Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—Martin Lockley will speak about "The Eternal Trail: New Perspectives on Evolution, Through the Tracks of Dinosaurs and Other Animals," on Thursday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 5 of the Pratt Museum of Natural History at Amherst College. The talk is free and open to the public, and will be followed by refreshments and a book signing.
A professor of paleontology at the University of Colorado and author of popular and scholarly works on dinosaur tracks, Lockley says "we can learn a lot about animals from the correct observation of their parts, whether they are genes, teeth or tracks. We can understand the whole morphology, physiology and behavior of extinct and living animals from the study of their footprints." He uses the common sense of a skilled tracker to deduce who came down the trail by the traces left behind.
In his latest book, The Eternal Trail: A Tracker Looks at Evolution (Perseus, 1999), Lockley looks for clues along the path of the evolution of life on earth. Beginning with the famous dinosaur tracks from the Connecticut Valley, Lockley goes on to show the relationships between the dinosaurs and mammals, birds and other vertebrates.
The science of fossil footprints, or ichnology, was founded by Edward Hitchcock (1793 –1864), geologist and president of Amherst College, who first realized that the odd markings in local stones might be the tracks of animals. Hitchcock’s collection of fossil footprints at the Pratt Museum of Natural History at Amherst College remains one of the finest in the world. Lockley’s talk is sponsored by the Pratt Museum.