Paleonet: help

Frank Holterhoff frankholterhoff at
Sat Jul 7 22:35:31 UTC 2018

Hi Mike,

There is a Facebook Group called Fossil Sponges.  The administrator is a
friend of mine called Jim Wyatt.  Jim is a serious amateur who collects and
researches fossil sponges worldwide.  I think connecting with Jim would be
beneficial to you.

Regards, Frank

On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 12:17 PM, Mike Zimmer <zimrows at> wrote:

> Honorable People of the Paleonet,
>    I am in dire need of assistance from someone who has great knowledge of
> fossil sponges.  Though I am quite an enthusiastic collector, particularly
> of fossil sponges, and belong to the local Paleontological Society, I still
> consider myself to be an armature at this, mostly because I have no formal
> education in this field.  This doesn't mean, however, that I am not
> educated and have not educated myself in this field.  On the contrary, I
> have taught myself an awful lot, partly from books.  I own all five
> Treatises  on fossil sponges put out by Kansas University.  That's the
> heavy weights, but there are many more.  I also  have two microscopes
> hooked up to my computer and take pictures of my fossils.  One is 0 to
> 200x, the other is 375x to 400x.  These tools really make rocks come
> alive.  Another talent I have is the ability to cut and polish rocks.  This
> allows me to see what is on the inside that is pristine and has not been
> touched for millions of years.  OMG what a fascinating world!!!   I have
> ended up putting myself together a data base of literally tens of thousands
> of pictures so that I could make comparisons and  make more sense of this.
>    Here is the rub!  The more samples I 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 the books themselves.  Since I do this in my spare time, I
> have no teacher or fellow students to ask questions of and with whom to
> discuss my findings.  What's on the internet is sketchy as well.  I have no
> 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
> talk to about this at all!  And, it is not for lack of trying!  I have come
> to realize that very few people have any knowledge of fossil sponges, even
> in the academic world, for I have reached out to many professors.  And, the
> one or two people that may have some knowledge have a very closed mind on
> what could be a sponge.  The other issue I have is that I have no
> credentials, and as a result am rarely taken seriously.  Some even think me
> a bit of a nut, yet they will not take time out to see my research.  The
> hard proof!
>    I need help!  I don't know for a fact that I am going in the right
> direction.  I need a critic, someone who knows more than I do and who I can
> have an informed conversation with about these things.  I want to learn
> more! I am at the road's end where I now stand, and it is driving me
> crazy.  I truly believe that there are countless fossil sponges that are
> being overlooked simply because everyone is looking for something that is
> really obvious, and they are missing the multitude of not quite so obvious
> sponges.
> Thank you for your consideration,        Mike Zimmer
> zimrows at    (521) 963-1999
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