--> --> A New Species of Decapod from the Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale of Colorado with Implications for Avocational-Professional Collaboration

AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting

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A New Species of Decapod from the Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale of Colorado with Implications for Avocational-Professional Collaboration

Abstract

In the early 2000s, a fossil specimen was recovered from the Baculite Mesa area of Colorado on a field trip run for the Western Interior Paleontological Society, based in Denver. At first, and for a couple of years afterward, it was thought to be a chiton by its discoverers. Realizing matrix might be hiding important diagnostic characters, the Black Hills Institute of Geological research was asked for assistance, to which they generously agreed, putting in over 70 hours of careful preparation on the specimen. Eventually, a species of Cretaceous crab was exposed unlike any other which had been seen either at Baculite Mesa, or at any other locality in the state. A decision was made that the specimen needed more careful examination and possible scientific description. Dr. Gale Bishop, Neal Larson, Malcolm Bedell and, eventually Dr. Torrey Nyborg, with Alessandro Garrassino were brought in on this project, which finally resulted in a publication which was made part of the First Volume of works dedicated to the memory of Dr. William Cobban, appearing in 2016 under the auspices of Acta Geologica Polonica and the University of Warsaw. This effort can be seen as an excellent example of how avocational and professional interests can cooperate to further scientific goals with knowledgeable, motivated non-professionals providing extensions of field, analytical, data-keeping, and other skills to a professional core which is often stretched beyond capacities of time and finance by the volume of worthwhile projects.