Table of Contents
Wonders of Mazon Creek Fossils
Fossil locality (Burgess Shale fossils)
Eocene Green River Diptera Tipulidae/Poplar
The Fossiletts Write-up
Locality Page: Solnhofen Limestone
1 Page Essay on your Locality of the Burgess Shale
FIELD GUIDE PAGE
The Hell Creek Shale
TRILOBITES AND ANTHROPODAX
The White Sea
The Devonian Period
Wonders of Mazon Creek Fossils
Mazon Creek is a well-known ideal place to find fossils. This is also the locality of our fossil report. Northeastern Illinois was the location where these fossils where found. Francis Creek Shale is the rock that contains the fossils of this creek. This particular shale is made from mud. These unique fossils are preserved from the Pennsylvanian Period. This is approximately 300 million years ago around the Paleozoic era.
Contradicting what Illinois is today; Mazon Creek used to be shallow marine bays and swampy lowlands. That is why most of the fossils found in this shale are aquatic life. The deceased fauna (animals) and flora (plants) in these bays floated down on the ocean floor and settled there. Many were buried in the mud that was washed in from the rivers. The Mazon Creek fossils formed when the bacteria eat away at the diseased animals and plant life. This combined with the iron in the water formed ironstones, which in turn made it possible to stop further damage to these fossils. After this long period of time, these fossils are now being uncovered in mines of Illinois.
"Because of the unique conditions of fossilization, Mazon Creek fossils frequently have both hard and softer parts preserved. In addition, many soft-bodied organisms that do not usually fossilize are preserved."1 The author makes it clear that this site is unique because research on the biochemistry (tissue and DNA) of these animals/plants can be tested on both the fossils and the softer parts.
Many of these fossils found in this area are aquatic life forms. Many of the flora found in this area are not easily discern because many plants found are given different names when they are the same plant Calamites is an extinct horsetail plant found in this. region. "These horsetails (Sphenopsida) were arborescent (tree-like) and grew to a height of up to 10 meters (31 feet)."2 This states that this kind of plant are huge and probably were buried into the bay when the side of the creek eroded making the stems of the Calamite preserved in the mud.
The most baffled fossil of all was the Tully Monster (Tullimonstrumn gregarium). "Scientists do not know to what other animals the Tully Monster is related. Some scientists have speculated that it is related to snails and other molluscs."3 While this animal does not look anything like a snail, it does have some smaller characteristics, But this is an aquatic animal which most snails aren't. Also this organism was a carnivore from the speculations of its fossils. Many other fossils found in this region are Acanthotelson, a shrimp-like crustacean; Lepidoderma, a "sea scorpion"; Sphenopteris, a fern or seed fern, foliage and Neuropteris, a seed fern, foliage.
Because of this new insight of old organisms, we know that many didn't survive. Natural selection, as Darwin suggested has taken its toll. This region also tells us that many of the mountains and geographical locations are not what it seems as it was millions of years ago.
Locality Page: Solnhofen Limestone
Our locality, the Solnhofen limestone, has many characteristics and the marvels of which it talks about the Jurassic period. This locality, like no other, talks about the animals, dinosaurs, and flying birds during the Jurassic period. Towards the end of the Jurassic, about 155 million years ago, a warm shallow sea studded with islands covered much of what is now Germany. Sponges and corals grew on rises in this sea, forming reefs that divided up parts of this sea into isolated lagoons. These lagoons were cut off from the ocean and also from terrestrial runoff. Within these warm, isolated lagoons, the salinity rose, and the water may have been anoxic (depleted of oxygen) or even toxic at various intervals.
Aside from cyanobacteria and small protests such as Foraminifera, nothing could survive in the bottom waters of the lagoons for very long. However, any organism that fell into the lagoons from the land, or that drifted or was washed into the lagoons from the ocean, was buried in soft carbonate mud. Thus, many delicate creatures were not consumed by scavengers or torn apart by currents. There are so many information Like the Archaeopteryx Lithographica, of southern Germany, is considered to the first bird, being of about 150 million years old. This has been said that there is a relationship between the birds that we see everyday to the Jurassic predator in the Jurassic period. And that the predatory flying object would likely to be the Deinonychus, which are known as the "raptors". These raptors were fierceful predators during the Jurassic period. The Archaeopteryx had a full set of teeth, rather than a flat sternum, a long, bony tail, gastalia, and three claws on the wing which could still been used to grasp prey. The one thing that is similar from the Archaeopteryx than of modem birds is that the wings, furcula were reduced fingers are all characteristics of modem birds.
