Posts

July 15, 2014

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9:06 PM | The TetZooCon was on
So, TetZooCon 2014 happened, and you won't hear a bad word said of it among those of us who attended. The event was a spin-off of the incredi-popular Tetrapod Zoology blog, authored by fish-hating mega-brain Darren Naish, and also the similarly named podcast, hosted by Darren and partner in tapir in-joke crime, John Conway. I'm sure neither will need an introduction around these parts; suffice it to say, the event reflected the incredibly diverse range of topics discussed on the blog and […]
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3:00 PM | New Dinosaur Was Built Like an Airplane
It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's actually a new non-avian dinosaur that resembled a jet and could fly with ease too.
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11:09 AM | Episode 31: Anomalocaridids
Anomalocaridids are iconic Cambrian animals, originally found in the Burgess Shale deposits in Canada. From the Genus Anomalocaris, their name translates as ‘strange shrimp’ owing to their initial misidentification from incomplete remains. In fact, it took until 1985 to realise that three different animals were all actually disarticulated parts of the same animal! Our knowledge of [&hellip
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5:59 AM | Meet Team Utah 2014
EPHRAIM, UTAH — On July 9, four Wooster students traveled to Utah to begin structural and stratigraphic research with me.  They will be out here until July 22, when we will all fly back to Ohio together.  I’d like to introduce these students to you!! Above is a great picture of Team Utah on the […]
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5:27 AM | After 5 weeks in the field…my first blog!!
EPHRAIM, UTAH — My apologies for not blogging sooner, but things have been very, very busy out here in the Sanpete Valley.  I spent the first 4 weeks doing my usual summer teaching at Ohio State’s Geology Field Camp.  This summer, we have 22 students — one of whom is Tricia Hall (’14).  During her […]

July 14, 2014

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7:38 PM | Field Work Travelog – Day 3, ‘MY-lan’ and the trains
So we’re still in Milan, Illinois. Mind you, it’s not ‘mill-AHN’ like that fancy city in Spain, but MY-lan. Because, why would we use the original pronunciations for anything? The track is at the local Chevy dealership, getting put back … Continue reading →
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5:53 PM | Field Work Travelog – Day 2, Rain, Camelot, and the purging of fluids
We camped last night, to save costs. We chose a Yogi Bear Jellystone Resort, which wound up being a noisy disaster. Revenge was ours, however, when thunderstorms put an end to the squealing of children at 3 am.  Sadly for … Continue reading →
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4:57 PM | Interview: Paleoartist Maija Karala
"Forest Green." A dandy paravian, © Maija Karala and used with her permission.I'm always excited to see new work pop up in Maija Karala's DeviantArt gallery. A Finnish biologist and writer, her enthusiasm for biology also finds voice through her illustrations, which range from fleshed out scenes to charming sketches. I can't remember exactly when I began following Maija's illustrations, but I do remember being particularly struck by her Tarpan fending off a lion. "Don't Mess With Tarpans." […]

July 13, 2014

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9:57 PM | Hupehwhat? Finding a home for some unusually odd marine reptiles
“Swimming sausage topped with armored mustard” is probably the best way to describe a hupehsuchian. These marine reptiles, known only from 248 million year old rocks in east-central China, were odd-balls at a time when a lot of odd-balls …The post Hupehwhat? Finding a home for some unusually odd marine reptiles appeared first on The Integrative Paleontologists.
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8:42 PM | SV-POW! showdown: Supersaurus vs Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus
This was inspired by an email Mike sent a couple of days ago: Remind yourself of the awesomeness of Giraffatitan: http://svpow.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/mike-by-jango-elbow.jpeg Now think of this. Its neck is 8.5m long. Knock of one measly meter — for example, by removing one vertebra from the middle of the neck — and you have 7.5 m. Supersaurus’s […]
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2:23 AM | Field work travelog – Day 1, outrunning the Ohio-geists
Today is the first day of the month-long field season of 2014. Today is also the forest day of the the-day drive to get to the field area. I’m always adamant about getting past Ohio on the first day. Sometimes, … Continue reading →

July 12, 2014

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11:00 PM | Pecten jacobaeus Bivalve Fossil
Here is a picture of a pelecypod fossil housed in a display case at the Geologia building located on the campus of Sapienza University of Rome. The case can be found on the second floor of the building. The fossil is called Pecten jacobaeus and lived during the Pliocene Period. The fossil was found in Roman countryside. The university was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII. In 1870, it

