Controversial public art is nothing new in Colorado, the state whose largest airport welcomes you with Blucifer, the red-eyed demon mustang who tragically killed his own sculptor. But for many citizens of Durango, CO, this summer's $28,000 installation of Tom Holmes' piece "Arc of History" wasn't unsettling so much as simply aesthetically insipid. Described as "a giant stone Batman signal," "a flying piece of excrement at the intersection of Highways 160 and 550," or more succinctly, "Turd Rock," Arc of History drew little praise until last week, when an anonymous local resident placed a handmade dinosaur head atop the sculpture on Halloween. But Arc of History's new Mesozoic look was not to be. On Monday afternoon, police received a call that a group of local youth had pilfered the head, sending Durango residents in an uproar. On Wednesday evening, the Durango Herald reported that the dinosaur head had been surrendered to police custody: [more inside]
A team of researchers, including University of Edinburgh paleontologist Stephen Brusatte and Swarthmore College Associate Professor of Statistics Steve C. Wang, cataloging 853 skeletal characteristics in 150 dinosaurs and analyzing the rate at which these characters change, and they found that "there was no grand jump between nonbirds and birds in morphospace." In other words, birds didn't suddenly come into existence, but evolved, bit by bit, or characteristic by characteristic. But when birds were finally a thing, they went crazy. "Once it came together fully, it unlocked great evolutionary potential that allowed birds to evolve at a super-charged rate."
LEGO Academics experience the trials and tribulations of their taller, less-plasticy peers (previously 1, 2).
POSEIDON REX: HALF DINOSAUR! HALF SEA MONSTER! ALL TROUBLE! [SLYT]
"A small, secluded island off the coast of Belize suddenly finds itself terrorized by a deadly predator from the planet’s distant past, when deep-sea divers accidentally awaken an ancient evil. Jackson Slate and his team of underwater cave explorers unearth much more than long-lost Mayan treasure while plumbing the depths of a world famous blue hole. They disturb a creature that’s been hibernating for over 60,000 years—a rampaging behemoth of death and destruction not only at sea but also on land."
Western Digs is a source for "dispatches from the American ancient West." Posts are sorted into three main categories: Dinosaurs & Ancient Life (Paleontology, split into Dinosars, The Ice Age, Birds and All Fossils), Prehistoric Americans (Archaeology, split into Ancient Southwest and The Mississippians [Cahokia]), and Modern Artifacts (Historic Archaeology, including the subset The 20th Century). If you're not sure where to start reading, here are Western Digs’ Top 5 Paleontology Stories of 2013 and Western Digs’ Top 5 Archaeology Stories of 2013.
"Now, I don't write many short stories these days, but I'm a sucker for the right kind of charity approach. And besides, I had a hypothesis I wanted to test: that every short story can be improved by adding dinosaurs and sodomy." SF author Charles Stross (metafilter's own) shares a short shaggy dog story he wrote back in 2011 containing sex, waterfowl, and reverse-engineering evolution: "A Bird In Hand."
The thing about being an unstoppable force is that you can really only enjoy the experience of being one when you have something to bash yourself against. Allie Brosh is in fine form in the latest Hyperbole and a Half, which is oddly appropriate for almost-Halloween. Previously. Previouslier. Previouslierer. Previousliererer.
"It is made out of velcro-like fabric that lines the Russian food containers [that are] found here on the International Space Station."
9 things you may not know about giant azhdarchid pterosaurs, via Quetzalcoatlus: the evil, pin-headed, toothy nightmare monster that wants to eat your soul
Challenge: draw a dinosaur body on cardboard and have your pet stick his head through it. The Best Western Denver Southwest facebook page is having a contest for pets as part of dinosaur drawings.
"Dinosaurs welcome us along our highways, and infiltrate the most private domains of our home..." [more inside]
Excavations in Argentina have unearthed a new dinosaur with a short skull and tiny forearms: Eoabelisaurus mefi. [more inside]
The Titanoboa commutes (more). The Titanoboa disco (more). The Titanoboa vs. T-Rex. Titanoboa: Monster Snake. previously.
It seemed an unsolvable mystery, but recently we have learned what color some dinosaurs were. Of course, dinosaur art has been around since the 1850s, but, as a paleontologist entertainingly explains, most depictions contained many errors. Prior to the Dinosaur Renaissance of the 1960s, dinosaurs were famously depicted as slow reptiles. While this vision persists in horrible roadside statues, dinosaur art has evolved rapidly to cover the new understanding of feathered dinosaurs. You can see the best scientific art among the winners of the Landzerdorf Prize, or you can see how this revolution in dinosaur illustration has played out in comics. And of course you can (really!) see some dinosaurs in your backyard.
