Posts

July 13, 2014

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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,

July 04, 2014

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1:19 PM | An evening dinner in Guiyang, China
GUIYANG, CHINA — After the long flights from Shenyang via Nanjing, Team China (let’s just call it that!) arrived in Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou Province. We had an excellent view of the surrounding karstic mountains. I hope to have images of these tomorrow because they are simply enchanting. Above is our evening dinner, hosted […]
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12:00 PM | Bread that Looks Like a Trilobite
While in Rome, Italy I find it to be cost effective to visit the grocery stores to find low cost drinks, food and household supplies. One store chain I like to visit is the Punto Simply stores. You can find some good deals on water, apple juice, wines, olive oil, and breads. A bread we picked up at the bakery was the one pictured that looked some what like an ancient extinct sea creature
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11:33 AM | LAST CHANCE to book your place for TetZooCon
Folks, You may know that the inaugral TetZooCon is set to take place next Saturday (12 July) at the London Wetland Centre. It’s an informal convention that’s condensed around occasional SV-POW!sketeer Darren Naish’s absurdly informative blog Tetrapod Zoology, and features a day of talks, a palaeoart workshop and a quiz. At £40 for the day, it’s […]
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5:19 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A barnacle and sponge symbiosis from the Middle Jurassic of Israel
[Programing note: Wooster's Fossil of the Week is now being released on Fridays to correspond with the popular Fossil Friday on Twitter and other platforms.] This week’s fossil is again from the Matmor Formation (Middle Jurassic, Callovian) of southern Israel. (What can I say? We have a lot of them!) We are looking above at […]

July 03, 2014

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10:23 PM | Shenyang, China
SHENYANG, CHINA — My first post from astonishing China. I’ve been here about a day and a half now and am simply floored by all I’ve seen and experienced. I’ve seen a fair bit of the world, but no place like China. I’m providing here just a few images of Shenyang as just a taste […]
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5:27 PM | Field Gear – What I Always Carry
I’m a vertebrate paleontologist, a geologist, and a geochemist. My research requires me to go out into the ‘wilds’ and study rocks and fossils in place, as well as collect rocks and fossils to bring back to the lab for … Continue reading →
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3:30 PM | Choristites mosquensis Brachiopod Fossil of Russia
Here is a picture of a 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 brachiopod fossil is called Choristites mosquensis. It lived in Carboniferous Period. The specimen was found in the Russia (maybe near Moscow?). Image taken in June 2014. Sources: http://
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5:13 AM | The revolution will be comic-booked
  So, this is on the shelves right now. Underage anthropomorphic martial chelonian cargo notwithstanding, the Triceratops on the cover is pretty standard. The one on the inside is much less so. Or, at least it would have been up until a couple of years ago. Apparently, dinos that are All-Yesterdays-ed out are a pop […]

July 02, 2014

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11:57 PM | Stegosaurus Dinosaur Stamp from 1965
Here is a picture of the Stegosaurus dinosaur stamp. It was issued in 1965 by the small republic of San Marino (located on the Italian peninsula). It had a value of 10 lire but the country now uses the euro as their currency. The stamp was part of collection of nine issued that year. The United States issued a stamp for this dinosaur in 1989 (see my blog post about it here).The Stegosaurus existed in the Late Jurassic Period (155-150 mya). The fossil was named by Othniel Charles Marsh […]
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8:28 PM | The Urvogel’s Old, New Clothes
On May 5th, 1877, the German paleontologist Karl Zittel first laid eyes on one of the most stunning …
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