About My Research

Antilocaprids: Antilocaprids are the extinct group that includes the American Pronghorn today. In the past this family of animals had very strangely shaped horns. Horns and headgear in animals can tell us how they interact with everything around them. To understand how long dead animals behaved we first need to know how they’re related to  current species and how these shapes have changed over time. This is what Edward Davis and I are working on now.

i-3fe418c16a673fce3bc5271f2f31685d-antilocaprid-phylogeny
Janis & Manning 1998

Lagomorphs: This group includes bunnies and pikas. Working with Sam Hopkins and Win McLaughlin at the University of Oregon (https://blogs.uoregon.edu/vertpaleo/), we’re looking at the first ever recorded animals from this group in Kyrgyzstan. The Museum of Natural and Cultural History at UO is the only one housing fossils from this country. These animals are really important for rebuilding past climates. In Kyrgyzstan, this can tell us when the mountains built up around the Tibetan Plateau enough to change the ecosystem.

Ochotona princeps

Dinosaurs: Dinosaurs are some of the biggest animals Earth has seen. To be big animals, each group needed a way to support their weight. These structures can tell us how they moved. Large bipedal carnivorous dinosaurs in particular added bone to their spine. This project was with Chris Organ, Jacob Gardner, and Jack Wilson at Montana State (http://www.macroevolab.net/?page_id=58) and Jack Horner and Cary Woodruff at the Museum of the Rockies.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0158962

Bistahieversor
Scott Hartman’s skeletal reconstruction
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