We’re currently in Tennessee for tomorrow’s symposium at the Gray Fossil Site (I’ll post about that this weekend). On the drive out, we stopped in Norton, Virginia to pick up a box of Carboniferous plant fossils being donated to the museum by Tom McLoughlin.
Tom donated a whole van load of fantastic fossil plants from Virginia to the museum last year; the new specimens are part of the same collection. I haven’t even seen most of the specimens yet, but here are a few that were sitting in the top of the box:
Notice the label visible on the last specimen. Anyone out there aspiring to collect fossils for scientific research (or any future paleontologists reading this) take note: what makes Tom’s collection so valuable to the museum is not that the specimens are so attractive (and they are!), it’s that every one of them includes information about where it was collected and what rock layer it came from. Geographic and stratigraphic data about a fossil is at least as important as the fossil itself.
Thanks again, Tom, for these amazing donations!