Tracks and Traces 03.06.11

Over the weekend, the Journal of Cosmology released a controversial paper by Richard Hoover which claims that fossilized cyanobacteria have been found inside a meteorite. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, though, and the paper’s analysis is unconvincing. Hoover has been making these claims for years now, and serious technical problems mar the new analysis (to say nothing of the journal’s strange editorial stance and focus on fringe science). Just because something looks like a fossil doesn’t necessarily make it so, and I am keen to read the critical comments about Hoover’s paper set to be released by the Journal of Cosmology tomorrow. Even so, this is probably just the first of many controversial papers the journal is going to publish in the next two months. The Journal of Cosmology is going to implode this coming May, and they promise the last issue will contain evidence that “Life on Earth, Came From Other Planets.” Switch your bullshit filters to *ON*

Anthropology in Practice and Prancing Papio have the highlights of last Thursday’s dinosaur tweetup at the AMNH. Look for my own post about the event at Dinosaur Tracking this coming week.

For his Master’s thesis, Drexel student Evan Boucher brought the 65 million year old fossil croc Thoracosaurus back to life. You can learn about how he did it at his Digital Thoracosaurus Production Blog.

Following the debut of Brontomerus, paleontologist Mike Taylor got a nice profile in the NYT

Could bison have played a key part in the extinction of Pleistocene mega-mammals? SciAm looks into the possibility.

On March 14, artists John Gurche and Karen Carr will be at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to explain how they created the art of the museum’s human origins exhibit

Carl Zimmer on brachiopods, swimming eyeballs, and the evolution of vision

RadioLab’s Robert Krulwich riffs on Ed Yong’s post about the Cambrian “walking cactus” Diania

Terror birds! This month’s ART Evolved gallery presents a flock of the imposing avians

Spider-Ant, Spider-Ant, does whatever a Spider-Ant does…

The upcoming dino-show Terra Nova is said to include speculative predators called “Slashers.” I think theropods are cool enough without TV producers mucking around with ’em

The Boneyard still lives. David Tana hosts the latest edition of the paleo carnival at Superoceras

Now here’s some science I can use at home – the specific gravities of alcohols for layered drinks

Sorry, herpetologists, but your discipline is paraphyletic.

Open-Minded Man Grimly Realizes How Much Life He’s Wasted Listening To Bullshit“, via The Onion

Few complaints are as tedious and annoying as those of long-time public radio listeners

Judgmental Bookseller Ostrich disapproves of your book choice

20-Something Monsters. Awful poetry poltergeists are the worst.

Brian Dettmer’s amazing book sculptures

So. Stinkin’. Cute. – A baby platypus!

Photos of the Day:

#46: Amur tiger brothers, photographed at the Philadelphia Zoo in July 2008 http://twitpic.com/44pm9k

#47: Ring-tailed lemurs at the Bronx Zoo (photographed summer 2008) http://twitpic.com/452k5l

#48: Close-up of a lowland gorilla at the Bronx Zoo (photographed summer 2008) http://twitpic.com/45ic57

#49: A young Nubian ibex practices sparring with dad at the Bronx Zoo (photographed summer 2008) http://twitpic.com/45p2am

#50: Just one part of the Big Bone Room at the AMNH http://twitpic.com/464fmb

#51: The original AMNH ‘Brontosaurus‘ head http://twitpic.com/46e471

Top image from Edward Hitchcock’s Ichnology of New England.

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