Huffington Department of Earth Sciences

Flying Texas reptile: World’s oldest Pteranodon? First specimen of its kind discovered as far south as Texas

McIV%20%2B%20humerus%20copy%20400x300%20small.jpg
Fossilized bones discovered in Texas are from the left wing of an ancient flying reptile that died 89 million years ago — possibly the earliest occurrence of the prehistoric creature Pteranodon, says SMU paleontologist Timothy S. Myers, who identified the fossils.

If the reptile is Pteranodon, it would be the first of its kind discovered as far south as Texas.
Continue reading

Posted in Earth & Climate, Fossils & Ruins, Plants & Animals, Slideshows, Videos | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

3D digital download of giant Glen Rose dinosaur track is roadmap for saving at-risk natural history resources

bandstand.jpg
Internet users now can download an exact facsimile of the huge fossil footprint of a 110 million-year-old dinosaur that is a favorite track from Texas’ well-known Dinosaur Valley State Park.

SMU scientists created the digital facsimile using 3D laser technology and are making it available free to the public. The model preserves a footprint on permanent outdoor display that’s being destroyed by weathering, says SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams.
Continue reading

Posted in Fossils & Ruins, Learning & Education, Plants & Animals, Slideshows, Technology, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stump leads global consortium for seismic acquisition, management, open distribution

USGS%2C%20Taking%20lava%20sample%2C%20Hawaii%2C%20400x300.jpgBrian Stump, Albritton Professor of Earth Sciences in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has been elected chair of the board of directors for a university-based consortium that operates facilities for the acquisition, management and open distribution of seismic data.

(Photo: USGS scientist taking lava samples. Credit: USGS)
Continue reading

Posted in Earth & Climate, Researcher news | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New York Times: A Last Look at Mush Valley

off-to-work-blog480.jpgSMU paleobotanist Bonnie F. Jacobs is sharing her scientific field work in Ethiopia with the public as it happens in real time through posts filed to the New York Times’ “Scientist at work” blog.

Jacobs, one of a handful of the world’s experts on the fossil plants of ancient Africa, is part of a team of paleontologists hunting plant and animal fossils in Ethiopia’s prolific Mush Valley. Jacobs is an associate professor in SMU’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

The Times’ “Scientist at Work” blog features scientists first-person accounts of their field work as it unfolds day-by-day.
Continue reading

Posted in Earth & Climate, Fossils & Ruins, Plants & Animals, Researcher news, SMU In The News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Natl Geographic: Can Geothermal Energy Pick Up Real Steam?

energy-geothermal-energy-california_Natl%20Geo.jpgA National Geographic Daily News story about the potential of geothermal heat from beneath the Earth’s surface as a source of clean, renewable energy tapped the expertise of SMU geophysicist David Blackwell. Blackwell, whose decades-long research led him to map the nation’s geothermal energy potential, is one of the foremost experts on geothermal energy. He heads SMU’s Geothermal Laboratory.

Science journalist David LaGesse interviewed Blackwell for the Dec. 28 article “Can Geothermal Energy Pick Up Real Steam?
Continue reading

Posted in Earth & Climate, Energy & Matter, Researcher news, SMU In The News, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Rodents, diverse and abundant in prehistoric Africa, shed light on human evolution

Cane%20rate%2C%20Uganda%2C%2020%20mya%20400x300.jpgRodents were diverse and abundant in prehistoric Africa. Their fossilized remains have been found in locales famous for a role in human evolution.

For that reason, says SMU paleontologist Alisa WInkler, rodents play an important role in corroborating the evidence from geology and plant and animal fossils about the ancient environments of our human ancestors and other prehistoric mammals.
Continue reading

Posted in Fossils & Ruins, Plants & Animals, Researcher news, Slideshows | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

BBC Radio: PaleoAngola project unearths ancient vertebrate fossils

Angola%20006a.jpgBBC Radio covered the research in Angola of SMU paleontologists Louis L. Jacobs and Michael J. Polcyn.

Journalist Louise Redvers in August interviewed Jacobs and Polcyn, both members of the Projecto PaleoAngola team.

The PaleoAngola researchers have described Angola as a “museum in the ground” for the abundance of fossils there.
Continue reading

Posted in Fossils & Ruins, Researcher news, SMU In The News, Videos | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fast Company: How Google Cash Helped Find Geothermal Energy in West Virginia

wv-image-03-press-release.jpgThe business innovation magazine Fast Company took note of the SMU Geothermal Laboratory‘s recent report on the large green-energy geothermal resource underground in West Virginia. The research was funded by Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google.com. SMU geologist David Blackwell leads the SMU lab and its research.

The Oct. 8 article in Fast Company is one of many stories published by the U.S. media about the recent report by scientists in the SMU Geothermal Laboratory.
Continue reading

Posted in Earth & Climate, Energy & Matter, Researcher news, SMU In The News, Technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ancient Africa mysteries: Evidence is weak for tropical rainforest 65 million years ago in Africa’s low-latitudes

Cenozoic%20Africa%20150x120%2C%2072dpi.jpgCentral Africa 65 million years ago was a low-elevation tropical belt, but still unknown is whether its mammals browsed and hunted under a lush rainforest canopy. More research needs to be done, says SMU paleobotanist Bonnie F. Jacobs.

A new review of the literature shows fossil pollen provide no definitive evidence for communities of rainforest trees at the beginning of the Cenozoic, says Jacobs.
Continue reading

Posted in Earth & Climate, Fossils & Ruins, Plants & Animals, Researcher news, Slideshows | Tagged , , | Leave a comment