New Mexico Museum of Natural History
New Mexico Museum of Natural History
News Article | May 2, 2017
Crescent Hotels & Resorts has been selected to manage the Courtyard by Marriott Albuquerque Hotel. Crescent, based in Fairfax, Virginia, is a nationally recognized elite operator of hotels and resorts throughout the United States and Canada. The recently renovated 150-room Courtyard Albuquerque is located in the heart of the city's Journal Center Business Park with convenient access to numerous golf courses, wildlife parks, and museums like the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, Albuquerque Aquarium, and Rio Grande Zoo. The new design and décor of the hotel reflects Albuquerque's Native American heritage, with many rooms offering open-air balconies. “The Courtyard Albuquerque is so well designed to create a true Southwestern ambiance and guest experience,” said Michael George, Chief Executive Office of Crescent Hotels & Resorts. “Our unique approach as an award-winning Marriott manager, combined with our extensive experience in many other destination cities across the country, will maximize the potential of this great hotel.” The Courtyard Albuquerque offers full-service dining at its Bistro restaurant, indoor pool, fitness center, full-service business center, 4,000 square feet of venue space, and a large beautifully landscaped courtyard for everyday guest use, hotel-hosted events, or private events. For more information, or to book your next stay at the Courtyard Albuquerque Hotel, visit http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/abqcy-courtyard-albuquerque/ or call (505) 823-1919. _ About Crescent Hotels & Resorts: Crescent Hotels & Resorts is an award winning, nationally recognized, top-3 operator of hotels and resorts. Crescent currently operates over 90 hotels, resorts & conference centers in the US and Canada. Crescent is one of the few elite management companies approved to operate upper-upscale and luxury hotels under the brand families of Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and IHG. Crescent also operates a collection of legendary independent lifestyle hotels and resorts. Crescent’s clients are made up of hotel REITs, private equity firms and major developers. For more information, please visit http://www.chrco.com or connect with Crescent on LinkedIn.
News Article | May 25, 2017
136-Year-Old Historic Railroad Partners with Paleontologists from Fort Lewis College and New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science to Create a Fun, Memorable and Educational Dinosaur-Themed Adventure for the Entire Family
News Article | November 5, 2015
BALTIMORE — The greatest extinction in Earth’s history might not have been so great after all. A suspected colossal die-off of roughly 75 percent of land species didn’t accompany the Permian extinction around 252 million years ago, a team of geologists contend. That divisive result comes from new work in South Africa that redates the demise of Dicynodon — a mammal relative whose disappearance defines the terrestrial extinction event in the rock record. The new timeline places the creature’s disappearance at more than a million years before the Permian extinction in the ocean, in which 90 percent of marine species vanished. Furthermore, the researchers argue, the new evidence raises doubts that a mass extinction on land even happened at all. Although many experts are not convinced, the established understanding of the Permian extinction is “up in the air,” said geologist John Geissman of the University of Texas at Dallas. Geissman contributed to the work, which was presented November 4 at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting and published in the October Geology. “We need to rethink the Permian crisis,” he said. While the Dicynodon dating does raise questions, it isn’t infallible and doesn’t invalidate the consensus that the Permian extinction extended across land and sea, said Jennifer Botha-Brink, a paleobiologist at South Africa’s National Museum in Bloemfontein. “People forget that biology is messy,” she said. “You can never draw a line of when the extinction was. It’s an interval; it’s a changeover.” Voluminous volcanic outpourings in what is now Siberia probably sparked the severe environmental changes that made the planet uninhabitable for many species (SN: 9/19/15, p. 10). While scientists confidently peg the marine extinction to 251.88 million years ago, the terrestrial die-off is trickier to nail down. In South Africa’s Karoo Basin, fossilized animals and plants from the Permian are embedded inside layers of accumulated rock. The changeover from Dicynodon fossils to those of another mammal relative called Lystrosaurus marks when scientists think the mass extinction on land occurred. Scouring the basin, geoscientist Robert Gastaldo of Colby College in Waterville, Maine, Geissman and colleagues made a lucky find: seven zircon crystals that can provide accurate ages for the surrounding rock. Zircon forms with small amounts of uranium that decays into lead over time. Comparing the relative abundance of uranium and lead in zircon provides a precise age of the crystal’s formation. The zircon crystals date to about 253.48 million years ago and were found about 60 meters below the rock layer that marks the Dicynodon-Lystrosaurus transition. Based on how fast rock accumulated in Karoo Basin, the researchers estimate that the 60-meter gap formed over 200,000 to 300,000 years. That means the Dicynodon extinction took place around 253.2 million years ago, so about 1.3 million years before the Permian marine extinction and a million years before the volcanic eruptions in Siberia started. The researchers also found traces of land plant and animal species