X-Mas Present

man 2010 has just flew by... and i got so little done.

rather than repeat this unproductive year, i've decided it is time for a change in the new year.

stand by for more details on this direction soon.

one caution for long time chronicle fans, with this new direction there may not be so many posts about my adventures in this new direction for the blog. while i have enough photographs for a couple years worth of posts, i'm not sure if people are enjoying them or not. please let me know your thoughts...

and happy holidays!


fossil of the weekend #89

a potentially new species of Prognathodon, a mosasaur, on display as part the royal tyrrell museum's 25th anniversary display "alberta unearthed".


a personal autograph... yet not so personal

[Production Note: The convention depicted in this post is fictitious and never happened. We are using pictures from various other events Traumador has attended this year which we were unable to post at the time.]

the first ever vivus dinosaur convention is wrapping up, but this last day was not without its excitement.

after all the cool people i've met (or re met :P) here in victoria, today saw me running into one of my all time biggest heroes of the palaeo world... dr. scott sampson! that's right the host of TV's dinosaur planet and the new dinosaur train was here for the last day to promote his new book (more on that in a second)...

of course this being my life i couldn't just run into dr. sampson without some sort of incident!

first a tiny bit of back story. about a year before i started this blog (which was a LONG time ago now!), i briefly ran into dr. sampson at the royal tyrrell museum, when it hosted its big dinosaur provincial park synposium... with the key part there being i briefly ran into him... not that i'd have thought running into a living tyrannosaurus rex would that forgettable...

well turns out it was!

dr. sampson was really confused when i came up all friendly and chummy. after explaining where we'd met, he stated. "don't take this personally, uh my friend, but i saw a LOT of dinosaurs at that symposium. even vivus-ones."

just my luck i'd meet dr. sampson in vivus infested drumheller! there would be a lot of other vivus-dinosaurs to keep track of. i just hoped he hadn't met drumheller's most famous resident (of the time) who also happened to be a tyrannosaur, but of course who would he guess i was?!?

"larry?" dr. sampson ventured, but at least wasn't committed to his answer. of course being called my JERK! of a cousin wasn't what i wanted to hear! i'll give the good doctor this, it was the name of a tyrannosaur. one in my family... just not someone i ever wanted to be associated with. even in name!
despite this rocky start, we quickly started up a friendly chat, and he even invited me to join him for lunch!!!
hanging out with dr. sampson for a day, my respect and admiration has sky rocketed to new heights! not only is dr. sampson a big force in palaeontology, but he has branched out into environmental and science outreach + education recently. his biggest push of late is using dinosaurs as a gateway into exploring the overall world of science and nature. something i can totally get on board with!
the other thing i am totally on board with is dr. sampson's book Dinosaur Odyssey Fossil Threads in the Web of Life, and you should be too!

in this one of a kind tome, dr. sampson elegantly gives us a look into the world of the dinosaurs like never before (in popular literature anyways). rather than proceed down the food chain from the biggest most impressive saurians down, dr. sampson builds the world of the dinosaurs up from the smallest of things (bacteria, fungus, and their like) right along the cycle of the energy from the sun through everything plants, small animals, medium animals, until it finally reaches the massive beasts that were the dinosaurs. it is the most comprehensive and relevant examinations of dinosaurs currently in print, and addresses all the key questions about dinosaur palaeontology, while answering what is currently known, but more to the point emphasising what we still don't know!

it is a must have for anyone and everyone who has ever remotely been interested in dinosaurs. for all you dinosaur lovers out there, this is the perfect gift (especially with x-mas around the corner!) for anyone whose ever asked you that ever annoying question "what useful thing have we ever learned from studying dinosaurs anyways?"

i just can't say enough good things about dinosaur odyssey!

as if getting my claws on this book weren't enough, at the end of our meeting dr. sampson grabbed my copy before i could walk off with it, and personally signed it!!!

with this final note (literally), i think i made off from this whole vivus-dinosaur convention like a bandit!

now it was back off to the OH-lympics... or at least that's what we thought...

to be concluded with a surprise twist to the games...


fossil of the weekend #88

the amazingly complete skeleton of the fresh water skate Myledaphus, part of the royal tyrrell museum's 25th anniversary display "alberta unearthed".


fossil of the weekend #87

the articulated arm of the small theropod Saurornitholestes langstoni a part of the royal tyrrell museum's 25th anniversary display "alberta unearthed".


drawn in...

