Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Geology, Palaeontology & Archaeology => Topic started by: Iwonda on 28/07/2021 20:43:51

Title: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Iwonda on 28/07/2021 20:43:51
If you do a search for paleo entomologist, you might come up with 3-4 names, maybe. Why are there so few in this field? Is it because there are so few insect fossil to be found?
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Just thinking on 30/07/2021 21:30:22
If you do a search for paleo entomologist, you might come up with 3-4 names, maybe. Why are there so few in this field? Is it because there are so few insect fossil to be found?
I think it may be due to the fact that in the past just as in the present there is no shortage of insects so most if not all the insects have been discovered and the fossils are available for study. But that is not to say that they are easy to find as they are very delicate and may not preserve long enuff for fossilization to occur and I should mention that discovering large fossils like dinosaurs and digging them out cleaning and preparation takes many hands so more people are required and attracted to the large fossils.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: alancalverd on 31/07/2021 00:18:47
Let's throw the question back at the questioner. How many paleoentomologists do we need?
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Bored chemist on 31/07/2021 00:24:49
I think it may be due to the fact that in the past just as in the present there is no shortage of insects
If the bees die out, they are taking us with them.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Bored chemist on 31/07/2021 00:26:11
Let's throw the question back at the questioner. How many paleoentomologists do we need?
Roughly the same as the number of jazz musicians we need.
It may not be the same as the number we want.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: alancalverd on 31/07/2021 00:32:19
Good point. I'm not a great lover of big bands, though the discipline of reading scores is good for the soul. 
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Bored chemist on 31/07/2021 00:38:19
I wonder what fraction of the world can actually read a score  (in any meaningful way).
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: evan_au on 31/07/2021 00:42:09
There have been some interesting discoveries of insect fossils using X-ray scanning to examine opaque amber.
- Unlike the exquisite entombed mosquito in "Jurassic Park", most amber is dark brown or black
- High resolution CT scanning can reveal these hidden fossils

I imagine there is a treasure trove of insects within coprolites (fossilised feces) - it just needs a suitable scanning technology to detect them...
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: evan_au on 31/07/2021 00:45:39
Quote from: bored chemist
I wonder what fraction of the world can actually read a score  (in any meaningful way).
My son-in-law commented that once he was on a train, reading an orchestra score (no words lyrics, many staves).
Someone asked what he was doing, and he replied "I can hear all the instruments in my head".
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Colin2B on 31/07/2021 08:42:12
My son-in-law commented that once he was on a train, reading an orchestra score (no words, many staves).
Someone asked what he was doing, and he replied "I can hear all the instruments in my head".
There have been a number of composers who wrote music without using an instrument. My daughter is a professional musician and hears music in her head when looking at a score. It has surprised me that I have occasionally looked at a section of a score and realised I know what the music is, although I donít hear the actual music
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Just thinking on 31/07/2021 12:50:59
    I think it may be due to the fact that in the past just as in the present there is no shortage of insects

If the bees die out, they are taking us with them.
Pollination is a big problem the lack of that is. Even the honey is half sugar due to the bee shortages.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Bored chemist on 31/07/2021 13:18:19
Even the honey is half sugar due to the bee shortages.
Honey is about 80% sugar.
Do you mean half of it is fake?

The honey be is the least threatened type of bee. (Being seen as helpful by mankind is a great evolutionary advantage.)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/24/this-only-saves-honeybees-the-trouble-with-britains-beekeeping-boom-aoe
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: alancalverd on 31/07/2021 13:20:41
I think BC is psychic. I read reply #4 last night on returning from a jazz gig! We all (5) had copies of the piano scores but before practically every number the leader or singer said "we don't do it quite like that". Different key, different tempo, different intro....Still, it's interesting to see what the composer had in mind before we reinterpreted it.

Not sure who said it first, but "A jazz musician is someone who never plays the same thing once."
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Just thinking on 31/07/2021 13:38:23
Quote from: Just thinking on Today at 21:50:59

    Even the honey is half sugar due to the bee shortages.

Honey is about 80% sugar.
Do you mean half of it is fake?

The honey be is the least threatened type of bee. (Being seen as helpful by mankind is a great evolutionary advantage.)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/24/this-only-saves-honeybees-the-trouble-with-britains-beekeeping-boom-aoe
In Australia there has been a shortage I'm not sure why but honey was tested and found to have been cut in half with sugar I did not know it was 80% sugar but I guess that makes it 90% now that's if they are still doing that.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Bored chemist on 31/07/2021 13:47:30
Not sure who said it first, but "A jazz musician is someone who never plays the same thing once."
That was the more polite  cousin of the guy who said "Jazz is 5 people on stage at the same time, all playing different tunes".
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Colin2B on 31/07/2021 15:03:03
Not sure who said it first, but "A jazz musician is someone who never plays the same thing once."
That was the more polite  cousin of the guy who said "Jazz is 5 people on stage at the same time, all playing different tunes".
Or perhaps the one who pointed out that a rock musician knows 3 chords and plays to thousands of people, a jazz musician knows thousands of chords ....................
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Colin2B on 31/07/2021 15:21:21
I'm not sure why but honey was tested and found to have been cut in half with sugar I did not know it was 80% sugar but I guess that makes it 90% now that's if they are still doing that.
Trading standards make regular tests here to make sure honey is not adulterated with sugar, they will prosecute if they find it has been.
Donít know what you mean by 90%, by law honey should not have >20% water otherwise it ferments. Most beekeepers prefer around 17%.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Just thinking on 31/07/2021 15:28:29
Donít know what you mean by 90%,
BC mentioned that honey is 80% sugar which I never knew anyway so if it is halved with added sugar that is a total of 90% sugar.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Colin2B on 31/07/2021 15:33:41
Donít know what you mean by 90%,
BC mentioned that honey is 80% sugar which I never knew anyway so if it is halved with added sugar that is a total of 90% sugar.
ah, I had assumed that half the sugar content had been replaced so as to retain 80%.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Bored chemist on 31/07/2021 15:37:24
If you do a search for paleo entomologist
I did.
Then, at Google's suggestion, I took the space out of it.
That led me to a wiki redirect page which took me here
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_insects

And that page has 79 references.
I'm guessing that those have about 100 authors.

And that suggests that there are more paleo entomologists than members of a typical jazz audience.
It's certainly more than the OP'S assertion about
" you might come up with 3-4 names"
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Bored chemist on 31/07/2021 15:44:45
Donít know what you mean by 90%,
BC mentioned that honey is 80% sugar which I never knew anyway so if it is halved with added sugar that is a total of 90% sugar.
ah, I had assumed that half the sugar content had been replaced so as to retain 80%.
You couldn't use the stuff we normally call "sugar" to make fake honey; it's sucrose and honey is largely glucose and fructose.

But you could use golden syrup- which is a partially inverted sugar (and thus is much more similar to honey).
It's also typically sold as a roughly 80% solution (for the same reason- to avoid fermentation)
So fake honey is likely to be a mixture of real honey- about 80% sugars and syrup- also about 80% sugars
So it will be about 80% sugars.

Testing for fakes is interesting enough as a piece of analytical chemistry, but more than a little off topic.

Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Just thinking on 31/07/2021 15:45:29
ah, I had assumed that half the sugar content had been replaced so as to retain 80%.
I'm not quite sure what it all means but it's very sneaky practice and I'm glad that they got court out. They will be injecting water into watermelons next.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: alancalverd on 31/07/2021 15:46:12
a rock musician knows 3 chords
Famous TV interview between Alan Whicker and Francis Rossi:

Whicker: "So you have made a lot of money from three chords."

Rossi: "Three???"
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Bored chemist on 31/07/2021 15:52:42
a rock musician knows 3 chords
Famous TV interview between Alan Whicker and Francis Rossi:

Whicker: "So you have made a lot of money from three chords."

Rossi: "Three???"
He has a point.
I gather that "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" has 5
"Whatever You Want" has 9
"Rocking all over the world" has a dozen.

But they are a blues band, not rock.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: alancalverd on 31/07/2021 15:53:26
My daughter is a professional musician and hears music in her head when looking at a score.
An excellent classical pianist once explained to me that a composer hears all the notes in one place, but has to compromise because real instruments take up space so the sound varies depending on where you sit in the auditorium. Edison came to the rescue and made all the sound come out of one hole, so you heard what the composer intended. Then some idiot invented stereo and ruined the illusion. 
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: chiralSPO on 31/07/2021 17:53:16
An acquaintance of mine at one point was a paleobotanist whose research (as I understood it) involved analyzing fossilized pollen, and using that as a rough stand-in for tree census (given various assumptions about pollen/tree ratios for each species etc.)

What I remember most is that she used obscene amounts of hydrofluoric acid (from my perspective as a chemistóI work with a lot of extremely hazardous compounds, but I find HF is among the scariest). She used it to etch silicate minerals away from her fossils.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Iwonda on 31/07/2021 20:25:51
Then, at Google's suggestion, I took the space out of it.
That led me to a wiki redirect page which took me here
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_insects
Cool thanks, that's a lot more than I could find. I've stumbled onto something really strange, something I'm told a paleo entomologist should be able to shed some light on. If someone discovers a new species, do they get to name it?
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Colin2B on 31/07/2021 22:37:36
If someone discovers a new species, do they get to name it?
There are a lot of rules and hoops to jump through. See https://slate.com/technology/2016/01/how-newly-discovered-species-get-names-from-taxonomists.html

By the way, I think your paleo entomologists are hidden. Most just call themselves entomologists or palaeontologists, or as @chiralSPO says paleobiologists. Might be worth talking to your local Natural History Museum.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Colin2B on 31/07/2021 23:02:27
You couldn't use the stuff we normally call "sugar" to make fake honey; it's sucrose and honey is largely glucose and fructose.
Depends how itís done. When there is a poor nectar flow - we are about to enter one - beekeepers feed sucrose solution to tide the bees over. The bees will invert the sucrose, but you end up with a diluted flavour so you canít (or rather shouldnít) extract it for sale.
We also use an invert syrup with same glucose/fructose mix as honey so the bees donít waste energy converting it, but same problem of saleability. Unscrupulous people could add the invert directly and I think this has been detected in imported honey.

But you could use golden syrup- which is a partially inverted sugar (and thus is much more similar to honey).
Honey police will get you  :o
Golden syrup contains high amount of 5-hydroxy methyl furfural (HMF). Honey is tested for HMF as it is a sign that the honey has been overheated in processing and adding golden syrup would push it above the legal limit.
Most amateur beekeepers donít heat their honey in order to keep it as natural as possible.

Testing for fakes is interesting enough as a piece of analytical chemistry, but more than a little off topic.
That would be a very interesting topic. Particularly if you know a simple test to identify sucrose in honey.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Iwonda on 09/08/2021 05:15:04
There are a lot of rules and hoops to jump through
You are so right, there are just way too many hoops for someone like me to deal with. I don't think anyone will be naming this specimen anytime soon, no one knows what it is so I would think that they would have to at the very least ID it first and I haven't come a scientist that can say what this thing truly is, nor can they explain how nature mummified this thing.....Thanks for the info, helps a lot.
Title: Re: Why are there so few paleo entomologist?
Post by: Bored chemist on 09/08/2021 08:40:57
Honey police will get you 
Golden syrup contains high amount of 5-hydroxy methyl furfural (HMF). Honey is tested for HMF as it is a sign that the honey has been overheated in processing and adding golden syrup would push it above the legal limit.
As I said.
Testing for fakes is interesting enough as a piece of analytical chemistry, but more than a little off topic.