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Did Life Arise from Hydrothermal Vents?
April 17, 2014 | NASA

“Did life first arise on Earth in warm, gentle springs on the sea floor?

Researchers are putting together the chemical pieces of how this process might have occurred.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

What is Peanut Wood?
April 16, 2014 |

This material is a petrified wood from Australia but it has nothing to do with peanuts. Most people are amazed when they learn how it forms.

Earliest Known Cardiovascular System
April 15, 2014 | University of Arizona

“A fossil creature buried in an “invertebrate version of Pompeii” more than half a billion years ago reveals the first-known cardiovascular system in exquisitely preserved detail.” Quoted from the University of Arizona News.

Spring Mineral Shows
April 1, 2014 | has a large list of mineral shows that will take place this spring. The list is updated frequently so book mark it and check it occasionally. There is probably a mineral show near you.

If you live on the east coast one to check out is the New York / New Jersey Mineral, Fossil, Gem and Jewelry Show on April 11-13 at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center. There will be 340 dealers.

Another is the Fine Mineral Show, April 25-27 at Embassy Suites in Houston.

Image by Sir Charles Lyell
When Trilobites Ruled the World
March 20, 2014 | New York Times

The New York Times has an article titled: “When Trilobites Ruled the World”. It contains some interesting information about this favorite fossil.

Organic Gems
March 6, 2014 |

Although most gemstones are mineral materials, a number of organic materials and fossilized organisms are considered to be gemstones. The most common of these are pearl, bone, amber, coral, ivory, petrified wood, fossil coral, dinosaur bone and more.

Color in Dinosaurs
March 4, 2014 | University of Texas at Austin

“New research that revises recently established conventions allowing scientists to decipher color in dinosaurs may also provide a tool for understanding the evolutionary emergence of flight and changes in dinosaur physiology prior to the origin of flight.” Quoted from the University of Texas at Austin press release.

The Jehol Fossils of China
February 16, 2014 | National Geographic

A National Geographic article explores the diversity and incredible preservation of China’s Jehol fossils. The animals are thought to have been killed, transported, buried and preserved by ash produced by pyroclastic flows. Some researchers described it as a “Pompeii for animals”.

Coal Through a Microscope
February 9, 2014 |

If you think that coal is a boring black rock then you have never seen it through a transmitted light microscope. The microscope reveals coal’s hidden beauty as well as its composition.

What is Ammolite?
December 17, 2013 |

Ammolite is a trade name given to a thin iridescent aragonite shell material that is found on two species of extinct ammonite fossils (Placenticeras meeki and Placenticeras intercalare). Gem-quality Ammolite produces a spectacular display of iridescent color when it is observed in reflected light. The colors of an individual stone can run the full range of the visible spectrum or be limited to just one or two colors. The color display can rival fine opal and labradorite in its intensity and beauty.

The Oldest Human DNA
December 6, 2013 | New York Times

Scientists have recovered DNA from a fossil human who lived about 400,000 years ago. The oldest DNA before this specimen was about 300,000 years.

Most Popular Items for November
December 2, 2013 |

The World’s Largest Emerald Mine

What is Iris Agate?

New Volcanic Island Southeast of Japan

The Enormous Volcanic Eruption that Historians Never Recorded

A Super River from the Southwestern United States to the Labrador Sea?

Typhoon Haiyan Images

Comet Ison is Visible to the Naked Eye

New Super Predator Dinosaur

Rock, Mineral, Gem and Fossil Kits
December 2, 2013 | Store

The Store has a nice selection of rock, mineral, gemstone and fossil kits for personal or classroom use.

King of Gore from the Wahweap Formation
December 1, 2013 | Bureau of Land Management

“Ten million years before the T. rex walked the earth, another monster reigned. The 80 million-year-old fossil of the Lythronax argestes or “King of Gore” was recently discovered by Scott Richardson, a Bureau of Land Management archaeologist technician at the Wahweap Formation in BLM-Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.” Quoted from the BLM tumbler site.

New Top Predator Dinosaur Discovered in Utah
November 25, 2013 | North Carolina State University

“A new species of carnivorous dinosaur – one of the three largest ever discovered in North America – lived alongside and competed with small-bodied tyrannosaurs 98 million years ago.” Quoted from the North Carolina State University press release.

Image by Sir Charles Lyell
What is It Like to Work for GeoCorps?
November 25, 2013 | Speaking of Geoscience Blog

The GSA Speaking of Geoscience blog has an interesting report from Amy Atwater who served as a GeoCorps Paleontology participant at Denali National Park and Preserve.

Rocks, Crystals and Fossils from a 3D Printer?
November 9, 2013 | Live Science

A popular demonstration at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting was a 3D printer being used to produce copies of rocks, fossils and other geological specimens.

Most Viewed News in October
November 1, 2013 |

Egypt Fears a Dam on the Nile in Ethiopia

235 Carat Diamond Found in Siberia

Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates

Nice Yellow Diamond Found in Arkansas

What Caused the Sudden Explosion of Animal Life 520MYA?

