Thursday, 23 February 2017

TACHYGLOSSIDAE — MONOTREMES

This chunky monkey is a Short-beaked Echidna, Tachyclossus aculeatus, which grows to about the size of an overweight cat. They are native to Australia and New Guinea. 

Echidnas are sometimes called spiny anteaters and belong in the family Tachyglossidae (Gill, 1872). They are monotremes, an order of egg-laying mammals. There are four species of echidnas living today. They, along with the platypus, are the only living mammals who lay eggs and the only surviving members of the order Monotremata. 

Superficially, they resemble the anteaters of South America and other spiny mammals like porcupines and adorable hedgehogs. They are usually a mix of brown, black and cream in colour. While rare, there have been several reported cases of albino echidnas, their eyes pink and their spines white. Echidnas have long, slender snouts that act as both nose and mouth for these cuties. The Giant Echidna we see in the fossil record had beaks more than double this size.  

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Monday, 13 February 2017

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Monday, 6 February 2017

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Friday, 3 February 2017

Thursday, 2 February 2017

EOCENE DIATRYMA TRACK

Diatryma, a giant flightless bird trackway from an Eocene deposit in Washington State.

LATE JURASSIC CADOCERAS TONNIENSE

Cadoceras tonniense, Mysterious Creek Formation

IN SEARCH OF TRIASSIC BEASTIES

So, what's next in the story of marine reptiles and dinosaurs? Where are the next big finds to be found?

Well, if finds like Shonisaurus sikanniensis are any indication, my guess would be northern British Columbia.

After almost no large finds over the past hundred years, they have revealed the largest marine reptile on record, along with countless terrestrial finds that make that area one of the richest searching grounds on the globe.

There are Triassic marine outcrops in northern British Columbia that extend from Wapiti Lake to the Yukon border. Without the fossil finds, this area is just pure, raw Canadian gold in terms of scenery and environmental importance. Well worth exploring for its sheer beauty.

With the paleontological possibilities, it's the stuff of dreams. The big reveal may be new species of dinosaurs, large marine reptiles and greater insight into their behaviour and interactions deep in the Triassic.

I'm excited for the future of paleontology in the region as more of these fruitful outcrops are discovered, collected and studied.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017