OLD BONES - SVP'S BLOG

I do much of my fieldwork in the badlands of Alberta, and when people learn this, they often ask, “Haven’t we found all the fossil species there yet? Why keep going back?” I typically answer “no”, and then go on to explain that there have been many reports of new species from those rocks in recent years (including a new one today). But let’s say we did have a record of every fossil animal that eve... Read More
Posted: 7/17/2017 3:53:01 PM by mallonjordanadmin | with 0 comments
Editor's note: This guest post comes to us from Catherine Early, one of the co-organizers of the WSVP 2017 event. The image above, provided by the author, may be shared on social media. Women* make up half of the world’s population, but data show that they are underrepresented in STEM fields (Hill et al. 2010, Shen 2013). Often, this gender disparity is not obvious when one examines the demographics of students in various ... Read More
Posted: 7/12/2017 12:47:29 PM by andyfarkeadmin | with 0 comments
Editor's note: This guest post comes to us from Mr. Robert Gay, a paleontologist who has conducted fieldwork within what is now Bears Ears National Monument. Bears Ears National Monument and others are currently under review by the Department of the Interior; to provide your own comment, you can do so at regulations.gov.Bears Ears National Monument (BENM), established by President Barack Obama in late 2016, encompasses 1.3 millio... Read More
Posted: 7/7/2017 12:13:41 PM by andyfarkeadmin | with 0 comments
Editor's note: This guest post comes to us from Dr. Allison Stegner, a paleontologist who has conducted fieldwork within what is now Bears Ears National Monument.After you have read Dr. Stegner's post, learn more about SVP's involvement with BENM here. “Here it comes!” I call down to my field assistant, Molly, as I begin to lower a 5-gallon bucket full of sediment on a rope pulley system we have cobbled toget... Read More
Posted: 7/6/2017 10:53:17 PM by andyfarkeadmin | with 0 comments
      An interesting paper came across my desk this past week, authored by Charles Marshall and published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. Marshall notes that the foundational doctrines of most scientific disciplines can be expressed as simple laws, and that although the science of palaeobiology has provided key insights into matters of evolutionary ecology and biology, these have yet to be condensed into m... Read More
Posted: 6/5/2017 10:49:48 AM by mallonjordanadmin | with 0 comments
Going to the field and uncovering fossils is often what attracts someone to vertebrate paleontology. I know it was a contributing factor for me! There isn’t anything quite like picking up the remains of an ancient animal and immediately recognizing that it represents something new to science. But there is a reason finding fossils is known as fieldwork rather than fieldplay; it requires a lot effort - particularly in the case of... Read More
Posted: 5/23/2017 7:26:10 AM by croftdarinadmin | with 0 comments
Tomorrow (Saturday, April 22) marks a long-awaited event for many researchers world-wide: a March for Science. Based on my social media feeds, numerous paleontologists will also be participating in multiple locations. All have their own reasons--frustration with politicians, anger at neglect and misuse of science, pride in their profession, a need to make scientists visible and humanized, or perhaps a combination of all of these and ... Read More
Posted: 4/21/2017 10:11:38 AM by andyfarkeadmin | with 0 comments
I’ve been going to SVP annual meetings for nearly 20 years. They have certainly gotten bigger during that interval as well as better in virtually all respects. There is always room for improvement, but overall, it is a fun and well-run meeting. That being said, our annual meeting is fundamentally the same one I have been attending for nearly two decades. That strikes me as remarkable when I think about the changes that have ta... Read More
Posted: 4/6/2017 9:42:08 PM by croftdarinadmin | with 0 comments
Dogma is defined by Merriam-Webster as “something held as an established opinion; especially:  a definite authoritative tenet.” Science prides itself on being removed from dogma through use of critical thinking and continuous questioning. As scientists, paleontologists work hard to ensure that dogmatic thinking is avoided. Everything is up for question. Nothing is sacred.Or is it? This week, a paper was published th... Read More
Posted: 3/25/2017 4:56:57 PM by pennilynhigginsadmin | with 0 comments
Historical photos are fascinating as windows into the lives of our paleontological predecessors. I enjoy seeing the old clothing styles and haircuts, and reflecting on how some things have changed (or haven't changed) over the years. For today's post, I found a great photo from the Smithsonian's archives, depicting fossil preparator Norman Ross assembling the mounted skeleton of a little horned dinosaur. The photo is dat... Read More
Posted: 3/9/2017 3:48:17 PM by andyfarkeadmin | with 0 comments
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