Category Archives: Taphonomy

Fossil Friday – proboscidean ulna


Over the last few weeks we’ve started pulling a lot of mastodon material from the collections (more on that in a future post). Some of the bones that are turning up are pretty interesting. Continue reading


Fossil Friday – mastodon skull

DSCN5560Today is World Elephant Day, recognizing the conservation difficulties faced by the surviving species of elephants. Last week, with Katy Smith’s visit to WSC to examine mastodons and Bernard Means’ visit to 3D-scan some of our specimens,  as well as needing more data for the Mastodons of Unusual Size Project, we had the opportunity and motivation to open a lot of mastodon jackets that have remained unexamined for years. This confluence of events make an excellent excuse for featuring another mastodon for today’s Fossil Friday. Continue reading

Taphonomy everywhere

DSCN2735A big part of understanding paleontology is to understand the way things work today. In interpreting fossils, paleontologists first look to the modern world for analogs, whether it’s identifying a species, interpreting behavior and ecological relationships, or even understanding how a fossil came to be preserved at all – the subbranch of paleontology known as taphonomy. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – Stories from Bones exhibit

Stories from Bones logo

For Fossil Friday this week, I want to highlight Western Science Center’s new exhibit “Stories from Bones”, which opens tomorrow. Continue reading

Fossil Friday – wildfires

A large wildfire, called the “Lake Fire“, is currently burning in the San Bernardino National Forest. Even though the fire is about 50 km north of Hemet, smoke from the fire is clearly visible from the Western Science Center.

Wildfires such as this are widespread in Southern California during the su Continue reading