Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Died This Day: Luis Alvarez

Alvarez (June 13, 1911 - Sept. 1, 1988) was an American experimental physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1968 for work that included the discovery of many resonance particles --subatomic particles having extremely short lifetimes and occurring only in high-energy nuclear collisions.

In about 1980 Alvarez (left) helped his son, the geologist Walter Alvarez (right), publicize Walter's discovery of a worldwide layer of clay that has a high iridium content and which occupies rock strata at the geochronological boundary between the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras; i.e., about 66.4 million years ago.

They postulated that the iridium had been deposited following the impact on Earth of an asteroid or comet and that the catastrophic climatic effects of this massive impact caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Though initially controversial, this widely publicized theory gradually gained support as the most plausible explanation of the abrupt demise of the dinosaurs.

Read more HERE. Image from HERE.

Monday, August 31, 2015

U of Alberta VP Exhibit, 1935

Thanks to Clive Coy for the image.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

How Many Dinosaurs Are There?

Palaeodiversity and formation counts: redundancy or bias?. 2015. M. Benton, Palaeontology.

In a new study published this week, Professor Mike Benton has explored how knowledge about dinosaurs has accumulated over the past 200 years, since the first dinosaur was named in 1824.

His research does not answer the question once and for all, but it suggests that strong caution is needed with some popular methods to 'correct' the fossil record. From: http://phys.org/news/2015-08-good-bad-fossil-dinosaurs.html#jCp

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Premiered This Day (1978): Planet of The Dinosaurs

Directed by James Shea in 1978, this film featured some nicely animated dinosaurs.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Gueragama sulamericana, New Lizard from the Cretaceous of Brazil

A stem acrodontan lizard in the Cretaceous of Brazil revises early lizard evolution in Gondwana. 2015. Nature Communications

University of Alberta paleontologists have discovered a new species of lizard, named Gueragama sulamericana, in the municipality of Cruzeiro do Oeste in Southern Brazil in the rock outcrops of a Late Cretaceous desert, dated approximately 80 million years ago. PR

Monday, August 17, 2015

Premiered This Day (1975): The People That Time Forgot

Directed by Kevin O’Connor, this 1977 film starring Doug McClure was a sequel to “The Land That Time Forgot” (1975).