How to spot a palaeontologist

Stereotypes are a double-edged sword. On the one hand they can be useful shortcuts to extrapolate a whole bunch of correct information based on very little. On the other hand they can be deeply flawed shortcuts to extrapolate a whole bunch of incorrect information based on very little. The typical stereotype of a scientist or indded a palaeontologist as presented to the world at large by the media is not exaclty flattering and full of deep inaccuracies and, well, stereotypes. However, there is always a reason for the stereotype and here is one of them…

How do you spot a palaeontologist? Allow me to be your guide:

How to spot a palaeontologist

How to spot a palaeontologist

9 Responses to “How to spot a palaeontologist”


  1. 1 Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. 07/10/2008 at 8:41 pm

    It’s funny ’cause it’s true…

  2. 2 Jerry D. Harris 07/10/2008 at 9:14 pm

    …except the sandals part — any geoscientist worth their salt knows better than to run around in the American West with bare legs that are the ultimate targets for sharp desert scrub and all kind of biting animals.

    But other than that, yeah… I have so many damned paleo-oriented t-shirts that I’ve been teased that I must have them sorted phylogentically in drawers…

  3. 3 David Hone 07/10/2008 at 9:28 pm

    Yup. I just took the photo in the field and it was only going though them that evening I realised just how many stereotypes were embodied in the image. Poor Dino.

  4. 4 Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. 08/10/2008 at 3:08 am

    Jerry,

    Too true about the sandals. Good outcrops = spinose plants and biting/stabbing/grabbing animals.

    You have your T-shirts sorted phylogenetically? I have them stratigraphically… (Okay, by superposition based on latest cleaning).

  5. 5 Jerry D. Harris 08/10/2008 at 4:12 am

    Tom –

    No, I most certainly don’t have them arranged phylogenetically…waaaaaaay too much effort there. (Besides, my clothogram would be missing too many branches…) I just got teased about having them that way. They’re basically arranged creationistically — everything all jumbled together. ;)

  6. 6 David Hone 08/10/2008 at 7:56 pm

    I see it’s real cat and mouse between you two.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  7. 7 Julia 08/10/2008 at 8:54 pm

    When Dave sent this to me in advance of posting, I commented that there was no sign of the beer-cooler. My experience is that the beer-cooler is made of sapient plastic, and follows you around your field site on little legs, waiting for Beer Thirty.

  8. 8 Casey 09/10/2008 at 12:18 am

    hahaha, that reminds of my stint of field work in Utah, I found one hadrosaur vertebra, but multiple lovely dessicated mammal skulls including bobcat (x2), mule deer, sheep, antelope, cow, and even collected a fresh antelope head (showing off my field dressing skillz). I’d traipse back to camp to “did you find anything?”. I’d say no. but i’d have skulls tied on and around my backpack. Nice,


  1. 1 Dinosaur Tracking Trackback on 31/10/2008 at 8:39 pm

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