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Volume 12 Number 2 February 2012

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Volume 12 Number 2 February 2012

The Official Publication of the Eastern Missouri Society For Paleontology


By David Lukens
If you have any articles, comments, or need to communicate with me.
Next meeting

Next meeting is Friday, February 10th at 7:30 pm in the New Earth and Planetary Sciences building at Washington University (see more details below).


As I pen (key) this President’s letter I am getting ready to leave for Tucson along with eight of your colleagues and one “hanger-on”; John Macke. He’s kind of like an honorary member so I guess we can accept him.

Anyway, I got to thinking how fabulous it is to be with like-minded folk sharing an abiding passion, good times, good food (and drink) and “shop till you drop” fun with fossils, minerals and rocks. Prior to 2009 I just could not imagine the appeal of Tucson. Many of our club members would go every year and talk about how really cool it was but I just didn’t get it. One trip was all it took.

What could be better than leaving St. Louis in late January in snow, ice and freezing temperatures for sunny days, warm temperatures and three or four days of fossils from all over the world? We even needed the truck air conditioner in 2009. Now we go every year and every year we see something “new”.

So think about taking a few days off next year and joining our Tucson “crew”. The more the merrier.

Carl Campbell

President Eastern Missouri Society for Paleontology

Thanks / Congratulations
Thanks to everyone who brought food to the January meeting. Welcome to our guests Andre (Linzie’s guest) and Helen (Henry’s wife). Thanks to Henry for his great talk on fossilization. Thanks also to Jim Collins for his e-mails to the club with ideas for improvements.

Items to be discussed during the February meeting

  • Dues are due with the start of the new year.

  • Plans for Spring field trips

  • Results for the Tuscon show visit

  • Discuss renewing scholarship for STLCC summer geology course.

Upcoming Events/ Field Trips

  1. 4/7/12 (Sat.) - Field trip to Parson’s Quarry in Parson, Tennessee (about 6 hours / 310 miles one way). This is Easter Weekend. Trip has been arranged by John & Dorothy. Access to the quarry is only available to groups and not to individuals. The collecting is from 7AM to 12:00 (noon). The collecting is in the Birdsong Shale where there are lots of crinoids, trilobites, and blastoids. Since this is a working quarry hardhats, safety glasses, and boots may be required. This is a members only trip, a map will be available at the March meeting.

  2. 4/13/12 – EMSP Speaker – Karen Chin Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences and Curator of Paleontology, University of Colorado Museum. Expert on Coprolites (fossil poop) from the Univ of Co. – Boulder. More details to follow. Talk will be titled “why dinosaurs ate wood” and will on the Hell Creek Formation Coprolites.

  3. 8/11/12 - EMSP annual club picnic and fossil raffle at Kirkwood Park (NE corner near the tennis courts). Same shelter as previously. Reserved from 9 am to 9 pm, with food usually served around 11 am. B of D meeting prior. We will have fossil trading again this year along with fossil giveaways and a fossil.

Notes from the Meeting
We again had a full house with 46 people at the meeting. Carlton was awarded the L'Ecuyer Award for his outstanding assistance to the club over the years. The President’s gavel was passed from Don to Carl who will take the position for 2 years. Don is now the official host for the club and will work to make sure any guests are welcomed and introduced and also to pass out nametags to all club members. We had two guests Andre (Linzie’s guest) and Helen.
A discussion was held related to a mystery fossil photo sent in by Taylor R. Based on the photos it appears to be a pseudo fossils, possibly fossil mud cracks. Additional volunteers for the club committees are the following

Field trip – Ruth

Shows – Pat, Don

Speakers – Abby, Mike

Club voted and passed to pay for a speaker (Karen Chin) to come in April and give a public talk at McDonnell Hall at Washington University. She will give another talk earlier in the day at STL community college – Meramec on another subject. Club announced other upcoming speakers (see below). We are also working on a Fossil Kit for use at Science Fairs and are looking for donations of good smaller Missouri fossils.
Club voted to replenish our supplies at the Tucson show. Club members were also allowed to give submit wishes for items to be purchased for them. For anyone going on Paleotrek to Montana this summer, you need to make your hotel reservations ASAP as the hotel is filling up from overflow from the oil field work in North Dakota. Henry gave an excellent presentation on fossilization, THANKS Henry.
We are always looking for more donations of small fossils (quarter size or smaller) for the fossil boards. We are especially in need of small trilobites (the Utah ones are best) were also looking for horn corals, other corals, gastropods, bryozoans, and other donations. Please bring to the next meeting so we can meet later and work on putting more fossil boards together for the upcoming show.

Board of Directors Meeting

11 January 2011
The January 11, 2012, meeting of the Board of Directors for the Eastern Society for Paleontology was called to order at 6:30 pm by President Carl Campbell at the home of Rick Poropat.

Those in attendance were: Carl, Rick, Bruce, Don, Marie, Pat, Chris, David, and Faye.

