The Dallas Paleontological Society was founded in 1984 for the purpose of promoting interest in and knowledge of the science of paleontology. It was intended by the founding members that the Society would be a network for the exchange of data between professionals and serious amateurs in this field.
The next meeting will be held on April 12th
The meeting for the DPS will be held at 7:30pm on April 12th at Brookhaven College, Building H, Ellison Miles Geotechnology Institute, 3939 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch, TX 75244.
A message from the President
From April 21 through 23 (Friday through Sunday), the DPS will be exhibiting at Earth Day Texas at Fair Park. This free event has grown huge, attracting over 700 exhibitors and 130,000 attendees last year. I will act as coordinator for this event, and I need lots of volunteers to help man our table for each of the three days. Email me at email@example.com with when you can help at the table. We will be able to sell merchandise and give away fossils, and we will reach a whole new audience of people who enjoy the outdoors and are interested in nature.
NEW EXHIBIT AT THE PEROT
Shauna Young, DPS vice president, and I represented the DPS at the media preview day of the Perot Museum's new exhibit "Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed ". There is much to see in this wonderful 10,000 square-foot exhibit of the Maya culture, including a re-creation of an elaborate royal tomb, with the full assemblage of pottery, jade, and other artifacts that were recovered within. There is also a reconstruction of a cave in this limestone region which served as a burial place, and reproductions of giant stone monuments called stelae, covered with Mayan hieroglyphs. There are many actual artifacts from these sites, made of pottery, jade, gold, obsidian, chert, and other materials. You can learn the Mayan language, decode their calendar, construct arched passages, and explore tombs in interactive, hands-on stations. I am fascinated by the use of stone by ancient as well as modern man, so I was blown away by the intricately worked, complexly shaped pieces of obsidian and chert, called eccentrics. And be sure to check out the huge stone yoke, worn around the midsection by ball players for protection! It must weight 50 pounds. The exhibit will run through September 4, 2017.
FINIS SHALE PROJECT
Dr. Barbara Seuss informed us of progress on processing samples of the Finis Shale that DPS members helped her and her field assistant Sara collect at the Jacksboro spillway in October of 2016. They have finished disaggregating all the samples and have separated the microfossils from the 500µm (.5 mm) size fraction. Below is a quick cell phone photo of what they see - numerous tiny brachiopods, gastropods, and bivalves! The grid lines are 5 mm apart. Many are larval shells of larger specimens that we normally collect at the spillway. In addition, she reports "ostracods, corals, scaphopods, ophiuroid remains, a few foraminifers, goniatites, loads of serpulids that grow on mostly brachiopod shells, bryozoans, a few fish teeth, various remains of crinoids and echinoderm spines and plates, as well as limonitized plant remains with preserved cell structure". She is classifying and identifying everything, and will send more images from the Scanning Electron Microscope.
DPS members are an active bunch! Most of us are busy enough just learning, collecting, and cataloguing our own finds, but some DPS members have made scientific contributions and have helped with education of the public. Here are a couple of recent examples of DPS contributions to the field. There are many, many more, which I will highlight in this column periodically.
DPS member Nathan Van Vranken has recently published a description of a possible ichthyosaur tooth found near Fort Stockton in Pecos County. The article "A Note on the Occurance of an Upper Cretaceous Ichthyosauromorph tooth, from West Texas" appears in the online Journal of Paleontological Societies at http://www.aaps-journal.org/pdf/JPS.C.2017.02.pdf Congratulations, Nathan!
Linda Farish has provided educational sets of fossils to all 41 of the elementary schools in Lewisville. Linda has assembled these kits and sold them at Fossilmania, and then decided to provide them free of charge to schools in her town. She reached out to a science coordinator for the school district who was able to get the kits out to all of the schools.
These are just two examples of contributions to the science and hobby of paleontology by DPS members. There are so many ways that DPS members can help, not only by publishing original research or providing collections to schools. You can bring food to the meetings, join a committee (we need food and beverage chairs), man the DPS table at a show (we can always use a few more), lead a field trip (or just suggest one to a place you know), contribute an article for the Fossil Record, talk to boy and girls scout or school groups, or provide fossils for the give-away bin or auctions. In the words of astrophysicist and my personal hero Neal deGrasse Tyson, all that you do can help #MakeAmericaSmartAgain
- Tom Dill, DPS President
Blackcat Mountain at Clarita Oklahoma on March 18th, 9:00 am. This trip is full.
