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Re: The (long) future of paleontology

In agreement with Cliff, our site in St. George, Utah (only about 1 km
square area) will be producing hundreds of new fossils, and tons of research
projects for GENERATIONS to come.  I'm not even talking about the miles upon
miles of outcrops all over sw Utah with so many site waiting to be
discovered.  In short, there is no end anywhere in site.  As long as erosion
continues and sedimentary rocks exist all of us paleo folks are in a happy

Also from Earth,

Andrew R. C. Milner
City Paleontologist
St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm
2180 East Riverside Drive
St. George, Utah 84790

Tracksite Phone: (435) 574-DINO (3466)
Cell: (435) 705-0173
Tracksite Fax: (435) 627-0340
Home: (435) 477-9467

Email: amilner@sgcity.org
Website: http://www.dinotrax.com

"There is no branch of detective science which is so important and so much
neglected as the art of tracing footsteps" -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1891

----- Original Message ----- From: "Cliff Green" <dinonaut@emerytelcom.net>
To: "dinosaur mailing list" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2006 4:11 PM
Subject: Re: The (long) future of paleontology

Dear WF and List,

   I don't know about the rest of the world, but here in Utah, the amount
of unretrieved fossil material is staggering. I can't even begin to
how many decades or centuries it would take to dig up and discribe all of
the quarrys just here in Eastern Utah. I don't believe paleontology is
to turn into a quaint static science any time soon.

From the earth Cliff

The conversation prompted me to wonder: what is the (long) future for
paleontology?   In some ways, it's a zero-sum game with an achievable end
point.  After all, all the fossils that ever will be discovered already
exist.  Will paleontology eventually become like classic literature,
scholars argue over the interpretation of an almost static corpus of

How much of the ultimate "catch" of fossils have we already found? 1%?
50?  What will (terran) paleontologists be finding 50 years from now?
1000?  What new (earth-penetrating?) techniques will transform the field?