As we near the deadline of our grant, which you can learn more about here and here, I am excited to say that we have reached over 6,000 records with images! We only have a few short months to reach the anticipated number of 9,000- so Aryanna and I are busier than ever here in the Paleo Collections. I wish I could say the 6,000th record was something glamorous, but unfortunately we have gotten into the territory of unsorted specimens, that have mostly just been bits and pieces of possible fossil insects.
Regardless, I feel it is worth celebrating this moment as we are two thirds of the way there!
SO… drum roll please…
Introducing fossil specimen number 6,000:
VMNH96365 – Nymph
See, I told you it wasn’t glamorous.
Here, I can make it fancier:
fancy nymph – VMNH996365
Better, no? Well, I probably should not be wasting time applying clip art to insect fossils, but hey, we all need a little levity once in a while.
In other news, the Paleo department has been busy with education outreach this past month- we took part in two separate Darwin Day events, one at Roanoke College and the other at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. We also headed down the the Schiele Museum of Natural History for their annual Fossil Fair. Alex’s enthusiasm cannot be matched.
And… we are excited to be going back out on the road for a couple upcoming events. First, on March 26th, we will be heading north of Richmond for a paleo dig at Carmel Church Quarry. This is a 14 million year old site where 17 species of whales and dolphins; 15 to 20 kinds of sharks; seals; sea turtles; 20 to 30 fish, including sunfish, tuna, drum and sturgeon; and crocodile have been unearthed.
Cast of Eobalaenoptera harrisoni, a nearly complete 30-foot whale recovered from Carmel Church Quarry in 1990
And then, in May, Alex and I will drive up to Richmond for this year’s Virginia Academy of Science spring meeting. I went to school at Virginia Commonwealth University, and I am excited to see old friends and professors while there for the meeting.