Archive for the ‘Jurassic Park’ Category

New Cousin to the Velociraptor Discovered in China

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Liaoning Province in China is known for the substantial amount of dinosaur fossils that’ve turned up in the dirt there. Over the years everything from insects to fish to plants have been discovered in such detail that even skin textures have been left behind in the rock.

Now it appears that a new feathered dinosaur that is cousin to the Velociraptor can be added to the long list of discoveries there.

The new dinosaur with a ridiculous name to try and pronounce, Zhenyuanlong suni, stood at about 5 feet tall, had wings too short to allow them to fly and some of the most complex feathers seen on a dinosaur up to this point. The feathers’ complexity is clearly visible on the rock that the near-complete skeleton has been found in and resemble the feathers of today’s eagles.

Professor Junchang Lü from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences’ Institute of Geology:

“The first feathered dinosaurs were found here and now our discovery of Zhenyuanlong suni indicates that there is an even higher diversity of feathered dinosaurs than we thought. It’s amazing that new feathered dinosaurs are still being found.”

It’s also hugely terrifying to think of these semi-flying, feathered 5 foot dinosaurs tracking you down to feed their young.


Awesome! Hear the Sounds of Dinosaurs!

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

In the movie, Jurassic Park, sound designer Ben Burtt tried to create what he thought prehistoric beasts might’ve sounded like when they walked the Earth. Using currently existing animals and a little exaggeration, no one will ever forget the sounds Uncle George’s sound guru created.

Now an art installation in France created by Marguerite Humeau is bringing us as close as we may get to what they might have actually sounded like and it’s pretty awesome to hear.

Titled ‘Proposal for Resuscitating Prehistoric Creatures’, the exhibit displays the recreated vocal chords of three different prehistoric animals: the entelodont, known as the ‘hell pig’, the mammoth imperator and the ambulocetus, known as the ‘walking whale.’

Because the vocal chords are made of soft tissue, Humeau has spent years working with researchers in various fields from throat specialists to engineers to paleaontologists to get everything in order to recreate as accurately as possible. Humeau also gathered data on these particular animals current ancestors: an Asian Elephant for the mammoth, dolphins and harbors porpoises for the ‘walking whale’ (which is pretty damn frightening to consider this whale had ridiculous teeth…and it walked) and a wild boar for the ‘hell pig’ (again…frightening).

Using foam, similar soft materials and an enormous amount of data collected over several years about these animals, Humeau stated:

“I’m not only recreating a shape, but also the data that has disappeared — we’ll never be 100 per cent sure this is accurate,” Humeau told Wired Magazine UK. “But when I heard it roar, it felt real.”

Why are you still reading this? Press play and listen to what it might’ve sounded like 50 million years ago when a ‘hell pig’, a ‘walking whale’ (again…a walking whale..with freakin’ teeth) and a mammoth just casually strolled the planet.


Dr. Ian Malcolm Is Pissed: All-Female Lizard Species Created In Lab

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

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Henry Wu: You’re implying that a group composed entirely of female animals will… breed?

Dr. Ian Malcolm: No, I’m simply saying that life, uh… finds a way.

Scientists looking to create a species of all-female lizards have finally succeeded. An origin of a species like this has never been directly observed.

“It’s recreating the events that lead to new species,” said cell biologist Peter Baumann of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, whose new species is described May 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “It relates to the question of how these unisexual species arise in the first place.”

Female-only species that reproduce by cloning themselves — a process called parthenogenesis, in which embryos develop without fertilization — were once considered dead-end evolutionary flukes. But in the last decade, unisexuality has been found in more than 80 groups of fish, amphibian and reptiles. It might not be such a dead end after all.

Peter, the kind of control you’re attempting is not possible. If there’s one thing the history of evolution has taught us, it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free. It expands to new territories. It crashes through barriers. Painfully, maybe even.. dangerously, but and… well, there it is.

[Wired Science]