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Is Torosaurus Triceratops? The debate rages on!

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1138 For some time now, there has been much debate about whether our beloved dinosaur, Triceratops, is a distinct species, or a younger version of a bigger ceratopsian, Torosaurus – the great Toroceratops’ debate. Proponents of both sides of the argument have made detailed quantitative and qualitative points, and there doesn’t… Read More »

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… Read More »

Slicing up dinosaur embryos. For science.

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=459 Birds are living, breathing, tweeting dinosaurs. That is scientific knowledge backed up by overwhelming evidence, but the evidence basis for it grows strong all the time. We know that they are related from a host of morphological evidence from the last 150 million years or so. Our understanding of the… Read More »

One small step for digital Palaeontology

The time of digital technology is upon us. No scientific domain is embracing it’s fast-paced and dynamic progression more so than Palaeontology. One such realm that is exploding with new studies and enrapturing the minds of people and the global media is the increasing possibility to digitise and manipulate three-dimensional fossils. Surface laser-scanning, C-T scanning… Read More »

What is a Fossil Species..?

What do we currently understand by a ‘species’? Naming species, also known as alpha taxonomy, forms the fundamental basis and core of systematic analysis (e.g., for biodiversity, macroevolutionary and ecological studies). Since the origin of the species concept, there has been heated and continuous debate as to what exactly constitutes a species. The discovery of… Read More »

Quantitative Shape Analysis 2: Data Collection – easier than you think!

“If you want to inspire confidence, give plenty of statistics. It does not matter that they should be accurate, or even intelligible, as long as there is enough of them.” Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)   The last post on this series gave an introduction to the background and significance of quantitative shape analysis. I conveyed the… Read More »