Posts

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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5:00 PM | First Birds Valued Fashion Over Flight
Good looks mattered to iconic early bird Archaeopteryx, which showed off colorful feathered 'trousers' 150 million years ago.
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2:52 PM | Of Stress and Blogging
It’s July. The summer has only just begun for my son (who starts 5th grade next fall), but I feel like my summer ‘vacation’ is already over. Summers are hard when you’re an academic in a science that involves field … Continue reading →

July 01, 2014

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9:22 PM | More belostomatids
I mentioned in my last post that water bugs from the family Belostomatidae are among the most common insects at the Solite Quarry. Christina was recently photographing a rather nondescript piece of the insect bed that demonstrates this quite well. At … Continue reading →
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9:19 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: The Mighty Giants
Welcome back to the wonderful world of old-school dinosaur books - hey, it's been a while. The Mighty Giants - part of the Dinosaur World Pop-Up Books series (which ran to at least two books, apparently) - was published in 1988, but for all its scientific infidelity, it might as well have been published in 1978...or 1968. Yes, it's one of those. Hold on to your pear-shaped tyrannosaurs and oddly uniform teeth, everyone!Long-term readers of the blog - who are so committed that we should probably […]
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4:59 PM | Tetragraptus Graptolite Fossils from Australia
These pictures show a Tetragraptus fruticosus fossil specimen 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 was found in Australia and lived during the Ordovician Period. The paleontology museum is on the 3rd floor of this building and has about 1000 fossils on display.The university was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII. In 1870, it became a public university […]
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4:09 PM | TetZooCon Approaches!
Darren Naish and John Conway will be hosting the first TetZooCon in eleven short days, at the London Wetland Centre. I have been drooling over the announced speaking lineup since I learned of it, but with an ocean between us, it's just not in the cards for me. The deadline for booking your place at the event is this Friday, July 4. At £40, the price is very reasonable (if only airfare and lodging didn't cost anything). John opens the conference with his welcome, followed by Darren on […]
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12:59 PM | Wooster Geologist en route to China
DETROIT AIRPORT, MICHIGAN — My long anticipated trip to China has started. I have a bit of a wait in Detroit before boarding a 14-hour flight to Beijing, followed by a connection on to Shenyang. I am visiting China by invitation from geologists at Northeastern University in Shenyang. My host is Yongli Zhang, an invertebrate […]
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12:54 AM | The Dining Habits of a Jurassic Sea Dragon
When I was a fossil-crazed tyke, I used to spend hours flipping through a set of LIFE Young …
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12:00 AM | Episode 30: Palaeoart
The celebrate the launch of ‘The Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi’ from Titan Books we take a look at the field of palaeoart. In this episode, we’re joined by Julius himself and ask how his images are produced, why they’re produced and to discuss the value of palaeoart. We also run our first competition, details of [&hellip

June 30, 2014

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10:49 PM | Thaumatorsaurus Marine Reptile Stamp
Here is a picture of the Thaumatosaurus victor marine reptile stamp. It was issued in 1965 by the small republic of San Marino (located on the Italian peninsula). The stamp was part of collection of nine issued that year.The Thaumatosaurus victor was named in 1841 by the German palaeontologist Hermann von Meyer. His specimen was found in the Posidonia Shale of Holzmaden, Germany. The genus Thaumatosaurus ("wonder reptile") has been renamed Meyerasaurus in honor of Hermann von Meyer. The […]
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10:00 PM | ¿qué fue de...?
Para todos aquellos que lleváis casi dos años esperando esta nueva entrega de cómo les va a los excolaboradores del EIIGPBS aqui la tenéis. En este caso para relatar brevemente que están haciendo los integrantes de la segunda y tercera promoción del EIIGPBS. Hay que decir que los de la primera promoción habían dejado el listón muy alto, pero los integrantes de estas nuevas promociones no se quedaron atrás y realizaron […]

June 29, 2014

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4:45 PM | Elephas antiquus Tooth Fossil at Roma Italy
Here is a picture of an elephant tooth 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 Elephas antiquus and lived during the Pleistocene. The paleontology museum is on the 3rd floor of this building and houses a full skeleton of this ancient animal.The university was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII. In 1870, it became a public university […]
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6:23 AM | Going off the Grid for Pillow Lavas
Tatogga Lake, British Columbia – We’ve been traveling for four days and have finally arrived at our destination: Tatogga Lake. Tomorrow, we’ll be traveling by helicopter to our field site. It’s the first helicopter ride for most of us and we’re pretty excited about the birds-eye view of our subglacial pillow ridge (not to mention […]
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