50 Best Blogs for Paleontology Students

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August 25th, 2010

By Alisa Gilbert

Paleontologists may chiefly be concerned with the ancient and the old, but that doesn’t mean they can’t take advantage of modern technology when it comes to helping out their studies. Students working towards their bachelors degrees or beyond can find all kinds of helpful information, news, insights into the field of paleontology, and maybe even a few laughs in these great blogs.

News and Views

Visit these blogs to read the latest paleontology news and commentary on big issues in the field.

  1. Brian Switek: Freelance science writer Brian Switek shares his thoughts on evolution, science, the fossil record and more through this blog. Recommended posts: “Fossil Bonanza in Australian Cave Documents the Growth of a Prehistoric Marsupial” and “Looking Back at Dawinius.”
  2. The Loom: Visit this blog for interesting tidbits about biology, both of the modern world and of ancient creatures. Recommended posts: “The Origin of Big” and “Dawn of the Picasso Fish.”
  3. Everything Dinosaur: Need to keep up with what’s going on in the world of paleontological studies? You’ll find loads of links through this blog. Recommended posts: “New Long-Necked Stegosaurs Discovered” and “Mass Extinction Event at end of Cretaceous was Caused by Extraterrestrial Impact.”
  4. The Dragon’s Tales: This blog is an excellent place to read discussions about the latest news in ancient anthropology and paleontology. Recommended posts: “Once Upon the Permian: Beaked Bites of a Lost Lineage” and “Yikes! Venomous Raptors!
  5. Dinosaur Home: You’ll find everything you need to keep up with the world of dinosaur studies on this bog with news, articles, forums and more. Recommended posts: “Anyklosaurs The Forgotten Successes” and “Eocene Bounty.”
  6. The Worlds of David Darling: You’ll be able to stay on top of the latest paleo news with the help of this blog. Recommended posts: “Woolly mammoth extinction ‘not linked to humans’ years ago” and “Morph-osaurs: How shape-shifting dinosaurs deceived us.”
  7. Science News Blog. Follow the latest news in science through this great blog. Recommended posts: “When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs” and “Scientists Discover 120 Million Year-Old Ant Species.”
  8. Science Daily Paleontology: Find all the information you need about paleontology news here. Recommended posts: “Gondwana Supercontinent Underwent Massive Shift During Cambrian Explosion” and “Remarkable Fossil Cave Shows How Ancient Marsupials Grew.”

Dinosaurs

When most people hear paleontology, they think “dinosaurs.” These blogs discuss those famous and beloved ancient lizards.

  1. Dinosaur Tracking: Learn more about the role of paleontology in pop culture, as well as some more expert discussions, on this excellent Smithsonian blog. Recommended posts: “Asteroid Strike Confirmed as Dinosaur Killer” and “Who Pays for Dino Research?
  2. Chinleana: Focusing on late Triassic paleontology, this blog is full of great academic discussions on dinosaurs and other ancient reptilian species. Recommended posts: “Asilisaurus kongwe, the Oldest Avian-line Archosaur and the Early Diversification of Ornithodira” and “A New Late Triassic Theropod.”
  3. Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week: Love to look at and study the remains of ancient sauropods? This blog is perfect for you, with regularly posted photos of all kinds of skeletal remains. Recommended posts: “Lies, damned lies, and Clash of the Dinosaurs” and “Sauropods held their necks erect, just like rabbits.”
  4. Why I Hate Theropods: This blogger and paleontology student can’t stand theropod dinosaurs and instead posts great articles about pretty much every other kind of dinosaur. Recommended posts: “Cedarpelta as an ankylosaurid” and “Early Cretaceous Asian titanosaurs.”
  5. About.com Dinosaurs: Learn all kinds of fun facts and information about dinosaurs through this blog by Bob Strauss. Recommended posts: “The 10 Biggest Dinosaurs” and “Walking with Dinosaurs – Dinosaur Footprints and Trackmarks.”
  6. DinoGoss: This blogger is a self-described “dino groupie” who isn’t a paleontologist but who really, really loves dinosaurs. Recommended posts: “Science Reporting Today: Sauropod Necks” and “Raptorex. For serious, that’s a real dinosaur now.
  7. Love in the Time of the Chasmosaurs: Learn more about dinosaurs and the environment they called home from this blog on the Mesozoic era. Recommended posts: “Vintage Dinosaur Art: More Rudolf Freund” and “Evidence for Dinosaurian Warm-Bloodedness.”
  8. Stupid Dinosaur Lies: Sick of hearing ridiculous news stories and untrue speculation about dinosaurs? Check out this blog for the facts. Recommended posts: “The Truth About Behemoth” and “The Stegosaurus Carving That Isn’t.”
  9. The Faster Times: This blog contains a wide range of commentary and news on everything from alien dinosaurs to recent discoveries about flying dinosaurs. Recommended posts: “Five Prehistoric Beasts That Probably Ate People” and “Avatar and the Riddle of the Space Dinosaurs.”
  10. Project Dryptosaurus: This blog is an excellent place to learn about the world’s second most complete dinosaur skeleton. Recommended posts: “Dryptosaurus in a video game????” and “Jurassic Park Legacy.”

