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"Swimming" Upstream

Photo Information
Copyright: Silke Force (Silke) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-09-15
Categories: Fish
Camera: Nikon D70S, Sigma 18-200 mm (F3.5-6.3), Sigma UV 62 mm
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2007-09-17 11:34
Viewed: 4456
Points: 44
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This sea change for my gallery was brought about by two things. First of all I started thinking more about rocks and minerals when I was doing the research for my series on the geology of the California coast. Secondly, I was invited to do some shooting for an amateur mineralogist this past weekend.

If TrekNature will allow this, I shall be posting a few of the images over the next few weeks. And rather than giving the location where they were shot, I shall give the location from which they originated wherever possible.

The first in the series is this 7" (17 cm) Knightia fossil, which comes from the Green River formation, an area of sedimentary accumulations from a prehistoric lake. Knightia fossils are found in abundance in the limestone that is harvested from the 25,000 square mile area that also extends into west Colorado and east Utah. This is an area that was covered by a large inland lake 40 to 50 million years ago. It appears that during the Eocene Era the region was sub-tropical to temperate. However a relatively brief period of cold caused a partial die-off of the sea life and the same cold caused the dead fish to sink quickly due to a less inflated swim bladder. The latter, combined with the great depth of the lake and the lack of oxygen at those depths prevented scavengers from disturbing the carcasses. So they were simply covered up by sediments that compacted and eventually formed the limestone layer in which they are now found.

The Knightia were apparently a schooling fish related to the modern herring. Not only did they travel in schools (clusters), but they apparently died in schools and are thus found closely grouped within the sediments.

This specimen has been uncovered by carefully scraping away the relatively soft limestone from around the bones with a dental instrument normally used for cleaning teeth.

Tech: shot in RAW, handheld and in available light from directly above the display table on which it lay. Contrast adjustment, slight cropping, resized for TN and sharpened edges only.

Captured and published with the permission of Dr. Peter Russell, Curator of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Museum at the University of Waterloo

Thanks for looking and have a memorable week :D

Research source: http://www.fossilmall.com/Science/Sites/GreenRiver/GreenRiver.htm

eqshannon, gracious, red45, nainnain, Juyona, lovenature, Argus, pablominto, haraprasan, angybone, pierrefonds, SunToucher, jmirah, marhowie, kessi, PaulH, parthasarathi, juanjo, go2stones, jmp has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To marhowie: Too funny!Silke 1 09-28 05:23
To kessi: I am not so sureSilke 5 09-21 04:01
To SunToucher: good arguments!Silke 3 09-20 13:07
To kessi: FlippedSunToucher 3 09-19 09:20
To SunToucher: are you sure?Silke 2 09-19 02:49
To Argus: Thanks for your honest opinion!Silke 1 09-18 03:59
To eqshannon: resounding silencesSilke 1 09-17 20:04
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Critiques [Translate]

A wonderful fossil. This is a combination of nature and geology for sure. It should have it's own category but perhaps not many have pictures such as this. I have a piece of 440 million year old coral which would be nice to post, but nothing as glamorous as this. It is super. Those folks looking might not be sure if this is nature. My vote would be yes indeed.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2007-09-17 13:34]

Hello Silke!

Very interesting capture. Note is really good, same as picture. I posted few similiar photos so I think there will be no problem with TOS. I'm waiting for more of this kind!

coucou silke
oui tout a fait un changement , mais merci de nous présenter ceci,ca change u peu et c'est une bnne réussite
bien vu, merci a toi

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  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-09-17 15:58]

Hola amiga,
intersante trabajo,
y excelente documento prehistórico,

Hi Silke
This is a wonderful specimen of your Knightia fossil. I just love fossils and rocks. This one seems to be complete showing the backbone and intricate bone structure. Lovely detail, colour and composition. Great note too.
TFS Janice

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-09-17 22:23]
  • [+]

Hello Silke,
You pose a difficult problem here. TN is about learning about nature through photography. Fossils are relics of nature in the past and yet they have a connection with nature as it is now. So I would allow it as a fringe category, much the same as I place animals in captivity.
Tn ToS discourage shots under lab conditions and fossil shots out of their location can be regarded as such.

So until this has been clarified I give you credit for a perfect shot of the fossil of Knightia.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

Hello Silke,
To the least of my knowledge this is a fine fossil, well preserved and showing the originating fish in fine details!
Sharp fine details in the image...
Pablo -

Hello Silke,
thank you again for the wonderful work you done and sharing with us this fossil!
perfect clarity and very much details on your presentation!
well done and the useful notes

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  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-09-18 3:33]

Silke very nice shot with lovely notes. The composition is very nice. Ganesh

This is undoubtedly nature - nature created this on all levels - from the original fish to the process by which it was preserved.
Wonderful shot!

Hi Silke,

A nice image of the Knightia fossil, the photo has a good composition, sharpness and nice colors. Thanks for sharing.


Hi Silke
Interesting capture for this old old fish.
excellent sharpness.

Hi Silke,
What a great opportunity you had to learn something about the pre history and also be the photographer. I am sure that these kind of photos belong on TN, since they have a very high educational vallue, especially with the note you wrote.
The photo is technically also very good, with perfect details and great colors. The only thing that bothers me a very little bit, is that the fish is upside down.

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  • zeca Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 373 W: 14 N: 539] (2887)
  • [2007-09-18 21:19]

Nice catch, Silke! The textures of the fossil makes a nice image and it was a good idea to do this photo. Excelent work!

Hi Silke,
A beautiful capture of this fossil fish. Excellent details and a nice DOF maintained. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Silke,
A fine display of the past. Well conceived with great exposure and detail. Very well done.


Hello Silke,
I am glad you posted this picture. It is beautifuly taken with great clarity of the fossil encased in the limestone.
I do however agree with Niek. I also think that the fish is upside-down. The well-preserved fin is possibly the pectoral or even the pelvic fin. The dorsal fin, which would be at the top seems to lie flat or is damaged. I did a workshop and just flipped it. Tell me what you think.
The controversy re posting fossil pictures is probably only solvable by you going out to sites where a new one has been found and photographing it there.
Personaly, I think this particular picture is a yes for TrekNature.


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  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-09-19 3:47]

Hi Silke,
A photograph of a fossil is, in my mind, definitely natural history! I have posted a shot of an ammonite fossil before and it wasn't removed...mine was shot 'in situ', as it were, but it seems they have left this here so no problem!
Anyway, super detail and a nice composition too. Look forward to more, i love these.
(when you come to the UK, check out Kimmeridge Bay - there's LOADS everywhere!

A wonderful specimen shot of Knightia fossil. I am not sure about Tn's view. But as the fossil is an important part to study the past history of nature, so I hope they will allow this and more such pictures accompanying such good educative notes.

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  • juanjo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 167 W: 8 N: 27] (1142)
  • [2007-09-19 15:05]

hello Silke

very interesting picture of this fossil:The pictue could be in a book of Natural Sciences



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  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-09-23 7:17]

Hi Silke
A very good photo of this fossil, full of details. Excellent note too. Ancients rest of life are alwas fascinating!
TFS, José M.

Time to take another quick trip to the museum Silke..
Yep, this one definitely died trying to get up-stream :)
Very well documented post, Thank you!

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