Starfish in the Sundance Sea: Jurassic Asteroidea Fossils from South Montana

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In 2010, Jay Gunderson discovered several Jurassic-age (~160 million years old) starfish fossils in the Pryor Mountains of south-central Montana. Starfish fossils are rare and very few have been found in North America. The Pryor Mountain site produced over 20 specimens and at least four different species of starfish, representing one of the most diverse assemblages of Jurassic Asteroidea fossils in the world. This presentation gives an overview of the discovery, collection, and detailed study of these fossils by one of the world's leading Asteroidea experts. Most of the collection is housed at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, but a few specimens have recently found their way to the Montana Mineral Museum.

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Jay Gunderson is a Research Geologist (and fossil enthusiast) with the MBMG where he studies energy resources and regional subsurface geology. Previously, Jay spent 19 years as a geologist and petrophysicist in the petroleum industry in Houston and Calgary. He received his B.S. in Geology from the University of Minnesota and his M.S. from the University of Montana in 1989.