Sunday, November 30, 2008
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
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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!!!!
- 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
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Good Bye 2008. In 2 months, Hello 2009.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
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
Monday, November 3, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
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.