The Archaeopteryx had feathers. These feathers were used for regulating its body temperature or for flight is a matter still open for debate. The clade Maniraptora (which is defined as containing all dinosaurs closer to birds than to ornithomimids ) is the group of theropod dinosaurs that many paleontologists believe birds were derived from some 150 or so million years ago, in the Jurassic period. Coelurosauria is defined as the clade containing all theropods more closely related to birds than to carnosaurs. Some diagnostic characteristics of coelurosaurs include elongated arms and well- developed hinge-like ankles (possible rotation of the ankle is reduced, which is helpful during locomotion). All coelurosaurs show a great number of morphological similarities with birds, but different coelurosaurs; lack different bird-like characteristics, so this complicates the matter of resolving the phylogeny of the group.
The archaeopteryx is one of the few prehistoric living, flying, and the most unique bird in the Jurassic period.
1 Page Essay on your Locality of the Burgess Shale
There is a lot of things that are involved %With the web page. I -saw many topics and related subjects to fossils like the Burgess Shale, geology, tectonics, paleontology, etc.. There are many helpful subjects and topics in regarding about fossils. In the category of fossils if talks about fossil hunting, firs-time fossil hunter, and the early earth fossils. What I noticed that the given information that was brought to my attention was the specification of the information in the Rock Cycles, like how they we made and all that stuff. The web page was pretty cool especially for people that are interested in rocks, fossils, and paleontology. This web page greatly and deeply emphasizes on the additional fossil information and also on paleontology.
What I learned about the Burgess Shale was that it was a extraordinary treasure burial. The Burgess Shale, unlike stick-figure fossils composed of bones, the Burgess Shale animals are virtually intact %with all Their and parts. Most have no bones a+ all. They are also incredibly ancient and represent some of +be first types of complex life on earth, creatures that existed near +he beginning of +he biological flourish known as the Cambrian Explosion. This is one of the most interesting periods to biologists investigating the development of life. The fossils are a+ an altitude of 2300m (7,500 ft.) in +he mountains of the Canadian Rockies, near the B.C-Alberta border town of Field, British Columbia. Geologists have determined that the fossils are encased in material that was once .1 seabed. This might seem a little odd a+ first -- .1 seabed at 7,500 ft.? -- but if points to the age of the fossils, which were entombed about 430 million years before the formation of the Rocky Mountains, which lifted them to Their current location. People frequently hiked +be mountains in the area before the turn of the century; the Canadian Pacific Railway just happens to pass through a valley within site of the fossil bed, and Field grew up around the railway hotel +here. People had long known about the presence of fossils in the area, nicknaming +hem "rock bugs', but the Burgess fossils weren't recognized as special until September 1909.
Smithsonian Institution paleontologist Charles Walcott was in the area collecting a well- known type of fossil called a trilobite and when he stumbled upon the Burgess fossils he immediately recognized them as a rare find, fossils with soft tissues intact. If must have been a tantalizing discovery for Walcott, as be was soon forced to leave the site because of snow until the following summer. (The weather there is always a problem for investigators; we had planned to make a visit in early July, but there was still snow on the mountains +en. -Ed). Walcott returned several times to this site and removed over 65,000 specimens of Burgess creatures, which are now kept at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.. Walcott realized that he was onto something special, and made his find well known among his colleagues, but how he interpreted the fossils became more controversial.
Walcott tried to classify the Burgess creatures among known types of animals, but it's now recognized that some of them belong to types long since extinct. The reclassification of the Burgess Fossils, which began in earnest in the 1960s, has only increased Their value to us by emphasizing +he unusual and sometimes dead-end paths that species can fake. Important work started in 1975 by Dr. Desmond Collins and his colleagues at +he Royal Ontario Museum has shown that +be extends over about 20 km through +he Burgess Shale site is not unique, however, if mountains in the area. This summer Dr. Collins and his colleagues are continuing to investigate new sites while examining ones have since been found in China, Utah, they've already found. Burgess-like sites Greenland, and South Australia. And like Walcott himself, Dr. Collins has also taken on the difficult task of interpreting the fossils. Science Web will feature his reclassification of +he predator reclassification of the predator Anomolacaris, which he showed +his year to be two distinct species.
