evolution of flight

New evidence on how birds took to the air
Key modifications for flight happened as early as 120 million years ago, a fossil discovery suggests.

New fossil evidence has pushed back a key step in the evolution of bird flight by millions of years.

Skeletal changes that helped birds take to the air happened 120 million years ago, during the hey day of dinosaurs, according to a specimen from China.

Features such as fused bones were thought to be present only in relatively advanced birds, living just before the dinosaurs went extinct. A strong, rigid skeleton is part of the blueprint of modern birds.

The bird, Pterygornis dapingfangensi, lived in north-eastern China during the Early Cretaceous. It is only the second of its kind to be discovered and is exquisitely preserved.

The find “pushed back the date for these birds’ features by over 40 million years,” said co-researcher, Min Wang from the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

One of the requirements of all flying machines is a structure that is both strong and lightweight. To achieve this in birds meant changes to the basic body plan of most back-boned animals.

During the course of bird evolution, some of the vertebrae and bones of the pelvic girdle fused together, as did some finger and leg bones. And many tail, finger, and leg bones were lost…


So uh

Last night I 

Kind of got a little drunk

And made this



Found only on birds, feathers are some of the most complex integumentary (skin) structures found in vertebrates.

There are two primary types of feathers: flight and down. Some birds, such as peacocks and birds-of-paradise, also have display feathers.


Flight feathers come in two categories of their own: remiges (wing feathers), and rectrices (tail feathers). These strong feathers are what allow most birds to fly. They have strong midline ridges, called the shaft (or rachus). The rachus is mostly covered in the fluffy-but-structured extensions, what most people think of as the “feather”, called the vane. At the bottom of the rachus, below the vane, is the bare quill (or calamus). Each extension on the vane is covered in many hooks and hooklets (also called barbs and barbicels), which is what birds are putting back into place when they preen - gotta keep everything in order to fly well!

Down feathers don’t have the hooks or the rachus of the flight feathers. There are many types of down feathers, but all of them serve the same basic purpose, which is temperature regulation. They trap air close to the bird’s body, which insulates it from the cold. When a bird puffs up in the middle of winter, it’s creating a bigger insulating layer to trap body heat, so that it doesn’t cool off as quickly.


To replace their feathers on a regular basis (to remove damaged or correct for lost feathers), birds undergo a process called moulting. Depending upon the species, this can happen all at once, be staggered over the course of a year, or happen gradually over several years. Many species undergo moulting during breeding season, to show off their flashy plumage.

Moulting is regulated by the pineal gland and circadian rhythms in most birds, though in pet birds, a somewhat-constant slow moult (punctuated by one or two “big moults” a year) is found, as a result of artificial lighting.

Nouveau Larousse Illustre. Claude Auge, 1898.


Dark Creatures Is a tabletop RPG, the story is really long, and I went through hell and back to make this game. This game is a game that has a lot of things that other tabletop games don’t have, Like Energy and, Mana. and unlike some games this takes place in the future, other games usually take place in the Middle Ages and current time, and also unlike some games this has more swords, guns daggers and other weapons, this game has a different thing to it to make it well different like different dimension and different worlds, and different monsters, new races and new classes, a history to it that could be kinda interesting and kinda cheesy, and because this was made by a 14 year old there will be a lot of bad jokes and some good jokes that many parents won’t get and many kids won’t get… I think only teens will get the jokes i make in this book and what I am hoping from this game is a lot of money… no I’m actually hoping this game will be as famous as DND and other RPG Tabletop games, I want not only for Adults to enjoy this game but for teens and  kids to play this game and be knowledgeable in the way of old style gaming but I also want to get some animators and other people that can make this Tabletop game into a video game!


There are 7 of races that you can choose from.

1.     Dragon

[Dragons are human like races except for that they can can survive in high and low temperatures for longer periods of time than any other race. It has +5 to night vision and +3 to overheat and freezing resist but they have a -4 to Stealth and -2 to speed.]

     2. Demon

[Demons are soul eating evolutions of human he/she has a +6 to endurance +4 night vision +3 to death magic but where it’s weak in is -4 to light magic resist -2 to health]

     3. Elf

[Tall cool human like creatures get +3 to speed, +1 to skill or magic +2 to INT but the bad thing is that there Def -3 they have a -2 dark magic resist and -2 to END.]

    4. Heavanly

[These are angel like human evolution no flight but they are good beings with +4 to HP +3 to healing magic but have a -3 weakness to Dark magic and have -5 to Sword skill (Recommended Class is any class that uses light magic or elemental magic)]

    5. Novas

[Nova’s are coded in humans they get around places they are coded humans but it can pick up items and turn them into coded items which are the same as normal items but coded they have the brain and organs are human the skin though is metal but not all of it is so a +3 to defences (They are living) but they aren’t at the same time Omg!]

    6. Shinikome

[Dark creatures, soulless even but they are nice. They are born with the whole eye black

And can’t see but has increased other senses like smell and hearing can’t shoot but can use magic, dark magic is used and light magic hurts them.]

     7. Cids

[They are green magic users they use plants and life magic like grow vine but they are special magic users so they don’t have their own magic on the magic tree.]

Even though there are only 7 races there are many combinations you can do with the classes and the races, now that that’s done let’s get to Classes (next page)


There are 14 classes, i know what you’re thinking Kat that’s a lot of classes well have fun combining them with the races you will find it is pretty hard to find the perfect character like it is hard to find the perfect human being…. Perfect Human girlfriend…. Perfect boyfriend….(Sorry this isnt that old)


They have the best sword skill in the game being a master of blades you can use a sword to stagger your foes and kill elfs and heavenly with ease they learn how to craft their ULTIMATE WEAPON which is Terratanium sword but they start off with a long steel sword and there best skill is Swords soul which is obtained at LVL 20

      2. Magi

This class has the best Elemental magic skill they can’t use dark magic they have tried but nothing has worked being a master of magic they can take out Close and Medium ranges they can also use bows which aren’t really better than magic but good enough to get them around when there mana is low they learn how to craft their ULTIMATE WEAPON which is a Terratanium Bow and It’s is a Long bow

      3. Reapers

This class is a deadly dark classes Using dark, death, and illusion magic they are stealthy and can get around you can kill Heavenly easily with this class they have a hidden tail, their tails are sharp and can be used and weapons if ever surrounded or staggered they have there tails to give them a extra +1 attack they have a mastery in guns but they aren’t the best in guns (unless it’s a sniper) at LVL it learns how to craft it’s ULTIMATE WEAPON which is a Raridemite sniper. There start weapon is Crystal shard Pistol

     4. Elemental

Elementals are races born with with a condition, they turn into a element the elements are Fire,Earth,Water,Lightning,Ice,Iron. These Elementals use their bodies as weapons so they can make Fire nunchakus that do a lot of damage which they learn at LVL 20 there also very good at physical fighting but not REALLY GOOD at LVL 40 they learn crystal change which turns them into a crystal for a short amount of time that gives you a +4 Defence +4 ATK but lowers speed by -6 starter weapon are fists and kicks

      5. Gunman or gunwoman

This close and mid ranged class specializes in guns though snipers isn’t really good at so it’s good at killing Humans and Elfs They have a special they learn at LVL 30 called crystal shot which is their best skill at LVL 20 though they learn how to craft their ULTIMATE WEAPON which is a Terratanium Automatic shotgun which isn’t as cool as it seems. They start off with a normal shell shotgun.

      6. Guardian

This class has the best armory/Defence in the game and at LVL 20 they learn their skill which is called Holy sword this class can easily take out Demons and Elves at LVL 30 they learn how to craft their ULTIMATE WEAPON which is called Great guardian sword which is a LONG LONG sword that is very powerful. There starter weapon is Guardian Knife which is less op Speed for this class is -2 because of the armor.

       7. Medic

This class is obviously the best i’m Healing magic and medical abilities at LVL 20 they learn how to make Ebonic health boost which boosts your health by 10 at LVL 20 you learn how to use Health blast which blasts positive energy Kills Ghosts and Ghouls and heals team +5 to HP when playing this character Doesn’t combat that much but when it does he poison the enemy with you MEDS.

       8. Summoner

Elemental summoners summon a range of familiars to Uncommon-God-Unknown. This class has the best summoning skill and at LVL 25 you learn how to summon a Myth like King phoenix/Queen Phoenix and can summon a god summon at LVL 40 and at LVL 50 you can summon a Unknown.

        9. Alchemist

This class is all about Time and strategy in a certain amount of time with the materials around you you can make a drug or a potion has the best Chem/Potion making Skill at LVL 20 you learn how to make a Ebonic health potion and at LVL 40 you learn how to make 420.

      10. Blood Shaper

Don’t want to use Magic? Like the color red Well the blood shaper is a Hard class to deal with because you use your HP for weapons. You can solidify your blood to make a weapon like at LVL 20 you do -10 HP for a great sword you can die useing to much blood

Classes Prt 3

       11. Physical fighter

This class is a non-Weapon class so no swords or guns but there is brass knuckles and punching gloves/spiked punching gloves they’re really good at close combat they have the best physical fighting skill with a +5 to physical fighting at LVL 20 they learn how to craft their ULTIMATE WEAPON which is Raridemite brass knuckles and with this there skill is sonic soul fist if you have the reaper race you can eat the a soul to gain health, the ability is learned at LVL 40 being good at physical fighting it and close range attacks it can be useful in killing humans and Heavenly because they specialize in magic if you manage to get close to them you can stun them.

       12. Assassin/Bounty hunter

He’s a master in sneaking, finding gold, and rare items. At LVL20 he learns how to craft the AntiEbonic knife when it hits it drains 10HP it has the best sneak skills in the game and because of that he can kill reapers and elfs easily even though the recommended race is elf and at LVL 40 it learns Ultimate assasination.

        13. Parkourist

Can use parkour to get around like jumping, climbing, and wall running. There only weapon is there fists even though they can use weapons like katanas and things like that it is not recommended because they are the worst at weaponry but decent at physical fighting (NOT GOOD AT IT) They are mostly used to Help the team get to high places and get past floor and wall traps they have a good (Hidden skill) skill to not trigger a trap. Acrobatic skill is a must have for this class because without acrobatics it’s useless the only good thing you will have with this class if you don’t have any good acrobatic skill is the (Hidden skill) skill to not activate traps.

       14. Insanist

Insane and deadly at LVL 20 it learns the skill Slice and Dice and it’s main weapon is a big knife and it’s last skill Chop Chop and it learns it at LVL:40 can kill humans and Heavenly easily.


The type of magic and types of summon and elements

There are different types of magic these are all of them.

Fire: Fire, Fire ball, Blaze, charing, Burn skin, lava floor, fiery explosion. Solar rain

Ice: Ice, Ice spike, Chill, Frostbite, Ice floor, Ice burst, Ice sickle’s

Water: Water,Water Whip, Bubble pop, Scald, drown , Waterfall. Scalding rain

Light: Light, Light burst, Light shot, Light orb, light orb, Light,Dark(Light), Blinded by the light.

Dark: Dark, Dark Flame, Black Ice, dark lightning, Invisible, Light dark (dark), Hover, Complete darkness.

Air: Wind, Storm, Wind Blast, Wind force, Wind Chill, Universal wind,Wind Slice, Steam.

Earth: Earth, Stone Bullets, Earthquake, crevasse, Earth grass bolt, stone blade, Rock Pillar smash, sink sand.

Lightning: Lightning, Lightning shock, Taze, Thunderstorm, Timely Shocking, thunder clap, Rainbow lightning.

Spirit: Curse, spirit control, Soul eater, soul split, paralysis soul, ghost tont, death, soul burst.

Weapons: +1 sword skill (sword), +2 to magic power, (Summon)

Universal: Universal Mini meteor, Nebula hands, Dark matter, Warp, Star scape, Universal weapon, Gravity, Laser.

If you’re a magi you can choose 2 types of magic (That isn’t Dark or spirit) and if you’re a reaper you have to have Dark,Spirit and Universal.  

Check The level guide on what level you have to be to use these skills.


Fire: Fire Ant, Blazing Cat, Heat Lion, King Phoenix, Fire Dragon, Hades, Sun

Water: Baby Piranha, Piranha, Megalodon, Queen Mermaid, Water Dragon, Poseidon, Ocean

Ice: Ice Lizard, Ice Bat, Ice Guardian, Abominable Snowman, Ice Dragon, Khione, Blizzard

Light: Light Vine, light rose, Light claw, Light dire wolf, Twin light Dragon, Kronos Titan of light, Magnified

Dark: Shadow, Dark rose, Dark Cloud, Werewolf, Dark Dragon, Erebos, Black hole

Air: Flower petals(elementals), Grass wind beast, Invisible air Knight, Griffin, Air dragon, Boreas, Greater Tornado

Earth: Rock Worm, Clayer, Rocker, Golem, Ground Dragon, Geaea, Earth Quake

Lightning: Shocking cacti, Lightning Snake, Lightning wizard spirit, Lightning wolf Raiju, Shocking Dragon, Thunder god Zeus, Focused Lightning.

Spirit: Little soul, Whisp, Reapers soul, Angel/Demon, Bone dragon spirit, Pontos, Skeleton army.

Weapons: Control Sword, Control Axe, Control mace, Summon Excalibur/Reaper scythe Sword dragon, Ares, Summon Bullet Rain.

Universal: Star, Gravity, Nebula, Cloud, aliens, Space dragon, Allah the moon god, Eclipse.


Wooden sword- Does +1 Sword damage, +2 to speed, best sword at the start of the game. (can only be used by: Swordsmen) $1.00

     2)  Wooden crossbow- does +1 Ranged damage, +2 to speed, best Gun/Bow at the start of the game (Hard  to Jam). (can only be used by: Assassin, Medic, Gunman/Gunwoman) $1.00

     3)  Wooden framed gloves- +1 damage to melee damage, +2 to speed, best gloves at the beginning of the game. (can only be used by: Anyone recommended Physical Fighter)


     4) Wooden Bow- +1 ranged damage, +1 to magic casting speed, +2 to speed best bow at the start of the game. (can only be used by: Magi) $1.00

     5) Wooden Knife- +1 Knife damage, +1 to insanity, +2 to speed best knife at the start of the game. (can only be used by: Insanity) $1.00

     6) Wooden long sword- +1 to sword damage, -1 to speed, +1 to reach, Best long sword in the Starting of the game (can only be used by: Guardian) $1.00

     7) Wooden Staff- +1 to Magic summon damage, +1 to speed, Best start game staff (can only be used by: Summoner) $1.00

     8) Wooden Clockwork pistol- +1 to ranged damage +2 to speed, +1 to fire speed, Best Gun in the game (can only be used by: Reaper, Gunman/Gunwoman) $1.00

      9) Railgun: Damage: 50 Piercing: Until it hits a wall, Amo: 1 shot per Power Cell, Starting Amo: 10 Power Cells, Price: 5,000

     10) Ultimate Sacrifice, Damage: Kills everything in the room,Amo 1 Shot per Sacrificial Power Cell, Starting. ???: After shot, 2 (Active) days cool down time, all mana and energy goes to 0, life goes to 1 HP, the player that shot this gun rolls 1D4 die every 10 minutes for 1 hour the number you roll every 10 minutes take that amount of damage, and there is a 50% chance of this gun breaking.


Wooden Plated Armor, Just some wood plates on a body, +1 Armor and that’s it!


Steel Armor, +5 Armor.



    1) Amo- Crossbow Bolts


    2) Amo- Stone bullet


    3) Amo- Magic energy orb


    4) Amo- Power Cell


    5)Amo- Sacrificial Power Cell


???: “You feel weak when you hold this Power Cell…” Lose all your energy when you buy this item.


Health Potion- Heals you (1d10)


Mana Potion- Heals you mana (1d10)


???- Unknown Effect- (1d20 to find out what your effect is)



The elements here aren’t for elementals there elements found throughout the game used for crafting, bonuses and bad stuff like -2 to darkness creature +2 to light creatures.

ZechIzum- is a coal like material. Burns Bright blue at night and very dark red in the morning, goes out slowly +Burn +Fire magic - and +Self burn.

Spynencone- A spike Material Touching it will hurt you and will kill you +thorns - and + self damage.

Terratanium- A rare material That’s Used for weapon craft rare and strong people call it the 3rd best material for weapon crafting +Rainbows +Weapon crafting -Rare.

Belenarifecatisusium- A strage material that Changes it’s shape and size, Some say there is a way to control its shape and use that with great weapons but it has to accept you as it’s owner +Weapon craft +Shape shift -Might not like you.

Dartemtis- A dark orb found under ground can’t be broken and can’t be crafted into a weapon weakens light race/creatures like heavenly +darkness -Light.

Liememtis- a light orb that weakens dark creatures like demons can’t be broken and can’t be used as weapon crafting +Light -Darkness.

Chenpako- Explosive (Touch) boom, and maybe a second boom.

Lifathimatemite: A Soul crystal usable in crafting weapons it is the most rarest Material and most hardest to break. This Material is commonly known as a broken soul, a broken souled human is a suicidal human usually found near lakes and other places that humans and other races kill themselves but that’s not all there also found in dungeons where Dark creatures are if a dark creature kills a human This material will show after 30 seconds the crystal will turn dark and it will have solidified and will be useless for weapon crafting and that’s when people power it with magic and make craft it to use weapons but using them to craft weapons is illegal. If you do “you’re a bad person”

Elements prt 2

Rareidemite: The 2nd Best material for weapon crafting, Is strong for guns swords are hard to make with this material but has a shiny purple glow hiding in darkness

Codeium: Codeium… No one knows a lot about this but it’s found deep in the Coded World and it can combine two Materials to make One

(Example: Terratanium+Raridemite=Hells-angel)

Kat: I’m Happy about these elements but they don’t really have to do with the story wait nevermind I there are some elements that are used in the story, Just have fun with these You can make combinations with elements using codium if you have any suggestions for more elements and suggestions for elements combinations,

Elemental’s elements

The elementals elements are elements that elementals can be.

Ice: Ice is not that strong but has a + to it +frostbite slows enemy for 1 turn HP: can be +1d10

For endurance it’s -5 because you’re ice -Weakness to fire +Cold resist

Wind: You’re Kept together by Cloths around you, cutting the Cloth is bad for the person that cuts the cloth, once cut releases a storm that blasts a small enemy back but does damage. The more damage you take the stronger the storm gets, if dies the storm stops -Fire Resistance +Wind Blast

Fire: fire is a base element. You have skin but it’s covered in flames touching someone won’t burn anyone but an enemy Will burn The more fire damage done to you during a battle the more +Energy you will get +Fire hands +Fire resist -Ice resist and -Water resist.

Rock: Rock is a good basic element to be, Able to make weapons out of his body (Stone weapons) +5 to Str and as long as you’re on Rock,Soil and other Earth type elements you can regenerate your body quickly after making a weapon using your body.

Lightning: Lightning is fast as you get a +5 to speed and your body is surrounded by lightning touching a evil (Monster) Creature will shock them for one turn.

Kat: Hi, I have something to say about elementals, I like them and I will put a lot of work into them but i will never be them. They do a lot of damage but i don’t like close combat SOMETIMES so i will never be one of these you can be one but i’m putting my opinion.

Dinosaurs Among Us

How did feathered dinosaurs finally take to the air? When did they become birds? This dramatic transition didn’t happen all at once, as Dinosaurs Among Us demonstrates. The evolution of feathers and flight-ready brains was just the beginning. And those awkward in-between stages include some of the most fascinating animals that ever lived: bushy, feathered tyrannosaurs; birds with lizard-like tails, teeth and claws; and even some small, leaping creatures with four wing-like limbs. 

sovereignslayer  asked:

seeing as how flight has evolved seperately like 4 time, what do you think the most likey candidate for it to happen to next would be?

This is a weirdly complicated question, if only because I’m not usually one to mess around with speculative evolution. But I can tell you that the very first thing that would have to happen for something else to evolve flight would be a mass extinction.

Birds are super good at flying, in case you didn’t know - good enough that it’s thought the Cretaceous pterosaur biodiversity decline was due in part to birds out-competing them. Feathers are much more adaptable and mobile than any membranous wing, so for anything else to take to the skies, birds would have to be wiped out.

Realistically, most of the specialized fauna alive today would also vanish if a mass extinction event that cleared the skies were to occur, so whatever developed flight next wouldn’t likely be from a species that is immediately recognizable (looking at you, THE FUTURE IS WILD). 

THAT BEING SAID, in order to answer your question, let’s just pretend birds and bats went extinct suddenly but everything else was fine. Loads of flying bugs and fruits and junk to eat, places to nest, etc

Since evolution is a series of stages of momentary beneficial adaptations - aka, each step in the evolution of flight isn’t an actual step towards an “end goal” of flight, but rather a step that allowed a species to survive better with that step - it’s likely that the next into the air would be an animal already adapted for gliding or arboreal lifestyle. Powered flight is basically exploiting the niche of “the floor is lava”, so adaptations for living off the ground would make it more likely to occur. 

I’d say that gliding mammals such as colugos or flying squirrels have a solid basis for taking up the torch - they’ve already got a significant patagium* connected to a limb that could become something capable of a powered downstroke, which would place them quite firmly at the top of my list of personal nightmares

That being said, I would personally prefer to see a flappy little amphibian evolve from one of those gliding frogs, or flying fish doing the reverse of penguins and taking up powered flight to catch bugs. The dream is, of course, the return of giant flying arthropods, but unless a REALLY significant mass extinction occurs, vertebrates are still better at getting big.

*membrane used in gliding or flight

How did feathered dinosaurs finally take to the air? When did they become birds? This dramatic transition didn’t happen all at once, as the new exhibition Dinosaurs Among Us demonstrates. The evolution of feathers and flight-ready brains was just the beginning. 

This early almost-bird, named Anchiornis huxleyi, appears right on the cusp of flight. Its feathered proto-wings couldn’t have kept it aloft for long, but they might have provided enough lift to help it leap to safety, pounce on prey, parachute down from heights, or run up steep slopes. Whatever the function of these early wings, they represent one of the last evolutionary stages before true modern flight evolved.

Learn more in the exhibition Dinosaurs Among Us, now open!

Image: Zhao Chuang; courtesy of Peking Natural Science Organization

anonymous asked:

John and promise, please?

Alan was only fifteen when John started taking rotations on Thunderbird 5, and it’s alarming just how badly he’d missed his big brother. There’d been a hole in the family again, and it had reminded Alan painfully of the space where their mother used to be.

He hasn’t ever told him so, but John’s probably Alan’s hero. It’s funny, because it ought to be Scott. Scott’s the family’s other hotshot pilot, Scott’s the natural leader, Scott has the same charisma and magnitude that their father has, but in a more approachable package. John’s a lot less exciting, a lot quieter, a lot more thoughtful. John with his books and his telescope and his eyes always looking skyward. But when their father vanishes, it’s John Alan starts to lean on, more than anyone else.

It’s three in the morning on the first day of 2060, and Alan’s eighteen years old. He’s lying on his back, outside in a loungechair by the pool. He has one of the portable holocomms in his lap and a view of the stars overhead, clear and bright and indifferent to the newness of the year. It’s 2060, and Alan gives John a call.

“Happy New Year, little brother,” is the greeting, and John smiles when the connection blinks on. “Shouldn’t you be in bed?”

“Shouldn’t you?” Alan counters, though through a poorly timed yawn. “The stars are nice tonight.”

“Dymaxion sleep cycle, Alan.” John’s head turns and Alan can tell he’s looking out at the same dark sky. “But you’re right about the stars.”

Alan yawns again. “When’s dawn?”

“For you? About two hours from now. You really ought to get some sleep.”

“Yeah yeah. But, I had an idea though. It’s a pretty good idea, I wanted to call you about it. You’ll like it, promise.”

John arches an eyebrow at him and Alan cracks a grin. “Let’s hear it, and then you go to bed. It’s a bad way to start the year off, with sleep deprivation. Scott’s going to chew you out.”

“You let me worry about Scott. Okay. Here it is, though: what’ve you got planned nine years from now?”

This gets a bewildered blink out of John. “Uh. Hadn’t really thought about it too hard. I guess I’d like to try and do another doctorate by correspondence, maybe write that book on the evolution of orbital flight mechanics, maybe have a major overhaul done for ‘5…why?”

Alan grins. “We should go to the moon.”

And John lights up, exactly like Alan knew he would. “For the Apollo 11 centennial! Oh man. Yeah. Oh wow, we definitely should. Can ‘3 land on the moon?”

“If it can’t now, it will in nine years!” Alan answers, beaming. “Wouldn’t it be great, though? I wonder–I hope they don’t…I don’t know, do you think it would be all crowded? They wouldn’t throw a party or anything, that’d ruin it.”

“Yeah, that’d be terrible. I don’t know. I wonder if there are any plans. I know some guys at NASA, I’ll ask around. We should definitely go, if it’s allowed. I’m not actually sure who’s in charge of the moon. World Heritage, maybe. Er, Lunar Heritage? Anyway, I’m glad you thought of it.” John pauses and his expression grows slightly melancholy. “You’ll be twenty-seven.”

“Good math there, bro. Putting the astrophysics degree to work.”

“Shut up. I’m twenty-seven. In my head you’re still twelve. That’s…that’s weird, Al. Are you still going to want to hang out with your boring, nearly-forty-year-old brother? With the astrophysics and the book on suborbital flight mechanics that no one’s going to want to read?”

Alan sits up and frowns at the hologram of his brother. “Jeez! John. Of course I will. You’re the only one who’d care, anyway, About the moon landing.”

John chuckles, “I think maybe at least a few other people might care. Just a couple, you know.”

Shrugging, Alan waves this away dismissively. “Well, you’re the only person I know who’ll care about it right. You’re not boring, John. And I’ll read your book! Maybe the time I’m twenty-seven I’ll even understand it!”

“Heh. Yeah, maybe. If you get enough sleep and do your schoolwork.”

Alan rolls his eyes, “And I just said you weren’t boring. Jeez, John. I guess you’re gonna tell me to go to bed?”

“It’s your boring big brother’s job to tell you to go to bed,” John answers sagely, but he’s still smiling. “Thanks for calling, Alan. Nine years to the moon, then?”

“Sounds like a plan.”

John holds up a hand and Alan, long familiar with the gesture, holds up his own to mirror it. “Sounds like a promise,” his favourite brother agrees. “Happy New Year, Alan.”

“Happy New Year, John.”


Ricardo the lizard is very much aware that the next step in evolution involves flight, and since he hates his tank he has no qualms in speeding up the process by ignoring the 4 feet fall and jumping to the floor. Nico has had to shadowtravel across the room more than once to catch him. No matter how much Nico scolds the lizard afterwards, Will loves to point out that Ricardo ends up getting what he wants: a ride on Nico’s shoulder for the rest of the day.

Will ends up putting a pillow under the tank, because they don’t get the flying practice to really stop.


How did feathered dinosaurs finally take to the air? When did they become birds? This dramatic transition didn’t happen all at once, as the new exhibition Dinosaurs Among Us demonstrates. The evolution of feathers and flight-ready brains was just the beginning. And those awkward in-between stages include some of the most fascinating animals that ever lived: bushy, feathered tyrannosaurs; birds with lizard-like tails, teeth and claws; and even some small, leaping creatures with four wing-like limbs.

Learn more in Dinosaurs Among Us, now open at the Museum.

Sinornis santensis

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinornis

Name: Sinornis santensis

Name Meaning: China Bird 

First Described: 1992

Described By: Sereno & Rao

Classification: Dinosauria, Theropoda, Neotheropoda, Averostra, Tetanurae, Orionides, Avetheropoda, Coelurosauria, Tyrannoraptora, Maniraptoriformes, Maniraptora, Pennaraptora, Paraves, Eumaniraptora, Averaptora, Avialae, Euavialae, Avebrevicauda, Pygostylia, Ornithothoraces, Enantiornithes, Cathayornithiformes

Yeah, 1992 was a crap year for non-avialaen dinosaur discoveries… and avialaen dinosaur discoveries. I gotta scrape at the barrel for this. Still, Sinornis is a pretty cool dinosaur, all things considered. It lived about 135 million years ago, in the Valanginian age of the Early Cretaceous. It was found in the Jiufotang Formation at Liaoning, People’s Republic of China. It was about the size of a sparrow, and it was a transitional form between the very primitive early bird Archaeopteryx and modern forms. It lent much insight into the evolution of flight in modern birds, since Archaeopteryx did not have many of the features of modern birds with regards to flight and perching. It, like many early birds, had a mouth fully of teeth; most of its advanced characteristics were related to flight and perching. Based on its breastbone and shoulder structures, it was capable of flight similar to modern birds (and had the muscles necessary for it;) it had modified wrist bones that would allow the wrist to bend sharply back to tuck the wings during flight or rest. It had reduced claws, and small hands with a steady middle finger to allow for flight feather anchorage. It had separate finger bones, well adapted for flight, which in combination with its small form made it easier to fly. It was also capable of perching and climbing. It lived in a primarily arboreal habitat, and probably inhabited an ecological niche similar to sparrows. 



Shout out goes to when-we-were-wild!