The 14" high T. Rex replica head ($73 on Amazon) gets pretty good reviews from the people who've bought it -- sounds like just the thing if you want to create the illusion that you're a time-traveling big game hunted.
[Video Link] I love James Gurney's art. He is the creator of the beautiful Dinotopia series of books, and he's just made a video that shows the process he used to paint two illustrations of dinosaurs for Scientific American. This trailer shows how much careful planning Jim puts into his work -- sketches, color, studies, photography, and cool 3D models. Wow! I sure admire his devotion to his craft.
Chemical analysis of Archaeopteryx remains show that the creature was patterned "light in colour, with a dark edge and tip to the feather", say researchers from the University of Manchester. Read the rest
This 20-foot-tall acrocanthosaurus is made out of twisted-together balloons. It was created over four days by Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle's company Airgami for the lobby of the Virgina Museum of Natural History.
airigami (headed by larry moss) has completed a 20-foot long acrocanthosaurus--a dinosaur from the early cretaceous period. this is not the first time the team has built one of the mammoth creatures from their signature medium of balloons, but it is the first occasion in which they have produced and displayed one alongside a cast of an actual skeleton of a prehistoric reptile. finished over the course of four days, the massive inflated beast is installed within the virgina museum of natural history (for as long as it will last).
the core team of marsh gallagher, TJ michael, phil cosmos and dee cosmos who realized the larger than life blow-up sculpture were assisted by many helpers including elementary school students and museum staff.
Tired of turkey? Bored with beef? Maybe it's time to consider a more exotic roast this holiday season. At Popular Science, Erin Berger has taken the time to figure out what dinosaur would hypothetically make the best dinner for people (as opposed to the other way around). The analysis turns out to be surprisingly fascinating — Dinosaurs probably tasted more like beef than chicken! Armored tails are the other other white meat! — and it turns out that what you really want is a nice chunk of sauropod neck. Read the rest
Imagine an apatosaurus with a long, elephant-like snout. Plenty of people have. That's because the nostril placement on sauropod dinosaurs is, in some ways, remarkably similar to that of trunked animals that live today. In both cases, the nostrils are large, and they're located up around what we'd call the forehead, kind of smack between the eyes.
On the one hand, this is one of those things that it's really hard to ever know for certain. We don't have preserved soft tissue, so when we make models of what dinosaurs might have looked like we're really going on clues from the bones and comparisons to living animals with similar bone structure. Because of that, it is somewhat reasonable to suggest that hey, maybe, sauropods really did look like grumpy diplodocus in the image above. It's fun to speculate.
But not all speculations are created equal. In a fascinating post at the Tetrapod Zoology blog, Darren Naish explains why a superficial similarity to trunked animals isn't enough to counteract the much-more prevalent evidence against sauropod trunks. One of the more interesting lines of evidence he points out is the fact that dinosaurs apparently lacked the facial which form the trunk in living animals. We know this partly because muscles leave their signature on bone, and Naish says there's no evidence sauropods had the right facial muscles. It's further bolstered by the fact that the animals most closely related to sauropods don't have those facial muscles, either.
Naish's piece reminds me of the last time we talked about sauropod biology here. Read the rest