Dinosaur Tail Discovered Trapped in Amber
December 8, 2016 11:24 AM   Subscribe

"The tail of a 99-million year old dinosaur has been found entombed in amber, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists....The amber adds to fossil evidence that many dinosaurs sported feathers rather than scales. "

No extended description, I just thought this was really neat.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl (130 comments total) 135 users marked this as a favorite
 
THIS IS SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by phunniemee at 11:25 AM on December 8, 2016 [42 favorites]


I never would've guessed I'd ever see something like this. Today I saw a photo of dinosaur feathers attached to part of a dinosaur. Goddamn. Goddamn.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:27 AM on December 8, 2016 [74 favorites]


Dinosaurs = birds, motherfuckers
posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:28 AM on December 8, 2016 [18 favorites]


gaaaaaaaaaaaaaah it has feathers IT HAS FEATHERS!
posted by allthinky at 11:29 AM on December 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl

An eponysterical for the ages!
posted by Cash4Lead at 11:29 AM on December 8, 2016 [123 favorites]


I'll bet that made him squawk!
posted by BlueHorse at 11:30 AM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


the feathers suggest the creature was chestnut brown and white.

lil cutie hoppin around

hop hop hop
posted by Greg Nog at 11:32 AM on December 8, 2016 [39 favorites]


posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl

>An eponysterical for the ages!


Uh, well actually, pterodactyls aren't dinosaurs. If you look closely at the two groups and compare the ankle and hip bones, I believe you will noti DINOSAURS DINOSAURS DINOSAURS AAAAHHHHHHHH YAY YAY YAY YAY
posted by phunniemee at 11:33 AM on December 8, 2016 [71 favorites]


birb
posted by Countess Elena at 11:35 AM on December 8, 2016 [30 favorites]


guys i have a great idea for an amusement park, hear me out
posted by beerperson at 11:36 AM on December 8, 2016 [115 favorites]


This is stunning.

It's one thing to have indirect evidence, and everyone kind of thought so, but still, this is amazing.
posted by bonehead at 11:37 AM on December 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Come on, everybody knows that dinosaur feathers are a Chinese hoax.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:38 AM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


if they had feathers that means they could fly which explains why i didn't make room for them in my Noah's Ark attraction
posted by beerperson at 11:39 AM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


If one Michael Crichton novel was going to start coming true in 2016, my money would have been on The Andromeda Strain.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:41 AM on December 8, 2016 [27 favorites]


An eponysterical for the ages!

Epochysterical!
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:42 AM on December 8, 2016 [57 favorites]


I just thought this was really neat.

You were right!
posted by homunculus at 11:48 AM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


More like a six-foot turkey.

Seriously, though, A++. This is amazing.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:49 AM on December 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


:-O !
posted by phatkitten at 11:52 AM on December 8, 2016


Yes, but you are still alive when those turkeys start to eat you. So show some respect.
posted by Michele in California at 11:52 AM on December 8, 2016 [18 favorites]


If one Michael Crichton novel was going to start coming true in 2016, my money would have been on The Andromeda Strain.

tbh i'd have loved for his Climate Change Isn't Real novel to turn out to be true
posted by beerperson at 11:53 AM on December 8, 2016 [24 favorites]


Yes Dinosaurs = Birds and more importantly Birds = Dinosaurs. All you have to do is watch some birds rip apart prey (insect, mice, snakes, etc) and you understand how scary a 6' tall raptor would be.

Honestly this is kind of beyond an epic find.
posted by vuron at 11:53 AM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


The sparrow-sized creature could have danced in the palm of your hand.

This is delightful and I am delighted. This is the kind of news 2016 needs!
posted by amnesia and magnets at 11:53 AM on December 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


I bet this will show in Charles Pierce's last column of the week under the heading:
Is it a good day for dinosaur news? It's always a good day for dinosaur news!
posted by TedW at 11:55 AM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


The sparrow-sized creature could have danced in the palm of your hand.

