October 14, 2014

2:00 PM | There’s always the last minute…
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – What do you always put off to last minute? —— This prompt is timely. I was just looking at my to-do list and noticing what I had listed for … Continue reading →
11:30 AM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: 100 Questions and Answers - Dinosaurs
Picture yourself back in the early '90s - specifically, 1993. Double denim is still acceptable, Jurassic Park is proving to be a boon for the manufacturers of hollow, gawping dinosaur toys, and endless, near-identical children's books on prehistoric animals line the still plentiful bookshops. What a wonderful time to be alive. 100 Questions and Answers: Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals is a very typical book of the age, which is to say that it's filled with shameless John Sibbick […]
1:30 AM | Pyrite Strobeus Snail Fossil
This is one beautiful and shiny fossil! It appears to be a Strobeus pyrite gastropod fossil. It was found in a coal mine at a depth of 60-250 meters. More pictures below show some more specimens that were found. My identification source is Fossils of Ohio (Bulletin 70, Rodney M. Feldmann Editor, State of Ohio, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, Columbus Ohio 1986)
12:38 AM | Wordless Wednesday – Peace at Last?
This week, the RocNaNo blog offered this image as a ‘Wordless Wednesday’ writing prompt: Let’s make a short story with it. Peace at Last? It was quiet. That blissful quiet that made Hanna feel momentarily hopeful. The pond was still. … Continue reading →

October 13, 2014

5:24 PM | Prehistoric OC
I spent several hours yesterday at Prehistoric OC, a science festival organized by The Cooper Center and held at Ralph B. Clark Regional Park in Buena Park. Over 25 different information booths and attractions were available for visitors, as well … Continue reading →
2:50 PM | Make Deadlines, not Perfection
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Do you work well under pressure when it’s crunch time? —— How many times in my life have I experienced “crunch time”? Lately, it’s inevitably related to a grant … Continue reading →
2:36 PM | Stink Bug – Chapter 39
The floor was hard, but the chair was no longer an option. It had been mangled by W’x’tl’s aggression. It would take some doing to make it a serviceable piece of furniture again. Probably easier to just toss it out … Continue reading →
1:00 PM | Book Review: Tales of Prehistoric Life by Daniel Loxton
This spring, Daniel Loxton published his third and final children's book in the Tales of Prehistoric Life series: Plesiosaur Peril, the story of the dangerous life of a young Cryptoclidus in the Jurassic. It was proceeded by Ankylosaur Attack (2011) and Pterosaur Trouble (2013). Today I'll cover all three. The TL;DR version: they're great. Daniel Loxton's name is probably recognizable to the portion of our readers who also follow skeptical media. He cowrote Abominable Science with Donald […]
7:22 AM | Functional and Biomechanic Aspects of the Scapular Girdle and Forelimbs of Unaysaurus tolentinoi
Vargas-Peixoto, D., Stock Da-Rosa, Á, A., and M. A. G. França. 2014. Functional and biomechanic aspects of the scapular girdle and forelimbs of Unaysaurus tolentinoi Leal et al., 2004 (Saurischia: Sauropodomorpha). Journal of South American Earth Sciences. Accepted Manuscript. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsames.2014.09.024Abstract - This study presents evidence about the biomechanics and forelimbs functionality of the basal sauropodomorph Unaysaurus tolentinoi […]

October 12, 2014

4:14 AM | Oreopithecus bambolii Fossil
An interesting fossil shown in this picture is of an Oreopithecus bambolii primate. The fossil can be found at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Creatures like this existed in the Miocene Epoch of Neogene Period. Fossil was found in Baccinello Basin located in Tuscany, Italy. The area was known for its lignite mines. An intact Oreopithecus fossil skeleton was
3:21 AM | 7th Annual Meeting of SeAVP Day 1
Today marked the first day of the 7th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association of Vertebrate Paleontology (SeAVP). This year’s meeting is being held at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) in Jackson, MS. According to the website for the … Continue reading →

October 11, 2014

9:56 PM | The geological setting of Fort Necessity, Pennsylvania
On July 3, 1754, colonial lieutenant Colonel George Washington fought and lost a small battle on this site in southwestern Pennsylvania. He and his 400 men had built this makeshift fort about a month before in anticipation of an attack by several hundred French soldiers and their Indian allies. The French were incensed at Washington […]

