What can I do for you?Edit
Yes, I can help you! If you have any questions or queries, you can (and should!) contact me through my talk page. Among other things:
- I can be contacted for any important wiki-related queries you might have. As basically the guy running the whole wiki at the moment, I know where things are heading here (or at least I should, anyway).
- I have some limited experience with template creation and CSS design, so if need be I can make stuff for you. I'm not quite an expert at it yet, but I hope to learn more about that sort of thing.
- If you need help looking for scientific papers, I may be able to get them for you. I don't currently have any subscription to the paywalled online journals, but if the paper you're looking for is old enough to be in the public domain or just published in a free online journal (PLoS One or PeerJ, for example), I should be able to retrieve it for you.
- Long story short, if you have any questions at all, leave a message on my talk page. I like questions, questions are cool.
Who am I?Edit
I live in New Jersey. In order to properly answer this question further, we must delve into a variety of different subjects and what my connection with them is.
Paleontology is my thing. If it wasn't, you wouldn't be reading this page and this wiki would never have existed. My goal is to make an academic career out of paleontology, and the journey down that road is starting to take shape. This is at once both gleeful and terribly frightening. Thankfully, I live not too far away from not one, but two of the only universities on the East Coast that offers paleontology classes/majors to any serious extent. So that's pretty rad.
So far I have collected fossils in the following geological formations:
- Stockton Formation (New Jersey, Late Triassic): where I am, things like dinosaur footprints that are common elsewhere in the formation are pretty much nonexistent. I did find a little brachiopod fragment though.
- Lockatong Formation (New Jersey, Late Triassic): technically, I live right on the border of this and the Stockton Fm.
- Mount Laurel Formation (New Jersey, Late Cretaceous): ah, Big Brook. If you don't know what that is, go look it up. I'm pretty sure most of the Big Brook vertebrate material I have is from the Mt. Laurel Fm.
- Navesink Formation (New Jersey, Late Cretaceous): as above, and I got a bunch of oysters and belemnites from here.
- Llewellyn Formation (Pennsylvania, Late Carboniferous): otherwise known as St. Clair, where you can fill a wagon with exquisite fern fossils and noticeably lower your gas mileage on the way home due to the weight of it all in your car. (Based on a true story.)
- Roubidoux Formation? (Missouri, Early Ordovician): I found what I think might be a invertebrate impression in sandstone here. The age is uncertain; it might be very late Cambrian instead. Either way, it was a one-off trip and I don't expect to be back there ever again.
Likewise, I have a large fossil collection, consisting of examples both hand-collected and bought. Some highlights include:
- What I have deemed "The Muthaload" [sic]: a giant shale plate of ferns from Saint Clair, PA. Exquisitely detailed and full of little things I still have yet to properly identify.
- Amber specimens from Colombia and Sayerville, NJ. The Colombian piece has a variety of little critters inside.
- A Phacops trilobite that I got from a flea market long ago. It is very well preserved and I still consider it a highlight and favorite of mine.
- A box full of Big Brook oysters - seriously, if you ever feel the need for some oysters Big Brook is the place to go
- Maclurites magna (Ordovician snail) from Minnesota.
- A cidarid urchin spine, again from Big Brook. An apparently rare find for the area, so I'm naturally pleased.
- A myriad of shark teeth from all sorts of locations - the collection includes Scapanorhynchus, Squalicorax, Otodus, C. megalodon, and many others.
- Here's a good one: a branchiosaur fossil from Pfalz, Germany. Branchiosaurs are certainly in the upper half in the list of "cutest ever fossils".
- A Moroccan mosasaur tooth.
ON A SPACESHIP...Jurassic bones from Utah, titanosaur eggshells from South America, a spinosaur tooth (that I turned into a necklace...I was a bit guilty at first, but those things are common enough anyways :P)
- A fossil snake, which I really hope is genuine and not a replica. Those things are RARE, and I'd love it if I got my hands on one.
- Some assorted microfossils from Aurora, North Carolina. A lot of people will attest that Aurora is a great spot for fossils, though I've only just started really getting into microfossils.
- A bunch of oreodont jaws from South Dakota. One of these was my first significant prep work.
- A Miocene whale vertebra
And there's only one place in the world, as far as I know, where you can receive a museum-quality cast of a Dryptosaurus claw - and I've been there. They keep them in a jar on a shelf, which is pretty sweet.
In addition, I also have a sizable collection of minerals and gems. They're not as exciting as fossils, methinks.I've had the pleasure of meeting several notable paleontologists and paleoartists:
- Scott Sampson, now of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science - ceratopsian expert, excavator of the unique ecosystem of Late Cretaceous Madagascar, evoliteracy advocate, and host of Dinosaur Train. He's a pretty awesome guy.
- Ken Lacovara, of Drexel University - has dug up sauropod dinosaurs from Patagonia to the Sahara, is an expert in paleoecosystems, and employs new technology such as 3-D printing to supplement the field of paleontology. An equally awesome guy.
