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.

The next meeting will be held on February 8th.

Echinoids Everywhere!

or "Why do I have to be molested by these SEA URCHINS?" (from the great Bill Murray movie, Scrooged)

The next meeting of the Dallas Paleo Society will be at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, February 8th, at our usual venue, Brookhaven College Geotechnology Institute (Building H at Brookhaven College).  Our speaker will be Bill Thompson who will speak about his new book "Fossil Echinoids of Texas".  Bill began collecting fossils in Austin in 1971, attended UT from 1972-1975, worked in the restaurant business for 35 years, and then opened his own cafe in Seguin called Dixie Grille.  Bill has spent the last two years working on this book, a photographic catalog of all currently known fossil echinoids from Texas (237 species).  Bill photographed 106 type specimens from various museums, including the Smithsonian.  For species with no type specimen unavailable, he photographed specimens in many private collections, including the Frank Crane Collection and the collections of DPS members Frank Holterhoff and Linda Farish.  Bill will have copies of his book available for sale at the meeting.  Come see the amazing diversity of echinoids from Texas and try to identify your specimens!  As always, everyone is welcome to bring their finds (any fossils, not just echinoids) for show and tell, bragging, or identification help.  Members are encouraged to bring salads, side dishes, snacks, chips, and deserts to round out the main course that DPS will provide.  Come hungry and eager to learn and share!

The February meeting for the DPS will be held at 7:30pm on February 8th at Brookhaven College, Building H, Ellison Miles Geotechnology Institute, 3939 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch, TX  75244. 


A message from the President

THANKS (an awards ceremony speech)I want to thank my agent…  

 Actually, I want to take this opportunity to recognize and thank all the leaders of the DPS, starting with last-year's officers:  President Lee Higginbotham, Vice-President Polly Mullinnex, Secretary Mark Randall, Treasurer Alycia Peavy, and Newsletter Editor Judah Epstein.  They have done a great job steering the DPS through a year of many changes.  We began paying an hourly rate for our meetings at Brookhaven, rather than giving an honorarium at the end of the year, and we were required to obtain business insurance to rent the facility.  But that may be a good thing, since we may be able to get into more fossil sites now that we carry insurance.  We could not hold our December auction at Brookhaven because it is considered a commercial activity, so the board and committee chairs lined up the Spring Lake Event Center for our auction and Christmas party, and we will continue to hold these events there if we can.

The new board is looking forward to an exciting year.  Shauna Young is our Vice-President, and right now she is busy lining up volunteers to lead the PIT crew.  David Swann is our new Treasurer, and he reports that our balance sheet is strong.  Ming and Jordan Lee will act as Secretary together, helping to remind me what was decided at our meetings!  Judah is continuing his second year as newsletter editor, and he encourages everyone to submit items for the newsletter.  It could be a book review, an item of paleo-news, a photo of your new fossil find, opinion of a museum you visited, or a report of a unique fossil-related trip.  Even longer articles are welcome.  If we can't fit them in the newsletter we can post them on the web site.

Webmaster Rodney Wise continued to improve our new web site, which handles our membership database, makes online renewals easy, and now offers online sales.  Have you checked out your members area?  You get access to the members directory, recent (as well as the first) editions of the Fossil Record (more coming soon), and presentation files of some of the talks (more to come).  You can add a photo of yourself into the membership directory, which will help us all get to know one another.  We will have a short demo of the process at the next meeting.  You can even post your own photo albums in your member area.

Polly Mullinnex is continuing arranging field trips for the new year.  I will continue arranging our speakers, but am anxious to hand over that responsibility to a new volunteer.  Gary Turner has volunteered to help Rodney with the website, and is rapidly getting up to speed with its operation.  Judi Alstatt and Samuel Miller have retired from the Hospitality committee, so we need volunteers.  If you like to choose your food and beverages this might be a job for you!  The DPS will purchase the main courses and the drinks, but members are still asked to bring salads, side dishes, salads, chips, snacks, and deserts.  Bob Williams has stepped back from the Promotions Chair due to back issues (we told him not to climb on that chair).  The job will be divided, with one volunteer to coordinate each show.  As mentioned above, we are seeking leaders for the PIT crew as Ty Morgan has stepped down.  Roland Gooch is continuing as Scholarships Chair, and is receiving applications right now.  Virginia Friedmancontinues as our Historian, and Kathryn Zornig continues as Membership Chair.  Our advisor Roger Farish will be marketing our fossil collecting book, and advisor Rocky Manning will continue to coordinate the Fossil Bureau of Investigation, excavating significant fossils in the area for museums.

