A Travellerspoint blog

Finding a 50 million year old fish!

A fossil dig

sunny 85 °F

Although we haven't traveled much lately, we've been enjoying some fun around Wyoming! Everything from Rodeos to "Fishing"
Just a few weeks ago we had a great adventure ... a fossil dig and a visit to Fossil Butte National Monument near Kemmerer, WY


Most people don't know that millions of years ago there was an inland "ocean" nearby.


And buried in the remnants of this old body of water are some incredible finds ... even a fossil of a crocodile!


While we weren't able to find anything that huge, we did "dig up" a 50 million old fish and learned it's a Priscacara serrata -


I did an AI search and here's what I now know about this amazing find!

  • Physical Description: Priscacara serrata had a deep, oval body with protective dorsal and anal spines. It had a large mouth with an impressive array of teeth and a fan-shaped tail. Its lower jaw was slightly upturned and protruded
  • Habitat: Priscacara serrata is best known from the Green River Formation of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. This formation is famous for its well-preserved fossils from the Eocene Era, which is approximately 50 million years old
  • Behavior: Mass deaths of Priscacara suggest that it formed schools. This behavior is common among many fish species and can provide protection against predators.
  • Size: Fossils of Priscacara serrata have been found in various sizes. For example, there is a specimen that measures a huge 10.6 inches long (Our fish was about that big!)
  • Relation to Sunfish: Priscacara serrata is considered an ancestor of today's sunfish.

Our thanks to the folks at In Stone Fossils in Kemmerer who restored our FIND! When we first found our fish you could only see a portion and the rest was buried in quarry stone. If ever in the area be sure to stop in their shop ... it's like traveling back to the Eocene Era!

Posted by Where2FromHere 20:12 Archived in USA Tagged priscacara serrata Comments (0)

More Travels in Tasmania ...

Russell Falls, Richmond, Mt. Wellington and of course, the Tasmanian Devil!

View 50th Anniversary - 2023 on Where2FromHere's travel map.

We began the day by heading out of Hobart to visit Russell Falls. Once there, we hiked through an amazing forest - that's me standing in one of the giant trees that has fallen over. There was a canopy of trees overhead that stretched upward to the sunlight. Lots of birds calling to one another and eventually we reached the beautiful falls.
From there we drove through various farmlands - including this one growing hops for the beer production - to the quaint town of Richmond. We saw the old sandstone bridge and had a great lunch in one of the small cafes.


Then there was the moment Jeff has been waiting for for years - his chance to see the famous Tasmanian Devil. Pretty vicious creatures as I understand it. They live primarily on road kill and will devour 40% of their body weight in one feeding, eating the fur, skin, meat and bones. Word to the wise - don't pet the devils!


At the sanctuary we were also able to see the cute, cuddly Wombats - short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupials that are native to Australia. And of course, we couldn't miss the kangaroos hopping about in search of anyone who would feed them - so Jeff obliged and we saw a young one nestled next to mom for its nourishment.


The final stop was Mt. Wellington. Kind of a scary drive up to the top as the guardrails definitely did not look like they would stop a vehicle from cascading down the mountainside if it went of the narrow road. But the view from the top down to the town of Hobart, the bay and the Pacific Ocean was incredible.


Tomorrow we leave to return to Sydney where we celebrate our 50th anniversary and board our ship to take us to the islands of the South Pacific! See you then!

Posted by Where2FromHere 23:06 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

An Island off An Island off An Island

Bruny Island - Just off the cost of Tasmania - Just off the coast of mainland Australia

View 50th Anniversary - 2023 on Where2FromHere's travel map.

Today was a very long day of touring but we enjoyed our time on the Island of Bruny. It's an island of 700 inhabitants and you reach it by taking a short ferry ride between Tasmania and Bruny Island. We walked from our hotel to the harbour, not far from where we ate dinner last night. That's where we met out guide Daniel who drove the tour bus.


Once on Bruny Island we stopped for cheese, beer and bread tasting - the breakfast of Champions!
Then we drove to the isthmus (easier said for most!) which is the narrow strip of land that connects North Bruny and South Bruny. The sights from the lookout point were great -waves crashing along the sandy beach and the cliffs off in the distance. We got our exercise climbing all the way to the top.

