Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oh the places you'll go

 In Ethiopia, Ellen Currano and Aaron Pan sample the shale for fossil plants.

Bruce passed along this article from the New York Times - A Fossil Hunt in Ethiopia’s Mush Valley.

Why is it important to know about the Ethiopian Plateau 22 million years ago? The Mush Valley preserves plants and animals from a time soon after a land connection was established between Afro-Arabia and Eurasia — a land connection that marked the end of Africa’s island status and that was used by animals to migrate between the two previously separated land masses. By looking at the fossil record from that period of time — before the Red Sea was formed — we can gain a clearer view of which species survived this great migration and which did not.

Aaron Pan was a CCS biology graduate about 10 years ago and is now curator of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

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