Dr. Jon Noad de­ci­phers an­i­mal be­hav­iour from trace fos­sils

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS -

The Fe­bru­ary 9 ses­sion of the 2017 Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s Speaker Se­ries is a presentation by Dr. Jon Noad of Sed­i­men­tal Ser­vices, en­ti­tled “Al­most Like Be­ing There: New Ap­proaches to De­ci­pher­ing An­i­mal Be­hav­iour from Trace Fos­sils.”

The study of ich­nol­ogy, or trace fos­sils, is a fas­ci­nat­ing field of ge­ol­ogy that pro­vides a win­dow into the be­hav­iour of an­cient an­i­mals. While body fos­sils help us to un­der­stand the mor­phol­ogy of an an­i­mal, trace fos­sils (whether they are foot­prints, bite marks, or nests) pro­vide ev­i­dence that al­lows us to make in­fer­ences about how they lived their lives. Ich­nol­ogy’s mod­ern coun­ter­part, neoich­nol­ogy, the study of ex­tant (liv­ing) an­i­mal traces, demon­strates what types of traces may be pre­served, as well as let­ting us watch how those traces are cre­ated.

Dr. Noad’s presentation will cover ex­am­ples of trace fos­sils rang­ing from ter­mite nests to shrimp bur­rows, bird feed­ing traces to fish fin marks, and even traces that are in­ter­preted to be from di­nosaur uri­na­tion. It will en­com­pass a wide va­ri­ety of both in­ver­te­brates and ver­te­brates, from worms to dinosaurs to mam­mals. Once you see the amaz­ing di­ver­sity of traces, each of which cap­tures a unique as­pect of an­i­mal ac­tiv­ity, you will never look at a mark on the ground in quite the same way.

The Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s Speaker Se­ries talks are free and open to the public. They are held every Thurs­day un­til April 27 at 11:00 a.m. in the Mu­seum au­di­to­rium. Speaker Se­ries talks are also avail­able on the Mu­seum’s YouTube chan­nel: youtube. com/ user/ Roy­alTyrrel­lMu­seum.

Dr. Jon Noad is fea­tured this week at Speaker Se­ries

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