Fossils From Angola Bring Strange Yet Familiar Ocean into View

VOA Originally Posted: November 26, 2018   Some may be familiar with mythical sea monsters. For example, Scotland’s infamous Loch Ness Monster “Nessie,” and Giganto -- fictional beasts of comic book fame. But millions of years ago, real-life sea monsters lived and thrived in what we now call the South Atlantic Ocean. South Atlantic Ocean basin As the continents of South America and Africa separated millions of years ago, scientists say a fantastic array of ferocious predators and other lifeforms colonized the newly formed body of water off the coast of Angola. That diverse collection of marine reptiles included mosasaurs (aquatic lizards), plesiosaurs (which exhibited broad flat bodies, large paddlelike limbs, and typically a long flexible neck and small head), and the more familiar giant [...]

By | 2018-11-27T10:03:37-07:00 November 29th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Events, Faculty News, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Fossils From Angola Bring Strange Yet Familiar Ocean into View

How an SMU dinosaur hunter’s 72-million-year-old sea monster got to the Smithsonian

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: November 14, 2018 Three weeks before his team's fossil finds go on display at one of the world's most famous natural history museums, Louis Jacobs stands in a basement lab at Southern Methodist University sanding the lower jaw of a 72-million-year-old sea monster. His colleague Michael Polcyn sits nearby, dabbing sealant on a model of the animal's upper jaw and skull. White dust hovers in the air. Plaster tailbones, skulls and teeth top every counter. This is the sort of work — preparing models and fossils — that Jacobs had done early in his career, before he became a professor, before he hunted for fossils in Alaska, Antarctica, Malawi, Cameroon and Texas; before he dug up the bones of dinosaurs [...]

By | 2018-11-14T18:23:37-07:00 November 15th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Events, Faculty News|Comments Off on How an SMU dinosaur hunter’s 72-million-year-old sea monster got to the Smithsonian

Save the Date: Smithsonian to Exhibit SMU Paleontology Research

SMU Research Originally Posted: June 6, 2018 Save Nov. 9, 2018 on your calendar. That's when the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History opens a new exhibit on never-before-seen fossils from Angola. The never-before-seen fossils were discovered, excavated and prepared by SMU faculty and student researchers. They tell the story of how the South Atlantic Ocean formed millions of years ago, and provide clues to understand our planet's present and future. READ MORE Ancient “Sea Monsters” Reveal How the Ever-Changing Planet Shapes Life, Past and Present Never-Before-Seen Fossils From Angola Bring a Strange Yet Familiar Ocean Into View The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will open a new exhibition Nov. 9, 2018 revealing how millions of years ago, large-scale natural forces created the conditions [...]

By | 2018-06-06T07:06:19-07:00 June 6th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man|Comments Off on Save the Date: Smithsonian to Exhibit SMU Paleontology Research

Colossal Cretaceous Marine Reptiles Prepared By SMU Scientists And Students Will Be On Display At The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Nov. 9

Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History Originally Posted: May 30, 2018   The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will open a new exhibition Nov. 9 revealing how millions of years ago, large-scale natural forces created the conditions for real-life sea monsters to thrive in the South Atlantic Ocean basin shortly after it formed. “Sea Monsters Unearthed: Life in Angola’s Ancient Seas” will offer visitors the opportunity to dive into Cretaceous Angola’s cool coastal waters, examine the fossils of striking marine reptiles that once lived there and learn about the forces that continue to mold life in the ocean and on land. Over 134 million years ago, the South Atlantic Ocean basin did not yet exist. Africa and South America were one contiguous landmass on [...]

By | 2018-05-30T12:27:39-07:00 May 30th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Events, Faculty News, Graduate News, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Colossal Cretaceous Marine Reptiles Prepared By SMU Scientists And Students Will Be On Display At The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Nov. 9

Congratulations to Myria Perez, Recipient of the Frank Crane Memorial Scholarship Award 

The Dallas Paleontological Society (DPS) scholarship committee recently awarded The Frank Crane Memorial Scholarship to Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences graduate student Myria Perez. “I have had the incredible opportunity to be involved in a research project that will be seen by millions of people from around the globe,” says Myria Perez. “During my four years at Southern Methodist University, I have unjacketed, cleaned, and used 3D technology to reveal 72 million year old marine reptile fossils from the country of Angola in the paleontology laboratories. The research from SMU will be shared through an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.” “As a core member on the exhibit planning team, I have been able to work with [...]

