Imagine it's the Fall of 1987 and you recently saw The Princess Bride (trailer). Then you heard that Fred Savage was back, in an oddly familiar setting with another story, this time about dinosaurs. You might be thrilled to see Dinosaurs! A Fun-Filled Trip Back In Time! (full film), even if you've already seen Will Vinton's clayanimation that was used as part of a dream sequence of sorts. Flash forward to the present day and you might do a bit of research on the "prehistoric monsters" featured in the short film and find some of the details less than accurate. [more inside]
Japan has a national gift for holding in balance the stateliness of tradition and the marvel of novelty. So it ought to come as no surprise that on the western margin of the archipelago, on a serene bay in a remote area of the Nagasaki Prefecture, there is an enormous theme park dedicated to the splendors of imperial Holland. It follows with perfect logic that the historical theme park’s newest lodging place is the world’s first hotel staffed by robots.
Scientists have genetically modified a chicken to make its fibula tubular all the way down, just like a dinosaur. A different group of scientists previously modified a chicken to give it dinosaur teeth. Previously, and previously-er.
A tyrannosaur of one’s own. by Laurie Gwen Shapiro [Aeon] Dinosaur collecting isn't just for museums any more — film stars and sheikhs do it too. What drives a man to covet big bones?
The world’s most famous palaeontologist doesn’t understand why anyone wants to collect dinosaurs. Mark Norell sits across from me in his expansive corner office at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and launches right in: ‘People are weird. I think: “Who is buying this shit?” No accounting for people’s taste. I have a passion for dinosaurs, but certainly not what I would call “dinosaur insanity”. Dinosaurs are just a medium for me to do science. But if I were doing the same thing on some other organism – you wouldn’t be here.’
A few months ago, I went searching for the truth about that missing bone. I was not the first — plenty of others have sought the largest dinosaur that has ever lived. What I found was a quest that has driven some people toward maniacal competition, some to conspiracy theories and others to disregard scientific consensus. It drove me to a little rocky outcropping on a hill in rural Colorado known as Cope’s Nipple.—The Biggest Dinosaur In History May Never Have Existed by David Goldenberg is about Amphicoelias fragillimus, a species of sauropod dinosaurs described by famed paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope from a single, enormous bone, which later went missing. It may have been the biggest of the big, as explained by Prof. Ken Carpenter [pdf] or a fiction created by a typo [pdf], as argued by Cary Woodruff and John R. Foster.
Drowned dinosaur eggs' fossil remains reveal embryos grew fast Plus a new study suggests a link between dinosaur and bird nesting habits. Another article frames that study differently. And, remarkably, a treasure trove of dinosaur eggs was found in fossil-poor Japan.
Velociraptors as Disney Princesses. Simple. Clever.
Scientists say they have reversed a bit of bird evolution in the lab and re-created a dinosaurlike snout in developing chickens.
Zigong Dinosaurs World Science & Technology Co makes animatronic dinosaurs. Some are large and imposing, some less so. Their Youtube channel is a 5-year-old's delight.
Since 1979 the main hall in London's Natural History Museum has been dominated by a plaster cast of a fossil of a Diplodocus (apparently called 'Dippy'). It has been announced that is to be replaced by the skeleton of a Blue Whale. There has been somewhat of a reaction.
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]
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