Tag Archives: dinosaurs

Funny Scientific Names, part 2

Part 1 is here.

Spongiforma squarepantsii (yes, really)- a mushroom

Tinkerbella nana – a fairy fly

Ittibittium – a mollusk

Oedipus rex – a salamander

Megapnosaurus (means “big dead lizard”) – a dinosaur

Irritator challengeri – a dinosaur

Gojirasaurus – a dinosaur, obviously

Not the name of a creature, but “thagomizer” is the name for the spikes on the end of a Stegosaurus’s tail. It originated in this Far Side cartoon:

Thagomizer

“Now this end is called the thagomizer … after the late Thag Simmons.”

And so finally, there is a louse named Strigiphilus garylarsoni.

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Funny scientific names, part 1

I haven’t posted anything science-related in a while. If you’re at all familiar with the scientific names given to various creatures, you might have noticed that a few of them are weird or funny.

If you’re not familiar, the reason they have them in the first place is for international consistency; so scientists from all of the world can call a plant or animal by the same name. Most come from Greek or Latin, but not nearly all of them (in particular most of the funny ones don’t). The first word is the genus, the second is the species, and if there’s a third word it’s a subspecies.

Gaga germanotta – a fern (yes, it is named after Lady Gaga)

Hakuna matata – a wasp

Bison bison bison – take a guess (hint: bison)

Harryhausenia – a fossil sand crab

Laputavis – appropriately, a fossil swift

Brontomerus (means “thunder thigh”)- a dinosaur

Dracorex hogwartsia – a dinosaur

Bambiraptor – a dinosaur

Pantydraco – yet another dinosaur (this one is a coincidence; it’s named after Pant-y-ffynnon Quarry in Wales…which I need to remember if I ever do funny place names)

Zyzzyxdonta – a snail so slow it’s at the very end of the alphabet

Science of Anime: Getter Rays

Getter Robo is full of things that defy the laws of physics, but it’s not really the physics that we’ll be looking into today. It’s the implications the title robot’s power source has for biology that concerns us.

Getter Rays are called the energy of evolution. (As is Spiral Power from Gurren Lagann, in direct homage to Getter.) They are said to be what originally wiped out the dinosaurs on the surface, and are still harmful to the reptilians of the Dinosaur Empire. Most of the other things they do don’t really have anything to do with evolution at all.

Continue reading Science of Anime: Getter Rays

D is for Dinosaur

D

I couldn’t get enough of dinosaurs when I was a kid, and I still think they’re really interesting now. I’m not sure what to think about the fact that Jurassic World is using some kind of dinosaur chimeras instead of just real dinosaurs.

Illustration: Jennifer Hall

If I hadn’t gone with the constellation theme naming, Ertiada’s VG (Serpens) in Project Quintessence could have been a Seismosaurus instead of a serpent.

I don’t have anything else original to say about dinosaurs right now, so here’s something particularly appropriate for this challenge, Dinosaurs A to Z.

Science of Anime: Scale

A lot of anime like to have things big.

The very first super robot, Tetsujin 28, is 18 meters tall, big enough that it’s English name was Gigantor. Of course, a lot of other mecha (especially the less realistic ones) are even bigger; Zearth from Bokurano is 500 meters tall. But it’s not just mecha; Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, and Attack on Titan are just some of the more obvious examples of anime with giant creatures of one kind or another.

Goku_VS_Gohan_(great_ape)

Continue reading Science of Anime: Scale

Dreadnoughtus: Gigantic, exceptionally complete sauropod dinosaur

And it has such an awesome name too.

After Big Bang

The new 65-ton (59,300 kg) dinosaur species Dreadnoughtus schrani is the largest land animal for which body mass can be accurately calculated. Its skeleton is the most complete ever found of its type, with over 70 percent of the bones, excluding the head, represented. Because all previously discovered supermassive dinosaurs are known from relatively fragmentary remains, Dreadnoughtus offers an unprecedented window into the anatomy and biomechanics of the largest animals to ever walk the Earth.

Illustration: Jennifer Hall Illustration: Jennifer Hall

Dreadnoughtus schrani was astoundingly huge,” said Kenneth Lacovara, PhD, an associate professor in Drexel University’s College of Arts and Sciences, who discovered the Dreadnoughtus fossil skeleton in southern Patagonia in Argentina and led the excavation and analysis. “It weighed as much as a dozen African elephants or more than seven T. rex. Shockingly, skeletal evidence shows that when this 65-ton specimen died, it was not yet full grown. It is by…

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