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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.

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05 Jul 2007 - Raffles Museum News has shifted to http://news.rafflesmuseum.net

Mon 12 Jun 2006

Mon 12 Jun 2006: 2:30pm - "Cool New Stuff About Dead Old Dinosaurs"

Category : dinosaurs

"Cool New Stuff about Dead Old Dinosaurs"
Monday, 12th June 2006: 2:30 - 4.00 pm
Annex Auditorium, Singapoe Science Centre

By Jack Horner,

Regents Professor of Paleontology and Curator of Paleontology,
Museum of the Rockies, Montana, USA

Admission details - How to get there

Maiasaurus means "Good mother lizard" and Jack Horner should know - he discovered a nesting colony of these dinosaurs, proving that some dinosaurs were social animals and cared for their young. This discovery established his career.

In this talk, Jack will talk about cool new stuff about dinosaurs we've come to know. Jack and his team are trying to unravel as much as possible in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana, USA. This rich fossil deposit appaers to have been a savannah of hunters and hunted. He will also discuss why he thinks "the King" - T. rex - was a mere scavenger and not a hunter.

But then, maybe that's not so cool.

Posted at 3:57AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Mon 12 Jun 2006

Jurassic Park - fact or fiction?

Category : dinosaurs

Sun 11 Jun 2006 - Jack Horner treated us to a walk through some of the scenes of the Jurassic Park trilogy whiuch he advised on, and identified scenes where Stephen Spielberg exercised his film-maker's imagination for the movie goers benefit.

Fact fell by the wayside often enough in the effort to entertain and interestingly, the dinosaurs were "up-sized" across the board. Well, except for Spinosaurus, for which they were unable to build an animatronics model large enough - that animal was 16 - 18 meters long and stood at a height of 5 - 6 metres).

Jack went back to the amber extraction discussion and revealed that recent work has begun to mimic science fiction in some ways.

Soft tissue was discovered and eventually a few hundred base pairs of DNA were extracted form a cross section of a thigh bone of the T. rex they affectionately call B-Rex.

Read news of the discovery of blood vessels in the 68-million year old cast. This relates to what Peter Larson told us earlier about B-Rex and Mary Schweitzer's work (see "Dinosaur Shocker" By Helen Fields. Smithsonian, May 2006). For now, at least, science rules out the possibility of a Jurassic Park.

However, manipulating the chicken genome has provided some startling results and once again, like the four paleontologists who first spoke to us, the descent of birds from dinosaurs was emphasised.

It was a light-hearted talk and Jack played to the audience well and the children weren't left out of the fun and peppered him with questions later.

A large audience turned up that Sunday afternoon, many walking in from the exhibition. News about the exhibition appears to have finally filtered through Singapore and the hordes at the Singapore Science Centre had seminar attendees parking across the road!

SSC's Clarence Sirisena exclaimed, "the dinosaurs have brought them back once again!" Dinosaur exhibitions have always done very well and this one continues the trend which includes an awakening of an interest in science in the young and old alike. The talk was free for ticket holders to the exhibition. NUS Science Alumni, Staff and students and SIBiol members were treated to free entry.

Posted at 3:49AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Mon 12 Jun 2006

A carnivorous dinosaur from the Gobi Desert

Category : dinosaurs

Tarbosaurus bataar was a close relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex but instead of North America, this carnivorous dinosaur is from the Gobi Desert in southern Mongolia. It lived during the Late Cretaceous, i.e. about 74-70 million yeas ago.

This cast, part of the Dinosaurs of Darkness display at the Dinosaurs! exhibition, is from Nemegt, Gobi Desert, southern Mongolia.

Posted at 2:36AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,