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 »

Little green men. Can they exist? Do they exist? And what do they look like?

In a piece by Richard Stone in this week’s Science, it was pointed out that in Chinese Museums, it is likely that up to 80% of the marine reptiles on display have been altered or artificially combined to some degree. This seems like a shocking figure, but it is more understandable when it is considered that few of these museums have palaeontologists as staff, and that many of these fossils are unearthed by Chinese farmers that dress their finds up so that a museum is more likely to buy them. Of late there has been a boom, both in the numbers of museums, but also in the acquisition funds set aside for accessioning fossils; this, coupled with prizes for the best specimens, means that finding (or fabricating) a complete fossil can prove to be quite lucrative.