A group of scientists diagnosed advanced cancer in a dinosaur that lived more than 75 million years ago. The Centrosaurus suffered from a bone cancer that also afflicts humans. The researchers from the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and McMaster University used high-resolution medical imaging and microscopy to analyze cells from a bone. While the cancer was advanced, the scientists believe that the location of the fossils indicate it was killed by a flood rather than the disease. From the journal Science
Paleontologists initially thought the bone’s strange shape was due to a fracture that hadn’t healed cleanly. But a new study, published today in The Lancet Oncology, compares the internal structure of the fossil (above) with a bone tumor from a human patient to seek a diagnosis. The conclusion: The dinosaur suffered from osteosarcoma, a cancer that, in humans, primarily attacks teens and young adults. The disease causes tumors of immature bone tissue, frequently in the long bones of the leg.
More: "Rare Malignant Cancer Diagnosed in a Dinosaur" (Royal Ontario Museum)
images: bone, Royal Ontario Museum/McMaster University, Centrosaurus, Fred Wierum (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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From the listing on Etsy:
Once your gig this 6 meters giant armored bionic skin T-Rex costume your visitors will encounter the more powerful T-Rex than any monster previously. This adult-size Alpha rex suit has a rare and elusive clownfish skin that has light armor on its head, neck, spine. What's more of this Dino costume equipped with mounted Gatling guns with safe water bullets and nerf gun load with soft sponge bullets. this T-Rex suit is armed to the teeth with weaponry. Inside of the Dinosaur suit, you need to wear 40cm tall stilts to walk. you can press and hold the shooting button to make your Gatling guns firing, work the tamed T-rex to attack your prey. like a kids dream come true, Look at this crazy beastly badass Tyranosaurus costume, you can have many attacks, guns, and mini rockets. also, the T-Rex can spray smoke and has red lighting eyes. Tame your own T-Rex warrior start your beast battle.
Keep in mind, however, that this thing also weighs 75 pounds; although your purchase does include a wooden carrying case, in case you don't want to ride the subway in your Bionic Dinosaur Battle Armor for whatever reason.
MCSDINO, who designed this beautiful work of art, also offers a whole collection of Dino-Riders-esque Robo-Jurassic armor suits.
Adult Size Armored Bionic Skin T-Rex Costume-DCTR646 [MCSDINO / Etsy] Read the rest
I found this listing on AbleAuction for, "Over 50 life size animatronic dinosaurs inc. T-Rex, Brontosaurus and Raptors; plus hundreds of fossils, animatronic equipment, lighting, speakers and more." So of course, I had to know more.
While the auction house won't say where, exactly, these delightful leviathans came from, the Vancouver Sun reports that, "the Vancouver-based Experiential Media Group (Canada) Corp. went into voluntary bankruptcy on May 5, 2020 and KPMG was appointed trustee." The article continues:
According to a KPMG report, EMG Canada was formed in January 2019 to buy the assets of Dinoking Tech Inc., that had been operating an animatronics business since 2007. In 2015, Dinoking merged with a U.S. company Premier Exhibitions that focused on historical artifact exhibitions and began having financial problems a year later.
The company’s failure come despite it creating touring exhibitions of dinosaurs and bugs that were leased to museums, zoos and tourist attractions for a fix period in over 100 cities around the world.
Apparently Dinoking Tech, Inc. also owned the only collection of artifacts for display from the Titanic wreck as well.
Able Auctions CEO Jeremy Dodd also told the Sun, "There’s just about every type of dinosaur. We also have a whole pile of authentic and original fossils and all the equipment that’s related to putting on a show like this."
Bidding on this army of robotic dinosaurs begins on Wednesday, August 5; AbleAuction advises that you sign up for their service at least one day ahead of time. Read the rest
Back in January, the new movie Palm Springs broke a record for the highest sale at the Sundance Film Festival — by exactly 69 cents.
We should have seen that as an omen.
The movie began streaming on Hulu this past Friday, July 10th, and in less than a week, it has an 84% on MetaCritic and a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Those are some impressively high accolades for any movie, but especially for a RomCom by a first-time director starring Andy Samberg. But, in my humble opinion, the film deserves it.
The elevator pitch for Palm Springs is essentially Groundhog's Day meets Hot Tub Time Machine meets Wedding Crashers — again, not the type of film you'd expect to garner such critical acclaim. Andy Samberg's character, Nyles, has been trapped in a time loop at a wedding where he doesn't know anyone except his girlfriend, who's in the wedding party, and also cheating on him. He is stuck at the resort, living the day over and over and over and over again, eventually resigning himself to the situation and trying to have some fun before the loop resets. When he tries to hook up with Sarah (Cristin Milioti), the older sister of the bride, he accidentally brings her into the time loop as well. And we soon learn that there are other wedding guests whose fates are now locked into this same endless repeating pattern. (Spoiler: one is JK Simmons, delightful as ever.)
