October 03, 2014

5:25 PM | Friday Headlines: 10-3-14
Friday Headlines, October 3, 2014 THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES   Today’s round-up: Pegmatites and feral rocks An ash fall at Mount Ontake Birds. Dinosaurs. One in the same.   The Origin of the Rose Quartz Monument This week was … Continue reading →
3:36 PM | IPC Day 2 – The evolution of giants
This is a slightly delayed summary of the sauropod symposium on day 2 of IPC4, following sessions the previous day on vertebrate taphonomy and diversity and extinction in the fossil record. This is also the final of these little summaries, and for that I apologise – my laptop is a bit kaput atm, and needs […]
3:11 PM | Mesozoic Miscellany 65
After a really super-long break, we're back with the 65th post in the Mesozoic Miscellany series. I really haven't meant to do these posts so sporadically, but I had some freelance jobs come up that took up a lot of time over the last few months. Sorry about that! I hope to get back on a more regular schedule with them. Around the DinoblogosphereAt Life Traces of the Georgia Coast, Tony Martin wrote a touching post in the wake of his mother's passing, reflecting on how he came from a childhood […]
2:30 PM | The Smell of Dust and Damp, Rotting Leaves
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Which smell lets you know that it is autumn? —— The title of this post gives it away. It’s something about the smell of the summer’s spent leaves as … Continue reading →
7:19 AM | Fossil Friday – more camel bones
Last week for Fossil Friday I showed an example of a metapodial of an extinct camel, Camelops hesternus, which was collected about a mile from the museum’s current location. It turns out that the metacarpals weren’t found in isolation. Several other bones were … Continue reading →
5:11 AM | Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Eocrinoid holdfasts on a Middle Ordovician hardground from Utah
Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, several students and I did fieldwork in the Middle Ordovician Kanosh Formation in west-central Utah. One year we were joined by my friend Tim Palmer of the University of Aberystwyth. Together, Chris Finton (’91), Lewis Kaufman (’91), Tim and I put together a paper describing the carbonate […]
1:30 AM | Sigillaria Plant Fossil
This picture is of a Sigillaria sp. plant fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Plants like this existed at the time of the Carboniferous Period. The fossil was found in Westfalia, Germany. Image taken in June 2014.

October 02, 2014

2:00 PM | Thirsty Thursday – Racking and Readying
It’s October now. That time of year when all the summer seasonal drinks disappear to be replaced with pumpkin spice everything. This weekend I should be bottling my Sam Adam’s Summer Ale clone. You can’t buy it anymore because it’s … Continue reading →
1:30 PM | All the Leaves are Brown…
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Winter and summer are two seasons that have songs clearly associated with the time period. But are there any songs that remind you of fall? —— I always think … Continue reading →
2:33 AM | Swish Crunch Click
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Crunch crunch crunch: leaves are starting to carpet the sidewalks. Tell us about your favourite autumnal sound. —— It’s Fall. This is a difficult time of year for me. … Continue reading →
1:30 AM | Castanea Plant Fossil
Here is a picture of a Castanea kubinyi plant leaf fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Plants like this existed at the time of the Miocene Epoch of the Neogene Period. The fossil was found in S. Angelo, Senigaglia, Marche Italy. Image taken in June 2014.
12:58 AM | In the footsteps of Charles Darwin: Geological excursion into the Central Andes
MENDOZA, ARGENTINA–Today I had one of the finest geological field trips in my life. The scenery was stunning, the geology extraordinary, and the history deeply moving. Being able to share the experience with so many of my geologist friends, old and new, was a bonus. I also thought how much my Wooster Geology colleagues would […]

October 01, 2014

7:13 PM | Atlas of Dinosaurs, The Return
Our sole criterion for a book to qualify for the blog's Vintage Dinosaur Art series is that it is 20 years old. (And yes, because of that, I am very guilty of stretching the definition of 'vintage' to breaking point.) Atlas of Dinosaurs is rather newer than that, but as was plainly seen last week, it might as well be straight out of the 1980s. Following the panoramic illustrations in the previous post, I'd like to dedicate this one to depictions of individual animals. Warning: levels of […]
1:00 PM | Dinosaur Arms to Bird Wings: It's All in the Wrist
A new study shows how bird wrists evolved from those of their dinosaur predecessors.
9:21 AM | I am now a “famous palaeontologist” … thanks to my antlers
Just over a year ago, in his write-up of the Edinburgh SVPCA, Matt included a photo of me standing in front of a Giant Irish Elk (Megaloceros), positioned so that the antlers seem to be growing out of my head. Matt finished his post with a background-free version of that photo, and commented: … so he […]

September 30, 2014

9:19 PM | Nothing quite like the feeling of completing your presentation: Day 2 of the International Palaeontological Congress
MENDOZA, ARGENTINA–I promise, the images will be much more interesting in the next post! Today we concentrated on talks. I finally was able to deliver mine in the same session as Leif Tapanila above. It was a crowded little room, but the presentations kept us well entertained and informed. I learned a lesson: without any […]
8:56 PM | IPC4 Day 1 – Death is the road to awe
Following on from the previous post, the afternoon symposium was all about the applications and implications of vertebrate taphonomy. Matt Carrano kicked things off with a great talk on how microfossil bonebeds help to guide our understanding of terrestrial palaeoecosystems. Using sites from the well-known but poorly understood Cloverly Formation, he provided a key insight […]
6:51 PM | Solite Excavation: Day 8
Day 8 of the excavation at Solite treated us to a number of Tanytrachelos specimens in varying conditions of preservation. In my opinion, the most interestingly preserved Tany. was the one above. The vertebrae of the tail are lying on their sides … Continue reading →
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