The UALR Department of Earth Sciences is sponsoring a free lecture series called EARTHtalk!. Talks are open to the public and geared towards a general audience. All are invited.
EARTHtalk! Schedule Spring 2014
(Last update: February 28, 2014)
Our next featured speaker:
Assistant Professor of Paleontology
University of Tennessee
“Dinosaurs for Dinner - Why Reports of the Dinosaur Extinction are Greatly Exaggerated”
Wednesday, March 5, 4:00 pm, Fribourgh Hall Rm 101
It is well known that dinosaurs became extinct some 65 million years ago when the Earth was struck by a rather large asteroid. Unfortunately, it isn’t true. Every bird alive today is as much a dinosaur as Tyrannosaurus, Allosaurus and Stegosaurus. The evolutionary transformation from of a lineage of small carnivorous dinosaurs into birds is richly populated with taxa showing that there is no clear-cut distinction between the two. Often cited features of birds including: three toed foot, wishbone, hollow bones and feathers are all common to many dinosaur groups and are present in birds only because of inheritance.
A medium-sized extinction at the end of the Cretaceous had a profound effect on nearly every ecosystem on Earth setting the stage for the rise of the mammals in the Cenozoic. However, because Aves (modern birds) is nested within Dinosauria, dinosaurs are not extinct. Consequently, in the Age of Mammals, dinosaur species outnumber mammal species by nearly two to one. Having a chicken on your dinner plate means you are having dinosaurs for dinner.
About Colin Sumrall
Colin D. Sumrall was born in Phoenix, Arizona and received a BS in Geology at Arizona State University. He attended graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin where he received an MS and PHD in Geological Sciences specializing in Invertebrate Paleontology. His research is primarily on 500 million year old fossil echinoderms (animals akin to sea stars and sea urchins) addressing questions of evolutionary relationships and biogeography. He was a lecturer at the University of Tennessee since 2002 and became an assistant professor in 2012. His teaching includes Historical Geology, Paleobiology, Age of the Dinosaurs and various graduate courses on paleobiology.
Click here for the talk flyer! Feel free to distribute and post!
Click here for a UALR campus map with highlighted locations of public parking options and Fribourgh Hall.
Please contact Dr. Michael DeAngelis if you have any questions about the EARTHtalk! series.