Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Species that Don't Get Enough Publicity #12: Barylambda

The Field Museum is home to many holotypes-Brachiosaurus, the Southwestern species of Parasaurolophus, Cryolophosaurus, Cacops, Secernosaurus, Varanops and Thylacosmilus (more on them later). However, one prominent specimen is a complete skeleton that puzzles visitors and scientists alike. It’s the first thing visitors see exiting the theater that in turn exits from the dinosaur hall. It’s mounted next to the tusked skulls of Coryphodon and Eobasileus in a glass case, facing across from another showing extant orders of mammals under Charles Knight’s depiction of Uintatherium and Orohippus.  It’s been displayed outside the exhibit on the gallery, and when Life Over Time opened in 1992, the mount was heralded, like the others, by a colorful circus banner by Glen C. Davies. I distinctly remember the hairy mammal in a boxer’s robe and gloves, raising his first Ali-style over a fallen dinosaur in the ring, a symbol of mammalian success as the dinosaurs fell to the mass extinction. This is Barylamdba.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Top Ten (and more!) discoveries since the last time the Cubs won the World Series

As a Chicagoan, you can bet I was quite proud of the Cubs winning the baseball World Series after 108 years. 108 years can be quite significant, especially in the 20th century’s many, many, events. The 20th century has seen atrocities, wars, tragedies, and hate, but it’s seen technological and social progress, scientific revolutions, and discoveries about ourselves and our world.