Fossils & Ruins
Uplift associated with East Africa’s Great Rift Valley and the environmental changes it produced have puzzled scientists for decades because the timing and starting elevation have been poorly constrained.
Now paleontologists have tapped a fossil from the most precisely dated beaked whale in the world — and the only stranded whale ever found so far inland on the African continent — to pinpoint a date when the mysterious elevation began. Continue reading
Myers’ recent research has focused on the climate of the Jurassic, testing the notion that the era’s ancient climate was similar to modern. His most recent study found that climate was more variable than previously understood in the area now covered by the Morrison Formation. Continue reading
There’s nothing subtle about the story told by the rocks in northern Italy’s Sesia Valley. Evidence of ancient volcanic activity is all around, says geologist and volcanologist James Quick, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
But the full story is much less obvious, said Quick, who led an international team that in 2009 announced they had discovered a 282-million-year-old fossil supervolcano in Sesia Valley. Continue reading
Instead of a gradual transition from dry to wetter, chemical analysis of ancient soils reveals there was an unexpected abrupt change. Samples came from the Morrison Formation, which sprawls 13 states and Canada and which has produced dinosaur discoveries for over 100 years. Continue reading
The research of an international team co-led by SMU paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs is receiving worldwide coverage for discovery of the first dinosaur tracks discovered in Angola, including those of a mysterious mammal from 118 million years ago.
The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology announced the discovery in a press release Nov. 5, “African diamond mine reveals dinosaur and large mammal tracks.” Continue reading
Houston Chronicle reporter Marvin Pfiefer has written about a project led by SMU alum Thomas L. Adams to catalog and protect the tracks of a 110 million-year-old dinosaur preserved in rock at Government Canyon State Natural Area.
Adams, a paleontologist, is a graduate of Dedman College’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.
Daily Mail: Now that’s a Jurassic Park! ‘World class’ treasure trove of dinosaur footprints discovered in national park
One of the U.K.’s widely circulated newspapers, the Daily Mail, has covered the research of paleontologist Anthony Fiorillo, an adjunct associate professor in SMU’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences. Continue reading
Fiorillo is curator of earth sciences at the Perot Museum of science and natural history. He has collected fossils throughout North America and parts of Asia, but has primarily worked in western Texas and Alaska. Continue reading
Dallas Observer: SMU’s Bonnie Jacobs Is Searching for History Beyond Ancient in the Trinity River Bottoms
The Dallas Observer has covered the research of SMU paleobotanist Bonnie Jacobs, a professor in SMU’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences. Jacobs is working with a team of SMU students and faculty who are collaborating with others in Dallas to understand the history of the area’s Trinity River. The Observer article published June 26 as part of the Observer’s profile of 20 of the metro area’s most interesting characters in its Dallas Observer People Issue. Continue reading