The Paleo Intern Says Goodbye (by Madison Pullis)

Hold onto your seats, folks, because the DINOSAUR FESTIVAL IS UPON US! As I write this post, museum staff are finishing everything for the grand opening of “Dinosaurs: Reign of the Giants!” For those of you wondering, the Dinosaur Festival starts Friday, July 21st and will continue into Saturday, July 22nd. Check the museum’s website or Facebook page for times and schedules. For those of you anxiously awaiting the opening, enjoy this sneak peek of the T-rex skull that will be on display next to a full-sized Triceratops skeleton and real Triceratops skull!


That’s me in the suit!  Meeting my cousin and his much larger skull in the new exhibit Dinosaurs: Reign of the Giants.

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Checking out Cave Bones (with B. Khameiss)


Alex Hastings (left) and Belkasim Khameiss (right) looking at bones from a Virginia cave.

Belkasim has been going through the bone fauna sampled from a cave in Bath County, Virginia. Most of the bones and teeth come from small mammals that are still alive in Virginia today, like shrews, bats, rabbits and raccoons.

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The Paleo Intern Returns! (Guest blog by Madison)

Since the last post, I’ve finished preparing the sauropod toe bone, prepped another sauropod vertebra, and cleaned two currently unidentified and unrelated bones I have named Jane and John Doe-nosaur (I bet you didn’t know I was so pun-ny). Along with my work in the lab prepping bones and a short trip to Saltville to attend the dig, I’ve been helping the museum get ready for the DINOSAUR FESTIVAL (July 21st-22nd)!!!


Bones on display for the upcoming exhibit: Dinosaurs: Reign of the Giants


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RECORD 8,000!

Well… Ary and I are still working on the fossil insect grant. Things are slowly moving forward- but we have reached over 8,000 records! Woohooo! We have about 700 more to go as we need to photograph and catalog 8,910 insects total.


Thysanoptera, aka Thrips; VMNH#98538; scale bar: 5 mm with 0.1 mm div.

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Posted in From the Collections Room, Museums, Newark Supergroup, Saltville, Solite Quarry, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

New Intern working on Virginia cave bones (guest blog written by Mr. B. Khameiss)


I am a new intern in the Paleo Lab at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, in association with the Smithsonian Institute. This is the first time I have been in this city and the museum as well. I am a PhD student from Ball State University, Geology Department, in Muncie, Indiana.

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The Paleo Lab Welcomes A New Intern! (A guest blog by Madison Pullis)


Hello everyone! I am one of the new interns invading the Virginia Museum of Natural History this summer. My name is Madison Pullis and I can be found in the Paleontology lab most days. I am from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa and just graduated from Iowa State University this past May. I majored in Anthropology, and minored in Environmental Studies and Sociology. I have some experience within anthropology – last summer I spent time in Costa Rica studying howler monkeys and I’ve also helped Dr. Matt Hill, an archaeologist at Iowa State studying the late Pleistocene/early Holocene time period (to put it simply), with research on extinct peccaries from Peccary Cave in Indiana.

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Return to Carmel Church

A couple weeks ago the VMNH paleo team returned to the renowned Carmel Church fossil site for a few days of excavation.  This 14 million-year-old marine site has been producing for years and this time was no less. We had a pretty good haul, including something extra special we’ll have to excavate out next time.


VMNH fossil preparator, Ray Vodden, with a whale vertebra.

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