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Jakesrocks (Don) takes us on a fossil tour!

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jakesrocks
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« on: August 14, 2012, 04:30:16 pm »

Just one of the many fossils I've collected over the years.

This is a front fang from an Allodesmus. A 15 million year old relative of the modern sea lion. I found this at Shark Tooth Hill near Bakersfield, California in 1954. At that time the hill was wide open, with no restrictions on what could be collected.

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christopherl1234
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2012, 06:08:56 pm »

I live in Bakersfield and they are still digging stuff up out there. One of the local museums sponsors fee digs on a regular basis now.
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ScarlettoSara
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2012, 07:10:39 pm »

Nice toof:)
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jakesrocks
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2012, 07:21:39 pm »

I live in Bakersfield and they are still digging stuff up out there. One of the local museums sponsors fee digs on a regular basis now.

From what I've heard, since the museum more or less took over the diggings, they're being very selective about what can and can't be removed from the area. I've heard that rare finds or extra nice finds have to be turned over to the museum.

Here's another piece from Shark Tooth Hill, collected on the same day. A partial whale ear bone with a shark tooth.

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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2012, 07:47:37 pm »

And that is the reason I will not pay to dig there. I think it is wrong to charge a person to dig and then make have to submit what they find for permission to keep it. My sensibilities tell me if I pay to dig, I should be able to keep whatever I dig! I have a problem when someone asks me to pay to work for them....I guess it is my home-spun American values.

There is a mountain side not too far from there that us locals know fossils can be found. This property is owned by a big oil company that turns the other way for locals....so I am told....
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 08:45:09 pm »

You know, I don't have much of a thing for fossils. Mostly I guess because I'm a color fiend, and fossils don't generally have much color.

That said, when I look at fossils that belong to people (as opposed to museums, which seem so institutional), I can better visualize what it must be like to actually go out there and FIND them yourself. That is a whole nother experience I'll bet:).

The first one didn't do anything for me... but the last one.... wow... a shark tooth embedded in a whale ear?! That brings up a whole mini movie in my head of how the 2 of them ended up on your shelf Don!!! That is so neat:).

Chris, did you find any fossils out there too??
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jakesrocks
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2012, 08:54:26 pm »

The shark tooth isn't actually imbedded. Most of the specimen was enclosed in cemented sand. When I started cleaning it, I found the shark tooth cemented into the sand. I left just enough sand to hold the shark tooth where found.
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helens
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2012, 09:09:23 pm »

Cemented sand... as in someone put it in cement, or rock became cement?

If the rock became cement, then wouldn't that mean it came from a shark biting a whale in the ear? Why would they be together otherwise?
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2012, 09:25:03 pm »

Maybe they were on blind date Helen:) And the shark was putting the moves on the whale:)
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2012, 10:15:28 pm »

I agree Christopher - if the museum is doing a fundraiser - then fine, sell dinner seats to lectures or whatever. If a museum is getting free labor by "sponsoring" digs and sifting the keepers - fine. But to combine the two is just humiliating - you pay to work for them.

Even that I could probably live with but there was a long thread here somewhere on this board that discusses all of the things museums give and throw away (including collections people have taken a lifetime gathering and donated to them in their wills). I'm not intending to demonize all museums or in all ways - there's a lot of good. But this is not one of them.
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helens
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2012, 10:36:46 pm »

Maybe they were on blind date Helen:) And the shark was putting the moves on the whale:)

LOL! Sara!!! I would not want no shark 'nibbling' at my ear!! GAAAAHHHH!!!!!
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jakesrocks
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2012, 10:59:18 pm »

Cemented sand... as in someone put it in cement, or rock became cement?

If the rock became cement, then wouldn't that mean it came from a shark biting a whale in the ear? Why would they be together otherwise?

Helen, the area where these were found used to be an ancient sea bed. Over millions of years, bones, shells, coral and  shed shark teeth fell to the bottom and were covered by hundreds of feet of sand. Along came 2 tectonic plates fighting for the same place. The sea bottom was pushed upwards, well above sea level. More millions of years of pressure, heat and minerals in solution percolating down through the sand turned the sand into sandstone. Soft enough to be easily scraped away from the fossils enclosed in it. When I collected this piece, there was just a little bit of whale bone showing. Sandstone was carefully removed with dental and clay modeling tools and a couple of worn out tooth brushes.

When I started cleaning this piece, I had no idea that the shark tooth was there. Once I spotted it, I left enough sandstone in place to hold it where it was found. At one point, the shark tooth popped loose from the sandstone. 2 tiny drops of super glue and careful placement of the tooth, and you can't tell it ever came loose.
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helens
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2012, 11:04:19 pm »

Awww... but Don, the shark biting the whale in the ear idea is MUCH more interesting!!!!

But that's a pretty interesting explanation too:). Thanks:)!!
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jakesrocks
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2012, 11:10:14 pm »

No more questions tonight Helen. I'm going to bed.  walker
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helens
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2012, 11:11:35 pm »

Sleep is for the weak! Anyway, the older you are the less sleep you're supposed to need!  hide

LOL! I'm kidding!!! Nite Don:).
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