Posted: July 23, 2009
An Open Letter to the Trustees of the University of Wyoming
On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology—an international scientific organization with more than 2,300 members, I am writing to express our alarm and dismay at the closing of the display galleries at the University of Wyoming Geological Museum and the loss of staff lines responsible for its maintenance.
Wyoming figures highl...
Posted: July 13, 2009
The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and Taylor & Francis Group are pleased to announce their partnership to publish the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology is the flagship publication of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. The first issue of the journal appeared in 1981 and had 422 published pages. The total pages published yearly has increased steadily since then, but re...
Posted: June 18, 2009
Deerfield, IL (June 2008) Jennifer Clack, a member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology since 1980 and a world expert in the evolution of early land-dwelling animals, has been named a Fellow in the Royal Society of London. This is the highest academic award in the United Kingdom, equivalent to becoming a member of the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S.
Clack was elected to membership based on her outstand...
Posted: June 11, 2009
Deerfield, IL (June 2009) - Many of us have broken bones in our bodies at one time or another, and when this happens a healing process begins. The same was true of animals in the past, and has been well documented in all groups of dinosaurs. But how can we study and understand the healing process? A new study published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology uses high-resolution computed tomography (CT) imaging to guide samp...
Posted: May 15, 2009
Deerfield, IL (March, 2009) – Sharks are among the most popular animals featured in television and cinema. And today among sharks, the undisputed king is the great white, a giant predator that can exceed 20 feet in length. Despite the popularity of great whites, relatively little is known about their biology, and even less is known about their evolutionary origins. A new 4-million-year-old fossil from Peru described in this mon...
Posted: January 21, 2009
Dear Texas SVP members,
Dr. Eugenie Scott, the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, has requested that Texas SVP members write letters to your representatives on the Texas State Board of Education. Apparently the teaching of evolution is under attack. As she wrote, "The teaching of evolution is under attack in Texas yet again. Many members of the Board of Education are at...
Posted: September 11, 2008
DEERFIELD, IL (September 2008) The crashing of the enormous fluked tail on the surface of the ocean is a “calling card” of modern whales. Living whales have no back legs, and their front legs take the form of flippers that allow them to steer. Their special tails provide the powerful thrust necessary to move their huge bulk. Yet this has not always been the case. Reporting in the latest issue o...
Posted: July 8, 2008
The Executive Committee would like to make clear that the decision to review the allegations brought by Martz, Parker, Wedel, and Taylor was made solely in response to their letters addressed to the SVP President, as per our stated procedures. Our decision to review the case was made before the Nature article was published or the correspondence had been posted to the internet; we did not review the case because of "b...
Posted: July 7, 2008
Deerfield, IL (June 2008) - Today Antarctica is a harsh world. Devoid of trees and bushes, it is largely covered in snow and ice and battered by frigid winds. There are no land-based backboned animals that inhabit modern Antarctica – all of the penguins and seals that we imagine on the Antarctic ice are dependent on the sea. But this isolating Antarctic icebox is relatively new in geological terms, and new fossil fi...
Posted: June 6, 2008
The Executive Committee's statement concerning allegations from Jeffery Martz (et al.) and William Parker of ethical violations by Spencer Lucas and colleagues, together with the Ethics Education Committee's recommendations for best practices in research, publication, and museum work.
SVP Executive Committee Response to Allegations from J. Martz, W. Parker, M. Taylor and M. Wedel against S. Lucas, A....
Posted: May 8, 2008
CHICAGO, IL (March 2008) – When most of us think of Ancient Egypt, visions of pyramids and mummies fill our imaginations. For a team of paleontologists interested in fossil mammals, the Fayum district of Egypt summons an even older and equally impressive history that extends much further back in time than the Sphinx. In the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, these scientists report on the discovery o...
Posted: April 1, 2008
Allegations against Dr. Spencer Lucas and three coauthors (Dr. Adrian Hunt, Mr. Justin Spielmann and Dr. Andrew Heckert) have been aired in a recent commentary in Nature as well as via a number of Web sites and e-mail exchanges. We take such matters seriously and we have a process for evaluating such allegations through the SVP Ethics Education Committee. This committee is following its stated process, which is intended to be fair...
Posted: February 11, 2008
DEERFIELD, IL (December 2008) When you take a bite out of a hamburger or chomp down on a piece of gum, you share this function of the lower jaw with the vast majority of animals. But not all: for some animals, lifting the head rather than dropping the jaw is a good idea. This bizarre reversal of how feeding occurs was achieved in 210-million-year-old amphibians, as described in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Vertebr...
Posted: January 31, 2008
The report posted below is about paleobiological research opportunities that might garner new research funds from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). I encourage you to read it carefully. The proposed ideas and new programs result from several community-wide discussions held during 2005 and 2006 by invertebrate paleontologists, vertebrate paleontologists and paleobotanists at our annual meetings, culminating i...
Posted: January 22, 2008
CHICAGO, IL (December, 2007) – The only reason that most people ascend to 14,000 feet is to go skiing. For a group of U. S. and Chilean scientists, however, such altitudes are ideal fossil-hunting terrain. In fact, over the past 10 years their explorations have taken them to one of the highest elevation vertebrate fossil sites in the world. The localities near Salar de Surire in northern Chile have yielded seve...
Posted: January 18, 2008
Chicago (November 2007) -- Dr. Wann Langston, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, is the 20th recipient of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s highest honor – the A. S. Romer-G. G. Simpson Medal. The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, which was founded in 1940 by thirty-four paleontologists, now has over 2,000 members representing an inte...
Posted: November 15, 2007
CHICAGO, IL (June 16, 2007) – Fossilized footprints are relatively common, but figuring out exactly which ancient creature made particular tracks has been a mystery that has long stumped paleontologists. In the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, a team of researchers overcome this dilemma for the first time, and link a fossil trackway to a well-known fossil animal.
Posted: July 31, 2007
Professional paleontologists from around the world are concerned about the misrepresentation of science at the newly opened Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The Creation Museum has been marketed to the public as a “reasoned, logical defence” for young-earth creationism by Ken Ham, the President and CEO of Answers in Genesis, which runs the Creation Museum. The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology,...
Posted: July 17, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2007
The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology on the Creation Museum
Professional paleontologists from around the world are concerned about the misrepresentation of science at the newly opened Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The Creation Museum has been marketed to the public as a “reasoned, logical defence” for young-earth creationism by Ken Ham, the Presi...
Posted: June 6, 2007
EMBARGOED UNTIL 12 JUNE 2007
Ancient Long-necked Gliding Reptile Discovered
CHICAGO, IL (June 12, 2007) – In the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, scientists describe a remarkable new long-necked, gliding reptile from 220 million-year old sediments of eastern north America. Mecistotrachelos apeoros (meaning “soaring, long-necked”) is based on two fossils excavated at th...