FIELD GUIDE PAGE
Our group decided to explore fossils in the White Sea locality because we thought it was a unique part of the history of fossils. White Sea includes the Precambrian period ( 4,500 - 544mya ) in which paleontologists have divided five time periods according to the fossils : (1) the Hadean period (3,800mya), (2) the Archaen period (2500mya) where the oldest fossil is known such as bacteria, (3) the Paleoproterozoic period (1600mya) where oxygen was first built in the atmosphere, (4) the Mesoproterozoic period (900mya), and (5) the Neoproterozoic period (540mya) where the oldest animal fossil is known. All these five time periods in the Precambrian age of the White Sea are the birth of life here on Earth.
We also decided to analyze the fossil of a bacteria called palaeolyngbya from cyanobacteria or "blue-green algae". This fossil, being of the Precambrian Age, grows in an aquatic environment, "mapping sediment and sometimes secreting calcium carbonate."
The Hell Creek Shale
We chose the Hell Creek Shale, which is located in Bowman, North Dakota to be the site that we would research on for our paleontological report. Many fossils from the Mesozoic era, Upper cretaceous period, which is 6.5 million years ago have been found here.
Dinosaur digs in Hell Creek have unearthed some incredible fossils, including a duck-billed Edmontosaurus and the complete skeleton of a Triceratops. Most of the fossils that were found were made out of shale which means that they were made from mud and it came from a swampy or bog area.
One of the most interesting fossils that were found was one of only twelve known T-Rex skeletons in the world that was found near Rhame, North Dakota. The T-Rex has been thought to be a 40-foot long hunter, but even though hundreds of bones have been found so far, it is still too early to say if the skeleton is complete.
TRILOBITES AND ANTHROPODAX
The locality for our fossils is called Hell Creek.
Existing during the Paleozoic period,, these creatures were part of a diverse reef community' about 400,000,000 years ago. Their habitat; warm,. shallow seas.
Our first fossil is a trilobite and it's called Dalmanites myops. The name comes from a famous British fossil locality in the West Midlands. This fossil is nicely preserved in a rock called Limestone. Trilobites are usually divided into three parts. (Body structure, widthwise) A head (called a cephalon). Most of time the head has eyes as well. The body (Thorax) consists of little, complicated segments. They also have a tail and legs that kind of fold up underneath the bodies. One interesting aspect about them is how they protect themselves from predators by rolling up into a ball.
Our second fossil is an Anthropodax which is called Paradoxides davidis. This creature was roaming the earth during the Middle Cambrian period. It is very similar to the Dalminites myops. They're kind of family due to the fact that both live around the same habitat. Their body structure is almost exactly the same as the Dalminites myops, including of course the head, body, tail and legs tucked underneath.
Also found in Limestone, dwelling in shallow waters, the Paradoxides davidis likes warmth. It doesn't say whether or not it can fend off predators.
The White Sea
You may ask this question; What is the White sea? The answer to the question is; the sea is called the white sea because it is located in the snowiest part of Australia and of Russia. The white sea is an ocean because if you walk in the shallow end and if keep on walking, the level of the water gets high and high until you can't reach the floor. So the people of these two countries called it the white sea.
In the white sea paleontologists have found fossils from earl five form. Many people believe that these early fossils may have been the fossils of God's first creation of animals and other people think differently. Some people think that the fossils are just modem cells that just happened to appear in the fossils. Some of the fossils that we as a group were looking up on is the Dickinson, Pteridinium, and the Nemiana fossils.
The Dickinsonia fossil is known for being located in the Vendian rock of south Australia and north Russia. It looks Eke a sand dollar. But the only difference is that the Dickinsonia moves in from the fore ground and settles on the ground. What is so unique about this fossil is that it makes it's own food, it's not a predator, or not preyed up on. The Dickinsonia was on this earth in the Precambrian explosion. After the Cambrian explosion the first animals were on this earth and the animals one by one became the cause of the extinction of the "Vendian biota" or the "Ediacara fauna" era. The two names of this era is basically the same thing. The meaning is that during those times it was the first appears of the largest group of fossils. In the matter of years it began in the 700,000,000 - 540,000,000 years ago.
