Blog Carnival #15 | Science | Smithsonian

Blog Carnival #15

Dino documentaries, paleo art tips, why dinosaurs matter and more

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That’s Entertainment: In the wake of the “Clash of the Dinosaurs” fiasco, David Hone at Archosaur Musings, has drafted a brief “manifesto” on the dumbing-down of dino documentaries. “If you want your show to be a trashy dinosaurs fighting show then fine, do it,” Hone writes, “but please don’t pretend it’s a serious examination of palaeontology.” For more on the de-evolution of documentaries, see this earlier essay we posted on how sophisticated special effects are increasingly blurring the line between science and fantasy.

Artistic License Revoked: “Learn from my folly,” advises Craig Dylke at Art Evolved, who offers helpful tips on paleo-art after making some rather embarrassing mistakes in an attempt to accurately portray a Squalodon (a whale-like species with teeth).

Why Dinosaurs Matter: At the Whirlpool of Life, Scott Sampson pens an eloquent essay on why dinosaurs are more than “prehistoric eye-candy” and play a vital role in science education: “These ancient creatures can be used to demonstrate that every ecosystem on Earth, whether in the Mesozoic or the present day, is the culmination of millions upon millions of years of co-evolution between and among life forms. Since their heyday overlapped with the fragmentation of Pangaea, dinosaurs also provide an excellent forum for communicating the workings of plate tectonics and the physical evolution of our planet. They can even serve as able guides as we contemplate such pressing issues as global warming….and mass extinction.”

Neck the Halls: “Ever since we started working on Sauroposeidon, Rich Cifelli and I dreamed of seeing the reconstructed neck on display,” writes Matt Wedel at SV-POW! “That vision has come to fruition.” See their photos taken at the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

Y Not? The Disillusioned Taxonomist, who has been blogging an A-to-Z guide to British wildlife, was disillusioned to learn that not many scientific names begin with “Y.” Still, his determined research prevailed. Meet Yaverlandia bitholus.

Why Dinosaurs Hate Christmas: Ediacaran explains.

Not Amused: “I usually try to stay away from politics on my site—that's one of the advantages of writing about creatures that have been dead for 65 million years,” notes Bob’s Dinosaur Blog. Yet Bob’s ire was raised by this political cartoon, suggesting that dinosaurs became extinct because they listened to the advice of climate change activists.

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