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Lomax D.R.,Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery | Lomax D.R.,University of Manchester
Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society | Year: 2014

Henry Culpin was an autodidact geologist and palaeontologist; he was among the first of very few local people to understand and describe the geological outcrops, and fossils within them, around Doncaster, South Yorkshire. During his excursions, Culpin collected many fossil specimens and gifted several to Beechfield House museum, now Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery. A large percentage of these specimens are of local origin, collected from Carboniferous coal mine deposits that are no longer accessible. They represent some of the most scientifically and locally important fossils from Doncaster, collected when some of the earliest mine shafts were being sunk in the district. © 2014 Yorkshire Geological Society.

Lomax D.R.,Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery | Hyde B.G.,29 St Josephs Avenue
Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society | Year: 2012

Ammonite aptychi from the Lower Jurassic of Port Mulgrave near Whitby, U.K., are reported for the first time in association with ammonites of the Family Hildoceratidae, Subfamily Harpoceratinae. The aptychi are preserved in shale, varying in their completeness and exhibiting a range of sizes, but are identified as Cornaptychus sp. and cf. Lamellaptychus sp. Some Cornaptychus specimens are preserved with ammonites identified as Tiltoniceras antiquum. The aptychi, especially Cornaptychus, are comparable with aptychi associated with ammonites of the Harpoceratinae elsewhere, notably in the Posidonia Shale of Toarcian age in Germany. The ammonite aptychi were further analysed using an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) in order to determine their composition and assess whether this might have implications for their occurrence and preservation potential compared with that of the ammonite shells.

Lomax D.R.,Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery | Racay C.A.,Wyoming Dinosaur Center
Ichnos:an International Journal of Plant and Animal | Year: 2012

A 9.7 m long trackway was discovered in a plattenkalk quarry near the village of Wintershof, Bavaria, Germany, in 2002. The huge ichnofossil derives from the Lower Tithonian, Upper Jurassic Solnhofen Lithographic Limestone. The trackway is complete from beginning to end and consists of footprints, telson drag impressions, prosoma imprints and is identified as the ichnotaxon Kouphichnium isp. Preserved at the very end of the trackway is a complete specimen of Mesolimulus walchi confirming the trackway as a mortichnia (death march). Trackways and trace makers preserved together in the fossil record are rare and such specimens allow unique insights into behavior and ecology. The events that led to M. walchi preserved in this sediment are unknown; however, a most likely scenario is that the limulid was washed into the lagoonal environment during a harsh storm. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Massare J.A.,The College at Brockport | Lomax D.R.,Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery | Lomax D.R.,University of Manchester
Geological Magazine | Year: 2014

An ichthyosaur in the collections of the Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge (CAMSMX.50187) was collected in the nineteenth century by the renowned fossil collector Mary Anning, but has never been adequately described in the literature. As an Anning specimen, it is certainly from the Lower Jurassic of Lyme Regis, west Dorset. The near complete presacral skeleton is lying on its left side and includes a complete skull, one complete and one partial forefin, pectoral bones, all six elements of the pelvic girdle, and both hindfins. The centra in the anterior caudal region, however, are from another individual and may have replaced the original ones. The specimen is identified as Ichthyosaurus based on the morphology of the humerus and forefin. It is assigned to I. breviceps on the basis of the relatively short snout, large eye, and tall neural spines. This is the only known specimen of I. breviceps to preserve a complete pelvis. Notably, the ilium is longer than the pubis and ischium, and the pubis is longer than the ischium. This individual is the largest I. breviceps reported in the literature, with jaw length of 33.5 cm and estimated length from snout to tail bend of 1.6 m. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013.

The fossilized skeleton of an ichthyosaur that is from a currently valid species but has never before been reported from the village of Street in southwestern England. More A group of ancient "sea monsters" is caught up in a centuries-old case of mistaken identity, according to new research. During the early 1800s, quarry workers in Street, a village in southwestern England, discovered hundreds of marine-reptile skeletons embedded in the rocks. The era of fossil collecting had just begun, and scientists named the ancient marine reptiles "ichthyosaurs," which is Greek for "fish lizards." "There were some rich gentry in the area who would buy them from quarrymen, prepare them and put them in these big wooden frames," said study co-researcher Judy Massare, a professor of geology at SUNY College at Brockport in New York. [Image Gallery: Photos Reveal Prehistoric Sea Monster] At the time, fossil experts assigned the Street specimens to the same species — Ichthyosaurus communis, a common species found in rock layers dating to the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic periods in Street, as well as elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Over time, many of these fossils ended up in U.K. museums, though some private collectors kept them, including the Clarks family, of Clarks Shoes, Massare said. The project began when Dean Lomax, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester, found an ichthyosaur skeleton in the collections of the Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery in the United Kingdom. An analysis by Lomax and Massare revealed that the 189-million-year-old specimen was a new species of ichthyosaur. For instance, it was considerably smaller in body length than Ichthyosaurus communis and larger than Ichthyosaurus conybeari, the researchers noted. They named it Ichthyosaurus anningae, in honor of Mary Anning, a British fossil collector who, in 1811, found the first ichthyosaur to be scientifically described. If one museum had a newfound species of ichthyosaur, the researchers wondered, what about other museum collections? So, they focused on the ichthyosaurs from Street, and located 16 well-preserved partial to nearly complete skeletons from museums and collectors, including the Clarks. An ongoing analysis suggests that many of the specimens were mislabeled, with the group containing at least three, and probably four, ichthyosaur species, Massare said. Some of the ichthyosaurs belong to two known species groups, she said. Others appear to belong to a species described in the 1800s that some researchers do not consider to be a distinct species, but further analyses will likely clear this up, Massare said. Finally, one of the ichthyosaurs might be a newly identified species, but more work is needed to say for sure, Massare said. "What we're finding is, one species that we used to think was extremely variable only looks variable because we were combining a couple of other species," she said. "We're now trying to figure out the boundaries between those different species." For instance, differences in tooth and forefin shape suggest that these species ate different prey and had different swimming capabilities, the researchers said. Ichthyosaurus communis, once thought to be widespread in Street, is actually not so common, the researchers said. "With the recognition of these species, at least seven species of Ichthyosaurus are found in the Lower Jurassic strata [rock layer] of the United Kingdom, making it the most diverse ichthyosaurian genus of that time interval," they wrote in the abstract for their presentation of the unpublished findings at the 75th annual Society of Vertebrate Paleontology conference, held in Dallas in October. Copyright 2015 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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