Welcome to the Dallas Paleo Website

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.

Next Meeting: Mike Polcyn from SMU

The next meeting of the Dallas Paleo Society will be on Wednesday, June 8th at 7:30 pm at Brookhaven College, Building H.  Our featured speaker will be Mike Polcyn, from SMU.  


           Location of Brookhaven                                         College Map of Campus

         Click Here for Enlarged Map                                 Click Here for Enlarged Map

Denton Canoe Trip was Great!

Denton Creek Canoe Trip – Wrap-up  5/21/16

By Roger Farish

Last Saturday 22 brave souls were hungry enough for fossils and adventure that we ‘took the plunge’ – some literally. We had 14 in rented canoes and 8 kayakers. We entered the creek at Hwy. 407 just east of Justin at a water level higher than we had attempted in the past. The creek initially was not very friendly as two canoes flipped within the first hundred yards. Fortunately, the group was fit enough that we managed to paddle and collect the 5-mile stretch of Lower Cretaceous, Upper Albian exposures without serious injury although most participants managed to get ‘baptized’ somewhere along the way.

Members came from as far away as Houston and San Antonio to collect memories and ammonites with Jim Parker taking out the largest ammonite, a Pervinquieria, I believe see photo. Nothing unexpected turned up this year, but the usual Upper Washita sequence of fauna were available – notably Macraster, Hemiaster and Holaster (both high and low phases) echinoids and ammonites Pervinquieria and probably Mortoniceras. Tony Ithica found the most perfect Macraster at the take-out point.

Although everyone helped along the way, special thanks go to the rescuers David Hill, Judah Epstein, Rocky Manning and Bob Wagner. Thanks also to David Hill who not only picked up the canoes and lugged them up to us, but also for bringing the watermelons. For more photos click here.

Coming in June from our friend Bill Morgan

Coming June 2016 Collector’s Guide to Texas Cretaceous Echinoids provides Texas Cretaceous Echinoid enthusiasts the tools to identify and understand these abundant rich fossils.

With much of the scientific literature decades old, Collector's Guide to Texas Cretaceous Echinoids will be of interest to the beginner or advanced collector as well as the new student of invertebrate paleontology who seeks detailed and up-to-date insight into the morphology, classification, and identification of Cretaceous age echinoids. The abundance, quality of preservation, and aesthetic ornamentation of these fossils make them widely sought after by collectors and paleontologists alike.

Readers are given a brief description of the climatic events believed responsible for the formation of these marine deposits followed by an introduction to the morphology and biology of echinoids including the unique features which separate regular from irregular forms.  

Key features:

  • ·       More than 350 high-quality color photographs, many featuring major profiles of each species
  • ·       Glossary of key terms; new terms are bolded in text and brief definitions provided in first appearance
  • ·       Extensive bibliography provided for those seeking deeper research

About the Author: William W. Morgan holds a PhD in anatomy and physiology from Indiana University in Bloomington. For forty years he was a neuroscientist and a teacher in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where he was a professor from 1981 until his retirement in 2011. Morgan is the author of Collector's Guide to Crawfordsville Crinoids.

Arriving in bookstores June 2016--Preorder your copy today at http://www.schifferbooks.com or call 1-610-573-1777 to speak to a customer service representative.

Over 20 Attend Gore, Ok Field Trip

The field trip to Gore, Ok and Lequire, Ok was attended by about 20 from the DPS.  Thanks to Polly for arranging our trip with the land owners.  Almost everyone came home with blastoids, crinoids and fossilized coral from the quarry in Gore.  The location is an old quarry just outside Gore and provides a great venue to collect.

We then proceeded to Lequire, OK to a road cut that is filled with plant fossils.  Ferns and tree trunks are abundant. 

Here are some photos of what we found. 

In Gore, OK, Blastoids, Gastropods, Coral, and Brachipods :

In Lequire, OK plants, ferns and calamites:

All had a wonderful time.  Join us on our next trip.

1.5 billion-year-old fossils reveal organisms of unusual size

From http://arstechnica.com/science 

Possibly related to algae, these simple critters grew as long as 30 centimeters.

by  Scott K. Johnson -  May 24, 2016 12:20pm CDT

The Cambrian “explosion” of life around 540 million years ago is one heck of a story, in which a huge variety of animal body plans first appear in the fossil record. But the harder we look, the more interesting and incredible the Cambrian prequels become. Now, there's a report of organisms big enough to be easily visible yet dating back to more than 1.5 billion years ago.

The fuse to the Cambrian bomb was quite long and, at the very least, had some firecrackers tied to it. Single-celled eukaryotes, organisms with a nucleus and other complex internal structures, joined the bacteria and archaea around 1.5 billion years before the Cambrian. About 60 million years before the start of the Cambrian, a considerable batch of complex organisms appeared, although their relationships to Cambrian life are contentious.

The history of multi-cellular eukaryotes in between is hard to piece together, as extraordinary luck is needed to preserve evidence of their soft cell bodies for us to find. We have a couple examples of tiny multi-cellular organisms that may have been eukaryotes, but a new discovery from a team led by Shixing Zhu of the China Geological survey adds a big one to the family. The long, flat fossils they found in 1.56 billion-year-old rocks were up to a whopping 30 centimeters long and 8 centimeters wide.

The fossils were found in shale rock in southern China. The rock is made from muds deposited just offshore in an ancient ocean. The researchers found 53 specimens that could be categorized into four consistent shapes—all pretty much variations of a necktie. Some were shaped like long tongues, some had squared-off ends, and some were closer to skinny wedges. We're often unsure if some enigmatic shapes in rocks this old are fossil imprints or just ripped up flakes of mud, but the consistency of the shapes in this case avoids that ambiguity.

Dissolving some of the rock, the researchers recovered patches of cells connected in sheets that allow closer inspection. As you’d hope, there was definitely organic carbon present. There was no sign of any organization of cells into specialized types, although the tongue-shaped fossils sported visible lines of some kind running from one end to the other. Some of the fossils also showed hints of what may have been “holdfasts”—anchors that seafloor organisms use to attach themselves to the bottom.

Enlarge / Partial sheets of cells extracted from the rock.

Maoyan Zhu

Based on similarities with algae, the researchers guess that these organisms were probably photosynthetic. That idea would fit with some estimates of when red and green algae evolved photosynthesis, but other estimates disagree, so the situation is murky. The fossils could fall within the algae family tree, or they could be something else that simply disappeared. Whatever they were, they look to have been large eukaryotes, which pushes back the timeline for the appearance of that sort of life.

The researchers write, “Continuing research promises new insights into marine ecosystems in the low oxygen world caricatured misleadingly as a ‘boring billion’ year interval of evolutionary as well as environmental stability.”

Nature Communications, 2016. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11500  (About DOIs).

Be the Dinosaur

Step into the world of 65 million+ years ago and "Be the DinosaurTM" in Grapevine from June 3 - September 18 in the Grand Gallery.

"Be the DinosaurTM" is a groundbreaking fusion of state-of-the-art video game technology and traditional exhibits, featuring full-size dinosaur bones, a paleontology field station, a Safari Jeep and more. Visitors of all ages can enter into the largest and most complex restoration of an extinct ecosystem ever created.

Visitors will be able to see a complex and far-reaching restoration of dinosaurs that include some amazing features. 

For More Info Click Here

DPS now has a YouTube Channel

Go Here and click on the Youtube channel and then subscribe to see all the videos we post on Youtube.  Thanks to Kathryn Zornig who is now handling our social media.

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.


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).


Questions For DPS?

If You have any questions about the Dallas Paleo Society feel free to:

Contact Us 

Hot Line 


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.

Arlington Archosaur Site raising funds

The Arlington Archosaur Site is running a small crowdfunding campaign to raise money to support scientific work at the site over the summer. DPS members have been instrumental to these discoveries since the AAS was found and we appreciate your help in continuing the excavation and study of this unique locality. The campaign will run until May 10 and we are part of a paleontology challenge group, with rewards going to projects with the most supporters, so donations of every amount help us reach this goal! We are already off to a strong start and I would like to keep this momentum going!

 Please follow this link to donate: https://experiment.com/projects/the-arlington-archosaur-site-a-unique-cretaceous-ecosystem-and-urban-fossil-dig

If you want to get more involved with the AAS we are looking for new dig volunteers. Please email arlingtonarchosaursite@gmail.com for more information if you are interested.

 Dr. Chris Noto, Director, AAS

SVP 2016 October 26-29 In Salt Lake City

FOSSIL Project plans Webinars

Hello!  The FOSSIL Project, in partnership with the iDigBio Project and other organizations, is planning a series of free online webinars aimed at the amateur and professional paleontological communities.  This will be a monthly series, starting Summer 2016.  Webinars are online learning sessions led by a presenter with real-time input from participants.  Each webinar would be (no more than) an hour long, optimally with half of the time devoted to a lead presentation followed by questions and discussion.  We will likely use Adobe Connect™ to deliver the webinars; these will be recorded, archived, and freely available for non-commercial uses.  The webinars would be promoted broadly and open to anyone interested.  There would be no cost for attending, and participants could pick and choose which webinars they attend - or watch archived versions.  Participants would be expected to provide feedback about the webinars via an e-survey at the end of each session.

We need your help!  We want to make sure that the webinar series covers material that reflects the community’s desires.  To ensure this, we have created a survey.  Please complete the survey by May 10, 2016 (use link below for access).  The more responses we get, the better, so please forward this message to any interested folks you know.


Thank you for your help and suggestions as we prepare for this webinar series!  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


Eleanor E. Gardner, M.S. , FOSSIL Project Coordinator

Florida Museum of Natural History

Upcoming events

Who we are

The DPS is a group of professional and amateur paleontologists that want to exchange information, interact, and continue their education in paleontology.  We meet once a month on the second Wednesday evening of the month at Brookhaven College, Building H.

What we do

If you have a question, if you have a fossil that you cannot identify, or need a site investigation, contact the Fossil Bureau of Investigation for help.

Contact Us at 817-355-4693


Why join us

We have fun.

We learn stuff.

We go cool places.

We find interesting things.

We make new friends.

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