Michael J. Polcyn
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
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
Science journalist Jane J. Lee with National Geographic reported on the research of SMU Research Associate Michael J. Polcyn, who co-authored a new study that found the ancient sea monsters known as mosasaurs were not as slow as paleontologists once thought, thanks to their shark-like tails.
[caption id="attachment_5025" align="alignleft" width="220"] Anthony Fiorillo excavates a Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum at a quarry in Alaska. (Credit: Dallas Morning News)[/caption]Dallas Morning News reporter Katharina Marino covered the research of Anthony Fiorillo, who is Perot Museum Curator of Earth Sciences at the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Victory Park.
From dinosaurs to sea turtles, and from technical assistance to advisory roles, SMU faculty and students, the SMU Shuler Museum, and the SMU Innovation Gymnasium, team with the nation’s new premier museum of nature and science.
Fossils on loan by SMU to the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science include those of animals from an ancient sea that once covered Dallas. Continue reading
Dallas Morning News: Prehistoric crocodile thought to have originated in Europe may be a native Texan
Dallas Morning News reporter Marc Ramirez has written about the big prehistoric crocodile identified by SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams, a doctoral candidate in Dedman College’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.
The story, “‘Prehistoric crocodile thought to have originated in Europe may be a native Texan,” published in the Tuesday, July 20 edition of the Dallas Morning News. Continue reading
London Daily Mail reporter Mark Duell has written about the big prehistoric crocodile identified by SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams, a doctoral candidate in Dedman College’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.
The story, “‘Its fossil looked like a loaf of bread from Subway’: Meet the 25ft prehistoric Texas crocodile who lived 100 MILLION years ago,” published in the Sunday, July 17 edition of the Daily Mail.
New Texas Native: 96-million-year-old crocodile Terminonaris makes its first appearance in Texas, switches origins
The switch in origins for the genus known as Terminonaris is based on the identification of a well-preserved, narrow fossil snout that was discovered along the shoreline of a lake near Dallas. SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams identified the reptile.
SMU paleontologists Louis L. Jacobs and Michael J. Polcyn appear in a new documentary about Projecto PaleoAngola, a collaborative international scientific research program focused on the ancient life of Angola.
“The results of our fieldwork in the Cretaceous of Angola have been extraordinarily spectacular,” says Jacobs. Besides the discovery of the first dinosaur of Angola the team has uncovered mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, turtles and other Cretaceous marine animals. Continue reading