Friday Headlines: 4-10-15

Friday Headlines, April 10, 2015



Today’s round-up:

Hot Spot in the Four Corners?

Brontosaurus is back!

Portable carbon dating device???

Solving the Four Corners Mystery: Probes Map Methane ‘Hot Spot’

This makes me chuckle. When I was a student, I learned that Shiprock, the awesome mountain featured in this article and in the movie John Carter, was a ‘geo-fart,’ not a volcanic neck as is explained in essentially every single geology textbook ever.

It seems apt that there’s also a lot of methane in the Four Corners region of the United States as well.

This anomalous methane was present from 2003 to 2009, but its origin has been a mystery. While it’s still uncertain, there’s a possibility that this methane hot spot is of human origins, due to coal mining or extraction of natural gas. New research is underway to pinpoint the origins.


The Thunder Lizard Returns – Brontosaurus Resurrected

When I was a kid, Bronotsaurus was a real dinosaur. As I grew up and started studying paleontology, I learned that Brontosaurus was not a real dinosaur. It was a scientific ‘oops’ that was the combination of an Apatosaurus body with a Camarasaurus head.

Brontosaurus was dead.

But now it could be back. The name Brontosaurus is being revived and attached to some specimens that were originally called Brontosaurus, then revised to Apatosaurus, but are now potentially a distinct species separate from Apatosaurus. This distinct species would be called, you got it, Brontosaurus.

Naturally, there’s a ton of discussion about this in the paleontology community. There are issues to resolve with the International Committee on Zoological Nomenclature – can Brontosaurus even be revived in this manner?

It’s probably that this will stick. So far as I can tell all the rules were followed and the description of the new species is completely valid.

If you’d like to read the original paper, you can do so. It’s open access and you can find it here.


This Portable Carbon-Dating Device is Going to Revolutionise Field Archaeology

I’ve never wanted so much to yell “Just take my money!”

If this instrument is for real, then it will change a lot about doing paleontology and archaeology on sites and specimens from the last 40,000 years or so.

What do you think?

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