Due to inclement weather, the Blackcat fieldtrip has been rescheduled to 9am Saturday March 18th. Meeting place remains the same. Polly
The trip is limited to members of DPS
This trip is to the famous Blackcat Mountain Trilobite quarry, most if not all of your finds will be surface. You should bring a rock hammer/mallot (I have a few loaners if you don’t have these tools) and a 5 gallon bucket, or other method of conveyance, since your finds will most likely be embedded in chunks of matrix. A chisel can come in handy. Please wear proper footwear since the terrain is very rough.
Spaces are limited so you must sign up for this trip. We will meet at the Post Office on Main Street in Clarita at 9 am. On our last visit Bob let us stay until mid afternoon. So (just in case) bring liquids and food/snacks of your choosing. We give Bob $10 A HEAD please bring cash. He also has a very nice shop where you can buy his book or trilobites he has quarried and prepped from the quarry.
Now for the important stuff: Snakes are a real threat so I am asking you all to hunt with caution. You will be hunting literally, a very large pile of rock, Use your hammers to flip rocks, NOT YOUR HANDS. in fact if you have a garden tool, or the like, with a longer handle and that would make you feel more comfortable please bring it. Also use your hammer to ‘ring’ the slabs of rock. Often this will cause a rattler to issue a warning. As fossil hunters we are all familiar with this nemesis so don’t be afraid, be aware, be cautious. THIS IS NOT A TRIP FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. Contact information click here, cell number: 903 916-0083 bring this number with you.
Directions: Take Hwy 75 North, exit OK48/78 take left follow 48 North. North of Wapanucka (about 5 miles ? ) turn left on 1750 turn right on 3795 into ‘downtown’ Clarita. Meet at the post office. Please be on time. Clarita is just over 2 1/2 hours north of Dallas. Bob’s shop is 1/2 block from post office.
Jacksboro Saturday, March 25th. This trip is not limited in number, non members welcome
Jacksboro Field Trip, March 25th We will be hunting the lower sections of the Graham Formation, Upper Pennsylvanian. This 300 Mya outcrop represents one of the most richly fossiliferous exposures of marine shelf sediments in the United States. Fossil material that can be found include corals, brachiopods, gastropods, nautiloids and some shark material. You will have to walk a quarter mile across the dam and climb a fence. You will need a tool to pry embedded fossils from the matrix and a collection bag for your finds (a plastic storage bad will do nicely). The park is now charging $3 for people over 12 years old. We will meet at the Jacksboro town square at 9 am. This is a very kid friendly field trip. Contact information: Pollym@airmail.net Cell: 903 916-0083
Gore Oklahoma, Saturday, April 8th.
Gore Oklahoma Field Trip, Saturday, April 8th.
We will meet at the Hart's Grocery Store on US 10 in downtown Gore at 9:00 am. Gore is about 4 hours north of Dallas, take the Weber Falls exit off of 40. It will put you on US 10. Harts is a few miles north on the left. The quarry is Pennsylvanian Age, Morrowan Stage. This is the very earliest Pennsylvanian. What will you find? Blastoids (the real attraction at this quarry) also occasional crinoids, paleozoic shark teeth, brachiopods, corals and other invertebrates.
What to bring? Rock hammer, chisel(?), collection containers, knee pads are recommended for crawling some of the finer gravel areas. Also an insect repellant might come in handy and of course bring water and snacks.
Time permitting, for those interested, we will also visit the road cut outside Lequire Oklahoma to hunt for Pennsylvanian age plant material.
Contact: Pollym@airmail.net, cell 903 916-0083. Please be on time because I must lead you into the quarry. If for some reason you will be a few minutes late call my cell and I'll arrange to meet up with you.
ALWAYS CHECK THE DPS HOTLINE BEFORE A TRIP FOR ANY LAST MINUTE CHANGES 817 355-4693
Join us now
Come and join us for a great time at our next meeting, and click below to become a member. Individual and Family memberships are available, and kids can participate in the PIT Crew (Paleontogists In Training).
