Speaker Series 2015: “Messages from Meteorites: The Growth of Planets & the Delivery of Possible Seeds of Life”

 

While very little evidence is left of Earth’s early days, the highly cratered surfaces of the Moon and Mars indicate that the Earth must have had a very tumultuous past characterized by abundant meteorite impacts. In her talk, Dr. Riches reviews the importance of meteorites in planet formation and the possible role they played, through the transport of water and organic matter, in the origin of life on Earth.

 

 

The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Speaker Series talks are free and held every Thursday from January to April 2015 at 11:00 a.m. in the Museum auditorium. Please visit the website for more information about upcoming speakers.

Preparation Lab technicians of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology work with fossils as they are made ready for research and display. Doing so takes great patience and care to ensure that specimens are safely handled and prepared, guaranteeing that they will reveal all they have to offer to the scientists who will soon be studying them and the public who will eventually enjoy them on display. Here is a sneak peek of a typical day in the lab.

Field jackets and the fossils inside them are regularly moved around the lab to accommodate changes in work assignments and to make room for priority specimens. As often is the case, the specimens are too heavy to lift by hand and the team will use the three-ton overhead hoist to safely move the specimens around the lab. Here, separate field jackets containing the rib cage portion of a Fort McMurray elasmosaur and an Oldman River Leptoceratops are rearranged to make room for additional fossils to be prepared.

Speaker Series 2015: “Money for Nothing—Three Decades of Research at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology”

 

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. In the January 29 edition of the 2015 Speaker Series, Dr. Jim Gardner, Curator of Palaeoherpetology, reflects on the history of the Museum and the accomplishments of its research program.

Since its opening in 1985, the Museum has become one of Alberta’s must-see tourist attractions, a significant contributor to the local economy, and one of the premier palaeontological research institutions in the world. Although the international palaeontological community is familiar with much of the scientific research that has been generated by the Museum’s scientists, many of the stories and accomplishments of the research program are less well known to the general public. Dr. Gardner walks us through how the scientific research done by staff, and by other scientists and students using the Museum’s extensive fossil collection, drives all aspects of the Museum’s activities.

 

 

The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Speaker Series talks are free and held every Thursday from January to April 2015 at 11:00 a.m. in the Museum auditorium. Please visit the website for more information about upcoming speakers.

Speaker Series 2015: “Assessing the Efficacy of Youth Participation in Scientific Research”

 

This week’s session features the Museum’s very own Marcy Belva, Science Educator, who used the Encana Badlands Science Camp as a case study for her Master in Museum Studies degree. Her research included observations of data collection, interviews with scientists and participants, and calculations of the accuracy of data collected by youth.

 

Drawing from this research, Belva’s talk explores the benefits and the drawbacks of involving youth directly in the scientific process and what it could mean for the future of science education in museums.

 

 

The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Speaker Series talks are free and held every Thursday from January to April 2015 at 11:00 a.m. in the Museum auditorium. Please visit the website for more information about upcoming speakers.

Speaker Series 2015: “The 2013 Alberta Flood: Causes and Consequences”

The next session in the 2015 Royal Tyrrell Museum Speaker Series is a presentation by Dr. Jon Noad from Husky Energy on the causes and consequences of the floods that hit Alberta in June 2013, which resulted in over 100,000 people being evacuated from their homes.

 

Speaking from his extensive experience and background in sedimentology and geology, Noad explores why the flood occurred, what its impact was on selected settlements, what the flood left behind, and speculates on the likelihood of the recurrence of a flood of similar magnitude.

 

 

The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Speaker Series talks are free and held every Thursday from January to April 2015 at 11:00 a.m. in the Museum auditorium. Please visit the website for more information about upcoming speakers.

Hadrosaurs Book Cover

Hadrosaurs: The Royal Tyrrell Museum International Hadrosaur Symposium

Hadrosaurs were plant-eating dinosaurs and among the most successful species to have ever lived. Also known as duck-billed dinosaurs, they are one of the best-known groups of dinosaurs due to their abundance in the fossil record, notable diversity, and near global distribution in the Late Cretaceous.

In 2011, a collaboration led by Dr. David Eberth and Dr. David Evans between the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology and the Royal Ontario Museum brought together an international slate of over 80 scientists and enthusiasts to share their most recent scientific research on duck-billed dinosaurs. The outcome is the publication of the much-anticipated Hadrosaurs, which is the first book to focus entirely on this seminal species and updates our understanding of these “common” dinosaurs. The book shows that, in many ways, hadrosaurs were not so ordinary. The abundance of hadrosaurs in the fossil record has allowed us to learn more about dinosaur palaeobiology and palaeoecology than we have from any other group. The book also names three new kinds of duck-billed dinosaurs (Plesiohadros djadokhtaensis, Adelolophus hutchisoni, and Gongpoquansaurus mazongshanensis).

Dr. David Eberth, Princess Bonebed

Dr. David Eberth, Royal Tyrrell Museum, Princess Bonebed dig site.

Contributing authors propose that the success of duck-billed dinosaurs was likely driven by a combination of factors that included, most importantly, anatomically-unique and functionally-complex jaws and dentitions that processed plants more efficiently than those of any “reptile” before or since. Other unique hadrosaur innovations are explored, such as their communication abilities (involving their crests and a variety of sounds), their herding and group behaviours (including parental care), and their tolerance of many environments (ranging from the Arctic to the Equator), which likely contributed to their resilience.

Written for dinosaur enthusiasts, scientists, and all lovers of dinosaurs, Hadrosaurs is the most up-to-date literature on plant-eating dinosaurs. Secure your copy by emailing the Royal Tyrrell Museum Gift Shop at shop@tyrrellmuseumshop.com.

Speaker Series 2015: “Being Giant: Why are mammals not as big as dinosaurs?”

The Royal Tyrrell Museum was pleased to present the return of its popular annual Speaker Series on January 8, 2015 with a presentation by Dr. Jessica Theodor, Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary, entitled “Being Giant: Why are mammals not as big as dinosaurs?”

Dinosaurs are well-known for reaching gigantic body sizes; some species hold the title for being the largest land-dwelling animals to have ever existed. In contrast, mammals show a very different pattern from dinosaurs—even the largest land-dwelling mammals are much smaller than dinosaurs—while some whales can be much bigger. In her presentation, Dr. Theodor discusses how different environments control the maximum size attainable by mammals and suggests that the constraints on maximum size for marine mammals differ greatly from those of both terrestrial mammals and dinosaurs.

 

The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Speaker Series talks are free and held every Thursday from January to April 2015 at 11:00 a.m. in the Museum auditorium. Please visit the website for more information about upcoming speakers.

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