The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 16, 2014

Paleontologist to talk about fossils at NEO forum

MIAMI, Okla. — A museum curator who has traveled around the world on paleontological digs is scheduled to visit Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.

Jack Conrad, curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, will present “Finding Fossils, Phylogenies and Friends: A Small-Town Kid’s Journey into Science” at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, in the student union ballroom. The program is free and open to the public.

Conrad, a member of the Choctaw tribe, has been on major paleontological digs in the Sahara, the Arctic and the Andes. He has been involved in the discovery of several new dinosaur species, according to a release from the college.

“(The American Indian Center for Excellence) is pleased to host a member of the Choctaw tribe who was raised in a small Midwestern community and went on to achieve national recognition for his contributions to the scientific community,” said Rachel Lloyd, Title III project director. “Dr. Conrad will motivate students by enthusiastically relaying stories of his great adventures discovering fossils in uninhabited regions of the world.”

Conrad previously studied with reptile anatomist and paleontologist Olivier Rieppel at the University of Chicago. He has used his paleontological experience to co-curate “Lizards & Snakes Alive,” a traveling exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History that features more than 60 live and fossil reptiles.

He has served on a team that searched in the Sahara desert for Cretaceous Period dinosaurs, pterosaurs, crocodiles and turtles. During this expedition, the team unearthed bones from two dinosaur species that were previously undiscovered.

He currently studies thousands of lizard specimens recovered from the Gobi Desert that are housed at the American Museum of Natural History. The fossil cache includes some of the earliest known complete lizard skeletons representing both new and previously identified species.

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