Asteroids keep falling on my head… but that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turnin’ red…I’m never gonna stop them by complainin’…
We will eventually have our latest MonSFFA project, the stop-motion animation: Theories of Dinosaur Extinction available on line, but while we wait for Cathy & Keith to get their act together, here are solutions for preventing human extinction.
A beautifully colored dinosaur fossil is the first to show evidence of countershading, a type of camouflage.
By Traci Watson
Surrounded by hungry predators, a little plant-eating dinosaur from the early Cretaceous did the only sensible thing. It donned camouflage.
Analysis of the exquisitely preserved fossil remains has revealed one of the most elaborate dinosaur paint jobs ever seen, including a brown back and a lighter belly. Modern-day antelope, fish and other animals have similar dark-and-light zones, which confuse predators, but this is the first discovery of such markings on a dinosaur.
“This one is unique,” says paleontologist Jakob Vinther of Britain’s University of Bristol, co-author of a study describing the fossil published in the journal Current Biology. “We can very clearly see that there are color patterns … stripes, spots.”
When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was not writing Sherlock Holmes stories, he often wrote history, fantasy, adventure and science-fiction tales. One of his most successful novels was The Lost World, the story of adventurers who find a South American plateau – where time stopped 65 million years ago – inhabited by dinosaurs.
In 1912, when the book was published, movies were still in their infancy and technology wasn’t available to do the fantastic story justice, but by 1925, Willis O’Brien had begun to perfect stop motion, a form of animation that would allow him and his small team to bring these long dead creatures to life, blending them convincingly with real actors. It created a sensation when people saw, for the first time, believable prehistoric creatures on the screen, and remains a cinematic milestone today.
Featuring some of the biggest stars of the silent era, including Wallace Beery, Bessie Love and Lewis Stone, as well as no less than a dozen different species of dinosaur, our print of The Lost World is a fully restored version from the George Eastman House collection. Famed composer and pianist Alexander Rannie will accompany the film with the musical score that was written for the original release.
Preservation funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and Hugh Hefner.
Eighty million years ago, tyrannosaurs were the top predators in Asia and North America, and scientists say a newly discovered dinosaur from Uzbekistan helps to explain their rise.
In a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers said they have found a specimen from a 20 million-year gap in fossil records — between the small-bodied “marginal hunters” and the “apex predators” the tyrannosaurid group would become. This group includes Tyrannosaurus rex, Albertosaurus and Tarbosaurus.
Are you ready to explore the Age of Dinosaurs with us at the Montreal Science Centre on the 13th?
Keith sends you these skill-testing questions! How well do you know your dinosaur movies, and your dinosaurs? Provide the type of dinosaur besought in each of the following questions (answers next issue of Impulse-May).
1. In the 1925 silent classic The Lost World, what kind of stop-motion dinosaur rampages through the streets of London?
2. In 1977’s Planet of Dinosaurs, a spaceship crew crash-land on an Earth-like world. Awakening the morning after their first night on this world, they spy what species of dinosaur in a clearing near their camp?
3. A Tyrannosaurus is one of only two dinosaurs featured in Dinosaurus (1960). What kind was the other?
4. Gertie was the first animated dinosaur to appear on film, in Winsor McCay’s 1914 short Gertie the Dinosaur. She is what type of dinosaur?
5. What kind of dinosaur is Littlefoot, star of 1988’s animated The Land Before Time and its subsequent sequels?
6. In the original King Kong (1933), what variety of Skull Island dinosaur chases, trees, and devours a hapless sailor after overturning the raft on which he and his comrades were crossing a swamp in their pursuit of Kong, who has made off with Fay Wray?
7. Almost 60 interminably dull minutes into the 85-minute B-movie The Lost Continent (1951), Cesar Romero and his aircrew, having crash-landed on a Pacific island while searching for a stray test rocket, encounter and are attacked by what sort of dinosaur?
8. The 1985 Disney film Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend taps into folkloric African tales of Mokèlé-mbèmbé and stars a cute, baby dinosaur of what kind?
An immersive experience steeped in realism bringing to life 14 roaring full-sized and strikingly real animatronic dinosaurs. Go back in time more than 65 million years to what life was like on Earth and imagine their breath on the back of your neck. Explore spectacular prehistoric scenes telling the story of two major excavation sites, two skeletons, and twenty fossils. Discover newly revealed secrets about these giants by probing into the most recent and remarkable discoveries about their appearance and behaviours. Take command of an animatronic dinosaur and explore our four interactive stations.
We will meet at noon, in the main lobby and buy tickets for the show closest to 1:00 PM (if shows are scheduled), and proceed to a search for snacks. (It does not seem that there are scheduled shows, but we are aiming for 1:00 PM. ) I called the science museum, we are permitted cameras, and we can get real food at a kiosk next to the ticket booths. We are also permitted to bring our own lunch boxes. They provide wheel chairs, ask at ticket booth.