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The APS Covered Florida to Mississippi in March

March was a busy month for the APS and I am going to provide a short synopsis of each of our activities in this entry. We started the month with a visit from the Director of the Emily Buehler Planetarium, at the Seminole State College of Florida and friends, then a trip to Mississippi for the annual Fossil Road Show, and concluded with a field trip to a favorite strip coal mine (this was actually the first of April). In addition to these activities, we were also preparing for Fossil Track Meet 8 on April 8.

Fossil Road Show 4 March

Several APS members made it over to the Annual Fossil Road Show in Jackson, Mississippi either to be part of the APS table and display or to just enjoy the event. The annual Road Show is held at the Museum of Natural Science in Jackson and had display tables representing a number of southeastern rock and fossil clubs, universities, and individuals displaying fossils and engaging with the public. It also has Paleontologists on hand to help folks identify fossils that they bring in. It is always a great event, and this year was no different. Ashley, Bruce and Jim manned the APS table this year in its very prominent location in the center of the beautiful atrium!

APS Meeting 6 March

Not only did we have a great program regarding the fossils of the neighboring state of Florida, we also were treated to a plethora of fossils from Florida dating from the Oligocene to Pleistocene. Everyone enjoyed the fossils so much, it was hard to corral everyone for the business part of the meeting! The opportunity to view fossils is one of the best parts of many benefits of being back in person.

Strip Mine Field Trip 1 APR

A small group headed out to the very recently turned spoil piles at our favorite Pennsylvanian trackway site and a few spectacular slabs were found. The first slab has a potpourri of trace fossils, plant fossils, and phenomenology going on. First, there is a very interpretive trackway. Starting from the farthest extent on the left side of the plate a handful of clearly defined tetrapod prints can be seen in the lower layer of shale; this trackway continues on a meandering path to the bottom left corner of the plate on the higher shale layer. This smudgy print/surface track was created in very wet mud. There is another tetrapod trackway on the top right, several small burrows on the plate, a seed fern pollinator organ, and for good measure a number of gas bubble escape impressions (my interpretation on this plate vice raindrop impressions).

The next slab has a number of walking and jumping traces (above ruler) from likely the same type of insect. Notice the tail drags of the insect even between hops!

Finally, the next two slabs (impression and counter impression of the same prints) included both invertebrate and vertebrate (attenosaurus) tracks.

It was a great month for the APS and more great activities coming in April.

Jim Braswell

APS President

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