Boom-boom acka-lacka boom-boom
posted by gusottertrout at 11:57 AM on December 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


The Current Biology article (with additional plumage images) is also very cool.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 11:59 AM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Life finds a way.
posted by drezdn at 12:00 PM on December 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


If you make a Jurassic Park joke everytime a dinosaur is discovered? You are not clever.

This find, however, is very, very cool. I absolutely love imagining how they moved and lived.
posted by agregoli at 12:02 PM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


>Dinosaurs = birds, motherfuckers

I want my Thunder Lizard back. The Thunder Chicken lacks romance.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 12:09 PM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


If you make a Jurassic Park joke everytime a dinosaur is discovered?

How often are dinosaurs discovered in amber? Come on now.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:11 PM on December 8, 2016 [48 favorites]


YES A LITTLE BIT NEAT
posted by Theta States at 12:13 PM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you make a Jurassic Park joke everytime a dinosaur is discovered? You are not clever.

au contraire
posted by phunniemee at 12:13 PM on December 8, 2016 [20 favorites]


i knew what that clip would be but i clicked on it anyway because i wanted to watch it
posted by beerperson at 12:14 PM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


> The Current Biology article (with additional plumage images) is also very cool.

Beautiful.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:16 PM on December 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Fireworks, the natural enemy of velociraptors, along with tree sap apparently.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:16 PM on December 8, 2016


If you make a Jurassic Park joke everytime a dinosaur is discovered? You are not clever.

that's just, like, your opinion, clever girl
posted by beerperson at 12:18 PM on December 8, 2016 [24 favorites]


NOT THE DINOSAURS! NO! NOT THE DINOSAURS! AHHH! THEY'RE IN MY EYES! MY EYES!
posted by Naberius at 12:19 PM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


WOW!!!!!!
posted by supermedusa at 12:20 PM on December 8, 2016


This is exciting news, but it's one more day I have to rue John Williams existance.

*bum bum ba bum bum, bumba bum bum bum bum buuummmmm*
posted by LegallyBread at 12:21 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you make a Jurassic Park joke everytime a dinosaur is discovered? You are not clever.

Seriously. It didn't require any discipline to attain it. You watched what others had done and you took the next step. You didn't earn the joke for yourselves, so you don't take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of comedy geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could.
posted by maxsparber at 12:21 PM on December 8, 2016 [52 favorites]


The fact they found one of these by accident must mean there are others floating around out there on cheap bracelets and necklaces, right? Either that or it's a freak coincidence over 99 million years.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:23 PM on December 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


NOT THE DINOSAURS!

missed opportunity
posted by beerperson at 12:25 PM on December 8, 2016


aaand way too slow on the clever girl joke...oh well
posted by supermedusa at 12:27 PM on December 8, 2016




I have to say, this is amazing, and I'm totally pumped. I'm also a little bit sad that all my plastic dinosaurs as a kid were wrong.

Wherefore art thou, Ankylosaurus? Where did those feathers go?
posted by lumpenprole at 12:31 PM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Multi guess answer:
A) Someone did not get the memo that cleverness is not a prerequisite for membership.
B) Where is your data proving I make such jokes every single time?
C) Someone more clever than me needs to fill in this blank _________.
posted by Michele in California at 12:34 PM on December 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


C. butt.holdings
posted by phunniemee at 12:36 PM on December 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


Giant Murder Turkies!

Prehistoric Murder Peacocks!
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 12:37 PM on December 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


"Here kitty, kitty."
posted by bondcliff at 12:37 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I wish I had some plastic dinosaurs. I guess I could just go buy some, but somehow, it wouldn't be the same.
posted by thelonius at 12:38 PM on December 8, 2016


It didn't require any discipline to attain it. You watched what others had done and you took the next step. You didn't earn the joke for yourselves, so you don't take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of comedy geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could.

