April 17, 2015

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 […]
12:49 AM | Which Mammoth is Mopey Character are You?
We're now two weeks from the end of the Mammoth is Mopey Indiegogo campaign I've posted about here a few times and tweeted about prolifically. In the interest of keeping promotion fresh, we've hopped on the quiz bandwagon. They're scientifically proven to be the number one way to come to self-knowledge in the hustle and bustle of this digital world. No hallucinogens, fasting, or pilgrimage required! We're just about 65% funded, and it's totally possible for us to reach full funding. As a […]

April 15, 2015

9:00 PM | Battle for the “Bone Wars” Beasts
A few years back, shortly after he introduced me to a splendid fossil alligator, Peabody Museum of Natural …
2:00 PM | M is for Malt
M is for Malt Malt, hops, and yeast – that’s what makes a beer. Malt is the sugar that gets fermented to produce the alcohol. Malting is the process of producing the malt. Malting involves getting the grain to germinate. … Continue reading →
8:32 AM | Episode 43: Ancient DNA
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a molecule that encodes the genetic information within every species of life on earth. The information contained within the sequence of base pairs determines how any given organism develops and biologically functions. DNA is not just limited to the biological study, but is also now being utilised in palaeontology. But why [&hellip

April 14, 2015

11:03 PM | L is for Lager
L is for Lager The big American ‘macro’ brews all produce lager beers. They’re clean and crisp and taste great chilled. But what is a lager? Lagers can be contrasted with ales. Whereas ales are brewed at warm temperatures with … Continue reading →

April 13, 2015

9:00 PM | The Call of the Terror Bird
When you think of a scary dinosaur, what comes to mind? The agile, sickle-clawed Utahraptor? A towering Tyrannosaurus? …
6:13 PM | How conveniently can you package your results?
A couple of weeks ago, Mike sent me a link to this interview with ecologist James O’Hanlon, who made this poster (borrowed from this post on O’Hanlon’s blog): We had a short email exchange which quickly converged on, “This would work well for some projects, but not for others.” That’s the same conclusion I came […]
2:00 PM | K is for Kraeusen
K is for Kraeusen It’s pronounced Kroy-zen. What it refers to is the frothy foam that builds up on top of the fermenting beer, especially early in fermentation. You can see it below in this video of my one-gallon batch … Continue reading →
1:04 AM | Recapitating Apatosaurus
You may have felt rumblings reverberating through the Internet this week, like the roll of distant thunder. That’s …

April 12, 2015

11:17 PM | Saying Goodbye to Niko
Today – this whole weekend in fact – has been good. Except for one thing. Today we lost Niko. Niko is the cat that came with the house. He was a feral cat that at some point we trapped and … Continue reading →
11:25 AM | Geomorphology at Fern Valley and along the Little Killbuck
The group at Fern Valley. Gaging Wilkin Run and measuring water levels in wells. We are fortunate to be able to monitor the streamflow, climate and geomorphic changes along Wilkin Run. Thanks again to Betty and David Wilkin for donating Fern Valley to the College. Leo examining the Ice Contact stratified drift of the terminal […]
12:16 AM | A Baboon Vertebrae?! Lucy and the Scientific Process
A press release came out on Friday that made me double check the date to make sure it wasn’t April fools day. The release stated that two scientists, upon reexamining replicas of the famous Lucy fossils, recognized that one of the her vertebra fragments doesn’t quite look like the others. The scientists argue that this vertebrae, which is […]

April 11, 2015

2:00 PM | J is for Jug
J is for Jug Finding a brewing-related word starting with the letter J was a bit of a challenge… until I came up with jug. Jug is actually a great word, because it illustrates one of the great things about … Continue reading →

