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New Award Honors Avocational Paleontologist in Alabama

Alabama employs about a dozen professional paleontologists, but there are many more people who search and study fossils as a hobby. These avocational or amateur paleontologists uncover a vast amount of knowledge about Alabama’s prehistory each year.

Virtual National Fossil Day

This year, the Alabama Museum of Natural History is celebrating National Fossil Day online! On October 14, 2020, we will be hosting free livestream broadcasts about Paleontology, Paleozoic Oceans, and a special presentation about the Alabama Avocational Paleontologist Award.

Dr. Kocot Awarded NSF Grant to Digitize ALMNH Invertebrate Zoology Collection

Dr. Kocot received a grant as part of a large collaborative project entitled “Digitization TCN: Collaborative Research: documenting marine biodiversity through Digitization of Invertebrate collections (DigIn).” This project is led by Dr. Regina Wetzer (Los Angeles County Museum); and the UA share is $33,235; project total: $1,776,008).

Systematics and convergent evolution of multiple reef-associated Jurassic and Cretaceous crabs (Decapoda, Brachyura)

We studied multiple true crabs (Brachyura) from primarily sponge and coral reefs that lived during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods (201 to 66 million years ago). Both environments were important habitats for the evolution and biodiversity of crabs during the Late Jurassic epoch (164 to 145 million years ago).

New Holotype of Fossil Shark for Paleontology Collection

On June 16, paleontologists published a scientific article describing a new fossil angel shark genus and species named Cretasquatina americana. Among those paleontologists is former University of Alabama curator of paleontology Dana Ehret. The team used two specimens from the paleontology collection of UA Museums’ Department of Museum Research and Collections.