Valley of the Mastodons Day 2

Hey there every peoples!

Welcome to day 2 of the Valley of the Mastodons at the Western Science Center. Lets check out the talks! (bear with me on the pictures. It was very dark and people moved a lot)

Continue reading

Advertisements

Into Jurassic World Part 3: Attack of the Fanboys

Hey there every peoples

Here we are. About to dig into the hideous, cancerous world of dinosaur fanboys  (and fangirls. They certainly exist, but I’m using fanboy as a shorthand. Plus most of the hate i have encountered has come from the male variety). There are no winners here. We all lose. Oh deep unabiding joy. Let’s get this over with.

Continue reading

Searching Paleontological Hotspots

Hey there every peoples.

My last post seemed like a total non starter. I knew it would be insignificant, but damn, did it seem to go unnoticed, even by this blog’s standards. But still, whether I had a billion dollars or just a few thousand, where would my museum go? I have talked about all kinds of places on “The Hit List”. These are extremely numerous and probably unfeasible to try and tackle in my lifetime (of course assuming I even make it far enough to start building a collection). So I have decided to place priority on some select localities I have dubbed “Paleontology Hot Spots”. These are places that boast a long and continuous fossil history. Instead of just a few million years of most geologic formations, these “hotspots” have multiple sequences of formations that really detail the changes in life and environment through time. I have selected 4 that I’d like my museum to focus on should it ever take off.

Continue reading

The Real Godzilla (And Yes, He’s Australian)

Hey there every peoples!

Today marks a momentous occasion: the release of Gareth Edward’s Godzilla! This is the first Godzilla movie on American soil since Roland Emerich’s disastrous (no pun intended) take on the iconic reptile in 1998. Considering the poor critical response and the perpetual ire of the fan boys, the G-Man would not get an American outing for 14 years. Godzilla is often used a comparison for any giant reptile. Most often it is applied to dinosaurs, since Godzilla is supposed to be a resurected dinosaur. But I think the title of Godzilla incarnate is better applied to a much different animal. Dinosaurs were related to birds, not lizards, and Godzilla is often called a lizard. We fear what we don’t understand, but often fear can come when something familiar (and maybe already terrifying) is taken to the max. And I’m not talking about feathered dinosaurs (“Would I like to see an enfluffled Tyrannosaurus chasing after hapless humans? Absolutely. I’d be thrilled to view such scientifically-informed nightmare fuel.”- Brian Switek. A featured tyrannosaurus is a can of worms for another time) I’m talking about something more insidious to our primitive monkey brains. Something that, unlike dinosaurs, early man would have encountered. I’m talking about the most famous of Australia’s Pleistocene menagerie: Megalania.

Continue reading

What-a-roo? Megaroo!

Hey there every peoples!

Welcome to the second (sorta) week of Australia month. Whenever the extinct animals of Australia are mentioned, it’s the Pleistocene fauna. And even among that, only a select few are brought up. One of them is an animal who towered over everything else. It was a creature we are quite familiar with but was at the same time unlike anything living in Australia today. In a pitiful attempt to give it a common name, I call it: the megaroo.

Continue reading

Bear + Tapir + Wombat = Palorchestes!

Hey there every peoples!

Long time, no see, busy, blah blah blah. Serious crap went down that have set me back as far as the Grand Vision goes. I considered writing about it but i don’t want to bore you with the details. It would have also tied into the commercial/professional debate and i think we ALL have had enough of that for now. So instead, I decided I’m going to talk about a corner of Paleontology that doesn’t get much attention: the fossils of Australia.

Continue reading

“Better Know a Museum” Month Part 3: Trash for Treasure in Madera County

Hey there every peoples!

Fossil discovery is the stuff of legends. News reports, books, and documentaries portray paleontologists searching the forsaken terrain of far off lands, roughing it like cowboys. Cut off from the hustle and bustle of modern society, they have retreated to perhaps one of the last wild spaces on earth, free to scour the badlands for the bones of long forgotten creatures. Eyes to the ground, the keep a sharp vigil for any sign that a bone is peeking out of the ground. Any thing is welcome, but the remains of a beast new to science is the greatest prize to be had. It is the romantic vision most often conjured by the secondhand story teller as well as common people who hear the word paleontologist. This version was true back in the early days of paleontology, and it still occurs in some of the more remote parts of the world.

Continue reading