Hugh Miller’s Old Fish Story

fishcliff

In a time when the whole fossil record was starting to make sense to science, Hugh Miller was a famous voice in paleontology. Miller was a stonemason and accountant from a long line of sea captains. He never acquired a formal college education, yet his discoveries of fossil fish and sea scorpions bear his name. … [Read more…]

And Mom Says Fossil Collecting is Boring!

pioche

The anticipation is over and the Utah desert is under my feet. All I have to do is drive 20 miles down a hard pack road and Im in the Wheeler Amphitheater — trilobite heaven. The weather is perfect — September blue skies, temperatures peaking in the mid-70s. It is hard to believe flooding rains … [Read more…]

View from a Throne in Dinosaur Country

mesa

Just after dawn, I plodded up the trail to the throne with my camping shovel. The shovel was unnecessary except for my peace of mind. I, mighty hunter of long-dead dinosaurs, had heard coyotes howl outside my tent, and the shovel was like the jawbone of an ass — defensive armament against any canine Philistines … [Read more…]

The Cambrian in North America

underwater fossil

The Cambrian Period, the first period of the Paleozoic Era (“era of ancient life”), was named in 1835 by the British geologist Adam Sedgwick. He derived the moniker from Cambria (or Cumbria) in North Wales–where the type section was located–and which was the Latin name for the region (having its etymology in the Welsh word … [Read more…]