The Paleontological Society of Washington
Wednesday, January 20, 7:00 pm, in the Cooper room (E-207a), National Museum of Natural History, Constitutional Ave. entrance
Exquisite preservation in fossils and what we can learn from it; insights from Ecphora
Paleontology Collections Manager, Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons Island, MD
The genus Ecphora of Muricid gastropods from the mid-Miocene Calvert Cliffs, Maryland is characterized by distinct reddish-brown coloration that results from shell-binding proteins associated with pigments within the outer calcite (CaCO3) portion of the shell. The mineral composition and robustness of the shell structure make Ecphora unique among the Neogene gastropods. Acid-dissolved shells produce a polymeric sheet-like organic residue of the same color as the initial shell. The preservation of the pigmentation and shell-binding proteinaceous material presents a unique opportunity to study the ecology of this important and iconic Chesapeake Bay organism from 8 to 18 million years ago.
Non-Smithsonian visitors will be escorted to E-207A at 6:45 and 6:55 p.m. Society members will host the speaker for dinner at the Elephant & Castle (1201 Pennsylvania Ave.) prior to the meeting. Members may meet at the restaurant or inside the Constitutional Ave. entrance of the NMNH at 5:00 and walk to the restaurant as a group.