An international team of biologists, led by our Rapid Assessment Program, recently studied southeastern Suriname — a mountainous wilderness that’s among the most remote and unexplored tracts of rainforest left on Earth. And what they found is great news. The forest, the scientists discovered, will be critical to Suriname’s climate resilience, fresh water supplies, and sustainable development strategy. What’s more, the expedition discovered a wealth of species — including 60 species that are likely new to science and unique species that may exist nowhere else on Earth! Learn more: http://bit.ly/1f1bpZu
© Trond Larsen
Roadside Dinosaurs - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The are literally thousands of roadside dinosaurs in the world. The best website, if you love strange roadside attraction in general, is agilitynut.com. These dinosaurs are just a few of the strange dinosaurs located off major highways. Some good, and some terrible roadside dinosaurs across several states.
1) Outside of the town of Erlian in China on the Mongolian border, you can find this statue of two amorous sauropods kissing across the highway. It was built to showcase the region’s reputation as a fossil hotspot.
2) A very sorry looking dino located in the city of Victorville, California.
3) This 100-ton T.Rex was created in 1981 by sculptor Claude K. Bell to draw visitors to his Wheel Inn Cafe. At one time, a slide was built into the Tyrannosaurs’ tail, but it was later filled in with concrete. You can purchase souvenirs at a museum shop located inside Ms. Dinny, a 150-ton Apatosaurus considered the largest concrete dinosaur in the world, located in Cabazon, California.
4) Entrance to Kentucky’s Dinosaur World. One of the creepiest sites of all.
5) Cowboys and Dinosaurs (as well matched as cowboys and aliens) spotted in Natural Bridge, Virginia.6) Rainbow Rock Shop in Holbrook, Arizona has a rather large display of very nice dinosaurs.7) This is Wrinkles, a strange creature who greets visitors outside of the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center in Jurupa, California.8 & 9) Dinosaur World - an abandoned theme park of decaying dinosaurs in Beaver, Arkansas. All of the components necessary to be truly creepy.
Dilophosaurus: A Tale of Tail Traces
by Brian Switek
At the barest level, dinosaur bones record death and postmortem transformation. How the animal lived only becomes apparent through the clues we coax from prehistoric remains. Tracks and traces, on the other claw, are manifestations of life. Dinosaur sign, preserved as impressions in stone, record fleeting moments of anatomy in action. And within the library of fossilized behavior studied and cataloged so far, there is a small number of traces that record something that might seem unexpected within the imagery of the thoroughly modern dinosaur – tail marks.
Dinosaurs were not habitual tail-draggers. This isn’t news. In the 1970s, on the basis of anatomical and trackway evidence, paleontologists lifted the tails of dinosaurs to balance well clear of the ground. Some, such as the herbivorous, be-thumbspiked Iguanodon, had ossified tendons that added strength to a deep, rigid tail whereas the fleet carnivore Deinonychus made course corrections with the help of a tail stiffened by long, interlocking processes of the tail vertebrae.
Even without such specializations, the osteology of dinosaurs clearly testified that all the members of this celebrated evolutionary group held their tails aloft. The conspicuous rarity of sinuous drags between dinosaur footprints confirmed that dinosaurs must have held their posteriors high.
And yet, as reviewed by paleontologists Jeong Yul Kim and Martin Lockley in a new Ichnos paper, there are multiple reported cases of dinosaur tail impressions of one sort or another…
(read more: Laelaps Blog - National Geo)
Illustration by Heather Kyoht Luterman; photo by Brian Switek