Ancient Animals

From tiny trilobites to giant ancient mammals, these blogs focus on ancient creatures besides dinosaurs.

  1. Central Coast Paleontologist: This aspiring paleontologist shares a love of ancient mammalia on this blog. Recommended posts: “Critters Abroad: Aletopelta” and “The Grand Vision.”
  2. The Coastal Paleontologist: This master’s student offers up photos and discussions of his work on marine vertebrate paleontology here. Recommended posts: “Benthic feeding in basal mysticetes, part 2: Mammalodon, the freak” and “Mystery Pleistocene bones.”
  3. Tetrapod Zoology: Darren Nash, science writer and paleozoologist, posts intriguing and informative articles on this blog about everything from dinosaurs to modern primates. Recommended posts: “What was the Montauk monster?” and “Darwinopterus, the remarkable transitional pterosaur.”
  4. Raptor’s Nest: Here you’ll find posts on the life and research on ancient cats of a postdoctoral research associate in paleontology. Recommended posts: “New paper: jaw biomechanics and the evolution of biting performance in theropod dinosaurs” and “Pelvic muscles for aquatic locomotion in crocs.”
  5. Ediacaran: If you have an interest in smaller ancient organisms, check out this blog for some excellent posts on the subject. Recommended posts: “An introduction to the Ediacaran fauna” and “Squid Wannabes in the Cambrian.”
  6. Prehistoric Animals: This blog offers up posts on dinosaurs and prehistoric animals to enlighten and entertain. Recommended posts: “Colossochelys atlas or Testudo atlas” and “Velociraptor.”

Students and Amateurs

These bloggers may not be experts, but they have lots of information and enthusiasm to share.

  1. The Ethical Paleontologist: Check out this British paleontology student’s blog for updates about everything paleontology related– from the silliness of dinosaurs in space to serious points of study. Recommended posts: “Back to the Jurassic” and “100 Geological Things You’ve Done in North America (and a Few Other Places Too).”
  2. The Theatrical Tanystropheus: Here, Mark Mancini, an undergraduate paleontology student, shares his enthusiasm for ancient reptiles and mammals. Recommended posts: “Gary Larson Wasn’t Too Far Off…” and “Why I’m (Mostly) A Cenozoic Guy.”
  3. When Pigs Fly Returns: This blogger might have a degree in rhetoric, but his true passion is for dinosaurs, something this blog makes evident with a variety of posts and drawings on the topic. Recommended posts: “How the Turtle Got Its Shell” and “Lawnmowers of the Early Cretaceous.
  4. The World We Don’t Live In: Written by a paleontology student, this blog offers up the latest and more interesting news in the field and commentary on it. Recommended posts: “The Protodonata – giant near-dragonflies swooping down like great predatory birds” and “Strange prehistoric rodents, part I: the giants.”
  5. Archosaur Musings: Follow the fieldwork, museum visits and studies of this paleontology student through this blog. Recommended posts: “Anchiornis: a new basal avialian from China” and “‘Is it safe?’ The dentists’ nightmare; meet Zhenyuanopterus.”
  6. The Dinosaur Boy: Remember when you were just a child with a love of dinosaurs? This blog is written by one such child, with the help of his dad. Recommended posts: “Dino of the Day: Plesiosaur” and “The Dinosaur Boy reviews Discovery’s Triceratops 4D Model Puzzle.”

Paleontologists

Get expert insights into the world of paleontology from these professors and researchers.

