Monday, January 30, 2006


A Scorpion's Tale

You may have read about the scorpion found inside the fossil sample over the weekend. This story is surprising to me in two different ways. First, I am amazed that the scorpion survived in the plaster for 15 months. But I find it a bit more surprising how much publicity the story received. It was picked up by the Associated Press and suddenly the scorpion is a national hero. The story was even linked on on Saturday. But I think no one is more surprised than the paleontologist who actually found the scorpion, Don DeBlieux (pronounced de-Blew). He was even amused when local radio personalities made fun of their inability to pronounce his last name and resorted to calling him "Scientist Don."

Don has received emails from biologists all over the world (OK, that may be a slight exaggeration), diagnosing the species of scorpion from this photo. Amusingly, each expert wants to ascribe a different species to the scorpion, based on his or her own area of expertise.

Well, congratulations Don! People all over the world are attempting to pronounce your name.

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