Cretaceous crocs crunch critters

by Greg Mayer Earlier this year my friend Chris Noto and his colleagues Derek Main and Stephanie Drumheller published a paper describing injuries to turtle and dinosaur bones from the Cretaceous that show evidence that they were preyed upon by crocodiles.  Besides the irresistible alliteration, their paper serves to show that we can sometimes learn […]

Darwinius: what’s at issue?

by Greg Mayer I’m leaving in a few days for Costa Rica, and Jerry is back, so this will be my last post on Darwinius, at least for awhile. At least three different issues have been debated in the blogosphere concerning “Ida“: 1) What are her phylogenetic relationships; 2) Was the media campaign excessive; and […]

Has the name Darwinius masillae been published? And if so, by who?

by Greg Mayer In a previous post on the hype surrounding the online posting of a paper on ‘Ida’, the Eocene primate from the Messel Lagerstatte, I noted that the authors had made a nomenclatural faux pas in allowing the name and a description to be published before their paper appeared, thus making the authorship […]

A new transitional fossil

In the latest issue of Nature is a report on a pretty amazing transitional fossil: Pulija darwini, a relative of modern seals, but one that was a “pre-seal” in that it walked on land.  It was related to but not on the direct line of ancestry to modern pinnipeds. Pujila appears to have been much […]

Skell pwned again

by Greg Mayer I think I’ve been able to figure out why chemist Philip Skell’s attack on Jerry in Forbes was so unresponsive to what Jerry actually wrote: he probably wrote most of it before seeing Jerry’s article!  P.Z. Myers noted a piece in the Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard by teacher Stuart Faulk rebutting Skell’s arguments.  […]

Homo footprints from Kenya

by Greg Mayer In today’s issue of Science, Matthew Bennett and eleven colleagues from Britain, America, Kenya and South Africa report on the discovery of ancient footprints: Here, we report hominin footprints in two sedimentary layers dated at 1.51 to 1.53 million years ago (Ma) at Ileret, Kenya, providing the oldest evidence of an essentially […]

A brand-new whale fossil

Phil Gingerich and his colleagues at the University of Michigan, the Geological Survey of Pakistan, and the University of Bonn have just described a brand new and intriguing pair of whale fossils in the journal PLoS ONE, which you can find here. Tis whale Maiacetus inuus, lived about 47.5 million years ago, which puts it […]