[Production Note: The convention depicted in this post is fictitious and never happened. We are using pictures from various other events Traumador has attended this year which we were unable to post at the time.]

man the the first ever vivus dinosaur convention has been treating me good in regards to meeting cool palaeontology celebrities!

today was no exception, with me running into legendary palaeo-artist william stout!!!

he was a SUPER nice guy. proving it, he let me talk to him for nearly an hour (how many people at the best of times can put up with me and my tiny brain for that long?!?). not only was mr. stout very nice, but he had a ton of cool things to tell me about making palaeo-art and his interests in palaeo as an artist.
mr. stout also gave me an in depth look at his book dinosaur discoveries. the book is a collection of profiles covering over 60 fairly recently discovered dinosaurs. each profile has entire page sized illustration by mr. stout (all of which are ubber awesome!), and all the factoids the average person could want to know.
it is a fantastic book for expert and non-expert alike, as mr. stout's drawings are in a league of their own. it would make a great x-mas gift for that dino-fanatic in your life! hint hint :P
i had to buy my own copy, and mr. stout was nice enough to not only sign my copy...

as if that weren't enough but he also...
drew me my own little picture of a pachyrhinosaur! (i thought it'd be a little vain of me to ask him to draw a picture of me... so why not my favourite snack from alberta)

i can't say enough good things about mr. stout (other than once again appeal to you to buy one or many of his books or pieces of art :P), and it was a real blast/honour to meet him in person!


making my own dinosaur

[Production Note: The convention depicted in this post is fictitious and never happened. We are using pictures from various other events Traumador has attended this year which we were unable to post at the time.]

yet another action packed day here at the first ever vivus dinosaur convention.

today i met legendary palaeo-artist brian cooley, dinosaur sculptor extraordinaire! his works grace the halls of some of the best museums in the world... including my old home the royal tyrrell! so i know his art quite well...

turned out today he was leading a special activity secession called "make-a-saurus", and hearing my interest in his palaeo-art mr. cooley invited me to join in.

so what we were doing at "make-a-saurus" was pretty self explanatory and obvious. making our own dinosaur. the thing was i'd never made one before.

in good news mr. cooley had brought everything one could need to create their own dino sculpture. i just had to follow his instructions.
the first part was easy enough. bend wire into the shape of a dinosaur. this wasn't a challenge for my t-rex arms. while they might be short, a tyrannosaurs arms are incredibly powerful for their size!

so having bent all the pieces together i then had to tape them together into the frame for my dinosaur.

well okay, i tried to do this. it turned out to be a lot easier bending the wire than taping it together.

oh and speaking of tape, don't get me started on the stuff...

let's just say we don't get along!

finally having taped the wire together (and untaping me from the counter top!) it was time to beef up our dinosaur's "skeleton" with some foam.

i should point out at this point, that yes i ended up making a ceratopsian. not out of choice mind you, but due to my late entry they'd run out of t-rex kits. oh well, that was fine. at least this way i'd have a visual reference for butchers to look at when i go shopping for triceratops steaks at the supermarket (the human clerks always look at me funny when i ask for them!).

adding all the foam my little trauma-ceratops was starting to look a little healthier.

taping the outside so we had a surface to plaster of paris...

i now had a mummy-ceratops!

the last thing to do (once it'd all dried, and i'd gotten all the tape off me... AGAIN!) was to paint my creation.

you know not bad for a guy whose never taken a single art lesson before!

if you want to learn how to make dinosaurs as awesome at mr. cooley's (cause mine still doesn't remotely compare!) you should check out his book called, coincidental(?), make-a-saurus. it is filled with great tips and ideas for making your own dinosaur artworks.

it would also make a great x-mas gift this holiday season, especially for young dinosaur fans! be sure to pick up your own copy today!


comical run in

[Production Note: The convention depicted in this post is fictitious and never happened. We are using pictures from various other events Traumador has attended this year which we were unable to post at the time.]

so more news from the first ever vivus dinosaur convention...

today whilst wandering the convention floor i came across ryan north creator and writer of dinosaur comics. he is a super funny guy, and he keeps good company as you can see in the form of his small saurian friend there (well okay sort of see, sadly my camera didn't like the lighting conditions in the convention area. sorry about the fuzzy pic).

i highly recommend you pop over to his site and check out his webcomic today!


fossil of the weekend #86

a still unstudied titanoideid from alberta, part of the royal tyrrell museum's 25th anniversary display "alberta unearthed".

this large mammal was part of herbivorous group called the pantodonts which rose to prominence shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs. for reasons unknown they too would eventually become extinct, and leave behind no living relatives today...


my hatchling hero!

[Production Note: The convention depicted in this post is fictitious and never happened. We are using pictures from various other events Traumador has attended this year which we were unable to post at the time.]

so we kicked off the first ever vivus dinosaur convention this week, and i have to admit it has been a lot more interesting than i thought. my special talent agent peter bond initially made it sound like it would just be us vivus OH-lympians attending (as the attractions). however today we learned my talent agent is a sneaky fellow, and has invited a bunch of other dinosaur/palaeontology guests for the public to meet.

i may not have noticed these other guest if not for a very familiar smell... on account of my somewhat super tyrannosaurid nose. this first (noticed) scent was one i associated with my childhood growing up around the tyrrell...

it was none other than world famous...

palaeontologist phil currie! who i MIGHT have sort of gotten a little over excited to see again, and might have freaked out by running up to him out of the blue.

not that it lasted too long. he is used to being rushed by crowds, whether they be human or saurian, and i hardly constituted the biggest rush he'd ever seen. my being a tyrannosaur was more the problem. while we are one of dr. currie's main research topics, the other vivus tyrannosaurs of the world aren't, shall we say, as nice as me (i'm looking at you in particular larry!).

in good news dr. currie was only momentarily startled, and eventually recognized me from our tyrrell days. we had a nice little quick catch up (okay most of it was me asking dr. currie stuff, but he did nicely ask me what i'd been up to...).

sadly as we were both here to talk to the public it was a brief run in, and we had to head off to talk to our adoring fans (okay dr. currie did, i just kind or wandered around trying to find anyone who wanted to talk to a real live tyrannosaur... sadly with so many other large dinosaurs around it didn't happen so often)

however in good news i did manage to make arrangements with dr. currie for a pretty huge appearance here on the tyrannosaur chronicles in the new year, so stay tuned!!!

next a very "funny" encounter


the first ever vivus convention

my special talent agent peter bond had gathered all us vivus-dinosaur OH-lympians at the royal british columbia museum for a huge event. peter was calling it a "convention", but what that meant wasn't exactly clear. all we'd been told was this was a chance for us to meet our "public", and that this would help all of our celebrity.

so we all wandering around the museum meeting people, and doing our best to be interesting. how this was any different from living or working at a museum was beyond us. again we modern dinosaurs pretty much spend most of our time in museums...

little did we know that peter had gone all out, and arranged several other guest stars to appear at this convention. stand by this week for my run ins with some really cool palaeo related people!

to be continued with some stars of palaeontology!!!

fossil of the weekend #85

a clutch of some of alberta's first ever discovered dinosaur eggs from devil's coulee, on display at the royal tyrrell museum's 25th anniversary display "alberta unearthed". these eggs are definitely hadrosaur eggs (as shown by fossil embryos found within) and were mostly likely laid by hypacrosaurus whose adult remains have been found in the same fossil beds.


