Kentucky miner finds 300-million-year-old shark fossil


This video is called Edestus shark.

From Kentucky.com in the USA:

Miner finds 300-million-year-old shark fossil in Kentucky

By Cheryl Truman — ctruman@herald-leader.com

Posted: 12:00am on Apr 9, 2011; Modified: 6:08am on Apr 9, 2011

Back when Kentucky was like the Gulf of Mexico, about 300 million years ago, a shark from the Edestus genus swam the seas in what is now Webster County.

It was a big critter — 20 to 25 feet long, weighing about 1,000 pounds — and it had large, sharp teeth, the better to tear apart the soft fish upon which it preyed.

Fast forward to current times: Kentucky has ceased to be a primeval resort for Edestus and its relatives, and hundreds of millions of years of rock cover their skeletons.

But on Feb. 24, Jay Wright, 25, a miner for Webster County Coal, noticed something jutting from the roof of the Dotiki Mine, where he was bolting a roof 700 feet underground.

A piece of rock fell.

“I looked up to see if any more was going to fall, and that’s when I noticed the jaw,” Wright said Friday in a telephone interview.

Wright had found the 300-million-year-old black jawbone and still-sharp teeth of an Edestus.

“My initial thought was, “Gosh, what is this thing?'” Wright said.

The find drew the attention of Jerry Weisenfluh, associate director of the Kentucky Geological Survey in Lexington, who said that an Edestus find is rare, and one this big rarer still.

“It would have been an intimidating animal,” he said Friday.

Steve Greb, a geologist with the geological survey, said that much is unknown about the shark. Some have speculated that it had several rows of teeth and came at its prey with a pinking-shear or pincer-like grip.

Lexingtonians can see the shark jaw in the lobby of UK’s Mines and Minerals Building at 504 Rose Street from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

But the miner’s find isn’t the only place in Central Kentucky to see what’s left from hundreds of millions of years ago.

It’s also pretty easy to see 400-million-year-old rock on the Kentucky River Palisades near High Bridge anytime, Greb said.

Non-miners tend to think of mines as grim places, but Weisenfluh sees them as great sources of geological information. “They are like natural history museums,” he said.

The jawbone went on display Friday morning, and by mid-morning, it was drawing a steady stream of gawkers.

It will remain at UK for about a month, and then it will be returned to Wright, the father of three children, ages 4, 3 and four months.

“They don’t know what it is, but they know that Daddy did something,” Wright said.

First swallows, first sedge warblers of spring


Yesterday, again to the “Baillon’s crake reserve”.

In the northern part: shoveler, shelducks, teal, tufted ducks.

Still scores of black-tailed godwits, but less than some time ago, as they migrate on to their breeding grounds.

Redshanks.

A male and a female ruff. The male already has a white head. But no spring collar yet. A collar would mean extra weight during migration. So, it will really grow after the male ruff will have reached its breeding ground.

This video says about itself:

A ruff trying out its aggresive pose on some small stones.

Four snipe looking inconspicuous along a bank.

Three hares in the northern meadow.

Also Canada, grey lag, and Egyptian geese; and a male and a female gadwall.

A black swan flying, then swimming. It is half of the couple, nesting near the southern lake.

Contrary to last time, I see now more than one grey lag geese couple with goslings. Some of the goslings try to dive in the canal.

A wren sings. The first barn swallows of this spring fly around, twittering.

South of the bridge, the first sedge warblers of this spring are singing.

Two little grebes swimming in the ditch, past a coot nest.

The non-nesting coot brings plant material to its nesting partner.

In the northern part: two little ringed plovers.

In the southern part: a male reed bunting taking soft material from an old reedstem’s top to line its nest.

On the banks of the southern lake: resting teal, little ringed plovers.

A blue tit on a reedstem, taking soft material for its nest.

A female mallard with ducklings. Edible frog sound.

Between the cormorants of the northern lake: common gulls and lesser black-backed gulls.

Libyan war escalating?


This video is called Americans Rally to Stop War on Libya & Iraq & Afghanistan.

General Carter Ham told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that US troops may have to be sent to Libya: here.

Having endorsed the Obama administration’s war in Libya on the pretext of “protecting civilians,” the editors of the New York Times are now demanding a sharp escalation in the killing through the reintroduction of the US military’s flying gunships: here.