Field work today

Just thought I’d share a fossil I found while out in the field this morning. West Alabama. Pottsville formation. Pennsylvanian. Around 300mya. Not much of a botanist so not sure what it is. Beautifully preserved.



Fossils are everywhere. How do you tell which ones are interesting enough to look more closely at?


Well, when I’m in the field just for the love of it every fossil is worth looking closely at. I’m the first human being to ever touch and see that specimen. That’s a feeling that never gets old. Then it depends on what kinda research you’re doing and where you are. So if I’m in the Selma chalk which is a late Cretaceous ocean and I uncover what I believe to be a pterosaur (this has happened) that’s definitely going to deserve a closer look. In our case the pterosaur died, fell in the ocean, and was fed on by sharks. I mean there are a lot of instances where you take a closer look and call in other experts


I’m curious: why is an anthropology student doing field work in Cretaceous chalk?


Haha I was paleontology and geology before I switched to anthro. I actually think I’m about to switch back. Still gonna do work in archaeology but more on the geoarchaeology side of things

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He must be looking for a pre-Cambrian rabbit-man.


Lmao. Just still trying to figure out what I’m most passionate about and what I’m good at. Luckily my two big interests are intertwined and I’m not having to start over. I’ve come to accept that I can’t do genetics and that sucks because I want to be good at it. But I’m really good with the earth sciences. Especially volcanology, geomorphology, paleo, and climate science. Luckily some of disciplines are included in archaeology as well.

To amazing fossils everywhere !!!

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It’s good your interests and experiences are in fields that overlap. There are probably niche projects in your future where your blend of skills will give you an advantage. Starting over is among other things time consuming.

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