Burpee Museum's annual PaleoFest 2017 will be held on March 4th and 5th this year. The keynote speaker is Matthew Lamanna PhD., from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. His talk is called "From Egypt to Antarctica: Discovering New Dinosaurs in the Southern Continents".
Roughly 150 million years ago, during the middle of the Mesozoic Era (the ‘Age of Dinosaurs’), the all-encompassing supercontinent of Pangaea split into a northern half, called Laurasia, and a southern half, called Gondwana. Gondwana itself ultimately separated into all the major Southern Hemisphere landmasses we know today—South America, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica—with several important events in this process occurring during the Cretaceous Period, the third and final time period of the Mesozoic. Whereas Laurasian Cretaceous dinosaurs have become relatively well known—exemplified by animals such as T. rex, Triceratops, and Velociraptor—scientific understanding of their Gondwanan counterparts remains more limited. In this presentation, Dr. Lamanna will provide an overview of his research groups’ nearly two decades of expeditions to Cretaceous sites in Argentina, Egypt, Australia, and Antarctica, and the many new Gondwanan dinosaur species that these teams have uncovered. Among these are bizarre new predatory dinosaurs, ancient birds, and multiple sauropods (long-necked plant-eaters), several of which rank among the largest land-living creatures yet discovered. Lamanna will explain the significance of these finds for our knowledge of Gondwanan dinosaurs, and how continental breakup played a crucial role in the evolution of some of the most extraordinary animals of all time.
There will be many more interesting talks by other speakers. Get the full list on their website.