Sunday, November 30, 2008

Museum News #1

Readers, I've decided on trying something new. Every so often I will try to give you updates to what's happening at various Museums around the world.

Grand Canyon Adventure

What: Omnimax feature
Where: Cincinnatti Museum at Union Terminal
Showtimes: Monday through Wednesday: 1, 2, 3 and 5 p.m.
Thursday:1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 p.m.
Friday: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m., 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9:15 p.m.
Sunday: Hourly through 6 p.m.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fossil Fact #5!!!!!

Here we go, readers. Finally, the 5th fact. The one you've all been waiting for. The poll is closed and no more interruptions. I can finally post the fifth fact. The readers and voters have spoken and the winner? The Jurassic Period. I have to say, good choice, readers. The Jurassic is probably the most famous period. It's the one with most inaccurate facts to it. I'll clear some of that up with this fact. Let's go.....

Jurassic period (Mesozoic, part 2)-When Dinosaurs Dominated the Earth

First off, the there a lot of inaccurate information about this time period. To clear things up, Geologists divide the time the Earth has been around into eons, then eras, then periods. This is based on the relative age of the rock layers. The Dinosaurs dominated for three time periods in the Mesozoic era of the Phanerozoic eon. We've covered one: the Triassic. Another thing, T-rex didn't appear until the Late Cretaceous period. The "king of the jungle" during the Jurassic was Allosaurus.

Allow me to set the stage: Most of the Archosaurs that lived into the Late Triassic were extinct by the Jurassic period. Pangaea was still together and still did what it did best hosting a battle for the survival of the fittest.

Earth during the Jurassic period.

Since Allosaurus didn't appear until the late Jurassic period (145 million years ago), there was a theropod that preceeded him: Dilophosaurus. I don't think I need to introduce you to this 10 foot tall carnivore. You know him, you love him and at the same time fear him from the film Jurassic Park (1993). For the most part, the movie was accurate with Dilophosaurus except for the frill, and the spitting behavior. This theropod (again....paleontologist's way of classifying these guys.) was actually the first "super-predator." It domianted Pangaea for most of the Jurassic. It's teeth were not as thick as T-rex's, good enough for slicing like a steak knife through flesh and muscle. Since it couldn't crush bone, it could take down it's prey through persistant attacks. However, there were no need to take THAT many bites because there were no huge sauropods (long-necks) around mowing the forests. Prosauropods ("before sauropods"), like Plateosaurus, however did that job pretty nicely.

In the Mid Jurassic rose an even bigger theropod, Ceratosaurus. This huge theropod was unique with the fact that it had horn on the top of it's muzzle. Like Dilophosaurus, this carnivore had knife like teeth that were perfect for slicing flesh and tearing muscular tissue. Ceratosaurus lived in what is now North America.

In the Late Jurassic, the infamous theropod of his time, Allosaurus fragilis. I guess I don't need to introduce him. Y'all have probably heard of his pack hunting behavior. No? How about the claws that grabbed into the flesh like grappling hooks so it could pull it's prey towards it and take decent size bites with it's flesh-searing teeth? No? Well, you just did. It's head was also big in relation to it's body. It may have been smaller than Tyrannosaurus rex but some Paleontologists think it was even deadlier. Note: it, and the other two mwntioned were very bird like.

My First EVER Boneyard Post!!

I'm excited, readers as this my first EVER Boneyard post. I've decided to participate in this years theme of "My Favorite Museum." Granted, I don't have a favorite. There a few I've been to and a lot I haven't. So, I'll just list a few, give brief summaries, and pictures with each. (Sorry, I haven't gotten around to the fifith fact yet. I'm doing my best.) Anyway, here are a few in The United States:

Field Natural History Museum:

  • Whers is it: Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Have I been there: No
  • Point of interest: "Sue" the Tyrannosaurus rex, and other fossils
  • Info: I haven't been there but, I've always wanted to. Sue, seems to reside in the entrance to the museum. She is the largest, most preserved, and complete T-rex ever discovered. They even take you on a walk through life's evolution on Earth.

