Due to the current troll infestation we will be requiring you to sign in to leave a comment. Also, please note that we will be very nice in the regular posts, but we will not be gentle in the Sunday Blaspheme posts. You will be expected to back up any ideas with facts.

I am always happy to answer any questions I can:)

New Rule! Staff reserves the right to cuss you out and post your correspondence if you send us annoying emails.



Saturday, February 23, 2008

4 winged dinosaur on Nova

On Tuesday PBS will run a Nova episode on Microraptor, a dinosaur with 4 'wings'. I'm hoping it will be pretty good since most of the dinosaur specials I've seen recently were shall we say, not good. Last Sunday Discovery Channel ran a show called something like Reviving or Recreating the Dinosaurs. It's all about retro-enginering dinosaurs since we most likely will never be able to get enough DNA from them. I actually enjoyed this, they showed that chicken embryos actually have 16 tail vertebra when they start forming but then reduce it to 5 before they hatch, Archeopteryx, the first animal that's called a bird had 15 tail vertebra. They added a protein or something and got the tail to produce 20 or so tail vertebra. Neat, take that creationists! They also managed to grow teeth and they showed the developing hand of a chicken embryo which looks exactly like a theropod hand. The fact that these guys are descended from birds is absolute after seeing this.

I also watched a show on NatGeo about genetics which was really cool, They had naked chickens! No feathers, no scales, just skin. They were really odd to look at. They also had cows with double the muscle mass of a normal animal, these guys were buff! I was really interesting.

Chuck will not showing any new episodes until this fall:( But the Big Bang Theory will start back up with new episodes in March. No word yet on House, Bones or The Terminator. Psych will have new shows in the summer. I have heard nothing about Eureka, hopefully soon.

Here's a Nannotyrannus for your viewing pleasure. Some think it's just a juvenile of T. rex, but the brain shape is very different looking.




Mountaineer_Elf said...

Great Nano! I do myself believe Nano is its own species. I'm so bummed that I missed that special on Recreating Dinosaurs! I heard about it from work. Hopefully they'll show it again, but knowing NatGeo, they probably will.

I'll definitely TiVo the Nova segment, thanks for the heads up!


Anonymous said...


I saw that Discovery show too! There's a way to take an Emu, augment the genes slightly, then turn it into a dinosaur!

It's too bad about the amber-cell idea. That idea sounded so cool, it should've worked. There just isn't enough collectable DNA to map-out a dinosaur with that method. Too bad.

I think scientists should give it a try. Maybe we'd end up with something like your picture? Looks amazing...

Brett said...

Hi Erin,

Check today, sometimes Discovery reruns stuff on Sunday afternoon.

As for amber, they've known for some time it doesn't contain the DNA they need. I believe it is porous and air has damaged the DNA or something, my mind isn't working well this morning. I know they want to start with an EMU but a chicken might be easier and smaller!



Anonymous said...

I got the first Season of Heroes from the library to fill my no-tv home with a little happiness. The writing is very inconsistent, but it gets better as the show goes on. Not great, but better than most of the stuff on the ol' boob tube.


TCH said...

Im sure you all probably know this but there's a living fossil in the Bird kingdom who still possess claws on the end of their wings. The bird is specialised on leaves and so is too heavy to fly probably.
The bird in question is the Hoatzin and the claws are more used by the chicks to climb up branches.

nice pic btw

Brett said...

Hoatzin's are a strange critter indeed! I sawa special on them once, the young who fall out of the trees (they live in mangrove like areas) usually are eaten by Crocodiles/Caiman. As they get older the the claws (they are actually more like dinosaur hands with flexing fingers)fuse to become more birdlike. I believe they can fly, just not very well, like some breeds of Chickens.

That's about all I remember on them:) I'll have to look into them. thanks for the reminder!