Repost: It’s a kangaroo… It’s a llama… No, it’s Palorchestes!
[This essay was originally posted on October 6, 2010.]
In his 1931 account of fieldwork in Patagonia, Attending Marvels, the 20th century paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson considered the appropriateness of the phrase “fossil hunting” to his profession:
Fossil hunting is far the most fascinating of all sports. I speak for myself, although I do not see how any true sportsman could fail to agree with me if he had tried bone digging. … It has uncertainty and excitement and all the thrills of gambling with none of its vicious features. The hunter never knows what his bag may be, perhaps nothing, perhaps a creature never before seen by human eyes. Over the next