September 17, 2014

10:06 PM | Gender balance at SVPCA
I’ve always thought of SVPCA as a pretty well gender-balanced conference: if not 50-50 men and women, then no more than 60-40 slanted towards men. So imagine my surprise when I ran the actual numbers. 1. Delegates. I went through the delegate list at the back of the abstracts book, counting the men and women. Those I knew, […]
8:21 PM | A Russian interlude
What's all this then? Well, I was recently contacted by Dave Hone, well-known palaeontologist, blogger, and exuberant fellow. Dave and I have met a few times, and he even lent me a pile of his old books on one such occasion. This time, Dr Dave had another treat for me. In a letter sealed with wax and carefully delivered by a dashing man in a hat, he had written:"Dearest Marc,I do hope this letter finds you well. On a recent field trip to the badlands of somewhere-or-other, one of my students […]
5:47 PM | Tales of The Finger – The Truth Hurts
I could also call this post, “I Miss My Swords.” I was reading this article today about how writing can help people overcome emotional and physical pain. It resonated with me, because I was cursing at myself this morning as … Continue reading →
1:30 AM | Palaeoconchus Worm Fossil
The fossil the blue arrow is pointing to appears to be a Palaeoconchus (aka Spirobus) worm fossil. It was found in the Glen Dean formation.of Grayson County, Kentucky USA. The fossil dates to the Mississippian Period. The worm fossils is intermixed with bryozoans (maybe Fenestella). Image was taken with a microscope with an approximate 4 mm field of view (FOV). Learn more about this worm
12:29 AM | Bone From the Outside In
Our skeletons are made of bone. This is a fact so simple as to seem mundane. It’s easy …

September 16, 2014

8:14 PM | The Matter of Habit, Cleavage, and Fracture in Minerals
This is a confusing one for students. It can sometimes be a challenge for folks who already have their PhD’s in geology. How do you distinguish among crystal habit, cleavage, and fracture in minerals? I talk a bit about cleavage … Continue reading →
7:17 PM | Tales of the Finger – Oh, for a Main Gauche!
Crazy things happen when you’re out in the field. I carry lots of equipment for working with rocks, but nothing to ward off invaders. On this day, I was merely trying to have lunch and I found myself wishing I … Continue reading →
6:24 PM | Guest post: the genesis of Davide Bonadonna’s Spinosaurus painting
In the last post I pointed out some similarities between Davide Bonadonna’s new Spinosaurus painting and Brian Engh’s Spinosaurus painting from 2010. I also suggested that Davide might have borrowed from Brian and might have crossed a line in doing so. I was mistaken about that, as this post will show, and I’m sorry.  I woke up this […]
1:30 AM | Polygnathus Conodont Fossil
Here is a picture of a recently found conodont fossil fragment. It appears to be a Polygnathus sp. The fossil was found in the Jacobs Chapel Shale of Clark County, Indiana, USA which dates to the Mississippian Period. Thanks to Kenny for the picture.
12:46 AM | Wordless Wednesday Writing Challenge – Reborn
The RocNaNo Blog offers Wordless Wednesday writing prompts. This is my response to this week’s challenge, based upon this photo: Reborn K’eel sat back on her hocks and stared at the tiny, fluffy mass of down. “We made this,” whispered … Continue reading →

September 15, 2014

9:04 PM | Spinosaurus fishiness, part n
Scott Hartman has already explained–twice–that the super-short-legged, “Ambulocetus-grade” Spinosaurus from the new Ibrahim et al. (2014) paper has some major problems. Those are both good, careful, thought-provoking posts and you should go read them. I’m writing about something else fishy with the “new” Spinosaurus and, in particular, National Geographic’s media push. Let’s check out this […]
8:48 PM | A Mosasaur’s Last Meal
Look into the jaws of a Mosasaurus and you will gaze into a nightmare. The seagoing lizard’s curved …
6:17 PM | Solite Excavation, Day 6
Despite the constant threat of rain, we were able to get into the pit and make some progress along the exposure. Our crew included Ray, Jim, and me, as well as two VT grad students, two professors from Roanoke College … Continue reading →
2:30 PM | Giant Dinosaur Could Fill Fossil 'Black Hole'
Titanosaurian remains are found on every continent but history outside of South America is less well known.
3:15 AM | How long was the torso of Dreadnoughtus?
In a comment on the last post, on the mass of Dreadnoughtus, Asier Larramendi wrote: The body mass should be considerably lower because the reconstructed column don’t match with published vertebrae centra lengths. 3D reconstruction also leaves too much space between vertebrae. The reconstruction body trunk is probably 15-20% longer than it really was. Check […]
2:45 AM | Digging the Past! Event at Falls of the Ohio State Park
Saturday was Digging the Past! A Celebration of Archaeology and Fossils Day at the Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville, Indiana. It is an event that focuses on educational activities for public. I am not sure how many years I have been volunteering at this event but it is always a fun and educational event to attend. This year I got a lot of new scientific questions about minerals
2:33 AM | Stink Bug – Chapter 37
“I think things are calm there for the moment,” I said. V’x was grooming herself and trilling softly. W’x’tl was silent, her face buried in battered feathers. ‘The one is violent,’ said the grey. ‘It fights to escape.’ I felt … Continue reading →

