Natalia Rybczynski

Natalia Rybczynski is a Canadian paleobiologist, professor and researcher.

She is a research scientist with the Canadian Museum of Nature and holds a professorship at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. Her doctorate was obtained at Duke University and her main interests are evolutionary functional morphology, particularly at the polar climes.

Rybczynski is notable for having discovered a previously unknown carnivorous arctic mammal, a proto-seal, which represents a "missing link" between land-dwelling mammals and modern day ocean-going seals. ''Puijila darwini'' was discovered in 2007 on Devon Island in the Canadian arctic. Discovery of this specimen was announced in the journal ''Nature'' in April 2009. She has also contributed to the understanding of the biomechanics of ''Suminia'', a primitive mammal thought to exhibit early evidence of teeth and jaw structure specialized for chewing. Her discovery of a fossil tibia of a High Arctic camel was featured in a November 2015 TED talk given by Radiolab producer Latif Nasser.

Rybczynski is also known for her work comparing the teeth and wood chips of modern beavers with the fossilized teeth and fossilized wood chips of a relative of the modern beaver Dipoides. Most members of the genus Castor weren't aquatic, and didn't dine on wood, but Rybczynski concluded Dipoides was aquatic, dined on wood like modern beavers, and built dams like modern beavers. She concluded Dipoides and modern beavers shared a common ancestor approximately 24 million years ago.

She is the niece of writer and architect Witold Rybczynski. Provided by Wikipedia
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