Friday, August 23, 2013

Victorian dinosaurs

Earlier this week, the Dr pointed me in the direction of Professor Joe Cain's splendid talk on the dinosaur sculptures at Crystal Palace, which you can watch here:

It's a great talk with some amazing insights and pictures - including of the insides of the dinosaurs. I love those dinosaurs and visit them a lot. (They've also appeared twice on the cover of Doctor Who Magazine.)

Then, last night, Nimbos and I attended "Planet of the Dinosaurs", a talk at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, where Dave Hone, paleontologist from Queen Mary gave a history of the dinosaurs as, on the vast Planetarium screen, Earth's continents shifted before our very eyes.

My favourite fact of the evening was about the very well preserved fossils found in Liaoning province in northern China. Paleontologists have not only found the remains of small, feathered dinosaurs, they also know the fauna and weather. In the cool drizzle, dinosaurs would have run through the magnolia blossom and between rhododendrons. Exactly the plants and weather of a Victorian garden - or the Crystal Palace.

Troodon formosus and Magnolia by John Conway

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