If you see any of the above people, or any of the past board, committee chairs, and advisors, tell them thanks for their service.  They, along with an active and friendly membership, make the DPS great!  And please consider volunteering.  Just contact any of the leaders and let us know how you want to help.

- Tom Dill, DPS President

Bob Williams receives the 2016 Dallas Paleontological Society Presidential Award

Bob Williams received the 2016 Dallas Paleontological Society Presidential Award from Lee Higginbotham for being "Fossil Bob" and for doing all of the things that make him "Fossil Bob."  Besides giving uncredited talks to a number of smaller groups and libraries near his hometown of Valley View,  Bob manages smaller field trips for small groups to certain creeks for some of our out of town visitors. Bob was the DPS rep in charge for 2015 and 2016 FOSSILMANIA, in Glen Rose.  Bob, along with some other members, helped two groups of professional paleontologists with the collection of Pennsylvanian fossils this fall.  Paleontologists from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee in North Carolina and from Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany are grateful for his assistance along with significant others from DPS.  Bob has made displays for DPS which we use as part of our outreach via Promotions.  Bob is one more of our unsung heroes.

Adult fieldtrip: Martin Marietta Quarry (TXI), 245 Ward Road, Midlothian TX.

Attendance will be limited in number so you must sign up for this field trip. You must also be a member of DPS and 16 years or older unless the trip does not meet its quota. Meet in the quarry at the first parking lot on the left as you enter BEFORE 8:00 am so we can sign the ‘no harm agreements’. This is the ATCO contact between the Eagle Ford Shale and the Austin Chalk (Cretaceous period) Target finds are marine vertebrate: Cretodus, Ptychodus, Squalicorax and other shark teeth. Other possibilities include occasional mosasaur, turtle and fish material. I would like to remind everyone to wear closed toe shoes (ankle high boots are best). You will also need a rock hammer, hard hat (quarry will supply one if you don’t have one) and collection bags (plastic bags are fine). Contact Polly Mullinnex, fieldtrip leader at click here or 903 916-0083. 

Directions: 67 south towards Midlothian. Continue on 67 pass the Midlothian exits passing under Hwy 287 take Ward Road exit, follow feeder road, make left under 67, cross RR track. You are there, parking lot is on your left.

Blackcat Mountain at Clarita Oklahoma on March 11th, 9:00 am

The trip is limited to members of DPS

This trip is to the famous Blackcat Mountain Trilobite quarry, most if not all of your finds will be surface. You should bring a rock hammer/mallot (I have a few loaners if you don’t have these tools) and a 5 gallon bucket, or other method of conveyance, since your finds will most likely be embedded in chunks of matrix. A chisel can come in handy. Please wear proper footwear since the terrain is very rough. 

Spaces are limited so you must sign up for this trip. We will meet at the Post Office on Main Street in Clarita at 9 am. On our last visit Bob let us stay until mid afternoon. So (just in case) bring liquids and food/snacks of your choosing. We give Bob $10 A HEAD please bring cash. He also has a very nice shop where you can buy his book or trilobites he has quarried and prepped from the quarry. 

Now for the important stuff: Snakes are a real threat so I am asking you all to hunt with caution. You will be hunting literally, a very large pile of rock, Use your hammers to flip rocks, NOT YOUR HANDS. in fact if you have a garden tool, or the like, with a longer handle and that would make you feel more comfortable please bring it. Also use your hammer to ‘ring’ the slabs of rock. Often this will cause a rattler to issue a warning. As fossil hunters we are all familiar with this nemesis so don’t be afraid, be aware, be cautious. THIS IS NOT A TRIP FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. Contact information click here, cell number: 903 916-0083 bring this number with you. 

Directions: Take Hwy 75 North, exit OK48/78 take left follow 48 North. North of Wapanucka (about 5 miles ? ) turn left on 1750 turn right on 3795 into ‘downtown’ Clarita. Meet at the post office. Please be on time. Clarita is just over 2 1/2 hours north of Dallas. Bob’s shop is 1/2 block from post office.

