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Torvosaurus tanneri

The specimen of Torvosaurus tanneri is currently on display in Madrid, Spain. The genus Torvosaurus...

Late Cretaceous: Mosasaur Detail

A close-up view of the dentition of an ancient aquatic, carnivorous lizard, the mighty Mosasaur...

Gods & Cephalopods

A great temple to the god Amon was built at Karnak in Upper Egypt around c. 1785. It is from Amon...

Paltechioceras of Wrangellia

Those working in the Jurassic exposures on Vancouver Island are a determined crew. Most of the...

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Heidi HendersonRSS Feed of this column.

Blue Planet, Explorer in Residence. Co-author of In Search of Ancient BC.

Fossil Huntress... Read More »

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New evidence of an ancient carnivorous killer has been found in Nigeria. While evidence of 95-million year old therapods from Africa is quite scare making one think that each fragment would be treated like gold, this was not the case the first evidence of Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis, a newly described dinosaur from the Cenomanian of Nigeria and published in this months issue Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. This ancient killer almost had the misfortune of going extinct twice! Tooth fragments collected by Charles Depéret and J. Savornin in 1927 were misplaced before this meat-eater could ever be described and when additional material was collected in Egypt in the 1930’s it also came to an unfortunate end.
Sometimes relationships work out well. Not talking romance here. I'm thinking of the partnership that has evolved between various species who, despite great differences, do rather well together.

In particular, I'm thinking about a most unlikely "couple," sloths and blue-green algae.  Their pairing has provided a home for the algae and a bit of camouflage - the slight greenish hue we see in the sloth's coat.

Location, location, location is the mantra for many of us in our macro world but it is also true for the world of the small and the domain of the wee blue-green algae.
If you were a fish living in the warm turquoise waters off the coast of Bonaire, you may not hear those words, but you'd see the shrimp sign language equivalent. It seems Periclimenes yucatanicus or Spotted Cleaner Shrimp is doing a booming business in the local reefs by setting up a fish washing service. That's right, a Fish Wash. You'd be hard pressed to find a terrestrial Molly Maid with two opposable thumbs as as studious and hardworking as this wee marine beauty. This quiet marine mogel is turning out to be one of the ocean's top entrepreneurs. Keeping its host and diet clean and green, the spotted shrimp hooks up with the locals, in this case, local sea anemones and sets up a fish wash... picture a car wash but without the noise and teenage boys...

The Queen Charlotte Islands are at the western edge of the continental shelf and form part of Wrangellia, an exotic terrane of former island arcs, which also includes Vancouver Island, parts of western mainland British Columbia and southern Alaska. While we’ll see that there are two competing schools of thought on Wrangellia’s more recent history, both sides agree that many of the rocks, and the fossils they contain, were laid down somewhere near the equator.

They had a long, arduous journey, first being pushed by advancing plates, then being uplifted, intruded, folded, and finally thrust up again. It’s reminiscent of how pastry is balled up, kneaded over and over, finally rolled out, then the process is repeated again.

How long have salmon been making the trek to the sea, the rivers and back again? We are all familiar with the image of salmon returning to fresh water, to the rivers of their youth, to spawn and complete their lifecycle, in fact, it is one of the staple images of British Columbia. As adults, we bring our children to witness this cycle, rushing to the banks of our local rivers to watch as the adults, keen in their fight for reproduction and survival, struggle to complete their epic journeys against currents and predators. Arriving as they do, year upon year, season upon season, it seems to us that this is how it has been since time immortal. But we now have evidence that migration to the sea may be a relatively recent behaviour.

Have you watched salmon leaping and jumping seemingly impossible hurtles to return to the place of their birth? Many times I've watched the ritual with wonder.

While we think of this migration as having gone on "forever" from sea to river to stream. It seems it is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Salmon have permeated First Nations mythology and have been prized as an important food source for thousands of years.