The Baatara Gorge Waterfall or Three Bridge Chasm in Tannourine, Lebanon was carved out of ancient limestone over millions of years by winter meltwater. The waterfall, which is fed by meltwater from Mount Lebanon, falls 250 meters into the chasm’s depths past 160-million-year-old limestone from the Jurassic period. Experiments carried out with flourescent dye in 1988 indicated that the water from the chasm emerges from underground at a spring in the nearby town of Mgharet al-Ghaouaghir.

‘Dad, look what I found!’ How five-year-old girl dug up rare 160m-year-old fossil with plastic spade

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A five-year-old schoolgirl discovered a rare 160million-year-old fossil while digging beside a lake using a plastic spade.

Delighted Emily Baldry found the Jurassic period rock at Cotswold Water Park in Gloucestershire while on her first archaeological dig with dad Jon.

And the 130lb fossil, which she has named Spike, has now been restored to its full splendour by palaeontologist Neville Hollingworth.

‘It’s so exciting to see him,’ said Emily, from Chippenham in Wiltshire, on being reunited with the ammonite. 'I was very happy when I first saw him and now he looks very shiny.

'I bring him into school and all my friends like him too.’

She yesterday presented the fossilised sea creature, which is 40cm in diameter and has 2cm spikes, to the Gateway Information Centre near Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Read more.

Smuggled Fossil from China

How does a fossil that was illegally smuggled out of China end up on display in Pittsburgh? 

This feathered dinosaur fossil of an Anchiornis huxleyi from the late Jurassic Period is currently at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh on loan from a museum in China.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security confiscated this fossil from a dealer who tried to illegally smuggle it out of China.

Carnegie paleontologist Matt Lamanna helped Homeland Security Investigations identify the fossil as a feathered predatory dinosaur from northeastern China. It was returned in 2015, but the Chinese government loaned the fossil to the museum where it will be on display until it is returned to the Geological Museum of China in Bejiing.

Castorocauda lutrasimilis catching breakfast. I’m not sure about the hind leg, but I was too lazy to change it.

Castorocauda was a semi-aquatic docodont that lived about 164 million years ago, during the Jurassic period, in what today is Inner Mongolia. It was a piscivore, that also supplemented its diet with invertebrates.

It was mammaliaform, but not a mammal.

It could reach a little over 40cm in length, and between 500 to 800g in weight.

The name Castorocauda lutrasimilis means beaver-tail similar to otter.

The holotype preserves extensive coat of fur, and also small scales/scutes on the tail. The tail was also covered in sparse hair.

MTR Fun Facts

  • In early scripts, Mildred acted as narrator for the prologue
  • “The Memory Scanner” used to be called “The Matter Scanner”
  • It was explained that touching Spike and/or Dimitri’s pots would make them scream
  • There used to be a monkey that lived on top of Tallulah’s hat. The monkey’s name was Giganta
  • In earlier scripts, the dinner scene evolved into a big pillow fight
  • Mini-Doris used to be defeated by being run over by Billie’s train
  • BHG’s full original quote was “One learns to love it… kind of like Jay Leno.” before it was shortened.
  • Carl use to have a far less role in the film. He use to strictly be the house butler rather than also being Wilbur’s close companion
  • In early boards, Bowler Hat Guy performed CPR on Doris after she was stabbed with a sword
  • In one early rendition of the film, Bowler Hat Guy was left behind in the Jurassic time period (Last seen being chased by a T. Rex)
  • The “Keep Moving Forward” logo was originally “Always Keep Moving Forward” before it was shortened

October 12, 2016 - Archaeopteryx (Archaeopteryx lithographica)

1,000th Bird

Requested by: @lady-lutra and @purdyssciencecorner

About the size of ravens, these prehistoric animals lived 145 million years ago during the Tithonian stage of the late Jurassic period. Their wing and tail feathers were similar to those of modern birds, suggesting at least some ability to fly or glide. The shape of their teeth indicates that they were probably carnivores and may have eaten small reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and insects. Twelve specimens have been found in Germany. When the first specimen, a single feather, was discovered in 1861, it was thought to be a hoax. Though there has been some scientific controversy over whether to classify them as birds or not, they were one of the first fossil discoveries to show a connection between modern birds and other dinosaurs.

Note: I’ve tried to keep this reconstruction of the Archaeopteryx as accurate as I can, but I definitely used my imagination to fill in some of the details.

I want to thank everyone again for your nominations and votes for my 1,000th bird! There was a great response and the voting got very close. It’s hard to believe I’ve made it to 1,000 and you’ve all been a big part of that. I’m grateful to everyone who has liked, followed, requested birds, or shared their bird stories or photos with me.