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Mammoths: The Misunderstood Giants

As someone who works on Silurian age fossils, I can't help but be jealous every time a new mammoth...

Let's hope we don't have another Archaeoraptor on our hands

I mentioned at the end of last week's post about the new "earliest bird" that there were murmurs...

The Earliest Bird: How A Toe Bone Can Change History

Do you know, my original title for this was "The Early Bird Gets the PR". I hastily changed it...

New fossil arthropod named after Johnny Depp

There a lot of rules governing how you name new species. But that doesn't mean that fun things...

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Oliver KnevittRSS Feed of this column.

In a nutshell: I like fossils. But even more than than that, I like arguments about fossils. Which is why my current occupation as a PhD researcher in paleontology suits me well. My research is... Read More »

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I forgot my phone charger for the conference I went to last week.

If this was just a year ago then I would barely have noticed. Mostly because my trusty old Nokia that I had then would have lasted long enough (I mean, the conference was only 2 friggin days long), but also because now, I rely on my phone for everything. Not just making phone calls (which I routinely forget it can do) but reading feeds, checking Twitter, facebook, but most importantly, checking my email.

Well, the upshot of this was that when I finally turned my phone on after being bereft of it for a sunny couple of days, I was presented with a glut of emails saying that people had been commenting on my blog.

Dec 31 1969 | comment(s)

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Friday Fossil

Friday Fossil

Mar 09 2012 | comment(s)

I couldn't possibly call myself a paleontology blogger and not post the fossil below as an article. Happily, I notice that it is friday today and so this can come under the banner of my oft forgotten feature of friday fossil.


It's always the way.

Within the last week, there's been so many fantastic papers out that I literally have no idea where to start. People always seem to publish these things when I am most busy. It is most inconsiderate.

Anyway, together with a few other things I never got round to posting, I thought I might stick a little compendium up of some recent cool papers. I'm not planning on making this a regular feature - especially when you see how committed I am to my other "regular" feature (sorry about that, Helen!). So for this last week, here are my picks from the last week or so of paleontology for you to browse at your leisure.

Pikaia
"To her who appears in the sky
    to her who appears in the sky
I want to address my greeting
    to the hierodule who appears in the sky
I want to address my greeting
    to the great queen of heaven, Inanna [ancient Sumerian name for Venus]
I want to address my greeting
    to her who fills the sky with her pure blaze
    to the luminous one
    to Inanna
        as bright as the sun
    to the great queen of heaven."
An ancient Sumerian hymn to Venus, written by priests
Every 6 months or so these days it feels like we find the earliest animal life. More often than not, said life is something ugly that turns up in a bucket after dissolving rocks in acid.

Well, it's been a while, but here is the latest candidate: