Tag: Paleontology

Arizona, It’s the New Florida, Man!

In Tucson, Arizona, a “Christian” group has organized protests at a McDonalds against a statue of a dinosaur, because ……… Ummmm ……… It’s not in Genesis, I guess?

This is not The Onion:

A Tucson landmark won’t be going extinct anytime soon. Attempts to remove a fiberglass dinosaur statue outside of a McDonald’s have been thwarted.

A group called Christians Against Dinosaurs denounced the T. rex statue on its Facebook page and called for its followers to rally in an effort to remove the statue.

“Please help! This McDonald’s has this dinosaur and refuse to remove it!” according to the Arizona Daily Star. “This is in Tucson, Arizona. Call the manager and demand the removal of this blasphemy!”


When reached via Facebook, Christians Against Dinosaurs told Patch that the group’s mission is no joke.

“We’re fed up with everybody acting like the people of Tucson are imbeciles and we want to help,” a spokesperson for the group said. “Having a big dinosaur outside a cultural hub like McDonald’s makes Tucsonians look like they’re mentally deficient and that isn’t right.”

No, YOU are making, “Tucsonians look like they’re mentally deficient.”

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

Scientists have reconstructed an antediluvian creature from fossil, and it looks a lot like something from the mind of HP Lovecraft:

A creature with more than a passing resemblance to HP Lovecraft’s terrifying Chthulu once actually existed, palaeontologists have revealed – although at just three centimetres wide, it was hardly a danger to shipping or buildings.

Not, of course, that there were any human-made structures around when Sollasina cthulhu prowled across the ocean floor some 430 million years ago.

The creature, a very distant ancestor of sea cucumbers and sea slugs, is revealed in a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

It was found in fossilised form in the UK county of Hereford. A team of researchers led by Imran Rahman from the University of Oxford then spent months painstakingly grinding it away, taking photographs at every stage, resulting in an accurate 3D computer reconstruction.

It has a face only a mother could love:

No, That Was Margaret Thatcher, It’s a Common Mistake

OK, the headline on the BBC was, “Major shake-up suggests dinosaurs may have ‘UK origin’,” but I still think that it was Margaret Thatcher:

The first dinosaurs may have originated in the Northern Hemisphere, possibly in an area that is now Britain.

This is one of the conclusions of the first detailed re-evaluation of the relationships between dinosaurs for 130 years.

It shows that the current theory of how dinosaurs evolved and where they came from may well be wrong.

This major shake-up of dinosaur theory is published in this weeks’s edition of the journal Nature.

The reassessment shows that the meat eating beasts, such as Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor, have been wrongly classified in the dinosaur family tree.

One of the implications is that dinosaurs first emerged 15 million years earlier than previously believed.

And the fossil evidence suggests that this origin may have occurred further north than current thinking suggests – possibly in an area that is now the UK, according to the new study’s lead author, Matthew Baron of Cambridge University.

Well, that was my first thought when I read the headline.

Your Awesome Fact of the Day

In a development that should surprise no one, this is a fact about the Gary Larson Cartoon The Far Side:

Stegosaurus is world-famous for its lime-sized brain and the quartet of nasty-looking spikes on its tail. A 1982 “Far Side” strip decided to have a little fun with the latter attribute. In that cartoon, we find an early human anachronistically lecturing his fellow cavemen about dinosaur-related hazards. Pointing at the rear end of a Stegosaurus diagram, he says “Now this end is called the thagomizer … after the late Thag Simmons.” Without meaning to, Larson’s strip plugged a gap in the scientific lexicon. Previously, nobody had ever given a name to the unique arrangement of tail spikes found on Stegosaurus and its relatives. But today, many paleontologists use the word “thagomizer” when describing this apparatus, even in scientific journals.

This is so full of awesome that there is a risk of injury.