Paleontology of Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

PLOSBLOGS Update 12/4/17  President Trump Declares Major Reduction of Bears Ears Monument This Feb/2017 guest post to the PLOS Paleontology Community is by guest blogger Robert Gay. Rob is the Curator of Education at the Museum of Western Colorado, and also frequently contributes to the blog Prehistoric Pub. He can be found on Twitter @Paleorob. Thank you, Rob, for contributingContinue reading “Paleontology of Bears Ears National Monument, Utah”

A new look at old bones reveals patterns of neck elongation in elasmosaurids

I think at this point it’s no secret that I really really really like aquatic animals, especially of the extinct variety (in case you don’t believe me, see here and here and here and here and here and here! Whew!!). So I just couldn’t resist featuring another study on aquatic organisms that came out thisContinue reading “A new look at old bones reveals patterns of neck elongation in elasmosaurids”

Gone Fishin’ in the Cretaceous: A New Species of Acanthomorph from Canada

For being one of the largest groups of vertebrates, and having one of the richer fossil records among organisms, the relationships of fishes are still hotly debated. Humongous datasets are being compiled that involve molecular (both nuclear and mitochondrial) data, compared and contrasted with thorough morphological analyses. (I’m not going to get into all ofContinue reading “Gone Fishin’ in the Cretaceous: A New Species of Acanthomorph from Canada”

A Day in the Life of an Ammonite

Several years ago, back when I was working as the lab and collections manager for the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site in St. George, Utah, we constructed a temporary exhibit with hundreds of ammonite shells from all over the world. One of our museum volunteers, an older French lady volunteering as a museum greeter andContinue reading “A Day in the Life of an Ammonite”

Happy Fins: Plesiosaurs Flapped like Penguins

One of the most infuriating things about being a paleontologist is being able to study some of the coolest organisms that have ever inhabited the Earth, yet never being able to see one in life. We’ll never know with complete surety what color they were, what they sounded like, and how they moved. Thankfully, newContinue reading “Happy Fins: Plesiosaurs Flapped like Penguins”

Snakes in a Burrow: Fossil Rattles Origin of Snakes

Last week, paleontologists published a study in the journal Science Advances revealing a possible habitat origin for modern snakes. This study was based on an exciting morphological discovery in a fossil snake that could help scientists understand why snakes developed limbless bodies and distinct sensory systems. The habitat of ancestral snakes has been debated betweenContinue reading “Snakes in a Burrow: Fossil Rattles Origin of Snakes”