Current Canadian Palaeos (2) – 150 things about Canadian palaeo, part 12

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to a few current Canadian (or at least working in Canada) palaeontologists. Obviously there are more than just the 8 that I mentioned last time. Here is Part 2 of some of the palaeontologists in Canada, again in no particular order. Starting with 86/150: 86. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is a growing palaeontology hot bed, in particular thanks to David Evans, Chair of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Associate Professor…

Continue reading


Episode 76: Hydrodynamics

The shape of an animal is a reflection of the way it interacts with the physical world around it. By studying the mechanical laws which influence the evolution of modern animals, we can better understand the lives of their ancestors. Hydrodynamics examines the movement of water in contact with an organism, and can include everything from body shape to blood flow. In this episode we spoke to Dr Tom Fletcher, University of Leicester, about hydrodynamics…

Continue reading


Significant Canadian fossils – 150 things about Canadian palaeo, part 11

For those that haven’t been following this post, here’s a brief recap. This year on July 1 is Canada’s 150th birthday. To celebrate, I’m writing 150 things about Canadian palaeontology, ranging from sites to people to museums. This post is going to focus on some of the important fossils that have been found in Canada, important either for exceptional preservation, or representing the first of something, or being important in evolution. Starting at 79/150: 79.…

Continue reading


Research sheds new light on ‘world’s oldest animal fossils’

A team of researchers, led by the University of Bristol, has uncovered that ancient fossils, thought to be some of the world’s earliest examples of animal remains, could in fact belong to other groups such as algae. The Weng’an Biota is a fossil Konservat-Lagerstätte in South China that is around 600 million-years-old and provides an unparalleled snapshot of marine life during the interval in which molecular clocks estimate that animal groups had evolved. However, all…

Continue reading


Research sheds new light on ‘world’s oldest animal fossils’

A team of researchers, led by the University of Bristol, has uncovered that ancient fossils, thought to be some of the world’s earliest examples of animal remains, could in fact belong to other groups such as algae. The Weng’an Biota is a fossil Konservat-Lagerstätte in South China that is around 600 million-years-old and provides an unparalleled snapshot of marine life during the interval in which molecular clocks estimate that animal groups had evolved. However, all…

Continue reading


Episode 75: Laser-Stimulated Fluorescence

Palaeontology is a constantly evolving field; when new methods and techniques are invented, they allow us to revisit old fossils and test our previous observations and hypotheses. Recently, an exciting new method called ‘Laser-Simulated Fluorescence’ (LSF) has been gaining popularity in palaeontology and we speak to its inventor Tom Kaye, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, USA, during a visit to the University of Bristol, alongside Dr Michael Pittman, Research Assistant Professor, The University of Hong…

Continue reading


Joggins Fossil Cliffs – 150 things about Canadian palaeo, part 10

This week, I’m going to introduce you to the 3rd of 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites based on palaeontology that are found in Canada, the Joggins Fossil Cliffs. Starting at 70/150: 70. Joggins Fossil Cliffs is located on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, where more than 15 km of fossil-bearing cliffs and coastline are exposed. 71. The scientific importance of these cliffs has been known since the 1800’s, when people like Charles Lyell, the father of modern geology,…

Continue reading


Episode 74: Early Archosaurs and Teleocrater

We have a pretty good idea about how different dinosaur groups evolved, and how they are related (although anyone who has been following the recent dinosaur relationship shake-up knows this is not quite as clear as previously thought), but we don’t have a good idea of how their ancestors, early dinosauromorphs and other early archosaurs, evolved. When did these groups first appear? What lead to their diversification? In this episode, we speak with (recently promoted!)…

Continue reading


Palaeontology Museums – 150 things about Canadian palaeo, part 9

Things have been a bit hectic since I’ve arrived in Japan, so I missed last week’s post! Oops. But hopefully I can continue now, uninterrupted. This week I’m going to talk about some of the museums around Canada where you can see fossils. Starting at 57/150 (more than a third of the way there!): 57. Of course the first on the list has to be the Royal Tyrrell Museum, located in Drumheller, Alberta. This museum is located…

Continue reading


150 things about Canadian palaeo, part 8 – Dinosaur fossil localities

In case you’re new to this series or my blog, I’m writing 150 things about palaeontology in Canada in order to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this July. To look back on previous posts, scroll to the bottom of this post to find a list of previous posts. For part 8, I’m going to talk about some of the various dinosaur fossil-bearing localities in Canada. I’ve already mentioned the greatness of Dinosaur Provincial Park, but there…

Continue reading