Author Archives: Guypaquin

Guest Speaker Brody Hovatter – Sunday May 21, 2017

We will begin our May 21, 2017 NPA Meeting a bit differently…

Brody Hovatter will provide a tour of the Burke collections at 1 p.m. on the 21st. The tour should only take 30 to 40 minutes, and a class from UW will be in on the tour too.

1:00 pm: Burke Collections Tour
1:35 pm: NPA Meeting starts in Burke Room
1:50 pm: Presentation by Brody Hovatter

Brody will be our speaker addressing:
Mammal Diversity and Ecology Across the KT Boundary
(and up to 1.2 million years afterwards)

Brody Hovatter is the Assistant Director of the DIG Field School and manager of the Wilson Paleontology Lab at the University of Washington. In addition to serving as Assistant Director, he has been an instructor for the program since 2014. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Washington in 2014. His research in the Wilson Lab focuses on fossil mammals from northeastern Montana, for which he has received funding from the Mary Gates Endowment as well as departmental awards within the Biology Department. He has presented his research at numerous conferences, including the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Washington. Brody has loved teaching since an early age, and has served as a research mentor or co-mentor for numerous undergraduate students at the University of Washington. He also enjoys participating in local scientific outreach, and has served as a tutor for many middle school and high school students in the Seattle area.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the May 21st meeting!

(Also: Another reminder about our Hands-On Activity in the Burke Room this Sunday, May 7th 10-2pm)

Hands-On Activity: Sunday, May 7, 2017

We’re teaming up with the DIG Field School to host a hands-on fossil activity at the Burke on Sunday, May 7th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a great chance to learn more about the DIG, connect with like-minded paleo people, and get your hands dirty working on some fossils!

 

We will be piecing together fossil parts from either a turtle or a Triceratops frill–it will be like working on a big communal puzzle. Get to know other NPA Members in this informal setting. Bring finger food snacks to share.

 

Drop by the Burke Room from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

 

Members, please RSVP directly to Tom.

 

Non-members, this is a members-only event; however, you may RSVP using the Contact Us form and become an NPA member at the event.

April / May News

May Meeting Rescheduled: Sunday, May 21, 2017

We have moved the May NPA meeting up one week to accommodate members’ Memorial Day weekend plans.

Meet in the Burke Room at 1:00 p.m.

Hands-On Activity: Sunday, May 7, 2017

We will be piecing together fossil parts from either a turtle or a Triceratops frill–it will be like working on a big communal puzzle. Get to know other NPA Members in this informal setting. Bring finger food snacks to share.

Drop by the Burke Room from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Members, please RSVP directly to Tom.

Non-members, this is a members-only event; however, you may RSVP using the Contact Us form and become an NPA member at the event.

Stonerose Weekend: April 28 – 30

If you are planning on going to the members-only weekend at Stonerose, plan your route with road closure possibilities in mind. You can check the WSDOT website and Stonerose will post an update on road conditions on their website on Wednesday, April 26.

Extinction of Mainland and Island Mammoth Populations in Alaska 6,000 Years Ago

Duane Froese, University of Alberta, presents new research on the extinction of mammoths and other megafauna from Arctic North America.

Dino Weekend 2017

How Baleen Evolved in Whales

A new study (that included Nicholas Pyenson from the Smithsonian and an Affiliate Curator Burke Museum) looked at the origin of baleen and how modern toothless baleen whales evolved from early toothed forms without baleen.  Baleen filter plates in whale jaws are unique among mammals, but are made of keratin similar to horns and hoofs.  The researchers reviewed the fossil evidence and looked at four possible evolutionary scenarios in which whales had both teeth and baleen at the same time or lost their teeth before they evolved baleen.  Other studies have suggested that suction feeding by toothed ancestors may have led to the development of baleen. The new study proposes that a toothless suction feeding stage may have come before baleen developed. Unfortunately, the embryonic development of tooth buds and baleen in modern whales is still not well understood.

Carlos Mauricio Peredo, Nicholas D. Pyenson and Alexandra T. Boersma (2017) Decoupling Tooth Loss from the Evolution of Baleen in Whales. Frontiers of Marine Science  4: Article 67 https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2017.00067

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2017.00067/full

Major Reclassification of Dinosaurs Proposed

A team of researchers in Britain did a new analysis of hundreds of dinosaur skeletons and  have concluded that the current classification of dinosaurs into two major groups called the Saurischia (“lizard-hipped”) and Ornithischia (“bird-hipped”), first proposed in 1888, is not correct.  Read More →

Huge Skull from Alaska Supports Legends of Ancient Giant Polar Bear

An extremely large bear skull (dated to about 1,300 years ago) found in 2014 on a beach in Alaska could belong to a giant type of polar bear described in legends by Arctic people as distinct from and bigger than modern polar bears.

http://westerndigs.org/giant-skull-found-in-alaska-may-be-evidence-of-elusive-king-polar-bear-experts-say/

New Early Jurassic Marine Fossil Lagerstätte Found in Alberta

Paleontologists use the German term Lagerstätte [storage place] for fossil sites with exceptional preservation and abundant fossils. Such deposits are rare worldwide. Stonerose in Washington state is considered an example of a Lagerstätte for plant fossils.  Now a new Lagerstätte for marine animals (invertebrates and vertebrates) has been found at Ya Ha Tinda in Alberta, Canada, and dates from the same time period as similar marine fossil sites in Italy, Germany, and  Great Britain. The special preservation (including soft tissues) may be the result of low oxygen levels in the water at the time, preventing decay before the animals were buried in sediment.

Rowan C. Martindale, Theodore R. Them II, Benjamin C. Gill, Selva M. Marroquín, and Andrew H. Knoll (2017) A new Early Jurassic (ca. 183 Ma) fossil Lagerstätte from Ya Ha Tinda, Alberta, Canada. Geology 45:. 255-258, doi:10.1130/G38808.1 http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/45/3/255.abstract

New Fossil Crabs From British Columbia and Oregon

Homolid crabs (known as “porter crabs” or “carrier crabs” ) are long-legged, deep water crabs that get their common name from carrying sponges, corals, and even urchins on the back of their carapace using a special pair of legs, a behavior thought to be a defense or camouflage against predators.  Their fossils have been rare from the West Coast.  A new paper names describes  a new genus of homolid crab (Cretalamoha) from the Pender Formation on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and a new species (Paromola roseburgensis) from the early Eocene Roseburg Formation in Oregon.  Another fossil homolid crab named Homola vancouverensis was found in the Eocene Hoko River Formation of Washington State and described in 2001.

 

Torrey Nyborg and Alessandro Garassino (2017) New Occurrences of Fossil Homolidae from the Eastern Pacific. Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana 69(1): 135 ‒ 148

http://boletinsgm.igeolcu.unam.mx/bsgm/index.php/component/content/article/346-sitio/abstracts/fourth-epoch/6901/1645-6901-6-nyborg

http://boletinsgm.igeolcu.unam.mx/bsgm/vols/epoca04/6901/%286%29Nyborg.pdf