Ultimate ROM

This summer, the Royal Ontario Museum unveiled a brand-new exhibit all about the dinosaurs of Gondwana. When Pangaea rifted apart during the Triassic, it split into two continents – Laurasia, represented by the modern northern continents of North America, Europe, and Asia, and Gondwana, represented by the modern southern continents of South America, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica, plus India, Madagascar, and New Zealand. The dinosaurs and other extinct terrestrial vertebrates of Gondwana differed from their northern neighbours, and we don’t often see them in exhibitions in North America.

Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants of Gondwana features lots of interesting and sometimes obscure dinosaurs, some really great artwork, and some neat technological things (of which I am sometimes skeptical, but can wholeheartedly endorse here).

Continue reading

What I Did on My Summer Vacation: Take the Left Turn at Albuquerque

I visited the New Mexico Museum of Natural History in June for a couple of days with my friend and colleague Mike Burns to look at [top secret specimen yet again, sorry!]. OH MAN was Albuquerque toasty in June. But we had a very fine time indeed eating southwest food and visiting the museum.

  Continue reading

Thoughts on Tarbosaurus, Part 2

In my last post I talked about the role of museums in conserving fossil resources, with regards to the recent news about the Tarbosaurus auction. I wanted to address some of the other frequent comments I have seen on blogs and news articles. So, we’re now on to:

Comment 2: How do we know the tyrannosaur came from Mongolia? (and the related question, which I’ve decided to lump with this one: Why does the auction company, and subsequent news stories, refer to the specimen as Tyrannosaurus bataar while palaeontologists call it Tarbosaurus? Continue reading

Cool Stuff

“Cool Stuff: The University of Alberta Museums Do Winter” is a winter-themed exhibit that opened last week at the U of A’s Enterprise Square location. I checked it out last weekend and was pleased to see so many different types of objects on display. We have 28 different collections on campus, and most (maybe all?) were represented in the exhibit – butterflies, moss, picked parasites, textiles, and more.  Continue reading

5 Questions for Stephanie Blais

I’m hoping to feature some more University of Alberta-related research over the next few weeks, and first up is an interview with Stephanie Blais, a UALVP grad student studying ischnacanthid acanthodians. Stephanie recently published a paper in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology with new information on the origin of vertebrate teeth. So without further ado, here are five questions for Stephanie Blais: Continue reading

Let it snow…

Well it’s a balmy -37C windchill here today (but just -27C without, so it’s not so bad! right?), and wonderfully snowy, and what do you know but there’s an article about our day in Dinosaur Provincial Park last December.

You can read Ed Struzik’s complementary (and complimentary) pieces in the Edmonton Journal:

Science rewrites assumptions about prehistoric animals.”

and

Dinosaur hunter Phil Currie shows no sign of slowing down.” This one features a nice video of us preparing the Daspletosaurus jacket for the helicopter lift, and the helicopter lift itself.

Houston Museum of Natural Science

On my way home from Buenos Aires I had an eleven hour layover in Houston. Having just about exhausted the entertainment potential of the Houston airport on my nine hour layover on the way down, and feeling quite confident that there was no way I could stay awake the whole time if I stayed in the airport, I decided to venture in to Houston to poke around for the day. I managed to visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Houston Zoo, which are both located in the immensely pleasant Hermann Park.

Continue reading