Welcome to a blog now shared by one, two, um... four people. Wipe your shoes off on the mat and delve into the posts featuring rants, museum pictures, and some cool facts. Nerds of all kinds welcome.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

T. rex's Birthday, A Strong Jaw, and Giant Reptiles

Luckily, I'm only a couple of days late with this one. Recently, Paul Sereno described Pegomastax africanus (which is a pretty cool name) from remains brought from the Africa in the 1960's. Sereno struck it as odd in the 1980's, and described the dinosaur a few days ago. Only 2ft long, it was about as large as the later Fruitadens of Colorado. It had a robust lower jaw and canines, like most other heterodontosaurids. Even better, we have new art from both Tyler Keillor and Todd Marshall to tag along with it. I actually knew about Tyler Keillor's sculpture awhile ago, though I only knew it as a "primitive ornithischian". 

Todd Marshall

Tyler Keillor

Meanwhile, yesterday was T. rex's 107th birthday. I would have posted about it sooner, but wasn't around a computer almost all day.

Julius Csotonyi

Yesterday, one of the places we went was Serpent Safari in the Gurnee Mills mall. Here's some photos from my phone (excuse poor quality, it IS a phone camera).

I hate to jump on the train in saying that reptiles are practically like dinosaurs, but my God, this snapping turtle is just too huge and old to resist. The turtle has to be at least 5ft long, is 30.5in in diameter, and is more than 150 years old. You can see a bullethole in the shell; when they found the turtle, the bullet dated back to the Civil War. Given its monstrous size (the shell alone is longer than my arm), I'd believe it.

A green iguana breaks all the rules by being fire-orange-red. The tour guide said it could have taken decades to achieve this colour through selective breeding.

I absolutely love turtles; especially the freshwater ones. Fly River turtles (or pig-nosed turtles) are definitely my favorite and this little one was pretty photogenic.

The world's largest living python is shown here; nearly 26ft long and 395lbs. The biggest one ever was 401lbs. This small menagerie of reptiles also had a Nile crocodile, a lavender tiger reticulated python, an albino and normal alligator, two more pythons, a tegu, and several monitor lizards; those pictures didn't turn out as well.