April 10, 2015

5:21 PM | Book in Brief: How to Clone a Mammoth
“Will there ever be a real Jurassic Park?” I’ve heard this question more times than I can count. …
4:00 PM | Interview: Angela Connor
Weave the Cosmos by Angela Connor, featuring Amaruuk, a Microraptor-inspired mythical creator.I've admired Angela Connor's Paleo Portraits for a while, and her work has been discussed here previously (here and here). Her portraits are full of character, and in the same way that simple portraits of owls focus our attention differently than other photographs might, Angela's portraits are a way to experience these diverse, sadly extinct, animals in an intimate way. In addition to her palaeoart, […]
3:34 PM | Fossil Friday – bite marks on a camel skull
One of the specimens we have on display at the Western Science Center is a cranium and partial vertebral column including the neck of the camel Camelops hesternus. A closer examination of the skull reveals some surprising features.  The parietals … Continue reading →
3:32 PM | Friday Headlines: 4-10-15
Friday Headlines, April 10, 2015 THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES   Today’s round-up: Hot Spot in the Four Corners? Brontosaurus is back! Portable carbon dating device??? Solving the Four Corners Mystery: Probes Map Methane ‘Hot Spot’ This makes me chuckle. … Continue reading →
2:51 PM | Solite Excavation: Day 21 and 22
Our last two trips to Solite have been filled with plants, fish, and the occasional Tanytrachelos. Our crew for the last two trips were VMNH staff and accompanying weather that can’t decide if it wanted to be freezing cold or pleasantly … Continue reading →
2:41 PM | I is for Irish Moss
I is for Irish Moss Irish Moss is not actually moss, but derived from sea weed. It is added toward the end of brewing to help result in a clear beer. It doesn’t affect the flavor of the beer, only … Continue reading →
4:24 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A tectonically-deformed Early Cambrian trilobite from southeastern California
This wonderful trilobite was found last month by Olivia Brown (’15), a student on the Wooster Geology Department’s glorious field trip to the Mojave Desert. Olivia collected it at Emigrant Pass in the Nopah Range of Inyo County, southeastern California. It comes from the Pyramid Shale Member of the Carrara Formation and is uppermost Lower […]

April 09, 2015

9:31 PM | Fossil Fish Sliced Prey With Bizarre Jaws
Paleontology collections are wonderful. Shelves and cabinets hold anywhere from thousands to hundreds of millions of years of …
2:40 PM | The Belgian (an Ale)
One of my favorite things to do is order something interesting that’s on tap at my local restaurant, then try to replicate it at home. That’s what happened when I tried Brewery Ommegang‘s Hennepin some months ago. I was able … Continue reading →
2:00 PM | H is for Hops
H is for Hops Hops are the female flowers of a vine-like plant that grows up from rhizomes every year. The flowers are harvested and dried, and then added to beer during the brewing process. Hops are what makes beer … Continue reading →
2:00 PM | Mesozoic Miscellany 74
The Thunderously Big NewsDidja hear about Brontosaurus yet? Eh? Well, if you haven't, hold on your butt. Arguably the most famous generic name in all of the dinosauria has returned, thanks to a massive phylogenetic reassessment of diplodocidae led by Emanuel Tschopp of Universidade Nova de Lisboan, and published in PeerJ. The press has, predictably, been mostly vomiting on its own shoes, grasping taxonomic and phylogenetic concepts with varying degrees of incompetence. Not all bad, of course, […]
11:05 AM | Combat and cannibalism in tyrannosaurs
In recent years, it has become clear that at least some large theropods (and notably tyrannosaurs) engaged in some form of intraspecific conflict that can be identified by the numerous injuries inflicted on various skulls. Unlike predation attempts which would expect to strike to areas like the hindlimbs and tail, these are very localised to […]
11:00 AM | Tyrannosaurs Were Violent Cannibals, Victim Shows
Combat and cannibalism were no strangers to tyrannosaurs, suggest the remains of a tortured dino victim. Continue reading →
10:07 AM | En Mayo, de nuevo el Mioceno de Somosaguas
Como cada año, la campaña anual de excavación en los yacimientos de vertebrados miocenos de Somosaguas se está acercando. Esta vez tendrá lugar entre los días 18 y 29 de Mayo. Si eres alumno de la UCM y estás interesado en participar, aquí tienes toda la información que necesitas... Una vez más, el rectorado de la UCM ha concedido la posibilidad de obtener 2 créditos para aquellos estudiantes de cualquier Grado que […]
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