Palm Springs does the expected job of working through all the humor of time travel and repetition; of course, the timeliness of its release during our collective societal quarantine probably helps to make that monotony feel even relatable. Read the rest
A new article from Nature describes the discovery of a 100-million-year-old fossilized reptile egg with a soft, leathery shell that's nearly a foot long. It's the second-largest egg fossil ever discovered (after the egg of the elephant bird, which had a hard shell about five times thicker), and also the first such discovery made on the continent of Antarctica.
As National Geographic summarizes:
The 68-million-year-old egg, called Antarcticoolithus bradyi, is the first fossil egg ever found in Antarctica, only outsized by the eggs of Madagascar’s extinct elephant bird. Antarcticoolithus is also one of the few fossil eggs ever found in marine sediment. “For the first egg remnant from Antarctica to be a nearly complete egg that has finely preserved microstructure is kind of insane,” says Julia Clarke of UT Austin.
Under a microscope, Antarcticoolithus not only lacked the internal structure of hard eggshells, but also the pores of hard-shelled eggs, suggesting the large egg was soft.
At the time the egg was laid, large marine reptiles called mosasaurs lived in the Antarctic waters where the fossil egg was entombed. The bones of a mosasaur were found less than 700 feet from the site, suggesting the egg may have belonged to these 20-foot-long swimming reptiles.
Here's the real kicker though: the scientists didn't find any bones inside of the egg. And while they think it would have belonged to a mosasaur, or some other 20-plus-foot-long swimming reptiles, that wouldn't gel with their current knowledge of those leviathans. From Nature(emphasis added):
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The identity of the animal that laid the egg is unknown, but these preserved morphologies are consistent with the skeletal remains of mosasaurs (large marine lepidosaurs) found nearby.
Researchers hypothesize that the asteroid that gave the world over to mammals and birds hit Earth at a 60 degree angle, kicking up far more atmospheric dirt than a direct hit. The resulting climate change would be deadly for massive fauna and the ecosystems that depended on them—as the fossil record shows.
Analysing the structure of the 200-kilometre-wide (125 mile) crater in southern Mexico where the asteroid hit, scientists ran a series of simulations. Lead author Gareth Collins of Imperial College London and colleagues at the University of Freiburg and the University of Texas at Austin looked at four possible impact angles - 90, 60, 45 and 30 degrees - and two impact speeds, 12 and 20 kilometres per second (7.5 and 12.4 miles per second). The best fit with the data from the crater was a 60 degree strike.
"Sixty degrees is a more lethal impact angle because it ejects a larger amount of material fast enough to engulf the planet," Collins told AFP.
Adds Collins: "a very bad day for the dinosaurs". Read the rest
Every time I go back and watch an episode of Dinosaurs, I realize just how far ahead of its time it was (See: "What Sexual Harris Meant." Also the series finale.)
Also Tim Curry voiced a bunch of parts, which has nothing to do with the show's cleverly subversive political nature, but is wonderful nonetheless.
Here he is as the Devil in the fourth season episode "Life In The Faust Lane," in which Earl sells his soul in exchange for a collectible mug. Curry also played the voice of a very sassy jacket on another episode. Read the rest
Police in Murcia, Spain caught a Tyrannosaurus rex violating a coronavirus lockdown. The cops were kind enough to let the dinosaur off with a warning. From CBR:
On the first released video, filmed by a neighbor, the T-Rex wannabe is clearly taking out the garbage. In the second video, however, it seems as if the T-Rex was making a break for a nearby park. The video was accompanied by John Williams' Jurassic Park theme.
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The tiny skull, about the size of a thumbnail, trapped in amber may belong to the smallest dinosaur scientists have ever discovered. Paleontologist Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences spotted the skull in a 99-million-year-old chunk of amber from northern Myanmar. From the New York Times:
[Xing, Chinese Academy of Sciences paleontologist Jingmai O’Connor, and their colleagues] called the bird Oculudentavis khaungraae — a name that comes from the Latin words for eye, teeth and bird. The dinosaur’s skull is only 14.25 millimeters, or a little more than half an inch, from its beak to the end of its skull. The animal had bulbous eyes that looked out from the sides of its head, rather than straight ahead like the eyes of an owl or a human.
“We were able to show that this skull is even smaller than that of a bee hummingbird, which is the smallest dinosaur of all time — also the smallest bird,” O’Connor said. “This is a tiny skull, and it’s just preserved absolutely pristinely"....
Most scientists now believe that birds are theropods, dinosaurs of a group that included tyrannosaurus and spinosaurus, but that birds were on their own evolutionary branch from a common ancestor. Paleontologists have long assumed that as birds evolved away from other dinosaurs, having teeth was a trait that was in the process of disappearing altogether. “But this specimen strongly shows that evolution’s really going in all different directions,” Dr. O’Connor said.
More at Nature: "Tiny bird fossil might be the world’s smallest dinosaur"
image: Lida Xing
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Songwriter Tom Rosenthal had a tweet go viral last week, featuring a short song he'd written in a few takes with his 4-year-old daughter Fenn:
Dinosaurs eating people
Dinosaurs in love
Dinosaurs having a party
They eat fruit and cucumber
They fell in love
They say "Thank you"
A Big Bang came and they died
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs fell in love
But they didn't say "goodbye"
But they didn't say "goodbye"
The song exploded so quickly that even Spotify asked for an official release date. Which shouldn't be surprising, because it's obviously brilliant.
"I genuinely couldn't tell you why she wanted to do a song about dinosaurs," Rosenthal told Buzzfeed. "She's got no particular affiliation with dinosaurs at all. They're not something she particularly cares about or not, this is just what was in her head at the time."
He went to explain the father-daughter creative process: "In terms of her singing and her timing, nothing's altered, but it's done in a couple of sections. … She's by the microphone, she's got the headphones on, she starts singing, and she does as much as she can. … And then eventually after she's done enough little bits of it, it kind of all fits together. Read the rest
The Dragonfly-like Meganeuropsis was a giant insect that plied the skies from the Late Carboniferous to the Late Permian, some 317 to 247 million years ago. It had a wingspan of some 28" with a body length of around 17."
Meganisoptera is an extinct family of insects, all large and predatory and superficially like today’s odonatans, the dragonflies and damselflies. And the very largest of these was Meganeuropsis. It is known from two species, with the type species being the immense M.permiana. Meganeuropsis permiana, as its name suggests is from the Early Permian.
Fossils of the insect were first discovered in France in the late 1800s. This fine fellow, from Bolsover in Derbyshire, was unearthed in 1979.
Read more on Geology In. Read the rest
Genndy Tartakovsky (creator of Dexter's Lab) has a new cartoon on Adult Swim called Primal. I guess it takes place on the same planet the Flintstones live on because humans and dinosaurs coexist. The animation is superb. Here's a fight scene to give you an idea of how violent it is.
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Aw, and they only took one piece each despite being terrifying dinosaurs. Read the rest
Researchers at Chicago's Field Museum collaborated with fragrance chemists to recreate what is likely the foul odor of a T. Rex's breath. Now, museum visitors can push a button for an olfactory experience of the dinosaur age. The new sensory station is part of an exhibit centered around the most complete T. Rex skeleton ever discovered. From Atlas Obscura
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They quickly gave up on imitating T. rex poop. Most of the commercially available synthetic feces scents are imitations of human waste, and our generally omnivorous diets stray too far from SUE’s carnivory. Cat poop is slightly better, because they’re obligate carnivores, (exhibit developer Meredith) Whitfield says, but hyena droppings would be ideal, because that includes both chewed-up meat and ground bones, just like SUE’s deuces. Turns out synthetic hyena poop scent is hard to come by, so the team moved on. (But, Whitfield adds, “If you’re at the hyena enclosure at the zoo and smell their poop, that’s probably close to what T. rex poop smelled like.”)
Dino breath, on the other hand, was both tempting and feasible. “From anatomical studies of SUE’s teeth, we can say, ‘Well, you have the kind of anatomy that might suggest that you have some nasty raw meat decaying in your mouth,’” Whitfield says. “What did that smell like? The answer is: Bad.”
The team found a service that manufactures a range of prepackaged smells—mainly pleasant air fresheners for hotel lobbies and other benign places, but also stinky ones for police training exercises, so that officers can learn to detect stuff like meth labs, decomposing bodies, and other malodorous things.
Scientists drilled into the Chixclub crater in the Gulf of Mexico to learn more about the end of the mesozoic era. They learned more than they expected, reports Katherine Kornei in The New York Times.
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The first day of the Cenozoic was peppered with cataclysms. When the asteroid struck, it temporarily carved a hole 60 miles across and 20 miles deep. The impact triggered a tsunami moving away from the crater. It also catapulted rock into the upper atmosphere and beyond.
“Almost certainly some of the material would have reached the Moon,” Dr. Gulick said.
The largest pieces of debris rained back down to Earth within minutes, Dr. Gulick and his team say, pelting the scarred landscape with solidifying rock. Smaller particles lingered for longer periods, and glassy blobs known as tektites, formed when falling, molten rock cools, have been found across North America and dated to the Chicxulub impact. Within about 30 minutes, ocean water began to flood back into the crater through a gap in its northeastern rim, the researchers suggest.
This week, French paleontologists unearthed a two-meter long dinosaur femur in southwestern France. From Reuters:
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The... femur at the Angeac-Charente site is thought to have belonged to a sauropod, herbivorous dinosaurs with long necks and tails which were widespread in the late Jurassic era, over 140 million years ago.
“This is a major discovery,” Ronan Allain, a paleontologist at the National History Museum of Paris told Reuters. “I was especially amazed by the state of preservation of that femur.”
“These are animals that probably weighed 40 to 50 tonnes.”