Posts

April 01, 2015

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5:30 PM | Please Take My Quiz
Read the following poem, and then answer the questions at the end. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a … Continue reading →
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3:09 PM | Heaven protect us from a “UK National Licence”
This abomination — a proposal for a “UK National Licence” for open-access papers, making the available only in the UK, is not an April Fool joke. It’s a serious proposal, put forward by HEPI, the Higher Education Policy Institute, which styles itself “the UK’s only independent think tank devoted to higher education” (though I note […]
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3:00 PM | A is for Ale
A is for Ale Many folks use the terms ale and beer interchangeably, with ale perhaps representing the fancier drink. The truth is, not all ales are beer, and not all beers are ale. Ale is a broad category of … Continue reading →
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12:33 PM | Dinosaur 'Romeo and Juliet' Found Buried Together
The dino couple, nicknamed Romeo and Juliet, were entombed together for over 75 million years.
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2:16 AM | A to Z 2015 – Brewing
I’m doing it again this year. I’m participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. For each day in April (except Sunday), I’ll be writing a blog post prompted by a letter of the alphabet as shown below. As … Continue reading →
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1:00 AM | Pay Scientific Reports extra to bypass peer-review altogether
There’s been some concern over Scientific Reports‘ new scheme whereby authors submitting manuscripts can pay $750 to have them peer-reviewed more quickly. Some members of the editorial board have quit over this development, feeling that it’s unfair to authors who can’t pay. Myself, I feel it at least shows admirable audacity — NPG has found a way to […]
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12:00 AM | Episode 42: Pterosaur aerodynamics
Palaeontology is more than just going out into the field, digging up bones, and putting them back together. A good understanding of biology, geology, and even engineering can help to figure out how extinct animals lived and especially how they moved around. To further comprehend how we can use knowledge of engineering in palaeontology, especially [&hellip

March 30, 2015

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4:52 PM | Death and burial of dinosaurs in China
A new study has re-interpreted the well known Chinese fossil site of Lujiatun, looking at the geology and palaeontology of the area to give rise to a new interpretation of this deposit. We got in touch with lead author Chris Rogers about the project: “New geological fieldwork in China has changed our understanding of a [&hellip
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2:13 PM | Help a Mammoth, Win a Shirt!
Just about every crowdfunding campaign I've seen has included some form of this refrain: Even if you can't afford to donate, helping spread the word is a great form of support. It's true. You may have seen my post last week about my funding campaign to publish the children's book Mammoth is Mopey, a collaboration with my wife, Jennie. And if you follow me on Twitter, you've most certainly seen me mention it a few (dozen) times. So, if you're sympathetic with the mission of the book - to put […]
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1:34 PM | Collignoniceras woollgari Ammonite Fossil
This Collignoniceras woollgari juvenile ammonite fossil is on display at the Mesa Verde National Park as of August 2014. The ammonite existed in the Late Cretaceous Period (Campanian). The area is rich in geological history going back 2 billion years. The national park was founded in 1906 to protect the Anasazi Native American sites found on the mesa tops, cliffs, and canyons. The exposed
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1:25 PM | Get Out From Under The Rock!
…is a common phrase I either think or mutter out loud to fossils during various excavations. But today, that phrase has a different meeting. In January, I spent two days at the University of Florida participating in the iDigBio Workshop for … Continue reading →
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4:57 AM | Evidence of Interaction between Two Late Triassic Apex Predators
I've been away for a bit, but am interested in trying to get back into the swing of things here so please bear with me.  This is a paper from late last year that I haven't mentioned before.Drumheller, S. K., M. R. Stocker, and S. J. Nesbitt. 2014. Direct evidence of trophic interactions among apex predators in the Late Triassic of western North America. Naturwissenschaften 101:975-987. DOI 10.1007/s00114-014-1238-3Rather than get into the details here I'll send you to this podcast which […]

March 28, 2015

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1:21 AM | Dinosaur Whiskers?
Every day I’m home, I’m surrounded by cats. The clowder is rarely more than a few feet away …

March 27, 2015

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5:47 PM | Fossil Friday – rattlesnake vertebra
It’s springtime, and in the Inland Empire that means snakes! The Pleistocene fossils from Southern California make it clear that this has been the case for a long time, as demonstrated by the vertebra shown above. This partial vertebra is … Continue reading →
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10:45 AM | “PeerJ can’t possibly last because the numbers don’t add up.”
I had an email out of the blue this morning, from someone I’d not previously corresponded with, asking me an important question about PeerJ. I thought it was worth sharing the question, and its answer, more generally. So here it is. Do you have any insight into the PeerJ business model? When I try to […]
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5:38 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: An encrusted scleractinian coral from the Middle Jurassic of southern Israel
This week’s fossil is in honor of Annette Hilton (’17), who is my Sophomore Research Assistant this year. She has been diligently working through a large and difficult collection of scleractinian corals from the Matmor Formation (Middle Jurassic, Callovian) of Hamakhtesh Hagadol, Israel. These specimens were collected as parts of many paleoecological studies in our […]

