Released in 1992 (the same year as the much more complex Sim Life) and published by Enix, Almanic's E.V.O.: Search for Eden is a Super Nintendo game in which players evolve a custom-made organism across vast geologic epochs and numerous phylums by growing new jaws, fins, tails, wings, horns, lungs and assorted other body parts. A cult classic that predates the more widely recognized evolution-em-up Spore by 16 years, E.V.O. is actually the thematic followup to an obscure 1990 PC-98 evolution-themed RPG called 64 Okunen Monogatari: The Shinka Ron (4.6 Billion Year Story: The Theory of Evolution). For almost as many years, 46 Okunen Monogatari has remained an intriguing mystery for Western audiences, but now a full English translation patch has been released. [more inside]
Analysis of fossilized Antarctic bird's 'voice box' suggests dinosaurs couldn't sing. Which is to to say:
The discovery of the Mesozoic Era vocal organ (Nature, paywalled) -- called a syrinx -- and its apparent absence in non-avian dinosaur fossils of the same age indicates that the organ may have originated late in the evolution of birds, and that other dinosaurs may not have been able to make noises similar to the bird calls we hear today.Dinosaurs didn't quack or cluck, but may have sounded more like an ostrich (more samples). [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."
Dimetrodon is not a dinosaur! Sorry to ruin your childhood yet again, but it's not even a reptile. It's a synapsid, which makes it one of our cousins. [more inside]
Secrets of T-Rex sex! An interview with John Long, author of The Dawn of the Deed: The Prehistoric Origins of Sex. Long's four-part series on Evolution: This View of Life - 1) Down and Dirty in the Devonian; 2) Palaeozoic Paternity Problems; 3) From Bones to Behavior; 4) From Clasper to Penis. Also a Scientific American video ("Long discusses a fossil central to this new view of the origin of copulation and live birth: a 375-million-year-old expectant mother fish dubbed Materpiscis attenboroughi").
Some early test shots from legendary filmmaker and animator Ray Harryhausen's unfinished film, Evolution. [more inside]
Dinosaurs preach Young Earth creationism. "The Fossil Finders are a group of eight homeschooled children on a search for the [Biblical] truth on fossils." (This shorter excerpt cuts to the main argument, involving the discovery of flexible T. Rex tissue. Scientists remain interested in the find.) The video was produced by World's Biggest Dinosaurs, the people who now own the roadside landmark, Cabazon Dinosaurs -- and have turned it into a creation museum. [Previously]
Bone Wars is an educational game that "simulates the process of creating a scientific hypothesis and testing it against new data" (A good thing to teach kids with people like these guys running around). The game is based on the legendary Cope/Marsh feud: a conflict that caused one Dinosaur to be classified twice and could make for a really cool movie someday.
One fifth of all bird species are in danger of extinction. And right when we're finally understanding where they came from, too.
Coming soon, the Creation Museum. Tired of those pesky evolutionists getting all the natural history museums? Want to see dinosaurs threatening Adam or entering the ark? Then hie yourself to Petersburg, Kentucky, where what is billing itself as "the world's most unusual museum" will soon be opening its doors. "Uneasy answering questions about radiocarbon dating? Rock layers? Natural selection? Do you want to believe in six literal days, but you’re still confused about the big bang or Grand Canyon? You’ll find answers here!" Some background on founder Ken Ham and his theory that dinosaurs are "missionary lizards" who draw young minds to evolution and must be reclaimed.
Birds are not descended from Dinosaurs. The latest in the ongoing debate about the origin of birds and whether they evolved from dinosaurs or from a earlier common ancestor. Chinese scientists report the discovery of a 120 million year old bird fossil that had feathers and could clearly fly.