ELMO, KANSAS: THE ORIGINAL KANSAS/OKLAHOMA FOSSIL INSECT LAGERSTÄTTE
Unfortunately, because of the abuse of some visitors to the site, the landowners (the Piper family) no longer allow access to the locality.
Right: Click on this thumbnail for a map of the Permian Insect beds in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Left: Click on this thumbnail for a Generalized Cross Section of the Elmo deposits as drawn by Joseph Hall, a Master's Degree student in Geology at Wichita State University. Note that the names of the various limestones are unofficial, working "bed names" and not officially recognized stratum designations. See J. D. Hall, 2004 in Bibliography for Joseph's MS Thesis.
This is a picture of Frank M. Carpenter, of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, in the field at Elmo during one of his many trips to the site. Carpenter was the premier insect paleontologist working the Kansas and Oklahoma Permian sites (indeed, he was one of the premier scientists in the world working with fossil insects). Photo courtesy of Liz Brosius of the Kansas Geological Survey, who was editor of Carpenter's Hexapoda volumes in the Geological Society of America's series: Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology.
Some of the paleontologists who worked the Elmo site:
Tillyard (Revised 6 June 2012 with newly discovered photos of Tillyard at the Elmo site in 1928)
Right: Some current workers who are interested in palaeoentomology in Kansas (May, 2003), from left: Dr. Michael Engel, Kansas University and KU Natural History Museum; Rex Buchanan, Kansas Geological Survey (KGS); Liz Brosius, KGS; Iralee Barnard, Dickinson County resident; Michael Morales, Johnston Geology Museum, Emporia State University; Joseph Hall, Geology Grad Student, Wichita State University; David Kohls, student of fossil insects.
The picture at right is an image of a segment of a fossil wing of Protorthoptera: Lemmatophora typa Sellards 1906 made by Roy J. Beckemeyer in September, 1999 from a specimen in the Kansas State University Entomology Department collection. The specimen had been identified by Frank M. Carpenter. Permission to scan the fossils given by Ralph Charlton of KSU.
- A Brief Discussion of the Insect Fauna of the Elmo Permian Assemblage
- Some Statistics on the Elmo Fossils and Insect Fossils in general
- Elmo Fossil Insect Diversity - Comparison with Extant North American Fauna
- Elmo Fossil Insect Diversity - Species composition by Order
- Link Here to a page of images of the type specimen of Tupus permianus Sellards 1906 - scans by Roy Beckemeyer made July 2001 at the Texas Memorial Museum with permission of Chris Durden
- A large image file (464 KB) showing the wing of Megatypus schucherti, a protodonate (dragonfly precursor) from the Elmo site together with the wing of a modern dragonfly, Anax junius can be seem by clicking on the thumbnail to the right. The protodonate wing is 195 mm long. This fossil is in the Kansas State University Entomology Department collection. It was found at Elmo in 1939 by Otto Wenger and Floyd Holmes, entomology students at KSU. The obverse was presented to Frank Carpenter at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard, and the reverse, shown here, was kept at KSU. Image scanned from the fossil by Roy Beckemeyer in Sept. 1999. Thanks to Drs. Sonny Ramaswamy and Ralph Charlton of KSU for allowing me access to the fossil.
- Link here to pictures showing examples of the level of detail sometimes visible in the Elmo fossils.
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