April 24, 2015

6:14 PM | Fossil Friday – Harlan’s ground sloth femur
There are three different species of ground sloths known from the Pleistocene Diamond Valley Lake fauna. By far the most common of the three is Harlan’s ground sloth, Paramylodon harlani. For this week’s Fossil Friday we have a Paramylodon femur. … Continue reading →
2:08 PM | U is for Upstate Brewing Company
U is for Upstate Brewing Company It turns out the U is a hard letter to find brewing-related words for. (If you have other ideas, then please let me know in the comments – if they’re working today.) So I … Continue reading →
1:10 PM | What are we going to call PLOS ONE-style peer-review?
When a paper goes for peer-review at PLOS ONE, the reviewers are told not to make any judgement about how important or sexy or “impacty” the paper is — to judge it only on methodical soundness. All papers that are judged sound are to be published without making guesses about which will and won’t improve […]
8:04 AM | Why Mike is interested in Royal Society Open Science, and why Matt isn’t
Copied from an email exchange. Mike: Did we know about the Royal Society’s PLOS ONE-clone? I am in favour of this. I might well send them my next paper while the universal waiver is still in place. Matt: Did not know about it. Their post-waiver APC is insane. How can they possibly justify $1600? Mike: […]
4:52 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A twisted scleractinian coral from the Middle Jurassic of southern Israel
Another exquisite little coral this week from the collection of Matmor Formation (Middle Jurassic, southern Israel) corals Annette Hilton (’17) and I are working through. We believe this is Epistreptophyllum Milaschewitsch, 1876. It is a solitary (although more on that in a moment) scleractinian coral found in marly sediments at our location C/W-366 in Hamakhtesh […]
1:51 AM | Stalking the Wild Faculty
He waits, coiled, ready to strike. He’s put himself in the perfect place. The door is in front of him. None can pass through without his notice. He taps on the keyboard impatiently, looking up at the slightest noise from … Continue reading →

April 23, 2015

10:00 PM | The Deep History of the Sea’s Bone-Eating Worms
Bones are symbols of death. That makes sense. Before X-rays and CT scans allowed us to look inside …
8:11 PM | Do figs contain wasps?
Yes, some figs will contain wasp eggs/larvae/pupae, depending on the time of the year and where you live. The adults do not stay in the fig though. But unless you’re blind or distracted while eating, you’ll notice if something is wrong – the fig will be thinner and, well, there are animals inside it. If they’re your own … Continue reading Do figs contain wasps? → The post Do figs contain wasps? appeared first on Teaching Biology.
4:24 PM | T is for Trub
T is for Trub It sounds bad. It sounds like trouble. Because it is. Trub is that nasty brown-grey stuff that builds up in the bottom of the fermentation vessel. It can wind up being an inch-thick layer of sludge … Continue reading →
4:17 PM | S is for Sugar
S is for Sugar Sugar is what is fermented to make the alcohol in beer, mead, wine, and other beverages. But not all sugar is created equal. The names of sugars typically end with the -ose suffix. The ones you’ve … Continue reading →
6:53 AM | Measure the thing you’re interested in
The REF (Research Excellence Framework) is a time-consuming exercise that UK universities have to go through every few years to assess and demonstrate the value of their research to the government; the way funding is allocated between universities is largely dependent on the results of the REF. The exercise is widely resented, in part because the processes […]

April 22, 2015

6:00 PM | What Male and Female Stegosaurus Looked Like
Male and female dinosaurs from the same species sported different looks.
3:35 PM |
Mi primer EJIP:Cada vez que iba a una excavación, siempre oía a alguien contar alguna anécdota o vivencia, sobre un congreso llamado EJIP. Todo el mundo hablaba maravillas de tal congreso, tanto a nivel científico como en lo personal. Un congreso de jóvenes investigadores, donde todos exponían sus trabajos, y servía tanto para ver lo que la gente hacía, como para entablar relaciones y contactos en el mundo de la paleontología.Pues […]
1:12 PM | Dinosaur Egg Stash Found During China Roadwork
A nest of 43 dinosaur eggs were revealed in red sandstone as construction workers dug into a road in the city's center.
3:45 AM | The rise of scaley bird legs, aka podotheca
New podotheca evidence just in! Hooray for scaley bird legs! Image of Grey parrot feet by sarniebills1, via Wikipedia. Back in 2013, I wrote about podotheca (the scales covering the lower leg and foot) in modern birds, and a fossil theropod described by Casa et al. (2013). The authors examined the holotype specimen of Aniksosaurus darwini (a coelurosaurian theropod) for taphonomic features. They found that the upper leg bone (femur) had suffered some post-mortem weathering […]
2:36 AM | R is for Racking
R is for Racking To be honest, I have no idea why they call it ‘racking.’ There’s no rack involved. Racking is the process of moving the mostly-fermented beer from one fermentation tank to another. In the process, debris from … Continue reading →

