ossamenta: Fossil of a pterosaur (Rhamphorhyncus longicaudus). (Flygödlefossil)
I'm not very impressed with March so far. Especially when compared to the unusually warm March of 2012: A year ago I went to Canterbury and walked along the river eating ice cream. I certainly wouldn't do it now. Quite frankly I'm more in the mood for curling up on the sofa with a hot drink and a good book. Thankfully yesterday's snow is mostly gone now, but the temperature is hovering around 0°C, mostly on the wrong side.

 photo Canterburymarch-12_zps0632a870.jpg
Pretty, sunny Canterbury...


But I might at least pass on a few links and close the tabs:

- On my wish list: the unconventional paleoart book All yesterdays, rejecting the standard view of these extinct animals, and by comparison showing us what future paleontonlogists might have thought cats, monkeys and birds would have looked like if they only had the skeletons to go by. The talks from the book launch are well worth watching, even if you have no budget to buy the book itself. Reviews by What's in Johns freezer? (a cool* anatomy blog) and Tor.com, with several illustrations.

*: no pun intended....

- I was linked to a piece in Science Nordic about how fish corrupt carbon dating of pots, which unfortunately lacked several details from the original Danish source (not the Danish version of the Science Nordic page, that's the same as the English one). For starters, it's not the pots that are radio carbon dated, as most people interested in archaeology would realise, as pottery itself doesn't contain carbon (if it has been tempered by organic material, this would likely burn away in the firing), but burnt food crusts on the inside. Due to the reservoir effect of marine life, if the burnt food contained fish, shellfish or other marine creatures, the radiocarbon dating could be off by several hundred or thousand years. And since it is hard to tell what any carbonised crust originally contained, it would be problematic to use radio carbon dating of food crusts alone as a way to, for example, date the introduction of pottery.

- The Book of Kells, a 9th century illuminated Irish gospel manuscript, is now online!

- and from the hilarious site WTF evolution? (go home evolution, you're drunk!), scientists are trying to resurrect a frog species that used its stomach as a womb. It's a recent extinction (and discovery, too: it was discovered in 1972, and extinct in 1983) so they have plenty of genetic material to work with. And considering the world wide threat to frogs due to habitat loss, it may be a good thing to have experience in - we certainly will need it again.

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ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
ossamenta

August 2017

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