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Polish 'Solnhofen’ discovered and dinosaur finds in museum collections
From: Ben Creisler
Two short articles in the new Geology Today:
Kin, A., Błażejowski, B. and Binkowski, M. (2012)
The ‘Polish Solnhofen’: a long-awaited alternative?
Geology Today, 28: 91–94.
Here we briefly report on the discovery of a new Fossil-Lagerstätte
locality, Owadów-Brzezinki quarry (central Poland), which exposes Late
Jurassic (Late Tithonian) carbonate sediments with an extremely
fossiliferous horizon of lithographic-type limestones. Numerous
specimens of horseshoe crabs were found in association with an
enormously rich assemblage of the soft-shelled bivalves Corbulomima
obscura and Mesosaccella sp., the remains of various fishes and marine
reptiles, rare ammonites, crustaceans, land insects and pterosaurs.
The uniqueness of this new locality lies in its very close
stratigraphical relationship to one of the most famous
Fossil-Lagerstätte localities in the world—Solnhofen, in southern
Germany, with approximately 2 Ma separating them. Marine and
terrestrial creatures lived and died during the Late Jurassic both at
Solnhofen (Hybonotum Zone) and in another area (Owadów-Brzezinki
quarry, Zarajskensis Subzone), under closely related environmental
conditions. The small palaeogeographical distance separating these two
locations enables, for the first time, an effective palaeobiological
test of the pace of evolutionary speciation amongst different groups
Tokaryk, T. (2012)
Off the Shelves—new dinosaur species from Western Canada and the
importance of museum collections, again.
Geology Today, 28: 105–109
It seems almost on a weekly basis that a new discovery in
palaeontology is announced. Perhaps, in part, this is because the
outlets for publishing have increased, with new online publications,
or at least—once paper and bound only—the traditional sources now have
internet accessibility allowing priory viewing to the print version.
There is also the fact that dinosaurs and other fossils (and the ideas
that surround them) are a marketable item; for authors, and the
institutions that house the specimens or researchers. The fact is that
in a news cycle, which is almost below hourly, and amongst the
sensational stress and despair of many of the stories, fossils are a
quick ‘feel-good’ or minimally distractive piece. Collectively,
palaeontologists and their fossils are more often than not taking
advantage of these public opportunities.