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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 »


Co-ordination of flight requires tremendous brainpower, and co-ordination of active flight, with the constant shift in the shape and location of massive wings, even more so. Nature is extremely parsimonious, not frittering away investment in any organ where it is not needed.

Had you been swimming with the marine fossils that were laid down in the Eocene Epoch in Oregon, some 55 to 38 million years ago, you'd be treading water right up to where the Cascade Mountains are today. 

The Farallon Plate took a turn north some 57 million years ago, sweeping much of western coastal Oregon along with it. The Cascades were beginning to uplift and were fast becoming the breakwater for a retreating Pacific Ocean.

The enormous difference between high and low tide in Haida Gwaii – up to twenty three vertical feet – means that twice a day, vast swathes of shellfish are unveiled, free for the taking.

An ancient Haida saying is still often heard today, “When the tide is out, the table is set.”

Dinosaurs, long hailed as the rulers of the Triassic almost lost the title belt to a group of crocodilian upstarts, the crurotarsans. In a short lived battle for survival, geologically speaking, the two groups ran head-to-head for about thirty million years.

The Crurotarsi or "cross-ankles" as they are affectionately known, are a group of archosaurs - formerly known as Pseudosuchians when paleontologist Paul Serono, the darling of National Geographic, renamed them for their node-based clade in 1991.