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If you are interested in fossils and evolution, you may find this page most interesting.





































Bruce Cornet

Crawford, Nebraska









Bob DuBois

Oligocene badlands

40 million years old



























































a relative of Daphaenocyon









Daphaenocyon dodgei














hind right foot

































Horse evolution
















How does evolution happen?

Punctuated versus Gradual

punctev4.jpg (41627 bytes)

Fossil Evidence for Rapid Orderly Genetic Evolution:

The first detailed fossil record of microevolution with missing links




Vertebrate Paleontology

200 million years ago a lake existed in southern Connecticut, eastern North America. It was initially a deep lake, which was formed at the eastern edge of a geotectonic half graben. Many types of fishes took up residence in that lake, finding it a great place to live.  However, the lake had a secret, and when it revealed its secret, hundreds of thousands of fish and other animals in the lake died.  It is nature's example of pollution and mass fish kills.  If you are interested in learning how the history of this lake was uncovered, and its deadly secrets exposed, go to:

Massive Ancient Fish Kills

Nature's Pollution

Otherwise, read about Cornet's 1969 Oligocene bone expedition:

Back in June of 1969 Bruce Cornet had aspirations of becoming a vertebrate paleontologist.  He and a colleague from the University of Connecticut drove out to Crawford, Nebraska in Cornet's 1968 VW minibus in search of big game - the fossil kind.  They found so much that his minibus had to have all its wheel bearings replaced after returning to Connecticut.  On the way back they stopped at a truck weighing station so that they could determine exactly how much rock they were carrying.  The VW minibus weighed in more than 1,500 lbs. over empty weight.  All fossils were donated to Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven, CT, and the head of the Vertebrate Paleontology Dept. generously paid for all travel expenses.

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69trip1c.jpg (52560 bytes)

A snow sled was used to transport the largest fossils, still encased in grey mudrock, back to the minibus.

69trip6c.jpg (57941 bytes)

A nearly complete skull of a Titanothere was discovered and brought back.  Titanotheres were the size of modern rhinoceroses.

Oligmamy.jpg (37650 bytes)

University of Nebraska Museum

Also discovered was a mostly complete skull of a sabre- tooth cat, the ancestor of the Ice Age sabre-tooth tiger.

saberto3.jpg (27915 bytes)

Oligmamz.jpg (22938 bytes)

University of Nebraska Museum

The most spectacular discovery was a completely articulated skeleton of Daphaenocyon dodgei, a 40 million year old relative of the dog.

olidap14.jpg (42821 bytes)

Oligmamx.jpg (22402 bytes)

University of Nebraska Museum

Below: As it was found entombed in fluvial sediments where it had been buried during an Oligocene Age flood.

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When first discovered, only the bones of one of its hind feet were exposed through erosion. Note how the bones of the foot were beginning to become scattered.

olidap10.jpg (74577 bytes)

Below: A close-up of the skull, still enclosed by mud (turned to hard mudrock). You can see its front teeth, canine (tip broken off), and eye socket where the soft part of the eye was preserved as a cast, indicating that the mud thickened rapidly or jelled after the flood, capturing even impressions of jaw muscles.

olidap11.jpg (52351 bytes)

Also found were several skulls and jawbones of Miohippus, the ancestor of the horse.

miohipp2.jpg (57751 bytes)

Horsevo2.jpg (43713 bytes)

Yale Peabody Museum, CT

More to come.


Send mail to bcornet@monmouth.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 1999 Sirius Onion Works
Last modified: December 02, 2007