Core Sample Necklace
A Journey Across Deep Time... inspired by classic scientific samples used to study the composition of materials and geological stratigraphy, the Core Sample covers the entire Mesozoic Era (c. 251,902,000 - 66,000,000 years ago), beginning with the largest extinction event in history and ending with the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs.
Measuring approximately 45 millimeters in length, the shape of the Core Sample is inspired by classic scientific samples used to study the composition of materials and geological stratigraphy. A small information card is also included and even more details about each specimen are available below.
The 20-inch (~50cm) cable-style chain is made from Sterling Silver. The chain connects by means of a spring clasp and is joined by a Sterling Silver centerpiece which is hand-made here at Mini Museum. The centerpiece runs through a Sterling Silver channel embedded in the Core Sample. This design allows you to remove the Core Sample from the chain for more convenient sharing or you can even replace the chain for a second look. A 36-inch (~1m) length of black leather cord is included with the Core Sample just for this purpose.
Specimens in the Core Sample
Layers (TOP TO BOTTOM):
- K-Pg Boundary Material (c. 66,000,000 years old) - The K-Pg Boundary is a thin layer of rock that can be found around the world between larger formations that separate the Cretaceous (K) and the Paleogene (Pg) Periods. Sediments in the K-Pg Boundary contain concentrations of the element Iridium that far exceed natural levels in the earth's crust, suggesting an extra-planetary origin. Numerous studies suggest the material is the signature of the asteroid or comet strike that created the massive Chicxulub Crater buried near the coast of Yucatan, Mexico. This strike is often cited as the catalyst for the mass extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous, which ultimately spelled doom for the dinosaurs. The specimen in the Core Sample was recovered from deposits near Glendive, Montana where the K-Pg Boundary is found between the Hell Creek and Fort Union Formations.
- Cretaceous Matrix (c. 87,000,000-82,000,000 years old) - This creamy stone comes from the Niobrara Chalk Formation of Western Kansas and dates to a time when most of the North American plains were thousands of feet below the surface of an inland seaway. The material was removed while extracting the lower jaw of a Xiphactinus, a large, voracious, predatory fish which sported massive fangs. While Xiphactinus survived until the K-Pg Transition, the placement of this earlier matrix higher in the Core Sample is a stylistic choice to offset the darker color of the K-Pg Boundary and Tyrannosaurus Rex Vertebra.
- Tyrannosaurus Rex Vertebra (c. 66,800,000-66,000,000 years old) - At 12m (40ft) in length and weighing upwards of 14 metric tons, the spine of a Tyrannosaurus Rex was subject to tremendous force. The size and strength of the vertebrae were essential to providing support for this enormous predator, but the entire apparatus also had to allow for rapid changes in movement and critical striking speed. The specimen in the Core Sample comes a partial Tyrannosaurus Vertebra recovered on private land in the Hell Creek Formation of Montana.
- Jurassic Matrix (c. 155,000,000–150,000,000 years old) - The sedimentary layers of the Morrison Formation tell a story of rivers and floodplains that resulted as the Sierra Nevada and Klamath mountain ranges were formed during the Nevadan orogeny. It is an enormous and complex sequence, spanning 1.5 million square km (600,000 square miles). It is also the richest source of Jurassic Period fossils in North America. The specimen in the Core Sample comes from an outcrop of the Morrison formation in Montana. The material was part of one of the most storied finds of Stegosaurus fossils in modern history.
- Diplodocus Foot Bone (c. 154-152,000,000 years old) - Diplodocus was one of the longest dinosaurs, stretching out to 33m (110ft) from head to tail. Balancing 10-16 metric tons across such a long frame required strong legs with semi-fixed ankles and toes. The specimen in the Core Sample comes from the heel and ankle bones that once held up this enormous creature (astragalus and calcaneum). They were recovered from the historic Bone Cabin Quarry in Montana. Part of the vast Morrison Formation, the quarry was discovered in 1897 and named for a local sheepherder's cabin which was constructed out of dinosaur bones.
- Triassic Matrix (c. 227,000,000-208,500,000 years ago) - The Bull Canyon Formation of Eastern New Mexico contains a unique time capsule of rebounding Triassic life. Once an enormous floodplain, the fossil record displays a diverse collection of animals from reptiles to the earliest known dinosaurs. The specimen in the Core Sample is an assemblage of sediments and fragmented vertebrate fossils. Gathered on private land, the classic, red color is derived from the oxidation of iron in the soil.
- Petrified Evergreen Tree (c. 235,000,000-201,000,000 years ago) - Conifers were one of the first species to rebound after the devastation of the Great Dying. The family of Araucaria spread widely across the supercontinent of Pangea by the Late Triassic Period. Over the last 200 million years, the "primitive" look of the Araucaria hasn't changed much: straight, columnar trunks with branches covered in overlapping, scale-like leaves, some species reach 30m in height. Surviving descendants of this family still thrive today in Chile, Argentina, Australia, and the island of New Caledonia. The specimen in the Core Sample comes from a slice of fossilized Araucarioxylon arizonicum from the Chinle Formation, recovered on private land in Arizona.
- Permian-Triassic Extinction Event / Siberian Traps (c. 252,280,000 years ago) - "The Great Dying" is the largest extinction event in the history of the planet, and one of the chief catalysts of this event is thought to be the 1,000,000 year volcanic eruption known as the Siberian Traps. This flood basalt eruption covered over 7 million square kilometers (2,700,000 square miles) with as much as 4 million cubic kilometers of lava (~1,000,000 cubic miles). Carbon dioxide and methane releases triggered by the Siberian Traps caused runaway global warming, driving ocean temperatures to exceed 40C (104F) and killing nearly 95% of life on Earth. The specimen in the Core Sample comes from the Kuznetsk Basin in southwestern Siberia. The Kuznetsk Basin is also home to one of the largest coal deposits on earth, a remnant of the global destruction caused by the Siberian Traps.