Monday, October 28, 2013

BLOGTOBERFEST13 (Day 28) Celebrating my husband and fossil bird tracks from 105 million years ago

HURRAY FOR TONY MARTIN! You did it honey! Congratulations on your perseverance, optimism, and love for what you study. You have made a significant contribution. And you also know how to collaborate with other scientists, as well as engage others in what you know and do! Hurray! (photo by Ruth Schowalter)
Hallelujah for LIFE! Hallelujah for those who can document life from so long ago that they challenge us to use our IMAGINATIONS!

Today I am celebrating my husband, Tony Martin, a paleontologist who specializes in ichnology! He interprets behavior (LIFE) from the fossil record of such forms as tracks, trails, burrows, etc., and in doing so, has expanded my way of thinking about the EARTH and the rich sediments that preserve information from millions of years ago.

Today, we celebrated Tony and fossil bird tracks for the following reasons:
A BIRD LANDING TRACE. There is beauty in this mark from 105 million years ago. It almost looks like a Chinese character. And you know what? I am married to a man who can interpret it! He reads fossil traces like most of us read or study crossword puzzles. (photo by Tony Martin)

1) Research that he had been working on for almost two years about the discovery and identification of the oldest bird tracks in the Southern Hemisphere was published in the U.K. on Friday. Here is the academic information about it (in case you were curious):
Martin, A.J., Vickers-Rich, P., Rich, T.H., and Hall, M. 2013. Oldest known avian footprints from Australia: Eumeralla Formation (Albian), Dinosaur Cove, Victoria. Palaeontology (published online October 25, 2013): DOI: 10.1111/pala.12082

2) This research was announced on Saturday in Australia in a charming radio broadcast:

ABC Science Show, October 26, 2013: “Fossilised Dino Bird Tracks 105 Million Years Old,” reported by Sharon Carleton.

3) Then the story of the discovery and identification was released in the United States today through Emory University, where he is employed.

Emory University Press Release (Eukekalert): “Tell-tale toes point to oldest-known fossil bird tracks from Australia.” (By Carol Clark, Emory University)

My dear husband also draws! And in this illustration, he combines both his modern experience from observing large shorebirds land on the beach along the Georgia coast and his imagination of what this large Cretaceous bird must have looked like landing so many millions of years ago.
A BIRD LANDING, LEAVING A TRACE. (illustration by Tony Martin)
So tonight we went to one of our favorite beer establishments in Decatur, the Brick Store Pub, and invited friends to join us for a pint to mark this moment in time for him. Here is a short video we made of this lovely ichnologist:

That's Coffee with Hallelujah. SOUL BLOG with me. Tell me about your husband, wife, child, friend, who you are proud of and are celebrating! Or go visit Tony's website, Life Traces of the Georgia Coast, to read what he had to say about his research finally getting published! In "Life Traces of the Victoria Coast: Australia's Oldest Bird Tracks", he tells a good story! I know you will enjoy reading it. 
DINOSAUR COVE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA. Here we are in 2010 at the site where the fossil bird tracks were found a few months later in November. My beloved husband, Tony Martin, me, Hallelujah Truth, aka Ruth Schowalter, are posing with Tom Rich, Australian paleontologist extraordinaire. In terms of geological time, the years that it took to identify the fossil birds as the oldest ones is Australia is nothing, not even a partial breath! Congratulations Tony and all who collaborated with you!


  1. Awesome job Tony & Ruth with your written celebration! I LOVED the video :)

  2. Thanks for helping us celebrate Christine by reading this blog and writing a comment here!

  3. How very proud you must be of Tony and he of you. The two of you are perfectly matched and must have a great time together...wonderful tribute!

  4. congratulations to you and to your husband this achievement!