Michael J. Polcyn
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
The May 2011 issue of Earth Magazine reports on the research of SMU paleontologists in the SMU Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.
In a project led by SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams, the scientists used portable laser scanning technology to capture field data of a huge 110 million-year-old Texas dinosaur track and then create to scale an exact 3D facsimile.
They have shared their protocol and findings with the public — as well as their downloadable 145-megabyte model — in the online scientific journal Palaeontologia Electronica. The model duplicates an actual dinosaur footprint fossil that is slowly being destroyed by weathering because it’s on permanent outdoor display, says Adams.
The research of an international team co-led by SMU paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs is receiving worldwide coverage for discovery of the first fossil of a dinosaur from Angola.
A paper published in the “Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Science” described the long-necked, plant-eating sauropod based on a fossilized forelimb with unique skeletal characteristics that indicates it’s from a previously unknown dinosaur. Continue reading
3D digital download of giant Glen Rose dinosaur track is roadmap for saving at-risk natural history resources
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.
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.
National Geographic News interviewed SMU postdoctoral researcher Timothy S. Myers about the new species and genus of pterosaur he identified and named Aetodactylus Halli. Pterosaurs are a group of flying reptiles commonly referred to as pterodactyls.
In the April 28 article “Toothy Texas Pterosaur Found; Soared Over Dallas” reporter John Roach talked to Myers about the 95 million-year-old jaw that was discovered by Lake Worth resident Lance Hall. Continue reading
Texas discovery: Rare 95 million-year-old flying reptile Aetodactylus halli is new genus, species of pterosaur
A fossilized jaw discovered at a construction site in Mansfield has been identified and named Aetodactylus halli by SMU paleontologist Timothy S. Myers.
Rare in North America, the winged reptile was soaring 95 million years ago over what would one day become Dallas-Fort Worth. Continue reading
Dallas — and much of Texas — was once submerged by a sprawling, blue-water ecosystem called the Western Interior Seaway, which split North America in two from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean, according to a new video documentary by the Discovery Channel.
“Prehistoric Dallas” includes commentary from two SMU paleontologists, Michael J. Polcyn and Louis L. Jacobs, both of whom have expertise in Texas’ ancient sea and the life that inhabited it from more than 90 million years ago until the extinction of the dinosaurs at 66 million years ago. Continue reading