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.
Regular November DPS Meeting
The next meeting of the DPS will be at 7:00 PM (still 30 minutes earlier than the old days) on Wednesday, November 14th, at the Brookhaven College Geotechnology Institute (Building H) of Brookhaven College (3939 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch). The main program will be presented by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, post-doctoral research associate at Baylor University. He will speak on "The Origin and Palaeozoic Evolution of Sea Urchins (Echinoids)".
Jeff graduated from Ohio State University in 2013, including research on Mississippian and Devonian crinoids under Dr. Bill Ausich. He then earned his PhD in 2018 from the University of Southern California, with his dissertation on the diversification of sea urchins supervised by Dr. David Bottjer. Jeffrey reached out to the DPS and met with our Finis Shale study group, examining their echinoid finds. In January, Jeffrey will be traveling to Oxford University Museum for a visiting research fellowship, which perhaps explains his British spelling of Palaeozoic in his title!
North Texas has a lot of echinoid evolution on display. We often find isolated plates of echinoids at Pennsylvanian sites such as Mineral Wells and Jacksboro, and whole echinoids by the bucketload at our Oliver Creek locality near Justin and many other Lower Cretaceous sites. Jeff will help us understand our Paleozoic echinoids a little better.
Our meetings are free and open to all. The DPS provides a main course, and members are encouraged to bring sides, salads, and deserts to share. Everyone is welcome to bring fossils for identification help, if needed, or just to show and tell. Please bring fossil and fossil-related items that you wish to donate for the December auction. We hope to see you there!
Ash Grove Cement Quarry-Wrap-up
Persistence is what paid off for Field Trip Chair Steve Schliesing to this 30-seat field trip. After record-setting rainfall in October and two previous trip cancellations, Steve and the most accommodating Ash Grove (Coordinator), Francisco, we finally made the field trip. Francisco had indicated that no one had collected the quarry in over a year so expectations were maxed out.
Historically, the Ash Grove Quarry (formerly Gifford Hill) had been a splendid site to collect shark teeth and associated fossils. You could pull up to the parking lot, push the button on the call box and request to get into the quarry to hunt fossils and the gate would immediately slide open for unlimited access. Then came ‘enhanced’ insurance regulations and we lost that privilege AND within a week two plant employees were killed on the job due to these new constraints.
So, on Saturday we drove into the dry-enough-to-enter quarry to an area we had not collected before – one that had never exposed our target ‘Contact’ Zone. Only one area, the farthest from our parking area, was discovered to have some desired exposure, but we were on our way back to our cars. Francisco had granted us permission to cross and led us under the working conveyor belt system to access the previously wonderful collecting areas we had known in the past.
Unfortunately, the quarry doesn’t use their shale pit anymore so it was totally flooded and the wonderfully productive spoil piles were now safely under vegetation. So, we decided to return to the contact material discovered in the original area.
WALLAH. Once the hike around several acre-size lakes, everyone started finding shark teeth. So, yanking victory from the jaws of defeat, most everyone came away happy. Steve found a perfect Mosasaur tooth and several people found Ptychodus mortoni whereas most found P. whipplei . Kelly Forrest whacked open a chunk of Austin Chalk only to find a complete, 15 inch-long bony fish (see photo). Roger found one of the largest Cretodus crassidens (63mm) ever discovered in the Midlothian quarries – right at 2 ½ inches on the diagonal. A rare symphysial tooth was also discovered. Linda found 5 Ptychodus with one being a P. latissimus. (see photo).
Thanks to Steve for his persistence, and to Linda Farish, our website manager (which included hours of trip reservation management), who eventually produced a good outing list of Registrants. Unfortunately, there were 3 Registered no-shows, which was extremely rude in that we had a waiting list of people wanting to go who didn’t get to.
Photos from Field Trips 2018
Ash Grove Cement Quarry November 3
Fossil Bits and Pieces
Sea Monsters exhibit to open at the Smithsonian Museum this week! Follow the link below for more exciting information on this locally crafted exhibit!
The Dallas Paleontological Society has news from a recent Nebraska field trip led by Polly Mullinnex to hunt fossils on a private ranch in the badlands of the northern part of the state. This newspaper story is about an Oklahoma couple who went on her trip and came away with some incredible fossils. Here is a link to the story:
Check here for a list of the remaining Fossil Shows (also Gem and Mineral) for 2018:
Have you ever wondered what the earth looks like underground from Denton west to Bridgeport? How about further west then east, Jacksboro to Bridgeport? Jim Flis has made stratigraphic cross sections of those areas for local science teachers and for members of our Society. Here is a picture of each:
Bridgeport to Denton
Jacksboro to Bridgeport
About Us and Our Monthly Meetings
The Dallas Paleontological Society normally meets the second Wednesday of every month at 7:00 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.
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.
Dino Days At the Perot Museum
The Perot Museum has on-going activities and exhibits based on the Dino Days event held over Labor Day weekend. These will continue through January 6, 2019. The Museum presented a new permanent exhibit called Paleo Lab which offers a look into what is required to prepare fossils from a dig site to exhibition of a specimen. You can learn more about the exhibits at perotmuseum.org
Whiteside Museum Trip
A FIELD TRIP TO THE WHITESIDE MUSEUM.PDF
See photos and exhibits at this new museum in Seymour, Texas
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).
DPS Officers for 2018
The results of the election of officers for 2018 are:
(from left to right)
Vice President: Judi Altstatt
Secretary: Ming and Jordan Lee
President: Tom Dill
(Rocky Manning: Advisor )
Treasurer: Pam Lowers
Fossil Record Editor: Estee Easley