Posts

July 31, 2014

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9:18 PM | Fumbling towards transparency: the Royal Society’s “reject & resubmit” and submitted/published dates
Regulars will remember that nearly two years ago, I reviewed a paper for the Royal Society’s journal Biology Letters, recommended acceptance with only trivial changes (as did both other reviewers) and was astonished to see that it was rejected outright. There was an invitation to resubmit, with wording that made it clear that the resubmission would […]
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6:00 PM | Getting Small the Key for Dinos that Became Birds
Study reveals the key factor behind the transformation of theropods into high fliers.
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2:57 PM | Dinosaurs Had the Worst Luck
Dinosaurs aren’t dead. Not completely. Birds carry on their Mesozoic legacy. But all the forms that inspire our …
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6:24 AM | Field work travelog – Day 19, Micro-vertebrates #NTCave14
Today was the first full day of work in Natural Trap Cave. It started with getting the necessary full set of equipment into the cave. Making preparations to descend for the first full day of work. #NTCave14 pic.twitter.com/AnMR1JAPsn — Penny … Continue reading →
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2:41 AM | Insert random NAs in a vector in R
I was recently writing a function which was going to need to deal with NAs in some kind of semi-intelligent way. I wanted to test it with some fake data, meaning that I was going to need a vector with some random NAs sprinkled in. After a few disappointing google searches and a stack overflow […]

July 30, 2014

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3:34 AM | Field work travelog – Day 18, We’re in! #NTCave14
Despite delays and problems, we did for the first time make it into the cave today! We started the day with some ascending practice. We went to a convenient pitch near our camp and practiced going up and down. (OK, … Continue reading →

July 29, 2014

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1:05 PM | New Solite excavation
Paleontologists have an interesting relationship with quarry operators. By their very nature quarry operations destroy fossils and their geological context. And yet, by exposing new layers of rock quarrying operations lead to the discovery of new fossil deposits that might … Continue reading →
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11:10 AM | How should I cite my old/new diversity preprint?
Recently, I published an old manuscript of mine as a PeerJ Preprint. I wrote this paper in 2003-4, and it was rejected without review when I submitted it back then. (For, I think, specious reasons, but that’s a whole nother discussion. Forget I mentioned it.) I haven’t touched the manuscript since then (except to single-space it for submission […]
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5:52 AM | Field work travelog – Day 17, If it’s not one thing…
Well, camp is set up. We finally made it up and here we are. Alas, it looks like I won’t be going into the cave. Because of this: Darn.

July 28, 2014

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10:01 AM | Colossal Bad Luck Caused Dinosaurs To Go Extinct
Dinosaurs would still be around today, and humans never would have emerged, if an asteroid hadn't struck Earth right when it did 66 million years ago.
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2:38 AM | Field work travelog – Day 16, Stuff Happens
Our plan this morning had been to head to the Natural Trap Cave site and set up camp. Well, things didn’t work out that way. It’s always something. So it’s one more night in Lovell, then on to Naural Trap … Continue reading →

July 27, 2014

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6:14 AM | Field Work Travelog – Day 15, Onward and Northward
This morning we left the Hanna Basin. I’m always a little sad to go. It’s like an old friend. I know it’ll be there waiting for me,  but knowing that it will be at least a year before I go … Continue reading →

July 26, 2014

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2:02 AM | Triassic footprint donation
Paul Olsen from Columbia University spent the day at VMNH examining some of our Triassic collections. Paul is responsible for much of our understanding of how Newark Supergroup sediments were deposited and how they correlate with each other, so we’re always … Continue reading →

July 25, 2014

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11:20 PM | Field work travelog – Day 14, Another view of the Paleocene-Eocene boundary
Today was another long but productive field day. We decided to take a look at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary in a slightly different part of the field area. The day started with driving to what I recalled add a good starting … Continue reading →
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9:03 PM | My scientific media diet, the arborization of science, and the Red Queen
I was reading a rant on another site about how pretentious it is for intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals to tell the world about their “media diets” and it got me thinking–well, angsting–about my scientific media diet. And then almost immediately I thought, “Hey, what am I afraid of? I should just go tell the truth about […]
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4:46 PM | Interview: Ross Campbell
We here at LITC were pleasantly surprised by Ross Campbell's art in the recent Turtles in Time #1, which depicted all of its prehistoric creatures with various feathery coverings (including, presciently enough, the ornithischians.) When it turned out that Ross Campbell is active on Deviantart, well, that was too tempting an opportunity to resist. I reached out with a few questions, and he was kind of enough to reply.So how did you end up on the Turtles in Time creative team? Did you have […]
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4:35 PM | The Bear Post
One of the wonderful benefits of working in the wilderness is the potential for interaction with wildlife. Sometimes, we’re entertained by energetic jackrabbits. Sometimes, camels eat our lunch. Always, we keep safety at the forefront. The British Columbia team was fortunate to see majestic bald eagles, curious stone sheep, and many (many) marmots in their […]
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2:00 PM | Downy Beast Suggests All Dinos Sported Feathers
A newly discovered dinosaur species offers hints that feathers were much more common among the ancient beasts than once thought.
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5:23 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A faulted oyster ball from the Middle Jurassic of Utah
I’m returning this week to one of my favorite fossil types: the ostreolith, popularly known as the “oyster ball”. These were lovingly described in a previous blog entry, so please click there to see how they were formed and some additional images. They are found almost exclusively in the Carmel Formation (Middle Jurassic) of southwestern […]
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2:17 AM | Fields work travelog – Day 13, Of seeds and fruits
Today’s focus was the entirety of the Hanna Formation below the lake beds around camp. For fun, we started in the Cretaceous Steele Shale, looking for more vertebrate material. We found a large chunk of long bone. We then worked … Continue reading →

July 24, 2014

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9:16 PM | Fluffy Dinosaur Raises Questions About the Origin of Dinofuzz
Almost twenty years after fluffy little Sinosauropteryx hopped onto the scene, the existence of feathery dinosaurs is no …
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6:27 PM | Kulindadromeus images
While I’m sure huge parts of the internet are currently going mad over the new ornithischian Kulindadromeus and the implications for fuzzy dinosaurs (or otherwise) there current crop of pictures available isn’t that great. Inevitably those in the paper are small and crammed into the limited space (in the main paper at least, I’ve not […]
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1:50 PM | New T-Rex Tracks Add to Pack-Hunting Theory
Several parallel tyrannosaur tracks unearthed in Canada suggest the hungry beasts may have stuck together to better their odds of taking down prey.

July 23, 2014

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11:19 PM | Field work travelog – Day 12, the Paleocene-Eocene boundary
Today has been a delightful day. Much learning was had. Our crew now includes expertise in paleobotany and stratigraphy, so we walked all around the rocks that bracket the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. I learned a ton today and now beret understand … Continue reading →
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9:01 PM | Tracks Hint at the Social Life of Tyrant Dinosaurs
What’s scarier than a tyrannosaur? Three tyrannosaurs. That’s simple, undeniable math. The question is whether or not the …
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3:49 PM | Pseudo-poo! All that glitters isn’t fecal gold
Fossil feces are the stuff of legend. Not only do they have the “gee-whiz-gross” factor, but they also preserve evidence of diet, parasites, and paleoecology in long-dead animals. An paleontological urban legend holds that the technical term–”coprolite”–was coined …The post Pseudo-poo! All that glitters isn’t fecal gold appeared first on The Integrative Paleontologists.
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2:45 AM | Field work travelog – Day 11, we’re back
After a night in Laramie for showers and resupply, we’re back in the field. This time the team has added five new members. Only craziness can result. Stay tuned!

July 22, 2014

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9:31 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: The Mysterious World of Dinosaurs - Part 2
In the first part of our examination of The Mysterious World of Dinosaurs, we came upon chubby, oily-looking tyrannosaurs, alarmingly carnivorous-looking stegosaurs, and Godzilla. However - and as the title implies - this book goes beyond the eponymous archosaur clade, taking a look at various other Mesozoic monstrosities. Bring on the zombie-pterosaurs!Now let's be fair - depicting pterosaurs in dessicated, mummy-like fashion was commonplace at the time this book was produced. Contemporary […]
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5:01 AM | Field work travelog – Day 10, Regrouping and highlights
We’re back in Laramie for the night after a difficult four-day stint in the field. Tomorrow we re-supply and head back out for the next step in the adventure. Here are some highlights so far: Tomorrow, it’s back out to … Continue reading →
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2:00 AM | Iguanodon Dinosaur Stamp
Here is a picture of the Iguanodon dinosaur stamp. It was issued in 1965 by the small republic of San Marino (located on the Italian peninsula). It had a value of 100 lire but the country now uses the euro as their currency. In 1965 it would be worth about 16 United States cents. The stamp was part of collection of nine issued that year. The Iguanodon existed in the Late Jurassic Period (
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