Smartass creates joke.
Smartass destroys with joke.
Joke creates meme.
Meme destroys joke.
Smartass repeats meme.
Meme eats smartass.
Hacks inherit the earth.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:38 PM on December 8, 2016 [39 favorites]


I make a legitimate Jurassic Park reference AT LEAST once a week, including just yesterday when I used the system shutdown analogy to explain why I couldn't fix my coworkers' videoconference problem mid-videoconference.

"You know how in Jurassic Park when Nedry messes the park up so bad it has to be completely shut down and everything has to be brought back online one system at a time? Well--"

"Ok ok fine."
posted by phunniemee at 12:39 PM on December 8, 2016 [25 favorites]


This is just amazing.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:39 PM on December 8, 2016


I wish I had some plastic dinosaurs. I guess I could just go buy some, but somehow, it wouldn't be the same.

sup bro you jelly?
posted by phunniemee at 12:40 PM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]




I actually outsource my butt holdings, butt whatever works for you.
posted by Michele in California at 12:43 PM on December 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


This is amazing.
posted by rtha at 12:44 PM on December 8, 2016


Now I want to give a dinosaur a belly skritch.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:46 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


sup bro you jelly?
totes!
posted by thelonius at 12:50 PM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is really cool. And on top of that, as shitty as this year has been, it's somehow comforting to be reminded that there's still room for wonder and discovery.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:51 PM on December 8, 2016 [17 favorites]


The Current Biology article (with additional plumage images) is also very cool.

I like Figure 4c, showing where the new amber specimen fits in the evolutionary model.
posted by Kabanos at 12:52 PM on December 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Now I want to give a dinosaur a belly skritch

They do enjoy a bit of assistance preening. Or they bite your finger off. Sadly, you can never tell in advance.
posted by wierdo at 12:54 PM on December 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


birb

I look forward to the twitter stream for Coelurosaur Rights Activist.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:58 PM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Going To Maine: "Now I want to give a dinosaur a belly skritch."

Not so much. But I am seeing a use for my roasting pan and marinade injection rig!
posted by Samizdata at 1:00 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


McKellar said that soft tissue and decayed blood from the tail were found in the amber but no genetic material was preserved.

"Unfortunately, the Jurassic Park answer is still a 'no' -- this is firmly in the realm of science fiction," he said.
:-(

I withdraw my previous comment.
posted by SansPoint at 1:01 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is much funnier when you think of dinosaurs doing this.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 1:04 PM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I read the description and was like "yeah whatever," clicked on the link to look at the picture and had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Incredible. Just incredible.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:04 PM on December 8, 2016 [11 favorites]




This is also even funnier when you think of dinosaurs doing this.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:11 PM on December 8, 2016


[y'all i feel like there is room enough in our hearts for both genuine wonder at this historic discovery and some goofy Jurassic Park riffing]
posted by cortex at 1:12 PM on December 8, 2016 [37 favorites]


They do enjoy a bit of assistance preening. Or they bite your finger off. Sadly, you can never tell in advance.

Or if it's a T-Rex, they bite your everything off.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:16 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


That's a beautiful fossil.
posted by Akhu at 1:20 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wherefore art thou, Ankylosaurus? Where did those feathers go?

Not sure if it will make you feel better, but Ankylosaurus was an ornithischian, which is one of the two main orders of dinosaurs. The feathery ones were theropods, the other order. So you can still have your spiky, leathery dinosaurs.

(Though the teeny Tianyulong confuciusi ornithischian had thin filaments down its back that may be homologous to feathers, so maybe not.)
posted by Quindar Beep at 1:23 PM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Imagine the residents of the Dinosaur Universe watching our media and thinking how stupid we are
posted by beerperson at 1:24 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


WOW - this almost redeems 2016. Almost.
Now I've written three different comments and none are really in proportion with my joy. So I'll just say this is the best thing that happened in this annus horribilis. What an amazing find.
posted by mumimor at 1:26 PM on December 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


They do enjoy a bit of assistance preening. Or they bite your finger off.