Discussions were held as follows:
1. Board of Directors meetings as scheduled and are open to membership (RSVP to meeting host):

27 February

23 April -subject: review by-laws

TBD August Prior to Club Picnic

22 October
2. The following committees were formed:

Field Trip: John, Bruce, Rick, and one opening.

Shows: Rick, Marie, and two openings.

Speakers: Carl, Faye, and two openings

EMSP Meeting/Visitor Host: Don

NOTE: Openings to be filled by non-officer members.

Each committee will have a quarterly agenda (subject to change)
3. Since some members are attending the BIG fossil show in Tucson, members can list what they would like purchased for them and top dollar to be paid. The group going will try to fill those orders for club members.
4. It was decided that EMSP will bring in one important speaker each year. This will be voted on at the January 2012 meeting. Costs will be paid from EMSP treasury. The one for this year will be Dr. Karen Chin, University of Colorado at Boulder. Title of her presentation: “Why Did Dinosaurs Eat Wood?” i.e., Fossil Poop.
5. Meeting Speaker Schedule for 2012:

January: Henry Porter: “Fossilization”

February: Tucson Update & Sale (items offered to members at cost)

March: Marie, Carlton, Mark , Vertebrate Fossil Prep

April: Karen Chin, Fossil “Poop”

May: Open

June: Open

Sept: “What We Did On Our Summer Vacation”

Oct: Open

Nov: Open

Dec: Club Christmas Party
6. Fossil Kit for school presentations: To consist of “Common Missouri Fossils.” Carlton has volunteered to make the box. Carl will make a list of fossils to be included. May have 2 boxes: one for smaller fossils and one for larger specimens.
7. Treasurers currently being transitioned from Pete to Rick. Info to Dave for newsletter by 30th of month.
8. Photo Directory: To be finished and published online. Missing pictures for some members. We want our members to know each other. Visitor Host, Don, will provide permanent name tags for all “paid” members and “temporary” ones to guest (and members who forgot theirs).
9. Secretary: David will continue as Secretary and be assisted by Ryan. Dave is getting new additional sources for articles.
10. Ideas for future “educational” activities:

  • Members and guests are encouraged to bring “specimens” to meetings. These will be displayed on a table. Our “experts” will make every effort to identify the specimens. This information will be put on index cards with a printed format.

  • How to clean and prepare fossils

  • Fossil cutting & prep party

  • Where is club saw and what is its condition?

  • Learning session for beginners

11. Discussed parts of EMSP website having member only password. Conclusion too involved for now.

12. Field Trips:

  • Parson’s Quarry, TN, is scheduled for Easter weekend, 07 April. More information to be supplied later.

  • Hannibal Quarry, to be scheduled

  • Liability waiver and Field Trip Procedures needed for field trips: Rick to present plan at March meeting.

  • All field trips to be “members only”

  • Impromptu trips may be scheduled at meetings for near future and will not be in newsletter. If not at meetings, you don’t know about these.

13. Reviewed and discussed suggestions for meeting from member Jim. Tthere are a number of good suggestions in this e-mail.
The meeting was closed at 7:30 pm (followed by a great “show & tell” by host Rick).


-Original and summary articles provided by members of EMSP. Where possible, I have tried to add in website where you can read more.

An ancient dinosaur nest has been found in South Africa from the prosauropod Massospondylus. The group of 10 nests dated to 190 MYA make it 100 MY older than any previous nest. The nest were found preserved in a 75 feet long section of rock in a National Park. The nests contained up to 34 eggs each. While fossils of this age are known, almost no eggs from this period exist which allows scientist a unique opportunity to look at ancient dinosaur reproduction.

Gujarat in western India is quickly becoming one of the world’s hot spots for dinosaur fossils. The town of Balasinor has one 72 acre site with one of the largest groupings of dinosaur eggs and nests ever found. The remains were accidentily found in the 1980’s when geologists were looking for minerals in the area, since then searches have turned up eggs, bones, and the skeleton of the only “Indian” dinosaur, the Rajasaurus narmandensis, a short meat eating dino with a crested horn which was related to the T-Rex. Also at the site was a 67 MYA snake preserved while eating a baby titanosaur. At least 13 species of dinosaurs have been identified dating to between 65-100 MYA. In addition to the remains, small particles of iridium found been found in some areas, possibly indicating the impact of a meteorite.

Additional studies of an Archaeopteryx fossil indicate that it may have had black feathers. The animal which existed 150 MYA in Germany. The color was determined by examining the melanosomes which generate colors in the feathers but also give structural support. Previous investigations were unable to find melanosomes but this study was done using a more powerful scanning electron microscope which allowed them to find the melanosomes were about 1 millionth of a meter long and 250 billionths of a meter wide. They were then compared to ones in existing birds to determine the color. In addition the barbules (riblike parts) were studies and confirmed to be like those in modern birds, these structures strenghten the feathers. said.

