Society News

PRESS RELEASE - Recent studies bring fossils and genes together to piece together evolutionary history

Posted: November 7, 2012
DEERFIELD, ILLINOIS (November, 2011) – Paleontology, with its rocks and fossils, seems far removed from the world of developmental genetics, with its petri dishes and embryos. Whereas paleontology strives to determine "What happened in evolution?", developmental genetics uses gene control in embryos to try to answer "How did it happen?" Combined, the two approaches can lead to remarkable insights that benefi...  Read More

Call for Expression of Interest: Dinosaur Tourism Development in Mongolia

Posted: November 5, 2012
Since the expeditions of Roy Chapman Andrews found dinosaur eggs in Gobi some ninety year ago, the Gobi Desert of Mongolia has been known as one of the world’s greatest sources of dinosaur fossils. Every year international expeditions come to Mongolia to search for dinosaurs among the Gobi’s spectacular sandstone buttes and wind-blown dunes.   Thanks to a near century-old research and collection by internation...  Read More

Climate Change Makes More Shrew Species

Posted: October 22, 2012
RALEIGH, NC (October, 2012) – Anyone who went outside this summer felt the effects of climate change. Now the Eurasian shrew, Sorex araneus, can say the same. A new study by P. David Polly of Indiana University found that climate change caused shrews to change, genetically, and eventually become different species. Using shrew DNA and fossils, he found that this change occurred over hundreds of thousands of years during repea...  Read More

Dome-Headed Dinosaurs Did More than Just Butt Heads

Posted: October 22, 2012
RALEIGH, NC (October, 2012) – We have all seen nature shows with footage of bighorn sheep rearing up and "butting heads" with each other using their heads and enlarged horns. People often assume other animals with horns and comparable head structures have similar behaviors. For a long time this was the case for the dome-headed dinosaurs, the pachycephalosaurids (pack-y-sef-a-lo-sore-ids), who were thought to use th...  Read More

Mysterious Feathered Dinosaur was Agile Flyer

Posted: October 22, 2012
RALEIGH, NC (October, 2012) – In 2003, a mysterious and surprising dinosaur was discovered that possessed not only wings on its arms but also long feathers on each leg forming a “hind wing.” This was a completely new and unexpected body plan for a vertebrate (backboned) animal. Named Microraptor, this enigmatic animal set off a firestorm of debate about the role of “hind wings” and their importance in...  Read More

Flower Power

Posted: October 22, 2012
RALEIGH, NC (October, 2012) – A report at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Raleigh, North Carolina, explores the idea that the evolution of flowering plants (angiosperms) during the Cretaceous Period had a profound effect on the early diversification of mammals during the same time frame. Paleontologists investigate life on earth, often discovering and describing new forms and evolutionary...  Read More

Fossil Discovery Sheds Light on One of Evolution’s Greatest Unsolved Mysteries: the Origin of Jaws

Posted: October 22, 2012
RALEIGH, NC (October, 2012) – The origin of jaws marks one of the biggest events in our deep evolutionary history, yet how and when this occurred is still one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of modern science. New fossil discoveries coming out of Southern China are shedding light on this problem, showing that ancient bone-covered jawless fishes called ‘galeapsids,’ which lived about 420 million years ago, had beg...  Read More

Oldest Primate Lived in Trees after the Extinction of Dinosaurs

Posted: October 22, 2012
RALEIGH, NC (October, 2012) – The Cretaceous-age Hell Creek Formation of Montana is best known for the discovery over a century ago of Tyrannosaurus rex. It also has produced some of the best fossils from the end of the Age of the Dinosaurs about 65 million years ago. At that time, the planet experienced a mass extinction that wiped out many species including non-avian dinosaurs. However, for many mammals, including our own anc...  Read More

Extinct Fossils Reveal their Genetic Pattern

Posted: October 22, 2012
RALEIGH, NC (October, 2012) – Researchers have provided a glimpse at genetic expression in long-extinct fossil dinosaurs. This new insight comes from the discovery of a correlation between the genetic patterning observed in today’s chickens and crocodiles, and the pattern of different bone shapes along their spines. For the first time a direct correlation between the genetic expression and morphological variation is ident...  Read More

Virtual aquarium in progress and help is needed

Posted: October 11, 2012
Virtual aquarium in progress and help is needed.   Two Germany based companies, Hypnocode and Visual Artefacts are planing to build a virtual Aquarium where people can watch and interact in real time with extinct marine reptiles and other creatures from the jurassic period. For this project we need your help. We are hoping to work closely with members of the svp in order to avoid any mistakes to achieve the most...  Read More


Posted: October 3, 2012
Vertebrate paleontology is one of the most popular scientific disciplines and the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology has the potential to be a global force in science education and outreach. As part of the effort to realize that potential, SVP is launching the Ambassador Program, a volunteer program that taps the enthusiasm and diversity of SVP membership to provides K-12 schools and other education programs access to qualified SVP a...  Read More

Happy National Fossil Day!

Posted: September 6, 2012
Happy National Fossil Day! As an organization committed to advancing the study of fossil vertebrates, promoting education, and to the conservation and preservation of fossil sites, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) is excited to see the abundance of celebratory events taking place across the U.S. Our thanks to the National Park Services and the American Geological Institute for spearheading this event, and to all t...  Read More

New SVP Ambassador Program Launches

Posted: September 5, 2012
The Education and Outreach Committee of your society has developed a new program to establish a list of ambassadors to local k-12 educational institutions. We welcome you to apply to participate in this exciting new program. Once we collect everyone's information, the chairs will review the applicants and we will be creating a new web page on the society website as a resource for k-12 educators. Look for the coming email invitati...  Read More

Login to view the new issue of Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

Posted: August 28, 2012
Login to your SVP membership account to access this issue: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Volume 32, Issue 5   Read More


Posted: August 27, 2012
DEERFIELD, IL (August, 2012) - Shortly after dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops went extinct 65 million years ago, Earth’s ancient landscapes were filled with unusual mammals only distantly related to those alive today. Until recently, one of these creatures, Ernanodon antelios, was only known from a single, highly distorted specimen that raised many questions about its habits and evolutionary relationships. In the...  Read More

The Cooper Center Presents: Prehistoric OC

Posted: August 18, 2012
The John D. Cooper Archaeological & Paleontological Center is having its inaugural event! The Cooper Center Presents: Prehistoric OC, a National Fossil Day and National Archaeology Day Celebration. Come experience the wonder of 180 million years of Orange County history. From being able to touch real fossils to demonstrations with artifacts, Prehistoric OC is sure to be a fun and educational experience for family and friends of a...  Read More

See the SVP 2012 Annual Meeting Presenters and Titles

Posted: August 7, 2012
See which presentations, posters and colleagues could have an important impact on your work.  Browse the list of presenters and titles.   Read More

Phylogenetic Comparative Methods Workshop

Posted: July 23, 2012
This popular workshop has just been added to the 2012 Annual Meeting line-up. Learn how to analyze character evolution using phylogenetic comparative methods. Registration is online only.   Read More

Annual Meeting Updates Now Available

Posted: July 2, 2012
Annual Meeting Updates Now Available.  Download the Updated Meeting Circular for the latest information on the SVP 72nd Annual Meeting.   Read More


Posted: June 25, 2012
The skull of the primitive flatfish Heteronectes, with views of the left- and right-hand sides. The left-hand side shows an eye that has migrated toward the top of the skull, but not reached the other side, in this adult specimen. Image by M. Friedman DEERFIELD, IL (June, 25, 2012) - Those delicious flatfishes, like halibut and sole, are also evolutionary puzzles. Their profoundly a...  Read More
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