The next fossil that I am going to talk about is the Pteridinium. The fossil is located in the summer coast of the white sea. The fossil has been found In the following places: Australia, Nambia, and North Carolina. The paleontologists have no idea what it was or how it lived. Even though people do not know where this thing is many people believe that it many be a Cnidarain or some other animal that is now extinct. Many people believe that this thing many have lived in the bottom of the ocean. They also believe that it may have survived by eating small particles or maybe it took up dissolved nutrients from the water. Basically it depended on the symbiotic micro organism in it's tissues or perhaps or maybe a combination of both in order to stay alive.
Finally but not least is the Nemiana fossil. People believe that the simplest of all of the Vendian fossils. The Nemiana, fossil looks like if someone pushed on the mud with various bottle caps. The fossils looks like an impression of a sack-like body. Nemiana has no tenancies, although occasionally central markings are found that could represent a mouth. Some people think that Nemiana could be some sort of large Protist or possibly an alga.
What they do know is that Nemiana was a gregarious; it is rare to find such a isolated specimens that could reproduce by splitting itself by two. This fossil is located on the winter coast of the white sea, there is also a tendency to find out about Nemiana in the rocks layers that were formed during or just after some kind of local environment disturbance. It seems that Nemiana , whatever it was, was a "Vendian weed"? able to colonize disturbed habitats, that reproduces rapidly thanks to it's simple anatomy.
By this very deep investigation we as a group figured out that each fossil is different according to where it is adapted to. We also figured out that most of the fossils that we choose, the paleontologists we unable to identify to it's origin. We basically saw that a paleontologists can try to guess what the fossil was in the times before us and approximate how long it was living and what it's environment was and what was it doing, order to stay alive. We as a group felt like a group of paleontologists that was doing everything they could to figure out where it came from and what was it doing.
Fossil locality (Burgess Shale fossils)
The locality is called Burgess Shale; it is located in British Columbia, Canada in the park called Yoho National park. It was discovered in 1909 by Charles Walcott.
Its special because it has preserved soft bodies through mineral deposits, also because of its wide variety in aquatic fossils.
Its preservations are from the middle of the Cambrian period that occurred some 540 million years ago; durring this time the oxygen levels were rising that started supporting land fife and created many of today's species. The water was getting thick and warm.
It also killed many others ;the sponges (that is one of my fossils) was wiped out by 50% during this time. It was very common in the quarry which is limestone.
The sponge is officially called Vaxuxia gracilenta it has a branching morphology (or a branch of biology dealing with structure) . The branches were probably for absorbing food.
The next fossil is called Olenoides serratus it is part of several species of trilobites (or beetle looking bug) Its leg as fins were used for swimming quickly and climbing. Their population decreased by 75% during the Cambrian period.
info from note book of Burgess shale fossils, and some from www.ucmp.berkeIy.edu.
Eocene Green River Diptera Tipulidae/Poplar
Our locality is Eocene Green River. The fossils have been collected in the Northwest Colorado during the past several years or about 48 million years ago. The Eocene Green River is greatly distinguished place at that time it is the second oldest time of the Tertiary period. It is also known as the Cenozoic Era time when the mammal were beginning to start life.
Diperta tipulidae 7.4 mm. long it is brownish or gray and a few dark marking on the wing. They live in water or in moist soil and they feed themselves by breaking plants down. They are vegetation and they don't bite.
Diperta tipulidae is a large group with nearly 1500 in North America these flies are very common. It is fortunate that they have such good detailed picture of the wing.
Also ommatial facet and structure of the eye how the body of the shape is really like and the pattern of the wing and body. Because insects wings are very fragile it is unbelievable that the fossil is still in good shape.
Poplar is a fast growing tree. Their leave are flattened stem that make them flutter in the slightest breeze. They don't five in the cities because their roots grow very long and sometimes damage sewer. Poplar five around high plants, oak, willow, roses, goldenrod, algae, fungi, ferns, gymnosperms that come in share. Beaver, deer, moose, and other mammals eats Poplar.