Evidence of domestication of dogs has now been traced to 33,000 YA based on a dog skull found in a Siberian cave. This is in combination with other finds in a Belgium cave indicating that our dogs are descended form various ancestors. The difference in the skull and mouth shapes indicate that these are domesticated dogs and not remains of wolves. The Siberian skull was almost complete allowing extensive measurements to verify these features. Both the Siberian and Belgium skulls come from dogs which no longer exist, but this indicate that domesticated

A new study of stone tools from ancient humans indicate that the tools were engineered and not simply created. The flaked stone tools, known as Levallois that were made from shape stone cores that were specially prepared for flintknappers to remove distinctive flakes. The new study using a modern flintknapper and statistical analysis proved that the flakes removed from the prepared cores are much more uniform than the ones produced during the shaping of the cores. The flakes were also found to preferable to hunter gatherers. Among the characteristics found is that the Levallois flakes were thicker and uniformly thick across the surface which made them last longer. But that the flakes were maximum thickness was less than other flakes which allowed them to be reused or resharpened many times. This also kept them lighter and easier to carry.

Upcoming shows

January 2012

1-31—QUARTZSITE, ARIZONA: Wholesale and retail show; Desert Gardens RV Park; 1055 Kuehn St.; I-10 Exit 17; Sun. 9-6 daily; free admission; crystals, minerals, rough, polished, jewelryWeb site:

January 2012-February 2012

28-11—TUCSON, ARIZONA: Arizona Mineral & Fossil Show; Martin Zinn Expositions; Ramada Ltd.; 665 N. Freeway; Thu. 10-6 daily; free admission; more than 400 dealers, free shuttle among locations, Artists’ Gallery at the Hotel Tucson City Center; contact Martin Zinn Expositions, PO Box 665, Bernalillo, NM 87004-0665; e-mail:; Web site:

March 2012

2-4—RICHMOND, INDIANA: Annual show; Eastern Indiana Gem & Geological Society; Wayne County Fairgrounds; 861 N. Salisbury Rd.; Fri. 10-6, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 11-4;

10-12, Feb, 2012, KIRKWOOD COMMUNITY CENTER, 111 South Geyer Road, Kirkwood, MO 63122, FR 4-9 PM, Sat 10-6, Su 10-4.
23-25—INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA: 14th Annual Indianapolis Spring Gem, Mineral & Jewelry Show; Treasures of the Earth Gem & Jewelry Shows; Indiana State Fairgrounds - Agriculture/Horticulture Bldg.; 1202 E. 38th St.; Fri. 10-6, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 11-5; Web site:
March 2012

March 9, 10, 11, 2012

51st Annual Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show
Kansas City Expo Center, 11730 N. Ambassador Dr., Kansas City, MO
Friday 9am to 8pm Saturday 10am to 7pm Sunday 10am to 5pm
17-18, 2012 - North American Prehistoric Artifact Show. Gateway Center Collinsville, IL. Sat 7-5, Su 7-2
April 2012

28-29—MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: Annual show; Memphis Archaeological & Geological Society; Memphis International Agricenter; 7777 Walnut Grove Rd.; Sat. 9-6, Sun. 10-5Web site: www.The


Do you need to find out something about the next meeting or have questions on the next field trip? If so, please talk to or contact one of the EMSP officers. Please note that the e-mail contacts have changed

President – Carl
Vice-President: Faye
Treasurer: Rick

Secretaries: David and Ryan


Our treasurer, Rick will accept dues payment for a full year.   Dues are $20.00 per household per year-payable in January if receiving the newsletter by e-mail. The dues are $25 for those receiving the newsletter by regular mail. See Rick at the next meeting or mail a check (payable to Eastern Missouri Society for Paleontology) to:


P.O. Box 220273

St. Louis, MO. 63122
Distribution of the Newsletter by email

Can’t find your newsletter, just when you need it for

a trip? Then sign up for the e-mail version.

Meetings are held the 2nd Friday of every month

(except July, August, and December) in room 203

of the new Earth & Planetary Sciences Building on

the campus of Washington University. The Earth &

Planetary Sciences building is on the southwest

corner of Hoyt Drive and Forest Park Pkwy. There

is a large parking lot just across the street.

What is EMSP?

The Eastern Missouri Society for Paleontology (EMSP) is a not-for-profit organization Dedicated to promoting the enjoyment of fossil collecting. It is open to all individuals interested in learning about the history of life on earth. The club membership includes professional paleontologists as well as amateur hobbyists. The EMSP provides an open forum for the exchange of information and access to expertise on collecting, identifying, preparing and displaying fossils.
EMSP meetings are held on the second Friday of every month (except July, August and December) at 7:30pm in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Buildingon the campus of Washington University. Each meeting includes an informal exchange of information and speakers on a variety of fossil-related topics.
Weather permitting, field trips to fossil collection localities around the St. Louis area are held each month. Led by experienced collectors, these trips are a fun way to augment discussions at the monthly meetings. The club participates in joint field trips with other paleo clubs, visiting fossil sites throughout the United States. EMSP is also a proud to be involved in partnerships with the St. Louis Science Center and the Greater St. Louis Association of Earth Science Clubs, Inc.

Eastern Missouri Society For Paleontology


P.O. Box 220273

St. Louis, MO. 63122


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