Fossil Friday- Giant Trilobites from Portugal

23 05 2009

“It was THIS big.”

Geological Adventures Examiner: Fossil Friday- giant trilobites from Portugal

Recently we reported on Isotelus rex being the largest of the trilobites. Now it appears it may have been dethroned. Recent finds published in the journal Geology tell of more giant trilobites from Portugal. Fossils of Ogyginus forteyi and Hungioides bohemicus are found in slabs of rock from a slate quarry in groups numbering in the thousands. Most of the specimens are over 30 centimeters (1 foot).
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Beware of Trilobites Yard Sign. Don't be caught unaware or become the victim of pesky liability suits due to marauding trilos on your property!

Beware of Trilobites Yard Sign. Don't be caught unaware or become the victim of pesky liability suits due to marauding trilos on your property!


So Whose Fault Is This?

19 05 2009

I am not thrilled about this map. It shows that I am living way too close to the Newport-Inglewood fault. I never even heard of the Newport-Inglewood fault until last night, when it rudely made it’s presence known with a 4.7 shake-up call. I was blithely twittering away when the earthquake hit . “Earthquake!!!” I twittered with an inexplicable urgency of having to be the first person on Twitter to tweet the quake, “RIGHT NOW,” as my chair wiggled left and right.

The Los Angeles Time reports that  “Seismologists suspect that the magnitude-4.7 earthquake erupted along the Newport-Inglewood fault, which experts have long feared would produce a devastating temblor. More recent research has shown that, instead, it is of less concern …” ok up to there it sounds ok but then : “and only capable of up to about [magnitude] 7.4.”

Excuse me, “only” 7.4?! Only?! Only as compared to what, an asteroid hitting the earth? Maybe someone can explain to me how 7.4 is of less concern, because that sounds pretty devastating to me.

The earthquake began at 8:39 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, and lasted about 15 seconds.

USGS Stimulus Funding Bears Scrutiny

11 05 2009

If you had any doubt about USGS increased funding via the President’s stimulus package, I submit to you this video which I received by email. *wink*

Seriously, though, the original videos on the USGS site does not include music (sorry, I cannot credit whoever added that) and was filmed using a remote camera.  However, the doctored version, besides being fun, does get attention to an important wildlife message.

Many scientists believe that bears rub trees to leave and gather certain kinds of information about other bears (think of it as a kind of ursine chatroom), and in fact use the same rub trees for generations.

A Gift for a True Earth Mother

9 05 2009

I’m really not sure if this is more for a geologist or an ecologistbut I reckon one is not necesssarily exclusive of the other. And so… the “Love Earth pendant by Swarovski:

Shale Ale Toasts 100 Years Since Fossil Discovery

2 05 2009

Are you a dino wino? Could you go for some gneiss on ice or get pissed on schist?  If so, you might enjoy Shale Ale.

The just-launched brew celebrates the 100th anniversary of the shale discovery on Mount Burgess, in Yoho Park, British Columbia, site of the world’s most important fossil animals.

shale-ale-labelThe limited edition beer celebrates the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation (the BSGF) and is being manufactured by Big Rock Brewery, Canada’s leading craft brewer.

Made exclusively for BSGF’s special events, the Shale Ale label depicts the Dr. Charles Doolittle Walcott, who discovered the site, surrounded by the 505-million-year-old Burgess Shale fossils, famous for their amazing diversity, bizarre life forms, and out-of-this-world appendages.

Shale Ale will be launched at the GeoConvention Gala of the annual technical convention of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists and the Canadian Well Logging Society, to the estimated 4,000 geologically savvy attendees.

Some more on the fossils at Burgess (via the BSGF website):

Discovered in 1909 in Yoho National Park by Charles D. Walcott, the Burgess Shale not only challenges the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin, but provides a glimpse of what life was like on Earth – 505 million years ago!

Just imagine…

  • The 5-eyed Opabinia, with an elephant-like trunk with fierce claw at its end… or
  • The strange Dinomischus, looking more like a flower than an animal… or
  • Anomalocaris, the largest of these ancient animals, and terror of the Cambrian seas… or
  • A beautiful Marrella, the “lace crab”, and most common fossil in the Walcott quarry… or
  • The modest Pikaia, looking like a worm, but in fact a primitive chordate, and our oldest known ancestor!

Um, five eyes and an elephant-like trunk with fierce claw at its end?  I’ll have that drink now!

Cheers to the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation!

(Via Marketwire — Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation)