having fun and doing scientific research
posted July 12, 2013
When I was a wee lad, I thought paleontology was all about going around digging up bones and staring at them. I thought the idea was fascinating. As I grew, I learned about scientific procedure, hypotheses and theories, and analysis. Biology was easily my favorite science.
But I realized, with this internship, that there is still a lot more to Paleo-biology than I had understood. It wasn't all about going out into the field to find fossils and bringing them back. There are plenty of ways to conduct paleobiological research without even touching fossils. Here in the History of Life program, we look are looking at collected data, filled excel sheets, and large treatises to link the varying sizes of extinct species to their evolutionary paths. By using what we already know about these species, geology, and time periods We can sit at these desks and form our own exciting hypotheses of how echinoderms and ostracods evolved to find the right size for survival; Bigger or smaller? Wider or thinner? That is for us to find out.