Solite Excavation Day 30

The crew 2016-06-11.jpg

Saturday presented us with sunshine and a good crew for our excavation at Solite Quarry. This site rarely disappoints and Saturday did not disappoint. Some fragmentary material was collected but we also found the two specimens below: the posterior half of a Tanytrachelos and what I can guess might be a fish.  Continue reading

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Guest Blog: Courtland’s Summer Internship

Courtland 1

Prepping a shark tooth via pin vice

My name is Courtland Lyle, and I am a rising senior at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I am pursuing a double major in both geology and biology and wish to study paleontology on a graduate level in the near future. I have always loved prehistoric life. I would describe myself as the kind of person who was a dino-nut as a child and never grew out of that interest – if anything, that passion has grown. Now I know that there is so much more to paleontology than just dinosaurs. In fact, my love of Cenozoic mammals has surpassed my love of dinosaurs.


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Posted in Carmel Church Chondrichthyans, Carmel Church mysticetes, Carmel Church Quarry, Vertebrate Paleontology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Guest Blog: Paige’s Summer Internship

Blog by VMNH Paleontology Intern, Paige Dzindolet

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 I am a rising senior attending Roanoke College and am working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a minor in Biology. I recently began a summer internship at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, which counts as a class credit towards said Biology minor. I chose this internship partly because I have always loved Continue reading

Posted in Invertebrate Paleontology, Newark Supergroup, Science, education, and philosophy, Solite Quarry, Vertebrate Paleontology | 1 Comment

Solite Excavation Day 29

The crew 5-14-16.jpg

We made it back to Solite Saturday with a good sized crew of volunteers!  Upon arriving at the quarry, the pit appeared to have not been disturbed. Last year, we decided to go on hiatus to give the rock time to weather during the winter. Weathering is exactly what we needed! The insect bed was significantly easier to separate from the underlying dolostone and the slabs of previously removed overburden (fish/plant/Tany layers) split like a dream.

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Posted in Invertebrate Paleontology, Newark Supergroup, Solite Quarry, Vertebrate Paleontology | 2 Comments

SeAVP 2016

SEAVP flyer 5x7


  • Abstract submission begins: March 8, 2016
  • Abstract submission closes: April 8, 2016
  • Submission format should follow the 2011 SEAVP Abstract book.
  • Word limit: 300
  • Lead author should specify if they wish an oral or poster presentation.
  • Oral presentations will be limited to 15 minutes each.

Submissions should be emailed electronically to Dr. Alex Hastings.


  • Early Registration: April 11 – May 2
  • Regular Registration: May 2 – May 14

More details to come regarding registration prices.

See for more information.

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Not Just Paleo. People in Paleo. Collections

November 21, 2015

Christina Byrd training two Ferrum College students on cataloging and labeling fossils. November 21, 2015 Photo credit: Bill Schmachtenberg

More often than not, the volunteers I work with are students who are aspiring paleontologists/biologists/geologists. This weekend was a change of pace. One of VMNH’s research associates, Dr. Bill Schmachtenberg, brought two of his students from Ferrum College to help catalog Paleozoic invertebrates. These students, Jason and Paige, have a thirst for knowledge that extends beyond the bounds of their non-paleo/bio/geo majors.

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Posted in Invertebrate Paleontology, Museums, Science, education, and philosophy | 1 Comment

Bootherium Prep Party!

The sanding crew working on various elements of the Bootherium skeleton.

The sanding crew working on various elements of the Bootherium skeleton.

In preparation for a new paleontology exhibit focused around Pleistocene fauna, one of the specimens to be included is a partial skeleton for Bootherium, a relative of the musk ox.

While VMNH does have Bootherium skeletal elements in its collection, there were not enough to reconstruct a full skeleton. Therefore, we utilized 3D scan files from the Continue reading

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