Reconstructing Crumbly Elephants – #365papers – 2017 – 128

#365papers for May 8, 2017

Rabinovich and Lister 2016 The earliest elephants out of Africa: Taxonomy and taphonomy of proboscidean remains from Bethelehem: Quaternary International.

What’s it about?

Ancient relatives of elephants have been studied from a quarry near Bethlehem since the 1930’s. The preservation is poor, however. This paper reports on new specimens described using new methods (including CT scans) to better understand the identity and relationships of the fossils found.

Why does it matter?

Not all fossils come out of the rock pristine. Sometimes, the fossils merely crumble and can’t be used. New methods, like the ones described in this paper help paleontologists recover fossils and interpret relationships among fossil organisms.

Why did I read this?

I’m always interested in newer preservation methods. Plus, elephants!

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