life will find a way.

I enjoy fossils, rocks, minerals, science, living in museums, RMS Titanic, scores, classical music...

...and a lot of Dr. Alan Grant.

  • crownedrose reblogged a photo post 3 days ago


    Beautiful Ethiopian Fire Opal!

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  • crownedrose reblogged a photo post 1 month ago


    At GE Global Research, a tube of almost pure quartz is heated to temperatures of around 1,700 degrees Celsius to create custom laboratory glassware. The material is then molded and tailored specifically to the experiment it’s being created for. Imagery by @seenewphoto.

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  • crownedrose published a photo post 1 month ago

    Largest Apatosaurus Femur Ever Discovered
    And it’s discovered by a volunteer!

    This is some absolutely great news out of the dino world today. Many museums, societies, and groups are gearing up or already out in the field. I won’t be attending with my museum this year (I’ll be staying back working on the three dinosaurs already in the lab), but next year I should be good to go for the entire summer.

    We have a lot of people come into the museum asking how they can get involved with dinosaur digs and the museum in general. There are some amazing volunteer opportunities out there to work in the museum, go out on real digs, and attend other wonderful events. This story is a perfect example of how volunteers can make amazing discoveries and help keeping the palaeontology world finding new and very important fossils each year!

    The fossils were found at the Trail Through Time quarry in Colorado.

    Here’s a few snippets from the Huffington Post article:

    "This week scientists confirmed that a huge dinosaur bone unearthed on a dig in Colorado is the largest Apatosaurus femur ever discovered — and it was found not by professional paleontologists but by a volunteer named Kay Fredette.”

    "Dorothy and I were working on some bones… and came across this lump and thought, ‘Oh my goodness, we found another vertebra,’" Fredette told local TV channel KREX, referring to the discovery she and a fellow digger made. "Well, then we got to the back side of it, and it swooped back up again."

    "The bone, which measures 6 feet 7 inches, belonged to an apatosaurus estimated to have been 80 to 90 feet long, according to Robert Gay, a paleontologist at the Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita, Colo."

    “‘It’s significant because it gives us an idea of the upper size these animals are able to reach,” Gay told The Huffington Post. “For a long time, we knew these were enormous animals, but most of the ones we’ve found have not been adult.’”

    "The bone may help paleontologists understand how Apatosaurus differed from closely related dinosaurs, how its body changed as it grew, and what drove it to become so large, he added.”

    Go join a museum dig, folks! You just never know what you might uncover.

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  • crownedrose reblogged a photo post 2 months ago


    The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

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  • crownedrose published a text post 2 months ago

    Gonna have some new stuff coming to you guys soon! Promiseeeee!

    But right now, a Edmontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus need a little help getting out of some sandstone/limestone matrix with me and an air scribe…

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  • crownedrose reblogged a photo post 2 months ago


    Jurassic World Nights

    Image by Colin Trevorrow

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  • arrowtongue asked a question 2 months ago
    arrowtongue How do you feel about Jurassic Park 4?

    Ohhhhh, a Jurassic World question!

    To be honest, I haven’t been following it too closely. From last I checked, they’re keeping the script/plot pretty secretive. I’ve seen all of the promo photos that have been released, and especially that awesome photo of the original Jeeps coming back! I’ve also seen some photos from the paparazzi and fans sneaking onto the premises or whatever; usually very blurry - but still cool.

    I’m in the very long process of building my own Jurassic Park Jeep (#18 of course!).

    I also heard some rumour (or truth?) about mutant dinosaurs? I’m not sure how I feel about that whole plot/idea just yet. I don’t want to spoil anyone, but apparently some of the content in the link above has been confirmed by Colin, so I guess we shall see as time ticks on.

    In the end, this will probably be another big budget film that will have the staff and I educating the public at the museum about what we truly do know and theorise about dinosaurs. Even in 2014, I have to show the skull of a real Velociraptor to the public so they understand Jurassic Park's raptors are not accurate. Luckily, we also have the cast of a full grown Deinonychus to show the size difference between the two dromaeosaurids.

    The pseudoscience behind the DNA splicing will attract an audience, but I sure don’t want it to end up being another Terra Nova disaster. I’ll be seeing it no matter what, because Jurassic Park is the reason I fell in love with palaeontology. And of course, artistic licensing is fine for a film or television show, but there’s also a line you want to draw because we do have so much evidence and science to back up a lot of theories now.