July 11, 2014

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10:00 PM | Bothrophyllum Horn Coral Fossil
Here is a picture of a horn coral fossil housed in a display case at the Geologia building located on the campus of Sapienza University of Rome. The case can be found on the second floor of the building. The fossil is called Bothrophyllum conicum and lived during the Carboniferous Period. The fossil was found in Russia. The university was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII. In 1870, it
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3:21 PM | Field Gear – What’s with All the Hammers?
Geologists use hammers. We all possess at least one of the easily recognized ‘rock hammers’ (I have four!). But we don’t all use the traditional rock hammer. And, as I showed in an earlier post, I often take more than … Continue reading →
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12:12 PM | Flugsaurier 2015: Portsmouth, UK
Way back in 2001 the first real symposium dedicated solely to pterosaurs (rather than a subset of another conference) was convened in Toulouse thanks largely to the organisation of Eric Buffetaut. By all accounts it was a success and spawned the well known and much cited 2003 Evolution and Palaeobiology of Pterosaurs special volume. The […]
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11:00 AM | New (but very old) preprint: A survey of dinosaur diversity by clade, age, place of discovery and year of description
Today, available for the first time, you can read my 2004 paper A survey of dinosaur diversity by clade, age, place of discovery and year of description. It’s freely available (CC By 4.0) as a PeerJ Preprint. It’s one of those papers that does exactly what it says on the tin — you should be able […]
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5:57 AM | Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Silicified chonetid brachiopods from the Permian of West Texas
Above are four valves of the chonetid brachiopod Dyoros planiextensus Cooper and Grant, 1975. They are preserved by silicification and were recovered from a block of the Road Canyon Formation (Roadian Stage of the Guadalupian Series of the Permian System) from the Glass Mountains of southwestern Texas. It is from the same unit and location […]
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12:46 AM | Field Gear – Quarrying and Collecting Fossils
Paleontology in the field almost always involves collecting fossils. Most people have glorious mental images of collecting fossils, many of which are perpetrated by how paleontology is portrayed in movies and the media. What you see in Jurassic Park isn’t … Continue reading →

July 10, 2014

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2:03 PM | Field Gear – Getting Into (and Out of) the Cave
The third week of our field season will be spent in Natural Trap Cave, which is a wonderful Pleistocene fossil locality. The only problem is that is it a cave. And a natural trap. See, the locality is at the … Continue reading →
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7:11 AM | Megalodon gumbeli Fossil
Here is a picture of a bivalve fossil housed in a display case at the Geologia building located on the campus of Sapienza University of Rome. The case can be found on the second floor of the building. The fossil is called Megalodon gumbeli and lived during the Triassic Period. The paleontology museum is on the 3rd floor of this building and houses many more fossils from their collection.
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6:38 AM | The enigma of dome-headed dinosaurs
Pachycephalosaurids are a well know group of ornithischian dinosaurs from North America. If the name doesn't ring a bell, maybe these pictures will - apparently, the poor things were almost constantly butting heads with rivals, or charging off head-first for no apparent reason: [...]

July 09, 2014

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8:46 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: The Mysterious World of Dinosaurs
Contrary to the beliefs of some - who seem to think that I collect these books by holding a net out of the window and reciting an arcane incantation until obsolete illustrations start falling from the clouds - I do actually physically own the vast majority of the books I review in Vintage Dinosaur Art. As time goes on, finding fresh old books and not paying through the nose becomes increasingly difficult. Praise be, then, to the Amnesty International book shop in Brighton, which is where I […]
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2:10 PM | Huge Trove of Dinosaur Footprints Found in Alaska
'World-class' track site in Denali National Park shows that herds of duck-billed dinosaurs thrived under the midnight sun.

July 08, 2014

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7:38 PM | London Zoo
This review is a very long time coming given how many times I have visited this place over the years. In addition to many childhood trips, I worked as a volunteer keeper here at weekends for several years and as a result know the place fairly intimately. The lack of a review was largely down […]
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4:34 PM | Free papers you should read: Martin and Palmer (2014) on ASPs of pterosaur wing bones
This came out two months ago, and I should have blogged about it then, but as usual I am behind. I’m blogging about it now because it deals with a question that has been on my mind for about 10 years now. If you want to skip my blatherations and get on to the good […]
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4:31 PM | Field Gear – What I Need for Measuring Section
One of the myriad of things I wind up doing in the field is “measuring section.” Measuring section is a means of determining the actual thickness of layered sedimentary rocks in an area. To do this, I need a couple … Continue reading →

July 07, 2014

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6:19 PM | An unexpected early return from China, but at least I got to see the inside of a Chinese hospital
WOOSTER, OHIO — I am safely home far too early from my China adventure, and here begins a painful tale. I tell it first to complete the 2014 China Expedition story, and because there may be some lessons for geologists on field trips far from home. It is also a record to remind me of […]
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4:00 AM | Nummulites millecaput Fossil from Gargano Italy
Here is a picture of a large foraminifera fossil housed in a display case at the Geologia building located on the campus of Sapienza University of Rome. The case can be found on the second floor of the building. The crinoid fossil is called Nummulites millecaput. It lived in Middle Eocene Period. The specimen was found in the Gargano, Italy. Image taken in June 2014. Sources: http://

July 06, 2014

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12:14 AM | The karst topography around Guiyang, China
GUIYANG, CHINA — I find this karstic landscape enchanting. Photo taken at the airport.

July 05, 2014

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5:30 PM | Aulocrinus agassizi Crinoid Fossil
Here is a picture of a crinoid calyx fossil housed in a display case at the Geologia building located on the campus of Sapienza University of Rome. The case can be found on the second floor of the building. The crinoid fossil is called Aulocrinus agassizi. It lived in Carboniferous (Mississippian) Period. The specimen was found in the United States of America (maybe from Crawfordsville,
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