Archive for the ‘Dinosaurs’ Category

Real sea monsters

January 9, 2013

Reconstruction of the jaws of giant fossil shark Megalodon

Mermaids, kraken, sea serpents… they’re the kind of animals you WISH existed. That’s why I was so excited this week to read about new film footage of the ‘real kraken’ – the giant squid. It’s hardly ever seen alive because it lives at such great depths, and animals found near the surface are usually dead or dying. So we don’t know much about how they live. But now we know they really do look frighteningly like a kraken on film!

Japanese scientists filmed the squid deep in the Pacific, around 1000km south of Tokyo. As well as the video footage, there are also some amazing stills – it appears to have a silvery sheen, and was charmingly described by scientists Tsunemi Kubodera (clearly a squid super-fan) as ‘shining and so beautiful’ – aww!

Giant squid are the real deal – you can’t get much closer to a true sea ‘monster’ than an enormous, mysterious giant squid that has hardly ever been seen alive. But there are others that aren’t so well-known – including some that are hilariously unlike their mythical counterparts. (more…)

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Mammoth excitement

December 10, 2011
Mammoth

A slightly inaccurate but cute mammoth

The film Jurassic Park came out in 1993 when I was ten. It’s one of the few films I vividly remember seeing in the cinema – I was totally riveted. I even shed a few tears when Dr Grant and Dr Sattler finally see their first ‘real’ dinosaurs (what’s worse is that I still cry when I watch that scene).

Back then I was convinced that within my lifetime there would be cloned dinosaurs walking the Earth. I remember being impatient for this to happen, but realising that we probably weren’t quite there yet.

So I was unreasonably excited to read the news this week that scientists from Russia and Japan are planning to clone a woolly mammoth. Seriously. A mammoth. I’m sure it’s still a long way off, but THIS IS WHY SCIENCE IS COOL. (more…)

Dinosaurs – now available in colour

January 30, 2010
Dinosaur toys - photo by greeblie on Flickr

Ok, not these exact colours...

Reconstructing the past is a difficult job, whether you’re trying to understand a civilisation that’s long gone, or an ecosystem that vanished before humans ever existed. It’s easy to imagine how things might have looked, but much harder to prove it. Luckily, the journal Nature has brought us some good news on this front. A group of palaeontologists have managed to bring a piece of the past to life, using fossils to reconstruct the colouring of a little dinosaur called Sinosauropteryx.

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