Posts

March 17, 2015

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2:10 PM | You can predict how rabbits run by looking at their skulls (using this one weird trick!)
I have a new paper out today in PeerJ: “Ecological correlates to cranial morphology in leporids (Mammalia, Lagomorpha)”, with coauthors Brian Kraatz, Emma Sherratt, and Nick Bumacod. Get it free here. I know, I know, I have fallen from grace. First Aquilops, now rabbits. And, and…skulls! I know what you’re thinking: that maybe I’m not just […]
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4:50 AM | Sciencespeak: Whale Pump
Whales can poop almost anywhere they want. They have the entire ocean to relieve themselves in, so most …

March 16, 2015

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5:30 PM | The History and Significance of Anomalocaris
As part of the 350 Year of Scientific Publishing celebration from the Royal Society, top palaeontologist Derek Briggs wrote a paper describing the history of study of known Cambrian freak, Opabinia regalis, one of the first fossils to have been redescribed by Harry Whittington in the 1970s revival of the Burgess Shale. This paper is a must-read for […] The post The History and Significance of Anomalocaris appeared first on Teaching Biology.
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4:46 PM | Monsoons related to rodent evolution
A recent study suggests a link between monsoons and the evolution of a group or rodents including African mole-rats, approximately 10.5 million years ago. Lead author Raquel López-Antoñanzas said this: “The monsoon represents a seasonal inversion of the model of normal atmospheric circulation due to an important difference in cooling and warming of the earth [&hellip
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7:58 AM | T-rex at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport
A colleague of mine recently returned from a vacation to Montana.When he was showing me pictures from his trip I found the one shown in this post intriguing. It turns out this Tyrannosaurus rex fossil replica is on display at the baggage display area of  Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport of Belgrade, Montana. Montana is the source of many dinosaur fossils so it seems fitting they chose

March 14, 2015

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3:32 AM | Days Five and Six – Mojave 2015
No summary available for this post.
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1:45 AM | What’s A Tree Lobster? What’s A Land Lobster?
The Lord Howe stick insect is one of the most famous single isnect species. To summarise its story, it is a giant, flightless stick insect that was endemic on Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea, 770 km off the coast of Australia. In the 1930s , it was pronounced extinct due to excessive invasive rat predation, […] The post What’s A Tree Lobster? What’s A Land Lobster? appeared first on Teaching Biology.
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1:02 AM | Carmel Church Quarry 2015 Day 6
Today was a half day but during this short period of time, the crew was successful in finding some photogenic fossils that I can share here. Above are the whale vertebra of different qualities of preservation and from different sections … Continue reading →

March 13, 2015

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5:22 PM | Fossil Friday – bison lower jaw
I’m in Chicago this week for the National Science Teachers’ Association meeting, in part so that my wife Brett and I can demonstrate teaching kits that we’re developing based on the WSC collections (I’ll have more about those in a … Continue reading →
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5:02 PM | Acoustic Fats, Ear Trumpets, and How Whales Hear
Up until a few days ago, I had never heard a blue whale. I wasn’t even aware they …
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2:46 PM | Friday Headlines: 3-13-15
Friday Headlines, March 13, 2015 THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES   Today’s round-up: The age of sponges. How did the high plains get so high? Happy birthday little island! Oldest known sponge pushes back date for key split in animal … Continue reading →
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11:54 AM | Zallinger’s “Age of Reptiles” mural at the Yale Peabody Museum
In 2012, Matt and I spent a week in New York, mostly working at the AMNH on “Apatosaurus” minimus and a few other specimens that caught our eye. But we were able to spend a day at the Yale Peabody Museum up in New Haven, Connecticut, to check out the caudal pneumaticity in the mounted […]
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5:50 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A new crinoid genus from the Silurian of Estonia
It is my pleasure to introduce a new Silurian crinoid genus and species: Velocrinus coniculus Ausich, Wilson & Vinn, 2015. The image above is a CD-interray lateral view of the calyx (or head), with the small anal plate in the middle-top. (This will make more sense below.) The scale bar is 2.0 mm, so this […]
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4:18 AM | For Our Wooster Family
Here’s a photo of a peaceful sunrise at the Desert Studies Center to let our WOODS friends know that our thoughts are with them.  

