paleontological finds in the scientific literature

For this discussion, you will be discussing a primary source, paleontology article. While it is recommended that you should focus on your species you have chosen for your term paper (I chose Dunkleosteus, if you would want to use it for this assignment), that is not required. Your primary source article should be about a fossil find or discussing a fossil find. I recommend that you look for a fossil find that was significant enough (such as a new species or a spectacularly preserved fossil or a controversy of some type) that it is also covered in the ‘general’ media (the general media is considered any secondary source). It can be very helpful to have secondary sources to help you understand the primary source

Please review what qualifies as primary vs. secondary sources(blogs, articles in popular media) as I attached below, if you have any questions about this.

Our class library resource guide (Links to an external site.) shows step-by-step how to search for primary source material. It might make sense to start with the secondary source covering the fossil find and then look up the related primary source material.

Your post should address the following questions in order. Be sure to include citations where necessary. Please number your answers:

  1. What is the title of the Primary Source article?
  2. What is the taxonomic name (Links to an external site.) (family, genus, species) of the paleontological find?
    • This information should be found in the abstract as well as the ‘Systematic paleontology’ section.
  3. What is the Etymology (the origin) of the name (if known)?
    • This is probably only relevant if it is a new species being named. It would be in the ‘Systematic paleontology’ section.
  4. Where was the fossil found and who found it (if known)?
    • This should be in the Material and Methods section.
  5. What is the name of the rock formation where the fossil was found? What type of rock was it and how old?
    • This information could be in the ‘Introduction’ or ‘Occurrence and geological setting’ section
  6. How complete is the fossil find? What sections of the fossil are discussed in the paper?
    • This information is likely the bulk of the paper and should be found in the ‘osteological (bone) description’ section. Just provide a general overview of how complete the find is (a few scattered fossils or almost a complete skeleton) and what type of bones were found (head, leg etc.). Detailed descriptions are not necessary.
  7. What makes this fossil find significant scientifically?
    • This will likely be covered in secondary source material as well as the ‘Introduction’ and ‘Discussion’ sections of the primary source.

It will be really challenging to try and read an interpret a primary source scientific article. This is the way scientists communicate with each other and these articles will be written at a very high level. I don’t expect you to understand everything in the article.

At the end of your post, please list and number your sources in CSE format (Links to an external site.), which is the same format as required for our term paper. Additionally, provide a hyperlinked web address for your articles if at all possible. Your Reference List does not count towards your word count. Your word count should be a minimum of 250 words but no maximum. You may later use portions of this discussion in your term paper.

Grading Rubric:
– Length at last 250.
References: At least one source is a primary source paleontonlogical article. The sources are listed properly at the end of the post in CSE format and numbered.
– Depth of Geologic Insight: Please take your time and write out a thoughtful post that shows you have done some research and taken time to craft a post that is not just your opinion or the thoughts off the top of your head. One grading category is ‘Depth of Geologic Insight’ and what this really means is the time and effort you have put into researching and crafting your post.
– Grammar and Flow of Language.
Citations within the post: Any sentence that requires a citation has a citation. This includes any sentence that has facts and statistics you learned via your research. The citation number used after such facts and statistics is reflects the correct source.