Our Upcoming Speaker

Note: During the COVID-19 Pandemic our meetings are being held using the Zoom web app. Invitations will be sent to members and visitors on request by email

MONDAY, June 1, 2020 AT 7:00 PM Central Time USA

MONDAY, APRIL 6, 2020 AT 7:00 PM

(Look For The Walkway Up The Hill To The Lodge Across

The Parking Lot From The Recently Renovated Auditorium Building)

About the Speaker:  Carl Mehling has been at the American Museum of Natural History since 1990 and is currently a Senior Museum Specialist taking care of the world’s largest collection of dinosaur fossils plus fossils of early synapsids and tetrapods, pterosaurs, crocodiles, turtles and marine reptiles. He is interested in all aspects of paleontology, especially the fringe areas that normally get little attention, including bizarre modes of fossil preservation, anomalous discoveries, and oddities within the history of paleontology. Carl collects fossils of all kinds, globally, and has written or edited a number of pieces on fossils, both scholarly and popular. In his spare time (aside from fossils) his interests include linguistics, lettering, wordplay, and food in all of its various forms.



Abstract: An unmarked crate stored for many years in the American Museum of Natural History's Division of Paleontology was opened in 2005 and was shown to contain beautiful slabs of fossil tetrapod footprints that were clearly of a very geologically vintage nature. The lack of data in the crate left them orphaned and mysterious and nothing was gleaned about their age, provenance, or history for over a dozen years. But then a new book on an extraordinary assemblage of Carboniferous trackways in Alabama contained a few sentences that offered to restore the detached data of the specimens and soon cracked the story wide open. Not only had the tracks been collected by George Gaylord Simpson, one of the foremost vertebrate paleontologists of the 20th Century, many were exquisitely preserved and quite important scientifically. The story of their rediscovery and ongoing interpretation is a thrill ride with a lot of rewarding surprises.

CARL MEHLING, Senior Museum Specialist

Fossil Amphibians, Reptiles, and Birds, American Museum of Natural History

"The Long Road from the Carboniferous: After 87 Years, Mysterious Fossil Tracks are Rediscovered"

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