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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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If you're lucky enough to swim in the warm, shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific region, you may encounter one of the most charming of all the sea stars, the Protoeaster nodosus. These beauties are commonly known as Horned Sea Stars or, my personal favorite, Chocolate Chip Sea Stars.
This well-preserved partial ichthyosaur was found in the Blue Lias shales by Lewis Winchester-Ellis. The vertebrae you see are from the tail section of this marine reptile. The find includes stomach contents which tell us a little about how this particular fellow liked to dine. As with most of his brethren, he enjoyed fish and cephalopods. Lewis found fish bone and squid tentacle hooklets in his belly. Oh yes, these ancient cephies had grasping hooklets on their tentacles. I'm picturing them wiggling all ominously.


This fellow is Chengjiangocaris kunmingensis, a rather glorious fuxinhuiid arthropod. While he looks like he could be from the inside of the Lascaux Caves and their fire-kissed Palaeolithic paintings, albeit by a very ancient Picasso, he was found at a UNESCO World Heritage Cambrian fossil site in southern China.
Meet one of the most adorable of all the Living Fossil species, the Elephant shrew, Macroscelides proboscideus, one of 15 species of this order. These small, quadrupedal, insectivorous mammals strongly resemble rodents or opossums with their scaly tails, elongated snouts, and rather longish legs. 


Move over Burgess, there's a new Cambrian Lagerstätten in town. Meet Tuzoia sinesis from the Balang Formation of southern China. China has some very interesting fossil specimens being unearthed that challenge the Burgess Shale for preservation and variety of fauna. 
This large extinct bivalved arthropod, Tuzoia sinesis (Pan, 1957) is from one of those sites.
Salmon have permeated First Nations mythology and have been prized as an important food source for thousands of years. 

For the Salish people of the Interior of British Columbia, Canada, salmon was the most important of the local fishing stock and salmon fishing season was a significant social event which warranted the nomination of a “Salmon Chief” who directed the construction of the hooks, weirs and traps and the distribution of the catch.