Tag Archives: dinosaurs

Did the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs really hit the moon as well?

24 Feb

Jurassic Fight Club. Just the name alone was enough to draw me in. But this turned out not to be the documentary I expected.

The name, of course, suggested a program of celebrity death matches such as raptor versus T-Rex and allosaurus versus triceratops.

But it actually featured scientists, historians and other related experts recreating the last day on Earth before a meteor wiped out the dinosaurs (and pretty much all other life as well) some 65 million years ago.

Much of it I already knew. But what I did learn – having never really given it much thought before – was the origin of this Baptistina meteor. And turns out it tracks back to a collision between two massive rocks in the asteroid belt nearly 100 million years ago. It sent one of them towards Earth, where it struck Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula and wiped out life on earth as we knew it.

But that wasn’t the only victim. Turns out other fragments also struck the Moon, Venus and Mars, leaving them with massive craters. A fascinating glimpse into the history of the skies above. And you can read more here.

Who named the T-Rex?

23 Jan

Every month I watch at least one of the Jurassic Park movies.

I couldn’t tell you why, as there’s nothing left to see or learn from them, but it’s just one of those things that caught my attention years ago and never let go.

The main part of this attraction is the dinosaurs. Like many people I am fascinated by these magnificent beasts and never tire of learning about them, be it through Michael Crichton’s books or my DVD series of Jurassic Fight Club.

And so it was I once again found myself slotting Jurassic Park 3 into the DVD for no other reason than I was in the mood for some beast-on-beast carnage.

To be honest, this was never my favourite film of the trio. It was just one too many cases of people being tricked into visiting Isla Sorna or Isla Nublar, being told they probably wouldn’t survive and then making it to safety anyway.

But it did have one thing I really liked – a new superpredator called Spinosaurus.

SPOILER ALERT 

Now, in one of the best monster fights ever committed to celluloid, this finned beast took on and vanquished the mighty T-Rex, whose neck was broken in quite spectacular fashion.

And while rumours have long suggested he might reappear in Jurassic Park 4, all I knew was he had been a great villain who had earned his reputation.

However, the fight did make me wonder about who came up with the name. And it seems finders aren’t always keepers.

The first full T-Rex skeleton was discovered in Montana in 1902 by famous fossil hunter Barnum Brown, an assistant curator with the American Museum of Natural History.

However it was his boss, museum director Henry Fairfield Osborn (also the man behind Pentaceratops, Ornitholestes and Velociraptor), who got to name him in 1905, opting for a moniker which equated to “tyrant lizard king”.

Don’t feel too bad for Barnum though. He did get to name a few other dinosaurs including Ankylosaurus, Corythosaurus, Leptoceratops and Saurolophus. Not that they sound quite as terrifying . . .
 
In the meantime here’s the big fight I mentioned.

 

 

PS: If you’re as eager for JP4 as I am (doesn’t it seem like we’ve been waiting forever?) there’s a website that is solely dedicated to keeping track of all news, rumours and mentions. Visit it here