Earth Sciences in Angola

A graduate student and a postdoctoral researcher in SMU’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, along with Professor Louis L. Jacobs, are conducting research in Angola in southern Africa during summer 2012. They are members of an international scientific program called the PaleoAngola Project, which seeks to discover and study Angola’s vertebrate paleontology and learn about the environment in which prehistoric creatures lived. Readers also can follow their work at

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Our last day in the field

An update from Scott and Ricardo:

Last time we were at Malembo Point, Dr. Jacobs befriended a sea turtle that would surface occasionally to check on our work. As we were hiking down to the locality today for a last round of fossil collecting, we met a group of fishermen. When we asked to see their catch, Dr. Jacobs was disappointed to see that they had caught a turtle. After a few hours on the beach, though, we saw a little turtle head poking out above the waves, so maybe “our” turtle is still alive and swimming happily through the ocean.

We are all pretty tired at this point, but we’ve managed to collect good stratigraphic data and some important fossils. We’ll fly back to Luanda tomorrow and spend the next few days arranging to have our samples shipped back to Dallas, so this will be the final entry of the field blog.

We’re very grateful for the generous funding provided by the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at SMU, the Vida Foundation, and Esso. Without the support of these sponsors, our work in Cabinda would not have been possible.

We’ve enjoyed sharing our Angolan adventures with you and hope you’ve enjoyed following our progress. Until next time.

Dr. Jacobs searching for fossils at the Malembo Point locality.

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