Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Halloween, readers!!!!!!!!!!! Today, is the spookiest, and, by far, the sweetest day of the year. It's a time for pumpkins, cold weather, costumes, haunted houses, ghouls, goblins, ghosts, and monsters. Scare yourself or your friends and family. Eat candy until you vomit. (With as much candy as you'll eat, you'll probably vomit until Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year.) LOL!!!! The point is to have a fun, happy, and safe Halloween this year. Don't do it because I, Raptor Lewis, told you to. Do it for yourselves. I'm taking the night off from blogging. So, don't expect the next Fossil Fact anytime tonight. Enjoy yourselves and have fun. Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Give me some suggestions or ask a Question

Now, I think it's time for me to let you, readers, decide on the next fact. Yes, you. If you have questions, please ask. This blog was intended to educate the public. I've been busy with Homework and haven't ahd time to blog. When I do get time to blog I often forget what I wanted to post. So..........please............I'm begging you tell me! I know you've got questions and please ask them. PaleoQuest is for your benefit. Not mine. Although, blogging is kinda like writing down one's thoughts. I can't think of everything, so, I rely on you, the readers, to tell me what to post or ask a question. I like questions because it means you're interested in this blog and I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't important to me. I, will, however, post this weekend....'cause...by the weekend, I should have something to say....maybe a fact or something. I run out of ideas because I'm so dang busy. Dang!! If High School's this hard, I wonder what college is like. Anyway, it's worth achieving my dream of being a Paleontologist. (Man, I gotta quit rambling.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fossil Fact #3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A couple of years ago, back in 2005, Paleontologists in Montana, USA discovered the fossilized remains of a new hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur) was discovered called Brachylophosaurus, a Late-Cretaceous (70 million years ago) herbivore with a duck-like bill full of flat grinding molars and looked a bit like an Edmontosaurus. This one was special!!! Named "Leonardo", this Hadrosaur turned out to be a mummy!!!!!!!! With skin still attached, with muscles, and it's last meal!!!!!!!!!!!! With soft tissue fossilized and still attched to a good percentage of it's body, this specimen from the "Leonardo Formation" in Montana, was a major discovery. Dinosaur fossils rarely mummify and then Fossilize. So far, only Duck-bills have mummified as far we know. Meaning, it was attacked by a predator. Here's Leo's Story as I know it:

Leonardo, the mummy Brachylophosaur
Leonardo lived in the Late Cretaceous period (70 million-65 million years ago) of the Mesozoic era in North America. Leonardo had a long wide tail for balance when running from predators, a duck-billed mouth full of flat molars designed for chewing up tough pieces of plants such as conifers. His species occasionally reared up on their hind legs to graze from the tops of trees. Basically, it was an Edmontosaur "cousin." Now, while Leonardo was drinking he didn't see the threat coming for him. A giant Theropod such as a Tyrannosaurus rex charged for him, taking a huge chunk out of the side of Leonardo and then aiming for the neck to shatter the spine. It was unsuccessful and Leonardo later died of his wounds. He later dried out in the sun, became mummified, and then was swallowed up by the lake and sunk to the bottom. He was covered in sediments, the calcium in his bones were replaced by the mineral in the rock, turning the mummy, Leonardo, into a fossil.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fossil Fact #2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This will knock your socks off, literally!!!!!!!!! Four million years ago, in Uruguay's rain forest, stalked one of the biggest rodents that ever lived!!! An ameteur Paleontologist Sergio Viera discovered the fossilized skull of this 3-ton/ 6,000-pund rat!!!!!!!! That's a HUGE rat problem! The skull was 21-inches long and Paleontologists suggest it was about 6,000 lbs. However, others say that size estimates based on skull length would not be an accurate depiction of this animal's size. However they agree that it's teeth suggest it was an herbivore that foraged in the rain forests hwere it was found. Let me tell you the story, readers, of this Collossal mammal.

