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25 May

Check back on sunday for more.



Hipster Lystrosaurus

22 Apr

Then being a lystrosaurus went mainstream in the early triassic and the hipster subspecies went extinct ironically.



21 Apr

Trying to get into the habit of posting more often again.
I’ve been very slack for almost no reason. Here is a post while I try to think of something good to post.


Irritator challengeri

22 Mar

Dinosaurs are cool.
Some have cool names, like Bambiraptor or Irritator or Dracorex.
Some have stupid names, like Erectopus. What the fark french people?

EDIT: Also there is/was a metal, phsychedelic rock band named Erectopus from the city in which I currently reside. Does that make us worse than the french?


Word of the Day

17 Feb

That’s what it’s called. I’m not making this shit up.


Speculative Biology Sunday: Pachyodoben

6 Feb

A lone Pachyodoben sleeps on a riverbank. Person to scale.

Pachyodoben (meaning thick walrus-face) was the largest genus of the herbivorous amphibians from the Mid-Triassic. They were semi-aquatic, inhabiting rivers, swamps and estuaries. They foraged for browse and roots during dawn and dusk, keeping cool in the water during the heat of the day and sleeping by the riverbank at night. Easily recognisable by their armoured backs, short tusks, stubby tail. For its time it was the largest herbivore ever, weighing in at two to three and a half tonnes.

There ancestry seems to come from the big headed, squat bodied¬†Dissorophidae of the early Permian, but where in their evolution they switched to herbivory is unclear. One of their key adaptations for herbivory is their stunning ability to fake heterodonty, having both tusks and grinding ‘molars’ made from bone. Their only teeth as small and peg-like, used for stripping foliage.
The ‘molars’ seem to have been a key adaptation for switching to herbivory, as only the larger species otherwise use gastroliths to facilitated the breakdown of vegetable material.

Most of the larger species of Pachyodoben fed more on roots than low browse, and dug for them with their tusks. There is even evidence of them using their bulk to topple trees to unearth the fossial fare.

Adults were too large to be bothered by predators, even the young were well armoured enough to keep terrestrial carnivores at bay, but there is evidence of the young being preyed upon by Xenacanthidan sharks, tearing at their vunerable underbellies from beneath the surface; Mothers always putting themselves between their young and the deeper water, with red spots on their belly warning of violent retaliation should the sharks be willing to try anything.

Not Tapirs

29 Jan

I was going to post a video about my observations of tapir morphology, but for some reason my computer won’t let me.
Have a sketch of a heterodont altirostral Phytosaur instead. Go google image “Smilosuchus” and you’ll get what I mean. The teeth are purely for funsies.


Perspiring Spiders Aspire Higher

14 Jan

So next to the clothesline as I was hanging out the washing this evening, a spider was working parallel to me; a rather large spider was building a rather large web.
His anchor lines were attached to trees some eight metres apart, and weren’t very obviously; hanging majestically in midair.
As he laboured effortlessly he was coiling ever closer to that which was framed perfectly by his web, the moon. Very poetic and beautiful, but I couldn’t find a bloody camera so I took a mental picture so I could draw it later.

A sudden moment and an insect becomes trapped in his web, as it struggled it pounced, like a passionate lover; Distracted from a much grander goal by the instant gratifications of an opportunity falling into ones lap.

Rather human of a creature often depicted as the epitimy of evil and disgustingness.


Speculative Biology Sunday: Fruiting Larch

19 Dec

The Fruiting Larch is a frost hardy tree native to the plains of Siberia. It is a medium-size to large deciduous coniferous tree reaching 20-50 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The crown is conic when young, becoming broad with age; the main branches are level to upswept, with the side branches often pendulous. The male and female cones are borne separately on the same tree; pollination is in early spring with the cones taking around 7 months to ripen.
The female cones are consistently reddish to purplish through maturity and don’t harden off like other pine cones. The seed scales stay somewhat swollen and contain relatively high amounts of starch and thus are somewhat palatable, though still taste distinctly of fresh cut pine.
The seeds of the fruiting larch are not dispersed by wind as their ancestors were, but remain firmly attached to the seed scale of the cone. This way the seed is passed through the digestive tract of the birds when the cones are picked apart and eaten and thus spread further than the wind dispersal employed by other conifers.
The fruiting larch has become an important food source for the animals in the coniferous ecosystem. Many birds and mammals feed on the seed scales which ripen at the beginning of autumn and are important for animals building up food reserves before migrating south or going into hibernation.
Most notable of these is Grims Cuckoo, who feed almost exclusively on the cones throughout autumn and will only migrate south once they run out which is usually almost midwinter, making them very important seed distributors.
Fruiting Larch are almost dominant in areas recently cleared by fire or permafrost thaw, but are gradually out-competed by other evergreen conifers over time.



16 Dec

So incredibly tired. Couldn’t be bothered doing something amusing, so instead I drew something… well reasonably cool. I like to think.
If you want something amusing, go fly fishing.
Tetraceratops is no relative of Triceratops. It was a metre long lizard looking thing with six stubby horns on it’s face that ate probably mostly various smaller lizard looking things.
Not a dinosaur. Paleontologists are still arguing whether it’s a primitive early therapid or that it fits somewhere between pelycosaurs and synapsids. Either way it’s pretty cool.
The gait is completely wrong, I know, I’m not very good at sprawled gaits. Working on it though.
Also shirts! Buy my shirts!.


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