After crossing the Isthmus we traveled through narrow dirt roads to the rain forest .. with one obstacle in our path - a fallen tree. But thanks to the men onboard, they were able to push it to the side and (with Jeff's direction, of course) hold it off the road while our bus made its way past. Horray!

It felt good to get out of the bus and go for a hike through the forest. Lots of incredibly tall gum trees. They grow from 45 up to 60 meters (a meter is about a yard). You really had to stretch your neck to see the tops reaching for the sunlight. Along with all the other vegetation there were the palms with a dead trunk that were still growing and providing a nice shady canopy along the trail.



We made a stop for a lunch of Oysters, Fish and Chips, and some local beer. Then off to taste the unique honey made from the bees pollenating the leatherwood tree which gives it a unique flavor. Next was a chocolate tasting (not as good as our Belgium chocolate we bought from the bakery across the street from our hotel) and a little whiskey and port tasting. I liked the port. If we have much more to eat and drink we'll have to roll home!


Perhaps my favorite part of the day tour was the stop along the ocean where we say the exact spot that Captain Cook tied up his ship .. at the TWO TREES .. just near the fresh water inlet. It's very apparent what he meant by "Two Trees" back in 1777. We also went to a museum nearby with many archival objects from spears, to travel logs and maps, photographs etc. One was of Captain Bligh who landed here at the young age of 34. Some really amazing history!


Posted by Where2FromHere 01:06 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The Royal Victorian Botanical Gardens

14 hectares with a unique heated garden wall

View 50th Anniversary - 2023 on Where2FromHere's travel map.

We hiked to the botanical gardens and took a walking tour upon our arrival to Hobart, Tasmania. The gardens have a very unique heated wall that protects the plants from the winds and extends the growing season. It was build by convicts on the island in 1817.


It was a beautiful summer day and the assortment of flowers was beautiful!

Other than all the colorful blossums, we saw stone arches, ancient trees and a Huon pine which has wood that never rots. Interesting!

We returned to our hotel in time to change for our dinner at a top restaurant in the area called "Landscape" - known for its steaks. I thought Jeff might want to do a comparison with the beef back home. We were not disappointed. We started with some very "creamy" oysters and a crisp white wine. We enjoyed their Scotch called "McHenry". Next was the Beef Tartar with Crayfish crisps .. probably the best ever. And finally Kobe beef steak and pink eyed potatoes fried in duck fat (their specialty). Last but not least ... Apple pie for dessert with kind words...


Then off to bed for a long day tomorrow at Bruny Island.

Posted by Where2FromHere 23:01 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The Gaol - Just Visiting!

Note: Gaol is an alternative spelling of jail, and it means the same thing

sunny 73 °F
View 50th Anniversary - 2023 on Where2FromHere's travel map.

We have kind of a nice routine now that we've recovered from our jet lag ...
An early morning breakfast of an Omelet of the day made by Chef Greg as well as some of the famous Melbourne coffee and some of the best whole wheat bread I've ever feasted on.
Then off on the CBD (Central Business District) tram ... which is free and takes you anywhere within the district that lies parallel to the river.
Today we went to the Melbourne Gaol .. based on a recommendation from our neighbor David Kelly.
Quite an interesting place - where 133 convicts were executed by hanging from the mid 1880s until about 1920. See the hanging rope on the second floor - still the original beam the rope hung from. Just visiting was enough to make you feel for the men, women and children .. yes children, as young as 3 years of age, who wound up inside for things as minor a being a vagrant. It existed mainly as punishment, not rehabilitation.
The last photo is the body "armour" that Ned Kelly, a famous Aussie criminal wore .. however it didn't protect his arms and legs so he ended up in the prison with 26 gunshot wounds to the exposed parts of his body and was later executed .. They're still uncertain where his skull is .. somehow its gone missing from the graveyard.
My question to Dave, our neighbor ... this "Kelly" isn't a relation of yours is he by chance??!!

After our visit to the Melbourne Gaol, we stopped for a Mocha Frapachino, I added a mug to my Starbucks collection from around the world and we headed back to our hotel to enjoy a dip in the rooftop pool. A beautiful day in a very interesting city. Tomorrow we leave for Tasmania .. hope to see you there!

Posted by Where2FromHere 03:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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