Backyard Fossil Update

fossil-macro-photo

Backyard Fossil Update

I’ve gotten over my lazyness, pulled out the tripod and taken a macro close up of the fossil I found in my backyard, and I’ve labeled the bits I am curious about. There’s a penny in the photo for scale, and if you click on this thumbnail you will see the larger version. If you know more about Pennsylvanian period fossils, which is my guess for these, please drop a comment as I’m inexpert and these are my best guesses after looking at common fossils found in this area. (Note: what I have labeled “Nautilus?” is more likely an ammonoid.)

Pelosi Pimps National Energy Tax and Iowa Congressman Braley in Des Moines

Pelosi Pimps National Energy Tax and Iowa Congressman Braley in Des Moines

Nancy Pelosi was expecting a quiet soiree of Democrat fat-cat insiders as she attends a private fundraiser for the Democrat Congressional Committee and Congressman Bruce Braley. Braley was out speaking last night trying to tamp down the upset over her lies about the CIA, but they just won’t go away.

Meanwhile the NRCC robo-called across the district to let voters know about the National energy tax that’s the likely outcome of the Democrat Cap and Trade scheme.

At inception it was a plan like those imposed upon Europeans the past few years, plans which have totally failed to reach goals and that increased use of fossil fuels in Europe while strangling those economies. Some of the economic malaise we are in can be tracked back to Euro cap and tax schemes.

That’s how it started off, a plan like the Europeans… but since then it’s turned into a patronage scam of perks and pork as Rep. Henry Waxman trades credits to states whose votes he needs to pass the bill. It’s a monstrosity that we don’t need while the economy is recovering.

Here’s the audio from one of the robo-calls:

Fossil or Naut? Updated

Fossil or Naut? Updated

fossil1After examining the odd lump of rock mentioned in the previous post with the magnifier from my Compact Oxford Dictionary I found all kinds of fossils.

So it’s not a fossil, it’s fossils. It’s crusted with Echinoids, Crinoids, and what appear to be some flatworm things (were there segmented varieties?) round things, and what appears to be some sort of pre-nautilus critter, with soft parts partially fossilized.  The photo to the right has an L-Square next to the fossil for scale, and below is a gallery of the miniature fossilized sea life coating the sandstone or limestone rock. (I’m not an expert, and could use some help here with the labels if you know what these are. Most of the external parts of this appear crusted with crinoid junk as a previous commenter noted, I found attachment points in a couple places, perhaps some plates…)

The rock around here is all carboniferous age, and the echinoids and crinoids put this in the Pennsylvanian period of the Paleozoic era, so about 323 to 290 million years old.

Here’s the gallery:

Fossil or Not?

Fossil or Not?

fossilI found this buried in the backyard while mowing, Kasey did the initial excavation. It’s oddly shaped, and has crusty things all over the surface, so I’ve been trying to figure out what it is most of the evening. The question is whether it’s a fossil or not. More to come, in the meantime if you know what you are talking about and have a hypothesis as to what it could be, I’m interested in your opinion. For an idea of scale the grey curved line is the outline of a large burner on a ceramic stovetop, the words say “turbo boil”. I’ll get some more pics tomorrow with a ruler for scale. I’m in the NE Corner of Kansas, surface rock here is Carboniferous for the most part.

IDA: Darwinius Masillae

IDA: Darwinius Masillae

This is an important fossil find due the the age and completeness of the fossil, and coming from 47 MYA it’s at an important branch in evolution. It’s not the missing link, it’s another missing link. Please watch the report, keep in mind that the news story is a bit overdone as is the style of all Murdoch outlets, and come to think of it most science reporting everywhere.

More on how this might not be “the” missing link that that news outlets are painting it as at Evolving Thoughts. It’s definitely important and shows some characteristics that are exciting, but more data needed before it can be known if IDA is mainline or offshoot from our path.

More from Carl Zimmer

PZ Meyers has more at Panda’s Thumb

Charles at Little Green Footballs has more as well in the ongoing debate over science and the Republican party. This is just the latest fossil that the shills at the Discovery Institute and their flacks are working to dismiss, a tedious kneejerk reaction.

The hype, the documentary, the book has the science community all abuzz with how this was released. There’s a good and bad side to it. Sensationalizing science does gain public attention to science which is sorely needed in the years ahead, on the other hand overblown reporting allows misinterpretation, and niches that Discovery Institute can claw into with “controversy” in mind. With their stable of prolific spin meisters and outright liars they’ll have the conservative public believing this is a plastic model before you know it.