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 June 14th
The next meeting of the DPS will be at 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 14th at Brookhaven College Geotechnology Institute. Our speaker will be Bruno Gonçalves Augusta, a PhD student from Brazil visiting Mike Polcyn and SMU this summer. He will speak on "From land to sea: DFW coniasaurs and the early evolution of mosasaurian reptiles".
Coniasaurs are part of a family of seagoing lizards, the Dolichosauridae, which shared a common ancestor with mosasaurs. They were widely distributed, from the Tethys sea of Kazakhstan to the Western Interior Seaway from South Dakota to Texas. They were short-lived, however, having been found only in Cenomanian and Turonian strata. These small lizards were considered rare, but a discovery at DFW airport and other Texas localities have greatly increased the number of specimens. Bruno is here to study the Texas collections and compare them to specimens he has previously examined in Europe. He will present his new research into this group and their diversity, range, evolution, and paleobiology.
Bruno and Mike would love to see any possible coniasaur material from the Eagle Ford Shale. DPS member Lloyd Hill found the coniasaur jaw shown in Finsley's guidebook. Let's see if DPS members can provide the material to unlock the mysteries of this group. Even if you have just a few odd bone scraps from the Eagle Ford, please bring it. You never know just what you might have!Remember to bring a side dish, desert, chips, or salad to share, and DPS will provide a main dish. See you there!
"What's in YOUR garage?"
Paraphrasing from that iconic credit card commercial, what DO you have in your garage? Or spare room, office, workshop, barn, back yard, storage unit, or some combination of the above. Come on, admit it, you are among friends and the similarly afflicted. We love to collect, and we collect a LOT of fossils. But how organized is your collection? Is everything labeled, or at least in labeled drawers, flats, boxes, or bins? Is it catalogued?
Don't tune me out now. I know I have no right to get all preachy with you. I am terrible with this myself. But my recent experience of cleaning out my uncle's rock and mineral collection has been eye-opening. He has developed Alzheimer's, and my aunt did not share his interests in rocks. Neither can tell me anything about the materials that I uncover in their garage. So as I go through the bags, boxes, and bins, I am always grateful if I see labels. Without those, I get to identify the mystery specimen again, and I may not be correct! Some of the labels would be unintelligible if I didn't know mineral and locality names. It has been fun for me, because I share his passion for rocks and minerals, but it was a source of great confusion and concern for my aunt. Were they rare, valuable, or only interesting? Should she try to sell them (and what price would be fair), give them away to any one interested, or just throw them in the rock garden? She couldn't know, even if they were all properly labeled. A catalogue would have been useful, with notes and his opinions of the significance of the find or acquisition. I was always glad to see the price tags if it was a purchased specimen, and delighted to find receipts or business cards.
So as I pack up my uncle's collection and head for home, I have vowed to do a better job of documenting my own rocks, minerals, and unfortunately much more voluminous fossils. I have been especially bad with documenting the fossils, because they are just so darn plentiful and varied. We are blessed with lots of fossils around here, but is that my curse? I am going to have to spend some more time getting labels onto everything and creating a catalogue. I suspect that I am not alone in my need to do this. Perhaps we could share tips or form a support group. Maybe the DPS is that group.
So what's in MY garage? I'll be able to tell you after a few months of hard work. See you at the meetings, in the field, or perhaps, in the garage.
- Tom Dill, DPS President
New dinosaur fossil so well-preserved it looks like a statue
Before being assembled into something recognizable at a museum, most dinosaur fossils look to the casual observer like nothing more than common rocks. No one, however, would confuse the over 110 million-year-old nodosaur fossil for a stone.
The fossil, being unveiled today in Canada’s Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, is so well preserved it looks like a statue.
Even more surprising might be its accidental discovery, as unveiled in the June issue of National Geographic magazine.
On March 21, 2011, Shawn Funk was digging in Alberta’s Millennium Mine with a mechanical backhoe, when he hit “something much harder than the surrounding rock.” A closer look revealed something that looked like no rock Funk had ever seen, just “row after row of sandy brown disks, each ringed in gunmetal gray stone.”
For the full story click here.
A Baby Dinosaur found its Species
over Baby Louie has found his species. Watch the video 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.
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.
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: