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 Meet the nodosaur — the plant-eating armored dinosaur! Discovered by miners in Alberta, it is the best-preserved fossil of its kind.

The basilisk (Naja regula) and the cockatrice (Regulus gallus) do have overlapping distributions, but they are not the same creature.
The basilisk is the tiniest of spitting cobras, maxing out at only around 12-14 inches. However, it is also among the most venomous, and packs both a deadly bite and the ability to spit blinding venom several feet away with deadly accuracy. But before you get too disappointed, there may be some truth to the reports of insta-death odors and environment wrecking toxins as well, though not in the way you might think. These diminutive serpents dwell in volcanic regions surrounding the Red Sea and along the Great Rift Valley, where hidden gas vents may have made it appear that local flora and fauna have dropped dead for no reason.
The cockatrice, meanwhile, is a much showier beast. A flightless member of the wyvernidae family, it is swift footed and aggressive. Both sexes possess the red head and wattle, but the male’s crest is much more pronounced and swells with blood during mating rituals and threat displays. All dragons can spit up the contents of their stomach to some degree; the genus Regulus has honed this defense mechanism to a precise spurt of chemicals that can cause a painful burning sensation and blindness, much like the spitting cobra. This is generally a last resort; they prefer to simply bite and kick.
The female lays 3-5 eggs in a shallow depression lined with dry grass and leaves. It is up to the male to incubate the eggs and protect the chicks from predators, especially mongooses, which seem undeterred by the cockatrice’s aggressive nature. Cockatrices are found in Northern Africa, as well as parts of Southern Europe.

like flying, like falling

I got the loveliest @edendaphne as a part of a little gift exchange! I wanted to do something for sidekick!Adrien au, especially based off a few of her wonderful drawings! Thank you @powerdragonmoon for your help, and thank you @baneismydragon for pulling this together! 

“It’s just like flying, I swear.”

Ladybug eyes the motorcycle purring quietly away beneath Chat’s hands with doubt.

“When you said I was going to be entertained, this isn’t what I imagined,” she says, hands on her hips. Her eyes follow the blades of silver light running along the polished, black metal of the motorcycle’s solid frame, up to the point where Chat’s leather-clad leg bisects the view as he braces his feet against the ground. Her gaze travels up, instead, to the sleek leather of his tight pants, to the tailored, fitted cut of his bulletproof jacket.

The thing about leather is that it leaves little to the imagination- little, but just enough…

“Want to ride me?” Chat offers.

Ladybug can see the way her jaw drops open at the suggestion, reflected in the mirror-clean visor of Chat’s helmet. The visor slides up with a sharp click in the next second, revealing his green eyes, acid-bright in the night and comically wide in panic.

“Ride with me, with me,” he squeaks, voice cracking in his haste to correct himself. He coughs, and hurriedly adds, “It’s super safe, I promise.”

Except that Chat’s definition of safe is often way off base from her own. Ladybug still vividly remembers the one time he leaped off a building and landed on his moving motorcycle with a wild, exhilarated whoop that did not match the rush of sheer terror that jammed her heart up her throat at the time. She’s pretty sure he knocked off at least five years off her lifespan in that single moment.

Still, when his hand unfolds out toward her, she takes it without a second thought.

“Like flying, you said?”

“Hey, you’ve got your magical supersuit,” he laughs. “These are my wings.”

Ladybug can feel the moment she gives in as his eyes sparkle at her. She swings a leg over the motorcycle and settles in snugly behind Chat, wriggling until her front is pressed to his back. Her hands take their time ghosting up his hips and around his lean waist; even through the leather, she can feel his pulse quicken, can see when his breath hitches in his throat even as he slides his visor back down.

“Alright handsome boy,” she purrs into his ear, underscoring the heavy beat of his thundering heart. “Show me what you’ve got.”

The motorcycle stirs beneath them before awakening with a roar. Chat kicks off, and then only the wind catches Ladybug’s delighted shrieks as they race down the empty city streets.  

Riding his motorcycle always fills Chat’s veins with adrenaline, but Ladybug’s exhilarated laughter and warm, possessive hold around him makes him feel positively electric. The city passes by them in flashes as they travel along the lightning of the moment.

“Enjoying yourself?” Chat yells back at her.

Her grip around him tightens, and the way her hands splay over his chest is not entirely necessary for her safety, but is utterly capable of producing a flush that shudders over his whole body.

“Definitely!” she yells against the wind, the teasing grin audible in her voice. “But if you wanted flying, then I can do one better.”

- - - 

“This is falling,” Adrien argues. His helmet and motorcycle rest in a tucked away alleyway, safe from any curious passerby and woefully far from the high rooftop he and Ladybug stand on.

“You coming, chaton?” Her yoyo swings in lazy circles as she beckons him over to her with her free hand. He comes, irresistibly drawn to her like a magnet.

“My turn to show you how it’s done,” Ladybug laughs. Her yoyo snaps back to her hip before she turns around and offers her back, gesturing clearly for him to hop on.

He slowly steps right up behind her, savouring the way her muscles tense at his proximity. His breath ghosts along her neck, raising goosebumps, before he murmurs, “Ready?”

Before she can answer, he jumps up and wraps himself around her back, hooking his legs over her hips and slinging his arms over her shoulders. He laughs, a shit-eating grin on his face, as Ladybug curses and stumbles at the sudden weight. She quickly finds her balance again and straightens up, turning her head to the side so he can see the unimpressed look on her face. Mischief glitters bright in her the sky of her eyes though, betraying her amusement.

“Dirty trick,” Ladybug comments.

“Nothing dirty about it,” Adrien assures her with a wink. He chuckles against her neck as she turns to face the front again with a huff, a blush rising from the high collar of her suit. His hold around her tightens as she braces a hand under one of his legs and unhooks her yoyo from her hip with the other.

“Don’t scream,” she reminds him.

“Not a problem.” Then, as her yoyo begins spinning before them, he asks, “Do I even weigh anything to you?”

“Nah, it’s like holding a couple of grapes,” Ladybug laughs. Despite the levity of her answer, heat pools at the bottom of Adrien’s stomach as he marvels at her strength, at the way she effortlessly, easily holds him up. Before he can worry about the unexpected turn of his thoughts, her yoyo whips out, hooks onto a nearby rooftop, and launches them into the air, saving him from himself.

He’s watched her fly over the cityscape dozens, hundreds of times, through camera feeds he’s hacked into from his computer, and through the dark visor of his helmet when he rides out into the streets to help her. Ladybug is nothing but purposeful and sure in her every move, her every step. He’s seen it, over, and over, and over again.

But feeling it is something else entirely. Even with his added weight, she lands and leaps with total control, with an ease and confidence to be envied. They soar up into the clear night air, high enough until they seem like the only two people in the world with all the city laid before them.

The wind flying by on the long drop down claims Adrien’s wild, ecstatic whoop. When his eyes begin to water from the speed, he buries his head into the crook of Ladybug’s neck, laughter still spilling over in his giddiness.

“I still don’t know if I’d call this flying,” he says, his lips tracing her skin. He can feel her swallow as his words press on her neck, can feel the way she falters ever so slightly as she swings them both down to land on the solid ground of a rooftop. Emboldened, he gives a little nip, smiling at her quiet gasp, before humming, “It’s falling.”

Ladybug stills, her muscles tense, her breaths coming in quick and hot. That can be blamed on adrenaline and exertion- but not entirely.

Adrien murmurs, “I’m still falling.”

His steel-toed boots hit the ground and Ladybug turns on him like fire unleashed, grabbing his collar and pulling him down into a deep kiss that has him not flying, not falling, but floating and seeing stars. He wastes no time in winding his hands around her slim waist, his fingers tracing the curved red pattern of her suit.

“That was so cheesy,” Ladybug groans breathlessly as they break apart.

“It worked,” he grins as she pulls the zipper of his jacket down.

“If you’re free enough to talk, you’re free enough to make good on your promise to me earlier,” she reminds him, her hands diving beneath his jacket to trace hard muscle beneath the thin black turtleneck. Her fingers rake over his stomach and she grins as she feels him gasp at her touch.

Instead of coming onto her strong like she expects, Adrien lifts her chin up with a hand and captures her lips in a soft, slow kiss. The unexpected tenderness completely wipes her mind blank as she sinks into him, heat simmering low in her belly. His hand tangles into her hair and just as she begins to relax, he gives a sharp, authoritative tug, pulling a moan from her throat as her head rears back.

Ladybug’s hands bunch the bottom of his turtleneck up in frustration, but she gives as good as she gets as she hooks her fingers into his belt loops and pulls his hips flush against hers, startling a groan from Adrien.

Undeterred, his head dips down, lavishing attention onto whatever bare skin he can reach. He leaves a necklace of kisses and hickeys around her throat for her to wear. His grip on her hair tightens when she tries to lean forwards to kiss him again, leaving him free to take his time planting kisses along her cheeks, her forehead, the corners of her mouth, everywhere but where she wants it most.

He gets closer and closer then always denies her, until a frustrated whine finally escapes her.

With Ladybug’s short hair and long ribbons hopelessly tousled from his hands, her cheeks flushed a bright red, and her eyes burning fever bright in excitement and want, Adrien grins as he leans forward to purr into her ear.

“How’s that for entertainment?”

2

The secrets behind T. rex’s bone crushing bites: Researchers find T. rex could crush 8,000 pounds

The giant Tyrannosaurus rex pulverized bones by biting down with forces equaling the weight of three small cars while simultaneously generating world record tooth pressures, according to a new study by a Florida State University-Oklahoma State University research team.

In a study published today in Scientific Reports, Florida State University Professor of Biological Science Gregory Erickson and Paul Gignac, assistant professor of Anatomy and Vertebrate Paleontology at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, explain how T. rex could pulverize bones – a capacity known as extreme osteophagy that is typically seen in living carnivorous mammals such as wolves and hyenas, but not reptiles whose teeth do not allow for chewing up bones.

Erickson and Gignac found that this prehistoric reptile could chow down with nearly 8,000 pounds of force, which is more than two times greater than the bite force of the largest living crocodiles – today’s bite force champions. At the same time, their long, conical teeth generated an astounding 431,000 pounds per square inch of bone-failing tooth pressures.

This allowed T. rex to drive open cracks in bone during repetitive, mammal-like biting and produce high-pressure fracture arcades, leading to a catastrophic explosion of some bones.

“It was this bone-crunching acumen that helped T. rex to more fully exploit the carcasses of large horned-dinosaurs and duck-billed hadrosaurids whose bones, rich in mineral salts and marrow, were unavailable to smaller, less equipped carnivorous dinosaurs,” Gignac said.

The researchers built on their extensive experience testing and modeling how the musculature of living crocodilians, which are close relatives of dinosaurs, contribute to bite forces. They then compared the results with birds, which are modern-day dinosaurs, and generated a model for T. rex.

From their work on crocodilians, they realized that high bite forces were only part of the story. To understand how the giant dinosaur consumed bone, Erickson and Gignac also needed to understand how those forces were transmitted through the teeth, a measurement they call tooth pressure.

“Having high bite force doesn’t necessarily mean an animal can puncture hide or pulverize bone, tooth pressure is the biomechanically more relevant parameter,” Erickson said. “It is like assuming a 600 horsepower engine guarantees speed. In a Ferrari, sure, but not for a dump truck.”

In current day, well-known bone crunchers like spotted hyenas and gray wolves have occluding teeth that are used to finely fragment long bones for access to the marrow inside – a hallmark feature of mammalian osteophagy. Tyrannosaurus rex appears to be unique among reptiles for achieving this mammal-like ability but without specialized, occluding dentition.

The new study is one of several by the authors and their colleagues that now show how sophisticated feeding abilities, most like those of modern mammals and their immediate ancestors, actually first appeared in reptiles during the Age of the Dinosaurs.

2

New species of dinosaur increases the already unexpected diversity of ‘whiplash dinosaurs’

Researchers from Italy and Portugal describe yet another new sauropod species from 150 million years ago, from Wyoming, USA

The new species, Galeamopus pabsti, is the most recent dinosaur to be described by paleontologists from the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Turin, Italy; the Faculty of Science and Technology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, and the Museum of Lourinhã in Portugal. This Jurassic dinosaur was originally excavated in 1995 by a Swiss team, led by Hans-Jakob “Kirby” Siber and Ben Pabst, in Wyoming, in the United States and is the latest in a series of new discoveries by the paleontologists Emanuel Tschopp and Octávio Mateus, which started in 2012 with Kaatedocus siberi. The paper describing the new species was published online in the open access scientific journal PeerJ on Tuesday, May 2.

Galeamopus pabsti is similar to the famous dinosaur Diplodocus, but with more massive legs, and a particularly high and triangular neck close to the head. It is the second species of the genus Galeamopus to be shown to be different to Diplodocus by the same researchers (the first being published in 2015, in a paper which also reinstated the brontosaurus as a distinct genus). The new species is dedicated to Ben Pabst, who found the skeleton, and prepared it for mounting at the Sauriermuseum Aathal in Switzerland, where it is one of the main attractions of the permanent exhibit.

Diplodocid sauropods are among the most iconic dinosaurs. With their greatly elongated necks and tails, they represent the typical body shape of sauropods. Species of this group occur also in Africa, South America, and Europe, but the highest diversity is known from the USA: more than 15 species of these gigantic animals are known from there, also including the famous Brontosaurus. Researchers are still baffled by this high diversity of giants, and are continuing their studies to understand how such a diversity could be maintained by the ecosystem in which they lived.

anonymous asked:

(Not a prompt, just need to unload this from my mind)(Part 1) Oh god okay so I read the precious headcanons of dino-obessed bb Peter, coupled it with all the daddy issues of The Judge (which I just watched for the first time and pretty much cried my way through the second half of it), and came up with Howard somehow time travelling to a Super Family future and Tony of course having to collaborate with him to get him back to where he’s supposed to be. And bb Peter coming into the lab periodically

(cont.)  to spout dino facts to his daddy and lovingdad!Tony being completely happy to hear them and absolutely doting because his son comes first dammit and he side-eyes Howard the entire time because he can tell he’s getting annoyed. And Howard is just so confused and irritated because why in the world is Tony letting himself be distracted by the useless ramblings of the kid and why is he even allowed in the lab in the first place they don’t have time for this, but he keeps silent at Tony's protective warning glances. It’s the same way he’s bewildered by the subtle glaring looks and formal tone Steve and the rest of the family give him, how can they not see how counterproductive all this sentiment is? And after a couple weeks he’s sent on his way back to the past with the knowledge that his son has succeeded him with even greater accomplishments and with a completely different approach from his. He doesn’t really know how to feel about it. Somewhat bitter certainly. Basically rather than the hc’s of Howard being a complete abusive bastard, I usually tend to lean more toward seeing him as neglectful and emotionally oblivious and I love it when I find fics that just rub in his face how amazing Tony turned out without his continued influence. SO THERE HOWARD. Yeah.

AN: I agree with you. I don’t think Howard was physically abusive, because I don’t think he needed to be. A boy like Tony, so smart and enthusiastic, would have been broken much more quickly by being ignored completely. 

Tony couldn’t help but keep glancing across the room. To his credit, Howard had kept very quiet and to himself, adapting to Tony’s holoscreens with relative ease as an aid in helping them try to get him back to his own time.  Even still, Tony had never felt so ill at ease in his own space like he suddenly found himself before now. 

The quicker they found a way to get Howard back to his own time, the better, basically. 

They had been at it a good couple of hours, trying to unlock the secrets of the multiverse, when there came a hiss at the other side of the room that told Tony the doors had just been opened, and he looked up. Finding himself immediately feeling better when he spotted five year old Peter padding across the room, he smiled and pushed himself away from his desk so he could scoop the little guy up to sit on his lap. 

“What’re you doing here, little man?” he asked, tucking them both back under the desk. 

“Bored,” Peter replied, producing a little dinosaur from one of his pockets to run across the surface of the desk. “Papa sez dinner’s gonna be ready soon.”

“Good to know,” Tony nodded, glancing across at Howard before he could stop himself. He let his gaze drop as soon as he realised he was staring right back at them, looking perplexed. “What dinosaur are you playing with today?”

Peter seemed to produce a new dinosaur every day. Tony didn’t know where they kept coming from (the kids had that many toys that it was hard to keep track), but they kept the little guy busy and happy, and that was all that mattered. 

“Stegosaurus,” Peter replied enthusiastically, holding the little toy up for Tony to see. “Dey were herb - herbivores, so dey only eated plants an’ veggies.”

“So the opposite of you, then,” Tony hummed, and then chuckled when Peter let out a little squawk of indignation. “Don’t give me that, kiddo. The day you eat a carrot will be the day pigs fly.”

“Stegosaurus couldn’t fly,” Peter told him seriously. “Not like Ptero - Pterodactyls. But dey had deez points on dere backs t’help protect ‘em. I… I dunno what dere made of.”

“Neither do I,” Tony agreed, pulling up a new window on his computer. “Shall we Google it and find out -?”

“Is there not a more pressing matter at hand than researching dinosaurs?” came Howard’s voice from the other side of the room, and Tony felt his hackles immediately raise in defence. 

“There is nothing more pressing than my son’s happiness,” he found himself snapping, and watched as Howard gave him another bemused expression. Grumbling under his breath as he turned back to his screen, he muttered, “And the Stegosaurus isn’t the only dinosaur in this room, old man.”

Peter giggled; at least the kid appreciated him. 

Keep reading

New Research: How Did Dinosaurs Breathe?

New research led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History reveals that the unique way that birds breathe likely first appeared in their dinosaur ancestors. The findings, published recently in the journal PLOS ONE, build upon mountains of recent work exploring the origin of “bird-like” traits such as feathers, wishbones, and flight.

Birds have a highly efficient respiratory system powered by four sets of air sacs that pump air throughout their body. This adaptation allows the air to flow in one direction (as opposed to mammals, like us, who breathe in and out through the same tube) and is vital to birds’ ability to fly high over long distances.

During bird development, finger-like projections from these air sacs invade bone to create networks of internal chambers, a condition called pneumaticity. However, how and why this unique feature evolved in dinosaur ancestors is largely unknown. To directly see these pneumatic chambers in fossils, the researchers used high-resolution computed tomography (CT) scanning, for the first time, on the backbone of a dinosaur closely related to birds, 70-million-year-old Archaeornithomimus.The specimen used in the study was collected on the Museum’s Central Asiatic Expedition to Mongolia in 1923.

“Our work shows that at least part of the avian respiratory system was already in place in Archaeornithomimus, and therefore likely evolved in the common ancestor of birds and Archaeornithomimus over 150 million years ago,” said Aki Watanabe, the paper’s lead author and a student in the comparative biology doctoral program at the Museum’s Richard Gilder Graduate School. What they found was a remarkable network of pneumatic chambers in the vertebrae of the neck and chest, a detail never seen previously.

Read the full story on the Museum blog.

anonymous asked:

What advice might you give someone trying to write dinosaurs as sentient characters?

Sentient actually means able to feel and perceive things - so I assume you mean sapient, which means highly intelligent (the ability to act with wisdom, I guess) :)

A lot of advice kind of hinges on what exactly you’re writing and where you would want to go with it, but I can give general advice

1) Do your research on dinosaurs. Understand that their intelligence, while higher than what was supposed back in the early 1900s and such, is still not as high as things like corvids and parrots. So do something to make them sapient - have their intelligence be messed with during genetic experiments, or have them be evolved forms of non-avian dinosaurs living today that evolved intelligence, or have them be hypothetical dinosaurs from the Mesozoic that were sapient, or change dinosaurs that did exist to make them sapient- but that really depends on what kind of story you’re writing and what you want to accomplish with it. If your story is serious, you have to make those sorts of changes - if you’re writing something silly, like Land Before Time, you really don’t have to make any changes at all. Also, if you’re being serious, try to figure which sorts of dinosaurs would be sapient - birds are most likely, but Eumaniraptorans in general were pretty smart, etc. 

2) Change their morphology to correspond with this. Birds have larger brains than dinosaurs and cannot move their eyes in their sockets - they have to tilt their heads to see what they want to see. While this inability to move the eyes may have evolved before larger brains (re: in dinosaurs,) what is certain is that it was necessary for larger brains in birds, as it removed the muscles necessary for eye movement and gave it more space in the head (note: we don’t know if this evolved in dinosaurs; it could have co-evolved with greater intelligence in birds after the Cretaceous extinction.) You could bloat the head in other ways to allow for the musculature necessary for movable eyes, but it would look horrible. Also, keeping the eyes stationary makes the head move like a bird head - the neck moving constantly to give the eyes better vision, which is very distinctive, and drives home that these animals aren’t really like mammals or humans - providing more distinctive features. 

Dinosaur skulls are not big enough for larger brains; you gotta change their head shape even if you’re just making extinct dino species smarter. You don’t HAVE to, of course, but this would make it more accurate. You could hollow out the dome of a Pachycephalosaur… but this has been done have you seen Dinosapien cause that show was amazing I don’t care if it was cheesy

3) High intelligence does not always correspond to similar behaviors; nor does low intelligence. Things like tool behavior and communication is not always consistent. Recognize that your sapient dinosaurs probably wouldn’t act exactly like humans - they’ll have different measures and expressions of intelligence and different ways of perceiving the world, as well as different ways of changing that world. You gotta think outside the box a little bit in terms of how they relate to others in their social groups - do they have social groups? Since they’re related to birds, probably - and how they organize those groups. Do they have civilizations? Economies? Systems of power? Do they conduct agriculture? Are they expansionists? Have they reached human levels of disregard for the ecological community or are they more in tune with their surroundings? How do they make decisions? Do they have a sense of right and wrong, and do they punish people for doing things wrong? Do they have religions? Philosophies? Are they curious about their surrounding world? Do they conduct something similar to science? Are they creative? It’s unlikely that they would perceive and think about the world like humans do - make them their own unique organism. 

4) Try to not make your dinosaurs, if you’re making evolved-dinos, anthropomorphic. There is no reason why a sapient dinosaur needs to be shaped like a human. In fact, it’s very unlikely that they would be, since they’re already bipedal (well, a lot of them are,) and wouldn’t need to straighten their spines to become bipedal like we did. Keep in mind dinosaurs couldn’t pronate their hands - meaning they couldn’t have their palms facing their body (bunny hands). Keep that in mind when you discuss tool use in dinosaurs - you are constricted to how they were physically. True, dinosaurs could evolve pronation - but this gives you a unique opportunity to have different reactions to the challenges of sapience. For example, birds are very intelligent - corvids (crows and ravens) are the second smartest types of animals after humans. They use simple tools - with their beaks. Animals can respond to different challenges in life with different solutions. If you’re going to use extinct, described dinosaurs and just make them smarter, you really have to work within these confines. 

I hope this helps! A lot of this depends on the kind of story you’re writing - but I am completely happy to help in any way you need! 

dominicknapper-blog  asked:

Do you think Jurassic World looks dumb?

You’ve unleashed the kraken, my friend.

I am excited for JP4, as I am excited for any movie that has dinosaurs in it, and that theme music gets me every time because I remember how beautiful it was to see that first film. The first film showed us dinosaurs as they’d never been seen, dinosaurs based on thorough research (though not without their faults— those raptors and dilophosaurus for instance) and it changed the way dinos were portrayed in media forever.

And this is why I am so, so upset with JP4. It’s showing us the same old green-skinned scaly monsters and totally ignoring DECADES of new developments. It’s ignoring the reason why the first film worked so well— it was something new, based on actual scientific research. People love innovation, and many love learning really neat science facts, and JP4 is in no way going to do either of those.

Now I have heard the arguments FOR the scaly green-skinned boring designs:

1. “But Abby, there’s an in-universe explanation, they have frog DNA! They’re just trying to stay consistent.” Never, never never say “but there’s a canonical reason” for something that’s problematic. . Someone at some point made a conscious decision to make it so, it’s not some unchangeable law that must be adhered to. It’s been at least 20 years in-universe since the first movie, are we really supposed to believe they didn’t keep making developments in their cloning process? Remember how frog DNA fricked everything up by making the dinos able to reproduce? What if they changed it to bird DNA once it became apparent that birds and dinos were so closely related, and to stop them from changing sex? And beyond all that the important thing to remember here is that it doesn’t MATTER if they aren’t exactly supposed to be dinosaurs in-universe, people who watch this movie are going to see them as dinosaurs. They are going to come away from this film thinking the “feathers theory” is still some weird fringe science and REAL dinosaurs are still green and scaly and naked. Also calling “consistency” when the dinosaurs’ appearances were changed between films is hardly a steady argument.

2. “There’s no way we could know what they look like so why even bother, we can make them look however we want!!1!” This is you choosing to ignore the vast wealth of knowledge we DO have. Paleontologists aren’t just making wild guesses, sitting around thinking “whooa duuude what if they had feathers, wouldn’t that just be wild” we KNOW. We have FOSSIL EVIDENCE. Technology has progressed to a point that we can look at the same fossil we had 30 years ago and find countless more details we didn’t know were there, didn’t think to look for. We even know what COLOR some feathers were, we know there were feather mites that preyed on those feathers. Trackways tell us how they walked, how many walked, where they walked. Fossilized nesting sites give us clues on how they cared for their young. We know so much, there is no reason to ignore the incredible amount of research people have done just because we haven’t seen living, breathing non-avian dinosaurs with our own eyes, especially considering the fact that so many people don’t know about all the stuff we know, because public outreach movies like JP4 keep blatantly ignoring it.

3. “But feathered dinosaurs look stupid, like big chickens. They could never sell that to an audience!” Okay look. People are going to see JP4. If you make it look good, and you have Chris Pratt, and you have Chris Pratt on a motorcycle riding with some velociraptors, people will see this movie. And is a chicken the only bird anyone knows? Have you never heard of the bearded vulture? Or eagles, and the fact that they attack BEARS? Even small birds are a formidable opponent to a person. And their feathers make them look magnificent, not stupid. In order to design crowd-pleasing dinosaurs, we don’t need to strip them of their feathers, we need designers who know what they’re doing. The blog paleoillustration reblogs excellent paleo art from capable artists, a game called Saurian is being developed that is using incredible artists such as grimchild to create the most accurate and beautiful dinosaurs possible, Emily Willoughby is excellent at using bird influences to make realistic feathered dinosaurs (including one of my favorite depictions of Microraptor!)— feathered dinosaurs do not look stupid. Even if they look stupid to you, that doesn’t stop them from existing, and perhaps you should immerse yourself in the world of feathered dinosaurs some more and get used to it, because they are here to stay. You aren’t getting Pluto back, and you aren’t getting your naked monsters back, either. When good scientists are presented with theories that disprove old theories, they don’t wallow in nostalgia, they accept it and move forward.

4. “Why do you even care so much, geez, it’s just a movie” Nothing is ever “just a movie”. Even if you think you aren’t, you are affected by what you see in movies. We tend to believe what we see in movies, even some of the ridiculous stuff. Movies can be an excellent way to present science to people in an easy to digest format, as we saw with JP1. Sure, the science was ridiculous, but it got people interested in actual dinosaurs. JP4 will be the only exposure most people have to dinosaurs— and it is decades behind. People will keep chuckling to themselves when I draw them a dinosaur with feathers, asking “haha so you buy into the feather theory?” as if it’s something a scientist posited in a fit of insanity, totally unsupported by evidence. When people keep seeing naked dinosaurs in pop culture, they assume that must be the accepted idea of what they looked like, or else it would be changed. So I have to make a stink, so I can get the word out that Paleontologists and even Junior Paleontologists absolutely do not support the current portrayal of dinosaurs in the media. This way, we can get more movies such as Dinosaur Island which I very much look forward to seeing, and Saurian which I very much look forward to playing.

And why does learning about accurate dinosaurs matter? Why should we want to learn about these weird bird/reptiles that died millions of years ago? Because learning about the world we live in is important. Just as we want to figure out how we fit into the universe, we want to figure out how we fit on our own planet, where we came from, our life history. This isn’t just a bunch of sheltered nerds sitting around saying “Well actually…” in a nasally voice, it’s an entire branch of science whose accomplishments are being ignored because a bunch of nostalgic 20-somethings are afraid of change and think “feathers look stupid, like a chicken”

All this being said, I am still going to see it the day it comes out, in the best seats in the house. 

youtube

It’s no surprise that birds have specialized brains that support the complicated act of flight, but new research shows that dinosaurs evolved the brain necessary for flight well before they actually took to the air as birds.

In this video, Museum paleontologist and curator Mark Norell and research associate Amy Balanoff share the cutting-edge research and techniques that have continued to illuminate the evolutionary history of living birds, and their extinct dinosaur ancestors.

New and Improved {Owen Grady X Reader}

Originally posted by a-piece-of-the-sun-and-the-moon

Fandom: Jurassic World

Characters: Owen Grady,Claire Dearing,Karen Mitchell

Word Count: 903

Warnings: Cursing,Spoilers for Jurassic World

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NEW DINOSAUR ALERT!!!!!

Nickname: “Hellboy”

The bones of the new species, which lived in the Cretaceous some 70 million years ago, were found about a decade ago near a river in southeastern Alberta, Canada. But, it wasn’t until the specimen was being prepared that its “comically small” eye horns were noticed, says Caleb Brown of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta.

"Once it was prepared it was obviously a new species, and an unexpected one at that. Many horned-dinosaur researchers who visited the museum did a double take when they first saw it in the laboratory,” he says.

Read more here!

Skull photo: Sue Sabrowski/Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta.

Artist’s representation: Julius T. Csotonyi/Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta

Txch This Week: Smarter Smartboards And Wireless Brain Sensors

by Jared Kershner

This week on Txchnologist, researchers looking to reveal the details of how dinosaurs move have created an advanced simulation using a chicken-like bird as their model. Moving virtual bones were then dropped in to recreate how the animal’s stride disturbs the surface it travels across. The work is providing new insights into dinosaur locomotion.

Researchers in South Korea and the U.S. may have built the smartest artificial skin yet – its texture is stretchy like human skin, and it also senses pressure, temperature and humidity. It even contains a built-in heater to mimic living tissue. The researchers have tested this new artificial skin on a prosthetic hand, and their next goal is to integrate the system with a patient’s nerves so amputees can sense what it feels.

NASA reports that its Curiosity rover has uncovered details of a large lake that existed on Mars more than 3 billion years ago. This body of water partially filled a crater called Gale near the planet’s equator, which was fed by melting snow that flowed in from its northern rim. Additionally the rover has found evidence of streams, river deltas and a history of filled and dried lakes around the crater, indicating that the area went through multiple hydrologic cycles over millions of years.

Now we’re bringing you the news and trends we’ve been following this week in the world of science, technology and innovation.

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New research based on high-resolution x-ray movies show that young birds use their underdeveloped muscles and wings to help them move on land, acquiring a mature flight stroke long before they’re ready for takeoff.

The new study, published April 21 in the journal PLOS ONE, is important for understanding the development of flight in modern birds and reconstructing its origins in extinct dinosaurs.

“The transition from ground-living dinosaurs to flight-capable birds is one of the major evolutionary transitions in vertebrate history, because flight is the most physically demanding form of locomotion,” said lead author Ashley Heers, a postdoctoral researcher in the American Museum of Natural History’s Division of Paleontology and one of numerous Museum scientists whose work is featured in the special exhibition Dinosaurs Among Us, open now. “The kind of flight that we normally think of in living birds involved a huge evolutionary overhaul of the animal’s basic body plan over time. And although scientists have been studying flight for more a century, there’s actually a surprising amount that we don’t know about how birds fly.”

Read the full story on the Museum blog. 

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Footprint Simulation Reveals Details Of Dinosaur Step

by Michael Keller

Move over, Jurassic Park. Understanding the stride of dinosaurs just got real. 

Researchers looking to reveal the details of how birds and their dinosaur forebears move have created an advanced simulation using a guineafowl as their model.

They put the chicken-like bird through its paces, recording it as it walked through dry poppy seeds with two X-ray video cameras. The cameras allowed the scientists from the UK’s Royal Veterinary College and Brown University to construct 3-D models of the bird’s moving bones. 

Moving bone models were then dropped into a discrete element method computer simulation that recreated how the bird’s stride disturbed the soft surface as the animal moved across it. The information the researchers gathered from models is giving them new insights into dinosaur locomotion.

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