I live in Alberta, Canada, one of the strong holds for dinosaur fossils but also a great area for some mountain/pre dinosaur paleontology. I've done work in the oil sands, jumped out of a helicopter, stared down rutting moose, been stalked by wolves and bears, discovered a new species, bred lizards and insects, dissected various animals, held living nautilus and egyptian mummy hands, worked on massive pipeline projects, excavated dinosaur skulls in restricted areas, fed cuttlefish, caught and preserved freshwater invertebrates, spent time at a marine research station etc etc etc. I've also worked at two world heritage sites: The Burgess Shale and Dinosaur Provincial Park.
I've had some success in other forums sharing my experiences and discussing various aspects of all sorts of vertebrate and invertebrate biology. It's a really neat career path, albeit a really hard one to find work in and it seems popular with small children and women, as well as the average forum goer. I've seen things and learned things most people have never heard about and I am a strong proponent of the spreading of science and information.
I guess to get this started in the right way, I'll throw down some neat links.
A plesiomorphic (kinda means primitive) eel. Basically it stopped evolving towards a more eel-like anguid form because there wasn't any pressure or advantage/sexual selection. It's pretty neat looking, if I do say so myself!
this came as no surprise to me, having worked with placental skinks that are about 99% placental. It's evolved countless times within the squamates, from lizards to snakes, and is super common in the skinks, which have about 1200 species if I recall. Still, as science demands, inference from present data is not data itself. So, finding this data point is rather nice to show that this has been happening a long time within the lineage of snakes and lizards.
Okay people, feel free to discuss things, ask me things or just tell me what you think of it.