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A Childhood Dream: Why We Go on Sea Monster Expeditions

In 2012, the Spitsbergen Jurassic Research Group led by National Geographic Explorer Dr. Jørn Hurum finished off their final field season on Svalbard. Now, the team is planning yet another project, and are getting ready for another season in the Arctic slopes of Svalbard. However, there are still specimens remaining from the last field season, and they are more spectacular than ever.

Mapping the Past

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. Map-making: It’s not just for map-makers anymore. Paleontologists also use many aspects of it.

What Plant Fossils Can Tell Us About Life on Earth

Gregory M. Mueller, Ph.D. Chief Scientist and Negaunee Foundation Vice President of Science Chicago Botanic Garden Fresh off a particularly harsh winter in the Midwest, we at the Chicago Botanic Garden are excitedly watching the flowers in our 30 gardens and natural habitat areas as they continue to bloom. The grounds at the Garden are…

A Whole New Dimension: 3D-Fossil Excavation

Emily Hughes searches for fossils in the romantic expanse of the Australian Outback. Her team is continuing its excavation of the Ediacaran fossils—this time in three dimensions.

Feeding in the Flinders: Past and Present

Emily Hughes searches for fossils in the romantic expanse of the Australian Outback. Ancient creatures fed 560-million years ago on microbial mat, and today she admires the differences between what creatures ate then and now.

Researchers Discover “Bizarre” Jurassic Insect With Giant Sucker

Scientists have discovered a “bizarre” parasite from the Jurassic era that really sucked. An international team of researchers recently described this 165-million-year-old fossilized fly larvae that they found in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region in northeastern China once studded with volcanoes and freshwater lakes. They named the species Qiyia jurassica (“Qiyia” is derived from the Chinese word for “strange”),…

Fossil Excavation in a Nutshell

Emily Hughes searches for fossils in the romantic expanse of the Australian Outback. She is excavating the first fossil bed of the season, and excited for what will be contained inside.

The Fossil-Hunting Expedition Begins

Emily Hughes searches for fossils in the romantic expanse of the Australian Outback. This is the first of her posts—the trip to the Outback for fossil hunting begins!

May 11, 2014: Capturing the Spirit of Adventure, Saving Sea Turtles and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend on radio, or listen below! Hour 1 – Adventurers who regularly push their limits of…

A New Season for Superglue in the Sea Monster Lab

A new update from the Sea Monster lab in the basement of the Geological Museum in Oslo, Norway, where the specimens of last summer are about finished and new ones are to be cracked open!

T. Rex Museum Move Stymied

What’s powerful enough to stop Tyrannosaurus rex in its tracks? The U.S. government shutdown, which halted the start of a trip for the “Wankel” T. rex from a Montana museum to its new home at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,…

SVPCA – the Paleontology Super Bowl

In 2012, the Spitsbergen Jurassic Research Group led by National Geographic Explorer Dr. Jørn Hurum finished off their final field season on Svalbard. After eight consecutive years, the project of locating and excavating marine reptiles from the Upper Jurassic has been a success. Nevertheless, the team is not as dead as the reptiles. Down in…

Kids’ Art Arrives to Brighten Up the Sea Monster Lab

One of the unforeseen benefits of blogging about our research? Visitors who show up with hand-made art to decorate our walls!

Rebuilding a Real Loch Ness Monster–“Gully” the Plesiosaur

See for yourself the pains-taking process of freeing fossils from the rock that has held them for tens of millions of years.

Why Sea Monsters Depend on Toilet Paper

In 2012, the Spitsbergen Jurassic Research Group led by National Geographic Explorer Dr. Jørn Hurum finished off their final field season on Svalbard. Down in the dark basement of the Geological Museum there is a laboratory, where all the prehistoric sea monsters from Svalbard are brought back to life. Believe it or not, toilet paper and sea monster excavation and preparation go hand in hand. Curious? Well here is the explanation.