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NOTE: This month’s meeting will be on our usual third Sunbay


 Sunday, September 10, 2023           2:00 P.M.

Note: This month, we will be meeting on the second Sunday of September, rather than our usual third Sunday of the month. 

            Every month from October to May, our Society offers talks by paleontologists, geologists, students and collectors about their work in paleontology and fossils. But, our members frequently have experiences of a paleontological nature that are also of interest to their fellow members.

            So, we put aside one meeting each year - our September meeting - to provide an opportunity for our members to report on their work or experiences, especially over the past Summer, concerning paleontological research, fossil collecting, fossil exhibits and geologic features visited, etc., etc.

            Usually, they report on topics in paleontology, including any collecting they have done, research they have participated in, fossil preparation that they have undertaken, any paleontological exhibits that they have visited, etc. These reports are mostly very brief - 10 to 15 minutes or so - and usually are particularly useful to those interested in fossil collecting, especially in the Northeast, but also collecting in the Western U.S. and even around the world. This is a good time to pick up information about fossil sites. We also include summaries (with images) of the Society’s most recent field trips.

            This September, due to the Museum’s ongoing corona virus rules, we will meet online.

            We will begin our reports on or Society’s Spring 2023 field trips. The weekends for these trips were assigned to our field trip leaders by the hosting institutions. The first was to well known quarries in the Catskill area belonging to the Lower Devonian Helderberg Group on May 27th and 28th. These quarries are rich in marine invertebrate fossils, including cephalopods and trilobites. We visited a number of quarries in the area to collect on both Saturday and Sunday. We may also have visited the nearby Cave House Museum of Mining and Geology near the town of Howe’s Cave, N.Y. (not to be confused with Howe’s Caverns), housing many exhibits relevant to the local area.

            Our June 3rd and 4th was to collect at the famous Penn Dixie Quarry near Hamburg, N.Y. Many readers may be familiar with the excellent finds from this site, but, once a year this quarry hosts a “Dig with the Experts” event. This special event is open to the public during which you can collect in freshly excavated sections of this quarry, guaranteeing some nice finds for attendees. The fossils are from the Middle Devonian Windom Shale Member of Moscow Formation, containing trilobites, cephalopods, fish remains, brachiopods, corals, fossilized wood, and a range of other marine invertebrates. As the name implies, there were plenty of experts available to help people identify their finds and understand the stratigraphy of the quarry.

            Our final trip was held on June 9th, 10th & 11th, where we collected in the world famous Cincinnati region of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Most of the sites were in Upper Ordovician rocks rich in marine fossils including: bryozoans, brachiopods, corals, gastropods, bivalves, cephalopods, crinoids, trilobites (a number of species), sponges, edrioasteroids, graptolites, tentaculites and ichno (trace) fossils. Also, new this year and never before visited by our Society, was a visit to the Napoleon Quarry in Indiana, where, as well as some Ordovician fossils, we collected fossils from the Silurian Period.

            There will be information on the geology, stratigraphy and the fossils found or observed. If you have photographs of some of your finds, there will be an opportunity to have them identified, as well as any photos of specimens that you've found elsewhere around the country.

            We will also have reports by our members on their paleontological experiences , especially over the Summer just past. The reports can cover anything paleontological in which that they have been involved. In the past members have reported on their research or fossil collecting experiences in the area, or even around the world. Many have described their visits to or work at classic fossil localities. Some have described visits to museum collections around the country and the world.

            For example, last September, member reports included a report on the fossil exhibits at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois, about 80 miles west of Chicago. Near the entrance is an exhibit on local regional invertebrate fossils of the Cincinnatian group in Ohio and Illinois. There is also a full-sized reconstruction of a Carboniferous swamp forest of the Pennsylvanian Period complete with plants, trees and assorted animal inhabitants of that paleoecosystem. There are two stand-out specimens of dinosaurs on display. The first, called “Jane” is a tyrannosaurid skeleton from Ekala, Montana found in 2001. Originally thought to be a new genus Nanotyrannus, this specimen helped to prove that it was in fact an immature Tyrannosaurus rex instead. The other is a real skeletal specimen of a Triceratops horridus, also from Ekala. Accompanying it is an ontogenic series of Triceratops skulls illustrating the change in form of this specie’s skull throughout its lifetime. And finally, a whole wall containing the skulls of seven different ceratopsian species are presented as comparisons.

            Another member discussed his experiences while taking a training course in fossil excavation and preparation at the Sternberg Museum in Ft. Hayes, Kansas. After visiting two sites (a week apiece), he returned to the museum to learn fossil preparation, mold making and casting. Two members discussed their trip across Montana during which they visited a number of fossil sites and areas of geological / mineralogical interest. On a private ranch they collected some fossil “raptor” teeth, metasequoia leaves and some dinosaur, amphibian and fish bones. They also included a stop at the Garfield County Museum in Jordan, MT which contains many local specimens , both vertebrate and invertebrate. Collecting at a professional dig in the Big Horn Basin of Montana (Morrison Fm., Jurassic), a member discussed his work on jacketing of dinosaur bones in the field as well as describing some of the finds.

            Finally, a member described the structure and stratigraphy of the Dolomite Mountains in the Alps in northern Italy. These mountains record the Permian-Triassic boundary marking the greatest extinction event in earth’s history. Apparently, the Dolomites are made mostly of fossils, including the earliest squamate (lizard) fossils, tetrapod trackways, fossil plant leaves, etc.


            You too may have had some interesting paleontological / geological experiences, including over this Summer. If you've had some or have done work in paleontology, collected at or visited fossil sites or museums this Summer, or have an interesting anecdotal story to tell, please feel free to talk about it at the meeting. The atmosphere is informal.

            If you're a member and interested in presenting something please contact the president by email at president@nyps.org .




            These are the meeting dates of the New York Paleontological Society for the 2023-2024 season. We normally meet at 2:00 P.M. in a room at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (79th Street and Central Park West). However, due to the covid-19 pandemic and new construction, the Museum is unable to assign any rooms for meetings for any groups through November. Exactly when the Museum will allow groups like our Society to reserve rooms is uncertain. It will depend on new room availability and also the status of covid and the relevant Museum and government policies pertaining to indoor meetings and our Society’s own judgement as to whether attendance will be safe for our members and attendees.

            But, since room availability may change, it has been decided to hold online meetings on the regular dates and times so that the schedule remains the same whether the meeting is in a room or online. One advantage of online meetings is that they will be recorded so members who can’t attend at the meeting time can view the whole meeting afterwards at their convenience.

            Our Annual Party would normally be held at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn, but new construction may effect the availability of a large enough venue space. It also may be affected by the University’s policy as to whether or not to allow us to meet in the event space there due to covid guidelines and the large number of people that usually attend. Due to the nature of the party (many tables, events, talks and wonderful food), this event cannot be held online.

            As of this writing, all of the dates this year are on the third Sunday of the month, except September’s. Also, our Annual Holidays Party would be held if possible on a Saturday (the date to be determined), but, again, the available venue space and covid rules may effect this event. The dates are as follows:

September 10, 2023
December 2 , 2023*
March 17, 2024
October 15, 2023
January 21,  2024
April 21, 2024
November 19, 2023
February 18, 2024
May 19, 2024

NOTE: All the above dates (for online or in-room meetings) are third Sundays of their respective months, except September’s which is the second Sunday.

            * Our Annual Party (a Saturday) - venue and date to be determined if possible.





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