October 31, 2014

7:00 PM | What Will I Be?
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Tell us if you’re going to dress up tonight for Halloween. (And better yet, show us a picture of your costume!) —— I’ll be dressing up on Halloween. I’m … Continue reading →
3:00 PM | Friday Headlines: 10-31-14
Friday Headlines, October 31, 2014 THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES   Today’s round-up: Lava set to engulf homes in Hawaii Antares rocket explodes Take a Magical Geology Mystery Tour   Hawaii volcano: National Guard moves in as lava nears homes … Continue reading →
5:29 AM | Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Upper Carboniferous seed casts from northeastern Ohio
We haven’t had a paleobotanical fossil of the week for awhile, so here are a couple of nice seed casts from the Upper Carboniferous Massillon Sandstone exposed near Youngstown, Ohio. They fall within the “form genus” Trigonocarpus Brongniart 1828. A form taxon is one that may not have any systematic or evolutionary validity, but it […]
Editor's Pick
1:30 AM | Clypeus plotii Echinoid Fossil
While visiting the Gallery of Natural History at the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park (1300 N. College Ave, Tempe Arizona 85281) I saw fossil specimen (AHS-NH#9854) Clypeus plotii (Leske, 1778) sea urchin fossil. This creature existed in the Jurassic Period (Bajocian to Oxfordian). They were found in what is now Europe and North Africa. Images of museum specimen taken October

October 30, 2014

7:32 PM | Mesozoic Miscellany 67
The Big News: Mega-Freaky Deinocheirus editionThe publication of new Deinocheirus mirificus material, finally fleshing out the body that was attached to those enormous arms, made a huge splash last week. Or, I should say, finally officially fleshing it out. We've known about the new Deinocheirus in broad strokes in a back-channel, unofficial sense, since last year, after paleontologists and other attendees of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology's 2013 meeting had a peek at it. It only took […]
3:00 PM | What Would I Be? Sir Oxford Comma
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – If you had unlimited resources and artistic skills, what would you want to be for Halloween? —— Given that I’m an avid costumer, one would think this would be … Continue reading →
3:49 AM | Power Sewing
Today I sewed. I made what most folks would call a tunic. I did it in only a few hours. I must admit, I’m pretty impressed with myself. The pattern I actually used was modified from a pourpoint pattern by … Continue reading →
1:30 AM | Sphaeurilitides
Here is a picture of a Sphaeurilitides (Cusman) fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. It was found in the Alps. Image taken in June 2014.
12:12 AM | Visiting the Raymond M. Alf Museum
I spent today continuing to familiarize myself with Southern California by visiting the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, located in Claremont on the campus of The Webb Schools. Once I arrived, Museum Director Don Lofgren, Curator Andy Farke, and … Continue reading →

October 29, 2014

10:04 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: The BBC Book of Dinosaurs
In terms of saurian-related output, the BBC is best known these days for Walking With Dinosaurs, the super-expensive CG-laden Brannagh-narrated behemoth, sire of numerous tie-in books (and a movie that we won't mention). Nine years earlier, however, Auntie Beeb saw fit to give its endorsement to this little lost nugget of dinosauriana - The BBC Book of Dinosaurs. Authored by Paul Appleby and illustrated by Gill Tomblin, this rather obscure book is sweetly nostalgic for those of us raised on […]
9:04 PM | The Undersea Afterlives of Three Little Piggies
Science often answers questions that I never would have thought to ask. For example, what happens to a …
2:38 PM | I Swear I Saw a Dragon!
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Tell us about your favourite costume from childhood. —— My memories of this are vague, of course. One year, back when I was young enough to still be printing … Continue reading →
12:28 PM | London Aquarium
Alongside my trip to London Zoo at the start of summer, I also took a day at the London Aquarium on the South Bank. The last time I had been was not too long after it opened, probably around 1996 and I remember being fairly unimpressed. There were three giant tanks with the same inevitable […]
8:46 AM | CC-By documents cannot be re-enclosed if their publisher is acquired
Just a quick post today, to refute an incorrect idea about open access that has unfortunately been propagated from time to time. That is the idea that if (say) PLOS were acquired by a barrier-based publisher such as Taylor and Francis, then its papers could be hidden behind paywalls and effectively lost to the world. For example, […]
1:30 AM | Mytilus edulis Bivalve
This picture shows a Mytilus edulis (Gray, 1847) marine bivalve mollusc at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Creatures like this exist in today's oceans. It is also known as the blue or common mussel. Image taken in June 2014. Info Sources:

October 28, 2014

10:54 PM | Exfoliation weathering
Last week I stopped by the office of WSC Board President Todd Foutz for a meeting. There were several decorative granite boulders in the landscaping outside his office with interesting features that caught my attention. The boulders are more-or-less ovoid, … Continue reading →
8:34 PM | The Making of the Mammalian Nose
As far as anatomical ventilation systems go, our noses are pretty impressive. Scrolled sheets of bone called turbinates …
6:56 PM | Lair Bahn
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Tell us a ghost story. —— Hanna shuddered in the damp darkness. Wind whispered through the fallen leaves, shuffling them on the forest floor. Mist sprayed lightly on her … Continue reading →
8:53 AM | Publishers, where is the added value?
It’s nearly two years since Alexander Brown wrote Open access: why academic publishers still add value for the Guardian, in which he listed ways that he feels publishers make a contribution. I wrote a lengthy comment in response — long enough that it got truncated at 5000 characters and I had to post a second comment with the […]
1:30 AM | Hippurites Bivalve Fossil
This image shows a Hippurites (Lamarck, 1801) marine bivalve mollusk fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Creatures like this existed in Late Cretaceous oceans. Images taken in June 2014. Info Sources:

October 27, 2014

10:25 PM | Needs You!
Bob Walters and Tess Kissinger, known for their terrific paleoart studio, have launched a multimedia educational website called In order to pack it full of cool content, they need a bit of help, and have launched a Kickstarter campaign. Here's their video. The site is up, though not updated with a lot of content, but the Kickstarter project video here gives a good taste of what they'd like to do. I especially liked the illustrated title cards for the different series, which […]
9:42 PM | Visiting the Cooper Center
Last Thursday I had my first opportunity to visit The Cooper Center, Orange County’s primary repository for paleontological and archaeological remains (WSC performs a similar role for Riverside County). The Cooper Center recently hosted the Prehistoric OC festival, but things … Continue reading →
3:18 PM | Solite Excavation: Day 11
Today’s blog is dedicated to the foreman of the quarry, Scott Traenkner. Scott has been supportive of our excavation since the start and offered his skills should we need them. On day 11 of our excavation, we were able to … Continue reading →
2:00 PM | The Horror!
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Do you enjoy being scared such as watching horror movies or reading scary books? —— No.     Let me elaborate a little, perhaps. I don’t go out of … Continue reading →
12:35 AM | By the Fire
The RocNaNo blog offers weekly “Wordless Wednesday” writing challenges. The most recent challenge was to use this photo as a jumping-off place for a story. Let’s see where I get with this… Signs of change Winter is on its way. … Continue reading →

October 26, 2014

9:05 PM | An Epic Geologic Competition in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
VIRGINIA KENDALL, CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK (CVNP) — What an absolutely awesome day for geology in the field!!  One of my geologic mentors once told me that “every day in the field is a day of vacation”, and today proved to be just that day.  Late October…temperatures above 60 degrees…with the fall colors everywhere!!  I […]
6:08 PM | Spineless Giants Track Oceanic Revolutions
We’re fascinated by superlative size. That’s why humungous dinosaurs regularly make headlines, and Carboniferous arthropods – dragonflies and …
5:13 PM | Parvamussium cristatellum
Here is a picture of a Parvamussium cristatellum (Dautzenberg & Bavay, 1912) bivalve fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Creatures like this existed in the Miocene Epoch of Neogene Period. At the museum it was labeled as Amussium cristatum aka Pecten cristatum (Bavay, 1905). Image taken in June 2014. Info Sources:
1:30 AM | Constellaria Bryozoan Fossil
Here is a picture of a Constellaria bryozoan fossil. It is known for its star like patterns on the fossil surface. Recently, it was found in Maysville, Kentucky, USA. The Upper Ordovician Period formations found at that location are Grant Lake (Maysvillian) and Bull Fork (Richmondian). Thanks to Kenny for the image. Past related blog posts:

October 25, 2014

9:18 PM | Wooster Geologists return to the Cedar Creek Bog and Excavation Site
WOOSTER, OHIO–Greg Wiles and I got to experience a bit of field archaeology today at the Cedar Creek Mastodon excavation site. Greg’s Climate change class has visited the site and its associated bog twice this semester: once to do some soil probing and exploration, and then again to extract a core from the bog. This […]
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