I had a dinosaur who both enjoyed scritches and would bite your finger off in the middle of them. Cockatoos, man.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:27 PM on December 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


how did they get the paleontologists to stand still for that picture? wouldn't they at least be a little blurry from literally vibrating with excitement?
posted by indubitable at 1:29 PM on December 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


Drunk photographer, trying to make the photo look like he was sober.
posted by Michele in California at 1:31 PM on December 8, 2016


i'm gonna cook up a chicken tonight in celebration of mankind's utter victory and dominion over dinosaurs*

* - yes, i know, shut up
posted by entropicamericana at 1:32 PM on December 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


The remarkable piece was destined to end up as a curiosity or piece of jewelry, with Burmese traders believing a plant fragment was trapped inside.
"I realized that the content was a vertebrate, probably theropod, rather than any plant," Xing told CNN.
"I was not sure that (the trader) really understood how important this specimen was, but he did not raise the price."
I'm pretty sure if I somehow recognized a piece of dino-containing amber the trader would be able to hear my heartbeat from across the table. I mean, he'd be so preoccupied with whether or not he could force me to mortgage my house, he wouldn't stop to think if he should. Anyway I wish I had this guy's poker face, damn.

Awesome post Mrs. P, thank you.
posted by mama casserole at 1:38 PM on December 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


There's a good rendering here of what the full sized feathered dinosaur would have looked like, and speculation into its evolutionary development.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:45 PM on December 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


Much as I would love to stop making Jurassic Park references, I can't, since the cats have worked out how to open the bedroom door by jumping up and hanging onto the handle, at which point they slink warily in. What am I supposed to do?

Anyway, this is amazing! I wonder if we'll ever see a Dino film with more realistic feathery dinosaurs?
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:47 PM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


"The sparrow-sized creature could have danced in the palm of your hand."

What poetry, CNN
posted by knownassociate at 2:03 PM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


The pressing question science owes us an answer for is will the new Godzilla movies feature a city-stomping T-Rex dolled-up like a mid-1980s Jesse "The Body" Ventura?
posted by Flippervault at 2:20 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


If one Michael Crichton novel was going to start coming true in 2016, my money would have been on The Andromeda Strain.

The Dairy Council agrees...also, see Signs(2002).
posted by lazycomputerkids at 2:28 PM on December 8, 2016


Dinosaur ...Trapped in Amber
Cretaceous Peaks!
posted by King Sky Prawn at 2:36 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I had a dinosaur who both enjoyed scritches and would bite your finger off in the middle of them.

I have a dinosaur who both enjoys scritches and then pretends to bite my finger off in the middle of them. presumably to let me know that he could, if he wanted to?
cockatiels, man!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:45 PM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


The sparrow-sized creature could have danced in the palm of your hand.

YES PLEASE DANCE IN MY HAND LITTLE FELLA
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:47 PM on December 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


This is a red letter day for dinosaurs=fatbirds theorists everywhere.

Hey easy now...they were just big boned.
posted by srboisvert at 3:05 PM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I like how it's not 100 million years old, just 99 million years old.
posted by Camofrog at 3:15 PM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


The remarkable piece was destined to end up as a curiosity or piece of jewelry, with Burmese traders believing a plant fragment was trapped inside.
"I realized that the content was a vertebrate, probably theropod, rather than any plant," Xing told CNN.


It makes me think about the fact that likely other amazing pieces have come along and disappeared because no one was present who understood what they had.
posted by nubs at 3:16 PM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


The sparrow-sized creature could have danced in the palm of your hand.

Could also not dance and just relieve itself.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 3:18 PM on December 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


flagged as literal self-linking and also im gonna make a jurassic park joke in every single thread i read from today until NEXT YEAR
posted by poffin boffin at 3:22 PM on December 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Q. why did the dinosaur cross the road

A. bc it was a birb lol
posted by poffin boffin at 3:23 PM on December 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


Hey easy now...they were just big boned.

