Dinosaurs have captured human imagination across the globe through popular culture. The thrill of finding remnants of these almost mythical creatures that lived thousands of years ago, and putting together the puzzle of their nature has been the driving force of the field of paleontology for years.
Some lucky individuals are in the driver’s seat of researching the pre-historic, and one of them is Dr. Lisa Buckley. Lisa is a vertebrate paleontologist, who specializes in the study of the tracks and traces of Mesozoic animals, specifically Cretaceous-age (145 million years ago to 66 million years ago) dinosaurs and birds. Observing present-day birds making tracks and traces in their natural habitats is the perfect living laboratory in which to test ideas about the behaviors and diversity represented by fossil tracks. In this podcast, she explains why studying dinosaur tracks could very well be cooler than finding dinosaur bones.
This idea started out when Lisa wondered if she could replicate the beautiful plumage of modern day birds with makeup. She uses everyday cosmetics to recreate the colors and patterns seen in birds on her face, and starts conversations about bird life history, and bird-related conservation issues. This has started off a trend that gathered a lot of attention on Lisa’s Twitter and Instagram feeds.
Theropod courtship: large scale physical evidence of display arenas and avian-like scrape ceremony behaviour by Cretaceous dinosaurs. Scientific Reports volume 6, Article number: 18952 (2016). [https://www.nature.com/articles/srep18952]