Posts Tagged 'cryptozoology'

Those damned ropens again

This thing has sat around for the best part of a year, and I never got through the images that I had indeed so it’s had a bit of a rewrite and is being shoved out into the harsh light of day. It might not work to well therefore, but should be OK.

I am big football fan and being stuck in China I often have to rely on reports for details of games rather than watching the game or even the highlights. Recently (err, last season now) I read two different reports of the same goal as scored by my team Tottenham. In one, the final pass was delivered by Luca Modric, in the second the pass was by Tom Huddlestone. Why is this interesting? Well the reporters were professional football journalists, who I assume have a lot of practice at following the on field drama and then writing it up. For football at least, the journalists sit together in the press box, so if someone does miss an event they have colleagues (and of course TV replays) to help them get it right. Frankly I am scared that someone could confuse Tom with Luca. For a start the names of the shirts should be a clue, as are the different numbers (6 for the former and 14 for the latter could hardly be confused). If you look up their stats you will see Huddlestone is a massive 6’3” (that’s 1.9m) and 94kg, whereas little Luca Modric is just 5’6” (1.73m) and only 65kg. It might be forgivable if Smith in the 18 shirt played with Smythe in 10, but this seems a stretch. Those who watch much English football will have already seen the kicker coming, for those who don’t, this is what they look like:
Continue reading ‘Those damned ropens again’

What’s wrong with pterosaurs? – A top 10

Unsurprisingly, the poor life reconstructions and restorations of dinosaurs get a lot of attention – I certainly intend to get my mileage out of them in the future. But pterosaurs suffer just as much, if not far more.

Let’s face it, despite all those minor niggling details that we like to get upset about (the wrong orientation of tails spines in Stegosaurs, spinosaur claw shapes and rearing brachiosaurs) these are actually in the main, pretty minor points. We no longer have to deal with 1930’s style ‘kangaroo’ T. rexes, tail dragging sauropods and ‘two brained’ Stegosaurus – well, less than we used to anyway. Both the public and the scientists, artists, journalists and associated workers have adapted to the modern way of seeing dinosaurs and discrepancies are pretty minor.

But take a look at a pterosaur restored to live and in some ways we might as well be back in the 1850s! Some of them are incredible. Woefully bad. But really it’s just a function of popularity. Dinosaurs are inherently interesting and have a ‘Wow!’ factor that means new discoveries get public attention – find any crappy bit of dinosaur bone and you are guaranteed a spot in the press provided you can spin it well enough. Discover something truly incredible, new, exciting that updates, confirms, or rejects some major part of pterosaur palaeontology and you will be lucky to get ‘New flying dinosaur find’ as your headline. Great. So while the public perception of dinosaurs has changed with time and new discoveries, that of pterosaurs has not. In fact it hasn’t changed to the point that I know of other palaeontologists (who frankly should know better) who still think pterosaurs are pretty much dull brown, leathery gliders and limited to Pteranodon and perhaps Rhamphorhynchus in terms of diversity. Do they really think that we have learned nothing in the last 50 odd years?
Continue reading ‘What’s wrong with pterosaurs? – A top 10′

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