Please let's not relitigate birds have bones!? debate.
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:29 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


So cool! Relatedly this paleobiologist has been studying baby birds to figure out how dinosaurs moved.
posted by veery at 3:31 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sure the coelurosaur could dance in the palm of your hand, but it still has a mouth full of razors. Best not to let it anywhere near the fingers.

In a long ago age I took a genetics class where the professor went the extra mile to prove the concept of evolution to his students. He actually got an archaeopteryx fossil from somewhere and passed it out around the class, giving each of us a chance to look at it close up. I still remember the tiny, thin bone shapes buried in the stone, surrounded by a dark haze that could, maybe, have been feather impressions. You could see that it was halfway between dinosaur and bird, with the same pelvis and thin stick-like bones.

Now, looking at these coelurosaur pictures feels like that, but a dozen times stronger. Actual feathers. There's no doubt or interpretation possible here.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:40 PM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


*tries to think of something clever and scientific-y to write. gives up*

Ooooh! So pretty!! Wow!

*wonders if anyone has linked to bird is the word. hates self*
posted by billiebee at 4:04 PM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Surfin Bird.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 4:08 PM on December 8, 2016


As long as we agree that #notalldinosaurs had feathers. Personally, I think a bunch of feathers would only diminish a triceratops and make a stegosaur look goofy... well, goofier.

I also feel for the ant or maybe proto-ant visible in the amber. Preserved 100 million years 99 million years to become an also-ran.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:10 PM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Or if it's a T-Rex, they bite your everything off.

So pretty much like my dog, but with fluffy feathers instead of fluffy fur.
posted by wierdo at 4:19 PM on December 8, 2016


It's amazing to think that Big Bird was probably a dinosaur.
posted by My Dad at 4:21 PM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Where's the rest of the amber chunk??
posted by delight at 4:21 PM on December 8, 2016


When I saw that photo of the actual preserved feathers, I shouted: "I knew it! Of course dinosaurs had feathers!" At that moment, my Senegal parrot let out one of her creepy, appropriate chuckles, as if to say "we were superior then and will be again--just you wait."
posted by kinnakeet at 4:28 PM on December 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


At first I was going to say, "It's so cool that we can hold something that's 99 million years old in our hands," but then I remembered that matter is neither created nor destroyed, and that every atom of every object I interact with each day (including those of my own body) is as old as the universe. And that is even more mind-boggling.

I also recently realized -- really realized -- that I am the culmination of an enormous chain reaching back to the primordial ooze. And that is pretty cool too.

So yeah, this is awesome.
posted by delight at 4:45 PM on December 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


Sorry about the pedantry, but it's actually energy that can't be created or destroyed. Matter can absolutely be destroyed by transforming it into energy. And the atoms that surround us are extremely old, but the ages vary. The hydrogen in water and the helium in a child's balloon date back fifteen billion years (they condensed about three minutes after the Big Bang), but the other, larger atoms like calcium and iron were created in later generations of stars. They're still older than the sun, but are considerably younger than the universe itself.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:00 PM on December 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


Not sure if it will make you feel better, but Ankylosaurus was an ornithischian....

That actually does help. I feel better. I'm not sure what that says about me.
posted by lumpenprole at 5:26 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also recently realized -- really realized -- that I am the culmination of an enormous chain reaching back to the primordial ooze. And that is pretty cool too.

I get your point, but you (and I) are no more the culmination of this chain than were any two given peasants in the 9th century or any couple of trees in primeval Gondwanaland. We are just the most recent reshuffling of atoms that have been kicking around since the beginning of things. The latest links in the chain.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:41 PM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I saw these pictures, looked up at the bird nustling up at his favorite lamp and said "yeer a Dinosaur hairy" in my best Hagrid/Coltrane voice.
The bird didn't get it, fuckin' philistine dinosaur.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 5:42 PM on December 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


