Fossils

Pharyngula

Category archives for Fossils

Casey Luskin embarrasses himself again

Once again, the Discovery Institute stumbles all over itself to crow victory over evolution, led by the inspiring figure of that squeaking incompetent, Casey Luskin. This time, what has them declaring the bankruptcy of evolution is the discovery of tetrapod trackways in Poland dating back 395 million years. I know, it’s peculiar; every time a…

Tetrapods are older than we thought!

Some stunning fossil trackways have been discovered in Poland. The remarkable thing about them is that they’re very old, about 395 million years old, and they are clearly the tracks of tetrapods. Just to put that in perspective, Tiktaalik, probably the most famous specimen illustrating an early stage of the transition to land, is younger…

Save the footprints, New Jersey!

Sign this petition to protect a valuable dinosaur trackway quarry in New Jersey — it’s going to be bulldozed and built over with condos if you don’t. It might even if you do, but make a little effort to bring this deplorable waste of a scientific resource to people’s attention, anyway.

Ammonite Figure from Cephalopods: A World Guide (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Mark Norman.

Lumpers!

Here’s a nice video about pachycephalosaurs describing a little exercise in taxonomic consolidation.

Shubin had a tough act to follow, coming after Kingsley’s great talk. I’m sure it will be good, though — last night I got a tour of his lab, saw the original Tiktaalik specimens and some new ones, and some of his work in progress (which I won’t tell you about until it’s published), so…

Oops, missed the first part of this talk due to the distractions of Lunch. Walked in as he was talking about tree vs. ladder thinking (people have a hard time conceptualizing trees) and history as a chronicle — barebones description of events — or a narrative — events linked by causal explanations. It took a…

It’s yet another transitional fossil! Are you tired of them yet? Darwinopterus modularis is a very pretty fossil of a Jurassic pterosaur, which also reveals some interesting modes of evolution; modes that I daresay are indicative of significant processes in development, although this work is not a developmental study (I wish…having some pterosaur embryos would…

Ardipithecus ramidus

What a day to be stuck in airplanes for hours on end; I had to slurp in a bunch of files on my iPhone and then look at them on that itty-bitty screen, just to catch up on the story of Ardipithecus. Fortunately, you can just read Carl Zimmer’s excellent summary to find out what’s…

I want my mini-T. rex!

This is a very cool fossil, a tiny T. rex cousin called Raptorex. Well, tiny is relative — it was still as big as a human being — but it has the same proportions, the oversized fanged head, the tiny forelimbs, etc., as it’s later relative, T. rex. It’s simply adorable, in a viciously evil…