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Belgian paleontologist visits Calvert Marine Museum

Solomons, MD - Dr. Olivier Lambert, a well-known Vertebrate Paleontologist, visited the Calvert Marine Museum to collaborate with CMM staff paleontologist Dr. Stephen Godfrey on several fossil dolphin-related research projects, in addition to sharing his fossil-collecting expedition experiences in the Peruvian desert.

Dr. Lambert, currently at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, Belgium is an expert in the evolution of marine mammals. He studies their adaptations to aquatic life, past diversity, and geographic distribution. His research focuses on toothed, beaked, and baleen whales, along with several species of dolphins from the North Sea, southeastern Pacific, both coasts of the United States, Central Paratethys, and South Africa.

He works closely with American, Dutch, French, Italian, and Peruvian colleagues. The collaboration with Dr. Godfrey began in 2002 when they first met at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Drs. Lambert and Godfrey are presently describing a fossilized dolphin skull from Calvert Cliffs of an ancient relative of the modern-day Ganges River Dolphin (presently found in freshwater rivers in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal). They are also studying an even older skull (on loan from the Smithsonian) from the State of Oregon that is ancestral to the squid-eating and very deep-diving beaked whales.

Dr. Lambert’s work on many new kinds of extinct dolphins from Peru is an asset when comparing the extinct kinds of dolphins found along Calvert Cliffs with those from other fossil-rich locality around the world.

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