By | 2018-03-15T10:14:55-07:00 March 15th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News, Graduate News, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Congratulations to Myria Perez, Recipient of the Frank Crane Memorial Scholarship Award 

SMU alumnus and paleontologist Thomas Adams discovers new prehistoric crocodile

Rivard Report Originally Posted: September 7, 2017 As a paleontologist and the Witte Museum‘s curator of paleontology and geology, Thomas Adams sees his job as being something of an interpreter. “We want to tell the Texas narrative because there’s a story to be told,” Adams said. “It’s already written in rocks. We just need to translate it.” For Adams, some of that translation is informed by his own discoveries. He has unearthed a new species of prehistoric crocodile, one he named Deltasuchus motherali and outlined in a recent scholarly article. The species was about 20 feet in length and a top predator in the food chain when it roamed Texas millions of years ago. Adams, along with co-authors Chris Noto at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Stephanie Drumheller-Horton at [...]

By | 2017-09-12T07:00:17-07:00 September 12th, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Graduate News, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man|Comments Off on SMU alumnus and paleontologist Thomas Adams discovers new prehistoric crocodile

Myria Perez earns research internship at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History

Congratulations to geology major and Gaffney Family Scholar, Myria Perez. She recently began a ten week research internship at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. under the tutelage of Dr. Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology. Myria will be studying the taphonomy (the branch of paleontology that deals with the processes of fossilization) of marine reptiles from the Jurassic Lyme Regis along the south coast of England near Dorchester. This is the location of Mary Anning’s great discoveries of ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. Mary Anning is also known as the “Mother of Paleontology.” During her internship, Myria will accompany Dr. Behrensmeyer to England where she will visit collections housing Mary Anning’s original specimens, including the University of Cambridge Museum, where she will be hosted by SMU alumnus Dr. Jason Head, and at [...]

By | 2017-05-31T10:36:28-07:00 May 31st, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Myria Perez earns research internship at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History

Japan’s largest fossilized dinosaur skeleton unearthed in Hokkaido

Japan Times Originally Posted: May 1, 2017 Yoshi Kobayashi is a former PhD student of Dr. Louis Jacobs (Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences) and is now Associate Professor at Hokkaidō University Museum and a member of the fossil research team. Japanese researchers said Thursday they have unearthed the remains of an 8-meter-long Hadrosaurid, dating from around 72 million years ago, in the mountains of Hokkaido, making it the largest fossilized dinosaur skeleton discovered in the country. The team involving members of Hokkaido University and a museum in the town of Mukawa, Hokkaido, hailed the findings as “one of the greatest discoveries in Japanese dinosaur research history,” adding it is extremely rare for so many fossilized parts from a single dinosaur to be unearthed to enable the skeleton [...]

By | 2017-05-04T08:11:36-07:00 May 4th, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News, Graduate News, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man|Comments Off on Japan’s largest fossilized dinosaur skeleton unearthed in Hokkaido

DPS will be held at 7:30pm on January 11th

The January meeting for the DPS will be held at 7:30pm on January 11th at Brookhaven College, Building H, Ellison Miles Geotechnology Institute, 3939 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch, TX  75244. Our special speaker is Dr. Louis Jacobs, professor of geology and president of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at Southern Methodist University. Earning his BS degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, he then went to the University of Arizona for his Masters and PhD degrees, specializing in rodent fossils.  He was then the head of the Division of Paleontology, National Museums of Kenya, before he began at SMU in 1983.  He has branched out from rodents with studies of mosasaurs, turtles, marine mammals, and of course dinosaurs.  Author of 3 popular [...]

By | 2017-01-11T08:23:35-07:00 January 11th, 2017|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Events, Faculty News, Graduate News, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man|Comments Off on DPS will be held at 7:30pm on January 11th

From Dinosaurs to Data Networks: Texas and the Arctic in the Anthropocene

Medium Originally Posted: November 6, 2016 “Report from the Top of the World!” The flier caught my attention immediately. The U.S. Embassy in Oslo and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, DC wanted to send graduate journalism students to the Norwegian Arctic as part of a new internshipprogram. I applied because I wanted to gain a global perspective on my research and reporting. Less than a year later, I found myself standing on an empty beach near Bugøynes on the northern coast of Norway, silent except for the call of a distant bird and the lapping of cold water against the shore. Towering overhead were the sharp black rocks and dark islands of the fjords, silhouetted by midnight sun that glowed a soft, radiant white behind a sheet of fog. [...]

By | 2016-11-17T19:50:09-07:00 November 17th, 2016|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man|Comments Off on From Dinosaurs to Data Networks: Texas and the Arctic in the Anthropocene
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