Shuffling to safety

Seabirds are well adapted to acquire their prey. Those that feed on bivalves close to the surface have short, strong bills to break into shells and access molluscan meat, and those that feed on bivalves buried deeper in the sand have much longer, slender bills to access their prey. The association between bill morphology and […]

Slicing up dinosaur embryos. For science.

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=459 Birds are living, breathing, tweeting dinosaurs. That is scientific knowledge backed up by overwhelming evidence, but the evidence basis for it grows strong all the time. We know that they are related from a host of morphological evidence from the last 150 million years or so. Our understanding of the […]

Fly my pretties, fly!

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/2013/03/20/fly-my-pretties-fly/ The origin of bird flight is one of the greatest stories evolution has ever told us in the history of life on this planet. To imagine how organisms that once ran around on the ground have descendants that soar through the skies is truly phenomenal, and represents a truly great […]

Your track or mine?

This was originally posted at my new blog at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/2013/03/18/your-track-or-mine/ How do you tell between different dinosaurs, when you don’t have any dinosaurs? Trace fossils, like footprints, are ghosts of dinosaurs past, remnants of life entombed within the rocks. Palaeontologists and ichnologists (scientists who study trace fossils, not fish) often used to get confused by […]