Paleontology

Category archives for Paleontology

Today’s falsehood1 is the idea of “The Missing Link.” You’ve heard about The Missing Link. You’ll hear that some palaeontologist has discovered something and they tell us it is “The Missing Link.” Often, it is a supposed “link” between some ancestor of humans (a fossil ape, a monkey, whatever) and us humans. And often, you’ll…

The Newly Discovered Giant Flores Stork

A new species of stork has been identified from Flores, which is the Indonesian island on which the famous “hobbit” fossils have been found. The “hobbit” is a form of hominid (human relative) that seems to be a diminutive form of Homo erectus but different enough from that widespread species to give it a distinct…

In his highly readable book, One Long Argument, Ernst Mayr breaks down the body of thought often referred to as “Darwin’s Theory” into five separate and distinct theories, the second of which being “common descent.” Darwin’s second evolutionary theory (second by Mayr’s count, not Darwin’s) is really a hypothesis that could be worded this way:…

A Whale of a Missing Link : Indohyus

I’m writing something about the concept of “The Missing Link” which may also end up as an episode of “Everything you Know is Sort of Wrong” on Skeptically Speaking. The fact that I’m working on this is of no interest to you, I’m sure, until I actually finish it and post it. But, in the…

I’m going to talk about one or two peer reviewed papers, but in doing so, I’m going to have to say a few words … and this will not be pretty … about a certain science writer’s report at the BBC. In an article titled “Space is the final frontier for evolution, study claims” BBC…

… from the National Center for Science Education. Click the picture to get the PDF of Darwin’s Universe: Evolution from A to Z .

The Triassic is old. This book is new. That is a hard to beat combination.

Crocodile ancestors found in Sahara

A six-metre croc with three sets of fangs is among the five ancient relatives of modern-day crocodiles found in the Sahara Desert, scientists said Thursday. Three of the fossils, discovered by researchers led by Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago and Hans Larsson of McGill University, represent newly named species. The fossil remains were…

How Young is the Grand Canyon?

To answer that question briefly, it is really really old if you mean “how old are the oldest rocks that are exposed by the Grand Canyon,” and it is probably just a few million years old (5 or 6 by some estimates) if you mean “how long did the canyon itself take to form.” An…

Spoor of South African Dinos Analyzed

A new investigation of the sedimentology and ichnology of the Early Jurassic Moyeni tracksite in Lesotho, southern Africa has yielded new insights into the behavior and locomotor dynamics of early dinosaurs.