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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 […]

Were dinosaurs the masters of social integration?

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=996 Back in the Late Cretaceous, the USA was divided. Not politically, but by a vast continental sea called the Western Interior Seaway, splitting the continent into two separate landmasses. The western one of these, known as Laramidia, played host to some of the popular dinosaurs like Parasaurolophus, or ‘Elvis’ in […]

To bird or not to bird..

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=963 In 2012, the controversial case over whether or not Archaeopteryx lithographica, perhaps the most iconic dinosaur species of all time, was a bird was settled. Apparently. (free pdf) This was an important analysis for two reasons. Firstly, it countered a previous study showing that Archaeopteryx was more closely related to dinosaurs like Velociraptor […]

Was the diversity of feeding styles in giant turtles a key to their suckcess?

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=883 ­Sometimes, it can be difficult to figure out how ancient organisms used to eat. Part of the problem is that we can never actually see extinct animals eating (until we invent time-travel.. *taps fingers impatiently at physicists*), and often it can be hard to work out how something ate based […]

A double-whammy of dinosaur awesomeness. Pun totally intended.

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=873 This is a post about pachycephalosaurs. It’s not a post about feathered dinosaurs, huge dinosaurs, or any of the ones which you may be more familiar with from popular media. Pachycephalosaurs were the dome-headed little scrappers of the Cretaceous, around 85 to 66 million years ago. Their name means ‘thick-skulled […]

Crocodiles are so hard, they even eat fruit

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=856 Seed dispersal by animals is incredibly important for plants to help them occupy new areas of land and reproduce. Usually, this happens using bugs, birds, or intrepid kittens, but probably the last animal on this planet you’d expect to disperse seeds is crocodiles – you know, those big beasties that […]

‘Meat was so sixty million years agAAAGHH…’

This was initially posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=760 Some dinosaurs were utterly bizarre. You may have heard of them before, but one particular group called therizinosaurs belonged to the meat-eating theropod dinosaurs (those that led to birds), were really awesome. However, they actually at some point made a conscious evolutionary decision to stop being badasses, and become Cretaceous-cauliflower* […]

Om nom nom

This was originally posted here: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=699 What comes to mind when you think of dinosaur interaction? Large carnivores chomping on unsuspecting little ornithopods? Ceratopsians jousting for their next mate? Large hadrosaurs tenderly mothering their cute newborns? There are many possible images of community-level dinosaur interactions, and there is a host of evidence out there that take […]