A Whole Spoor Load of Frickin’ Fossils
Who says paleontology can’t be fun? Two recent stories from the science of rock hard bones might leave you wondering...
Who says paleontology can’t be fun? Two recent stories from the science of rock hard bones might leave you wondering if the exhibits are running today’s natural history museums.
Straight from the fertile Kenyan fossil fields comes a new discovery that could upset the evolutionary nexus between Homo erectus and Homo habilis. A team of paleontologists anchored by descendants of the celebrity Leakey family, Meave G. Leakey and her daughter Louise Leakey, studied fossils found in 2000 and determined that Homo erectus might not have evolved from Homo habilis—rather they coexisted together.
Now where this story tickles the funny bone is the name of the lead author for this study—Dr. Fred Spoor. Spoor is an evolutionary anatomist at University College—London. His name is also, coincidentally, well known as animal droppings.
That must make for some lively conversation around the campfire at night: “I followed Spoor around all day today.” Or, “Has anyone had a sit down with Spoor?” Even better, “I’ll tell you Spoor fills some pretty big shoes.”
Leaving Africa behind and moving our attention to Switzerland, we are further amused by an amateur paleontologist’s discovery of a dinosaur mass “grave.” The massed remains have been attributed to an herbivore dinosaur—Plateosaurus.
Although only two Plateosaurus were discovered more fossils are expected to be hidden inside the site. The first two Plateosaurus were found during the construction of a house near Frick, Switzerland. What the Frick? Further excavation is expected to yield nearly 100 Frickin’ Plateosaurus fossils. One paleontologist at the University of Bonn stated that “it’s the biggest site in Europe.” More like, it’s a Frickin’ huge site.
_(Image: Koobi Fora Research Project/F. Spoor)_