Last week, I unleashed my inner Ansel Adams and gave you a dramatically lit fossil with distinct ridges. What was it?

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Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

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As you no doubt know by now, I don’t shy away from offering up personal information for the sake of science, or at least blogging about science.

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Josh Rosenau sent this to Glenn Branch who sent it to me. What is “this”? It’s The Cartoon Guide to Vertebrate Evolution by artist Albertonykus (real name Albert Chen), an undergraduate student in geology at the University of Maryland. About this amazing creation, he writes on his Deviant Art Gallery page:

In which I discover the pain of drawing non-avemetarsalian archosauriforms (so many osteoderms!) and ungulates.

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This week’s fossil comes from the Ediacara Hills in southern Australia. The so-called Ediacaran fauna are a strange set of multicellular organisms that date back, way back, to before the Cambrian “explosion” made famous by the Burgess Shale. The Ediacaran critters are about 560 million years old, which places them in the Ediacaran (also called Vendian) period of the Proterozoic Eon of the Pre-Cambrian Era. (Got that?

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