Fossil of the Month
Next week we are headed out to the Marble Mountains south of the Mojave National Preserve of California to collect trilobites from the Lower Cambrian Latham Shale, below cliffs of Chambless Limestone. For the past two years the Museum has taken a collecting trip out to this area and returned with many specimens for the Museum collections, research and eventually for display and a new exhibit. In 2008 we collected 147 specimens. Last year we collected close to 300 specimens!
Trilobites collected over the past two years include:
- Olenellus gilberti
- Olenellus clarki
- Olenellus nevadensis
- Mesonacis fremonti
- Bristolia mohavensis
- Bristolia harringtoni
And the brachiopod Paterina pospectensis.
While trilobites are invertebrates and are legally collectible from BLM land (reasonable amounts for personal use, no permit required), when collecting large amounts for research you do need a permit (which the Museum had). But what is a “reasonable amount?” According to the Utah BLM website, which has a nice descriptive paleontology section, “You may collect common invertebrate and plant fossils for NONCOMMERCIAL purposes only. A reasonable amount is what you may keep for a personal hobby collection or display in your home. Collecting common invertebrate or plant fossils for landscaping (even if it’s just around your house) is not a hobby activity and must be done as a mineral materials sale.” [link] If you are wondering if you need a permit, check out this link.
We will post an update from our trip upon our arrival back home. Tune in for details!