Fossil Record Archive

What Is the Cambrian Explosion?

The Cambrian Explosion* is biology’s version of the Big Bang. Just as cosmology’s Big Bang undid the dogma of an eternal universe, biology’s Big Bang uprooted Darwin’s Tree of Life. First, if all of geological history were compressed into a twenty-four-hour clock, most of the distinct animal forms the world has ever known would appear […]

Are Ape-Men Fictions, Frauds, and Fantasies?

As has been well said, there is no business like bone business. Pithecanthropus erectus, Piltdown man, and Peking man are prime exemplars. First and perhaps best known among the ape-men icons is Pithecanthropus erectus. What is not as well known is that this fictional transitional form* between apes and humans is based on nothing more […]

Is Pro-Avis a Missing Link Between Lizards and Birds?

A few years after Harvard’s Stephen Jay Gould ruled out Archaeopteryx a s a missing link, Yale’s John Ostrom proposed Pro-avis. Is Pro-avis a function of science or just science fiction? First, unlike Archaeopteryx, no fossil evidence exists for Pro-avis. Eminent paleontologist Dr. John Ostrom, credited for revolutionizing modern understanding of dinosaurs, simply pictured a […]