Walking Away from One of the World’s Largest Gold Discoveries?

Shell Walks Away from Oil Shale

Granitizers vs Magmatists

What is Petrified Wood?
October 27, 2013 |

Petrified Wood is a fossil that forms when dissolved materials in groundwater precipitate and petrify woody material.

High School Student Found an Exceptional Duck-Billed Dinosaur
October 23, 2013 | Los Angeles Times

On a field trip in 2009, Kevin Terris, then a high school student, found a few bones while on a field trip. The find was actually “the youngest, the smallest and also the most complete skeleton known for Parasaurolophus” ever found according to Andrew Farke, curator of the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology.

Evolutionary Body Elongation in Fish
October 21, 2013 | University of Zurich

“Extreme elongation of the body axis occurred in one of two ways: either through the elongation of the individual vertebrae of the vertebral column, which thus became longer, or through the development of additional vertebrae and associated muscle segments.” Quoted from the University of Zurich press release.

What Caused the Sudden Explosion of Animal Life 520MYA?
October 9, 2013 | University of Oxford

“The explosion of animal life on Earth around 520 million years ago was the result of a combination of interlinked factors rather than a single underlying cause, according to a new study.” Quoted from the University of Oxford press release.

Links Between Tectonics and Invasive Species
September 12, 2013 | Ohio University

A new study from Ohio University investigates links between Appalachian tectonics and how invasive species disrupted the Ordovician fossil record of what is now eastern North America.

What Killed the Mammoths?
September 11, 2013 | National Geographic

What killed the mammoths and other large mammals about 12,900 years ago? Was it humans, climate or an impact event? National Geographic has an article that explores the possibilities.

20000 3D Fossil Scans for Free Viewing
September 8, 2013 | British Geological Survey YouTube Channel

Nearly 20,000 three-dimensional fossil scans have been published online by the British Geological Survey. You can view them for free. This video demonstrates a few fossils.

Camel Fossils in Oklahoma?
September 6, 2013 |

An article on reports that Apache Corporation uncovered fossils of extinct camels and horses while preparing a well site in western Oklahoma.

Big-Nosed, Long-Horned Dinosaur Discovered in Utah
August 13, 2013 | The University of Utah

“A remarkable new species of horned dinosaur has been unearthed in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, southern Utah. The huge plant-eater inhabited Laramidia, a landmass formed when a shallow sea flooded the central region of North America, isolating western and eastern portions for millions of years during the Late Cretaceous Period.” Quoted from The University of Utah press release.

How to Become a Fossil
August 12, 2013 | National Geographic

National Geographic has a fun article titled: “Tips on How to Become a Fossil: Pick your burial spot carefully if you want future paleontologists to find you.”

Redefining Adaptation
August 8, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“How do organisms adapt over time? Do they evolve through a series of small beneficial steps as envisioned by Charles Darwin, or through a series of rare but large jumps? Or through a combination of both?” Quoted from the NSF press release.

Understanding Past Climate and Ecosystems
July 14, 2013 |

“How do we know what the ancient earth was like before people were around to witness and record conditions? One of the main ways geoscientists unravel past climates and ecosystems is by conducting detailed studies of deposits that contain the preserved remains of ancient plants and animals.” Quoted from the article by Alexandra Guth, Michigan Technological University.

Wankel T. Rex at the Smithsonian
July 4, 2013 | Newsroom of the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History announced that it has reached a 50-year loan agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to transfer a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton to the Smithsonian for eventual display in the museum’s new dinosaur hall, scheduled to open in 2019. The skeleton is one of the most complete T. rex specimens ever discovered. It was found by Kathy Wankel, a rancher, near the Fort Peck Reservoir in eastern Montana.

Three Triceratops Found in Wyoming
June 25, 2013 | CNN Video

The remains of three triceratops have been discovered at the same site in Wyoming. One may be the most complete fossil triceratops ever found.

Summer Gem, Mineral and Fossil Shows
June 20, 2013 | has a large list of mineral shows that will be held in the United States and throughout the world. There is probably one happening near you!

Junior Paleontologist Activity Book
June 13, 2013 | National Park Service

The National Park Service offers the “Junior Paleontologist” activity book for ages 5-12. You can download free printable copies from their website.

From the Earth Science Week Newsletter.

The Oldest Primate?
June 10, 2013 | Scientific American

Archicebus, a tiny fossil about the size of a mouse has been identified as the “oldest known primate”. It lived approximately 55 million years ago.

Fossil Lizards Named After Jim Morrison and President Obama
June 7, 2013 | BBC

A trend in naming fossil lizards after famous people include: Obamadon gracilis and Barbaturex morrisoni.

Triceratops Discovery in Wyoming
June 6, 2013 | Billings Gazette

Three Triceratops skeletons are being excavated near Newcastle, Wyoming. The largest of the three is one of the most complete specimens of Triceratops ever found.