Wow, that poor dinosaur. Did just her tail get stuck in amber, or all of her? Did her family come to comfort her as she sat there with her tail firmly stuck, cheeping sadly to each other? I CAN RUIN ANYTHING
posted by um at 6:01 PM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter: sorry about the pedantry
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:03 PM on December 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Oops
posted by delight at 6:04 PM on December 8, 2016


Cute, fluffy dinosaurs... now they have to re-do Dinotopia!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:55 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


ricochet biscuit: "I get your point, but you (and I) are no more the culmination of this chain than were any two given peasants in the 9th century or any couple of trees in primeval Gondwanaland. "

Well, *you're* not the culmination, no. Clearly I am, though.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:52 PM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Many lizards can amputate their tails and get away if they're stuck. Dinosaurs weren't lizards, but they were reptiles, so it stands to reason that some dinosaurs may have co-evolved similar traits. Maybe this coelurosaur managed to free itself from the sap but left the tail behind.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:06 PM on December 8, 2016


Maybe this coelurosaur managed to free itself from the sap but left the tail behind.

Or perhaps someone accidentally stepped on one of Cher's early stage-outfits.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:14 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm sure the dinosaur never died. He's fine.
posted by My Dad at 10:36 PM on December 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


Jurassic Faced Jake
Jurassic Faced Jake
I say make no mistake
About Jurassic Faced Jake
- B·Rex
posted by juiceCake at 11:14 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


"The sparrow-sized creature could have danced in the palm of your hand."

The idea of holding a little fucking dinosaur in my hands makes me squee.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:25 AM on December 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


Buried lede: paleontologists rip off Burmese traders.
posted by AndrewInDC at 4:48 AM on December 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


Either that or it's a freak coincidence over 99 million years.

Considering the rarity of fossilization, "freak coincidence" technically describes ALL fossils, not just this one.

In other fossil news: Scientists discover fossil tumor in 255 million-year-old mammal forerunner
posted by zakur at 8:18 AM on December 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


/wipes shaving cream on adjacent pie
posted by Existential Dread at 8:51 AM on December 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


...the helium in a child's balloon date back fifteen billion years (they condensed about three minutes after the Big Bang)...

On the subject of pedantry, while most helium in the universe is 15BY or so old, most helium on earth is far younger. Radioactive decay in the crust produces a few thousand tons a year, which leaks out/is mined. As the direction arrow of helium in the atmosphere is decidedly out-facing, it's nice to have a steady supply being produced.

Demand, now that's another story.
posted by Phineas Rhyne at 9:32 AM on December 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


i'm gonna cook up a chicken tonight in celebration of mankind's utter victory and dominion over dinosaurs*

this is now the most profound and truthful way to eat chicken
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:37 AM on December 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Buried lede: paleontologists rip off Burmese traders."

Not sure if serious but, if you are, the article does state:
The remarkable piece was destined to end up as a curiosity or piece of jewelry, with Burmese traders believing a plant fragment was trapped inside.
"I realized that the content was a vertebrate, probably theropod, rather than any plant," Xing told CNN.
"I was not sure that (the trader) really understood how important this specimen was, but he did not raise the price."
So, I'm not sure where you're getting the "rip off" notion from.
posted by I-baLL at 9:47 AM on December 9, 2016


I'm imagining a People's Republic of China version of Indiana Jones: "That belongs in a MUSEUM."
posted by My Dad at 12:08 PM on December 9, 2016


MetaFilter: sorry about the pedantry

I actually come here for the pedantry.

Just The Facts, Ma'ame.
posted by Michele in California at 3:11 PM on December 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


In other fossil news: Scientists discover fossil tumor in 255 million-year-old mammal forerunner

Ooh, the poor thing. Is it going to be ok?
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:40 PM on December 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


This thread has made my morning.
posted by kinnakeet at 4:46 AM on December 10, 2016


Well, it seems my prediction was accurate!
posted by TedW at 6:52 AM on December 10, 2016


guys i have a great idea for an amusement park, hear me out

The hell with amusement parks - I have a great idea for a whole new thing to stuff pillows with!
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:14 PM on December 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


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