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Paleo-Dave
Chicago
I'm a volunteer docent at the Field Museum of Natural History, but in my day job, I'm a particle physicist at Fermilab.
Interests: I'm interested in paleontology and the history of life on earth, with an especially soft spot for dinosaurs.
Recent Activity
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I was in Chicago this weekend and, as usual, I spent an afternoon facilitating in the Field Museum’s Evolving Planet exhibit. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “facilitating” in this context, it’s the museum’s technical term for what we volunteer docents are doing when we’re hanging around the exhibits and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at The Paleo-Tourist
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Hello again, paleo-tourists, it’s time to catch up on things. I visited Peru again this summer and one of the most wonderful spots there is the Paracas National Reserve. The Paracas Reserve is like no place I’ve seen before; perhaps like no place else on earth. It’s a vast desert... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2014 at The Paleo-Tourist
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A few years ago I posted a note on the Stanford Paleoparadoxia, a 10 million-year-old aquatic mammal found during the construction of SLAC National Laboratory. Time for an update: SLAC is undergoing some renovations and the old building housing the Visitors’ Center has been torn down (along with the cafeteria,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2014 at The Paleo-Tourist
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I was in Chicago this weekend and went in to the Field Museum on Saturday. As usual, I gave a tour of the Evolving Planet exhibit, but I went in a bit early to check out a new exhibit that will open next week. It’s called The Machine Inside and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2014 at The Paleo-Tourist
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The trains no longer come to Cincinnati’s Union Terminal. As with most of America’s passenger rail system, it long ago gave way to the automobile and Cincinnati today sits in the confluence of several interstate highways. The old Union Terminal, however, has found new life as the Cincinnati Museum Center.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2014 at The Paleo-Tourist
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The Jewel of the Twin Creek Valley A couple months ago I went on a family visit to my wife’s hometown of Germantown, Ohio. Germantown is a quiet and picturesque town set amid the farming communities of southern Ohio, the quintessential small town, USA. I half expected to see Andy... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2013 at The Paleo-Tourist
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I hadn’t realized it when I came here, but Maryland is Dinosaur Country. The first dinosaur bones to be recognized as such in America were found in New Jersey in 1858. It was only a year later that dinosaur remains were found in Maryland, in the form of Astrodon johnstoni,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2013 at The Paleo-Tourist
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I’m back in the Washington area for a while, so I spent last Sunday afternoon in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. There’s a display on the ground floor called Whales from Bone to Book. The focus is whales, but it’s largely about how whale bones and fossils are documented... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2013 at The Paleo-Tourist
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I visited the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington yesterday and set out for the Reptile House. I had read about the Reptile House (now known as the Reptile Discovery Center) in The Artist Who Saw Through Time and I wanted to see the artwork that Charles Knight had put into... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2013 at The Paleo-Tourist
It's time to dust off this blog. I haven't written anything in six months, whether it's writer's block, lack of inspiration or just plain laziness I don't know, but as I passed through O'Hare airport in Chicago today and saw the Field Museum's Brachiosaurus staring down at me, I felt... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2013 at The Paleo-Tourist
I just posted a book review on Goodreads: The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin My rating: 5 of 5 stars Since this book is a scientific classic, I assume there is little need to explain what it's about, but just in case you've spent your entire life in a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2013 at The Paleo-Tourist
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We’re well into the new year now and there are few odds and ends I never got around to writing about in 2012. In September I visited Utah to participate in a fossil dig for the Prehistoric Museum, but on the way home, our group visited the Natural History Museum... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2013 at The Paleo-Tourist
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I received a wonderful book for Christmas: Charles R. Knight, The Artist Who Saw Through Time by Richard Milner. I grew up with Charles Knight, even though he died before I was born. His paintings of prehistoric animals, from dinosaurs to Dimetrodons fascinated me as a youngster. They have been... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2013 at The Paleo-Tourist
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I saw that Jim Lehane recently posted an archive photo of the Huntington Mammoth on his blog at The Geology P.A.G.E. The mammoth is at the Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah. The exhibit was still under development when Jim's photo was taken. Here's an update for it, complete with a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2012 at The Paleo-Tourist
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I’ve been to the Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah four times now and it’s time I put something into the blog. There’s always been something else going on when I visited – either a dinosaur dig or the UFOP meeting last year. “Death Elevated“ seemed to me a strange choice... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2012 at The Paleo-Tourist
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Danger is approaching while the massive crowd moves as one. In the background a giant creature from a bygone age looms over the mass of moving people. Is it a scene from The Lost World? No, there was a tornado warning last week at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and everybody... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2012 at The Paleo-Tourist
I thought that title might get your attention. It's even true. My fellow dino digger, Scott Bolohan, has published an article on our Utah dino dig in The Smoking Jacket, a column for Playboy magazine. It's a good article and I recommend it (for readers 18 and over due to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2012 at The Paleo-Tourist
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I’m recently back from my biennial dinosaur dig in Utah and it’s time for a retrospective. I started writing this blog shortly after my last dig in 2010. At that time I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted the blog to be – a science column, a travelogue, a vehicle... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2012 at The Paleo-Tourist
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Life is full of odd coincidences, even extinct life. My last couple of posts were about pterosaurs, but I figured I was done with them for a while. I was going off to Utah with some other volunteers from the Field Museum to participate in our biennial dinosaur dig. Our... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2012 at The Paleo-Tourist
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After seeing the Flying Monsters movie a few weeks ago I got out my copy of David Unwin’s The Pterosaurs from Deep Time and looked through it again. This book is highly recommended by Pterrance, who sometimes assists me in talking to younger visitors at the Field Museum, and Pteresa,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2012 at The Paleo-Tourist
Okay, Paleo-tourists, it’s time to put down the rock hammers and grab a bag of popcorn. Today we’re going to the movies. The feature is Flying Monsters 3D, an IMAX produced by National Geographic. As a longtime member of the National Geographic Society, I’ve come to expect good science and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2012 at The Paleo-Tourist
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I attended a conference in Williamsburg, Virginia this week. The area is well-known for its historical attractions, which include Colonial Williamsburg, the Jamestown Settlement, and the Yorktown battlefield. But, the devoted reader of the Paleo-Tourist may ask, is there anyplace of paleontological interest? As a matter of fact, there is.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2012 at The Paleo-Tourist
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I’ve just returned from vacationing in Peru. It’s a beautiful land with many things to see and do. This includes, of course, a destination for the paleo-tourist. While in the city of Lima, I took a day to visit the Museo de Historia Natural, which is affiliated with the Universidad... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2012 at The Paleo-Tourist
That's a very nice illustration of Baird's Tapir. I saw one recently at the San Diego Zoo in their Elephant Odyssey exhibit. This exhibit compares a variety of living animals to extinct ones. They gave a comparison of Baird's Tapir with an extinct California Tapir. I recommend it if you get out to San Diego; I also posted a summary: http://paleo-tourist.typepad.com/the-paleo-tourist/2012/02/elephant-odyssey-in-san-diego.html.
Toggle Commented May 31, 2012 on Tapir Redux at i (heart) odd-toed ungulates
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I was visiting the University of Oklahoma a few days ago and as I wrapped up a solid day of physics discussions, my host offered to show me the university’s Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. I readily agreed and we arrived just 45 minutes before the museum closed. There’s... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2012 at The Paleo-Tourist