Our Black Friday fossil feature is the partial mandible of an unidentified horse (order Perissodactyla, family Equidae). This fossil was discovered in El Lirio Norte of the Las Cascadas Formation and is early Miocene in age. This animal was not fully grown when it died because it still has its deciduous third and fourth premolars.
This week’s Fossil Friday post features a whelk called Solenosteira dalli. This specimen was found in the Gatún Formation and is late Miocene in age. The temporal range for this species is restricted to the late Miocene and it was found on both the Caribbean and Pacific sides of Panama. This species belongs to the family Buccinidae, whose modern members use chemosensory abilities to smell and hunt prey. Solenosteira dalli was a predator and it likely used these abilities in a similar manner.
To learn more about this specimen, check out the Fossils of Panama page on it here.
This week’s Fossil Friday (the 13th) post features an anthracothere astragalus! This specimen was found in El Lirio Norte of the Las Cascadas Formation and is early Miocene in age. The astragalus is a tarsal, which is a bone found in the ankle. Astragali are very helpful in determining what kind of animal the bone might have belonged to. For example, the “double-pulley” morphology of this anthracothere astragalus is indicative of artiodactyls, so you would also be able to see this kind of morphology in the astragali of camels, deer, and other artiodactyls.
To learn more about this anthracothere, called Arretotherium meridionale, check out our previous Fossil Friday post on it here.
For this week’s Fossil Friday we have a Venus clam (family Veneridae) from the Gatún Formation, Chionopsis tegulum. This Venus clam can be found throughout the Early to Late Miocene (20 million years ago to 9 million years ago). It is only found on the Caribbean side of Panama and not on the Pacific side.
To find out more about this specimen, read the Fossils of Panama page on it here.
Former PCP PIRE geology intern Gephen Sadove and current MS student Mike Kedenburg presented their research on the thermochronology of the Azuero Peninsula of Panama. Gephen and Mike have both written about their research before – Mike wrote about his research here, and Gephen explained about how she worked to process samples for research Part One; Part Two).
Current field intern Dipa Desai presented her research from her internship at the Florissant Fossil beds this past summer. She worked with fresh water ostracods. For more about what Dipa is doing now, check out her work at FLMNH here.
Ariel Guggino presented her work today at the GSA conference in Baltimore, MD. For a behind-the-scenes look at her research, read her blog post here: Tennessee Road Trip.
Our paleobotanical researchers are in the spotlight today, with posters anchored by postdoctoral researcher Nathan Jud and former museum intern Ariel Guggino. Stop by the poster hall this afternoon to check out their work!
PCP PIRE has a large contingent here at GSA in Baltimore, MD this year. We hit the ground running with numerous poster presentations and oral presentations.
Gephen Sadove and Mike Kedenburg presented their research on the geochron of the Azuero Peninsula (see previous post). Great first day at GSA!