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17 February 2016

3D virtual sample of gastropod-rich Reynolds Limestone

Check this out: It’s a sample of the Reynolds Limestone, a member of the Mississippian-aged Mauch Chunk Formation, chock full of gastropod fossils. The image here is a 3D model made with Agisoft PhotoScan, a 3D model rendering program. The only input was a series of ~32 photos taken of the sample at various angles and orientations. Alan Pitts then posted it to his Sketchfab account, a place for displaying …

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12 September 2015

New GigaPans from Team M.A.G.I.C.

Hampshire Formation outcrops on Corridor H, West Virginia: link (Marissa Dudek) link (Callan Bentley) Faults in the Tonoloway Formation, Corridor H, West Virginia: link (Marissa Dudek) Conococheague Formation, showing stromatolites and cross-bedding: link (Callan Bentley) link (Jeffrey Rollins) Tiny folds and faults, from a sample I collected somewhere, sometime… oh well, it’s cool regardless: link (Robin Rohrback) Fern fossil in Llewellyn Formation, St. Clair, Pennsylvania: link (Robin Rohrback) Cross-bedding in …

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14 April 2015

Compare and contrast: Two Chesapectens

Two new GIGAmacro images of fossil scallops from Virginia’s Coastal Plain – Chesapecten nefrens: link Chesapecten jeffersonius: link My vision is to get the opposite side of each of these samples as well as a half-dozen other species in this genus, perhaps even multiple individual specimens of each species, to allow students to do a lab where they plot morphological changes over geologic time as an example of what the …

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5 March 2014

Oriskany Formation quartz arenite and its fossils, Corridor H

Today, a few more photos from the field trip last month to Corridor H, the fine new superhighway with so little traffic out in eastern West Virginia. Our antepenultimate stop of the day was at an outcrop we inferred should hold the Oriskany Sandstone, a Devonian quartz arenite that lies stratigraphically above the Helderberg Group limestones and below the Needmore Shale. We were using Lynn Fichter’s indispensible stratigraphic column for …

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17 February 2014

A marine incursion in the Hampshire Formation?

I went out last Tuesday to Corridor H, the exemplary new highway cutting through the Valley and Ridge province of eastern West Virginia. Joining me was former student Alan Pitts, a devotee of Corridor H from way back in the early days when we just called it “New Route 55.” The boondoggle highway is now open all the way west to the Allegheny Front, practically into the Canaan Valley.¬†On Tuesday, …

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12 February 2014

Fossil clams at Devil’s Coulee, Alberta

At the eroded gully known as Devil’s Coulee in Alberta, you can find armored mudballs, dinosaur fossils (including eggshell), and even marine clams at higher levels in the sequence. Check out these lovely beasts: They lived and died on the western shore of the Western Interior Seaway during the Cretaceous period of geologic time. My Canadian Rockies field geology students visited this site in 2012. I’m taking students back again …

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21 November 2013

Giant oyster fossil (?) from Ecuador

My mother-in-law collected a cool oyster for me: She found it down in Ecuador; I think on the beach. She says it’s a fossil, but I haven’t been able to identify it at all, as either ancient or modern. Anyone know?

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2 May 2013

A coiled nautiloid, namesake of a vintage

Callan and his family visit a Virginia winery that features tasty libations and chunky nautiloid fossils, both products of the same local geology…

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16 August 2012

Bearpaw bivalves

Cretaceous clams from the final big transgression of the Western Interior Seaway, the “Bearpaw Sea”: We saw these last month at Devil’s Coulee in southern Alberta. They’re big!

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9 January 2012

‘Bugs’ I saw in South Africa

Here is a collection of creepy-crawlies I saw in South Africa: Big grasshopper/katydid orthopteran: Another big orthopteran (“locust”?), obviously beefier than the previous one: Beach roach (Blattodea): Mating true bugs (hemipterans): Here’s a big snail, too: And best of all? This solpugid! Solpugids are arachnids, but they are not spiders. Along with vinegaroons, scorpions, pseudoscorpions, tailless whip-scorpions, ticks and harvestmen (“daddy-longlegs”), solpugids roam the world as effective predators but I’ve …

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