October 9, 2019 at 3:41 pm

Hembree Presents ‘Neoichnological Evidence of Predatory Behavior in Soil Arthropods’ at Germany Conference

an impression of Permian tetrapod Seymouria skeleton

Permian tetrapod Seymouria from the colletions of the Museum of Nature in Gotha

Dr. Dan Hembree, Professor of Geological Sciences, traveled to Halle, Germany in September to attend the Third International Congress on Continental Ichnology.

The ICCI brings scientist together from around the world that study the preserved traces of ancient animals that lived on land, in rivers, and in lakes tens of thousands to hundreds of millions of years ago. These trace fossils include burrows, tracks, and trails produced by animals and plant as a result of their life activities.

Hembree’s talk, “Neoichnological evidence of predatory behavior in soil arthropods and its application to continental trace fossils,” concerned the behaviors of and burrows produced by various carnivorous soil arthropods including spiders, scorpions, and centipedes. Hembree uses these modern observations to better understand the appearance of similar animals in the fossil record and how their behaviors have changed through time.

an impression of tracks and burrows in a slab of Permian sandstone

Slab of Permian sandstone with tracks and burrows

The 2019 ICCI conference included paleontologists and sedimentary geologists from seventeen countries. The conference included four days of workshops, presentations, and collaborative discussions of research followed by a three-day field excursion to examine world famous trace fossil localities around central Germany, ranging from 300 to 140 million years old (Permian through Cretaceous).

During the conference, Hembree collaborated with other paleontologists from Europe, South America, and Africa. He will serve on the organizing committee for the Fourth ICCI to be held in Colorado in 2021.

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