fossil of the weekend #84

a double whammy of ceratopsian goodness today, brought to you by the royal tyrrell museum's 25th anniversary display "alberta unearthed".

first we have the holotype material of eotriceratops xerinsularis.

plus the beautiful reconstruction the museum made based on this material. very nice (also huge, which this photo doesn't really show off)!


vlog from the past!

it's time for a change. huge changes...

specifically i'm looking at some big changes here on the tyrannosaur chronicles. okay, i guess that is not specifically, but rather everything...

working in conjunction with my friends at prehistoric insanity productions we are looking at a huge change in format here. we're still in the early stages of setting this up, but expect big things in the new year!

as a preview of things to come, and because we've meant to put this up for ages, so here is a special treat from my days back at the tyrrell.

we shot this in 2006, and it was cutting edge at its time (we even had dr. currie on as an advisor!)... however there is more info on the subject these days, like anything else. i just say it as i'm posting it now 4 years later. please go easy on the info lag (imagine you are 4 years in the past).

oh and for some reason the camcorder picked up my name all funny...

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4


boy are our faces pink...

as much as i "like" waiting for things to happen, i actually bore quite easy. while we vivus-dinosaurs wait around the royal british columbia museum for the convention my special talent agent peter bond has organized, i decided to put together my own event. especially since we're all just standing around victoria doing nothing at the moment.

over on ART Evolved they're just about to wrap up their pink dinosaurs for cancer research event, and i realized with great embarrassment that none of us vivus-dinosaurs have done anything for it!?!

so i called in every friend and favour i could!

i started off with lillian the albertosaur, as my idea was quite public and there was a chance some celebrity could result from it. this was enough to get her to agree. though i made sure to keep out the other dinosaur involvement. lillian has been quite volatile about being around other dinosaurs lately.

like i thought, apart from her sensitive snout (which i predicted given how my own nose is), lillian didn't mind my paint job.

norman a. centrosaur on the other hand was a lot more skeptical about my motives, not that he minded the paint job.
"are you sure about this?" he demanded multiple times throughout my covering him in paint.
"of course i am," i'd try to assure him.
"i know you think you're sure," norman would retort. "i just want to make sure this isn't one of those times you've convinced yourself of something, only to find out it was your brain making it up, leaving us in the lurch."

"why are you suddenly so sensitive?" i finally asked him, wondering what his sudden concern about our cause was. "back in the old days you were never this worried about me making a tiny brain mistake."
clearly he was embarrassed by whatever he was worried about, as he awkwardly recomposed himself before saying. "true, but normally you weren't making me change my colouring into something that might be seen as ridiculous by the outside world."

i guess norman did have a point there. normally a pink dinosaur would be cause of ridicule and amusement, but i had it on good authority pink was not just acceptable in october, but really the classy thing to do. norman relented after i explained it to him.
the best of my art subjects had to be dollie the stegosaur my new friend from the OH-lympics. unlike the other two she didn't need to told a reason, other than i needed her help. dollie and me had a lot in common, wanting to help others out seemed to be high up the list.

getting my three master pieces together on the front lawn of the royal british columbia museum, i had the vivus contribution to the pink dinosaur event together!
i think they look pretty sweet, don't you?

just after i'd taken the necessary photos, i was about to wrap up when norman mischievously said "one second, traumador. there is one thing missing from your pink dinosaurs."
"what's that?" i asked starting to turn around.
norman with mouth half full replied. "a pink tyrannosaurus rex," and with that he dumped the last of my pink paint all over me!!!


fossil of the weekend #83

a skeleton of the cretaceous ichythosaur Platypterygius americanus, from the royal tyrrell museum's 25th anniversary display "alberta unearthed".


royal british columbia museum

me and norman have arrived in victoria british columbia, after our nice (but slightly sad) ferry ride. our reason for being here was this special dinosaur OH-lympics convention that my special talent agent peter bond has organized.

i wasn't quite sure what to expect from the convention, but i was really excited about the venue!

norman and i earlier this afternoon went to scope out our new "workplace" for the next week. the royal british columbia museum!

now as i'm sure my regular readers know, i LOVE museums! (for you new people out there, i LOVE museums... there now you're up to speed :P). so i'm always pretty stoked when i get to check out a new one!

i have to say this museum is one of the coolest i've ever been to, and as you'll see this is kind of surprising. there isn't a single dinosaur in the place!

no dinosaurs isn't the same as no fossils or palaeontologic displays though, mind you. this is one of two similar cases show casing british columbia's fossil diversity... and that's about all the fossils to be seen in the museum.

i've show cased some individual specimens for my fossil of the weekend feature. you can check these out here, here, here, here, here, here, there, here, over here, and finally there. not exactly a palaeontologic hotspot... though this is WAY better than none at all.

the RBCM does boast on very fine palaeo related display, and that is their fleshed out wholly mammoth sculpture!

what makes this display cool (pun intended as you'll see!) is the amount of detail and attention they put into it (though this is not an exception for the royal BC! just an exception compared to other museums!). they've gone all out to capture the ice age feeling... not only does really cold air blow at you from the exhibit, but the ice covering the terrain around the mammoth is actual ice!!!

from the prehistoric section one wonders into the modern natural history area. here you are treated to some great diorama's of BC's ecology.

one of the highlights was the coast's of BC displays, complete with an actual living specimen tidal pool!

(it was this point in our tour that norman and i ran into some of our fellow dinosaur olympians... team australia's boom and rang decided to tag along with us. so they'll pop up in many of my pics)

one of the most off topic, but awesome, exhibits in this section had to be the underwater display. rather than setup a normal deep sea recreation, the designers at the RBCM opted for a fun "vehicle" to bring you to the ocean (rather than the ocean to you). their choice of a rather jules verne style submarine definitely a big hit with me... i love the nautilus and 20000 leagues under the sea!

it felt a bit like sneaking into captain nemo's personal study, with all his personal specimens and collections scattered about the place.

way too cool!

after the "first" floor (i say first with quotation marks as technically this was all on the 2nd floor, the 1st floor is just the lobby, gift shop, and theatres/auditoriums) on proceeds up to the next floor...

here you encounter the human history of BC. the 19th century victoria area was really cool...

i've been to a few places (example here) with these old skool versions of a city, but the RBCM's is truly a jewel example of one. all the little touches are there. like steam coming off the pots in the kitchen (along with a mouse scurrying along the floor!). a train comes by the train station every 10 minutes (okay its a clever set of lights with sound effects, but it sure feels like a train it is that loud!).

we also ran into all of team australia here. ms. rhonwyn and logan the muttaburrasaurus were busy checking it out too.

next was probably the highlight of the museum. the aboriginal gallery.

i can't go into detail... not because it wasn't amazing. it was... it's just that my magic sense was nearly going off, and you all remembered what happened last time that happened. so i didn't stick around too long.

from what i saw it was unbelievable though... though for some (really ominously magically) reason i have a feeling this isn't the last i've seen of this spot in the museum...

the history of BC stuff was cool. they had a whole bunch on the fishing and forestry heritage of the coast.

its just too bad that my time here was disrupted somewhat by misbehaving hypsilophodons! i have to say i'm glad i don't live or work with boom or rang. they are really nice to visit or goof around with. however they never stop, and are a real hand full. poor logan had to chase them all over the forestry exhibit. in the end the two leaellynasaura stopped more because they'd climbed or jumped on every inch of the display, and got bored being chased.

my favourite display in the whole RBCM was this replica of captain vancouver's ship the hms discovery. which is weird, as it is not palaeo or prehistoric...

i don't know how, the boat doesn't move or anything. yet still when you go on it...

you feel slightly sea sick everytime you go on it! the boat is seriously stationary, and yet it pulls off this illusion!?! incredible...

anyways overall a fantastic museum they have here in BC. my only suggestion: needs more dinosaurs :P