Category Archives: fossils

Sue’s new digs

by Greg Mayer Sue, the remarkably complete Tyrannosaurus rex discovered by (and named for) Sue Hendrickson, and excavated by Pete Larson and the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, has long graced Stanley Field Hall at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. Last year, the Museum announced that Sue would be moved upstairs, into the […]

What were the first animals?

by Matthew Cobb I’ve just finished making a BBC World Service radio programme about the first animals. Anyone, anywhere in the world, can listen to it (it’s only 28 minutes long!) – you just have to register with the BBC (free, rapid and cost- and spam-free). Click on the pic to go to the BBC […]

Sue update

by Greg Mayer She’s gone. I was at the Field Museum on Wednesday for the first time since the previous month, and the removal of Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex has been completed. Viewed from the balcony above, visitors walk through Stanley Field Hall, seemingly unaware of the ghostly white outline of Sue’s now departed plinth. […]

So long, Sue…. see you upstairs!

by Greg Mayer Sue, the iconic Tyrannosaurus rex that has inhabited the Field Museum of Natural History‘s Stanley Field Hall since 2000, is coming down. But, shortly after she comes down, she’ll be going up– upstairs that is.  The Museum announced plans last year to replace Sue in Stanley Field Hall with a model of […]

Here’s the organism (well, sort of. . . .)!

Did you guess what organism made the pattern below, found on a recent dive around the hydrothermal vents off Tonga? Here’s the answer in the second tweet: For comparison here is a live "Paleodictyon" from the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Pic from Paper by Rona et al. https://t.co/TDd2RA2OFt #UnderwaterFire Tonga pic.twitter.com/NESbiqLPlY — Polychaeta Species (@WPolyDb) December […]

Identify the organism that made this pattern

Here’s a new tweet that Matthew sent, showing a pattern found underwater by ROV SuBastian dive #96 (dive #97 starts at 11 a.m. Chicago time, and you can watch it here).  These dives are sponsored by the Schmidt Ocean Institute, and are currently investigating hydrothermal vents around Tonga in the Pacific. Oh wow, one of […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Mark Sturtevant sent some diverse photos from his Ikea Cabinet of Mystery. About a year ago I had posted pictures showing a few specimens from my “Cabinet of Mystery” (from Ikea!). It is once again time open its glass paneled doors and peer inside for more oddities and curiosities. We begin with a fossil […]

A ten pound frog frog lived in ancient Madagascar

A frog that could swallow a small theropod dinosaur? Well, maybe: it was large enough, and weighed in at a hefty ten pounds (4.5 kilograms). This animal, with the clever name of Beelzebufo, was first described in 2008, but a new paper in PNAS by Susan Evans et al. (reference and free link below), describes […]

Giant “paleoburrows” dug by extinct mammals

In the last few years, geologists have been finding—mostly in Brazil—large “paleoburrows” that were almost certainly dug by large, extinct mammals such as giant ground sloths. These burrows can be up to 3000 feet long (!) and 5 feet wide, though the very long ones were surely dug by many individuals over many generations. The […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Please keep your photos coming in; I have a decent backlog, but you know how I worry. . . Today we have some photos of fossilized wildlife, all taken by reader Mark Sturtevant. His notes are indented. As a change from the usual stuff that I have been submitting, I thought to share pictures of some specimens […]