April 21, 2015

7:11 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: The First Life on Earth (Wonder Why book)
We return to the 1970s this week, with a book that encapsulates why it was such a wonderful decade for kids' dinosaur books. The First Life on Earth (1977, a Wonder Why Book of) is typical of so many children's books on prehistoric life in that it purports to offer a potted history of the evolution of animal life on Earth, while focussing disproportionately on dinosaurs. Of course, this is most certainly a Good Thing, as dinosaurs are the bestest animals ever and all us mammals should feel […]
3:20 PM | Flipping the Classroom with Meteorite Impacts
Our introductory courses don’t have labs, but that doesn’t stop our students from having hands-on experiences. Today, students in the Geology of Natural Hazards investigated the relationship between impact craters and projectile properties (size, mass, velocity) by experimenting with a tray of sand and a variety of projectiles. Students had a marble, ping pong ball, golf ball, […]

April 20, 2015

10:49 PM | Baby Mosasaurs Were Born Out at Sea
If you want to find sea monsters, there’s hardly a better place to look than western Kansas. Not …
8:51 PM | Q is for Quinoa
Q is for Quinoa Quinoa is all the rage these days. No, I’m not jumping on that bandwagon. Trying not to. OK, well maybe I am, if it’s profitable. The point is, quinoa is a grain, just like barley and … Continue reading →
8:31 AM | Live-blog: the Future of Scholarly Scientific Communication
I’m at the Royal Society today and tomorrow as part of the Future of Scholarly Scientific Communication conference. I’m making some notes for my own benefit, and I thought I might as well do them in the form of a blog-post, which I will continuously update, in case anyone else is interested. I stupidly didn’t make […]

April 19, 2015

1:36 AM | P is for Pitch
P is for Pitch I think ‘Pitch’ was among the more unexpected terms that I learned when starting to home brew. I mean, I know how to pitch a tent. I can pitch an awesome fit. I know I’ll never … Continue reading →

April 18, 2015

11:56 PM | A beautiful day for Wooster Geologists in the Silurian of Ohio
FAIRBORN, OHIO–It’s field trip season at last for the Wooster Geologists. Several geology classes have now been out in Ohio, taking advantage of windows of spectacular weather. Today was one of those days for 25 students in the Sedimentology & Stratigraphy class. We returned to the Oakes Quarry Park exposures in southwestern Ohio (N 39.81472°, […]

April 17, 2015

11:54 PM | O is for Original Gravity
O is for Original Gravity No, this is not a measure of Earth’s gravitational force when it first appeared. Gravity in this case is in reference to density. We compare the density of the brew we’re making with that of … Continue reading →
5:27 PM | Fossil Friday – iguanid humerus
In terms of numbers, most of the Pleistocene fossils from Diamond Valley Lake are from small animals, especially rodents and other small mammals. But there are non-mammals represented as well, such as the rattlesnake I posted a few weeks ago, … Continue reading →
3:52 PM | Book in Brief: Sex on Earth
Panda sex may have no greater defender than Jules Howard. I mean, presumably the pandas themselves would be …
4:46 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A Middle Jurassic trace fossil from southwestern Utah
Time for a trace fossil! This is one of my favorite ichnogenera (the trace fossil equivalent of a biological genus). It is Gyrochorte Heer, 1865, from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) Carmel Formation of southwestern Utah (near Gunlock; locality C/W-142). It was collected on an Independent Study field trip a long, long time ago with Steve […]
2:37 AM | Tutorial 4b: Saurischian vertebral laminae and fossae redux, by Adam Marsh
[Hi folks, Matt here. I’m just popping in to introduce this guest post by Adam Marsh (UT Austin page, LinkedIn, ResearchGate). Adam is a PhD student at UT Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences, currently working for a semester as a Visiting Student Researcher at my old stomping ground, Berkeley’s UCMP.  Adam’s been working at Petrified Forest […]

April 16, 2015

2:53 PM | N is for Nutrients
N is for Nutrients Nutrients. You have to feed the yeast. Now you’re thinking, isn’t that what all the malt is for? Not entirely. The malt provides the sugar needed for metabolic processes. However, an organism isn’t made only of … Continue reading →
11:49 AM | On Scientific Research Career Prospects
A lot of e-mails I get are from high-school students or their parents, asking about job prospects for zoology or palaeontology. Many years ago when I first started this site, my answer to these questions was so sugarcoated with banal superlatives that the e-mail was flagged as carrying the diabetes virus (my e-mail program doesn’t know … Continue reading On Scientific Research Career Prospects → The post On Scientific Research Career Prospects appeared first on Teaching […]
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