Posts

November 28, 2014

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6:13 PM | Fossil Friday – turkey
It’s the day after Thanksgiving in the US, so for today’s Fossil Friday we have a probable turkey bone from south of Diamond Valley Lake. I found this bone by accident last week while looking for good examples of packrat … Continue reading →
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4:27 AM | Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Large Miocene barnacles with bioimmurations from Maryland
These two beautiful barnacles are from the Calvert Formation (Middle Miocene) exposed near Parker Creek in Maryland. They are likely of the genus Chesaconcavus. Barnacles are most unlikely crustacean arthropods, cousins of shrimp, crabs and lobsters. Most, like these above, cement themselves head-downwards on a hard substrate like a rock or shell (or boat hull), […]
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2:30 AM | Cleidophorus Pelecypod Microfossil
This image is of a microfossil that appears to be a Cleidophorus pelecypod. It was found in the Kope or Fairview Formations of Mason County, Kentucky, USA. The creature existed in the Ordovician Period. Field of view is about 1 mm. Thanks to Kenny for the picture.

November 27, 2014

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9:00 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH
With 1980s-style dinosaurs once again grabbing everyone's attention, thanks to the recent trailer for the long-delayed instalment of a certain cinematic franchise, it's only fitting that my latest book is a seminal specimen from the era. Hailing from around the same time as the Normanpedia,WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH (which absolutely must be written in all-caps) sees Norman and Sibbick team up again, but this time the results are a little more fun (while avoiding anachronistic humans and […]
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4:54 PM | Open-access megajournals reduce the peer-review burden
Despite the flagrant trolling of its title, Nature‘s recent opinion-piece Open access is tiring out peer reviewers is mostly pretty good. But the implication that the rise of open-access journals has increased the aggregate burden of peer-review is flatly wrong, so I felt obliged to leave a comment explaining why. Here is that comment, promoted […]
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3:23 PM | Social behaviour in the dinosaurs
So yesterday I looked at the groups of Protoceratops specimens and the inference that at least one population of P. andrewsi tended to form groups throughout ontogeny. I also commented on how this was put in really conservative terms – I carefully avoided using the term ‘social’ and didn’t extrapolate up to other populations, species […]
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2:30 AM | Arizona Petrified Wood Fossil
While visiting the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park (1300 N. College Ave, Tempe Arizona 85281) I saw fossil specimen (AHS-NH#13056) from Navajo County, Arizona USA. It is petrified wood. This plant existed in the Upper or Late Triassic Period. There are some really beautiful colors in this piece. The display is located right in the front entrance lobby as of October 2014.

November 26, 2014

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7:11 PM | A block of baby Protoceratops
My new paper is out today and it describes a wonderful new specimen of four baby Protoceratops together in a single block. Unlike many other groups of exceptionally preserved specimens from the Mongolian Gobi, the animals are effectively stacked on top of one another and all facing in different directions and importantly, their inferred age […]
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6:30 PM | Systematics of Putative Euparkeriids from the Triassic of China
Sookias, R. B., Sullivan, C., Liu, J., and R. J. Butler. 2014. Systematics of putative euparkeriids (Diapsida: Archosauriformes) from the Triassic of China. PeerJ 2:e658 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.658Abstract - The South African species Euparkeria capensis is of great importance for understanding the early radiation of archosauromorphs (including archosaurs) following the Permo–Triassic mass extinction, as most phylogenetic analyses place it as the sister taxon to crown group […]
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2:30 AM | Leperditia carbonaria Ostracod Fossil
The fossil in this picture appears to be a Leperditia carbonaria ostracod. It was found in Meade County, Kentucky, USA. The creature existed in the Mississippian Period. Field of view in picture is about 2 mm. Thanks to Kenny for the picture.

November 25, 2014

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6:23 PM | Silesaurid-Herrerasaurid-Neotheropod Assemblage from the Late Triassic of Poland
This is currently free from the Palaeontology Online website.Niedźwiedzki, G., Brusatte, S. L., Sulej, T., and R. J. Butler. 2014. Basal dinosauriform and theropod dinosaurs from the mid–late Norian (Late Triassic) of Poland: implications for Triassic dinosaur evolution and distribution. Palaeontology 57(6): 1121–1142 DOI: 10.1111/pala.12107 Abstract - The rise of dinosaurs during the Triassic is a widely studied evolutionary radiation, but there are still many unanswered […]
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5:51 PM | Fossil Beast Helps Fill The Backstory of Horses, Tapirs, and Rhinos
There used to be rhinos in North America. In fact, they originated on the continent. The earliest ones …
Editor's Pick
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5:41 PM | Can penguins tell us how far the Cretaceous diving bird Hesperornis wandered?
Don’t mess with Hesperornis. It was a flightless, aquatic Cretaceous bird that measured up to six feet long, had a beak lined with sharp teeth, and was partially responsible for the downfall of at least one scientific career*. It superficially resembled … Continue reading »The post Can penguins tell us how far the Cretaceous diving bird Hesperornis wandered? appeared first on The Integrative Paleontologists.
Editor's Pick
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2:53 PM | Solite Excavation: Day 13
While I was out of town this past weekend, the VMNH excavation crew had an excellent day in the pit at Solite Quarry. Led by Ray Vodden, the VMNH crew (Jim, Kal, and Sydney) and a few students from Virginia … Continue reading →
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12:32 PM | “Open access wins all of the arguments all of the time.”
One is rather inspired. OpenCon 2014 was a wonderful time bringing together the best minds in early career research and the ‘world of open’ to discuss how we make access to knowledge, data, and educational resources better for everyone. It wasn’t so much an event*, as a milestone. Here’s the story of its success. I […]
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11:30 AM | El "espíritu aventurero" de nuestra juventud
En PMMV estamos muy contentos de poder afirmar que uno de nuestros doctores ha sido seleccionado para un contrato de investigación postdoctoral en Alemania por medio de la prestigiosa Fundación Alexander von Humboldt. Se trata de Juan L. Cantalapiedra, que el año que viene se incorporará al Museum für Naturkunde de Berlín para desarrollar nuevos y excitantes estudios sobre la evolución de los rumiantes y otros organismos. […]

