Blog Carnival #9 -- New Blogs, Pterosaur Gallery, the Barney Rock and more | Science | Smithsonian

Blog Carnival #9 -- New Blogs, Pterosaur Gallery, the Barney Rock and more

The Life Aquatic: Let’s offer a warm Dinosaur Tracking welcome to Brain Beatty’s new blog, The Aquatic Amniote, which will “share news and insights about marine mammals, marine reptiles, and generally explore the evolution of aquatic amniotes, with special reference to the transition from terrestri...

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One of Mark Wittons Pterosaurs, Courtesy of the artists Flickr page


The Life Aquatic: Let’s offer a warm Dinosaur Tracking welcome to Brain Beatty’s new blog, The Aquatic Amniote, which will “share news and insights about marine mammals, marine reptiles, and generally explore the evolution of aquatic amniotes, with special reference to the transition from terrestrial to aquatic in air-breathing, amnion-bearing, vertebrates.”

A Leg Up: ArtEvolved’s newest gallery is devoted entirely to Pterosaurs—which has prompted considerable online debate about precisely where the wings were attached on the flying dinosaur’s body. British Pterosaur specialist Mark Witton weighs in with his views: “In a nutshell: there is no support for…hip attachment, one specimen may show a knee attachment (but it's ambiguous at best), whereas specimens of Eudimorphodon, Anurognathus, Jeholopterus, Rhamphorhynchus, Sordes, Beipopterus and a Tapejarid…all give either hints of an ankle attachment or show it quite convincingly.”

The Red Eye: “A wide variety of chemical defenses have evolved in the natural kingdom,” notes The World We Don’t Live In. “However, squirting blood from one’s eyes may seem to be taking self-defense a little too far” (agreed)—especially since the animals in question already have ample natural protection, such as spikes.

Not to be Confused with Fraggle Rock: Chinlea has posted photos of the Coelophysis Quarry in New Mexico, including the famous “Barney Rock,” which appears to be waving at visitors. (Thankfully, it doesn’t sing or dance.) According to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, “Hundreds of skeletons of Coelophysis were discovered at Ghost Ranch (Rio Arriba County) during the 1940s. This two- to three-meter-long, meat-eating dinosaur was one of the first dinosaurs on Earth and is the best-known Late Triassic dinosaur.”

Can I Phone a Friend, Regis? Catalogue of Organisms dishes up this Completely Frivolous Taxonomy Quiz. Sample question: “Current rank-based taxonomy is based on seven primary ranks. Which two were not used by Linnaeus?” (And, that’s the easiest one.) Answers are posted here. (No peeking…)

Shut Down: Paleochick offers an extensive round-up of news related to the closing of the University of Wyoming Geological Museum, which shut its doors on June 30th due to budget cuts. The museum was founded 122 years ago—and one of its first curators was William Harlow Reed, one of the railroad workers who discovered the first dinosaur fossils at Como Bluff, Wyoming. An online petition to keep the museum open currently has nearly 2,500 signatures. The Show Must Go On? Last March, Bob’s Dinosaur Blog reported that Michael Jackson’s anticipated comeback tour had created a scheduling conflict at London's O2 Arena with the Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular stage show that recently scored big box office in the United States. But…“Now, sadly, that conflict…has been rendered moot, which leads one to wonder if O2 will extend the dinosaurs' stay to make up for Jackson's absence.”
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