Life in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica
June 5, 2013 | Discover Magazine

Researchers have found a diversity of microbial life in soils of the dry valleys of Antarctica.

Cloning a Russian Mammoth?
June 4, 2013 | Deutsche Welle

A well-preserved woolly mammoth with liquid blood has been found in the Russian Arctic. Now Russian and South Korean researchers are talking about attempting to produce a clone.

Oldest Feathered Dinosaur?
June 2, 2013 | Los Angeles Times

A fossil named Aurornis xui of a feathered creature similar to Archaeopteryx was discovered in the 160-million-year-old rocks of northeastern China.

New Roadside Geology of Georgia
May 30, 2013 | Store

Pamela Gore and William Witherspoon have recently published “Roadside Geology of Georgia“, a new guidebook in the Mountain Press Roadside Geology Series.

This is a field guidebook for the state of Georgia with road logs and maps that describe the physical and historical geology.

PRI Teaching Geology Guide
May 30, 2013 | Paleontological Research Institution

“The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) [...] offers many education materials and opportunities for science teachers and students at all grade levels. Their online “Teacher Friendly Guide” gives brief geologic histories of every region of the United States. Also available online are photos and descriptions of the museum’s fossil collections.” Quoted from the Earth Science Week Newsletter.

Reasons for Upright Walking?
May 28, 2013 | University of York

“The researchers say our upright gait may have its origins in the rugged landscape of East and South Africa which was shaped during the Pliocene epoch by volcanoes and shifting tectonic plates.” Quoted from the University of York press release. and are
both websites.
Fee Mining Sites
May 24, 2013 |

Lots of people enjoy going to fee mining sites where you can prospect inactive surface mines, mine tailings, soil, sediments or outcrops and keep any rocks, gems, minerals or fossils that you find. Examples include: Herkimer Diamond Mines where you can search for doubly-terminated quartz crystals, and Crater of Diamonds where you might be lucky enough to find a real diamond.

Most Popular April 16 to April 30
May 1, 2013 |

Diamonds Do Not Form From Coal

The Falling Gold Price

What is a Maar?

Monitoring the Fire Below Yellowstone

Capturing an Asteroid

Giant Snails Invade Florida

Bingham Canyon Mine Landslide

Measuring the Size of Explosive Volcanic Eruptions

Charles Lyell and Sea Serpents
April 9, 2013 | Scientific American

Despite the lack of evidence, Lyell confess in his writings that he remained optimistic “for I believed in the sea serpent without having seen it.”

The Last Hot Spell
April 7, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“Temperature patterns during Earth’s last prolonged global “hot spell”–the Pliocene, some 5.3 to 2.6 million years ago–differed dramatically from those of modern times.” Quoted from the NSF press release.

Fossil Fish from Kenya’s Rift Valley
March 29, 2013 | Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

“A paleontological expedition to the Tugen Hills in Kenya, led by LMU’s Professor Bettina Reichenbacher, has discovered assemblages of fossil fish at eight previously unexplored localities. “Not only is it very rare to uncover so many specimens of fossil fish, those we have found are also very well preserved,” says Reichenbacher.” Quoted from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München press release.

Life on a Whale Skeleton a Mile Below the Antarctic
March 19, 2013 | Los Angeles Times

A 35-foot-long whale skeleton on the Antarctic sea floor – nearly one mile below the surface – was supporting a diversity of life including nine previously unknown deep-sea species.

Fossil Birds with Four Wings?
March 17, 2013 | Christian Science Monitor

A collection of 100-million-year-old bird fossils from China reveal that the birds had feathers on their legs. Were these birds with four wings?

We are constantly looking for interesting items related to geology and general science. When we find something interesting we share it here. Bookmark this page and visit often. You can also receive our news for free by RSS feed or email. We publish updates three or four days per week.

Homeowners InsuranceHomeowners Insurance usually does not cover damage caused by floods, landslides, earthquakes and other geohazards.
frac sandFrac Sand is a high-purity silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing to enhance the flow of oil and gas from tight rock units.
Diamond formationDiamonds from Coal? Diamonds form under a variety of conditions that rarely involve coal as a source of carbon.
fluorescent mineralsFluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors when illuminated in the dark with an ultraviolet lamp.
Uses of heliumHelium is a byproduct of the natural gas industry. Its most important use is in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
Canada diamond minesCanada Diamond Mines: Canada is the third largest producer of gem-quality diamonds in the world.
Utica shaleUtica Shale: New wells in eastern Ohio prove that the Utica Shale will be a major source of natural gas and natural gas liquids.
Green River fossilsSpectacular Fossils of the Green River Formation. Some of the world's best-preserved fossil fish from an intermountain lake.
OpalOpals: Gem quality opal is one of the most spectacular gemstones. A single stone can flash with every color of the spectrum.
NovaruptaMost Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century: People in Juneau heard the volcanic blast - over one hour after it occurred.

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