Why I think the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary is super important

Mass extinctions are insanely catastrophic, but important, events that punctuate the history of life on Earth. The Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary, around 145 million years ago, was originally thought of to represent a mass extinction, but has subsequently been ‘down-graded’ to a minor extinction event based on new discoveries. However, compared to other important stratigraphic boundaries, like […]

Your bite or mine?

This was originally posted at:  It rises from the dark waters like some behemoth from the deep, and lets out a blood-curdling roar. It’s feeding time. One of the most iconic scenes from Jurassic Park III is where the long-snouted, sail-backed giant theropod dinosaur Spinosaurus emerges from underwater to try, yet again, to eat our […]

Another clue to the origins of dinosaurs

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1222 Often the early evolution and radiation of the first dinosaurs is an overlooked part of their tale, in favour of the more dramatic but arguably no less important tales of their later radiations and extinctions. It is actually a fairly poorly understood part of their evolution too, with the timing, […]

Macroecology – scaling the time barrier

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1178 If there was ever an overdue discussion in palaeontology, it was how we reconcile the differences in time scales when looking at different periods in our history. This is becoming increasingly more important as scientific research is being asked to have demonstrably greater ‘impact’ in terms of some social, economic, […]

Where did all the mammoths go?

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1037 Let’s go meta. Recently, ecologist extraordinaire Dr. Jacquelyn Gill (or is it Professor cos of that weird American system?) wrote a wonderful review article on the extinctions that affected many large mammal species during the last 50-10,000 years. This period is known as the Quaternary, and was a time when […]

Citizen science in ecology and evolution? Sounds apps-olutely fantastic.. *tumbleweed*

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1036 There’s a lot of talk these days about science communication. Some people spend their lives debating the differences between outreach, public engagement, and science communication, and how they all mean different things. As a scientist, and I’m quite sure I can speak on behalf of the entire community, we don’t […]

What are the key questions in palaeoecological research?

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1032 Last year, a throng of palaeoecologists from the world around descended into Oxford to discuss what the 50 most pressing questions in palaeoecology are. I was happy to see some great scientists and communicators among them, including Anson Mackay, Jacquelyn Gill, and Gavin Simpson, which gives me real hope that […]

Your poop or mine?

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1023 Back in the Mesozoic, lavatories probably didn’t exist. In fact, dinosaurs and other animals were probably pretty poorly mannered and just pooped wherever they felt like. But what or who cleaned up after them? In modern biomes, poop is decomposed by insects and bacteria of all breeds, and actually forms […]