Posts

August 22, 2014

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7:18 PM | The Society for Neuroscience receiving both barrels
Apologies for the third post about open access publishing in a row. Normal service will resume shortly! I wanted to bring attention to a second open letter published, inspired by our first one to the Association for the Advancement of American Science (AAAS). This letter was aimed at a smaller society, the Society for Neuroscience, and […]
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4:07 PM | Friday Headlines: 8-22-14
Friday Headlines, August 22, 2014 THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES It’s been a couple of months… but I’m back!   Today’s round-up: A thigh bone on Mars? NO. Drought causing uplift Pouring lava – Cool video of the day  No, … Continue reading →
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3:14 PM | Things That Make a Vertebrate Paleontologist Weep with Joy
There are times when I really wish I were born an invertebrate paleontologist. For many of them*, a few kilograms of rock can contain dozens or even hundreds of specimens of a single species. This is awesome, because some of …The post Things That Make a Vertebrate Paleontologist Weep with Joy appeared first on The Integrative Paleontologists.
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1:27 PM | In the eye of the beholder
Christina’s first posts at “Updates” – ACD Fossil preservation is a tricky mistress. And a particularly deceptive one when it comes to invertebrate fossils. As the paleontology technician at VMNH, I am responsible for digitizing the fossils insects in our … Continue reading →
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5:55 AM | Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Remanié fossils in the Lower Cretaceous of south-central England
The last two editions were about a bryozoan and borings from the Faringdon Sponge Gravels (Lower Cretaceous, Upper Aptian) of south-central England. This week we have some Jurassic fossils from the same unit. That sounds a bit daft at first — Jurassic fossils in a Cretaceous unit? — until it becomes obvious that these are […]
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5:12 AM | New paper: bloat, float, and burial in dead crocs
I've just published my first academic paper in the journal 'Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology', with my co-author Steve Salisbury. Our paper is called "Patterns of aquatic decay and disarticulation in juvenile Indo-Pacific crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus), and implications for the taphonomic interpretation of fossil crocodyliform material."  What is the paper about? Essentially, the paper looks at what happens to crocodile carcasses when they rot, undisturbed in fresh […]
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3:06 AM | To Catch a Bullet, or a Woolly Rhino – Tales of the Finger
The second morning that we dropped into the cave, we found that some poor rodent had fallen to his death the night before. We were surprized when a few days later, an even littler mouse had fallen in, and survived. … Continue reading →

August 21, 2014

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1:58 AM | SO close
I have often argued that given their long hindlimbs, massive tail-bases, and posteriorly-located centers of mass, diplodocids were basically bipeds whose forelimbs happened to reach the ground. I decided to see what that might look like. Okay, now obviously I know that there are no trackways showing sauropods actually getting around like this. It’s just […]

August 20, 2014

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10:05 PM | Temperature Key to Crocs in the Sea
Evolution is great at producing novelty. Every organism that has ever lived – from the first cell to …
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7:30 PM | Tiny Jurassic Mammals Were Picky Eaters
Two of the earliest mammal groups of the period likely were discerning about the types of insects they ate.
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3:40 PM | Continuing the battle for open access that’s good for science, not publishers’ profits
Two developments since the last post regarding open access things for anyone interested! First, is a little interview I had with the Open Access Button folk about er, open access: http://blog.openaccessbutton.org/2014/08/19/every-time-you-hit-a-paywall-thats-a-publisher-announcing-that-their-role-is-to-prohibit-the-progress-of-science-as-much-as-possible/ Second, is that our open letter to the AAAS has spawned a second one addressed to the Society for Neuroscience, led by Erin […]
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12:08 PM | Solite excavation, Day 3
Two weeks ago bad weather prevented us from continuing our National Geographic-funded excavations at the Solite Quarry, but last Saturday we were able to continue with our efforts. As is often the case at Solite, we recovered a number of … Continue reading →
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11:51 AM | The evolutionary history of walruses, part 1: Introduction, and the earliest walruses
Note: A bit of a disclaimer is necessary. This will probably be one of my most indulgent post series, as this is probably my most favorite topic in paleontology. Walruses are a totally weird and fascinating group to study, and I hope some of my enthusiasm for these fantastic blubbery beasts shines through.IntroductionThe walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is one of the most peculiar and charismatic of all modern mammals, and easily the most […]
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12:46 AM | The Dwarf Pirate – Tales of the Finger
So, you’re wondering what I did. What happened that I needed five stitches on my index finger. Well let me tell you. It was raining. Raining a lot. Completely bizarre for Wyoming at this time of year – for any … Continue reading →