Xiphactinus Set Free

Our own Rocky Manning, with help from many others, has been extracting a Xiphactinus, found just west of the Lewisville dam.  Rocky will be writing a report for the newsletter and website with full details shortly, but here are a few photos.  


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).


Dinosaurs Live at the Heard Museum Sept 17th - Feb 19th

Encounter the 46-foot T-Rex and nine new life-size animatronic dinosaurs along the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary’s nature trails at the 11th annual Dinosaurs Live! Life-size Animatronic Dinosaurs exhibit. The exhibit always gives families and friends a fun, educational activity to enjoy together. Don’t forget it also provides a unique family outing during the holidays! See the dinosaurs move and hear them roar! Photo op and play area dinosaurs will be available as well. The dinosaur trail is jogging stroller friendly. Click here for important tips and visitor guidelines. Additional information coming soon.

Life Size Animatronic Dinosaurs


Aurora Fossil Museum

The Aurora Fossil Museum in Aurora North Carolina, is a nonprofit science education resource center. Their mission is to increase knowledge of the geology, paleontology, and prehistory of coastal North Carolina in an engaging and enjoyable manner. They accomplish this mission through exhibits, interactive inquiry-based activities, outreach programs, events, field studies, and involvement in the annual Fossil Festival held on Memorial Day weekend.

Directly across the street from the main museum is their Fossil Park, which contains their own fossil pits, affectionately dubbed the "Pits of the Pungo". These pits, consisting of fossiliferous material donated by the neighboring PotashCorp-Aurora plant, offer visitors the opportunity to search and discover their very own Miocene age fossils! In these fossiliferous pits, one may discover the remains of ancient sharks, whales, bony fish, and coral just to name a few. Spend the day being a Paleontologist! Bring a garden trowel, sifter, plastic bags, and take home a piece of the past!

If you can’t make the trip, then check out their online shop. You can purchase matrix that they will ship to your doorstep. If you tell them that you don’t need the plastic buckets, then the price is only $11 and is put into a gallon plastic bag. To make sure that the customer is not disappointed, they “enhance” the matrix by adding many fossils. I purchased two bags and had hours of fun picking out many nice shark teeth, vertebrae, puffer fish plates, dolphin teeth, and many microfossils. They don’t, however, guarantee that every bag will have all that were in mine.

Click here for their website or give them a call at 252-322-4238 if you have any questions. http://aurorafossilmuseum.org/

Arlington Archosaur Site Now with Perot Museum

The Arlington Archosaur Site is now fully integrated into the Perot Museum volunteer system. All digs will be organized through the museum, and overseen by Dr. Noto and trained museum staff from the Paleo Lab. In order to become a dig volunteer at the AAS you will need to submit an application through the museum website (http://www.perotmuseum.org/about-the-perot/Volunteer/index.html). Eventually there will be a separate application for the AAS, but for now make sure to add "AAS fossil dig volunteer" in the notes section at the bottom of the application. You will also need to pass a background check and submit a resume. These materials will be reviewed in 1-2 weeks and if space is available you will be invited to attend a 1.5 hour onboarding/orientation session at the museum. These steps are all required before anyone may participate in a dig. If you are currently a Perot volunteer contact the Volunteer Services office about attending one of the onboarding sessions. If you have any questions, please contact the volunteer office at volunteers@perotmuseum.org

New "Documents and Resources" page.

We now have a "Documents and Resources" page on our website for members who need to see past presentations or want information the society has collected. As we get documents of interest we will post them to the page. We already have 5 postings including the presentation from last months meeting when Bill Morgan spoke on Texas Cretaceous Echinoids.  Check out the page by clicking the Documents and Resources link under the "Members Only Content" under the "Home" button, or Click Here.

Buy DPS Books Online

You can now buy books from the DPS online by clicking the "Store" button on the navigation bar at the top of this page.  If you buy online, and we ship the books to your home, you will have a shipping charge and tax.  If you buy the book at a meeting, you will not have to pay the shipping fee or tax.  Check out this new service.

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.                                       

A Good Read

The January 2017 issue of Scientific American has an excellent article on the evolution of birds. Titled "Taking Wing," it discusses how Paleontologists are taking advantage of the many new fossil discoveries of feathered dinosaurs from China and elsewhere to reconstruct how the bird body has evolved.  

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.


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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The Dallas Paleontological Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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