#paleontology Tumblr posts

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    Check out our latest issue! A wealth of reptile fossils has been discovered near Colorado Springs! It plays a crucial role in learning how life made its comeback when 75% of all life was wiped out.

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  • Beautiful watercolour of a fossil sponge painted in 1880 and the original specimen.

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    Imagine if we were introduced to the sick triceratops in Jurassic Park while it was having a bad case of the shits. I think it makes the film so much more magical. I can see Alan Grant walking up and listening to its chest and reminiscing over childhood.

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    And here, we observe the coke-a-saurus-rex. It is said to have emerged in 1995 with a peculiar desire for Coke. It will frequently walk around with several gallons of Coke in its arms, while listening to rap and RnB from the 1990’s. It is unknown why it listens to these genres, however, it’s speculated that it gets a rush of nostalgia from the,”sick beats.” The animal is often seen dressed in large sunglasses of varying colors. We are not sure at what point in life it obtains such large spectacles, but we do know that the creature has a very deep connection to its shades.

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    Hey! Would ya look at that! It just so happens that I do need a taco holder in my life, and what better way to make it more personalized than to shape it like an out of date green dinosaur! I bet the demand for these are crazy, y’all know how badly taco holders are in demand. You can’t visit one store without them all being sold out. Very important necessity for everyday life.

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  • Questions to NOT ask a paleontologist

    Of course, anybody can ask a paleontologist whatever they want. However, there are some questions we don’t appreciate. So, I’ll do my best to round up some of the queries we get sometimes, and I’ll give an explanation for all of them. Hopefully, it’ll stop the spread of these types of questions. At the end of the day, you can ask a paleontologist whatever you want, no matter how stupid it is. But, the list below does bother me and other colleagues.

    1. Who would win in a fight? T-Rex or Spino?

    Answer: Seeing that they both lived on separate sides of the earth and they never would’ve encountered another, I really don’t like this question. It’s like asking a zoologist,”who would win, a tiger or a lion?” It’s just kind of a silly question. But, the answer would more than likely be tyrannosaurus. Spinosaurus was specifically adapted to a set lifestyle, and its one of the strangest biological mysteries to present itself to paleontology. Assuming these two met, tyrannosaurus would’ve had the muscle and bite force to severely damage spinosaurus. Spinosaurus’s teeth also weren’t designed the same way tyrannosaurus’s were. Tyrannosaurus, overall, was much more adapted for a fight than spinosaurus. Although spino is bigger, that doesn’t necessarily make it a better fighter.

    2. Did T-Rex always kill another of its kind?

    Answer: tyrannosaurus wasn’t a bloodthirsty monster. Yes, it was fearsome and quite terrifying. But, it wasn’t a dumbass that ate everything it saw. Modern day animals like lions, tigers, and sharks are vicious…but even in nature documentaries we see them forming beneficial relationships with other animals to help their survival. For example, some sharks have their teeth cleaned by remoras to prevent the spread of mouth infection and parasites. Also, what would be the benefit of an animal that essentially consumed the entire ecosystem? What a waste of energy that would be. Just imagining tyrannosaurus walking around slurping up even the smallest reptiles and mammals is such a silly idea. So, it clearly would not have always been looking to take down prey, or another of its kind. How would behaviors like mating and raising chicks even get done if they always wanted to kill another? Silly, right?

    3. What evidence do you have the disproves creationism or god?

    Answer: science and religion are like oil and vinegar. Science, on one hand, is a system of ideas based on factual evidence. Religion is a system of ideas based on the beliefs of multiple people or leaders. Since people are very sensitive about their beliefs, it’s best not to bring the topic up. 99.99999% of the time, these debates end in stressful fights where nobody wins. Science is not a cult or something that wants to shoot down your beliefs, so don’t treat it like that. Instead, science aims to shed light upon the obscure. Thanks to science, we have discovered cures to illnesses, we have helped society become more ecologically friendly, and we’ve helped preserve life. Though, science has yet to discover any evidence of a god or a creator. Through evidence we can visually see, touch, and analyze, there has yet to be a clue or mark of anything remotely related to a god. If there was a god, and it existed without a doubt, I would agree that religion is valid. However, we have yet to find anything that proves the existence of a divine entity.

    4. Why did dinosaurs always fight each other?

    Answer: they didn’t! Imagine how pointless and redundant it would be if the whole world was constantly gnawing on another’s bones for no reason whatsoever! When people imagine dinosaurs, they usually visualize this chaotic world where monsters are roaring and fighting and killing another. But in reality, it would be impossible to sustain an ecosystem if everything was constantly in an MMA fight. Animals do fight, but not just because violence is cool. Sometimes, modern animals will size another up and use threat displays to AVOID fighting. Dinosaurs and animals weren’t dumb, nature provided them with tools to avoid unwanted confrontation. Plus, I really don’t think any living being really wants to get bitten and beaten down. A dinosaur couldn’t afford to break a leg or lose an eye over a squabble. Think of The Ballad of Big Al. Al’s life ended because of an infection. Dinosaurs wanted to perpetuate the existence of their species. They wanted to mate. Fighting would only cause them bodily harm and reduce their chances of getting a mate.

