PALAEONTOLOGY DIVISION

Events are jointly presented by the Alberta Palaeontological Society, Mount Royal University and the CSPG Palaeontology Division. For details, to join our mailing list, or to present a talk at a future Palentology Division event please contact Division Chair, Jon Noad at (403) 513-7541 or programs1@albertapaleo.org. Visit the APS website for confirmation of event times and upcoming speakers: http://www.albertapaleo.org/.

Division Profile

The Palaeontology Division runs in association with the Alberta Palaeontological Society (APS) and the Mount Royal College Earth Science Department. Its mandate is to provide a forum for CSPG members and the general public who are interested in palaeontological issues and applications. Topics are wide-ranging and range from technical dissertations on application to the oil industry to general interest such as dinosaur art and palaeontological expeditions. This is to accomodate the diverse group of 30-80 people that typically attend each talk. Unlike most of the other technical divisions the talks are held in the evenings (7:30 PM), typically the third Friday of every month. Facilities and multimedia access are provided by Mount Royal College Earth Science Department. Talks typically average about 45 minutes followed by a short question/discussion period. They are held in Mount Royal College (Lincoln Park Campus) Science Wing room B108 and B101. Speakers for the luncheons are sought from industry, museums, universities and even the art world. Talks run from September through May with a break through the summer. Once a year a two day Palaeontological Symposium is held at Mount Royal College. Events include a full day of lectures, a poster session and educational workshops. Most events are free so as to be accessible to the general public. While these talks are held in association with the APS, that societies' summer field trips require an APS membership.

Upcoming Events

A wild chase for a giant marine crocodile from the Cretaceous of northern Africa

Tetsuto Miyashita, Ph. D. candidate, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta

Mount Royal University, Room B108
May 12, 7:30 pm

ABSTRACT 
In 2014, the Italy-Tunisia Tataouine Project discovered a skull and articulated skeleton of a large teleosaurid crocodile from the Lower Cretaceous rocks south of Tataouine, Tunisia. The new teleosaurid, Machimosaurus rex, validates skepticism toward some aspects of the end-Jurassic extinction event: at least these marine crocodiles did not go extinct across that boundary. Phylogenetic analysis supports its placement closer to M. hugii and M. mosae than M. buffetauti. With the skull length up to 160 cm and an estimated body length of 10 m (or somewhat less), M. rex is the largest known thalattosuchian, and the largest known crocodylomorph in its time. This giant thallatosuchian was probably an ambush predator in the lagoonal environments that characterized the Tethyan margin of Africa during the earliest Cretaceous. Whether the Jurassic-Cretaceous mass extinction was real or artefact continues to be debated. The discovery of M. rex supports that the end-Jurassic crisis affected primarily Laurasian biota and its purported magnitude is most likely biased by the incomplete Gondwanan fossil record. The faunal turnovers during the J-K transition are likely interpreted as local extinction events, triggered by regional ecological factors, and survival of widely-distributed and eurytypic forms by means of habitat tracking.

BIOGRAPHY
Tetsuto Miyashita is a PhD candidate at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta under the supervision of Richard Palmer and Philip Currie. Tetsuto has given talks for APS in the past on early vertebrate evolution, Devonian vertebrate localities of Atlantic Canada, tyrannosaurid systematics, and Jurassic sauropods from China, and his research interests include all of the above, plus recently cultivated topics such as dinosaur remains trapped in Cretaceous ambers and developmental genetics of living fish. Tetsuto is a Vanier and Killam scholar, an alumnus of Embryology at the Marine Biological Laboratory, and recently a visiting researcher at California Institute of Technology (2015-2016) and Museum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris (2014-2015). 

DIVISION INFORMATION
This event is presented jointly by the Alberta Palaeontological Society, the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Mount Royal University, and the Palaeontology Division of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists. For details or to present a talk in the future, please contact CSPG Palaeontology Division Chair Jon Noad at jonnoad@hotmail.com or APS Coordinator Harold Whittaker at 403-286-0349 or contact programs1@albertapaleo.org. Visit the APS website for confirmation of event times and upcoming speakers: http://www.albertapaleo.org/