March 12, 2015

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8:10 PM | Strange Fossil Filter Feeder Was an Ancient Survivor
Paleontologist Jakob Vinther pointed to a rust-colored boulder sitting on the black lab table. “What do you think …
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3:48 PM | Thirsty Thursday – Something for my Peeps
Peeps. You know them. You either love them or hate them. I could eat them all day. So, one day last week I wondered aloud to my Facebook and Twitter pals if a beer or mead made from Peeps (as … Continue reading →
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2:16 PM | A digital head for Acanthostega
What has 16 fingers and a digital skull? Acanthostega, that’s what! Acanthostega was one of the first limbed (rather than strictly “finned”) vertebrates, living around 365 million years ago in the shallow waters of modern day Greenland. Imagine something that looked roughly like … Continue reading »The post A digital head for Acanthostega appeared first on The Integrative Paleontologists.
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3:14 AM | Days Three and Four – Mojave 2015
Day three was spent examining the sedimentology, structure and paleontology, and a bit of the wildlife biology at Owl Canyon. We even stopped at the Payless Shoestore in nearby Barstow (Dr. Wilson’s hometown).  At the Owl Canyon site students examined the geology along a wash (or it is a draw, maybe a wadi?). The big find […]
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1:58 AM | Carmel Church Quarry 2015 Day 5
As we continued to focus on the boulder field, the crew unearthed more boulder boundaries and a potential end to the boulders…well, at least an end to the boulders that are in our current pit. During this time, Grant from … Continue reading →

March 11, 2015

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10:15 PM | An Introduction to Forensic Entomology
Jobs for entomologists outside of academia are mostly in the agricultural or educational sectors, but there is one career that tends to be forgotten: forensic entomology. The most famous forensic entomologist may be CSI: Las Vegas‘s Gil Grissom, but it is in fact a very active field in real life, both practically and in research. The forensic entomologist will typically be […] The post An Introduction to Forensic Entomology appeared first on Teaching […]
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6:00 PM | New filter-feeding anomalocaridid
Ever since their first appearance in the fossil record some 530 million years ago, arthropods have been the most species-rich and morphologically diverse animal group on Earth, containing, such familiar creatures as  spiders, centipedes, crabs, beetles, etc. This unparalleled success is in large part because of how their body is constructed; they possess a hard [&hellip

March 10, 2015

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11:53 PM | Marine taphonomy resources
Robert Boessenecker, of the blog The Coastal Palaeontologist, has compiled a wonderful list of marine taphonomy papers covering the last 5 years. When one comes from an auxiliary discipline, it's easy to miss some of the more recently published, relevant articles in marine vertebrate taphonomy. So, to help out anyone with an interest in the preservation of marine vertebrates - here's a (hopefully) comprehensive list of publications from the past 5 years that you may not have […]
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9:20 PM | Here comes VAMP, a new open-access journal of vertebrate palaeontology
Just launched: a new open-access journal of vertebrate paleontology, brought to you by the University of Alberta, Canada! It’s called VAMP (Vertebrate Anatomy Morphology Palaeontology), and it charges no APC. Here’s a illustration from one of the two articles in its first issue. VAMP uses the canonical open-access licence, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC By), which […]
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7:21 PM | Newfound Fossil Octopus and Squid Were Giants
A good fossil squid is hard to find. The invertebrates are too squishy to leave much behind, and …
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3:55 PM | Climate, Science, and Perception
This morning I received a simple email from a high school student requesting information about climate change, the experiments we use to prove or disprove warming, and the public’s perception. Apparently this touched a nerve with me. Apologies to this … Continue reading →
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10:17 AM | The First Two Days in the Mojave
  Nine students and five faculty and staff are part of Desert Geology 2015, a week-long fieldtrip to the Mojave Desert. Here the nine students, joined by Cam Matesich (Wooster ’14) gathered at an overlook of Death Valley (Dante’s View). Cam joined the group on the second day to guide us through various sites and share […]
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4:41 AM | Carmel Church Quarry 2015 Day 4
Due to poor weather conditions, lingering snow, and ice, I lost three days of excavation time. Fortunately, my next crew of volunteers arrived safely and had excellent weather conditions to work in on their first day. This new crew consists … Continue reading →
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1:50 AM | Sciencespeak: Hyoid
Some of our bones are easy to see. The zygomatic bones that give our cheeks shape, the delicate …

March 09, 2015

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8:58 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: Dinosaurs (BBC Fact Finders)
After our sojourn to the 1960s in the last post, I'm afraid it's back to 1990 for this one, with all of the Sibbick rip-offs that that tends to entail. Part of the BBC Fact Finders series (other titles included Egypt, Weather, Seashore and Nutkins on Pets, which presumably featured stalwart children's TV presenter Terry Nutkins, or else has a very baffling title), Dinosaurs is a very typical book of the post-Normanpedia, pre-Jurassic Park era (the Sibbickian?). Greg Paul-type dinosaurs haven't […]
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6:54 PM | On animal cognition
Inspired by Roy Mason’s lecture at WSC last Thursday I decided to republish this post from my old blog. This was originally published at my old blog, “Updates from the Paleontology Lab” on April 6, 2011 under the title “And … Continue reading →
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