Category Archives: Modern plants and animals

Mastodons and pumpkins


Pumpkins are an interesting fruit. Curcurbita pepo is one of several domesticated species of the genus Curcurbita, vines that are native to the Americas. Curcurbita is a ecologically diverse genus, with some species needing a continuous water supply while others can live in arid conditions, so it is found natively in a variety of habitats. The fruits, which are technically berries, generally have a thick rind with a softer interior where the seeds are located. In most species the rinds are bitter, but the interior is often more palatable and rich in nutrients. As a result it became one of the first domesticated plants in North America more than 8,000 years ago. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – Coelacanth fossil

WSC Diplurus

In 1938, Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, a naturalist at the East London Museum in South Africa, discovered a bizarre fish in a fisherman’s haul. Continue reading

Potential traces everywhere

I haven’t had a lot of free time over this summer, what with moving across the country and starting a new job. Even so, I’ve been slowly working my way through an excellent book on traces and trace fossils, “Life Traces of the Georgia Coast” by Anthony Martin (@ichnologist on Twitter). Due to the insidious influence of this book, I now find myself looking for traces all the time. Continue reading