Union Terminal at Cincinnatti, Ohio:

  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
  • Have I been there?- Yes, about 3 or 4 times
  • Points of interest: Allosaurus fossil and statue, Apatosaurus femur, mastodon fossil, stuffed Polar Bear on it's hind legs, audio tour of human prehistory, HUGE Omnimax dome theater, it used to be a fully operational train station during the Great Depression, 3 museums: natural history, history, physics for kids; the first exhibits mentioned are in the natural history museum, ankylosaurus statue, some marine fossils, Cenozoic era fossils, Hadrosaur skulls, T-rex cast skull, and of course the Gift Shop with a REAL T-rex fossil foot for sale for hundreds of american dollars, cool educational DVDs (sometimes even Imax films on DVD), and lots of really cool stuff.
  • CHECK IT OUT!!!!

Houston Museum of Natural Science:

  • Where: Houston, Texas
  • I have been there least least twice.
  • Points of interest: Great collection of fossils, iMax theater, mineral hall, prehistoric shells, butterfly collection, Geology and Physics section. The website speaks for itself. It has so much cool stuff that there's no way to describe it all with this post.
  • One of My most favorite of the one's I've been to or at least remember.

Those are a few I can think of and can tell you little bit about. There's more museums that are pretty cool, but I have the links to their websites on the right hand side of this blog. They can give you some more information. If you love museums and are in the country, check out a few of the museums. They're pretty darn cool.

Friday, November 21, 2008


T-rex Mating

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2008 Coming to a Close!

Well, Christmas is coming and y'all know what that means. That's right. A New Year!!! Time for us to wrap up this chapter in our lives and start off with a clean slate with a whole new year. A time to move on learn from any mistakes made in this new year. It's a fresh start for we have been reborn anew. It's a new chapter in our lives. 2008 is coming to a close. But, before hand, we got less than 2 months before this chapter is over. Make it a Good one.

Good Bye 2008. In 2 months, Hello 2009.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fossil Fact #4 Suppliment!!

Earth during the Triassic!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Please Vote!!

Readers I can't stress this enough. Please vote in the poll at the bottom of the page. I hate to say this but I will postpone the next Fossil Fact until you guys have voted. You guys are the ones picking it, so, it makes sense. In a way you're writing it. And if you don't write it, there's no Fact. I'm trying to make this blog more interesting and interactive. It's all up to you. I thought Democracy can settle this. To be honest, I want to teach y'all. I can't if I don't know what you want to learn about. Please VOTE!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Authors Have a Curse.....Death!!!

For me, a fallback from Paleontology was to be an author like Michael Crichton or an artist. However, every so often I've noticed that a lot of the best authors in the world have died. (e.g. J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, William Golding, Shakespeare, Michael Crichton, etc.) Is it just me, or do authors have a tendency to die before retirement or in their prime? Sure, the rest of them died in their 70s or 80s (except Shakespeare and Crichton) but, not Crichton. He passed away in his 60s. HIS 60s!!!!! That's his prime. The culprit? Cancer!!! Still, I do NOT want to be an author because, of their tendency to die. I don't know why. I'm probably paranoid, I know. But, it just doesn't make any sense!!! Authors w/ curse, apparently, = Death!!! This is very strange!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Novelist, Michael Crichton, Dies!!!

Creator of the hit TV drama ER and author of Jurassic Park died Wednesday after a private battle with cancer. Crichton (1942-2008) was the author of some of the most bestselling novels of the 20th century. These include fiction like: Jurassic Park, Congo, Sphere, Prey, The Andromeda Strain, State of Fear, The Lost World, Eaters of the Dead, Rising Sun, Timeline, The Great Train Robbery, Coma, The Terminal Man, Disclosure, and, I think, Next. Michael Crichton was a very smart man and was able to challenge scientists' views about the world. He encouraged the world to think independently and form views of their own. Crichton also encouraged to educate yourself and not to go along with the "truth." In his novels, he taught very crucial lessons and sometimes cool scientific fact/theories in an indirect and easy-to-understand way. He was the kind of man that was born every so often. He inspired us each time we read a book by him. As such, he will be profoundly missed by everyone who new him and/or read his books. My regards to his family and friends.

In Memory:
J.Michael Crichton, Ph.D
Born: October 23, 1942
Died: November 4/5, 2008
Bestselling Author, Hardcore Scientist, And A Family Man

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day!!

