Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New paper in the news!

Our new paper about a fossil jackpot (fossil Lagerstätte for those in the know) is currently In Press! It is available for free to all here.

A new Early Jurassic (ca. 183 Ma) fossil Lagerstätte from Ya Ha Tinda, Alberta, Canada
Rowan C. Martindale, Theodore R. Them II, Benjamin C. Gill, Selva M. Marroquín, and Andrew H. Knoll

The Jackson school wrote up a nice, plain English piece about the significance of the work, check it out!

They also made a little video:

Update: The story has been shared in a few places...

Calgary Herald: International Business Times:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Reefs of the Dominican Republic- Part 2

Part 2 of our Dominican field work was to check out some fossil reefs inland! These Holocene coral reefs are not much older than the modern ones we were diving on in the first part of the trip... roughly 5000 to 10,000 years old.

But first a quick stop at Lago Enriquillo... this little embayment of ocean was cut off from the sea and so is now an evaporitic lake below sea level!

With Crocs!

And Rhino iguanas

Again, corals make good building stone!

The Holocene coral reef that we were working on is amazingly well preserved! Large gullies have carved their ways through the fossil reef during spring floods exposing a beautiful cut down from shallow water parts of the reef to deeper water parts of the reef.

Facies boundary between massive corals (below) and staghorn corals (above).

This one cliff had a ton of staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis)

Look at how big those corals are!

Way at the top are a bunch of calcified worm tubes in the tufas!

It's like they just died yesterday!

It felt like you were scuba diving!

Lithophagid clams boring into a coral

This coral has another colony "piggybacking" on it (likely after the first one died). Lense cap for scale

Look at the delicate spines on the pink bivalves!

Beautiful corals!

Delicate gastropod shells (snails) of all sizes

"Stack of pancakes" coral

This was definitely the most amazing fossil reef I have ever seen. The preservation is amazing and it is so surreal to just walk through the core of the reef!

Oh, plus we got to swim in a cave :)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Reefs of the Dominican Republic- Part 1

Hello all. Happy New Year! For the first post of 2017, I wanted to share a blog post that should have been up 6 months ago (oops.... things have been very busy). But since it is the dead of winter for some of you, I thought this may help you forget the snowy weather outside (or not if you live south of ~45N).

Reefs of the Dominican Republic- Part 1 (should have been posted in July 2016)
The past two weeks have been awesome, I have been working in the Dominican Republic, looking at the modern and ancient reefs of Hispaniola. The DR is stunningly beautiful and the people are very friendly! This post contains the first part of the research trip, the "modern" reefs


First Day on the island, this is my awesome field assistant (and also my husband)

The Dominican Repulbic has some amazing beaches, I prefer the ones that are a little more off the beaten path... Paradise!

Even the tiles have coral reefs in them!

Pleistocene coral reefs make for beautiful building stone!

Our first task was to look at modern reefs and collect some corals. I love snorkelling, and the reefs here are stunning!

Urchins hanging out on some beachrock.

I do love my job!

But even on this beach there are some lovely Pleistocene rocks!

No snorkel gear needed!

Modern next to Ancient!

Corals, snails, and bivalves all cemented together!

Check out the next post for Part #2 of the field trip!