Historical Science and Perceptions of Age: Craters on Mars

A "young" crater on Mars.  This is a young crater about 30 feet (9 meters) in diameter. How young? The blocks of material ejected from the crater-digging impact sit on top of the sand ripples near the crater. This suggests, from the estimated age of the area's sand ripples, that the crater was formed within the past 100,000 years. The dark sand inside the crater attests to the mobility of fine sand in the recent era in this Meridiani Planum region of Mars.  Image credit NASA/JPL-Caltech

Our perceptions of the age of an object are frequently based on our common experience but I have found that for many people those common experiences are of little help when it comes to examining objects for which a person has no experience at all.   A couple of years ago this really hit me as […]

YEC Biblical Evolution? I Have a Book That Says Otherwise

one of my favorite strange fossil elephants.  Like many fossil species this one had two sets of tusks. One of the upper jaw and one on the lower jaw but in this case the lower jaw is greatly extented and the two lower tusks probably acted like shovels.  Image credit: Wired / Tomasz Jedrzejowski

Last week Ken Ham promoted a biblical evolution model to explain the diversity of life on Earth.   I have a book before me that provides compelling evidence that this model of evolution is wrong. That book is the Bible.  For those that follow the creation literature nothing that Ken Ham said last week in his […]

Fishing for Fossils in the North Sea: The Lost World of Doggerland

The skull of a mammoth is loaded on board a fishing vessel on the North Sea

Imagine trawling for fish and when you pull up your nets you find a massive bone or a huge tooth along with your catch.  For over 100 years fishermen in the North Sea between Britain and Denmark have found such items in their nets but it wasn’t until the 1980s that the items that their […]

Juvenile Dinosaurs Found Huddling in a Nest: A Local or Global Catastrophe?

Remains of 15 baby dinosaurs in a nest. Click to enlarge this image. Image credit: Dr. Kh. Tsogtbaatar

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. […]

A Tale of Taphonomy: Clam Shrimp Fossils and the Age of the Earth

A clam shrimp.  This has a nearly clear carapace (the clam shells) and has a large number of eggs in its brood pouch over its back.

One of the great privileges of my job is that I get to  sit on the committees of graduate students. This allows me to get up close and personal with data from areas that often extend far from those of my particular expertise.  You also know by now that I carry a particular fondness for […]

Rapid Burial Allows Preservation of a Hadrosaur Fleshy Head Comb

An example of a duck-billed dinosaur (hadrosaur) skull that has a projection from its head that just have supported some sort of projection of tissue.  The fossil we are reporting here had no boney projection but the imprint in the rock showed that it had a fleshy comb above its head anyway. Later hadrosaurs may have evolved these bones projections to support even large fleshy head features.

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 […]

Piles of Fossil Poo: Providing a Peak into the Past

Coprolites from site in Argentina.  Image: Fiorelli - See article by Fiorelli et al,, 2013 http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/131128/srep03348/full/srep03348.html

One headline reads “Giant Prehistoric Toilet Found” another refers to the discovery of an ancient latrine.  Don’t know how I missed those a few weeks ago. Surely had I seen that headline I would have had to clicked on it to find out what that was all about.   The actual title, The oldest known communal latrines […]

NH Notes: The Mosquito That Produced More Than A Little Buzz

This is a picture of the 46 million year old fossilized mosquito. The iron bearing compounds were identified just in the abdomen area suggesting they are the result of the breakdown of blood products.

A few weeks ago yet another sensational fossil was unveiled.  It wasn’t a dinosaur or a hominid but rather several tiny mosquitoes.   Fossils of mosquitoes are known from amber (fossilized tree sap) but are extremely rare in sedimentary rock.  However, it isn’t the rarity of the fossil itself that made headlines. It was what researches discovered in the […]

Amazonian Forest Islands: Accidental Products of Ancient Human Occupation

forest-islands-bolivia-2

The Amazon basin isn’t all just a lush tropical forest.  In large portions of western Amazonia wet seasonally-flooded grasslands, not trees, are the norm.   The upper branches of the Amazon River wind themselves across massive flood plains like snakes writhing across a sandy surface.  One feature of these nearly featureless flat plains that has puzzled […]

A Tour of The Dinosaur Trail of Mill Canyon (Moab, UT)

Dinosaut-trail-sign-mill-canyon-moab2-ut

What museum can you go to where  you can see real dinosaur bones, you don’t pay any fees, you can touch all the exhibits and there are no security cameras watching your every move (at least I don’t think there are:-)?  The answer is The Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail near Moab, Utah.  This outdoor “museum” […]

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