150 things about Canadian palaeo – part 2, the Burgess Shale #FossilFriday

Last week, the first of our journey of 150 things about Canadian palaeontology, I introduced the history and some of the important facts palaeo in Canada. This week, I’m going to talk about one of the most significant finds, the Burgess Shale. Continuing with our numbering from before, so we don’t lose count… 8. The Burgess Shale is … More 150 things about Canadian palaeo – part 2, the Burgess Shale #FossilFriday

150 things about Canadian palaeontology, an intro. #FossilFriday

This year is a special year for Canada: July 1 marks our 150th “birthday”, or 150 years since we gained independence (mostly) from the United Kingdom, uniting the provinces of Canada (now Ontario and Quebec), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into the Dominion of Canada. To celebrate, I am going to be running a series … More 150 things about Canadian palaeontology, an intro. #FossilFriday

Confessions of a palaeobiologist learning to code

Learning to code is something that a lot of people do in their PhD. Programs like R or MatLab are common in highly mathematical and quantitative studies, and in studies with a large amount of data. For this reason, these kinds of analyses and programs have traditionally been uncommon amongst palaeontologists. When you have a … More Confessions of a palaeobiologist learning to code

Palaeoart: drawing from the past – Encore!

“Science-art, or sciart, is used to illustrate scientific ideas and concepts. In most cases, the idea behind sciart is straightforward – draw or illustrate what you see. Of course it’s not really that simple because a great deal of research goes into these images – more than the casual observer realizes! But when it comes … More Palaeoart: drawing from the past – Encore!

PhD Opportunity – pterosaur launch

Pterosaur biomechanics is something that I’m obviously very interested in, and the launch of pterosaurs is something that has been heavily debated. Traditionally, pterosaurs were thought to launch like birds, either running on their hindlimbs and jumping, or vertically launching into the air. However, it has been suggested more recently that they may have launched in … More PhD Opportunity – pterosaur launch

Meet Allkaruen – the new Argentinian pterosaur

New pterosaurs, and especially new well preserved pterosaurs, are rarely found. As I’ve mentioned in the past, pterosaurs exhibit significant skeletal pneumaticity, meaning their bones are often filled with air. This is common in skulls of animals (like the sinuses in your own head), and is especially prevalent in pterosaurs. For this reason, pterosaur skulls … More Meet Allkaruen – the new Argentinian pterosaur

A ptiny pterosaur from the Late Cretaceous

Apologies for the title… Anyone who was with me on my last trip to Romania will remember the discussion of the potential for small pterosaurs in the Late Cretaceous, which rapidly turned into the search for “ptiny pterosaurs”. While I’ve always liked giant pterosaurs (who doesn’t think they are cool?!), I’ve recently become interested in … More A ptiny pterosaur from the Late Cretaceous

International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology

My six week travels ended last week with a trip to Washington DC, where I attended the International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology (ICVM) for the first time. Held every 3 years, it is run by the International Society of Vertebrate Morphology to promote collaboration and discussion between researchers working on several aspects of vertebrate morphology. … More International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology

Cranial ornamentation development in dome-headed dinos

For some time, there has been a debate about how many species of dome-headed (pachycephalosaur) dinosaurs existed. The largest and best known, Pachycephalosaurus, has always been a stand-alone, valid species, known from adult material. ‘Dracorex‘ was named in 2006, and represented a juvenile pachycephalosaur, while ‘Stygimoloch‘ was a subadult. All 3 species were found in the Hell … More Cranial ornamentation development in dome-headed dinos