August 19, 2014

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9:04 PM | “Every time you hit a paywall, that’s a publisher announcing that their role is to prohibit the progress of science as much as possible.”
“Every time you hit a paywall, that’s a publisher announcing that their role is to prohibit the progress of science as much as possible.”.Filed under: Uncategorized
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7:34 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: The AMNH's Book of Dinosaurs, Part 2 - James Robins
Over the years of writing these blog posts, I'd like to think that I've matured somewhat - that the vodka-fuelled gratuity of my late university years has mellowed into something more thoughtful and, dare I say it, nuanced. (Oh yes. I went there.) Sure, I'll still point out shonky dinosaur art, but with less savagery, and an acknowledgement that, by contemporary standards, it's often not so bad. Plus, illustrators gotta eat.On the other hand, one is occasionally reminded that a few - a very few […]
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11:17 AM | Farewell to Mike Gottfried - annual NZ research visit
Today is visiting paleoichthyologist Dr. Mike Gottfried's last day on his research visit to our department. Mike comes down to New Zealand once a year during the southern winter to collaborate on various research projects with Ewan. Prior projects have resulted in the description of an associated dentition and vertebral column of the giant shark Carcharocles angustidens, the giant moonfish Megalampris keyesi, and the billfish Aglyptorhynchus hakataramea.Mike's current visit has been to identify […]

August 18, 2014

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10:49 PM | The Mammals Who Lived
When the asteroid slammed into prehistoric Mexico and drew the curtain on the Cretaceous, dinosaurs did not fare …
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3:28 AM | New publication: phylogenetic relationships of fur seals and sea lions (Otariidae)
Last week saw publication of a new study by Morgan Churchill, Mark Clementz, and myself, which presents a new cladistic analysis of the pinniped family Otariidae (Morphobank account/matrix available HERE) - known informally as fur seals and sea lions. I've been fascinated with fossil otariids since I started research on a specimen of the Pliocene dwarf fur seal Callorhinus gilmorei from the Rio Dell Formation in Northern California. This collaboration has been about two years in the making, and […]

August 17, 2014

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1:57 AM | Tales of the Finger, Introduction
One of the “highlights” of my field season this year was when I had a wee accident and wound up with 5 stitches on the index finger of my right hand. In truth, this put a damper on the whole … Continue reading →

August 16, 2014

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2:50 AM | From the Russian wilderness to the big city!
Guest Blogger: Sarah Frederick (’15) Arriving in Moscow was a sharp return to reality. Suddenly all of the things that had come to feel normal while we were in Kamchatka – the winding gravel roads and little towns with random meandering livestock that would peek in your windows – were replaced by traffic jams and […]

August 15, 2014

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8:40 PM | Open Letter to the AAAS about Science Advances
Dear  AAAS, This is an open letter concerning the recent launch of the new open access journal, Science Advances. In addition to the welcome diversification in journal choices for authors looking for open access venues, there are many positive aspects of Science Advances: its broad STEM scope, its interest in cross-disciplinary research, and the offering […]
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7:12 PM | Swing and a miss by the AAAS for open access
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest scientific organisation, recently announced their latest journal, the fully open access ‘Science Advances‘. While superficially this seems like a good move for them, digging into the details reveals many inherent flaws with the journal, that at worst portray the AAAS as a money-grabbing organisation […]
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1:28 PM | Field work travelog – Day 32, Made it
Tuesday afternoon, I finally pulled the truck back into my own driveway. I was so exhausted that I only managed to grab the few necessities out of the truck, have dinner, and go to bed. The next day, I came … Continue reading →
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5:37 AM | Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Abundant borings in Early Cretaceous cobbles from south-central England
Last week I described a cyclostome bryozoan on the outside of a quartz cobble from the Faringdon Sponge Gravels (Lower Cretaceous, Upper Aptian) of south-central England near the town of Faringdon. This week I’m featuring a variety of heavily-bored calcareous cobbles from the same unit. One is shown above in its matrix of coarse gravel. […]
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3:57 AM | Holotype worship and the Hypodigm
I thought a short essay on the treatment of holotypes would be worthwhile. In zoological sciences, many of us are involved in describing and naming new species - in order to maintain taxonomic stability, a type specimen must be designated in a new publication naming a new species. In plain english, the type specimen - also known as a holotype - is the specimen demonstrating the physical evidence for which a new species is named upon. Often when a new species is discovered, researchers will leap […]

August 13, 2014

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10:41 PM | The power of hand-held x-ray fluorescence analysis comes to Wooster
WOOSTER, OHIO–Dr. Meagen Pollock, our mineralogist-petrologist and instrument scientist extraordinaire, should be writing this post, but she was off campus during this event. It is left to the paleontologist, of all people, to file this report. Despite my technological naïveté and more biological than chemical orientation, I quite enjoyed myself. I certainly learned a lot. […]
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9:34 PM | Megalodon: The Monster Shark’s Dead
Megalodon is dead. This shouldn’t come as a shock. The fossil record is clear that after about 14 …
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7:30 PM | Ancient Butterfly-Headed Flying Reptile Discovered
Beast sported a bony crest on its head that looked like the wings of a butterfly, and had the wingspan needed to take flight at a very young age.
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3:13 PM | Possible traces on a fossil plant?
 DB Poli from Roanoke College and her students Travis Lupmkin and Sarah Petrosky have been closely examining our Carboniferous plant fossils from the Boxley quarry in Beckley, West Virginia, in order to make identifications and to look for any unusual … Continue reading →
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