For 51 years, Retallack, a University of Oregon geology professor, has expanded his collection. He recently donated most of it to the UO's Museum of Natural and Cultural History.
Retallack’s collection exceeds 9,000 items, stretching back through eons of time. His donated pieces will be added to the Condon Collection, which is part of the museum's paleontological holdings. In addition to a wide variety of fossils and rocks, the Condon Collection includes the personal holdings of Thomas Condon, the UO's first geology professor, which were obtained soon after Condon's death in 1907.
“The Condon Collection is a scientific legacy for the whole state, and my collection adds to that substantively,” said Retallack, who is one of the curators of the Condon Collection. Retallack’s gift increases the Condon Collection by almost 20 percent and adds significantly to the diversity and geographic coverage of the collection.
“Amassed over his lifetime, Greg’s collection comes from all seven continents and from the earliest signs of life to the present day,” said Edward Davis, Condon Collection manager. “The taxonomic scope is excellent as well, since Greg has managed to collect specimens of several important taxa for comparative purposes, as well as a number of excellent casts of historically important specimens.”
Retallack, who was born in Hobart, the capital of Australia's island state of Tasmania, says he built his collection, only keeping pieces that were truly exceptional and of museum quality, knowing that the end result would likely be used for education and display.
The result is a vast assortment of fossils that offer glimpses of the earth’s ancient past. From 13,000-year-old woolly mammoth hairs found in Siberia to 3.5 billion-year-old stromatolitic limestone unearthed in Western Australia to leaf and fruit impressions from Antarctica, the fossils help to establish the chronology of life on Earth.
“Greg’s interests span the entire range of paleontology from plants to vertebrates and invertebrates, and the diversity of the assemblage reflects that interest and expertise,” said William Orr, geology professor emeritus and director of the Condon Collection. “Many of the specimens he donated are simply no longer available because of their rarity or restrictions on collecting at many of the sites.”
Along with catalogued pieces, Retallack's donation also includes 129 field notebooks filled cover-to-cover with handwritten details about the fossils he collected and where each came from. The notebooks will be an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to study the pieces further, Retallack said, ,noting that fossil collections purchased commercially rarely include information on where the items were found. “We know exactly where it all came from,” he said. “Some older museum collections, for a variety of reasons, often didn’t do that.”
Ensuring that the fossils have a permanent home was one reason behind the donation, Retallack said, but he also hopes that by becoming part of the museum collections the pieces will be more accessible to the general public and to researchers.
However, given the size of the collection—approximately 26 cubic yards of fossils altogether, with individual pieces ranging in size from a large slab of fossil palm leaves from central Oregon to tiny microfossils of Precambrian cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)—that may prove difficult in the near future, say museum officials.
The Condon Collection already fills its current space to capacity, but plans are underway for an additional wing to be added to the Museum of Natural and Cultural History to house the paleontological collections. The museum currently is building a new curation center to house anthropological and archaeological collections.About the University of Oregon
Story Author: Kate Griesmann, development and communications assistant, Museum of Natural and Cultural History.
Sources: Greg Retallack, professor of geological sciences, 541-346-4558, email@example.com; Edward B. Davis, manager, Condon Collection, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, 541-346-3461, firstname.lastname@example.org; William Orr, director, Condon Collection, 541-346-4577, email@example.comLinks:
Jim Barlow | Newswise Science News
New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data
22.03.2018 | University of Southampton
New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world
22.03.2018 | University of Cincinnati
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences