This is Every New Paleontologist from China's Top Research School
|This is Xue Yifan. This is a group photo.|
China is home to some of the richest fossil deposits in the world, and has been the source of many of the exciting recent discoveries in paleontology. But the country is having trouble attracting new paleontology students. This "group photo of one" represents the entire paleontology graduating class at China's #1 research university, which has only graduated one new paleontology student each year for four years straight. The photo's appearance this week on Chinese social networking site Renren has sparked a mini-debate in China about the value of "searching for Godzilla" as a career, and whether paleontology is as worthwhile a pursuit as more popular degrees like business or economics.
If you're curious, the pictured "lonely paleontologist" is named Xue Yifan. She did her thesis on sexual dimorphism and growth rates in Keichousaurus (a Triassic marine reptile commonly found in China) and is now headed to the USA.