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).
What the hell happened? Well, i don’t know. I’ll try to finish Australia when i can. But right now i want to talk about the commercial fossil trade once again. I once tried to defend the commercialists. But after a certain incident i have seen the error on my ways. Thee nothing redeemable about them. They are destroying the ancient heritage of everyone in a gross, twisted mockery of a noble scientific profession all in the name of making a buck. Commercialists need to be stopped if the fossil record is to survive at all.
You know, I keep getting followers. Once in a while I get a message saying that someone is now following my little blog here. And I don’t get why. My posts are sporadic and often overlong. And lately they have consisted of little more than whiney screeds. No wonder I hardly get any comments. But what can I do? I am what I am. And what I am is an aspiring fossil hunter with depression.
Last week was the first (and probably only, until i either land a job or get funding) time i was able to attend SVP, the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. It was fun, it was informative, it was exhausting! I saw some great talks, some great posters, and some not so great examples of either. Saw all the familiar faces, met some new ones, and got loads of advice and swag. It was a fantastic experience. It has left me a bit drained but not just physically. The conference has brought up a couple issues that no doubt stick in the Society’s craw.