thought to have gone extinct alongside Dicynodon in younger rocks. Those findings don’t point to a single widespread extinction event that abruptly wiped out land species within a short time span, Gastaldo said. The new findings support the idea that the Permian extinction lacked a land component, agrees Spencer Lucas, a paleontologist at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science in Albuquerque. Given the new dating, the rock layers that actually match up with the marine extinction event are higher in the basin than previously thought. Those layers require further study. But at first glance, they don’t appear to record any major fossil changes indicative of an extinction event, Lucas said. Botha-Brink isn’t convinced. The accumulation of new rock layers isn’t always constant. So the 60-meter gap between the zircons and fossils may have formed over a much longer period of time, and the Dicynodon die-off may have indeed coincided with the marine extinctions, she said.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Katherine Jetter announces the opening of an exhibition of opals from around the globe at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, of which she is the guest curator. The Wonderful World of Opals features cut and uncut stones from Australia, Mexico, Ethiopia and Peru, as well as some set opal jewels from Jetter’s own collection. A one-of-a-kind rough opal specimen from Australia that weighs over 160 pounds is also part of the show. Grand opening events for the public include short talks, displays, and demonstrations at the museum on Feb. 10, and Feb. 11, 2017. Jetter was approached by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs in 2016 and worked to produce a collection of over 50 specimens, some of the finest in the world, one of which is encased in a fossilized dinosaur bone. Jetter collaborated with some of the world’s foremost opal miners, two of who will be present at a private reception on February 9: Bill Kasso of Eagle Creek Opals and Charlie Alsen of Opal Country. Other contributing miners include Andrew and Damien Cody of Cody Opal, Juergen Schuetz of Emil Weis and Susan Cooper of Broken River Mining. Jetter was recently selected by jewelry historian Olivier Dupon as one of his top picks of 35 contemporary jewelers in the world, featured in his newly launched book Fine Jewelry Couture: Contemporary Heirlooms. "This is an exceptional collection of opals curated by a leader in the opal industry,” said Margie Marino, director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. “The Museum is very proud to be able to work with world-wide partners to bring this exhibition to the people of New Mexico. This is a rare opportunity for visitors to the Museum to see a whole opal in its raw state and examine how it is formed,” she said. A number of collaborative and educational events have been scheduled for the opening weekend to enhance the visitor experience. Events Scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 Free with Museum Admission 10am to 3pm: Rock, mineral and gem demonstrations and displays by the Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club/Museum Lapidary Studio FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES (including images and information about the private reception on February 9): Jennifer Hobson-Hinsley Jennifer(@)jlhmedia(.)com 505 603 8643 ### ABOUT KATHERINE JETTER LTD: Katherine Jetter was born in Melbourne, Australia and spent her youth in England, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. After attending SevenOaks School in Kent, UK, Katherine received a Bachelors Degree in Clinical Psychology from University College of London followed by an analyst position at JP Morgan. After attending the globally renowned Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and receiving certification as a Graduate Gemologist and Jewelry Designer, Katherine put her expertise to use by working for various international, high-end designer jewelers, including De Beers. Launching Katherine Jetter Ltd. in 2008, her collection was immediately picked up by Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus after showcasing at the prestigious Couture Jewelry Show in 2009. Katherine’s beautiful collections are featured in numerous retailers worldwide from Moscow to China including a selection of Neiman Marcus stores and high profile independent retailers across the U.S. Katherine and her husband, Daniel Burrell, moved to Santa Fe in 2010. They are active philanthropists in the community, with a key focus on furthering education for young people in New Mexico and have formed a foundation to support these efforts, the New Mexico Leadership Institute (NMLI), of which Katherine is President. NMLI partners with The University of New Mexico (UNM), New Mexico State University (NMSU) and top business leaders to provide New Mexico high school students with training and mentoring designed to develop effective leadership skills. Katherine is also on the Executive Board for NDI (New Mexico Dance Institute), and ran the Garfield Street Foundation on behalf of Rosemont Realty for 3 years. Katherine and Daniel have a daughter, Dylan, who is two years old. ABOUT THE NEW MEXICO MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY & SCIENCE: The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is a Division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. The Department of Cultural Affairs is New Mexico’s cultural steward and is charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, eight historic monuments, arts, archaeology, historic preservation and library programs, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is the largest state cultural agency in the nation.
Lucas S.G.,New Mexico Museum of Natural History
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2017
Four substantial tetrapod extinctions have been identified during the Permian, but only one of these is an apparent mass extinction. Analyses of global compilations of the family-level diversity of Permian tetrapods have been confounded by incorrect and compiled correlations. Instead, analyzing diversity patterns at the genus level in “best sections” identifies only one apparent mass extinction of Permian tetrapods. Much evolutionary turnover took place among tetrapods during the latter part of the early Permian and had been identified as a single mass extinction at the Artinskian-Kungurian boundary. However, the only stratigraphically dense tetrapod record of the late early Permian, from the southwestern USA, indicates a succession of extinctions spread out from Redtankian through Littlecrontonian (Kungurian) time, not a single mass extinction. Olson's gap remains a hiatus in the global record of Permian tetrapods equivalent to part of the Kungurian-Roadian. Across the gap, eupelycosaur-dominated assemblages were replaced by therapsid-dominated assemblages, but the claim that this is associated with a mass extinction (“Olson's extinction”) has been based on compressing all of the extinctions of the Redtankian-Littlecrotonian and Olson's gap into one event. Recognition of Olson's gap does not preclude the possibility of an extinction at the early-middle Permian boundary (“Olson's extinction”). However, the gap in the tetrapod fossil record makes it impossible to establish the magnitude, precise timing and structure of the extinctions that took place across Olson's gap. The only Permian mass extinction of tetrapods is the dinocephalian extinction event during the Gamkan (near the end of the Guadalupian), which saw the total extinction of dinocephalians and major diversity drop in therocephalians. In the Karoo basin of South Africa, this extinction is the loss of at least 64% of generic diversity. The changeover from dinocephalian assemblages to assemblages without dinocephalians in other parts of Permian Pangea suggests that the dinocephalian extinction event was a global event. The late Permian tetrapod extinctions are older than the end-Permian marine extinctions. Furthermore, the magnitude of the diversity drop and ecological severity of the end-Permian tetrapod extinctions have been greatly overstated. Best sections analysis in the Karoo basin indicates a stepwise late Permian tetrapod extinction during deposition of the upper Dicynodon Assemblage Zone that took at least 250,000 and perhaps more than a million years. The culmination of this stepwise extinction, across the highest occurrence of Dicynodon (= boundary of Platbergian and Lootsbergian land-vertebrate faunachrons) is a loss of genera not much above an inferred background extinction rate of Permian tetrapod genera and resembles the amount of turnover seen at several other boundaries of Permian and Triassic land-vertebrate faunachrons. The case for coeval land plant, insect and tetrapod extinctions during the Permian is a weak one. The first coeval marine and nonmarine mass extinctions of the Phanerozoic were likely the end-Guadalupian extinction. Climate change, notably greenhouse climates, may have driven Permian tetrapod extinctions, but that hypothesized relationship needs better documentation. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
Klein H.,Rubezahlstrasse 1 |
Lucas S.G.,New Mexico Museum of Natural History
Geological Society Special Publication | Year: 2010
Triassic tetrapod footprints have a Pangaea-wide distribution; they are known from North America, South America, Europe, North Africa, China, Australia, Antarctica and South Africa. They often occur in sequences that lack well-preserved body fossils. Therefore, the question arises, how well can tetrapod footprints be used in age determination and correlation of stratigraphic units? The single largest problem with Triassic footprint biostratigraphy and biochronology is the nonuniform ichnotaxonomy and evaluation of footprints that show extreme variation in shape due to extramorphological (substrate-related) phenomena. Here, we exclude most of the countless ichnospecies of Triassic footprints, and instead we consider ichnogenera and form groups that show distinctive, anatomically-controlled features. Several characteristic footprint assemblages and ichnotaxa have a restricted stratigraphic range and obviously occur in distinct time intervals. This can be repeatedly observed in the global record. Some reflect distinct stages in the evolutionary development of the locomotor apparatus as indicated by their digit proportions and the trackway patterns. Essential elements are archosaur tracks with Rotodactylus, the chirotherian ichnotaxa Protochirotherium, Synaptichnium, Isochirotherium, Chirotherium and Brachychirotherium, and grallatorids that can be partly linked in a functional-evolutionary sequence. Non-archosaur footprints are common, especially the ichnotaxa Rhynchosauroides, Procolophonichnium, Capitosauroides and several dicynodont-related or mammal-like forms. They are dominant in some footprint assemblages. From the temporal distribution pattern we recognize five distinct tetrapod-footprint-based biochrons likened to the known land-vertebrate faunachrons (LVFs) of the tetrapod body fossil record: 1. Dicynodont tracks (Lootsbergian = Induan age); 2. Protochirotherium (Synaptichnium), Rhynchosauroides, Procolophonichnium (Nonesian = Induan-Olenekian age); 3. Chirotherium barthii, C. sickleri, Isochirotherium, Synaptichnium ('Brachychirotherium'), Rotodactylus, Rhynchosauroides, Procolophonichnium, dicynodont tracks, Capitosauroides (Nonesian-Perovkan = Olenekian-early Anisian); 4. Atreipus-Grallator ('Coelurosaurichnus'), Synaptichnium ('Brachychirotherium'), Isochirotherium, Sphingopus, Parachirotherium, Rhynchosauroides, Procolophonichnium (Perovkan-Berdyankian = Late Anisian-Ladinian); 5. Brachychirotherium, Atreipus-Grallator, Grallator, Eubrontes, Apatopus, Rhynchosauroides, dicynodont tracks (Otischalkian-Apachean = Carnian-Rhaetian). Tetrapod footprints are useful for biostratigraphy and biochronology of the Triassic. However, compared to the tetrapod body fossil record with eight biochrons, the five footprint-based biochrons show less resolution of faunal turnover as ichnogenera and ichnospecies at best reflect biological families or higher biotaxonomic units. Nevertheless, in sequences where body fossils are rare, footprints can coarsely indicate their stratigraphic age. © The Geological Society of London 2010.
Lucas S.G.,New Mexico Museum of Natural History |
Tanner L.H.,Le Moyne College |
Kozur H.W.,Rezsu u. 83 |
Weems R.E.,Paleo Quest |
Heckert A.B.,Appalachian State University
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2012
The Late Triassic timescale is poorly constrained due largely to the dearth of reliable radioisotopic ages that can be related precisely to biostratigraphy combined with evident contradictions between biostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic correlations. These problems are most apparent with regard to the age and correlation of the Carnian-Norian boundary (base of the Norian Stage). We review the available age data pertaining to the Carnian-Norian boundary and conclude that the "long Norian" in current use by many workers, which places the Carnian-Norian boundary at ~. 228. Ma, is incorrect. The evidence supports a Norian stage that is much shorter than proposed by these workers, so the Carnian-Norian boundary is considerably younger than this, close to 220. Ma in age. Critical to this conclusion is the correlation of the Carnian-Norian boundary in nonmarine strata of Europe and North America, and its integration with existing radioisotopic ages and magnetostratigraphy. Three biostratigraphic datasets (palynomorphs, conchostracans and tetrapods) reliably identify the same position for the Carnian-Norian boundary (within normal limits of biostratigraphic resolution) in nonmarine strata of the Chinle Group (American Southwest), Newark Supergroup (eastern USA-Canada) and the German Keuper. These biostratigraphic datasets place the Carnian-Norian boundary at the base of the Warford Member of the lower Passaic Formation in the Newark Basin, and, as was widely accepted prior to 2002, this correlates the base of the Norian to a horizon within Newark magnetozone E13n. In recent years a correlation based solely on magnetostratigraphy has been proposed between the Pizzo Mondello section in Sicily and the Newark section. This correlation, which ignores robust biostratigraphic data, places the Norian base much too low in the Newark Basin section (~. at the base of the Lockatong Formation), correlative to a horizon near the base of Newark magnetozone E8. Despite the fact that this correlation is falsifiable on the basis of the biostratigraphic data, it still became the primary justification for placing the Carnian-Norian boundary at ~. 228. Ma (based on Newark cyclostratigraphy). The "long Norian" created thereby is unsupported by either biostratigraphic or reliable radioisotopic data and therefore must be abandoned. While few data can be presented to support a Carnian-Norian boundary as old as 228. Ma, existing radioisotopic age data are consistent with a Norian base at ~. 220. Ma. Although this date is approximately correct, more reliable and precise radioisotopic ages still are needed to firmly assign a precise age to the Carnian-Norian boundary. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Lucas S.G.,New Mexico Museum of Natural History
Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae | Year: 2015
