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First Nation Shell Middens And True Oysters

One of the now rare species of oysters in the Pacific Northwest is the Olympia oyster, Ostrea lurida...

Zenaspis: Lower Devonian Bony Fish Of Podolia, Ukraine

A Devonian bony fish mortality plate showing a lower shield of Zenaspis podolica (Lankester, 1869)...

Oil in Water Beauty: Euhoplites of Folkstone

Sheer beauty — a beautiful Euhoplites ammonite from Folkstone, UK. These lovelies have a pleasing...

Carnotaurus sastrei: Flesh Eating Bull

Carnotaurus sastrei, a genus of large theropod dinosaurs that roamed the southern tip of Argentina...

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Musings in Natural History—meant to captivate, educate and inspire.
Palaeontology & Life Sciences—History & Indigenous Culture

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We can trace the lineage of barnacles back to the Middle Cambrian. That is half a billion years of data to sift through. 

If you divide that timeline in half yet again, we begin to understand barnacles and their relationship to other sea-dwelling creatures — with a lens that reveals ancient migration patterns.

Barnacles are in the infraclass Cirripedia in the class Maxillopoda. They are marine arthropods related to crabs and lobsters. 
These delightfully friendly and super smart fellows are Dall's porpoise. Porpoise are marine mammals who live in our world's oceans and breathe air at the surface, similar to humans. They have lungs, inhaling and exhaling through a blowhole at the top of their heads instead of through their snouts.

In the Kwak̓wala language of the Kwakiutl or Kwakwaka'wakw, speakers of Kwak'wala, of the Pacific Northwest, a blowhole is known as a ka̱'was, whether on a dolphin (porpoise) or whale and a porpoise is known as a k̓ulut̕a

The East Kootenay region on the south-eastern edge of British Columbia is a land of colossal mountains against a clear blue sky.

That is not strictly true, of course, as this area does see its fair share of rain and temperature extremes — but visiting in the summer every view is a postcard of mountainous terrain.

Rocks from deep within the Earth's crust underlie the entire East Kootenay region and are commonly exposed in the areas majestic mountain peaks, craggy rocky cliffs, glaciated river canyons, and in rock cuts along the highways.

Ice Age sediments, deposited during the Ice Ages, form a widespread blanket that covers much of the underlying rock.

fossil bird The Fossil Birds of the Jehol Biota have caused an international stir amongst palaeontologists. The Jehol outcrops of northeastern China has unearthed some of the most important Mesozoic bird specimens worldwide over the past two decades.

This is a tale of how that all began. Back in November 1993, Chinese palaeontologists Hou Lianhai and Hu Yoaming, of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in Beijing received a call from an excited local fossil collector.

He claimed to have quite a remarkable specimen on his hands.

The Hallstatt Limestone is the world's richest Triassic ammonite unit, yielding specimens of more than 500 ammonite species. Along with diversified cephalopod fauna — orthoceratids, nautiloids, ammonoids — we also see gastropods, bivalves, especially the late Triassic pteriid bivalve Halobia (the halobiids), brachiopods, crinoids and a few corals. For microfauna, we see conodonts, foraminifera, sponge spicules, radiolaria, floating crinoids and holothurian sclerites — polyp-like, soft-bodied invertebrate echinozoans often referred to as sea cucumbers because of their similarities in size, elongate shape, and tough skin over a soft interior.
This lovely specimen of Oncorhynchus nerka, a Pleistocene Sockeye Salmon, is from outcrops along the South Fork Skokomish River, Olympic Peninsula, Washington State, USA.
I'd expected to learn that the locality contained a single or just a few partial specimens, but the fossils beds are abundant with large, 45–70 cm, four-year-old adult salmon concentrated in a beautiful sequence of death assemblages.