Posts Tagged ‘fossils’

Dig for victory

Dig for victory

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Research

In a previous post I showed what I think being a palaeontologist is all about, especially the point that palaeontologists are different from oryctologists. The first ones study changes of biodiversity through time, the second ones extract fossils (but again, both are far from exclusive). Here is a short summary of  experience working at Upper Cretaceous excavation sites in the South of France (that’s around 80-65 million years old) namely in the Bellevue excavation site in Esperaza run by the Musée des Dinosaures. First step is to find a place to dig. Why along the road? It doesn’t have to be but [&hellip

What is(n’t) palaeontology like?

What is(n’t) palaeontology like?

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

After rereading Sive’s excellent blog post on what is a zoologist or at least what is it like to study it, I remember having a slightly similar difficulty in explaining my background in palaeontology. Reactions range from: “Oh… Palaeontology? That’s like the origins of humans and stuff?” or “So you go on excavations and find ancient Roman pottery?” to “Bheuuh, want another beer?”. What frustrated me is that none of these reactions are correct but neither are they totally incorrect (especially the last one!). Palaeontology is not archaeology Most people that have only a vague idea of what [&hellip

The Easter bunny’s origins are linked with climate change

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Research

The Easter Bunny apparently originated in German Lutherans’ traditions before 1682 when it was first mentioned in von Franckenau’s De ovis paschalibus. In France and Belgium however, it’s not a rabbit that hides eggs in the garden for Easter morning but flying bells coming back from Rome (they went there for their holidays since the Maundy Thursday). For many people this makes no sense at all (flying bells, come on!) but on the other hand I think that a bunny carrying coloured eggs and hiding them does not make much more sense… However, the Easter bunny makes [&hellip

Seminar series: Tom Ezard, University of Southampton

Seminar series: Tom Ezard, University of Southampton

By EcoEvo@TCD | Seminars

Part of our series of posts by final-year undergraduate students for their Research Comprehension module. Students write blogs inspired by guest lecturers in our Evolutionary Biology and Ecology seminar series in the School of Natural Sciences. This week; views from Sarah Byrne and Sean Meehan on Tom Ezard’s seminar, Birth, death and macroevolutionary consequences. Splitting Hares – easier said than done? In a recent talk given by Tom Ezard, a research fellow and evolutionary ecologist, the definition of a species was examined and challenged. While defining a species may seem a simple task for just about anybody and [&hellip

We need Tarzan to fill the gaps!

We need Tarzan to fill the gaps!

By EcoEvo@TCD | News

Nature News published a new post about our origins. It’s promoting Stevens et al’s 2013 paper that published the description from two new granddads/grandmas in our already complicated family tree. These guys, Nsungwepithecus and Rukwapithecus (it’s not that hard to pronounce, try it) are considered by Stevens and his team as the oldest crown Catarrhines – [Google translate palaeo-primatish to English: “as closely related as the ancestors of you and your cousin the proboscis monkey (we all knew there were some facial similarities!)”]. Technically speaking, these fossil discoveries pushed the origin of modern Catarrhines back from 20 [&hellip