A paleontologist from Lycoming College was recently published in the Dec. 5, 2018, issue of Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology, an international journal for original studies and comprehensive reviews in the field of palaeo-environmental geology. David Broussard, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, submitted original research entitled, “Depositional setting, taphonomy and geochronology of new fossil sites in the Catskill Formation (Upper Devonian) of north-central Pennsylvania, USA, including a new early tetrapod fossil.”
Broussard’s research discusses the paleontology, paleoecology, and sedimentology of recently discovered Late Devonian Catskill Formation fossil sites in north-central Pennsylvania, including a new record of an early tetrapod femur. In collaboration with professors from Bucknell University, the University of Alaska, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel Universioty, Brooklyn College, and Staten Island College, Broussard discusses the relationship between these new sites in terms of time, stratigraphy, and paleo-environmental variation.
The recently discovered tetrapod femur, which Broussard himself discovered near Trout Run, Pa., in Lycoming County, is now preserved as part of the Vertebrate Paleontology collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia, where many important transitional and early tetrapod fossils from North America are kept. Broussard uses a cast of the specimen and many other vertebrate fossils including those of dinosaurs to teach students about vertebrate evolution.
“Our work shows that during the Late Devonian period (~365 million years ago), many types of now extinct fishes and early tetrapods were living in a variety of aquatic habitats that once occurred in what is now north-central Pennsylvania. These fishes, early tetrapods, and habitats varied geographically and varied through time,” explained Broussard.
The research paper can be found at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031018218303274.