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Dr Alan Channing

Hot spring environments and ecosystems through time
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A few "cuttings" relating to my research work over the years
 



Press Release for Equisetum thermale
May 2011 - PDF here
Eurekalert link here -
Newly discovered plant fossil reveals more than age





Creation Research - an alternative view of the significance of E. thermale!




The coot - not good enough for a real Science paper - but newsworthy!
 

Random Samples

 SCIENCE Volume 308, Number 5721, Issue of 22 April 2005
©2005 by The American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Perfectly preserved in silica, feathers and all, this 3D fossil depicts an American coot that met its death in one of Yellowstone National Park's hot springs between 5000 and 10,000 years ago. The bird, discovered by taphonomist Alan Channing of the University of Cardiff, Wales, and colleagues, is the first avian fossil to be found in a hot spring and one of the few vertebrates.







PHOTO CREDIT: ALAN CHANNING/CARDIFF UNIVERSITY



Such fossils are rare, says Channing, because "soft tissues get destroyed very quickly" by microbes and chemicals in the springs. But in the case of the coot, corpse-colonizing microbes appear to have sped up a process of encrustation from the surrounding silica, leaving a perfect cast of the bird, the researchers report online on 13 April in Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. Because soft tissue is generally not found in fossils, even "a one-off specimen could really answer some questions" about the lifestyles of ancient birds, says Channing.

The coot in dutch - GeoNews

Cryogenic processes in dutch - GeoNews