March 26, 2015

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3:34 PM | Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
Lying on the waterfront at long beach is the actually rather well hidden Aquarium of the Pacific. Exactly as with the LA Zoo, for me the great thing here was the quality of the exhibits and in particular the combination of rare species I’d not seen before, and those I’d come across at various times […]

March 25, 2015

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9:10 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: I Can Read About Dinosaurs
Late update: David covered this one before! Be sure to read his take. I try not to go over the same ground, but mistakes happen. The 1970s are a particularly rich source of popular/children's dinosaur books, fuelled no doubt by the Dinosaur Renaissance, the fantastically cheesy B-movies of the time (the seminal example When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth appeared in 1970), or some combination thereupon. I Can Read About Dinosaurs (1972, illustrated by Judith Fringuello) is very typical of kids' […]
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4:12 PM | LA Zoo
Following a recent trip to LA and the surrounding areas I’ve got a stack of photos and local reviews to get through. In addition to the local Museum of Natural History, I made it to the zoo, aquarium, the La Brea tarpits and across to the Raymond Alf Museum, home of palaeoblogger Andy Farke. Typically […]
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3:26 PM | Solite Excavation: Day 20
We had a very small crew today: Ray, Joe, and I from VMNH and science journalist Peter Brannen. Shortly after arriving to the quarry, Joe found a very nice coelacanth. The rest of the day was dry in regards to … Continue reading →
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2:57 PM | Paleontologists Uncover “Super Salamander” Boneyard
Finding fossils takes a combination of skill on luck. You have to be looking in the right place …

March 24, 2015

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3:28 PM | A new giant predatory amphibian from the Triassic
Steve Brusatte, who we interviewed in Episode 37, is part of a team who have discovered a new species of temnospondyl (relatives of modern amphibians) that lived in rivers and lakes during the Triassic. It is thought this animal, which could grow up to 3m long, had a similar lifestyle to today’s crocodiles. It would have been a huge [&hellip
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1:58 PM | Mesozoic Miscellany 73
In the NewsMeet Carnufex carolinensis, a new Triassic crocodylomorph that hit the web with a splash last week. Described by Lindsay Zanno and team in Scientific Reports, C. carolinensis was a massive, top-of-the-food-chain predator nicknamed "The Carolina Butcher." Co-author Susan Drymala discussed the find with BBC Radio's Up All Night. Brian Switek wrote about it over at Laelaps. Chris DiPiazza also whipped up a fantastic illustration of the new beastie. The Guardian published a report as […]

March 23, 2015

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7:25 PM | Sciencespeak: Pycnofiber
Pterosaurs were into fuzz before dinosaurs. That’s true in a historical sense, at least. In 1831, over a …
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3:31 PM | Mammoth is Mopey, a paleoart alphabet book
I am excited to announce that the children's book Mammoth is Mopey, written by my wife Jennie and me and featuring 26 of my original illustrations, is close to publication! It has been a labor of love for the last few years, and I'm on pins and needles as we work on the crucial last step. What's the book about? This Venn diagram is a good place to start. At its heart, Mammoth is Mopey is simply a fun celebration of prehistoric life. Written as an alphabet book, it features 26 animals spanning […]

March 22, 2015

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7:24 PM | The Nerve of Those ‘Saurs!
We know a great deal about non-avian dinosaurs from the bones and trace fossils they left behind. But …
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6:33 AM | Baby box turtles, and the ghost of editors past
We adopted a couple of 6-week-old box turtles today. They are Three-Toed Box Turtles, Terrapene carolina triunguis, and they are insanely adorable. This one seemed oddly familiar…had I encountered it before?
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6:21 AM | SE GSA meeting Day 2
I’m on my way back home from the SE GSA conference, and I finally have a chance to write about the second day of the meeting. Things got very busy at the WSC booth (we sold most of our inventory … Continue reading →

March 20, 2015

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7:03 PM | Book in Brief: The Antarctic Dive Guide
I’m not going diving in the Antarctic anytime soon. I’ve averse to cold, I haven’t reupped by PADI …
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3:12 PM | Fossil Friday – nautiloid cephalopod
Because I’m still at the SE GSA conference today’s Fossil Friday post will have to be a short one. Last week Brett and I were in Chicago for the NSTA conference, after which we started driving to Chattanooga for SE … Continue reading →
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