Excerpt from http://www.coloradomtn.edu/campus_rfl/staff_rfl/koshls/diperta.htmI
Excerpt from http://www.wmnh.com/wmnh.com/wmp)))).htm
March 17, 1998
The Fossiletts Write-up
Our fossil is the Archaeopteris which is believed to be the first tree. The period that our fossil is believed to have lived is the Devonian period which was four hundred and ten to three hundred and sixty million years ago. Our fossil was located in the Rynie Chert in Scotland which contains Zosterphyllophytes and Trimerophytes which are the two major lines of vascular plants.
The early Devonian period consisted of mostly small plants with the tallest being only "a meter tall". in our plants environment you would find other Devonian plants like: ferns, horsetails, and seed plants. During that Devonian period also many animals lived as follows: "tetra pods, which are land living vertebrates", "terrestrial arthropods, including wingless insects and the earliest arachnids.", "In the oceans there were brachiopods flourished, like. the beautifully pyritized brachiopod." "Also there were echinoderms, tabulate, and rugose corals also there were many kinds of fish."
The two fossils that I have are the Archaeopteris and the Parasprifer bownockeri. The first fossil Archaeopteris is preserved as a fossil in a stone and it looks like what today people would call a fern. It has individual stems and on each of the stems there is a circular shaped leaf. On the next fossil the Paraspirifer bownockeri is in similar shape to a shell. it is in a shell shape and it has lines going vertical throughout the whole thing.
For more information or to view both of the fossils mentioned above fossils please go to the web site at : www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/devonian/devonian.htmI
Mazon Creek animals are extremely diverse. It consists of more than 320 species. Scientists have split the group into two components. Most of these fossils are found in the Mazon Creek area of Grundy, Will, Kankakee and Livingston. Many of these fossils are also found in the shallow marine bays. The fossils tend to have both soft and hard preserved parts. These fossils provide the scientists with a view of history of organisms that lived 300 million years ago. Scientists have been studying these organisms for 150 years. These fossils are from rocks called the Francis Creek Shale. The different types of groups the fossils are Essex and Braidwood. Our two fossils is a fern and what may be the first dragon fly. In this project able to create the fossil that we found by sculpting it out of clay and putting plaster on it. After the plaster had dried we took the clay out and painted the plaster.
Most of the fossils in the Illinois museum come from Mazon creek, the Gronay and Livingston countries. This fossils were recovered from the abandoned and active strip of mines from shaft mines and from mile spoil piles. The Mazon creek nodules and other fossils are found in museums in other parts of the world. The Mazon creek fossils are found in other types of natural and man-made outcrops of a rock called the Francis creek shale. The Francis creek shale is expand along the stream and in strip mines in the LaSelle country.
There over 400 species from at least 130 genera identified from Mum creek nodules. The Mazon creek bons is extremely diverse. According to the research of Niteck (1979) over 320 species of animals have been identified
The animal that we research was the Acanthotelson stimpsoni. This animal was discovered in 1865 in Mazon Creek. This animal is a shirmp-like crustacean, the size is (0.75in) it's believe to have lived in the Palaeozoic time, when all the vertebrate animals evolve. It was in the 245-W million years age (mya) and up.
4th period Science
Our locality is Eocene Green River and it is unique because there is a lot of fossils that have been collected in the Northwest Colorado during the past several years and they date at about 48 million years ago.
Our locality is located in Colorado where the fossils were found at.
Some of the fossils found in our locality are Diptera which is a large group with many forms. The house fly larva, cattle grubs, and Rat-tailed maggots.
The house fly larva can't be separated from close relatives such as face fly, root maggots, flesh flies, and blow flies. They are peg shaped, white, and without a developing head.
Cattle grubs are grub liked and are identified as the grubs that occur on the backs of cattle.
Rat-tailed maggots are soft-bodied larvae and have a long thin tail at the end of the body. They occur in farm lagoons or other swallow water in high organic matters.
Trilobites used to live about 570 to 250 million years ago, they lived in the Paleozoic era. They used to be 1-3 inches long but there were some that were 26 inches. Trilobites got their name by the outer shell that they have which has three lobes. The outer shell of it which we call exoskeleton part with the organisms is the most commonly preserved part because is made out of hard material; it covered the back of the animal. Trilobites had two compound eyes, (like bees do) they used as a lightsensitive warning device to detect movement.
Trilobites lived in shelf and sloped environments around continental margins also in shallow seas which now are masses of land. Most trilobites lived underground, some were swimmers, or floaters. They think the trilobites that were found with big eyes' lived in the surface of the water. The ones with little or no eyes are thought to live really deep, and dark waters, but most trilobites went in the water just for protection and food. They had different ways of feeding strategies, some plowed through mud, others were predators or scavengers. When they attacked them, they would roll up so their exoskeleton would protect them.
The fossil's remains help scientists develop relative time scales for ancient marine environment. Like trilobites evolved fast and were everywhere you could use the fossil of one trilobite and compare it with another fossil and see what land was the oldest. Trilobites also helped to make the time scales for the Paleozoic era.
The first fossil that our group had found was called the Palaeocoma Starfish. the full name of the fossil is Palaeocoma egertoni, the age of the food is the Jurassic age. Middle Liss Formation, Starfish Bed The Locality of the fossil dot we found was in Bridport, Dorset, England. the measurements of the fossil was complete specimen, which messures 9.5 cm, across, on matrix The Jurassic period begins 213 million years ago and spans 69 million yam. The Jurassic Period is the second of the three Mesozoic periods. The first bird, the famous, Archaeopteryx, appears in the upper Jurassic, and mammal-like reptiles become extinct during this period. The fix contain plants such as ferns, cycads, tree km and towering conifers. The Jurassic period is named after the Jurz Mountain on the border of France and Switzerland, whom strata of this age is very well presented. The Era of the fossil was the caenozoic era.
Ammonites. Our second fossil that our group had found was the Peltoceras athleta. Peltoceras athleta was the full name of the fossil. the locality of the fossil was from Eye, Peterborough,
Northamptonshire, England. The formation was Middle Oxford Clay. the age is same as the above fossil. the Jurassic age. This fowl come from the other word ammonites. Ammonites we a well known, abundant and diverse group of extinct marine animal . Few groups of invertebrate fossils have received as much from both professional It palaeontologists and amateur collectors as the ammonites have enjoyed. During the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods the ammonites lived flourishing in the ancient am at the same time as the dinosaurs lived on land, and became suddenly and inexplicably extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period. During the Cretaceous period way such as the belemnites and the dinosaurs, also became extinct. The Cretaceous period, begins 144 million yam ago and spans 79 million years, It is the closing period of the Mesozoic an, and is also the longest period of that era. Cretaceous Period 65 million years ago and that was the end of the period.
The Devonian Period.
The Devonian period was between 410 and 360 million years ago. The fossils that have been found that are from the Devonian period were found in the Rhynie Chert in Scotland. The fossils that have been found there include Zosterophyllophytes and Trimerophytes. These are known to be the two major lines of Vascular plants and they show that before the Devonian, the first major radiation of the plants had already happened. The oldest known vascular plants in the Northern Hemisphere are, in fact, Devonian.
During the Devonian period, most of the vegetation was small plants. Of all these small plants, the largest or tallest was a towering height of 1 meter! By the time the Devonian had ended, Horsetails, ferns and seed plants had appeared, and, resulting from that, the first trees and forests. Archaeoptris, which is shown on the web page and it is also the fossil that my group did, was actually one of the first trees.
As well as the plant life that was going on during the Devonian, there were two major animal groups that colonized on the land. During the Devonian, the first tetrapods, which were also known as land-living vertebrates, came about as well as the first terrestrial arthropods, which included winged insects and the earliest spiders.
Under water, brachiopods had begun to flourish. One example of such is the picture on the web page of the shell. It was the other fossil that my group did. The scientific name for the shell is Paraspirifer bownockeri and it was found in Ohio. Crinoids and other echinoderms, tabulate, and rugose corals and ammonites were also pretty common. Also, many types of fish began to appear.
The Devonian was also a time of great change for the lands. There were generally two land masses. There was North America and Europe together in the northern hemisphere, and there was Africa, South America, Antarctica, India, and Australia together in the southern hemisphere. To the north was a portion of modern Siberia.
That pretty much wraps up all of this. During the Devonian, there were a lot of big and small changes going on. Another thing that I forgot to add was that the Devonian was a portion of the Paleozoic Era. There's not much more to say. That's it.