to take a new position as the Executive Director of the Western Science Center in Hemet, California. Continue reading

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Solite excavation, Day 2

Yesterday marked the second day of our Solite Quarry salvage operation. After spending last Saturday largely planning and scouting, we were able to make a lot more progress this week. Continue reading

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New Solite excavation

Paleontologists have an interesting relationship with quarry operators. By their very nature quarry operations destroy fossils and their geological context. And yet, by exposing new layers of rock quarrying operations lead to the discovery of new fossil deposits that might otherwise never have been found. The two most productive vertebrate fossil sites in Virginia, Solite and Carmel Church, were both discovered as a result of quarrying operations. Continue reading

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Triassic footprint donation


Paul Olsen from Columbia University spent the day at VMNH examining some of our Triassic collections. Paul is responsible for much of our understanding of how Newark Supergroup sediments were deposited and how they correlate with each other, so we’re always excited to get his input into our Triassic specimens. Continue reading

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More belostomatids

2014-07-01aI mentioned in my last post that water bugs from the family Belostomatidae are among the most common insects at the Solite Quarry. Christina was recently photographing a rather nondescript piece of the insect bed that demonstrates this quite well.

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From the Collections Room (Belostomatidae)

2014-06-25aI’m back at the museum after a short vacation, but the lab didn’t shut down in my absence. Christina took lots of photos of Solite insects while I was gone, including a number of belostomatids. Continue reading

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