The most well-preserved dinosaur fossil ever found in Europe was recently announced: a 98 percent intact juvenile theropod that will be on public display this month in Munich.
How to hatch a dinosaur: 'So making a chicken egg hatch a baby dinosaur should really just be an issue of erasing what evolution has done to make a chicken. Every cell of a turkey carries the blueprints for making a tyrannosaurus, but the way the plans get read changes over time as the species evolves.' [via]
I am TRYING to SLEEP! (SLYT)
DINOSOAP archaeological soap lets you easily experience the fun of archaeological work! Body itself as a special soap made of double-modulation soap: scrub in the process each time, easier to dissolve the outer layer of the "loess" will gradually erode, slowly revealing more difficult to dissolve the inner layer buried in the "dinosaur fossil." Just few weeks, a mini ancient dinosaur fossils can be excavated Hello! [more inside]
To promote the launch of Dino D-Day, an FPS where you fight Nazis and their resurrected dinosaurs, Steam created a line of WWII-style propaganda posters that are pure win. (Via)
Friday Flash Fun: Remember Dino Run? It's back in two new forms. Dino Run: Marathon Of Doom is one extra long, hard Dino Run level. It's helping promote Dino Run SE, a $3 downloadable version with new maps, hats, and dinosaur colors. Money goes to support Gamma Bros 2.
No Leftovers for Tyrannosaurus Rex: New Evidence That T. Rex Was Hunter, Not Scavenger [Full text] [more inside]
Can a snake prey on a dinosaur? The answer is yes. A plug of wet sediment captures a snake preying on a dinosaur hatchling.
What you need are photos of Michael Buble Being Stalked By A Velociraptor.
Bing realised combining random tweets with random Dinosaur Comics panels was a good thing. Then Idefex took it a step further. And now you can too.
When and if the dinochicken is created, Horner looks forward to bringing it out on a leash during lectures. (book)
A Dinosaur Paleontologist's View of Godzilla; fabulous views from Godzilla (previously); an alternate history view of Godzilla; a view of Godzilla's insides.
Two-hundred -and-forty million years ago, a recently-discovered amphibian hunted with a special feature: teeth in the roof of the mouth. [more inside]
Off-Road Velociraptor Safari [flash game, requires Unity Web Player installation]
Some say volcanoes killed them. Some people say an impact. Some say both. Coulda been bugs, actually. Lots of theories, some better than others. Not like it's that uncommon in the grand scheme of things.
Scientists find a 'mummified' Hadrosaur in North Dakota "He looks like a blow-up dinosaur in some parts," said Phillip Manning, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester in England who is leading the inquiry. "When you actually look at the detail of the skin, the scales themselves are three dimensional. . . . The arm is breathtaking. It's a three-dimensional arm, you can shake the dinosaur by the hand. It just defies logic that such a remarkable specimen could preserve." [more inside]
Monkey Punch Dinosaur. Q: What's better than a giant monkey punching a dinosaur? A: A giant monkey punching THREE dinosaurs! Shortcut to the delightfulnesss. Via
Fig-leaf-eating Velociraptor Scandal! Look, I've got nothing against religion but if you believe a word of it you are, in the words of Robert Burns, "a dumbass fuck".
Barney is a 6 year old boy whose dad bought the .co.uk domain of his name so he can use it when he's older. Barney is a 60 million year old malevolent purple dinosaur and wants "his" domain name back. Hilarity, thinly vieled contempt and common-sense ensues .. (via NTK)
Aiee!! Pelorosaurus by god knows who, Corythosaurus illustrated by Zdenek Burian, Ornitholestes by Charles Knight--Dinosaur Illustrations has led me to two wonderful sites: Early Image and Paper Dinosaurs, 1824-1969 - An Exhibition of Original Publications From the Collections of the Linda Hall Library, as well as many other little treasures.
Download a Dinosaur - just print it out and get yourself some glue and scissors (careful with the scissors) and you got your very own dinosaur. Hours of fun!
Dinosaurs are back in the new trailers for Jurassic Park 3. You can also read some spoilers for the movie here.
The Flintsons: Based on a True Story According to a recent survey, half the adults surveyed didn't know that the Earth revolves around the sun, and 42 percent said they thought early humans lived side by side with dinosaurs. Seems like we hear about some survey of this nature every year ("87% of high school children can't find the US on a map of the US!"), although this article at least has a citation. I couldn't find any mention of said survey on the CAoS website. (Although if you take a look at their masthead, you can see why some people may be confused about scientific issues, as it seems to show fish revolving around the DinoWorld ...)