Random acts of science


De-Extinction by Román García Mora for Quo Magazine June 2014

"Infographic showing the two main techniques for recovery of extinct species and several candidate species to be recovered."

(via tyrannosaurslair)



If you’re having trouble envisioning Ibrahim and Sereno’s Spinosaurus as a biped, even with the updated limb proportions, I direct you to the above video about pangolins.

Pangolins are (as far as I’m aware) the only mammals with a theropod bauplan, that is, walking on two legs with a horizontal body posture. Mammal hips aren’t designed for this sort of posture though, but pangolins has to walk like that because of their specialised forelimbs, so they’ve got a bit of an awkward, hobbling walk.

The long, low body, short legs and even the arched back of pangolins reminds me a fair bit of Spinosaurus, the proportions don’t seem that far off IMO. I could quite easily envision Spinosaurus walking bipedally like this, with its hands only just off the ground and with short, quick steps.

Rather suits it, I think.

Fascinating idea, I must admit.  I think I paid more attention to the fact that the pangolin used its claws for digging.  What did Spinosaurus use its claws for?


lammergeier/bearded vulture

What a beautiful bird

(via archosaurophilia)


More than 20,000 species of plants and animals around the world are currently under threat of extinction, and hundreds vanish each year. We don’t always know the exact time of extinction, but for the Pinta Island giant tortoise, the date was June 24, 2012.

On that day, Lonesome George—the Galapagos Island tortoise now on display at the American Museum of Natural History, and the last known member of his species—died of natural causes. With him, his species, Chelonoidis abingdoni, vanished.

Over the last two years, Wildlife Preservations taxidermy experts have worked closely with Museum scientists to preserve Lonesome George as he appeared in life—down to a missing toenail on his left front foot.

Watch a video about the preservation process, and learn much more about Lonesome George

Aww George. I am glad I saw him when he was still alive

#dreadnoughtus taking up North America Hall @acadnatsci

#dreadnoughtus taking up North America Hall @acadnatsci

Showing off #dreadnoughtus @acadnatsci

Showing off #dreadnoughtus @acadnatsci