Fossil Friday Starts Now!

Earlier this week, I told you about my summer vacation adventures to North Carolina where the houses are built high above the seashore for some mysterious reason (that has nothing to do with sea levels or storm surge). But lest you think I spent the entire time at the beach, wallowing away the hours reading Danielle Steele novels and building sandcastles, you should know that as a scientist it wasn’t in my capacity to be still for even a minute. No, I had to explore the muddy estuaries, interrogate fishermen to find out what was the latest catch (stingrays, crabs, and sharks, if you must know), and, of course, travel down to Myrtle Beach to play mini-golf.

Why mini-golf?

Well, in all honesty, I’m not really much of a biker babe, and if you are not going to roll your hog around town in Myrtle Beach on a rainy afternoon, the only other option really is mini-golf. And let me tell you, they have oodles of it: shipwreck-themed mini-golf; tiki-themed mini-golf; pirates and sea creatures mini-golf. But this all paled in comparison to the apex of mini-golfs: Jurassic golf. That’s right, golfing in a small theme-park dedicated to Jurassic Park.

It seems that of all the charismatic mega-, mini- and everything-in-between- fauna, dinosaurs always win the day. Everyone loves dinosaurs, even biker babes on Myrtle Beach. That says a lot.

As it happens, though, I have an in with the dinosaurs that goes beyond recreational sports. You see, NCSE is currently working with the University of California Museum of Paleontology to develop an educational resource on global change, so I get to hang around dinosaurs all the time. And let me tell you, the UCMP has oodles of them. Warehouses of them. But because it is a research institution (and not a conventional museum), they are not for public consumption. But that doesn’t mean I can’t share them with you. And that is what I’ll be doing on the NCSE blog from now on – every Friday is now Fossil Friday. They won’t always be dinosaurs, but they will always be fossils, and they will always be cool.

This being the debut week, I’m bringing you something special from an undisclosed southern California location. Can you guess what this animal was? Where it was from? What it ate?

Bragging rights to the first person who guesses it. Answer to be revealed on Monday.