Friday, April 29, 2011

Dinosaur round-up

Another dinosaur round-up. I've got loads of information burning up my inbox to turn into these.

Dinosaur Death Trap: Gobi Desert Fossils Reveal How Dinosaurs Lived
On a trip to the Gobi Desert, a team of fossil hunters unearths a death scene that reveals new clues about how dinosaurs lived
Gobi Desert in Inner Mongolia indicates how "these dinosaurs interacted with one another, how their society was built, as well as the circumstances surrounding their gruesome and untimely deaths."

You have to subscribe to Scientific American to read more, which sucks. Why post it online? Nobody pays for things online!
They didn't even tease which dinosaur or important discovery they made - just a bunch of rhetoric and flowery language. Thanks a bunch, "scientists."

Click to read more.

Dinosaur named 'thunder-thighs'
By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News

Dr Mike Taylor explains why he thinks Brontomerus had "thunder thighs". The team has named its dinosaur Brontomerus mcintoshi - from the Greek "bronto", meaning "thunder"; and "merĂ³s", meaning "thigh".

Scientists have named a new dinosaur species "thunder-thighs" from fragmentary remains from a quarry in Utah, because of the huge thigh muscles it would have had.

The new species, described in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, is a sauropod - the family of dinosaurs famous for their long necks and tails.

It could have given other animals a hefty kick, say its discoverers.

"If predators came after it, it would have been able to boot them out of the way," said Dr Mike Taylor, from University College London, UK.

The fossilised bones of two specimens - an adult and a juvenile - have been dated to be about 110 million years old.

The wide, blade-shaped bone projects forward ahead of the hip socket, providing a proportionally massive area for the attachment of muscles.

"As you put the skeleton together, you can run muscles down from the hip-bone to join at the knee and that gives you a whopping thigh," Dr Taylor told BBC News.

"What's interesting is that if it were a sauropod that could move particularly fast, you would expect to see very strong muscles on the back of the leg to pull it along. But we don't; this is the opposite. It seems most likely to us that what this is about is being able to deliver a strong kick," he told BBC News.
Click to read more.

Government by Dinosaur Repellent
Ben Tripp

I spray my yard with dinosaur repellent. It must be working -- I've never seen a dinosaur around here. That's an old joke, of course. But it's no joke when it's our system of government. The entire Washington establishment is engaged in a mighty game of "pretend that's the problem."

The Democrats didn't lose some seats in the midterm elections because they tried to do too much. They lost because they did too little, and then claimed to have accomplished a great deal. They boasted they'd solved real problems that were not, in fact, solved at all. Republicans, meanwhile, did great business selling dinosaur repellent. And even now, it looks like Washington Democrats are buying the stuff in bulk.

As things continue to get worse in this country -- which they will, because nobody is focused on the real problems we face -- the crises are going to get harder and harder to ignore. Democrats may eventually start doing something about them, regardless of the apoplectic harrumphing of the opposition. I'm thankful they haven't started making up imaginary crises of their own. Not yet. But the Democrats do seem to respond to Republican scare tactics as if they were genuine. So right now we're locked in a vicious cycle, trying to keep the dinosaurs at bay.
Click to read more.

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