This timeline of paleontology in West Virginia is a chronologically ordered list events in the history of paleontological research occurring within or conducted by people from the U.S. state of West Virginia.
Vertebrate paleontology is the subfield of paleontology that seeks to discover, through the study of fossilized remains, the behavior, reproduction and appearance of extinct animals with vertebrae or a notochord. It also tries to connect, by using the evolutionary timeline, the animals of the past and their modern-day relatives.
The Greenbrier River is a tributary of the New River, 162 miles (261 km) long, in southeastern West Virginia, in the United States. Via the New, Kanawha and Ohio rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 1,656 square miles (4,290 km2). It is one of the longest rivers in West Virginia.
Diadectidae is an extinct family of early tetrapods that lived in what is now North America and Europe during the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian in Asia during the Late Permian. They were the first herbivorous tetrapods, and also the first fully terrestrial animals to attain large sizes. Footprints indicate that diadectids walked with an erect posture. They were the first to exploit plant material in terrestrial food chains, making their appearance an important stage in both vertebrate evolution and the development of terrestrial ecosystems.
Megalonyx is an extinct genus of ground sloths of the family Megalonychidae, native to North America during the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs. It became extinct during the Quaternary extinction event at the end of the Rancholabrean of the Pleistocene, living from ~5 million to 11,000 years ago. The type species, M. jeffersonii, measured about 3 meters (9.8 ft) and weighed up to 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb). Megalonyx is descended from Pliometanastes, a genus of ground sloth that had arrived in North America during the Late Miocene, prior to the Great American Biotic Interchange. Megalonyx had the widest distribution of any North American ground sloth, having a range encompassing most of the contiguous United States, extending as far north as Alaska during warm periods.
Palmichnium is an ichnofossil genus, interpreted as a eurypterid trackway. It has been found by many places around the world, such as Australia, Canada, United States or Wales.
Conkling Cavern is a paleontological and archaeological site located in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. It was excavated in the late 1920s under the direction of Chester Stock. Unfortunately, Stock never published the fossil fauna from the excavations. Instead, R. P. Conkling, who had drawn scientific attention to the site, published very preliminary lists of mammals identified by Stock and birds identified by Howard. Several authors have done research on portions of the recovered fossil fauna. Excavated before modern dating techniques were developed, little is known about the chronology except some apparently is Holocene and much is Pleistocene in age.
Organ Cave is a large and historic cave in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, USA. The surrounding community takes its name from the cave.
The Greenbrier River Watershed Association (GRWA) is one of the oldest watershed associations in the state of West Virginia, founded in 1990. It has supported the creation of other watershed associations throughout the state and maintains a policy of "upstream courtesy" and "downstream courtesy" with its neighbors.
Haynes Cave is a cave within the Greenbrier River watershed in West Virginia. It sits within the complex hydrology of the historic Second Creek watershed in Monroe County.
Colonel John Stuart was a Revolutionary War commander and pioneering western Virginia settler. A veteran of the Battle of Point Pleasant (1774), he surveyed and settled the Greenbrier Valley and is known locally as the "Father of Greenbrier County". Owing to his Memoir of Indian Wars and Other Occurrences, written in 1799, he has been called "the most important chronicler of pioneer history in southern West Virginia".
Organ Cave is an unincorporated community in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, United States. Organ Cave is located along U.S. Route 219 and West Virginia Route 63 at the Organ Cave, 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of Ronceverte.
Paleontology in West Virginia refers to paleontological research occurring within or conducted by people from the U.S. state of West Virginia. West Virginia's fossil record begins in the Cambrian. From that time through the rest of the early Paleozoic, the state was at least partially submerged under a shallow sea. The Paleozoic seas of West Virginia were home to creatures like corals, eurypterids, graptolites, nautiloids, and trilobites at varying times. During the Carboniferous period, the sea was replaced by lushly vegetated coastal swamps. West Virginia is an excellent source of fossil plants due to these deposits. These swamps were home to amphibians. A gap in the local rock record spans from the Permian to the end of the Cenozoic. West Virginia was never the site of glacial activity during the Ice Age, but the state was home to creatures like mammoths, mastodons, and giant ground sloths. One local ground sloth, Megalonyx jeffersonii, was subject to the scholarly investigations of Thomas Jefferson, who misinterpreted the large-clawed remains as belonging to a lion-like predator. In 2008, this species was designated the West Virginia state fossil.
Paleontology in Kentucky refers to paleontological research occurring within or conducted by people from the U.S. state of Kentucky.
