Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bivalves

The clam. The oyster. The scallop. The mussel. These are not just names suitable for a low-rank themed superhero or supervillain, but they are also common terms used for some of the abundant and diverse members of the class Bivalvia (also known as Pelecypoda in some references, and Lamellibranchiata if you go back far enough or have a desire to be "that person"). We've already seen the difference between the functional and technical usage of the term "bivalve" with brachiopods, now we get the bivalves that "are" bivalves.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Thescelosaurus: 1999–2015

After about 15 and a half years, I'm no longer going to be maintaining Thescelosaurus.com, expiration date April 9, 2015. It was just one of those things, with a number of reasons behind it. The main one is that I didn't know why I was doing it any more. I'd long ago stopped doing it out of enjoyment and had been doing it out of a sense of obligation. The field of dinosaur paleontology had passed me by years ago, beginning after my graduation from the University of Colorado at Boulder, so I was doing it for enjoyment, and if I wasn't enjoying it, what was the point? The quality of the content was never that hot (I'm not going to claim it was great at the beginning and then declined, because a lot of the initial stuff was pretty hare-brained). As the years went on, the seams resulting from cobbling on this and that were showing, the actual "physical plant" (or whatever the equivalent is for a website) was beyond archaic, and I didn't have the time or, in the end, the desire to bring it up to code. Finally, every year it got a little more expensive, and given the small readership, it occurred to me that I could hear myself talk at cheaper rates.

You'll still be able to find archived versions at Internet Archive, using http://www.thescelosaurus.com/, or if you're really desperate, I'm still going to be holding on to the files. Maybe I'll add to them; I don't know. As for alternative sources, I recommend the dinosaur articles at Wikipedia, which at the very least are on par with my own entries and usually much better (and include sources of information), and the Supplementary Information for Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.'s encyclopedia. In particular, the updated versions of the genera list are like mine, only much better. You're welcome to copy the pages for your own use, but I don't want someone else to continue the website because of my concerns with the quality of the content.

I'd like to thank everyone who made a correction, offered a tip, said hello, or found the site to be useful over the years. I'm glad to have had a good long run. I'll still be writing here, so I suppose I'll have to write a bit more often about dinosaurs to make up for it.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument

I'm sorry about the gap there. I was traveling for work in the Southwest, and was unable to take the time to write anything. Here, though, is a piece about one of the places I saw, albeit briefly: one of the newest National Monuments, Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument. This site, north of Las Vegas, was declared in December 2014. It is noted for its abundant Pleistocene fossils, the depth of knowledge concerning its geologic and climatologic history, and historically notable investigations. Having just been established, there are no official National Park Service facilities quite yet.

Looking out across part of the southern end of the monument, facing north-northeast.