Field Work Is Hard Work

Note: I originally had these tweets curated on Storify. One of the most high-profile parts of paleontology is the field work. I would bet my last bag of Earl Grey Special (note: must order more tea) that when one thinks of paleontology, the word conjures images of rocky badlands terrain and a small group of people wearing big hats and vests and bandannas crouched in a sun-beaten rocky quarry, dusting off bones that haven’t seen…

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Selling Fossils: Heritage for the Elite

Another day, another set of dinosaur skeletons going to auction. There are at least three skeletons of charismatic dinosaurs being offered for auction by the company Artcurial: the link to the pdf of the fancy-pants advertisement brochure is here. There are many MANY things wrong with the information in the brochure, which calls into question whether actual paleontologists were involved with this process (as the brochure claims.) The Red Flags of the Brochure. There are…

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It’s OK To Like The Mandarin Duck!

(…But Do It Responsibly!) Hello Dear Readers! The past few months have been exciting from a birding-eye-view, especially for Stanley Park in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Central Park, New York City. What do these two areas have in common for birds? Behold the glamorous Mandarin Duck! Move over New York. Metro Vancouver has its own ‘rock star’ waterfowl on the loose. https://t.co/RnS3b7bcP4 — Global BC (@GlobalBC) November 3, 2018 It’s our ducky day. We’ve got a…

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It’s OK To Like The Mandarin Duck!

(…But Do It Responsibly!) Hello Dear Readers! The past few months have been exciting from a birding-eye-view, especially for Stanley Park in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Central Park, New York City. What do these two areas have in common for birds? Behold the glamorous Mandarin Duck! Move over New York. Metro Vancouver has its own ‘rock star’ waterfowl on the loose. https://t.co/RnS3b7bcP4 — Global BC (@GlobalBC) November 3, 2018 It’s our ducky day. We’ve got a…

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Bird Tracks in the Classroom, Prologue

Hello Dear Readers! I’ll be honest: I’m a little preoccupied with present-day bird tracks. I look for them when I’m on walks. I look for bird tracks when I take my recycling to the depot at the dump (the open pond sewage treatment area is there as well, sometimes attracting shorebirds and always attracting ducks and ravens.) Some opportunities I can anticipate, especially the outside-based ones. Others I stumble across. The Fledgling Idea I had…

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Vote in the 2018 People’s Choice Awards: Canada’s Favourite Science Online!

Hello Dear Readers! Science Borealis and their co-sponsor, the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC) are excited to present the nominees for the 2018 People’s Choice Awards: Canada’s Favourite Science Online…AND BIRDS IN MUD WAS NOMINATED! THANK YOU! Seriously, thank you! I am honored that people think that what I have to say on studying fossil footprints (a.k.a. ichnology), and life in museums and as a palaeontologist matters. Studying fossils is really all about sharing…

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How To Make Bird Track Casts

Hello, Dear Readers! Part of the research that I do on Cretaceous-age bird tracks (a.k.a. individual footprints) and trackways involves me getting really familiar with all kinds of bird tracks, not just the fossilized ones. Tracks and trackways of small creatures are ephemeral: they do not last very long, and they are easily trampled or eroded away, or they dry and crumble, blowing away on the winds of time. Most of the Cretaceous-age bird tracks…

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I’m Moving…To a New Website!

Hello Dear Readers!I have finally created my professional website!On my site, you will see what is essentially my curriculum vitae, or CV.  I outline my work experience, my and coauthors' publications (I still need to attach downloadable PDFs), and my portfolio of Bird Glamour images and videos.I am also moving this blog over to my new website! My blog is as much a part of my professional communication activities as is my publication record. I…

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Funding Neglect Kills Museums: #MuseuNacional Fire Was A Preventable Tragedy

I am at a loss for words today. Late Sunday night (in my time zone) I started seeing tweets on the devastating fire at the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro. This is Brazil’s oldest scientific institution, founded in 1818, and is the largest scientific repository for historical, biological, geological, and palaeontological specimens in the country. The fire reportedly happened after hours, and no one was killed or injured (at least no injuries have been…

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Favorite Sci-Fi Movies: THEM!

Hello Dear Readers!I've made it no secret that I watch plenty of movies and TV programs. Familiar movies and TV shows are less distracting for me than listening to music while I am writing. Audiobooks are right out when I'm writing: it feels like the mental equivalent of trying to drink a glass of water and talk at the same time.I enjoy classic monster and science fiction movies. Thing From Another World (also John Carpenter's…

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