  1. Paleoblog: Check out this blog from Dr. Michael J. Ryan for posts on famous paleontologists and archaeologists, big discoveries, humor, and much more. Recommended posts: “Fossil Snake from India Fed on Hatchling Dinosaurs” and “Reviews: New William Stout Books.”
  2. Paleochick: Paleontologist Rebecca Hunt-Foster shares humor, happenings and information about the field in this blog. Recommended posts: “The First National Fossil Day!!” and “Paper shines new light on the feather details of Microraptor.”
  3. Paleo Errata: Dr. Jeffrey Martz shares his expertise on vertebrate paleontology as well as his interests in other topics as well on this blog. Recommended posts: “Monophyletic Taxa Are Fake Too” and “Advice for the Aspiring Researcher In Vertebrate Paleontology.”
  4. Dracovenator: This paleontologist lives and works in South Africa, posting loads of interesting articles about his own work and the latest news in the field. Recommended posts: “Injuries sustained in pursuit of science” and “Earth Claw is here!
  5. The Prep Lounge: This blogger works as a fossil preparator and posts on a wide range of paleontological topics. Recommended posts: “This day in paleontology history…” and “Hey, That Ain’t Gatorade!

Schools and Museums

Find out what’s going on at these museums and educational facilities through their blogs.

  1. The Vertebrate Paleontology Lab: See what’s going on at the paleontology lab at the Virginia Museum of Natural History on this blog, updated by Dr. Alton Dooley. Recommended posts: “New whale donation” and “Winchester, Virginia.”
  2. University of California Museum of Paleontology: Learn more about the field work, exhibits and collections of this west-coast museum from this blog. Recommended posts: “Fossils found fortuitously” and “New dino described by UCMP alums.”
  3. The Dinosaur Museum News: Find out what’s going on with the Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester, as well as read other dino-related news through this blog. Recommended posts: “Dinosaur Death Pits” and “Dinosaur Footprints Protected.”
  4. RMDRC Paleo Lab: Here you can get updates about the research being done at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center. Recommended posts: “Daspletosaurus vs. T-rex” and “Kansas Field Season Commences.”
  5. Dinosaur Field School: Want to get an idea what field school will be like? Check out this blog for posts that illustrate the work of one dinosaur excavation. Recommended posts: “A Plesiosaur & More…” and “Protecting Fossils: Paleontological Resources Preservation Act.”

Humor and Entertainment

Here you’ll find some laughs and entertainment that can be a welcome break from the serious side of paleontology.

  1. eTrilobite: If you’re in need of a little paleontology humor, check out this web comic blog featuring, what else, trilobites. Recommended posts: “Walcott’s Quarry #109: One-Upmanship” and “How Evolution Ruined Darwin Day!
  2. The Tyrannosaur Chronicles: This fun blog takes a humorous look at dinosaurs, but also posts some interesting things about serious science as well. Recommended posts: “RAPTOR ATTACK!!!” and “there is such a thing as too much flag!
  3. ART Evolved: Take a look at art and movies involving dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures in this entertaining blog. Recommended posts: “The Ceratopsians Gallery” and “Reconstructing Ichthyosaurs.”

Paleontology and More

As a paleontologist, you’ll need to know about more than just your own field. These blogs touch on related topics like evolution, geology and paleoanthropology.

  1. John Hawk’s Weblog: If you’re interested in the study of ancient man, check out this blog about paleoanthropology, genetics and evolution. Recommended posts: “The “amazing” Boskops” and “Human evolution has accelerated.”
  2. Catalogue of Organisms: If you’d like to learn about the study of categorizing organisms, then take a look at this blog. You’ll find a wide range of posts on every kind of creature from whales to butterflies and even those which are extinct as well. Recommended posts: “A Pathetic Plea for Recognition and a Playpus-billed Duck” and “A Really Abominable Mystery.”
  3. Highly Allochthonous: This blog might focus on Earth science, but those who study paleontology will find loads of interesting posts nonetheless. Recommended posts: “Welcome to the Tertiary” and “The Gulf of Mexico spill is bad enough without turning it into a disaster movie.”
  4. Sinanthropus: Blogger and anthropology professor Dennis A. Etler posts about ancient humanoid species on this blog. Recommended posts: “Other Early Chinese Fish-like Vertebrates and Pre-Vertebrates” and “Problems with “Out of Savannahstan.”
  5. The Whirlpool of Life: Here, you’ll find posts on topics like paleontology, evolution, ecology, philosophy and much more. Recommended posts: “Can Dinosaurs Save the World?” and “Dead as a Dinosaur.”
  6. Ecological Paleoecology: Study ancient ecosystems, weather and environment through this blog. Recommended posts: “A candid approach to biodiversity conservation” and “Easter Island: was it really forested?
  7. The Panda’s Thumb: Learn more about evolution from a scientific point of view on this blog. Recommended posts: “Denton vs Squid; the eye as suboptimal design.” and “Missing link: “cdesign proponentsists”.”

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