Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crowdsourcing as a way of taxonomic identification for museum specimens

An interesting article about the use of social networking resources, like Facebook, to rapidly identify specimens collected in the field.

Many museums have unidentified specimens sitting on shelves waiting to be seen and studied. It will be interesting to see how social networking resources will transform the field of taxonomy and systematics and improve the utilization of museum collections.

Photo: Panay Striped-Babbler (Stachyris latistriata) by Casey Tucker/Wild Auk Photography

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Super Moon

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Photo: Super Moon photographed March 19th, 2011. Copyright Casey Tucker/Wild Auk Photography

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dinosaurs coming to Ohio's Kings Island

Kings Island theme park in Mason, Ohio announced today the opening of a new exhibit for the park called Dinosaurs Alive!

It's touted to be one of the largest outdoor dinosaur exhibits with over 60 life-sized animatronic dinosaur reconstructions.

One of the main attractions will be a dinosaur nicknamed the Ruyang Yellow River Dinosaur (Huanghetitan ruyangensis), which is considered one of the largest sauropod dinosaurs in Asia and lived during the Cretaceous Period. The description of this dinosaur, described in 2007, was based on partial skeletal fragments.

In addition to the life-sized dinosaurs, families will be able to uncover dinosaur fossils in a dinosaur dig pit, control the movements of certain dinosaurs, and visit a gift shop.

While the animatronic dinosaurs in the exhibit do not represent the most accurate depictions of dinosaurs, they do attempt to present the science of paleontology which will be a positive contrast to the Creation Museum not far away in northern Kentucky and the pending Ark Encounters park.

The Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit is built by the same company that built the traveling Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit that the Cincinnati Museum Center hosted in 2009. It was considered one of the museum's most popular and well-attended traveling exhibits and it should be equally popular at the Kings Island location.

Photo: Dilophosaurus from Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit by Casey Tucker/Wild Auk Photography