150 things about Canadian palaeo, part 7 – Current Canadian Palaeos (1) #FossilFriday

Who are some of the current Canadian palaeontologists? A few weeks ago I introduced you to some of the early figures in Canadian palaeontology, but the field has grown substantially, and there are a lot of Canadian palaeontologists, and people working on palaeontology in Canada now. This is going to be the first of a few posts, since there are so many! Starting at 43/150, in no particular order, the first 8 current Canadian palaeos:…

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150 things about Canadian palaeo, part 6 – marine fossils #FossilFriday

Last week I introduced you to one of the most famous fossil sites in Canada, Dinosaur Provincial Park. Generally speaking when people think of Canadian fossils, they think of dinosaurs and the large creatures that roamed the land during the Mesozoic and are commonly found in Alberta and Saskatchewan. However, marine fossils are also common in Canada, including a a large number of marine vertebrates. A few of these examples, starting at 37/150 include: 37.…

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150 things about Canadian palaeo, part 5 – Dinosaur Provincial Park #FossilFriday

Post number 5 in my 150 things about Canadian palaeontology is going to focus on the 2nd of 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada, Dinosaur Provincial Park. Starting on 30/150: 30. Dinosaur Provincial Park (DPP) is located in southeastern Alberta, approximately 50 km from the city of Brooks. Despite the general misconception that Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum are located within DPP, it is actually about 160 km southeast of Drumheller. 31. DPP was the first…

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150 things about Canadian palaeo – part 4, Canadian fossil names #FossilFriday

For my 4th post on 150 things about Canadian palaeo, I’m going to mention a few fossils that are named for places in Canada. Since there are so many fossil localities, and so many fossils, naturally there are a lot of Canadian fossil names. Here are a few of my favourites. Starting at 22/150: 22. A number of fossils have been named for Canada, but probably my favourite is simply Canadia, s species of annelid worm from…

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150 things about Canadian palaeo – part 3, early palaeontologists #FossilFriday

Now onto week 3 of my 150 things about Canadian palaeontology. So far I’ve introduced you to some general bits about palaeo in Canada, and discussed the Burgess Shale. This week I’m going to talk a bit about the important people in some of the history of Canadian palaeontology. Not all are Canadian, but they are some people who really kicked off the interest in Canada. Starting off with number 15/150: 15. In 1856, the first…

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Is the Tully Monster a Vertebrate after all?

Tullimonstrum gregarium, the ‘Tully Monster’, is an enigmatic fossil from the Late Carboniferous Mazon Creek lagerstätte, Illinois, USA. This soft-bodied animal is instantly recognisable by its ‘torpedo-shaped’ body ending in a tail; its long, elbowed, proboscis with a toothed ‘jaw’ at the end; and its eyes positioned on the end on a rigid bar. In fact, its body is so unique that positioning it on the tree of life has proven very difficult. A reconstruction…

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150 things about Canadian palaeo – part 2, the Burgess Shale #FossilFriday

Last week, the first of our journey of 150 things about Canadian palaeontology, I introduced the history and some of the important facts palaeo in Canada. This week, I’m going to talk about one of the most significant finds, the Burgess Shale. Continuing with our numbering from before, so we don’t lose count… 8. The Burgess Shale is a significant and fossiliferous site in the Rocky Mountains, near Field, British Columbia, in Yoho National Park. The fossils from…

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Life, molecules and the geological record

To understand the evolution of life, palaeontologists can employ a variety of techniques. This typically involves the visual identification of fossils, like bones or teeth, within the sedimentary record, either by eye or using a microscope. However, life also leaves molecular fossils within the geological record. Molecular fossils (or “biomarkers”) are organic molecules which can be tied to a specific biological source and include nucleic acids (e.g. DNA and RNA), proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. Of…

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Diagenesis of non-marine sediments and taphonomy of selected dinosaur bone deposits, NW Queensland

Amongst all the other basins in Queensland, the extensive, intracratonic Eromanga Basin covers the maximum area, with parts of it entering the Northern Territory, South Australia and also New South Wales. Petroleum drill logs have helped us in understanding the stratigraphy of this vast basin. The Eromanga Basin rests on top of a heterogeneous basement that is comprised of the Cooper Basin in the central and southern parts, Galilee Basin in the northern part, Mt…

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150 things about Canadian palaeontology, an intro. #FossilFriday

This year is a special year for Canada: July 1 marks our 150th “birthday”, or 150 years since we gained independence (mostly) from the United Kingdom, uniting the provinces of Canada (now Ontario and Quebec), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into the Dominion of Canada. To celebrate, I am going to be running a series of (short) blog posts with 5-8 points each week, adding up to 150 things about palaeontology in Canada. These will…

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