Mark Wilson June 16th, 2014
SOSNOWIEC, POLAND — On this beautiful day I began research at the University of Silesia with Michał Zatoń and Tomasz Borszcz in this impressive building. (It is reportedly the tallest Earth Science building in the world, although the Chinese are on the case.) Our first project, and the one I will devote most of my remaining Polish time to, is an analysis of fish-bitten echinoid (sea urchin) spines from the Middle Jurassic Matmor Formation of southern Israel (see below).
We have dozens of these crunched rhabdocidarid spines, which are critical evidence of early predation on regular echinoids. We hope our work will help illuminate the evolution of predator adaptations in the echinoids, and the actions of the hungry fish. More on this later.
Here we have a simple sorting of the spines in relation to their likely position on the echinoid test (body skeleton). Pretty simple, but it was an easy way for us to discuss spine morphology and function.
The view from Michał’s office of Sosnowiec.
This is looking from Michał’s department building towards a series of dormitories for students at the University of Silesia.
You know at some point I need to show some Polish food. This is today’s lunch. Note the crunchy latke and the pierogis. You pay for this food by its weight on the plate. This scrumptiousness plus a Sprite cost me $4.
This is my hotel in neighboring Będzin.
Będzin Castle, which is a short walk from my hotel. You can expect a history post coming up soon!