Age assignments of Triassic tetrapod fossils can be achieved by direct reference to a scheme of Triassic land-vertebrate faunachrons (LVFs) that correlates Triassic tetrapod fossil assemblages to each other based solely on the tetrapod fossils. Correlation of Triassic tetrapod assemblages to the standard global chronostratigraphic scale (SGCS, the “marine timescale”) is a separate cross correlation between the vertebrate biochronology and marine biochronology that usually relies on other data (e. g., palynostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy, radioisoto-pic ages) to be completed. Late Triassic tetrapod fossils in southern Poland are found at two stratigraphic positions, the Krasiejów and Lisowice levels. The tetrapod assemblage of the Krasiejów level is assigned to the early Adamanian LVF based primarily on the stratigraphic overlap of the phytosaur Parasuchus with the Adamanian index aetosaur Stagonolepis. The amphibians Cyclotosaurus and Gerrothorax, a Proterochersis-like turtle and the aetosaur Paratypothorax from the Lisowice level indicate it is assignable to the Revueltian LVF. Cross correlations to the SGCS are less definitive, but suggest that the Krasiejów level is late Carnian and the Lisowice level is early/middle Norian. However, this correlation of the Krasiejów level is confounded by disagreements over correlation of the marine Carnian-Norian boundary to nonmarine strata. Indeed, the possibility that the Krasiejów tetrapods fill a gap in the early Norian record of tetrapods merits consideration. Such difficulties emphasize the value of correlattng tetrapod assemblages to each other using a land-vertebrate biostratigraphy/biochronology, instead of immediately attempting the more problematic correlation to the SGCS. © 2015, Geological Society of Poland. All rights reserved.
Lucas S.G.,New Mexico Museum of Natural History
International Journal of Coal Geology | Year: 2013
The Dunkard Group is ~ 343. m of mostly clastic rocks exposed in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, USA. Correlation of the Dunkard Group to the Pennsylvanian-Permian boundary has long been debated. Fossil vertebrates from the Dunkard Group include paleoniscoids, dipnoans, a rhipidistian crossopterygian, selachians, lepospondyl and temnospondyl amphibians, diadectomorphs, primitive amniotes, eureptiles and eupelycosaurs. These vertebrates represent two biostratigraphically distinct assemblages, one from the Waynesburg and Washington formations and the other from the overlying Greene Formation. Comparison of the Dunkard vertebrate biostratigraphy to a vertebrate biostratigraphy and biochronology developed in New Mexico-Texas allows correlation to the Coyotean (= latest Virgilian-middle Wolfcampian) and Seymouran (late Wolfcampian-early Leonardian) land-vertebrate faunachrons. Tetrapod taxa from the Waynesburg and Washington formations include Edops and Protorothyris, Coyotean index taxa, as well as the characteristic Coyotean taxa Trimerorhachis, Diadectes, Edaphosaurus and Dimetrodon. Significantly, these Dunkard taxa are best known from the Archer City Formation in Texas, which is late Coyotean (=middle Wolfcampian). The Greene Formation contains the eupelycosaur Ctenospondylus, an index taxon of the Seymouran land-vertebrate faunachron. Dunkard xenacanth selachians support the tetrapod-based correlations. Vertebrate biochronology thus indicates that the Waynesburg and Washington formations are late Coyotean, whereas the Greene Formation is Seymouran. Therefore, vertebrate biostratigraphy and biochronology indicate that the entire Dunkard Group is Early Permian and likely straddles the Wolfcampian-Leonardian boundary. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Lucas S.G.,New Mexico Museum of Natural History
Geosciences (Switzerland) | Year: 2012
Conulariids are unusual extinct metazoans most often considered to be a group of scyphozoan cnidarians or close relatives. Generally, the temporal range of conulariid fossils is perceived to be late Precambrian or Cambrian to Triassic, though a supposed Cretaceous conulariid from Peru was published 46 years ago. A re-evaluation of this fossil indicates it is not a conulariid, but instead a pinnacean bivalve (Pinna sp.), confirming that the geologically youngest conulariids are of Late Triassic age. However, a review of the Triassic conulariid fossil record indicates it is very sparse, with only eight published records. It does not provide a reliable basis for analyzing the structure of conulariid extinction. Nevertheless, conulariid extinction still appears to have taken place very close to the end of the Triassic. The cause of conulariid extinction may have been the onset of the Mesozoic marine revolution, in which durivorous predators developed new mechanisms for preying on the epifaunal benthos, including the conulariids. © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.