Paleontology in a Sink Hole: Spring Break Edition

Last week, I spent time at the Bahamas Natural History Symposium in Nassau, Bahamas. Seeing policy makers, ecologists, educators, geologists, and anthropologists come together was awesomely inspiring for the future of The Bahamas, a wonderful place with a magnificent natural … Continue reading »

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The asteroid started the fire (or did it?)

In December, I listened to the Radiolab “Apocolyptical” show which was all about the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary event. Famously, in 1980, Walter Alvarez and colleagues described an iridium anomaly at the K/Pg (also known at K/T) boundary which was subsequently specifically … Continue reading »

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Rodents of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Quaternary Extinction

The Caribbean is typically thought of as a lovely spring break destination. If you are an animal lover, the area is great for diving and birding, but there are not many land mammals to be found. Sure, you will find … Continue reading »

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Ichthyosaur is the New Black

Just yesterday, a group of 2nd graders asked me what color dinosaurs were. I was pretty excited to tell them we actually do know this through looking at tiny structure on feathers called melanosomes. Melanosomes are sub-millimeter sized round or … Continue reading »

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Prehistoric Platypus: Revenge of the Monotremes

(I tried to make the title of the post sound like a SyFy movie title, let me know how I did)  Obdurodon tharalkooschild is not your garden-variety platypus. Today, the platypus is one of two remaining varieties of living monotreme … Continue reading »

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Paleoecology of Magnificent Megafauna: The Moa

There was a time not so long ago (thousands of years ago, not millions, which is not so long ago to a paleontologist) when ecosystems around the world had something that is generally lacking today: really big herbivores. I’m talking … Continue reading »

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Dinosaurs Come Through In The Clutch

In the last few months, a lot has been going around about a pretty interesting topic—dino sex. Besides the mechanics of dinosaur sex and reproduction (some people love talking about that)- there are some more interesting questions to consider. For … Continue reading »

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Climate Change and Paleontology: Back to the Future

This week and next at PLOS Blogs, we are doing a focus on climate change. This is leading up to a great collection of papers that will be released at the Ecological Society of America meeting very soon (the link … Continue reading »

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What’s My Age Again?

Earlier this month, an almost 40 pound rockfish was caught in Alaska that was allegedly 200 years old. The angler that caught the enormous fish based this age on body size estimates. Then, earlier this week when the fish was … Continue reading »

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How to Find a Fossil

Since the summer is the field season for many of us, I thought I would write a little bit about the first step in paleontological discovery: actually going out and looking for fossils. I will admit, when I first started … Continue reading »

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