October 10, 2014

9:14 PM | Getting to the Root of Fur
First thing in the morning, my mind is on autopilot. I’m mostly relying on muscle memory to get …
2:00 PM | Friday Headlines: 10-10-14
Friday Headlines, October 10, 2014 THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES   Today’s round-up: Slump takes out a house. Eek! Is Pluto a planet again, or what? Rock fall video!   North Salt Lake home being demolished after landslide This actually … Continue reading →
1:00 PM | I’ll take mine al dente, if you don’t mind.
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Tell us your favourite crunchy thing to eat. —— Crunchy. Yummy. Crunchy = yummy. There is no greater truth. Crunchy apples. Carrots. Pizza. Pasta. Cookies. I put potato chips … Continue reading →
11:27 AM | How should we report the age of fossils? Pitfalls and implications for paleontologists.
A few years ago during a talk I was watching at a conference (the […]
7:50 AM | Fossil Friday – rabbit teeth
Not all the fossils in the Western Science Center collection came from huge Ice Age mammals. In keeping with my post from a few days ago about possible modern rabbit traces on the WSC grounds, for this Fossil Friday we’ll … Continue reading →
5:25 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: An early bryozoan on a Middle Ordovician hardground from Utah
Last week I presented eocrinoid holdfasts on carbonate hardgrounds from the Kanosh Formation (Middle Ordovician) in west-central Utah. This week we have a thick and strangely featureless bryozoan from the same hardgrounds. It is very common on these surfaces, forming gray, perforate masses that look stuck on like silly putty. Above you see one on […]
1:30 AM | Shansiella? Pyrite Gastropod Fossil
This pyrite gastropod fossil appears to be a Shansiella. It was found in a coal mine at a depth of 60-250 meters. My identification source is Fossils of Ohio (Bulletin 70, Rodney M. Feldmann Editor, State of Ohio, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, Columbus Ohio 1986) pages 162-173, figure 23 of specimen from Putnam Hill shale (Allegheny Group, Pennsylvanian)

October 09, 2014

6:59 PM | What Was on the Early Mammal Menu?
Dinosaurs are great. Don’t get me wrong. But just as their bulk literally cast shade on many of …
1:00 PM | Fall’s Red Slime
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Is there any fall flavour that turns your stomach? —— What Fall flavor makes me – er – less than happy? Well there is this one thing that always … Continue reading →
12:46 PM | De ardillas, lirones, ratas y ratones... y castores, hámsters, gerbillos, puercoespines, etc
Un nuevo artículo de PMMV ha salido ha la luz y no quería dejar pasar la ocasión para comentar brevemente algo de su historia: Gómez Cano, A.R., Cantalapiedra, J.L., Álvarez-Sierra, M.A. & Hernández Fernández, M. 2014. A macroecological glance at the structure of late Miocene rodent assemblages from Southwest Europe. Scientific Reports, 4: 6557 (doi:10.1038/srep06557).  Como ya habréis visto en la nota de prensa oficial, se trata […]
1:30 AM | Pyrite Bellerophon Fossil
This pyrite gastropod fossil has well defined ridges that make it easier to identify. It appears to be a Bellerophon. It was found in a coal mine at a depth of 60-250 meters. My identification source is Fossils of Ohio (Bulletin 70, Rodney M. Feldmann Editor, State of Ohio, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, Columbus Ohio 1986) pages 162-173, figures 15-16 of

October 08, 2014

11:00 PM | Are the days of parsimony numbered? Probably.
April Wright recently published a cool paper looking at how to bring morphological analyses of evolutionary relationships into the Bayesian realm. This is her take on it – enjoy!  Author Bio: My name is April Wright, and I’m a graduate student in David Hillis’ lab at the University of Texas at Austin. I’m largely interested […]
7:02 PM | Fossil README: Dinosaurs and Other Mesozoic Reptiles of California
I've created a new segment on this blog: Fossil ReadMe.Ever noticed the 'readme.txt' files that always accompany newly installed software? If you read it, you'd find useful information helping you understand the software you just installed. The Fossil ReadMe segment will function like a readme.txt file – providing background information required to understand the wider world of palaeontology. It will provide short reviews and links to books and/or documentaries which are useful to […]
5:49 PM | Potential traces everywhere
I haven’t had a lot of free time over this summer, what with moving across the country and starting a new job. Even so, I’ve been slowly working my way through an excellent book on traces and trace fossils, “Life … Continue reading →
4:00 PM | Bowen’s Reaction Series Haikus
Sometimes, it takes a little poetry to make scientific information stick. Bowen’s Reaction Series is one of those concepts in geology that can make life a whole lot easier for students of the science. But there’s a lot there to … Continue reading →
3:00 PM | Wordless Wednesday – Surveying the Scene
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2:00 PM | Mmmm. Pie.
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Which pie wins your heart as the classic autumnal pie: apple or pumpkin?. —— Apple pie. Pumpkin pie. Pie. Mmmm. Pie. Alas, both types of pie are potentially booby-trapped. … Continue reading →
1:42 PM | Tachiraptor admirabilis and the Early Dispersal of Dinosaurs after the end-Triassic Extinction
Langer, M. C., Rincón, A. D., Ramezani, J., Solórzano, A., and O. W. M. Rauhut. 2014. New dinosaur (Theropoda, stem-Averostra) from the earliest Jurassic of the La Quinta Formation,Venezuelan Andes. Royal Society Open Science 1: 140184. - Dinosaur skeletal remains are almost unknown from northern South America. One of the few exceptions comes from a small outcrop in the northernmost extension of the Andes, along […]
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