    Here’s the other thing I’ve found: people are always creating these mutant new dinosaurs to scare the hell out of audiences, but yet there are so many AWESOME dinos that actually existed! Why not take a real dinosaur and give it the spotlight? I want some epic blockbuster screen time for Therizinosaurus! Cryolophosaurus is a badass too. They’re just the first two that popped into my head, but a lot of real killer carnivores could be thrown onto the big screen to strut their stuff.

    Oh, and the whole thing with feathers not happening………… UGH.

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  • crownedrose reblogged a photo post 2 months ago


    Deinonychus antirrhopus (© crownedrose)

    ➛ Lived during the Cretaceous Period.
    ➛ A member of the Dromaeosauridae family.
    ➛ Most likely covered in feathers, but we have no skin/feather evidence currently for Deinonychus.
    ➛ The top of its head reached a little over halfway up an average human’s body, and generally reached lengths of 11 feet.
    ➛ As shown, it features a sickle claw on each hind foot.
    ➛ Deinonychus is a very important dinosaur because of John Ostrom’s work with the theropod, leading to the Dinosaur Renaissance.
    ➛ These photos were taken by me at The Field Museum in Chicago.

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  • crownedrose reblogged a photo post 2 months ago


    Photographer Captures Spectacular Milky Way Vista from the Azores

    The Milky Way galaxy arcs across the night sky in this magnificent view from the Azores, a chain of nine volcanic islands near Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean.

    Astrophotographer Miguel Claro of Lisbon took the image from São Miguel Island in the Azores on April 5.

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  • crownedrose reblogged a photo post 2 months ago


    Neil deGrasse Tyson gives Jimmy some helpful science tips for his show.

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  • crownedrose reblogged a photo post 2 months ago


    Opalized belemnites (fossilized cephalopods which resembled squids) from Australia (by Keys Minerals)

    Palaeontology, mineralogy, and geology all represented on the Tumblr Radar! Heck yeah, science!

    So these guys are pretty cool; I love when this happens in nature. I have some pyritised and opalised ammonites in my collection, as well as an absolutely gorgeous black/blue/grey agatised coral specimen (both halves!).

    Archived in: #minerals #geology #paleontology #palaeontology / 11,949 notes
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  • crownedrose reblogged a photo post 2 months ago


    Kevin Klein in Scotland

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  • crownedrose reblogged a photo post 2 months ago


    East Bishop, California

    Pentax 6x7 / Kodak Portra 160

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  • crownedrose reblogged a photo post 2 months ago




    If bees become extinct we will have exactly 4 YEARS to live on this planet. I don’t understand how “not giving a fuck” is more important than your life…

    okay, I have a thing to say about this. I’m no expert on bees, but I am a biologist (and entomologist) so I think there is something I can contribute that’ll be of worth.

    I agree entirely with the sentiment that we must protect honeybees. Obviously they are massively important for biodiversity, as well as pollinating food crops for humans. There is no doubt that if all the honeybees in the world were to vanish in a day that the consequences would be dire.

    However, I disagree that the main cause for concern regarding honeybee death is the use of Genetically Modified (GM) crops. I’d be very interested to read a research paper that says ‘GM crops have killed millions of honeybees’, if indeed such a paper exists because in all honesty I find it highly unlikely that this is a true statement.

    Let’s start with some facts about GM crops:

    1. The development of GM crops is a highly regulated process, bound by strict country-specific legislature. A great number of trials are carried out long before commercial planting of a GM crop is even considered. It is these trials, and accompanying laboratory studies, that ensure a GM crop is safe to non-target organisms (such as honeybees) by investigating direct and indirect effects (Nap et al. 2003).

    2. Crops that are genetically modified to express insecticidal proteins (for crop pest control) have a high level of specificity. This means that the insecticidal proteins being produced by the GM plant will only affect a narrow range of insect groups because of the chemical properties of the protein. For example, GM crops expressing insecticidal proteins sourced from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) will only target some Lepidopteran pests (caterpillars; Romeis et al. 2006). Furthermore, a recent meta-analysis of the literature found that GM Bt crops do not negatively affect the survival of adult honeybees or their larvae (Duan et al. 2008).

    3. GM crops can be tailored such that the novel gene is expressed only in particular parts of the plant. For example, GM Bt rice plants express the toxin in the stems but not the grains (Datta et al. 1998). This technique means that gene expression can be excluded from the flowers/pollen of the crop plant, so that bees and other pollinators would not be affected. Neat, huh?

