Long time, eh? My job has be on a bit of a weird schedule which doesn’t leave me with much down time. That means I have to prioritize what I’m going to do with it, and unfortunately this blog sits low on the list. Field work takes up a good amount of my time (I’d share it with you, but the Denver Museum doesn’t allow it). I have also been busy working on my book proposal, which has been slow going. I have a few posts I have been meaning to do for a long time, and after that I don’t know what I’ll do with it.
I have a brief moment of respite between field excursions so I’ll make this quick.
For years I have been wanting to publish a book on California’s fossil vertebrates. I feel there has never been a comprehensive source bringing all the information on California’s incredible prehistory into one place. The Golden State was once home to beardogs and sabercats; giant camels and pygmy mammoths; three-toed horses and hippo-like marine mammals; ground sloths and giant “toothed” seabirds; and killer sperm whales and and shovel-jawed elephants. And yet there are barely any books on the subject at all. As far as I can tell, there are only a couple gift shop books on Rancho la Brea and the Anza Borrego book. Hardly representative of all that California’s paleontology has to offer.
So I am to fix that. But I need your help. My book will be heavy on pictures and illustrations because I want to show the reader the fossils and creatures themselves. To do this, I’m going to need a good camera, other photography equipment (lighting, background, etc), and a new laptop to write and edit photos on. In all this stuff will run about $3500. And the great thing is once I have this stuff I’ll be able to use it for future books and even for my scientific research. This one act of generosity will go a long way.
So please donate to my book writing fund. Any amount would help me to reach my goal. I would greatly appreciate any help you can provide. The fossil vertebrates of California have an incredible story to tell. With your donation, you can help tell it with me.
I have always had an interest in ancient elephants. Ever since I first laid eyes on the woolly mammoth at the Royal British Columbia Museum, they have always held a spell on me. It has only been in recent years that they have drawn me in as a research interest. Despite being a diverse and very successful group with a broad array of adaptations, not a lot of work has been done on them outside of naming new species and studying their Ice Age members. However, the first serious research question I ever came up* with involves our old friend the American mastodon.
Today is going to be a quicky. I have been working on a new post but then life happened. This includes having to replace my computer (eating up my tax return in the process). But i have also been busy with some paleontology stuff of my own which will get it’s own post in the future. But i wanted to make this short post to share an awesome bit of news with you.
I was contacted by the head of Feed Spots. He was contacting me to let me know that i made his list of the top 20 paleontology blogs to follow in 2018! How cool is that? Apparently he considers me on par with The Raymond Alf Museum and Waxing Paleontological. You can check out the list here.
Well i have to get back to all the crap i have going on right now.
Dinosaurs may seem cool on their face. But once you get into them they start heaping up their own kinds of problems. I usually tell people one of the reasons I stick with mammals is that dinosaur taxonomy is a complete freaking mess. It is always changing with families sunk and started all over the place. One relation may exist today, but it could be revised tomorrow. This is how science works, but hell if it aint hard to keep track of. But, some disputes over taxonomy can last longer than others. Especially when the evidence is scant. Here we are going to look at one of the most heated taxonomic debates since “Toroceratops” (in fact, it’s been around for 3 times as long).