I've got more Women in the Geoblogosphere goodness for ye today, my darlings! Settle in for science!

Musings of a Clumsy Paleontologist by Gimpasaura

Gimpasaura is getting her paleontology PhD, and loves all things pterosaur. You love all things pterosaur, too, so this is the blog for you!

Fossil casts are not "fake"

I’m not sure why this has been picked up so much recently that casts and replicas are just “fake”. First of all, fake is something that is made with the intent to deceive. Fake money is meant to replace real money, or fake designer purses are meant to look like the real ones they imitate so people don’t know you have a fake. A replica or cast of a fossil is not meant to deceive. That is not the purpose. Any signs about the specimen will (or at least should) state whether the specimen is a skeleton, cast, or composite. No one is trying to trick you! You just have to read the signs!

The next important point is how these casts are made.

People-snatching pterosaurs

I'm sure by now everyone has seen the recent Jurassic World trailer and palaeontologists and dinosaur fans alike have been salivating over it. The paleontological community is mostly in uproar over the scientific inaccuracies, mainly related to the lack of feathers on the theropod dinosaurs (for a few examples see Brian Switek here, Mark Witton, etc), but there have also been a few other comments about some problems with the creatures seen in the movies.Of course for me, I notice how poorly done the pterosaurs are with respect to their contemporaneous dinosaurian relatives (remember, pterosaurs aren't dinosaurs!).


Ordovician Weekly by Allison Young

Indiana has geology that is actually beautiful and interesting! And Allison Young will deliver it to you, along with her blog partner Christopher Aucoin.

Ohio Geological Survey Visit

If you have questions about the local geology when traveling to a new state or even exploring your local rocks the state geological survey is a great place to start for information. Surveys are very different state-to-state but one thing they all have in common is a group of people who know their local rocks. In addition to the informed and helpful staff they hold a wealth of information, including records that go further back then you would think. Most of the records are becoming available on their websites including maps, publications, and well logs.


The hemispherical growth habit of P. falesi has lead to its more colloquial name the “gumdrop bryozoan” OR "chocolate drop" to local fossil collectors.

Another fun aspect of the growth habit of these bryozoans is when examining their underside you can often tell what they were living on... a bivalve perhaps? a silty muck? reworked clasts?


Patterns of Nature by Bethany Ellis

Get ready for gorgeous photography and awesome Australian earth science. Bethany Ellis has you covered both on and offshore.

A Year in the Life of an Argo Float

This time last year I was sailing across the Great Australian Bight (the area of ocean below Australia) on the Southern Surveyor (check it out here, here and here). One cold and windy night, myself and several other scientists scrambled out onto the deck with an expensive, large, yellow, plastic float. We released it over the side of the boat and watched it as it disappeared into the night.

Federation Rock: Tasmanian Dolerite

The Tasmanian Dolerite is unusually widespread and is referred to as ‘the rock that made Tasmania’. The combination of sills across Tasmania makes up one of the world’s largest magmatic intrusions.

Pseudoplocephalus by Victoria Arbour

Yeah, you know you love paleontology, dinosaurs, and museums, so get thee over to Pseudoplocephalus, where Victoria Arbour blogs about those things. "Mostly."

It's #SciArt week on Twitter!

I think we often downplay or take for granted the role that art plays in science. High quality art is obviously a hugely important aspect of public science communication. A paper describing a new species of dinosaur will have much more impact on the public if it's accompanied by an excellent life restoration of that dinosaur. Astronomers and their spacey kin use illustrations to show us satellites, the solar system, and far-off planets we can't photograph. Biologists dealing with the very small need illustrators to show us the cells in our bodies, what's inside those cells, what DNA looks like and how it works – the list is endless.

Animal, mineral, or vegetable?

Today is World Pangolin Day! And given my fondness for armoured animals, I would be remiss in not sharing at least a little bit of information about pangolins today. I think it's a shame that many people have never heard about pangolins. It's weird they don't show up in more kids books about mammals and animals in general – I recall my first encounter with them was in a high school biology textbook, where there was a little two-tone illustration of one on a page about mammal diversity. Who knew there were scaly mammals?

Image is an artist's conception of the pterosaur Sordes pilosus. Caption says, "I'm a pterosaur indeed, but I hardly go round snatching people, sir!"

Sordes pilosus image by Dmitry Bogdanov (CC BY-SA 3.0). Silly captioning by moi.


Maps, Science Education, and Geology in Space

Zombies! Plus Kittehs, Water, and Plants!

Extinctions! Glaciation! Movies! Books from Space!