We live in a new golden age of fossil discoveries. It seems that every week a new and dramatic fossil find is revealed. This fossil renaissance can be attributed to the opening up of new fossil sources, particularly China and Mongolia but also South America and to improved technology for retrieving and analyzing fossil remains. […]
Cancers are cells that have forgotten who they are supposed to be. They become independent brats in the body, hogging resources and dividing uncontrollably. The problem, from the cancers perspective of course, is that being a spoiled brat may bring short-term rewards, like lots of progeny and freedom from having to behave like the cell […]
A colleague has a fossil scallop in his office that he collected while teaching a field course on Chesapeake Bay biology. He pulled this scallop from the cliff wall at Calvert Cliffs near Calvert, Maryland. It is particularly impressive not only for its size (more than 5 inches in diameter) but also for its condition. […]
Peat bogs are a repository of the passage of time. They record changes in the earth’s atmosphere and unique events such as ash falls from volcanic eruptions. Through careful analysis of bogs we can reconstruct the past just like we can reconstruct a crime from the crime scene. Peat bogs in Europe give us a unique window into the effects of human industry and landscape shift due to deforestation and agriculture and even longer term shifts in climate patterns.
Naturalis Historia is a bit more than two years old. In that time I have written more than 160 articles and notes. The majority of these are reflections upon some aspect of the intersection of science and faith. My typical modus operandi has been to take discoveries from science and ask how these discoveries impact […]
Down a 43 foot vertical shaft, another 40 foot slope, and buried under thousands of cave bear, lion and lynx bones, lies the partially fossilized bones of at least 30 individuals’ humans. Welcome to a chamber of horrors otherwise known as Sima de los Huesos (the pit of bones). This pit is but a small […]
A mummified fossil of common species of hadrosaur was found recently in South Dakota that showed that this particular hadrosaur had a rooster-like fleshy comb on its head. Many hadrosaurs have exotic extensions of their cranial bones but this evidence that even the “boring” hadrosaurs had fleshy projections suggests that the hadrosaurs were an even […]