Daily Archives: May 27, 2008

Reconsidering the Reconstruction of the Pterosaur


A very large Azhdarchid shown with a human for scale.
Azhdarchids were pterosaurs (flying reptile-like creatures) of the Cretaceous. These included some gigantic critters with up to a 10 meter wing span, but also some little ones (2.5 meters or so). Most reconstructions of these flying animals have them skim-feeding across the surface of bodies of water, grabbing near-surface animals with their beaks.A new paper in PLoS criticizes this view suggesting that there is very little evidence in support of it, and offers an interesting alternative interpretation of Azhdarchid morphology.From the abstract of the paper:

Azhdarchids lack the many cranial specialisations exhibited by extant skim-feeding birds, most notably the laterally compressed lower jaw and shock absorbing apparatus required for this feeding style. … Taphonomic data indicates that azhdarchids predominately inhabited inland settings … We argue that azhdarchids were stork- or ground hornbill-like generalists, foraging in diverse environments for small animals and carrion. Proficient terrestrial abilities and a relatively inflexible neck are in agreement with this interpretation.

Continue reading Reconsidering the Reconstruction of the Pterosaur

Creationism”Museum”to expand, targets children

The Answers in Genesis Creation Museum of Kentucky is planing to expand. Some of the expansion will be internal … the construction of additional kiosks. Some will be external, including the construction of a playground. All of the planned expansion efforts will be targeted towards children.Ken Ham, director of the museum, also indicated in a recent interview that the purpose of the museum was to convert people to Christianity. This is something that should be noted by any public schools planning on sending children to this facility.[source]

Minnesota. If you don’t like the weather …. you better get into the basement.

Got home from the lake last night happy to see that our neighborhood was spared any significant damage from the big giant storm that engulfed several local communities, including ours. There was very large hail up-stream from us and there are a few big trees down not far from here.The people really hit were in Hugo, where a twister formed and touched down, doing a very large amount of damage and killing one child.Ana’s sibling (you know Ana, she’s running for president) not far from the twiseter saw a giant oak tree sucked into the sky and carried off to oz.I suspect no tornadoes today. They hardly ever happne when it is THIRTY SEVEN degrees Fahrenheit!!! Continue reading Minnesota. If you don’t like the weather …. you better get into the basement.