Author Archives: Mark Wilson

About Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a Professor of Geology at The College of Wooster. He specializes in invertebrate paleontology, carbonate sedimentology, and stratigraphy. He also is an expert on pseudoscience, especially creationism.

Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Geological Magic Lantern Slides from the 19th Century (Part II)

This is a continuation of last week’s post about a set of 19th century “Magic Lantern Slides” found in Scovel Hall at Wooster. These evocative scenes are taken from reconstructions of ancient life by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins (1807-1894). In 1855, … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Geological Magic Lantern Slides from the 19th Century (Part I)

“Wooster’s Fossil of the Week” is not always about actual fossils, but our topics are each paleontological. Many years ago I discovered in an old box tucked away in the attic of Scovel Hall at Wooster a set of “Magic … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A juvenile conch from the Upper Pleistocene (Eemian) of The Bahamas

I collected this beautiful shell from a seashore exposure of Pleistocene sediments on Great Inagua, the third largest island of The Bahamas. I was on an epic expedition to this bit of paradise with Al Curran and Brian White of … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Modern vermetid snails, a slipper shell, and an oyster

Not actually fossils this week, but cool nonetheless. This complex specimen is in our Invertebrate Paleontology teaching collection with no label giving its original location. In the foreground is the underside of a slipper shell gastropod identified as Crepidula fornicata. … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Demosponge borings in a muricid gastropod from Florida

Technically these are “subfossils” since this appears to be an old shell still within the Holocene, although it is possibly eroded out of Pleistocene sediments and then redeposited on a Florida beach. It is a muricid snail eroded enough to … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A naticid gastropod from the Pliocene of southern California

This week’s fossil comes from our teaching collection. It’s label appears to be from the late 19th Century. It is a naticid gastropod (“moon snail“) listed as Polinices galianor. That name, which I can only find in two lists and … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Pseudofossils of the Week: Artifacts in thin-sections of Ordovician limestones from southeastern Minnesota

It is always exciting to a geologist when thin-sections of curious rocks are completed and ready for view. A thin-section is a wafer of rock (30 microns thick) glues to a glass slide and examined by transmitted light through a … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: Spiriferinid brachiopod from the Lower Carboniferous of Ohio

Sometimes I choose a Fossil of the Week from our Invertebrate Paleontology teaching collection because students have responded to it in some way. This week’s fossil brachiopod has confused my students a bit because it is an internal mold (unusual … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Upper Ordovician strophomenid brachiopods from Iowa

Since we are covering brachiopods in my paleontology course this week, I’ve chosen a very recognizable genus from the Upper Ordovician of Iowa for our Fossil of the Week. This wrinkly strophomenid brachiopod is of the genus Leptaena Dalman, 1828. … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Pseudofossil of the Week: It’s not what it looks like

Impressive, isn’t it? You can practically smell it steaming on your screen. Hard to believe this object is Miocene in age, about 6 million years old. Here’s another similar specimen in a top view, if we can say that. And … Continue reading
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