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Sarda SahneyRSS Feed of this column.

Sarda Sahney is a Ph.D. student at the University of Bristol studying macroevolution, with focus on the evolution of vertebrate communities.

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A new museum in Petersburg, Kentucky greets visitors with a 20ft tall tumbling waterfall and at its base, mannequins of frolicking children play amongst dinosaurs. The Creation Museum, which cost $25 million to build, is home to many unusual sites: a diorama of ancient people overshadowed by a towering T. rex, Adam and Eve swimming in a river with giant reptiles, and even a scale model of Noah's Ark.

It seems Noah solved the problem of fitting dinosaurs into his vessel by only taking baby dinosaurs. Indeed, the ark has a detailed display of many animals happily boarding the boat: dinosaurs cavort with giraffes, penguins, hippos, and bears.

The beautiful thing about the Antarctic is that it is one of Earth’s last unexplored frontiers. New information about climate, geology, and paleontology is discovered regularly and today, the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology announced the discovery of a fossilised amphibian which lived more than 245 million years ago in the Triassic of Antarctica. Its presence suggests that the climate at the time was mild enough to allow cold-blooded creatures to live near Pangea’s southern margin, at least seasonally.

Polar bears live a feast and famine lifestyle. They are large animals (an adult males weighs 300-600kg) that live in the freezing tundra so they have huge metabolic needs. They normally prey on ringed seals but will eat almost anything they can catch, including walruses, birds, eggs and occasionally they supplement their diet with a big, juicy, beluga whale!

Fossils turn up in the most unusual places. Simone Casati, an amateur paleontologist, was exploring the famed vineyards of Italian winemaker, Castello Banfi, when he came across a small piece of bone poking out of the soil. He started digging and realized that he had unearthed more then he had e anticipated: a 10m (33ft) long skeleton of an ancient whale.

An amazing Colossal squid was caught last month by fishermen in Antarctica's Ross Sea. It is now on ice, awaiting examination and preparation for its permanent display in New Zealand's national museum. Once un-frozen, the creature will be embalmed and then preserved in a natural position.

A commonly told anecdote among my colleaugues is that adventurer Roy Chapman Andrews was the inspiration for Indiana Jones. However, George Lucas never specifically cited a person as his inspiration for the character. He apparently told Steven Spielberg when they first discussed the movie trilogy in 1977 that he had been inspired by movie serials from the 1940s and the 1950s. Though these serials may have taken their inspiration from the real-life adventures of Andrews, he had retired by 1942. Other possible candidates for Indiana Jones include: