A fish-like reptile that lived during the Jurassic period, 125 million years ago. It was perfectly streamlined like the modern porpoise, and although it was an air breathing reptile, it was helpless as a fish if stranded on shore. Displayed at the Prehistoric Gardens on the Oregon Coast Highway near Port Orford.


Rather exciting find in my back garden!!!! Not an exaggeration, literally was just watering the plants in the green house. Preserved in some local Lyme Regis rock in the Blue Lias formation, this is approximately between 195 and 200 million years old. Ammonites the size of a 50p coin and smaller are abundent but bigger than that is harder to find (specimens of over 30cms across are found too but I’ve yet to be so lucky!) The detail isn’t great and this one is quite crumbly due to the rock type but I’m hoping to dry it and glue it firmly so it doesn’t break! Anyway, it was certainly a bit more interesting than my tomato plants!

forlorn-kumquat  asked:

If you're still taking Valentine's prompts: bby!Foggy making a Valentine's card for his penpal who lives at the local orphanage, bby!Matt.

eeek soooo *gestures wildly* this happened, whatever it is! Ty ty for the prompt!  ❤ ❤  Gonna claim it for the wild card square on my bingo card, using the prompt “tiny dinosaurs” from the prompt list, and call it a fill for the February Challenge, too :)


Foggy’s not stupid. He knows that Ms. McMurray is reading every letter he and his classmates write before sending them off to their pen pals at St. Agnes’, checking for content and conduct befitting a M.S. 214 student, not to mention grammatical errors that would reflect poorly on her classroom. So when Brett asks, “Doesn’t it bug you that some nun’s gonna be reading every word of that out loud to him?” the answer is an easy no, and not just because being contrary to Brett is basically bred into Foggy’s bones by now.

He does put a little more effort into his penmanship after that, maybe. And his spelling. Foggy doesn’t really know any nuns personally, but tv and movies have sent him some strong messages, and he doesn’t so much mind Matt knowing that he misspelled “destination” (for example) as the idea of a nun head-shaking and casting aspersions upon his person to Matt because of it.

(The destination of their fall class field trip is the Statue of Liberty. Foggy isn’t sure if Matt ever saw the view from the top before he lost his peepers, but he definitely didn’t see it as Foggy did on that particular day, with a jostling herd of middle schoolers providing a chaotic backdrop for panoramic views of the harbor and Manhattan’s skyscrapers, all under a startlingly blue sky. But when Foggy’s done writing, maybe he can.)

The first letters, the September letters, are basic hi-my-name-is sorts of things. The one Foggy gets from Matt is typed, with an uphill, printed M a t t beneath the Sincerely at the bottom. Everyone’s kind of jealous that Foggy gets to pen pal with an actual local celebrity and genuine hero, and he ends up folding the letter about fifty times to make it as tiny as absolutely possible before stuffing it way down in his pocket. Because Matt’s not to be gawked at. Because Matt’s his.

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Mike has always loved dinosaurs, ever since his Aunt Rachel gave him a colourful pop-up book when he was four. His second-grade Science project is on dinosaurs and in fourth grade he builds a diorama of the Jurassic Period. In high school, he writes extra credit research reports on different prehistoric creatures and by the time he’s in college, Mike is running tours of the dinosaur exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Science for elementary school groups.

Some days, when she’s not working, El accompanies him on these tours. On those days, they arrive at the museum prior to opening and walk through the quiet exhibit, Mike happily prattling on about dinosaur facts and figures that El has heard a hundred times before. Those days are the best, because Mike knows, as he pulls a tissue from his back pocket, there’s nothing more magical than watching the giant skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex turn its head towards you.


Today, we hiked at Garden of the Gods! We went to the Ridge Trail at the edge of the park to see a different piece than what we normally do. Unfortunately, Ryan couldn’t come, so the mileage won’t count. The trail was mostly smoothed rock so it was hard to tell which direction to go on the trail. We also ran into a geology class that informed us the rocks in this section were from the Jurassic period. It was very sunny, but the heat was much less than it was earlier in the week at about 85 degrees. After the hike, we went down to Manitou Springs to sample the soda spring mineral water, walk around the town and also visit Cave of the Winds. 

Miles Hiked: 0.5 miles


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.

Fic: the long road home - 1/3 (Legends of Tomorrow; Rip/Sara)

Fandom: Legends of Tomorrow

Rating: PG-13

Pairing: Rip Hunter/Sara Lance (Time Canary)

Summary: It’s a long road home, and Rip doesn’t need a map. Just needs someone to point to his heart, and he’s there.

Author’s Note: So I may have jokingly said that I was going to write a ‘101 ways Rip returns to the Waverider and finally realises he belongs there’ fic, but I kind of ran away with that idea and turned it instead into this three-parter. I hope you enjoy it :-)

Chapter titles from ‘Come back home’ by Lauv

Can also be read here on AO3


Part One:  

but sometimes you have to go


“Is that . . ?” Disbelief.

“Nah, can’t be.” Dismissal.

“Don’t be ridiculous, it’s not him,” Martin says, ever the voice of reason.

She’s Jax, Nate and Stein all at the same. Because it can’t be him, Sara tells herself. They haven’t heard from him in months, and she’s long since stopped turning to her right expecting him to be sitting there still. It must be two months since the last time she’s looked across the console expecting the slight nod of approval, or the encouragement glittering in his eyes. That constant presence beside her, lending strength without saying a word, is something she’s had to learn to do without.

The cold reality of his choice tells her it’s not him. But, even then, for the briefest of moments, hope flares with a glimpse of an old, beaten, brown trench coat in the crowd.

There are the subtle differences that give it away.

He’s just a little too short, has more meat on his bones – doesn’t look like he’s spent his entire life starving. The hair too – it’s darker than she remembers.

That doesn’t deter her from stopping in her tracks though, and silently willing him to turn around.

And then he does. And, of course, it’s not him.

This is the last time, she promises, the last time she’ll do this to herself.

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Dr. Livingstone, I Presume!

The town of Livingstone, Zambia was invented by David Livingstone. Victoria Falls is so called, because Dr. Livingstone discovered the falls and named it for the Empress of all the World, Her Majesty Queen Victoria, in 1855.

Wait. no.

Turns out this natural wonder of Africa existed for about 150 million years before Europeans got there. 

The people who lived in what is now “Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Namibia” had been seeing the falls for years. Many, many years. (Not 150 million).

Local names for the falls are “Mosi-oa-Tunya” in Lozi and “ Shungu Namtitima“ in Toka Leya. Both meaning “The Smoke that Thunders.” I think The Smoke that Thunders is far more poetic and accurate than naming it for the person behind the massacres of people all over this continent (and the world). Africa is still recovering from the scars colonialism has left and there are still plenty of people exploiting the place for resources to this day. 

But most people refer to the waterfall as Victoria Falls. The town next to the falls on the Zimbabwe side is called “Victoria Falls.” At least on a map.  It can’t be escaped. 

The Victoria Falls area on either side of the Zambezi River, whether Zambia or Zimbabwe, is a tourist nest for people from all over the world. There are many activities for thrill-seekers in addition to just viewing the colossal chutes. You could take a sunset booze cruise through a gorge, white-water raft, fly over the falls in a helicopter or airplane, hang glide over the falls, bungee jump off of the bridge, swim near certain parts when the water is low, zipline across one of the gorges, or many more things. So many things. All mostly priced above $150. For one person. 

It is definitely a magnificent site for recreational activities. It can’t be denied that the views are unparalleled. But man, just existing there cost me too much money. And ate up all of my ability to live in a “tourist box.”

What I liked about Livingstone, though, was that it was not too hard for me to find the parts of town that weren’t catering to tourists. Just walking down the road led me to the market and mini-bus station. I felt really comfortable walking around…until I got called out a few times because I stuck out like a sore thumb. It’s true, I don’t look like I should belong. And who’s to say that I should? But it really does feel nice to be surrounded by people living their normal day to day lives instead of in a tourist zoo.

Once the ice was broken and I was chatting with everyone I met, the “tourist” force-field around me seemed to melt away. 

Livingstone is about 10 kilometers from the falls. There are a bunch of taxi drivers loitering nearby because it is also at the border. They expect to get about $10 a ride. When I arrived in the country, I was proud of myself for getting it for $5, though I am sure it was still too much. 

Just parallel to the road leaving the falls, there is another road, completely hidden if you aren’t looking for it. On this road there is another world. There are local Zambians selling snacks for only a few kwachas. They are not there for tourists. They are there for Zambian people, who also move around and use the area, transporting goods to and from their homes.

I was tipped off by someone that there were local mini-buses heading from the border/falls to town “but they would be slow and uncomfortable.” As I walked through a dirt path to reach this mystical minibus station, almost everyone I passed asked where I was going. When I said to the minibuses, I got a lot of confused looks, but they pointed down the road as if to say “carry on.” 

When I arrived at the mini-bus station, I asked if I could grab a ride to town when it was ready to leave. The driver was very kind and said, “sure, you can sit next to me, but we have to wait for the car to fill and that might be a while.” It would be 5 kwatchas, or about 50 cents. A fraction of the taxi price.  

I told him that I didn’t mind waiting. I walked over to one of the snack stands and asked the woman there what she had cooked. There were beans, potatoes, stewed meats, rice and nshima, the Zambian staple made from maize. I asked for the prices and they were also exponentially cheaper than anything from the center of town or the park by the falls. And it all looked good. I got some beans and rice and tried some nshima

At first all of the men sitting at the snack stand looked at me like I was very odd, but we quickly got to talking. As they ate the nshima by scooping it up with their hands and mixing it with a side dish, they told me a few words in their language, Nyanja. They even gave me a name “Mutinta” which means girl born among men (I think?).

I really enjoyed hanging out at the bus rank, chatting with people who lived in the area. I even told them a bit about Madagascar and America. Of course they had questions about Trump… those are always fun. 

The thing is, I am perceived a certain way here. I look like a tourist or an African of European descent no matter what. I look like I am probably going to be uncomfortable with things. I look like I am probably not going to be respectful to people. In addition, in many cultures, it is pretty weird for a woman to be alone, traveling all of the way across the world. Race is complicated in Africa. Wherever I go, I want to be sure that I am respecting the people and environment around me. But it is complicated. I know that I look like the aggressors from history. I do not blame people if they do not expect good things from me because of the way I look. But it makes me sad that things are this way.

I know sitting at a snack stand at a minibus rank is no monumental feat. But it was far more enjoyable than feeling confined to a museum and separated from the real world. It was the highlight of my time in Zambia for sure (yes I know I was only there for a short time). The men were helpful and kind! They told me how to get to Botswana using public transportation. 

When the mini-bus was finally filled up, the driver showed me places around town that might be useful and even offered to drive me out of his way, but I wanted to walk a bit so I declined. 

The bus may have been a slower option, but if there is anything I am sure of right now, I am not in a rush. There is nothing wrong with taking the slower option. And the mini-bus was not uncomfortable in the least, though I wish I was sitting in the back with everyone else instead of the front. 

So I am not sure where I am going with this post. I have decided to just write what has been on my mind. 

Who is to say how long the Smoke the Thunders has really existed? 1855? The Jurassic period? 

Maybe it has only existed since 1989 when it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site? We all know, nothing really matters until it is validated or famous. 



Leedsichthys is a giant member of the Pachycormidae, an extinct group of Mesozoic ray-finned fish that lived in the oceans of the Middle Jurassic period

Leedsichthys fossils have been difficult to interpret because the skeletons were not completely made of bone. Large parts consisted of cartilage that did not fossilize. On several occasions the enigmatic large partial remains have been mistaken for stegosaurian dinosaur bones. As the vertebrae are among the parts that have not been preserved, it is hard to determine the total body length. 

It is generally accepted that Leedsichthys is the largest known member of the Osteichthyes or bony fishes, likely reaching a length of 9-10 m.

Like the largest fish today, the whale sharks and basking sharks, Leedsichthys problematicus derived its nutrition as a suspension feeder, using an array of specialised gill rakers lining its gill basket to extract zooplankton, small animals, from the water passing through its mouth and across its gills. It is less clear whether also phytoplankton, algae, were part of the diet. Leedsichthys could have been a ram feeder, making the water pass through its gills by swimming, but could also have actively pumped the water through the gill basket…

Read more: Wikipedia

illustrations by Dmitry Bogdanov