Paleonet: help

Mike Zimmer zimrows at att.net
Thu Jul 5 17:17:57 GMT 2018


Honorable People of the Paleonet,  I am in dire need of assistance from someone who has great knowledge offossil sponges.  Though I am quite anenthusiastic collector, particularly of fossil sponges, and belong to the localPaleontological Society, I still consider myself to be an armature at this, mostlybecause I have no formal education in this field.  This doesn't mean, however, that I am noteducated and have not educated myself in this field.  On the contrary, I have taught myself anawful lot, partly from books.  I own allfive Treatises  on fossil sponges put outby Kansas University.  That's the heavyweights, but there are many more.  Ialso  have two microscopes hooked up tomy computer and take pictures of my fossils. One is 0 to 200x, the other is 375x to 400x.  These tools really make rocks comealive.  Another talent I have is theability to cut and polish rocks.  Thisallows me to see what is on the inside that is pristine and has not beentouched for millions of years.  OMG whata fascinating world!!!   I have ended upputting myself together a data base of literally tens of thousands of picturesso that I could make comparisons and  make more sense of this.    Here is the rub!  The more samplesI find and study, the more questions I have. What I am looking at is not always in books.  In fact, most of the time it is not.  Therefore more questions!  Needless to say I have questions about thebooks themselves.  Since I do this in myspare time, I have no teacher or fellow students to ask questions of and withwhom to discuss my findings.  What's onthe internet is sketchy as well.  I haveno clue how to classify any of what I believe to be sponges.  Nor do I feel qualified to do so on my own.  Worst of all is that I can find no one to talkto about this at all!  And, it is not forlack of trying!  I have come to realizethat very few people have any knowledge of fossil sponges, even in the academicworld, for I have reached out to many professors.  And, the one or two people that may have someknowledge have a very closed mind on what could be a sponge.  The other issue I have is that I have nocredentials, and as a result am rarely taken seriously.  Some even think me a bit of a nut, yet theywill not take time out to see my research. The hard proof!  I need help!  I don't know for afact that I am going in the right direction. I need a critic, someone who knows more than I do and who I can have aninformed conversation with about these things. I want to learn more! I am at the road's end where I now stand, and itis driving me crazy.  I truly believethat there are countless fossil sponges that are being overlooked simplybecause everyone is looking for something that is really obvious, and they aremissing the multitude of not quite so obvious sponges. Thank you for your consideration,        Mike Zimmer                                                                      zimrows at att.net    (521) 963-1999
 
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