The greatest fossil hunter the world has ever seen was a woman who lived more than two hundred years ago in Dorset, England. Mary Anning, also known as the monster hunter, was responsible for discovering ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and the first recognized pterosaur fossil in England. She got her start combing the beaches of the Dorset coast with her father—and though he died when she was only eleven, she got her passion for the strange beasts captured in the rock of her native county from him.
Check out her fascinating story here:
Arctic journal reports that the vertebra of a duck-billed hadrosaur from the cretaceous period found in the northern Canadian territory of Nunavut suggests that the giant herbivore made its home in the hostile northern region year-round. In fact, the bone found on Axel Heiberg Island is the northern most fossil find ever recorded.
Although the average Arctic temperature was fifteen degrees warmer than today, the hadrosaurs still had to contend with a complete absence of daylight for almost half the year. The relative cold and lack of a plant-life meant a tough life for the hardy duck-bill. Mostly they would have scavenged twigs, decaying wood and fungi to survive. And migration was impossible because the island on which the fossil was found was cut off from the rest of North America by two seas.
It seems the more we learn about dinosaurs in the fossil record the more surprising and extreme they become. You go dinosaurs!
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image: Getty Images
Real life cowboy Clayton Phipps rides the Montana Badlands with a shovel and a GPS device hunting for dinosaur fossils. Along with his partner, former flooring salesman Mark Eatman, he has made some of the biggest amateur finds in recent years.
A T. rex tooth worth $10,000.
A Stygimoloch (that he calls a horned, ‘freaky critter’) that went for $100,000.
And the famous dueling dinosaurs which are expected to fetch $7 million at auction in Manhattan.
He credits his success to his keen fossil hunter’s eye, honed over the years to spot anomalies in the Hell’s Creek landscape. He can pick out a lump of black rock that turns out to be a piece of ankylosaur armor and in his home dino-lab he spends hours using X-Acto knives, debonder and a dentist’s microblaster to remove the rock and dirt around the specimen.
Whether you’re a former ranch-hand or a flooring salesman, keep your eyes open when you’re in the field—that next big find could be at your feet.
Check out the full story at: http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/the-dinosaur-cowboy-20140224
(Photograph by Jose Mandojana)
Jade Rabbit’s back! China’s plucky moon rover, Jade Rabbit, who landed on the lunar surface in December, then captured the hearts of the world when it announced its own malfunction and imminent demise, has risen from the dead.
The Rover, speaking on the Chinese social media site Weibo , told the world of it’s coming death and signed-off with a final, “Goodnight Earth. Goodnight Humanity.” And tens of thousands took to the internet to send their condolences.
Now, three weeks later, the rover is back! He’s up and running and only a little worse for wear. And the world is thrilled again.
Check out the details here:
For the first time in more than twenty years the five Great Lakes are almost 90% frozen. In one of the weirdest weather winters in memory Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior have iced over, creating opportunities for people( and Digby our Dane/Mastiff cross) to walk to islands or visit sea caves not previously possible.
Even here in Toronto we’re enjoying the ability to walk from our condo-packed waterfront across the busy harbor to the serenity of the Toronto Islands. And from the Islands, across the narrow Eastern Gap, to the off-leash dog area of Cherry Beach or the vast bird sanctuary of the Leslie Street Spit.
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Recent research at Lund University in Sweden has revealed the true colors of several marine dinosaurs. Since soft tissue usually isn’t fossilized we don’t often catch a glimpse of the colors that ancient reptiles displayed. But new techniques involving chemical traces in the rocks surrounding fossils, high-energy particles and electron microscopes have brought the prehistoric rainbow to life. Researchers studied the remains of a giant turtle, a mosasaur and an ichthyosaur and found ovoid pigments that suggest the lizards were black—perfect camouflage for the lightless depths of the ancient oceans.
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In this wildest and weirdest of winters, storms have battered much of the UK creating massive floods. And the rising waters have brought some odd-ball things to light. Workers at a Welsh golf course found a three-foot long Cod lying on the third green. Bombs dropped into the sea by the Germans during WWII were washed ashore on the giant tides. And in the most incredible reveal of all a complete ichthyosaur skeleton was revealed by storms along the Dorset Coast.
Check out the rest of the strange sightings in this article:
The warm-ups and tests are done and China’s Yutu moon rover is set to strike out on an epic voyage across the lunar landscape. Expected to last three months, the rover’s journey is supposed to survey the geology of the moon to locate natural resources that Chinese astronauts could use in the future—maybe as soon as ten years from now!
Astronauts! On the moon, again?
Bring on the future
For the full scoop check out this article:
The gloves are off!
Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, mathematician, physicist, amateur fossil hunter and former chief technology officer at Microsoft says research on dinosaur growth and lifespans done more than ten years ago was flawed. He reviewed and applied new statistical methods to the original data used by Dr. Gregory Erickson professor of anatomy and paleobiology at Florida State University. And Myhrvold says, Erickson’s work contains major mistakes. To Myhrvold the data shows that dinosaurs grew much slower than Erickson suggested, and they lived a lot longer.
Check out the article here: http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/18/5226082/nathan-mythvold-says-dinosaur-researchers-made-serious-errors
For the first time since 1976 we’ve landed an unmanned probe on the surface of the moon. The Chinese craft landed today, accompanied by a remotely piloted buggy for exploring the region around the Bay of Rainbows.
This makes China only the third country (along with the US and Russia) to land something on the moon—and the only country currently doing the business. the latest moonshot is part of China’s massive push into space, which includes orbiters, space stations and moon exploration.
After the closing of the Apollo program and the death of the shuttles—I say, well done, China. We belong out there.
Check out the article here: http://www.torontosun.com/2013/12/14/chinese-spacecraft-lands-on-moon