Paleontologists Discover Fossilized Remains of  Wax Records, Melrose

Paleontologists Discover Fossilized Remains of Wax Records, Melrose

fossilLester Williams did the honors. With a simple snip, he marked the end of the Age of the Record Shop Dinosaurs at 10:30 am, November 17th, 2001. Herbivore Wax Recordiocus stood no chance. Not even Jason Bentley’s hourly plugging could save him. He withered and died a quiet death in the middle of 2004: Unwept, unloved, unsung. Years later, paleontologists turn to the fossil record to help piece together the past.

Fossils are the mineralized or otherwise preserved remains — or other traces (such as footprints) — of animals, plants, and other organisms. The totality of fossils and their placement in fossiliferous (fossil-containing) rock formations and sedimentary layers (strata) is known as the fossil record. The study of fossils is called paleontology. (source: wikipedia)

The word fossil is derived from the Latin word fossus, which means “having been dug up”.

Fossils usually consist of traces of the remains of the organism itself. However, fossils may also consist of the marks left behind by the organism while it was alive, such as the footprint or feces of a dinosaur or reptile, or random concrete taggings from the fingers of excitable djs. These types of fossil are called trace fossils, as opposed to body fossils.

Trace fossils are the remains of trackways, burrows, footprints, eggs and egg-shells, nests, and droppings (among other types of impressions). Fossilized droppings, called coprolites, can give insight into the feeding behavior of animals and can therefore be of great importance. Fossilized reclaimed sidewalk, also known as vandalism, can often give insight into who loved who, who wuz once here, and which nearby overhyped and overpriced record store went out of business.

Tentaculites found in a State Park in Albany, New York. The enigmatic organisms that grew these shells are estimated to have lived over 360 million years ago.

Finger Traceulites found in a sidewalk on Melrose, losanjealous. The enigmatic finger that drew these traces is estimated to have vanished from the area over a year and a half ago. (source: bullshitedia)

John Falkirk, Paleontology Director for Amoeba Records, has been preserving trace remains for over 30 years. “Once in a great while, you come upon a complete, perfectly preserved find like Wax. They’re rare, but these are the finds a paleontologist dreams about,” he smiles.

Photos of the full dig: [one] [two]

Above: A perfectly preserved “A” marks the territory where herbivore Wax Recordius once held court

“You seldom get the remains you might expect,” Falkirk continues. “After 30 years in this business I still find an element of surprise in every single dig. Example. Last month we stumbled upon some perfectly-preserved remains of a creature called PennyLanopholus. The creature was apparently a juggernaut in its day, yet the remains we found consisted of a handful of tawdry adult DVD titles and a few obscure action figures. Not what you’d expect, to say the least. We didn’t find any trace fossils in the sidewalk yet, but we’re still digging, so we haven’t given up hope.”

“We’re expecting a perfectly-preserved Aronprint sometime in mid-January,” he added. “Fingers crossed.”

You can find all of the fossils in this article and many more at the new Gone, but Not Forgotten (Yet) exhibit currently on display in the Amoeba Records window facing Sunset. Sidewalk fossils are situated directly behind an inordinate number of dusty-ass record players, also perfectly preserved. Free admission and 30-minute validation at the Arclight Ivar parking garage.

Wax Records

Formerly at 7201 Melrose