Tag Archives: palaeontology

Expanding Knowledge One Post at a Time

If you go to my Knowledge page, you’ll notice there are three series there.  In particular, I’d like you to check out Encyclopedia. I’m going to be changing this a bit.

Instead of calling it Encyclopedia Entries, I’m going to make separate pages for different topics. They’ll still be under the Encyclopedia heading, but have their own pages. I’ll be continuing with the Moon series, but place it under the Astronomy heading.  I’ll also be adding a heading for Geography, and I’m considering doing one for Palaeontology, focusing on dinosaurs, then other prehistoric animals.  And the great thing is, I’ll be doing all of them in alphabetic order. No choosing favourites, just going through them all in order.

The Moon series will still have basic information about each moon, an image, and five interesting facts.

The Geography series will go through every country in the world with a lot of facts. Mostly statistics, including extremes, major city populations, and other facts. I’ll also have images for the flag, as well as public domain images or those available through Creative Commons for cities and major landmarks.  After doing countries, I’ll do provinces, states, prefectures, etc.

The Palaeontology series will start with dinosaurs, which was a big passion of mine when I was a kid. I’ll discuss where they’re from, when they lived, their size, all the scientific classification, and an image, if available.

What are you interested in seeing? Anything above interest you, or is there something else you’d like to see?

Advertisements

Dino 101 Completed

I’ve finished my second Coursera course!  Dino 101 was offered by the University of Alberta, which I attended for my first year of university.  Dr. Philip Currie is one of the instructors, and he is one of the top dinosaur palaeontologists in the world.

This course doesn’t actually end for another two weeks, but I completed it ahead of time, as we’re allowed to go at our own pace.  I found this course quite informative, even though it was an introductory course to palaeontology.  I knew a lot of what was taught, but I did find out plenty of new things, too.

I sometimes wonder what it would’ve been like to study palaeontology at university instead of physics and astronomy.  I nearly did.  I found my geology courses at the U of A fascinating.  Makes me miss university.

Anyway, I have another course starting in a couple days on Future Learn, and that’s called Moons.  I’m looking forward to it.

Studying Is Starting!

I mentioned before that I’ll be studying some courses through Coursera, a free online university course website.  Well, I added one more.  This one is Dino 101, which is a course about dinosaur palaeobiology offered at the University of Alberta (I went there for my first year of university) and taught by Philip Currie, who is one of the top palaeontologists in the world.

For this course, I will mainly be watching the lecture videos, though I am unlikely to do all of the coursework.  It’s a 12 week course, and I’m more interested in viewing the information, rather than doing all of the work.  Not to mention, I don’t have the time to do everything.  I’m really looking forward to it, though.

Palaeontology and World Building

Creating a new world is a big undertaking.  Last summer, I talked about how I developed Ariadne using my knowledge and education in astronomy, as well as my interest in geography and geology.  But what about the biological aspect?  This is where my interest in palaeontology comes in.

As a child, I was always interested in dinosaurs.  I think that’s pretty common amongst children, but I went even further than that.  I found a book in the library with detailed diagrams of the skeletons and skulls of most known species of dinosaur.  I did my own reconstructions of the dinosaurs in pencil.  I wish I’d kept up with the drawing, but I can always start again.  And I will, actually.  As I grew up, I had to make a decision about what to study in university.  I chose astronomy.  My second choice was palaeontology.  To be honest, I think palaeontology would’ve been more useful, as it involves geology, biology, zoology, and more.  If I could go back to university, it’s what I’d study.

Using palaeontology to build a myriad of animals for Ariadne is something that fascinates me.  How will I do it?  I will start off by developing the basic Classes and Orders of animals, then splitting those up into Families and Genera.  I don’t want to make the Classes identical to what we have on Earth, so I need to be creative.  I can also attempt to trace back the evolution of the animals, which will give me a more realistic variety of animals.  I will examine environments, adaptations, and even colours.

Watching some videos of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals has helped me develop some ideas for animals.  Seeing the family resemblance between dinosaurs and birds is also quite helpful.  The past and present give me a great insight into how to create new animals, ones that I hope will be truly alien.

On my official website, I will be uploading drawings of the animals as part of the Ariadne Encyclopedia.  You may even see some artwork of real animals on this blog in the future.  I’m excited to get back into drawing.

Who’s interested in seeing some of my artwork?

A dinosaur museum near my hometown? Great!

Near my hometown of Beaverlodge in Alberta, Canada, there’s going to be a new dinosaur museum opening in July.  Pipestone Creek has been the location of numerous Pachyrhinosaurus discoveries near Grande Prairie, Alberta.  It’s finally getting its own museum!

The museum will be called the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, named after the famous palaeontologist, Philip Currie.  Currie helped found the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta, which is one of the hottest dinosaur fossil regions in the world.  The Royal Tyrrell Museum is one of my favourite museums, and it has the best dinosaur fossil collection I’ve ever seen.

Oh yeah, Philip Currie just received a lifetime achievement award from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.  Great honour for a great scientist!