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Bonner Family Fossil History

Photo Gallery

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All photos in this gallery ©Bonner Family

Collecting a Fish-Within-a-Fish - Summer, 1982Collecting a Fish-Within-a-Fish—Summer, 1982

Jean Stramel, Marion Bonner, Logan Bonner, Dana Bonner, and Chuck Bonner clustered around the quarry of a fourteen-foot Xiphactinus that swallowed a six-foot Gillicus. This fossil is now on display at the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, Canada.

Dana Fossil Dance - 1982Dana Fossil Dance—1982

Neal Larsen and Dana Bonner enjoying a bit of levity in the fossil beds.

Fossil Picnic - 1983Fossil Picnic—1983

Marion Bonner, Jean Stramel, Logan Bonner, and Chuck Bonner taking a lunch break in the fossil fields.

Just Another Vertebrate - 1986Just Another Vertebrate—1986

Ataullah Zia, Marion Bonner, and John Stoss filming at Lake Scott State Park for “Just Another Vertebrate,” a film about Marion for KOOD Public Television.

Logan's Mosasaur Discovery—1987

Logan on Cliff Logan in Workshop
Five-year-old Logan Bonner found a large Tylosaurus mosasaur skull on the edge of a chalk bluff. Ask Chuck about the whole story. Here’s Logan with his Tylosaurus in Grandpa Bonner’s workshop.

Asleep In Their BedsAsleep In Their Beds—1987

Chuck and Marion Bonner relaxing after collecting a Saurodon fish skull found by Barbara and now on display in the Keystone Gallery.

DiggingPregnant Plesiosaur—1987-1988

The first and only known specimen of a pregnant short-necked plesiosaur is now on permanent display at the Natural History Museum (NHM) of Los Angeles County. This western Kansas fossil was found by Chuck Bonner in 1987. During the fossil collecting process, Chuck discovered there was a fetus in the abdominal region. He nicknamed the specimen “Polly the Pregnant Plesiosaur.” This photo shows Marion and Chuck Bonner hard at work collecting Polly.

Wrapped UpThe main body section all wrapped up and ready to go.
In the WorkshopBarbara Shelton and Marion Bonner with the stretched-out pregnant plesiosaur in Marion’s metal round-top shed.
Chuck Bonner with Polly

Chuck Bonner and Barbara Shelton attended the premiere of the new Dinosaur Hall in July 2011 for the colleagues' special event where Polly made her debut. The fossil, measuring 10’ by 12’, has a huge presence in the hall. One of Barbara’s many photographs of collecting the specimen is also part of the permanent exhibit. This fossil, along with Marion Bonner’s 1967 Platecarpus mosasaur, are integral parts of the new Dinosaur Hall exhibit at the museum.

Pteranodon on displayTwo other wall exhibits include more of the NHM collection acquired from the Bonner family in the 1960’s. A flying reptile skull (pteranodon), found by Chuck and the largest of its kind from the Niobrara chalk of Kansas, is part of one wall. Included in this panel is a complete pteranodon skeleton. The second wall features turtle specimens, a Saurodon fossil fish, a crinoid slab and another small Apsopelix fish from the Kansas chalk.

Planet Ocean Gurus - 1992Planet Ocean Gurus—1992

Brad Matsen and Ray Troll, writer and artist for the Planet Ocean book, in which the Bonner family and Keystone Gallery are prominently featured.

Chuck Bonner Collecting - 1994Chuck Bonner Collecting—1994

Chuck collecting the Xiphactinus fish tail for the specimen on display in Keystone Gallery.

Brent and Josh - 1995Brent and Josh—1995

Brent Bristow (Letty Bonner’s son) and his son Josh in the fossil beds.

Kari and Her Boys - 1997Kari and Her Boys—1997

Kari Driscoll (Clare Jane Bonner’s daughter) with sons Sean and Zach having lunch in the fossil beds.

"Mosafest" Fossil Hunt - 1998“Mosafest” Fossil Hunt—1998

Logan Bonner, Barbara Shelton, Kirk Johnson, Gary Staab, Patrick Troll, Chuck Bonner, Ray Troll, Michelle Troll, Corrina Troll, Ive Eddy, and Sue Eddy on a fossil hunt during the Bonner “Mosafest.”

Yale Fossil Hunt - 2001Yale Fossil Hunt—2001

Chuck Bell, Chuck Bonner, Marilyn Fox, and Julia Clarke on a fossil hunt looking for old O.C. Marsh fossil bird sites for Julia’s Ph.D. dissertation on Ichthyornis.

Fossil Bed Photography - 2001Fossil Bed Photography—2001

Barbara Shelton, the photographer, finally gets her photo taken next to a natural arch in the fossil beds. Barbara’s arch photography has been on going since 1983 and fossil bed photo documentation since 1978.

Barbara and Chuck with a mosasaur jawNOVA—2015

Barbara and Chuck appeared on the PBS program NOVA in November of 2015. More information and photos can be found on our NOVA page.

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©2015 Keystone Gallery / Photos © Barbara Shelton unless otherwise noted

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