13
Sep
08

Museo de las Aves, Saltillo

The Museo de las Aves in Saltillo. Worth a visit!

The Museo de las Aves in Saltillo. Worth a visit!

I find always it a good idea to establish museums with a specific subject, where you find details to one single subject – of course with the option to side steps. One of the museums that impressively presents a subject on ornithology is the Museo de las Aves in the City of Saltillo, which  is dedicated to the birds of Mexico. The visitor is welcomed by a gigantic metal eagle. The exhibition mostlis consits of dioramas with nicely made taxidermy in there. The exhibition tell you about behaviour, nesting, mating, the funtion of the beak, and the evolution birds. Dioramas designed according to the habitats round a a well done and excellent display where you can spend a nice forenoon. Photography is not allowed. After walking through the one way exhibit the door opens into a beatiful garden with a few life raptors, other birds and some pond turtles are shown. There is a lecture theatre with windows that show bird motives. The museum show sells many fancy things for kids, less for adults. The best you can het there is the field guide to the birds of Coahuila for 350 Pesos. Well done!

13
Sep
08

A visit to the Mesa las Tablas

Yesterday, the 12th of September, we finally made it to the field again. After spending the night in the decent Hotel in Montereal at an altitude of 2600 metres, we set off across a pass into the lovely valley of Mesa las Tablas.In this area, which is about 2000 metres high, you find orchards with apple, peach, plum, and apricot trees and many carpenters. Mining is quite new for the area.

the top images show reception and restaurant, the bottom the lodge

The hotel complex Montereal: the top images show reception and restaurant, the bottom the lodge

There we collected the key to a gate and made our way to a roadside quarry, where we did a geological section. While taking samples, we had two minor accidents. Dave Home cut his palm while catching a piece of rock and Wolf Stinnesbeck got hit at the knee cap by a recoiling piece of rock. Tommy from the Museo del Desierto in Saltillo and myself wer not injured. Well. Despite being so nasty to humans the platy limesone houses nicely preserved fishes from the Turonian, which is early Late Cretaceous. The fishes are under study by the PhD student Samuel Giersch (SMNK) in Germany.

Mesa las Tables and the limestone quarry

Mesa las Tables and the limestone quarry

During a break I took some time for flowers. Just beautiful they are!

Flowers of the Mesa las Tables

Flowers and a caterpillar of the Mesa las Tables

While working in the Sierra, more and more rain clouds came in and when entering the City of Saltillo the hell broke loose. Streets turne into torrents and the traffic almost collapsed. We were hit by the rain clouds of hurricane Ike.

Ike´s rain comming up, flooding Saltillo

Ike´s rain comming up, flooding Saltillo

11
Sep
08

Gomez Farías

Right now, I am on a reserach trip in northeast Mexico – more precisely in the State of Coahuila, which borders Texas at Big Bend. We are visting several sites of palaeontological sites and Gomez Farías is one of them. The rocks we are interested in are of Late Jurassic age. The place is in the middle of nowhere. The mountain rim is named “Sierra de Jabali”. Just a dirt road across a train track brings you there. Hence, it is worth while: landscape, plants, animals are just great. The altitude is above 2000 metres. Turning rocks you find centipedes, scorpions, iguanas and geckoes, whip scorpions, camel spiders, black widows, tarantulas and other life forms that pleases any zoologist. The vegetation is breath taking after heavy rains there.

Red flower

Red flower

The geology shows impressively the Jurassisc Cretaceous boundary, probably is one of the best sections in the world. The Jurassic (Tithonian) site was excavated by phosporite miners and left open for ages. Around 2000, remnants of a pliosaur were excavated. Further filed word recovered the rest of the 10 metre pliosaur, but also ichthyosaurs, thalattossuchian crocodilians, vertebrae of a long necked plesiosaur and millions of ammonites and bivalves. The density of the site indicates a concentration Lagerstätte of the finest. More work is planned there.

We visited the site first time since long and found the dirt track dodgy in places.

Scolopendra spec.

Scolopendra spec.

Mastigoproctus giganteus

Mastigoproctus giganteus

Latrodectus mactans

Latrodectus mactans

07
Sep
08

Starting off

Hi all. I just started with this blog. For the moment I am in Mexico on a field trip an will, get in more information soon. I am a museum person. The institution is named “Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe” (Natural History Museum Karlsruhe), which is one of the oldest natural history museums in the world. If you want to see more click here.




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