Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Vertebrate Fossils of Santa Barbara

I am perplexed. Hungry for information on the fossils I have found, I google "vertebrate fossils Santa Barbara" and images I have taken from my own blog come up. I research "Miocene fossils of Santa Barbara" and find only evidence of invertebrates and whales, all embedded in shale or a different kind of rock all together. I am hungry for information.  I post this in hopes that someone will have some information for me.
My first fossil find, identified only as a bony fossil but an unknown part of vertebrate anatomy. 

I sent these pictures to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History several years ago and received no response.

I found this rock that greatly resembles a fossil egg on the same day I found my first vertebrate fossil. 

I began finding specimen after specimen on a particular beach in Santa Barbara. Every walk on the beach seemed to reveal a new find.

This is me in front of a particularly rich fossil bed

My educational background is in human anatomy, anthropology, medicine with geology and paleontology as hobbies. I don't have a lot of experience with comparative anatomy so I am having a hard time figuring out if these are mammalian, reptilian or ichtheoid  (bony fish) fossils.

If you, my future reader, have any insights, please comment.


Anonymous said...

thanks for share...

Loressa Clisby said...

Wow, what a treasure trove! The 'egg' could be a basioccipital bone from the back of the skull. Fossil 17, 31 and 48 look interesting and could be part of an ichthyosaurus, marine reptile or mammal. 31 and 48 looks like part of a tail bone and ribcage cross section, although looks like there is no ridge at the top, typical of marine reptiles. Would be good if there could be something to represent scale beside these bones. Also teeth and flipper bones would be helpful. I'm no expert, however but I'm sure if you post these pictures on palaeontology forums, someone will know. Would love to know where this is! I live in LA. - Loressa.

Shelley said...

Loressa, thank you so much for all of your feedback. This fossil bed in on Arroyo Burro State Beach in Santa Barbara. The problem is that the sand is always moving and covering or revealing the fossils. I happen to have a good eye for picking them out when they are exposed. Most of the fossils I have found are on the east side of the entrance to the beach but I have spotted a couple notable finds from the west side. Come up and I will show you.