May 3, 2010
New Blog on the Block: A hearty paleosphere welcome to Crurotarsi: The Forgotten Archosaurs, a blog devoted to the critters that ruled the Triassic alongside the dinosaurs: “Crurotarsans are some pretty amazing animals, having occupied almost every major ecological niche during the Triassic Period, a time that lasted almost 50 million years….They still survive today as crocodiles, alligators, and their relatives but are nowhere near as diverse and impressive as their ancestors.”
Seasonal Hues: Scientists have successfully recreated the colors of Anchiornis huxleyi, but Archosaur Musings warns against reaching broad conclusions about feathered dinosaurs based on just one specimen: “At the bare minimum we might expect differences within the species as there will always be some differences in color and patterning….it would be a surprise if males and females were truly identical in plumage, if juveniles had the same patterns as adults or if there were no changes over the seasons with molts.”
Ichy Artwork: “Reconstructions of Ichthyosaurs are some of the earliest examples of palaeo-art in history,” notes ArtEvolved. “Discovered in 1811 by Mary Anning and mulled over by scientists for the next 10 years, these fascinating fossils were named Ichthyosaurus in 1821, before ‘palaeontology’ as a science even existed.” Visit the blog to see a gallery of Ichthyosaurus drawings, both past and present.
You Are Not Alone: As always, Whirlpool of Life has a knack for finding profound thoughts in the most trivial of places—in this case, the bacteria in our bodies: “Current estimates indicate that, of the 10 trillion cells that compose your physical self, 9 out of 10 are not human cells. This means that your body is home to more lifeforms than there are people on Earth, or stars in the Milky Way galaxy.”
Keep Looking: Bob’s Dinosaur Blog wonders how many dinosaurs remain to be discovered. “I posed this question to one paleontologist I know, who quoted another paleontologist’s opinion (based on statistical research) that there might be 2,000 or so genera of dinosaurs that have yet to be identified, a project that should take decades, if not centuries.”
Out and About: Walcott’s Quarry celebrates its 100th comic strip by allowing its mischievous trilobites to explore life beyond the computer screen.
Space Alien Remains Found in Dinosaur’s Belly! “Subjecting a tabloid story to technical scrutiny really is like dancing about architecture,” observes SV-POW! Nonetheless, Matt Wedel can’t resist the temptation to point out the inaccuracies in this classic Weekly World News story.
To Boldly Go: Palaeoblog exults that Diamond Select Toys will soon be selling their latest Star Trek toy, the Geological Tricorder. “Following the release of the Medical and Science Tricoders, the Geological Tricoder will feature two opening compartments and removable vials of mineral samples. Take that iPhone!”
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