Happy New Year TBFC, welcome to 2017! With December behind us TBFC’s 2016-2017 season is already half way through. The New Year brings TBFC’s busiest four months of the season. In the next 120 days we’ll need to get in four more meetings, eight or more field trips, and the largest “paleo” show in the southeast, FossilFest 2017. As soon as we close the doors to FossilFest, we’ll begin loading up for the Peace River Adventure, TBFC’s largest field trip of the year. With the help of the Officers, Directors, and good folks like you, everything will be accomplished and we’ll have a great time doing it.
Grab a Dino By the Tale
On the cover this month is the unbelievable find of a baby dinosaur’s tail perfectly preserved in amber. Most of the paleo world already agrees that some dinosaurs had feathers, and evolved into birds, but this is the first time that scientists can clearly associate feathers to a dinosaur. This discovery could have been lost to a commercial jewelry trade had it not been for a scientist in Myanmar who searched an amber market for the find. Dealers thought it was simply a piece of plant material preserved in the amber, so the specimen was on route to be carved and polished for jewelry. He also found two other specimens that preserved partial dinosaur era bird wings.
Media reports the specimen is a “find of a lifetime”. Is it the most importan fossil found in our lifetime? Maybe… I know it has been a great conversation starter for folks that normally have little, or no interest, in paleontology. I have someone asking about the dino-tail almost every day since it was found. I’m glad the find happened in my lifetime. (I hope the cover photo does the specimen justice in a black and white print.)
January 7th Meeting
Here’s another reminder: TBFC’s January 7th meeting will again be in room, CWY107, which is in the C. W. Bill Young Hall which is almost right across the street from where we have been meeting for many years in th Behavioral Science Building. Look for signs directing you into the C. W. Bill Young Hall parking lot, or, just park where you always have and walk across the street.
Joshua Slattery is a PhD student in the School of Geosciences at the University of South Florida working under the direction of Dr. Harries and Dr. Paul Wetmore. Joshua was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming and received a BS in Geology and a minor in Zoology from the University of Wyoming. He became interested in geology and paleontology during middle school when he began to actively collect fossils from the stratigraphi sections in southeastern Wyoming and northern Colorado. During his time in college, he developed a passion for investigating the stratigraphy, biological diversity, and paleobiology of Upper Cretaceous macroinvertebrate faunas in North America. After graduating from college, he spent one year working for Uinta Paleontological Associates, Inc. of Vernal, Utah, as a paleontologists monitoring sites (e.g., gas and petroleum pipelines, coal mines) in Wyoming and Colorado for paleontological resources endangered by development. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of South Florida working on an NSF-funded project that is examining the influence icehouse and greenhouse climatic modes have on evolutionary patterns of ammonites and bivalves in contrasting depositional settings (e.g., foreland basin vs. passive margin). In addition to this research, he is also interested in paleoecology, stratigraphic paleobiology, sequence stratigraphy, ammonites, inoceramid bivalves, the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway and Gulf of Mexico, and shell-bed taphonomy. In addition to his interest, he has also partaken in geological and paleontological field work in Florida, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Minnesota, Kansas, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Denmark, and Colombia.
Jurassic Park in the Dark, Again!
A TBFC Movie Event
January 21, 2017
What would be better than spending a beautiful Florida evening outside watching the 2015 sequel Jurassic World on a big screen? TBFC has a nice PowerPoint projector and January is certainly a great time of year to spend some time outdoors cuddled up under a blanket with your favorite “paleo” person. We tried this several times and the Jurassic Park in the Dark movie event has been a huge success. Nearly 50 people have showed up to enjoy the movie and spend some time with other fossil friends.
Bring along some yard chairs or blankets and your own cooler of drinks and snacks, or Thermos full of hot cocoa. Arrive at 6PM to claim your spot and we’ll get the movie started @ 6:30PM. My address is 2407 Tangerine Hill Court, Lutz, FL 33549. This is a free TBFC event, so bring the whole family, and the neighbors. Don’t miss it!