Oh Yeah, Developmental Biology!

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Posts tagged with "dinosaur"

Dinosaurs, Fruit Flies, and Us

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July 26th, 2013

There have been revolutionary advances in our knowledge of genetics in the past 30 years. This is particularly true in a field of endeavor called developmental genetics, which strives to understand how genes work to put us together. To make a baby that grows and eventually makes its own babies.

We have found that genes which coordinate development in the fruit fly are similar in structure, function, expression, and genomic organization to genes in human beings (i.e., how they are arranged on chromosomes, what regulates them and how they interact with each other). Yet fruit flies are not like us: among other obvious differences they have wings and we don’t (even if we wish we did!).

The formation of wings or legs or a segmented abdomen or hundreds of other steps are all part of a genetically specified developmental program leading to a body plan, a process which is called pattern formation. The revolution in part is the understanding of the degree of conservation of the genes responsible across huge phylogenetic chasms. In other words the degree to which the genes are the same even though we evolved into different animals almost a hundred million years ago.

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Baby dinos pumped their muscles inside the egg

Top 10: Dinosaur Myths

Dinosaur names.

  • Mat: Why have you named your dinosaur Marie?
  • Smoosh: WELL! It's a Utahraptor right, named so for being discovered in Utah. And Utah is famous for Mormons. Who are famous Mormons? The Osmond family, the only female member of which being called *pause for dramatic effect* MARIE!!
  • Mat: ......well, you put a lot of effort into that. What's your t. rex called?
  • Smoosh: Rexy.
Jul 6

Q: Why did the Archaeopteryx catch the worm?

smooshingaround:

A: Because it was an early bird!

Apr 4

So at the California ScienCenter last week they had this.

bombasticnerdtastic:

tyrannoraptora:

Thecodontosaurus

The Bristol dinosaur

by: tyrannoraptora

Thecodontosaurus antiquus, or ‘Theco’ to those that better know it, is commonly referred to as the Bristol dinosaur. As a palaeontologist (or at least a trainee one), Theco is special to me, being the first dinosaur I actually worked first-hand with, it was the first ‘real’ specimen I’d ever worked on. Anyway, less of the sentiment.

Relatively unknown to the public, an apex predator like Tyrannosaurus, or huge sauropod like Brachiosaurus (or is it, more on that later) it is not. At little over 2 metres in length, and only 30 centimetres in height, most remark that Thecodontosaurus would be ‘the perfect Triassic pet’.

Thecodontosaurus, meaning ‘socket-tooth lizard’, eludes to the fact that the roots of the teeth were not fused with the jaw bone (like todays lizards). Theco’s, are old in many ways, firstly in that they emerged in the mid-late Triassic, just as dinosaurs were on the verge of a diversity explosion, and global dispersion. Secondly, Theco was the 5th dinosaur ever discovered, placing its discovery shortly after such dinosaur giants (in a metaphorical, and scale sense) as Megalosaurus and Iguanodon.

Despite it’s small size, Thecodontosaurus may have lighted the evolutionary way to much, much bigger things to come. Theco is placed within the suborder Sauropodomorpha, and is thought to possibly be an ancestor to such giants as Diplodocus which would rule the plains of the Jurassic North Western USA, and eventually the earthshaking Argentinosaurus in the late Cretaceous. 

Much of the initial Thecodontosaurus findings were made in Bristol, and to this day research is carried out on Triassic fossils and Thecodontosaurus remains. The Bristol Dinosaur Project works mainly on microfossils, to painstakingly piece together the entire ecosystem that Theco may have lived in. The Project is open to willing volunteers from both the scientific community, and the general public, it promises to reveal some much needed light on the mid-Triassic plains of Bristol.

So I just reached 10,000 followers!!! I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for following/liking/reblogging my posts. You guys brighten my day :D I just wanted to give you all a very special dinosaur hug :D 

So I just reached 10,000 followers!!! I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for following/liking/reblogging my posts. You guys brighten my day :D I just wanted to give you all a very special dinosaur hug :D 

dinoaday:

Brontosaurus (“Thunder Lizard”)
About:
Silly brontosaurus, you shouldn’t be on this site! You’re not even real!
Due to the “Bone Wars” between 19th century paleontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, the brontosaurus was a mislabeled adult-version of an apatosaurus. On top of this, the skull attributed to the brontosaurus was, in fact, from another sauropod called the camarasaurus and mounted on the adult apatosaurus’ body. Originally, the brontosaurus was also thought to thrive in swamps, but no “brontosaurus” bones had ever been located near a body of water. Now, brontosaurus has become a synonym for apatosaurus.

I recommend this blog. Amazing drawings with dinosaur facts. What more could you want :D 

dinoaday:

Brontosaurus (“Thunder Lizard”)

About:

Silly brontosaurus, you shouldn’t be on this site! You’re not even real!

Due to the “Bone Wars” between 19th century paleontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, the brontosaurus was a mislabeled adult-version of an apatosaurus. On top of this, the skull attributed to the brontosaurus was, in fact, from another sauropod called the camarasaurus and mounted on the adult apatosaurus’ body. Originally, the brontosaurus was also thought to thrive in swamps, but no “brontosaurus” bones had ever been located near a body of water. Now, brontosaurus has become a synonym for apatosaurus.

I recommend this blog. Amazing drawings with dinosaur facts. What more could you want :D 

smooshingaround:

Thought I’d put a picture up without the presence of blood :D She is called sue after this Tyrannosaur.

Just wanted to share with you my tattoo in honour of my love for Dinosaurs [particularly tyrannosaurs]

smooshingaround:

Thought I’d put a picture up without the presence of blood :D She is called sue after this Tyrannosaur.

Just wanted to share with you my tattoo in honour of my love for Dinosaurs [particularly tyrannosaurs]