Aurora Fossil Museum
The Aurora Fossil Museum in Aurora North Carolina, is a nonprofit science education resource center. Their mission is to increase knowledge of the geology, paleontology, and prehistory of coastal North Carolina in an engaging and enjoyable manner. They accomplish this mission through exhibits, interactive inquiry-based activities, outreach programs, events, field studies, and involvement in the annual Fossil Festival held on Memorial Day weekend.
Directly across the street from the main museum is their Fossil Park, which contains their own fossil pits, affectionately dubbed the "Pits of the Pungo". These pits, consisting of fossiliferous material donated by the neighboring PotashCorp-Aurora plant, offer visitors the opportunity to search and discover their very own Miocene age fossils! In these fossiliferous pits, one may discover the remains of ancient sharks, whales, bony fish, and coral just to name a few. Spend the day being a Paleontologist! Bring a garden trowel, sifter, plastic bags, and take home a piece of the past!
If you can’t make the trip, then check out their online shop. You can purchase matrix that they will ship to your doorstep. If you tell them that you don’t need the plastic buckets, then the price is only $11 and is put into a gallon plastic bag. To make sure that the customer is not disappointed, they “enhance” the matrix by adding many fossils. I purchased two bags and had hours of fun picking out many nice shark teeth, vertebrae, puffer fish plates, dolphin teeth, and many microfossils. They don’t, however, guarantee that every bag will have all that were in mine.
Click here for their website or give them a call at 252-322-4238 if you have any questions. http://aurorafossilmuseum.org/
Local media features DPS' Wes Kirpach and student
DPS's own Wes Kirpach, AP biology teacher at Plano West, was recently featured by both the Dallas Morning News and WFAA Channel 8 when one of his students found a Cretoxyrhina manetelli shark tooth. Lillia Blasius was searching the nearby creek during a class lab when she made her amazing find. This isn't the only fossil that Wes and his class have found. Over the last 10 years, they have found 3 cretoxys, 2 ptychodus motoni, 2 squalicorax falcatus, several scapanorhynchus raphidion, and several small tooth blades. They have also found many molluscs, fish scales and other fish skeletal remains, several enchodus jaws and a skull, a xiphactonus vertebral column and associated spines, a nautilus, heteromorphic ammonite and at least 2 ammonite species (protexanites?)... not to mention a complete adult Patecarpus skull and neck.
Click here for the WFAA story.
New "Documents and Resources" page.
We now have a "Documents and Resources" page on our website for members who need to see past presentations or want information the society has collected. As we get documents of interest we will post them to the page. We already have 5 postings including the presentation from last months meeting when Bill Morgan spoke on Texas Cretaceous Echinoids. Check out the page by clicking the Documents and Resources link under the "Members Only Content" under the "Home" button, or Click Here.
Buy DPS Books Online
You can now buy books from the DPS online by clicking the "Store" button on the navigation bar at the top of this page. If you buy online, and we ship the books to your home, you will have a shipping charge and tax. If you buy the book at a meeting, you will not have to pay the shipping fee or tax. Check out this new service.
Questions For DPS?
If You have any questions about the Dallas Paleo Society feel free to:
The PIT Crew
The Paleontologists In Training is a program of the DPS that is open to kids from age 7 to 15. If you are interested in fossils, want to have fun on field trips, and like learning about our beautiful world, come join us at one of our meetings, or field trips. You will find it educational, and fun at the same time!
For more information, Click the link here or click the link under the home page called "For Kids - The Pit Crew" , to see policies, upcoming events, announcements, and how to sign up to take advantage of this new program.
Another Good Read
The March 2017 issue of Scientific American has an excellent article on how scientist may now be able to study the color pigments in dinosaur skin. Titled "Fossil Pigments Reveal the True Colors of Dinosaurs," it discusses how Paleontologists are reconstructing extinct organisms with unprecedented accuracy.
About Us and Our Monthly Meetings
The Dallas Paleontological Society normally meets the second Wednesday of every month at 7:30 PM at Brookhaven College, unless we have something special happening that month. Please check our Calendar for exact dates. Come meet with us, hear a speaker, learn about paleontology, and bring your unidentified fossils and unique finds to share with the group. You will be welcome, and we will enjoy meeting you. Beware of big words! For a map of our meeting location Click Here.