Ornithology

Extinct tortoise yields oldest tropical DNA

The well-preserved skull of an extinct tortoise species. Florida Museum of Natural History photo courtesy of Nancy Albury An extinct tortoise species that accidentally tumbled into a water-filled limestone sinkhole in the Bahamas about 1,000 year...
Florida Museum researcher David Steadman displays a 20,000-year-old American alligator fossil skull from the Ichetucknee River in north Florida. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace

A reptilian anachronism

American alligator older than we thought New study also shows it shared ancient Florida with giant crocodiles Florida Museum researcher David Steadman displa...
Florida Museum of Natural History Ornithology Curator Dave Steadman

Thomas Farm: a prehistoric treasure

Places like the Hell Creek Formation in Montana and the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles echo famous prehistoric discoveries. But at the bottom of a sinkhole nea...
Cuban crocodile fossil skull

Answer to restoring lost island biodiversity found in fossils

Many native species have vanished from tropical islands because of human impact, but University of Florida scientists have discovered how fossils can be used to restore lost biodiversity. Researchers discovered this 3,000-year-old fossil skull of...
David Steadman with bird bone

Past bird extinctions could help today’s conservation

A new study of nearly 5,000 Haiti bird fossils shows contrary to a commonly held theory, human arrival 6,000 years ago didn’t cause the island’s birds to die simultaneously. Fossil bones from an extinct species of woodcock, scolopax. From left to...
Tom Webber listens to bird recordings

Bird sound recordings going digital

Tom Webber, ornithology collection manager for the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, listens to a bird call tape on a reel-to-ree...