Saturday, 1 January 2011
Right then - 2011........
As I've been alluding to for some time, lumping and splitting is now becoming something of a millstone around the neck of dinosaur palaeontologists' - so much so now that there is the first rumblings of a a severe split within the community although it should never come to that. That would be ridiculous and completely nonsensical. However. this debate will rumble on throughout 2011 and I hope that it will be a debate and not a shouting match since that will serve nobody.
But, just because I can, let me just say that there is yet another centrosaurine taxon to be announced which is another very cool animal and it will be a very satisfying day for a friend of mine when it is published. Will 2011 be yet another year for the ceratopsians? Maybe but then it depends whether you are a lumper or a splitter - and yes I am joking!
The picture above shows a ray tooth collected from Bracklesham Bay on New Year's Eve. Now I know that a few of our better known fossil hunting websites rate this bay very highly for shark and ray teeth. What they don't tell you about is the amount of collectors there! I called in for a brief visit at low tide since I thought it would nice to find a shark tooth at the end of the year - in with the old, if you like. I liked the dichotomy.
When I arrived I surveyed the scene and saw at least twenty collectors, some of them armed with sieves and loads of other paraphernalia. I still had a look but apart from mollusc's, of which there are plenty, all I found was this little ray tooth. The beaches had been heavily scoured and nothing remained. So I'm not saying don't go to Bracklesham but be prepared to struggle and work hard for your finds - it just isn't as easy as it once probably was.
Enough for now but I thank those of you who visit these pages from time to time and a big thank you to my nine followers (it really makes a difference knowing you're there). Special mentions in dispatches for Dave Orr over at Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs. Dave has been very generous in featuring this blog in a few of his posts and my traffic has increased because of it. Thanks Dave! And thanks to the rest of my colleagues in the paleo-blogosphere - its been fun!
Happy new year everybody and I hope you all visit in 2011.