Paleontology in Virginia refers to paleontological research occurring within or conducted by people from the U.S. state of Virginia. The geologic column in Virginia spans from the Cambrian to the Quaternary. During the early part of the Paleozoic, Virginia was covered by a warm shallow sea. This sea would come to be inhabited by creatures like brachiopods, bryozoans, corals, and nautiloids. The state was briefly out of the sea during the Ordovician, but by the Silurian it was once again submerged. During this second period of inundation the state was home to brachiopods, trilobites and entire reef systems. During the mid-to-late Carboniferous the state gradually became a swampy environment.
Paleontology in Pennsylvania refers to paleontological research occurring within or conducted by people from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The geologic column of Pennsylvania spans from the Precambrian to Quaternary. During the early part of the Paleozoic, Pennsylvania was submerged by a warm, shallow sea. This sea would come to be inhabited by creatures like brachiopods, bryozoans, crinoids, graptolites, and trilobites. The armored fish Palaeaspis appeared during the Silurian. By the Devonian the state was home to other kinds of fishes. On land, some of the world's oldest tetrapods left behind footprints that would later fossilize. Some of Pennsylvania's most important fossil finds were made in the state's Devonian rocks. Carboniferous Pennsylvania was a swampy environment covered by a wide variety of plants. The latter half of the period was called the Pennsylvanian in honor of the state's rich contemporary rock record. By the end of the Paleozoic the state was no longer so swampy. During the Mesozoic the state was home to dinosaurs and other kinds of reptiles, who left behind fossil footprints. Little is known about the early to mid Cenozoic of Pennsylvania, but during the Ice Age it seemed to have a tundra-like environment. Local Delaware people used to smoke mixtures of fossil bones and tobacco for good luck and to have wishes granted. By the late 1800s Pennsylvania was the site of formal scientific investigation of fossils. Around this time Hadrosaurus foulkii of neighboring New Jersey became the first mounted dinosaur skeleton exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The Devonian trilobite Phacops rana is the Pennsylvania state fossil.
Paleontology in Alabama refers to paleontological research occurring within or conducted by people from the U.S. state of Alabama. Pennsylvanian plant fossils are common, especially around coal mines. During the early Paleozoic, Alabama was at least partially covered by a sea that would end up being home to creatures including brachiopods, bryozoans, corals, and graptolites. During the Devonian the local seas deepened and local wildlife became scarce due to their decreasing oxygen levels.
Paleontology in Wyoming includes research into the prehistoric life of the U.S. state of Wyoming as well as investigations conducted by Wyomingite researchers and institutions into ancient life occurring elsewhere. The fossil record of the US state of Wyoming spans from the Precambrian to recent deposits. Many fossil sites are spread throughout the state. Wyoming is such a spectacular source of fossils that author Marian Murray noted in 1974 that "[e]ven today, it is the expected thing that any great museum will send its representatives to Wyoming as often as possible." Murray has also written that nearly every major vertebrate paleontologist in United States history has collected fossils in Wyoming. Wyoming is a major source of dinosaur fossils. Wyoming's dinosaur fossils are curated by museums located all over the planet.
Paleontology in New Mexico refers to paleontological research occurring within or conducted by people from the U.S. state of New Mexico. The fossil record of New Mexico is exceptionally complete and spans almost the entire stratigraphic column. More than 3,300 different kinds of fossil organisms have been found in the state. Of these more than 700 of these were new to science and more than 100 of those were type species for new genera. During the early Paleozoic, southern and western New Mexico were submerged by a warm shallow sea that would come to be home to creatures including brachiopods, bryozoans, cartilaginous fishes, corals, graptolites, nautiloids, placoderms, and trilobites. During the Ordovician the state was home to algal reefs up to 300 feet high. During the Carboniferous, a richly vegetated island chain emerged from the local sea. Coral reefs formed in the state's seas while terrestrial regions of the state dried and were home to sand dunes. Local wildlife included Edaphosaurus, Ophiacodon, and Sphenacodon.
The Bluefield Formation is a geologic formation in West Virginia. It preserves fossils dating back to the Mississippian subperiod of the Carboniferous period. Sediments of this age formed along a large marine basin lying in the region of what is now the Appalachian Plateau. The Bluefield Formation is the lowest section of the primarily siliciclastic Mauch Chunk Group, underlying the Stony Gap Sandstone Member of the Hinton Formation and overlying the limestone-rich Greenbrier Group.
The 20th century in ichnology refers to advances made between the years 1900 and 1999 in the scientific study of trace fossils, the preserved record of the behavior and physiological processes of ancient life forms, especially fossil footprints. Significant fossil trackway discoveries began almost immediately after the start of the 20th century with the 1900 discovery at Ipolytarnoc, Hungary of a wide variety of bird and mammal footprints left behind during the early Miocene. Not long after, fossil Iguanodon footprints were discovered in Sussex, England, a discovery that probably served as the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World.