Search Results for: Volume is "2"

Life as a Palaeontologist: Academia, the Internet and Creative Commons

by Ross Mounce*1 Introduction: The results of scientific research can be of interest to experts and non-experts alike. This is perhaps especially true for palaeontology, which captures public interest — but obtaining access to this information is sometimes difficult, even for scientists. Taking a rather different tack from previous Palaeontology [online] articles, I’m going to provide a brief […]

Patterns in Palaeontology: The first 3 billion years of evolution

by Russell Garwood *1 Introduction: Breathe in. Breathe out. It’s a good bet that you’re currently sitting in front of a computer, reading; I’m going to go ahead and assume that you’re breathing, too. In, and out. You probably weren’t even thinking about breathing until I mentioned it, but all the same, it’s keeping you […]

Fossil Focus: Marsupial evolution – A limited story?

by Verity Bennett*1 Introduction: There are three groups of mammals alive today: the egg-laying monotremes (echidnas and platypuses); the marsupials (those with pouches); and the placentals (those that develop a placenta in the womb and give birth to comparatively developed young). Marsupials and placentals are sister groups, more closely related to each other than to monotremes. […]

Patterns in Palaeontology: The Cambrian explosion – Paradoxes and possible worlds

by Jonathan B. Antcliffe1 Introduction: The transition between the Precambrian and the Cambrian period (about 550 million to 500 million years ago) records one of the most important patterns of fossils in all the geological record. Complex animals with a suite of shells, intricate body plans and associated movement traces appeared for the first time, […]

Fossil Focus: Using Plant Fossils to Understand Past Climates and Environments

by Leyla J. Seyfullah*1 Introduction: Fossils provide us with our only direct record of prehistoric life. Studying them can help us to reconstruct the anatomy, behaviour and evolution of long-extinct organisms. Perhaps less obviously, fossils are also among the most important sources of information for scientists attempting to learn about past (palaeo) climates and environments […]

Life as a Palaeontologist: How I learnt to stop worrying and love the fossils

by Sarah King*1 Introduction: If you’re visiting this website, the chances are that you’re interested in palaeontology, perhaps even as a career. However, to someone who is not yet in academia, it may be difficult to imagine how to embark on such a career path, and the world of science can seem strange and inaccessible. […]

Patterns in Palaeontology: Parsimony and Palaeobiology

by Javier Ortega-Hernández *1 Introduction: The principle of parsimony, also known as Occam’s razor, has been widely attributed to the English Franciscan friar William of Occam (c. 1288–1348). It states Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate, which translates to ‘Plurality is not to be assumed without necessity’. In other words, when one is faced with […]

Fossil Focus: The preservation of colour

by Holly E. Barden*1 Introduction: Colour is important in modern ecosystems, but the colours of extinct organisms are very rarely preserved in the fossil record. Colouration is most commonly seen in fossilized brachiopod shells and arthropod carapaces; however, establishing that these colours are original and not artefacts of fossilization processes is difficult. Until recently, few […]