Josephiartegasia monesi: The 3-ton Rat
4 million years ago the Earth looked VERY similar to the way it does today. This means it was the same as it does today (well, continental-wise). Down in South America lived THE Biggest rodent that ever lived. This 3-ton rat had a jaw that was well adapted for the vegetation that grew close to the ground in the South American Rainforest during the Quaternary Period of the Cenozoic era. (4 million years ago-Present.) Why it disappeared? Paleontologists think that climate change altered it's habitat so that that the rodent's size could no longer be supported.

Monday, October 27, 2008

More Facts To Come (even after a bad day)

There's one thing I hate more than fish (I'm not a big fish person). That's MONDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know why I can't have a good Monday. For some reason, I'm always tired no matter how early I go to bed. It's frustrating. It's something you try to prepare for, but, the fact is..........you can't. Sunday goes by way too quickly. Even if I sleep until 9:00 am, it's 4:00 pm an hour later. I'm not in the mood to teach right now. Not only that, This day got worse (if that's even possible) as kids were jerks and pushing me out of line on the bus this morning. My bag got caught in the buses seatbelt, I spilled marinara sauce on my clean Snowshoe mountain shirt. It was fine otherwise and tomorrow's another day. Remember to keep your head held high and don't care how people think of you. So, there are more facts to come, even after a bad day.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fossil Fact!!!!!!!!

My friend Traumador has made a very good post about New Zealand's dinosaurs in recent study by two Alberta based Paleontologists Snively, and Bell. Of course, all that covered whether the Dinosaurs found in the polar regions of the Earth actually lived there year-round or migrated there the way modern birds do today. One interesting fact, he covered were the fact that small little herbivorous dinosaurs lived in the Poles during the Cretaceous. I've decided to help him out by explaining these cute and resouceful critters. And here they are...


Leaellynasaura: the Polar Hypsilophodont
Allow me to set the scene. As you probably know, the Earth was very different than it is today. For much of the Earth's history when it could support life on land, all the continents were packed together into one big supercontinent called Pangaea. For about 200 million years, most of the Dinosaurs "reign", this supercontinent was together supporting one of the biggest battles ever on the face of the Earth: the Survival of the Fittest. However, once the Cretaceous (145 million years ago-65 million years ago) came along, Pangaea broke up into two supercontinents called Gondwana and Laurasia. The Atlantic Ocean was young and smaller then it is today. North America was split into thirds by an ocean cutting across it. The continents was more recognizable by this time. The setting of our story lies in the Antarctic where Australia was still attached.
The main "character" of this story is a tiny little hypsilophodont called a Leaellynasaura. (Hypsilophodont was a species that first appeared in the Jurassic period.) She wasn't much bigger than a rat today. She lived in the Early Cretaceous in the frozen forests (in the winter) of Antarctica. She was bipedal and were very organized. As the others grazed and went on with their daily business, some stood guard and sounded an "alarm" when a predator was spotted. (e.g. Polar Allosaurus, Koolasuchus) Anyway, they functioned the sameway chipmunks and squirrels do today. They gather food for the harsh winter and store it away. Then, they hibernate, huddling together to stay warm. Their survival was the responsiblities of the alphas of the group. If they died, then there were competitions of dominance to see you the next "chiefs" are. This evolutionary advantage will work for a good several million years. But, it will not save them from extinction later on in the Cretaceous.

Delayed Posting.

Sorry, readers for the delay in posting and blogging. Sometimes getting grounded by your loving, yet, still annoying parents is a pain in the butt. That's right, I got grounded. Let's just say, too much posting and not enough sleep is a VERY bad idea!!! My keyboard got ripped right from my computer. I had lots of ideas and I just couldn't post them. I'm sorry for the delay in my blogging. Anyway, one of the things that needs to be said is that "Fossil Alerts" are now called "Fossil Facts" as I don't always look for Paleontology stuff. Now, when I have something to teach y'all, It'll be when I can and in the middle of a post. Easy, huh? If I don't have anything else to teach, feel free to email me a suggestion, or just to say "hi" because I like making new friends. Also, if you have any questions about a particular thing, just ask via email or comment on my blog. I'll be sure to let your voices be heard. Don't be afraid and I'll do my best to answer it. Remember, that's the purpose of this blog. I want you to enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My life keeps getting better and better!!

