New Dinosaur Found

Recently in New Mexico at the Ghost Ranch fossil site, a new dinosaur was found.  It lived around 205 million years ago.  This was an important find because it bridges the gap between very early predators and later ones such as the t-rexes.  The Daemonosaurus chauliodus (scientific name) was thought to be about the size of a large dog and have bucktoothed-like front teeth that were very sharp.  According to scientists the skull and mouth structure of this dinosaur are unexpected for dinosaurs found at that point in time.  Another aspect that scientists found is that these earlier species of dinosaurs may have had a wider distribution than they thought because they are now found in North America and were only before found in South America.  Definitely a very interesting new find!

Photo: Artist rendering of new dinosaur species Daemonosaurus chauliodus

drawing of new dinosaur..interested?  more information can be found at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/04/110413-new-species-dinosaur-bucktoothed-evil-spirit-fossils-animals-science/


National Tornado Day

I stumbled across an article that talks about the unofficial National Tornado Day. That day being June 8th, which I thought was really cool because it’s my birthday and I love tornadoes. This date was chosen because of many historic and deadly tornadoes that have touched down on this date. An example is the F5 tornado with winds up to 315mph that destroyed parts of Michigan in 1953. This was the last tornado that had a fatality count of over 100 people in the U.S.


Meteor Craters

In Pennsylvania, we geologists do not have the luxury of having a meteor crater nearby to study. However, through Google Earth and Maps, we can zoom in and measure several aspects of the crater such as diameter, circumference, and depth. Posted below is a list of the fifty largest meteor craters on earth to get you started. Enjoy!


Japan is continuously being bombarded by aftershocks from the March 11 earthquake.  There have been 408 aftershocks since the March 11 quake, registering 5.0 or higher on the Richter scale.  Experts don’t know how long the aftershocks will last, but some scientists have speculated it could be up to a year.   Having six earthquakes in March registering 7.0 or higher, is thwarting the efforts of the reconstruction teams.  The rehabilitation process is being slowed down by all of the aftershocks, and if they continue for more than a year the reconstruction may not happen at all.

Eagle Ford Shale

As a geology major and resident of central Pennsylvania, the Marcellus shale is a topic of daily discussion. In Texas, however, a new natural gas resource is emerging in the form of the Eagle Ford shale. The Eagle Ford shale has only recently become popularly developed. In 2009, only 94 permits for drilling were issued. That number skyrocketed to 1229 permits in 2010. Methods for extracting the oil and natural gas are similar to those used in the Marcellus shale. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing methods have enabled energy companies to explore this area’s shale gas resources like never before.


Johnstown, PA is finally starting to warm up, so I think, and I believe it is prime time for Geology. Warm weather, rock hammers, and bruntens, that will sum up my summer this year. Geologic Field Methods may get old since I will be waking up every Saturday at 5:45am to come to UPJ for an 8 hour class but, it will be one of my best learning experiences thus far. The more I think about the summer the more I think about the up coming horrible finals and busiest next two weeks of the year. I am not excited for taking 2 hour exams on information that I can barely remember after studying for hours on info that isn’t on the exam. Although, I feel that I will not do too horrible and knowing that for a couple weeks I get to relax before I start field methods. I am never looking forward to class, but this one I am anxious, I think I will learn a lot of hands on information and have more field knowledge after this summer. This summer would have been a great time to have an internship, but sometimes those plans do not work out. I am just excited to finally be done with this semester and relax for the summer.

P.S. I would like to thank Heatkins4coal for the idea on what to blog about, once again you are a life saver.

As I was looking through geology current events to do a blog on, I came across an article about meteorites being sold in different ways online.  Many online sites such as Ebay and star-bits.com have been selling these items.  These sites started selling them because they have become increasingly popular with people collecting and studying them.  However, most geologists believe that this is creating a black market just like any illegal drugs.  Since they are becoming so popular the areas that they can be found are becoming scarce with the meteorites for people who are actually trying to find them to do research.  Since they are so popular right now the prices of them are getting higher causing people who want them to do research to not be able to afford to buy the fragments.  But, there are some collectors who think what they are doing is good for the scientists because they feel the scientists are too busy to go find their own samples and would need someone to do it for them anyways.  The way I see it is if they don’t try to fine people or become more strick they won’t be able to do much about people taking these items.  If you would like to read more about this here’s the link…http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/05/science/05meteorite.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2