Made it on eatsleepdraw! *Happy dance.* This was done a couple of months ago.
“Family Reunion.” Watercolor, Colored Pencil, and Digital.
A fun little commentary on the fact that the chicken is the closest living relative of the T Rex. Dinosaurs are just so fun. :)
Link to my blog: marypwilliams.tumblr.com
Another “paleoartist on tumblr” everybody should follow.
Staring down evolution. And guess what, dinos? We mammals went from being weasel things to eating those chickens. Recognize!
One of my favorite fossils. Too cute.
When: Early Cretaceous (~125 million years)
Where: Liaoning, China
What: Mei is a paravian dinosaur. Paraves is the clade comprised of birds and two families of non-avian dinsaurs; Troodontidae and Dromaeosauridae. As Mei is a fairly basal member of the troodontids, it is not very far removed from the common ancestor of all paravians. Its bird-like heritage can be easily seen in this extraordinary articulated fossil shown above. This specimen was found in a sleeping pose, which is very much like the resting posture of many modern birds, with the legs folded underneath the body and the head folded back and resting on the shoulder. It is this pose that gives the taxon its full name: Mei long, which translates to ‘sleeping dragon’. This animal is a sub-adult, determined via the ends of its bones not yet being fused, and would be roughly 21 inches (~53 cm) long, if it was not curled up as it is.
The find of a basal troodontid in this pose gives us far more information than just when the sleeping posture was adapted by this clade. It has been determined that modern birds commonly sleep like this to preserve their body heat, covering up the areas that are most prone to radiating heat. If Mei long and its kin were not ‘warm blooded’ than there would be no benefit to sleeping in this pose. Thus, this provides another compelling bit of evidence that the ‘warm bloodedness’ of modern birds was present in their mesozoic non-avian relatives.
Geology + Paleontology + Space = Instant Auto Reblog. I can almost see where my car broke down…
Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado (NASA, International Space Station Science, 09/12/07) (by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center)
A section of Dinosaur National Monument along the Yampa River in Colorado, which straddles the Colorado/Utah border, is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 15 crewmember on the International Space Station. Dinosaur National Monument is perhaps best known for the abundant fossils found in the approximately 145 Ma (mega-annum, or millions of years old) Morrison Formation exposed in valleys and low ridges, according to scientists. The fossil assemblage is a unique record of terrestrial life of the period (dinosaurs, plants, and other animal species). Remains accumulated in streams and shallow lakes and were swiftly buried (and preserved) by sediments associated with those environments. Scientists believe these sediments in turn were lithified over many millions of years as they were buried under younger deposits — forming the distinctive stratigraphy of the Monument. The generally flat-laying “layer cake” geology of the region — similar to the Colorado Plateau to the south - is expressed in the image by parallel beds of tan, reddish-brown, and gray-brown sedimentary rocks cut by the Yampa River at the northern end of the Monument (top). Erosion by the Yampa River exposed the Morrison layer and its trove of fossil material. Together with other fossils found in both older and younger rock layers in the area, the Dinosaur National Monument remains an important scientific resource that continues to provide new insights into the geologic history and paleoecology of the region.
I’d just like to add how stunning this photo is, especially for people like me in the Palaeontology and Geology world. The Morrison Formation is one of my favourite places on Earth, and everyone should go visit this area!
Here’s some links if anyone’s interested in visiting sometime in the future:
Here’s a future road trip idea for anyone wanting to do a bit of exploring!