September 14, 2014

2:37 PM | The Figure Makes the Fossil
As I wrap up revisions on a manuscript, as well as continuing the day to day work in “my” museum collection, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a good figure of a fossil. The thought is driven in …The post The Figure Makes the Fossil appeared first on The Integrative Paleontologists.

September 12, 2014

7:51 PM | Friday Headlines: 9-12-14
Friday Headlines, September 12, 2014 THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES   Today’s round-up: Parts of I-15 in Nevada destroyed by flooding! The oldest mammal? Exfoliation (in the geologic sense) caught on camera!   I-15 partially open from St. George to … Continue reading →
6:11 PM | How to Recycle an Ichthyosaur
Whales have very active afterlives. Once they settle on the ocean bottom, their bodies become both food and …
5:53 AM | Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: The mysterious Paleozoic encrusters Ascodictyon and Allonema
  The above pair of fossils are small sclerobionts commonly found on hard substrates in shallow marine sediments through much of the Paleozoic, especially the Silurian and Devonian. Paul Taylor and I have been studying them for a few years now and our first paper on them was published this summer (Wilson and Taylor, 2014). […]
3:10 AM | Thirsty Thursday – My Sam Adam’s Clone
In our household, there’s a lot of beer consumption. I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason why I can’t lose weight is because of the vast quantities of beer available. (This is also my motivation to keep exercising so … Continue reading →
1:30 AM | Bryantodus mundus Conodont Fossil
Here is a picture of a recently found conodont fossil fragment. It appears to be a Bryantodus mundus. The fossil was found in the Jacobs Chapel Shale of Clark County, Indiana, USA which dates to the Mississippian Period. Thanks to Kenny for the picture.

September 11, 2014

7:14 PM | The New Spinosaurus
Spinosaurus has changed dramatically since I was a kid. The model I used to terrorize my other toys …
6:00 PM | Huge Dino With Flashy Sail Attacked on Land and Water
T. rex may still be the king of dinosaurs, but new fossils suggest Spinosaurus had star power of its own and sported a dramatic sail.
2:30 PM | Medalla de Oro para la divulgación del Proyecto Somosaguas
1:30 AM | Siphonodella duplicata Conodont Fossil
Here is a picture of a recently found conodont fossil. It appears to be a Siphonodella duplicata. The fossil was found in the Jacobs Chapel Shale of Clark County, Indiana, USA which dates to the Mississippian Period. Thanks to Kenny for the picture.
12:30 AM | How massive was Dreadnoughtus?
In the paper describing the new giant titanosaur Dreadnoughtus, Lacovara et al. (2014) use the limb bone allometry equation of Campione and Evans (2012) to derive a mass estimate for the holotype individual of 59.3 metric tons. This is presumably the “middle of the road” value spat out by the equation; the 95% confidence interval […]

September 10, 2014

8:50 PM | New Answer for Why Hadrosaurs Showed So Much Skin
Prevalence of the dinosaur's skin in fossil record may have more to do with texture, toughness than population density or habitat.
7:10 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: The Doctor Who Dinosaur Book - Part 2
So it turns out that Doctor Who is quite popular - who'da thought? As such, there was much demand for a second instalment of The Doctor Who Dinosaur Book (1976), featuring everyone's favourite Doctor* - the Fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker - wandering around and posing like a prat among dinosaur art faithfully traced from the pages of earlier books. I do hope you enjoy.I didn't mention any thyreophorans last time - but they do feature in the book, so please allow me to rectify the situation […]
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