Thank you, readers for enjoying this blog. This wouldn't exist if there was no one to read it. I hope you learn something from this as that is the point. My life is getting better and better. My grades are awesome, I have this blog and readers like you. I am very fortunate and I wanna thank y'all for checking this blog out and following it. It means a lot to me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What is a Dinosaur?

Some of you have probably wondered what makes a dinosaur a dinosaur. You're like: "Well, a Pterodactyl lived in the same time periods as the dinosaurs, so why isn't it one?" Well, in that case, you are correct about them living in the same time period, but, it's NO Dinosaur. A Dinosaur was a special reptile that had evolved legs directly under their hips , just like people. This allowed them to walk upright, reach high speeds, and reach the size some of them grew to. Some were very bird-like. They couldn't fly, or even swim for that matter. Paleontologists even get into heated and pretty darn fierce debates over whether they were endothermic (warm-blooded) or ectothermic (cold-blooded). This deals with what kind of heart they had, their skeletal structure. This lets them theorize about behavior and so on and so forth. I won't get into that at the moment, readers. I've already answered your common question. "What makes a Dinosaur a Dinosaur?" Well, now you know. (If you don't like the way they are classified, don't get mad at me 'cause I didn't make it up.) And, hey, if you want a more detailed explanation, go to my friend Traumador's blog. (http://traumador.blogspot.com/)

Great news!!!

Remember how I said that I was going to find "fossils"? Well, i won't have to do it alone because, hopefully, a good friend of mine, who also loves dinosaurs and Paleontology, is coming over to my house this weekend to hangout and maybe even hunt a little bit. It's going to be a blast! What we might do is watch Dinosaur movies as usual and/or change the sleepover a little. It's a young Fossil hunter's night to party. So, readers, don't expect me to blog all the time. I will blog about that night afterwards and share some of our findings. However, It's back to business on catching up, then. I may or may not blog the whole week. It depends on Homework load. The future is wide open. See you later, readers. and, for those of you who speak other languages: Hasta Luego!, Auf Weidersein, Ciao, Adios, Nos Vemos, etc.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just for a Friend

One of my good online friends happens to be a dinosaur. Not just any dinosaur a Tyrannosaurus rex. he may be pint-sized, but he is extremly smart and a the best theropod ("beast-feet") that I know. As a tribute ot his good will and good work on his blog (http://traumador.blogspot.com/), I will give his species some more fame.

Tyrannosaurus rex:

Every one knows this infamous carnivore. Discovered by Barnum Brown in the early 20th century, T-rex has been the star of most dinosaur movies in the past century. However, it has been mostly characterized as montser that mindlessly eats anything in it's path. That is WRONG!!! It was amazing and fearsome, yet, it was an animal that had the same basic needs as animals (like us) do today.

It's closest living reletive today would be the birds. T.rex was very similar to a modern bird. Even though it grew up to 18-20 feet tall, weighed 6-7 tons, and grew to at least 40 feet long, it's bones were hollow, yet, strong. It had bone-crushing teeth with serrations on both sides, as big as a banana. Like modern birds, T-rex had a backward pointing joint. (It's ankle was pointed backwards, as in birds, their knee points backwards.)

It's been theorized by Paleontologists as fierce predator and/or scavenger. Nevertheless, it was well muscled and had a large olfactory lobe (that's the part of the brain that controlled an animal's sense of smell, and it had one of the largest in the fossil record.)

Prey animals may have included ceratopsians like Triceratops, and Torosaurus, and duck-billed hadrosaurs (eg. Parasaurolophus, Maiasaura, Corythosaurus, etc.).

Welcome to the New and Improved PaleoQuest

Welcome!!!!!!!!!!!! You may know me as just Raptor. But now I will go my full name Raptor Lewis. If some of you were confused, my quest has been to research prehistoric organisms and educate the public about these creatures who's world we've "invaded." (Actually, the earth was quite different when these creatures lived than it is now.) I'd explain more about the difference and evolution of life on earth, but, that's what my blog is for. And, Traumador the Tyrannosaur, if you're reading this, I will do one of my first "Fossil Alerts" on your species. Fossil Alerts let you know when I've found something. I'll teach you about the organism I've researched. Above all enjoy the blog.