Category Archives: Paleontology

The study of fossils and what they tell us about life in the distant past.

Interview With an Amateur Fossil Hunter

One aspect of amateur science that can create considerable dissonance is the role of the collector versus the academic scientist. Continue reading…

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Amateur Paleontologist Studies Life of 350 Million Years Ago

Amateur paleontologist John Forde with one of his largest specimens.

EVERY weekend, in his garage, to the sound of Derby County on the radio, John Forde slowly unearths things no human has ever seen before. Continue reading…

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CSL Provides Unprecedented Access to Scientific Literature

The Citizen Scientists League is providing access to thousands of scientific and academic journals and other publications. CSL is proud to be the first such organization to offer this kind of service. Continue reading…

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The Piltdown Hoax: 100 Years Ago

We’ve seen a few items lately about problems in the scientific community having to do with badly handled or even fabricated data, so perhaps this is a good time to revisit one of the classic cases of scientific malfeasance, almost exactly 100 years ago. Continue reading…

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Amateur Paleontologist’s Bird Fossils Goes on Display

Oldest bird fossil bones found in North America. Collected by amateur paleontologist Kris Howe of Carrollton, TX. Photo credit: Shelley Kofler/KERA News.

Paleontology is one of those fields where amateurs can, and frequently do make significant contributions. This is an inspiring story: Continue reading…

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Citizen Scientist Finds World’s Smallest Fossil Footprints In Nova Scotia

Batrachichnus salamandroides trackway. Click to enlarge. Credit: Gloria Melanson

A set of fossil footprints in Joggins, Nova Scotia have been identified as the world’s smallest – among vertebrates to-date, anyway. Continue reading…

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Amateur Paleontologist Finds Dinosaur Footprint Near Goddard Space Flight Center


When NASA sent its latest rover to Mars, it carried a critical chemistry lab designed and built at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. But the newest discovery was in their own backyard. Continue reading…

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Ray Stanford: Amateur Paleontologist

Ray Stanford

Have you ever thought about how exciting it would be to make an important scientific discovery? You don’t have to be a professional scientist – in paleontology, anyone with a love of science and discovery, some patience, eagle eyes, and a willingness to get dirty has a chance of doing just that! Continue reading…

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Making, Maintaining, and Using Serious Field Notes

Figure 1. Field notebook in nylon cover. Click image to enlarge.

But if you want to do serious natural science you have to keep good field notes. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Best Practices, Biology, Botany, Entomology, Environment, Geology, Marine Biology, Meteorology, Ornithology, Paleontology, Phenology, Photography, Projects, Research Tools, Wildlife | 7 Comments

Fossils Collected by Charles Darwin Rediscovered

Charles Darwin

British scientists have found scores of fossils the great evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin and his peers collected but that had been lost for more than 150 years. Continue reading…

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