Sunday, March 07, 2010

fossils

What's new in 2010 at Bakersfield College? Fossils! It started with a grant that we wrote to build a display for Sharktooth Hill, a Natural National Landmark that is owned by the school (little known fact). We have the main display done, below, and are now working on a map that will reside on the slanted portion inside the cabinet and informational fliers that will reside in the trays at the front.


The other thing that is fossil-related and new (is that an oxymoron?) is the Historical Geology class that I am teaching. It only took a year to get the curriculum proposed, submitted, approved, approved for General Education, approved for transfer and articulated with the local university. With that done, it got on the schedule, and then I had to actually start compiling it... Anyway, yesterday was the first official field trip for the class, and I took the opportunity to take students out to the "Trilobite Wilderness" south of the Mojave Desert National Preserve. There one mostly finds cephalons (heads) of Olenellus mojavensis (aka: Bristolia mohavensis), the species of Cambrian (about 530 million years old) trilobite that is named for this "type locality". But, yesterday, a couple of sharp-eyed students found perfectly complete specimens (the photo below) and several more found almost complete bodies as well. No one left without at least a cephalon. I was quite astounded actually!

Hmmm, now that I look at this photo, I think they might be Olenellus clarki rather than mojavensis. Not sure. Not a paleontologist...

1 comment:

Kilometres said...

You can take the fossils home?