Tuesday, May 1, 2018
URSP Student Michael Hudgins Measures and Compares the Changes of Morphology in Dinosaurs and the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary
My current research has guided me to develop scientific skills, such as, formulating hypotheses, designing experiments, analyzing data, interpreting data, and technical writing. This has allowed me to delve deeper into the paleontological field and acquire a greater understanding for it. My project has provided me the opportunity to develop scientific skills for conducting research before attending graduate school.
What I do varies week to week when I am working on my project. For the first couple of weeks I would search for peer-reviewed articles from the Paleobiology Database (PBDB) about the anatomy of Theropoda and Paracrocodylomorpha that I could add to my data set. I collected the presence or absence of the pneumatic bones in the vertebral column of both groups. I then collected pCO2 from the Triassic and compared it with anatomical data over time.
Over the semester I have learned that my research provides insight on the evolution of respiratory systems in early Theropoda and Paracrocodylomorpha, and the relationship between Paracrocodylomorpha and Theropoda at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. Overall, I have learned research takes time and patience to be successful, and have learned how many doors it can potentially open.