    5. How come science is so obscure and what is the government hiding?

    Answer: for whatever reason, people sometimes view higher education as some kind of cryptic organization that’s out to hurt the public. If that were the case, why the hell is everything we do so public? Museums, schools, and other means of education are usually made very public. Science isn’t “hiding” anything. Some people really do think all of us are cackling evil scientists rubbing our hands over some Frankenstein beast. But to be honest, misinformation does perpetuate ignorance. The more you know, the better you feel. The less you know, the more you’re inclined to believe the unqualified crypid YouTube channel that baits you online.

    Science isn’t evil, science isn’t hiding anything, and we really don’t have much to do with the government. Paleontologists aren’t men in black who are gonna sterilize the public with whatever weird tech you think we have. Both online and offline, I’ve heard some really stupid ideas. From mind control, to weeding out un-superior minds…it’s just a mess. I don’t understand why some people go down rabbit holes, but I do know that science isn’t the one to be pointing the finger at. I’m not involved with the government’s ideas or whatever it is you believe. I’m a college student who thrives on ramen, studies extinct life, and hopes that someday her psychology crush will give her a second chance.

    6. How do we know that velociraptor wasn’t super intelligent?

    Answer: I’d like to remind everyone that science and movies are two distinctly different things. We can infer the intelligence of an animal by analyzing its cranium, using CT scans, making inferences from its modern descendants, and using scientific computer software. Velociraptor wasn’t some Einstein with a killer claw. It actually was about as intelligent as an emu. Not to throw shade on emus, but those are just the facts.

    7. Any questions that seriously link Jurassic Park to real science

    Answer: Movies and science are very different things. That’s like saying you’re suddenly an expert on sharks because you watched the Jaws movies. Or, claiming you suddenly know how the whole universe works because you saw Interstellar twice. Movies can certainly propose and use theoretical ideas from the real world in their story, it does make them more engaging. However, these theories and ideas are prone to change and directors do embellish the truth for dramatic effect. Fictional movies aren’t meant to be taken as fact. The best way to get educated is to sit down at your local library and read a book about the topic in question. The internet is also a good place to learn, just make sure that your sources are fact checked and peer reviewed.

    8. Why are all fossils not found complete?

    Answer: yeah sure, an animal exposed to the elements, and tons of pressure, over millions of years is gonna be in mint condition upon discovery. Just makes sense, right? Of course not. Fossilization itself is technically considered to be a rare phenomenon that requires the right conditions. Even in the most perfect circumstances, specimens are usually lacking certain anatomy or parts. So, a lot of determining of what the animal looked like is educated guesswork. Nature is brutal, there will never be a bed of perfectly preserved fossils with the ideal conditions needed to make a solid guess of what life was like back then. Fossils are exposed to harsh pressure, decay, and lots of change.

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  • I did a study on ceratosaurus

    In my spare time, I did a quick biology and anatomy study on ceratosaurus. In a previous post, I mentioned an artist who gave ceratosaurus dangling dagger teeth. Since I’m mostly used to seeing theropods with closed lips, I thought it was an inaccuracy. However, my recent biology study shows that ceratosaurus probably had weird growing teeth in some cases, as the skulls can be seen with ludicrously long teeth. So, it isn’t improbable that this would’ve happened in nature. Ceratosaurus very well may have had an extreme overbite, according to the skull study I did and some other information I found while browsing online. I would like to correct myself for saying that the art was an inaccuracy.

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  • Helicoprion be like

    I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m a hundred percent ratfish

    #helicoprion #tooth whorl shark #which is not a shark actually #paleontology#lizzo #YOU COULDVE HAD A RAT FISH #my garbage
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  • Please give a warm welcome to the Terrible (Lizard) Trio, our approaching-scientific-accuracy-but-not-quite-there dromaeosaurs!


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    From left to right:

    - Sanoy the Utahraptor!

    - Sansenoy the Velociraptor!

    - And little Semangelof, the Microraptor who thinks xe is much more important than xe really is. A bit of a Starscream type.

    In the back right, Gaston looks on disapprovingly.

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  • This is Ray Troll’s “Evolvo” at the Denver Museum of Natural Science from 1999. It was part of the “Cruisin the Fossil Freeway” exhibit and I get a kick out of it every time I see it. If you look closely, you’ll see Charles Darwin occupying the drivers seat and some other guests catching a ride as well. 

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  • Hybodus: I’m a lil chreacher, i cant chnage tis…

    Permian extinction: *happens*

    Hybodus: I LIVED BITCH

    Triassic extinction: *happens*

    Hybodus:…. I LIVED AGAIN BITCH JURASSIC PARTY TIME

    (Possible) Jurassic extinction: *happens*

    Hybodus: I AM NOT BOUND TO THE CHAINS OF GOD, FOR I AM ABOVE MORTA-

    K-T Extinction: *happens*

    Hybodus:

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    The Replicators have arrived at the @lapubliclibrary! Collections Manager, @paleoparadox, is joining our friends from the @westernsciencecenter at the annual #DTLAMakerFaire! Stop by our special pop-up museum to learn about how one of the newest paleo job classes, the Replicator, makes copies of fossils for research and education!

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