Ingenious: Peter Ward – Issue 101: In Our Nature

To view the video, click the “play” icon above.

When you first meet Peter Ward he loves to
say things like “See this beige baseball hat? It was dark brown until it faded
under the thin ozone layer in Antarctica.” That’s his way of telling you that
he recently returned from Earth’s southernmost continent, where he was
excavating nautilus shells 70 million years old. He could go on for hours about
his fossil hunts around the world. He tells you about the time he was searching
for fossils from the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, when an asteroid
hit the Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs, at the base of a rocky cliff in
Bidart, France, overlooking a beach of nude men. “It was surreal,” he says
matter-of-factly. But Ward doesn’t brag about his life and adventures. The
paleontologist and marine biologist just wants to inform you that life as a
scientist is a nonstop adventure.

Ward, 63, is a professor of Biology and Earth
and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, and a leading expert on the
fabled mollusk that has cruised through the seas for half a billion years. His
books include In Search of Nautilus, Rare Earth: Why…
Read More…

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