Pluto, as captured by the New Horizons probe. Once considered the ninth planet, now considered the first dwarf planet, what is the deal with the classification of this object anyway? In 2008, the International Astronomical Union (the IAU) re-defined a planet in such a way that Pluto is excluded. That was nearly 13 years ago,… Continue reading Pluto the Dwarf Planet, or When is a Planet not a Planet?
Recently, the internet has become enamored with carcinization. Apparently, a research article exploring carcinization was published in 2017i, but a few popular articles ran about it in late 2020.ii Carcinization has become so popular that “everything becomes a crab” has become its own meme. What exactly is carcinization? It is the development of a crab-like… Continue reading How Many Crabs are There?
A short while ago, I talked about Stan and how fossil specimens can be lost or left in limbo depending on ownership of the fossil. Don't think that those types of problems are unique to the world of commercial paleontology, because they are not. There is a recent case involving a small fossil dinosaur named… Continue reading Another Ownership Dispute over a Dinosaur Fossil
There is a new piece at the Heart of America Science Resource Center. It is a floor to ceiling mural in the Ice Age Room. Check it out in the panoramic photograph above. The mural was created by Joe Taylor, who has his own museum, the Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum in Crosbyton, Texas. As you… Continue reading New Mural at HOA
How much is a fossil, such as this Triceratops skeleton, worth? Why is it worth that much? Who knew that fossils could be big business? After all, if fossils such as Stan can sell for $32 million, then there is certainly money to be made in the sale of fossils. However, this is not a… Continue reading Why Did Stan Sell for $32 million, or What is a Fossil Worth?
Stan as he appeared in the museum at the Black Hills Institute. This photograph was taken from a commentary, Benefits of Fossil Sales, by Peter Larson and Donna Russell, which can be found at https://palaeo-electronica.org/content/2014/739-commentary-benefits-of-fossil-sales. I am a little behind on this, but I wanted to talk a little bit about it. About twenty days… Continue reading The Most Expensive Fossil Ever
A West Indian Manatee and its calf. While often identified with Florida, manatee fossils have been found in Texas. Today, manatees can be found in the United States. They are primarily found in Florida, along the coasts and in some rivers. They prefer warm water, which is why they are primarily found in Florida, but… Continue reading Ice Age Manatees in Texas
Open up this amazing document of petrified wood by Doc Rock (Jerry Simmons) whitney-petrified-wood-pp-exportDownload
This handsome little reptile is a tuatara. It is found exclusively on islands off the coasts of New Zealand. In science fiction, it is common to show “alien” creatures with varying numbers of eyes. After all, all vertebrates that we know of have two eyes, what better way to make an unfamiliar creature by giving… Continue reading A Vertebrate with Three Eyes?
Scientists labor long hours to discover new things. What should we do with their discoveries? I teach an introductory biology course at Barclay college. The textbook that I use has the following to say about science: [S]cientific findings are “value neutral.” Science, in its ideal form, provides us with facts that are independent of subjective… Continue reading “Follow the Science”…