Variety is the Spice of Life
This past week, I attended the 72nd Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’m still on the mend from the science hangover. Still, while my memories are relatively fresh, I want to mention one of the important themes that ran through some of the meeting’s sessions.
Paleontologists are drawing more information from prehistoric bones than ever before. A fossil femur or petrified pelvis isn’t just an anatomical object, but a time capsule entirely composed of more subtle clues about ancient life. Among other lines of evidence, a bone’s microstructure – or histology – preserves clues about an individual animal’s growth and physiology. In the ongoing discussion about dinosaur biology,