Edinburgh Vertebrate Palaeontology Research Group
Yesterday marked the beginning of the third Subject College module, Vertebrate Paleontology, taught by Dr. Doug Boyer of Duke University. Small animals tend to be extra common in the fossil document and better preserved, so that they reveal monumental quantities of information on the ecosystems and climates of Earth’s previous. The Ken Caster/Donald Baird forged collection of vertebrate ichnofossils can also be notable.
Current research strengths embody phylogeny, biogeography, useful morphology, and macroevolutionary patterns. The usefulness of the fossil mammal collection as a instructing and research software is greatly enhanced by an enormous assortment of a number of thousand crucial fossil casts.
Paleontology really received started although, with the publication of Recherches sur les poissons fossiles (1833-1843) by Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873). Every plate accompanied by descriptive letterpress. They offered explanations for the way the rocks shaped and the animals diverged into tens of millions of species.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Vertebrate Paleontology collections include approximately 63,000 specimens. This work has already uncovered 1000’s of new fossils that dramatically illustrate the range of life and the evolving ecosystems throughout this important interval in earth historical past.
The Vertebrate Paleontology Collection accommodates eight holotypes and twelve paratypes. Their specimens derive mainly from the Cenozoic Period (last sixty five million years), with greater than 80% coming from about 1200 localities in Florida. Early Tertiary specimens embody the entrance third of the skeleton of the fossil whale Basilosaurus, the most effective specimen of this historical whale known to science.