Published by Little Big Trees Press
Strasburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Howe
All Rights Reserved

The Gunter Chain

How did the bones of a small, white whale end up buried ten feet beneath the rural Vermont farm field, two mountain ranges and over 200 miles from the nearest ocean?
Why did two of the most significant fossil discoveries in 19th century New England occur on consecutive summers?
And how wopuld these discoveries fit into the rapidly evolving scientific debate between glacial ice ages, evolution, geologic deep time... and the flood of Noah?

These were just a few of the questions that confronted Professor/Reverend Zadock Thompson as hew stared into a box of clay-caked bones in 1849. By carefully observing the evidence and wisely utilizing the few resources available to him, he was able to solve the mystery and solidify his deserved reputation as Vermont's greatest naturalist.

This is the story of how a missplaced fossil helped drive the final nail in one coffin and opened up a whole can ow worms in the process.

Jeff L. Howe was Curator of the University of Vermont's Perkins Museum of Geology in 1993 when a bill designating the "Charlotte whale" as Vermont's Official State fossil was signed into law. He has continued to research the whale and has carefully considered the whale's place in the culrtural and geologic history of Vermont. Jeff has an undergraduate degree in zoology from Michegan State and a master's degree in geology from the University of Vermont. He currently lives in Strasburg Pennsylvania where he writes stories and teaches science to art students.

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