- Ted Daeschler, of the Academy of Natural Sciences - co-describer of Tiktaalik, expert on the Devonian in general, and works in the Arctic. He's also been on The Colbert Report, which makes him an even more awesome guy than he already was.
- Matthew Lamanna, of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History - he works on a lot of projects. And I mean a lot. One moment he's in Egypt describing sauropods, the next he's in China working on therizinosaurs, the next he's back home with a chicken from hell in tow. An awesome guy, when you can find him.
- Bob Walters is a paleoartist. You know all those old murals by Knight and Zallinger that people know and love? Bob's work is the modern equivalent. I knew him by name and could instantly identify his work by his style by the age of about five or so. Imagine my surprise when he just shows up at the Academy of Natural Sciences all of a sudden. He drops by a lot of other places too, with no warning and always to my surprise. Totally awesome.
Herpetology is also my thing. More specifically, herpetoculture, which is like keeping dogs but with reptiles and amphibians instead. To this day I keep both reptiles and amphibians, and love every second of it. Maybe it was my early facsination with dinosaurs that got me interested in their modern scaly lookalikes. Either way, these things are pretty sweet.
I spend way much more time on this place than is probably worth it.
You've probably heard of this site called Wikia. You're on it right now. I started editing on Wikia in October 2010 (roughly a month before I created this wiki, in fact), and I've been editing it ever since.
Just to give you a scale of how involved I am with Wikia, both currently, and in the past, I'll give you some statistics. I have administrator privileges on over a dozen wikis, bureaucrat rights on about a half-dozen, founder status on four or five, and have edited with some regularity on well over fifty. These numbers are all approximate because it's absolutely impossible to keep track. I am inactive on a large majority of these now, simply because fifty-some wikis is a lot to keep track of and in the grand scale of things probably not worth it. Here are some larger wikis I am currently affiliated with:
- Jurassic Park Wiki - admin status, unofficial wiki design coordinator person. I think.
- Jurassic Park Fanon Wiki - admin status, try to keep things tidy around there.
- Reptipedia - admin status. Not nearly as active there as I should be.
- Prehistoric Park Wiki - as directly above.
- Most of the others are inactive and/or I've forgotten about them. But if you are a member of one of these wikis and want me back, don't hesitate to contact me. I'll try and make some time for you.
Besides Wikia, I'm also a member of Wikipedia, Jurassic Park Legacy Forums, The Fossil Forum, some Zoo Tycoon forums I can't recall the names of, the SCP Foundation (occasionally), the comments inhabitants of Doctor Who TV, FanFiction.net and FictionPress.net, and probably other places I've forgotten about. In fact I seem to have a distinct or at least noticeable presence on the Internet if you look in the right places, which is both mildly satisfying and extremely worrying.
Anyway, you've heard me rant enough now, I've just been typing and typing and I need to get back to work on T. rex. You'd never think T. rex gets old, but it actually does. Wow.
- My 1st ever edit, the description of the wiki.
- My 100th edit, the creation of the Paradoxides article.
- My 500th edit, adding a few details to the Prototaxites page. Nice, but nothing too dramatic.
- My 1000th edit, naming a badge. Disappointing and anticlimactic.
- My 2000th edit, the creation of the Deinocheirus article. It's like the lovechild of a Spinosaurus, a hadrosaur, and a Gallimimus. (The dinosaur that is, not the article.) Don't ask me how it can be the lovechild of all three.
- More milestones forthcoming eventually.
- Pelagiarctos. There's a hint of smugness about this one. I originally chose the article rather at random: I was looking for Cenozoic mammals, found this, said "oh cool killer walrus" and put it onto my to-do-list. Suddenly, it happens that the genus is being reevaluated (accompanied by near live updates on The Coastal Paleontologist blog - seriously when i wrote the article it had been updated the day before), and has gotten coverage in various scientific communities and mainstream news outlets. Even almost a year later, our article on Pelagiarctos has five times the references of that of Wikipedia's. :D
- Wesserpeton, on the other hand, has six times the references of Wikipedia's article, is only about 200 bytes shorter than the Wikipedia article, and is about a cute but feisty salamander-thing to boot. I can dig that.
- Deinosuchus - probably gonna be a featured article whenever I get around to re-implementing that system
So what's my current project?Edit
- I'm beefing up newly added articles with information and references.
- I'm getting the wiki ready for promotion on Wikia's main page. This is just the boost in popularity that we need, and perhaps more editors will finally arrive once more.
Also, if you really want to, you can see my to-do list.
- User:Styracosaurus Rider/To-do list
- User:Styracosaurus Rider/Manual of Style idea
- User:Styracosaurus Rider/Tar Pits
- User:Styracosaurus Rider/wikia.css
- User:Styracosaurus Rider/Main Page
- User:Styracosaurus Rider/Promote