Paleontology

Category archives for Paleontology

Large hairy elephants got me into paleoanthropology, eventually. I had a strong interest in science, and it was nurtured and expanded by my frequent visits to the New York State Museum, and there was never a doubt in anyone’s mind, anywhere, that the coolest exhibit at that museum was the Cohoes Mastodon exhibit. Barbarians eventually…

The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals ,by Donald R. Prothero, is the first extinct animal book that you, dear reader, are going to give to someone for the holidays. This book is an interesting idea. Never mind the field guide part for a moment. This isn’t really set up like a field guide, though…

An Interview with Don Prothero

Ikonokast interviews Don Prothero. Don Prothero is the author of just over 30 books and a gazillion scientific papers covering a wide range of topics in paleontology and skepticism. Mike Haubrich and I spoke with Don about most of these topics, including the recent history of the skeptics movement, the conflict and potentials between DNA…

The number one rule of the Taphonomy Club is don’t talk about marks on bones … without placing them in context. Many marks on bones could have multiple causes, such as putative cut marks caused by stone tools on animal bones found on early hominid sites. In that case, hard sharp stony objects in the…

Bully for Brontosaurus

Much is being made of Brontosaurus. Brontosaurus is a genus name for a large dinosaur, known to watchers of “Land Before Time” as “Long-Necks.” That generic name dates to the 19th century, but in the early 20th century it was eliminated as a proper Linnaean term and replaced with Apatosaurus. This made us sad. Most…

Developing The Waco Mammoth Site

I got a press release about the Waco Mammoth Site that I thought I’d pass on to you: National Park Service Director Jarvis Participates in Public Meeting about Waco Mammoth Site WACO, TX – Today, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis heard from the citizens of Waco regarding the community’s vision to preserve, protect…

Pterosaurs by Mark Witton

Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy by Mark P. Witton is a coffee-table size book rich in detail and lavishly illustrated. Witton is a pterosaur expert at the School of Earh and Environmental Sciences at the University of Portsmouth. He is famous for his illustrations and his work in popular media such as the film “Walking…

Giant Semiaquatic Predatory Dinosaur

It is called Spinosaurus aegyptiacus but it sounds a bit more like Godzilla. Spinosaurus is a theropod dinosaur (that’s the groups birds evolved within) found in what is now NOrth Africa, between about 112 and 97 million years ago. It was first discovered about one century ago, though those bones were destroyed during WW II.…

Titanic Fearless Dinosaur Unearthed

I’m sure you’ve heard. The most complete skeleton of a titanosaur, a newly named species, Dreadnoughtus schrani, is being reported from Argentina. It is not a bird. I mention that because we’ve been talking about how birds are dinosaurs lately (see:”Honey, I shrunk the dinosaurs” and “Flying Dinosaurs: A new book on the dinosaur bird…

Flying Dinosaurs: How Fearsome Reptiles Became Birds by science writer John Pickrell is coming out in December. As you know I’ve written a lot about the bird-dinosaur thing (most recently, this: “Honey I Shrunk the Dinosaurs“) so of course this sounded very interesting to me. In a way, Pickrell’s book is a missing link, in…