November 24, 2014

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3:49 PM | Mesozoic Miscellany 69
Newsie BitsThinkGeek, the popular on-line retailer specializing in, appropriately enough, geeky gifts, recently began selling fossils. This resulted in criticism from paleontologists, and eventually ThinkGeek's decision to halt the sales, at least for a time. Lee Hall posted about the controversy at Extinct Los Angeles, following his original post with a ThinkGeek reply, and his subsequent response. At Jersey Boys Hunt Dinosaurs - as well as her blog Shaman of the Atheistic Sciences, Lisa […]
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1:39 PM | A population of Shantungosaurus, the largest ornithischian
Sadly I have to report that after many years working on various diapsids and having published plenty of papers on dinosaurs generally and theropods specifically, and yes even sauropods, I’ve gone and published two papers on ornithischians. I hang my head in shame, obviously, and I hope too many readers won’t think too little of […]
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8:48 AM | Beipiao Sturgeon Fish Fossil
I saw an interesting fish fossil for sale at the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park gift shop in October 2014. The label said, "The Beipiao sturgeon was discovered in the area of west Liaoning Province of China. It was formed in land facies layer of the Late Jurassic Period. It was about 130,000,000 years ago." If I recall correctly, the length was over 20 cm and the price was

November 22, 2014

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10:00 AM | Is publishing “just a button”?
Matt’s post yesterday was one of several posts on this blog that have alluded to Clay Shirky’s now-classic article How We Will Read [archived copy]. Here is the key passage that we keep coming back to: Publishing is not evolving. Publishing is going away. Because the word “publishing” means a cadre of professionals who are […]

November 21, 2014

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8:37 PM | Lucky Find Uncovers a Marvelous Fossil Mammal
Mesozoic mammals were fascinating little beasts. They burrowed, climbed, glided, and swam through the Age of Dinosaurs, not …
Editor's Pick
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2:00 PM | Friday Headlines: 11-21-14
Friday Headlines, November 21, 2014 THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES   Today’s round-up: Lake Effect Snow World’s Biggest Landslide   Western New York Buried By Lake Effect Snow Blizzard This week, the city of Buffalo, NY, as well as the … Continue reading →
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9:05 AM | The most important essay on scholarly publication this week
…is not actually about scholarly publication. It’s Steve Albini’s keynote address at Melbourne’s Face the Music conference. It’s about the music industry, and how the internet transformed it from a restrictive, top-down oligarchy that mostly benefited middlemen into a more open, level, vibrant ecosystem where artists can get worldwide exposure for free, and yet are […]
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8:12 AM | Fossil Friday – packrat molar
For this week’s Fossil Friday I’m sticking with teeth. In contrast to last week’s large camel molar, this time I chose the other end of the size spectrum with a tiny tooth that’s only about 3 mm long. For all … Continue reading →
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4:35 AM | Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: A trace fossil from the Ordovician of Estonia
The fossils above have been in a previous post as examples of hyolith internal molds from the Middle Ordovician of northern Estonia. I collected them on my first visit to the Baltic countries in 2006. This week I want to recognize them again, but this time for the squiggly trace fossils you can just make […]

November 20, 2014

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8:00 PM | The freakily consistent colour palette of Wedel and Taylor (2013) on caudal pneumaticity
Back in 2013, when we were in the last stages of preparing our paper Caudal pneumaticity and pneumatic hiatuses in the sauropod dinosaurs Giraffatitan and Apatosaurus (Wedel and Taylor 2013b), I noticed that, purely by chance, all ten of the illustrations shared much the same limited colour palette: pale brows and blues (and of course black and […]
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4:11 AM | Art Every Day – Day 19
I’ve been trying to do art in some form or fashion every day through November, as part of the Art Every Day Month challenge. Because I’m also doing NaNoWriMo, and attempting to write a 50000 word novel this month, I … Continue reading →
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2:20 AM | Protected: Your Holiday Dinosaur
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

November 19, 2014

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6:03 PM | Bison vertebrae on the prep table
Last week we started a new preparation project, a roll-out cart where we do fossil prep work on the exhibit floor. Our first project for the cart is a jacket containing a series of bison vertebrae. The way the jacket … Continue reading →

November 18, 2014

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9:52 PM | Fossil Fair 2014 at NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Saturday, the VMNH paleontology department (Ray and I), the biology technician (Liberty), and two educators (Sara and Sydney) traveled to Raleigh, NC to participate in the 2014 North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS) Fossil Fair. During the past year, we have continued … Continue reading →
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