Today is Election Day here in the United States and we are experiencing a Historic Presidential Election. This is the chance to have our first Minority president or our first female Vice-President. Since, today is such a special occasion, I'd like to wish all readers (mainly, that are American) a Happy Election Day. No mater who wins, I hope we stay United as a nation into the future. Good or Bad times, it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that we stay united, despite our political differences. It doesn't matter if we're black, white, red, purple, Republican, Democrat, independent, chinese, asian, latino, autisitic, have special needs, etc. We need to stand together no matter who wins, Barack Obama or John McCain. We are a NATION!! HAVE A HAPPY ELECTION DAY AND GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't Stress People, Work Is Fun.......Shyeah Right

If anyone has ever told you that work is fun, they are nuts!!! Cookoo!!!!!!!! Crazy!!! Psychotic!!!!!!! They don't know what they're talking about.....or do they? Normally, I agree somewhat with this statement. Work can be fun. Unfortunately, tonight our dryer didn't agree with me and/or that statement. Normally, when I try to do my laundry, it takes fifteen minutes to wash in our washing machine and about 45 minutes to dry in the dryer. Not tonight! Recently, my dryer takes two cycles to dry the same load that it used to with one. To fix that, I tried setting the timer for one hour. About fifty minutes later, they hadn't dried at all. (Okay, maybe a little.) Not good!!!! Not only that, but drying took three to four more cycles than usual and about three hours of laundry that I started about 5 PM. *sigh* Sorry, readers, I just had to vent my anger and frustration with a post. Moral of the story: when you have problems like this with your dryer, buy a new one.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fossil Fact #4!!!!!!!!

One of my friends, followers, readers and fellow bloggers, Naveed, has wanted me to a special Fossil Fact just for him. As I've ran out of ideas for facts, I thought of an idea!!! Why not get my readers involved? It was ingeneous and whaddya know it works. Well, as well as it can for Naveed to give me a suggestion. (No offense, dude.) He's a blogger and follows my blog and is fan of it. (Yay, my second fan!!) Anyway, you'd expect him to. He's a blogger. Now....enough with my rambling.....let's get the show on the road and on the Fact.

The Triassic: end of the Archosaurs and dawn of the Dinosaurs (Part One of the Mesozoic)
First off Naveed, Dinosaurs weren't the only animals that populated the Earth during this period. In fact, Dinosaurs didn't appear until the Late Triassic. The dominant land animals were huge reptiles designated Archosaurs by Paleontologists. These HUGE reptiles were bigger and different than the reptiles that inhabit the Earth today. (Probably because of the greater Oxygen levels in the atmosphere than today.)

Now, for the continents. The world is unrecognizeable. All the land masses are smashed together into one big Supercontinent called Pangaea. It'll be about 250 million years until the giant land mass crumbles like a cookie into the seven continents that we know today. This causes the seasons to be about the same nearly everywhere. It was on Pangaea that evolution spawned a new kind of reptile. One that would become one of evolution's greatest success stories: The Dinosaur.

Now, during the Late Triassic, the earth was still full of huge reptiles that still had the primitive leg design. Their legs were sprawled out away from their hips like modern reptiles. The bully on the block was one mean and nasty Archosaur: Postosuchus ("post crocodile"). This guy had a huge head that was filled with teeth that were like steak knives that were perfect taking a big chunk out of it's horned-faced ugly herbivorous neighbors the Placerias. It wasn't very fast as it had the primitive reptilian hip/leg design. However, it needn't be, it's prey couldn't run if their lives depended on it (and it usually did.) The only thing Postosuchus had to worry about was another Postosuchus. That depended on how big the other one was and how loud it's roar was. (Remember, this is all speculation and I got this information from Walking with Dinosaurs....well...these guys introduced me to these Archosaurs.)

On with the early dinosaurs. Well, the one I know the most about is Coelophysis. This theropod (simply, paleontologists designation for dinosaurian carnivores) was light weight, built for speed, and it's bones were hollow like a bird's, yet, strong. It's neck vertebrae was shaped into an S which was perfect for striking quickly at it's prey. It, presumably, hunted in packs or some sort of social group with some sort of social structure. One thing we do know, is that it was a cannibal that occasionally ate it's own young in harsh conditions. The reason? Probably, to avoid turning on each other and risking injury with a lack of food. Smart move, considering, they could spawn more young if the adults survived. The reasonable time for cannibalism would be during severe dry seasons with severe drought and severe scarcity of food. ( One neighbor that I forgot to mention during the Triassic were the mammal-like reptiles that gave rise to the true mammals.) Sadly, it didn't save them from extinction in the Jurassic period.