    So those are a token few reasons why GM crops are safer than perhaps many people believe (as the result of a lot of questionable, non-scientific articles). To come back to our main point about honeybee death, I would like to briefly mention a few alternative explanations for the recent decline in honeybee populations. These are as follows:

    1. Many bees have died as the result of broad-spectrum insecticide use. These are pesticides that lack specificity, and can be harmful to non-target organisms. Neonicotinoids are a well-studied example of this (Decourtye & Devillers, 2010). Not to worry, though, because many broad-spectrum pesticides including neonics are well on their way out. Indeed, the EU recently banned a large cohort of neonic pesticides. This is still a topic of controversy, mind (Goulson, 2013).

    2. Many bees have died as the result of Varroa mite infestation. Imagine you’ve been bitten by several ticks, except those ticks are the size of dinner plates. That gives you an idea of the severity of a Varroa mite infestation on a single developing bee. The parasitisation of bees by Varroa mites and other parasites is often accompanied by disease transmission. This can result in colonies dying within two years after infestation (Johnson, 2011).

    3. Many bees have died as the result of ‘colony collapse disorder’.  This is a phrase that has popped up a lot recently, and is basically an umbrella term for the various causes of bee death including parasite infestation, disease transmission, environmental stresses, and management stresses such as poor nutrition (Johnson, 2011). Colony collapse has been attributed to broad-spectrum pesticide use in some instances. However, it is has still been observed in countries where broad-spectrum pesticides have been withdrawn (in the EU, like I mentioned earlier; Johnson, 2011).

    So those are my main points. Please excuse the bullet-point nature of this; I was trying to keep it fairly short. Not sure I managed that haha. But anyway, my take-home message is that GM crops are not the enemy when it comes to honeybee decline. If anything, bees are at much greater danger from the use of broad-spectrum pesticides and from parasites and diseases. Using GM can even help to alleviate some of the problems associated with broad-spectrum pesticides, as they greatly reduce the need to apply such chemicals (Romeis et al. 2006).

    A finishing note: Do your homework. Go on google scholar and read some of the literature, making sure it is recent (within the past 10-15 years). Literature reviews are a great way to find out what the consensus is on any given topic. Don’t use popular media as your main source of information where science is concerned; they tend to favour scandal and exaggeration. You want to know what’s really going on? Check out some research articles and see for yourself.

    Thanks for sticking it through to the end of this impromptu mini-essay! —Alice


    Datta, K., Vasquez, A., Tu, J., Torrizo, L., Alam, M. F., Oliva, N., Abrigo, E., Khush, G. S., & Datta, S. K. (1998). Constitutive and tissue-specific differential expression of the cryIA (b) gene in transgenic rice plants conferring resistance to rice insect pest. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 97(1-2), 20-30.

    Decourtye, A., & Devillers, J. (2010). Ecotoxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides to bees. In Insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (pp. 85-95). Springer New York.

    Duan, J. J., Marvier, M., Huesing, J., Dively, G., & Huang, Z. Y. (2008). A meta-analysis of effects of Bt crops on honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). PLoS One, 3(1), e1415.

    Goulson, D. (2013). Neonicotinoids and bees: What’s all the buzz?. Significance, 10(3), 6-11.

    Johnson, R. (2011). Honey bee colony collapse disorder. DIANE Publishing.

    Nap, J. P., Metz, P. L., Escaler, M., & Conner, A. J. (2003). The release of genetically modified crops into the environment. The Plant Journal, 33(1), 1-18.

    Romeis, J., Meissle, M., & Bigler, F. (2006). Transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis toxins and biological control. Nature biotechnology, 24(1), 63-71.

    This commentary is SO important. Succinct and with proper sourcing; beautiful.

    It infuriates me when people blame GMO for everything without actually examining the evidence.

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  • crownedrose published a text post 2 months ago
    Followers! What topics would you like to see?

    Hello, everyone!

    I’m in the process of writing up a bunch of posts, and I’d love to see if anyone has a topic they would like to have written about.

    Right now, I’m focusing on writing about Mesozoic dinosaurs. Some things that I already have in the works are:

    • Theropod Skull Anatomy
    • What Makes A Dinosaur: It’s All About The Bones
    • From Strata To Display: The Process of Fossil Preparation
    • The Fossilisation Process

    What else are you guys curious about? Let me know in an ask message or a reply below!

    P.S. These are all original articles I am writing up, which will take time to complete. I’m in the prep lab, and working on a lot of other things for my career. I will try to get articles published at least once a week, but this could vary depending on my work schedule.

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