April 29, 2011
Thirty Earths: ArtEvolved points us to this remarkable set of images depicting the changing physical appearance of the Earth over the last 750 million years. The thirty visual reconstructions were recently released by the Planetary Habitability Laboratory of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. The research team was granted access to NASA’s Next Generation Blue Marble project, a computer program that generates realistic color renditions of an area based upon geographic information such as topography, elevation, climate and vegetation.
On the Virtues of Flossing: Everything Dinosaur reports on the world’s oldest toothache.
Dino Chow: SV-Pow! gives a glowing review to the now-open World’s Largest Dinosaur exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. Among the many nice details: a Plexiglas box filled with a one-day serving of sauropod food.
Battle of the Bulge: Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs presents a brief history of the Pot-Bellied Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Gator-Aid: At Jurassic Journeys, paleobiologist Matt Donnan raves about WitmerLab’s 3D Alligator project—a highly interactive, easily downloadable set of tools for understanding (or just playing with) alligator anatomy. As Donnan notes, “Alligators and the crocodylian kin form an important outgroup branch that we dinosaur paleontologists use to constrain and ‘root’ our anatomical reconstructions and inferences of dinosaurs as living animals.”
A Becklespinax By Any Other Name: Bob’s Dinosaur Blog lists ten dinosaur names that are so bad the creatures would “throttle some of the paleontologists that discovered them.”
A River Runs Through It: Grande Prairie, Alberta is home to Pipestone Creek, where hundreds of the horned dinosaur Pachyrhinosaurus perished millions of years ago. The blog Pseudoplocephalus informs us that members of the Grande Prairie community have spent the better part of a decade trying to find sponsors for their very own paleontology museum. Fundraisers have been a bit turned off by the proposed name of the institution: “The River of Death and Discovery Dinosaur Museum.” Fortunately, the museum organizers decided to opt for a less goth-sounding name: “The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum,” in honor of the world-renowned paleontologist.