fossil of the weekend #78

seems the company that mines ammolite donated a big jewelfied ammonite to the royal british columbia museum too (the first museum i encountered one of these at was the royal tyrrell... maybe only royally appellated institutions get them?)


caught between a tyrannosaur and a ceratopsian...

oh man...

to say that the dinosaur winter games had not been going my way, was becoming THE understatement of the year!

they were potentially bankrupting me, keeping me stuck in canada (i've got things to get back to in new zealand... it feels like i've been away for AGES!), and worst of all were humiliating me in front of the whole world. not once, but twice!

the latest of those was the hockey match. it was not only a bad game, but it was now having some major effects on my life beyond the rink too...

team canada had gotten creamed. we totally lost to team china. the worst part, i was probably the big cause of it all!

well okay, while i'm known to try and take the blame for everything (i am a canadian t-rex after all!), but some of the blame really does deserve to goto my special talent agent peter bond...

despite knowing that i couldn't skate, he fielded me on the ice in the first place. his logic at the time was that if some of his dinosaurs couldn't skate, other teams would have that problem too... so much for that idea. i was the only dinosaur (so far anyway... team gondwana hasn't played yet) who can't skate in the whole OH-lympics!

what a great way to make me the star of the games!?! he even made me buy my own team canada jersey. making me the only dinosaur to wear a uniform... though as a side note i can't figure out why everyone makes fun of the back of it?

you'd think this isolation and humiliation would be the most of my problems. well it does suck, but there was an even bigger problem to team canada's defeat. my team itself!

you see, lillian albertosaurus and norman a. centrosaur hadn't been all that keen about being on the same team in the first place. with the really public (and talked about) defeat of the home team they were REALLY not getting along now!

leaving the stadium after the game, the two weren't keeping their contempt for each other contained...

it got so bad that the police had to keep the public at a safe distance.

not that i want to have to say bad things about the girl of my dreams, but in fairness to norman, it was lillian who was the true instigator. she ripped into him for being a "stupid" "open skulled" ceratopsian (while it is sort of true the norman's frill is in a sense open, in that it hoad two hollows way up to reduce his head's weight... this doesn't mean his skull is substandard and thus making him stupid or something... as lillian was trying to get at).

norman didn't help matters though by insulting lillian back about being conceited and full of herself...

of course the news picked up the whole fight... which is probably only going to make matters worse later on. ugh.

it is times like this i realized why vivus dinosaurs have such a bad spot in the modern world.

at the end of the very public (potentially embarrassing) fight they both stormed off even more furious with the other. peter was still up in the boardcast booth doing our game's post game coverage, and was oblivious to the whole incident. leaving me all by myself to try and clean up the whole mess.

why did i stick my snout into all this? the smart thing to do would have been to stay out frankly. though when have i ever been known for being the smartest guy around?

well we still had more OH-lympic events to go, and team canada needed to stay a team to keep competing or we'd have to drop out (and possibly lose me all my money that peter had invested in these dumb games in the first place). more to the point they were both my friends, and good friends at that...

i'd known norman since i was a hatchling. we went way back. i wanted lillian to be my mate someday. it tore me up that these two really important dinosaurs in my life weren't getting along. there just had to be a way i could get them to like each other, and the various parts of my life would combine into a really happy whole...

why do i always have these impossibly noble intentions?

i ran into lillian first. she was angerily pacing outside the stadium.

i greeted her, and tried to innocently ask her how she was feeling...

this was my first big mistake of the day (after the game anyways). lillian might be a more progressive thinking tyrannosaurid than our relatives in the pack of the primordial pack, but not by that much more (compared to me). her full, albertosaur sized, temper suddenly zoned in on me.

"how am i feeling!?!" she growled. "how else do you think i'd feel after you and that open skull humiliated me in front of the whole world!!!"

"so not good," i answered automatically.

i was answered with a full on angry albertosaur howl... not exactly a settling sound, i must say.

"i'll take the full blame for the game, lillian," i tried to be selfless, and take one for the team. "norman played almost as good as you did." you know that was a good move on my part. complementing lillian with that, while at the same time playing up norman. if only lillian saw it that way...

"yes you were rather pathetic weren't you!" lillian agreed, but in a far more cutting way than i'd thought. "however the fact that i, a former world class attraction, was shamed by a runt like you and a ceratopsian. i can't even put into words how disgusted that makes me feel. of all thing,s a gutless open skull."

her words shouldn't have surprised me. in fact what she said about me slipped right off. i'd been insulted worse, by her and others. more to the point i was chalking this up to her theropod temper (we have slightly uncontrollable boiling points we meat eating dinosaurs). yet it was how she was putting down my friend norman that got me upset. she didn't even know him, that alone take the time to get to know him.

"i'll have you know that 'gutless' centrosaur has stuck his neck out a few times to help me out!" i countered forcefully. the second after i said it, i realized it had been a mistake.

"yes that is right, you are even worse aren't you," she insulted. "you lower yourself to being the equal of a prey animal!" yeah so when i said she wasn't as progressive as me, i'd forgotten by what a margin. lillian may have abandoned all notions of carrying on our ancestors' cretaceous ways, but she still held a fairly typical theropod mindset. especially about non-theropods.

"how does that make me a worse dinosaur?" i challenged. "at least it shows i'm strong enough to adapt to our present situation. those 'prey animals' are some of the few living things that know what we are going through. only someone cowardly and backwards would hold on the the notion we are somehow..." oops i really shouldn't have said cowardly. especially to a female tyrannosaurid!

lillian didn't say anything. she just charged at me with a challenge roar. i knew better than stay in the path of an on coming raging albertosaur. so i high tailed it out of there.

great. now i'd really urked the girl of my dreams. i knew much of what she'd said and done was just her mesozoic instincts taking over. yet in some ways i found lillians attitude really bothered me... i'd set about my life to try and combat the tyrannosaur sterotype. did i really want to spend my life with someone who embodied that very thing?

no i didn't. yet lillian was not beyond saving i decided. she'd said no to the pack, and in essence our ancient ways that they represented. if she could do that, than i was sure i could get her to come around on non-theropods...

though for the timing being i'd really ticked her off. oh man.

i wasn't going to make things any better in a second either!

i managed to track norman down fairly quickly after that. the good news about norman's kind being one of my "prey" in the olden days, was that my nose was pretty attuned to picking up his scent.

"how you holding up?" i asked my childhood friend.

"let's just say i've had better days," norman replied frankly.

"yeah the game was pretty rough," i thankful agreed. phew! he wasn't going to try and divide my loyalties... at least that's what i'd hoped.

"the game could have gone better," norman agree, but than clarified what he'd meant a moment earlier. "no, i meant having to put up with that stuck up albertosaur you think is so pretty."

"she's not that stuck up," i tried to counter. than had clarify myself. "okay she can be when she's angry. that's the only time though. honest. i've seen her nice many times."

"listen to yourself, traum," norman pleaded with me. "you're trying to defend a typical self important tyrant. everything you hate about your own kind! you seriously don't still have that silly crush on her, do you?!?"

"so what if i do?" i answered back definitely. though in my heart i wasn't sure at moment.

"traum, seriously, speaking as a friend, you can do better," norman said as sincerely as he could. the statement hurt for some reason. it really shouldn't have, yet it ran me over almost as bad as lillian's charge would have.

"what do you know? how can you be sure there is a tyrannosaurid who is better?!?" i found myself countering angrily... not that i'd wanted to snap. just with all the stress of lillian and now norman questioning my affection for the other, my own tyrannosaur temper had snapped.

norman just rolled his eyes. "what i do know traumador, is that deep down your better than all of your kind put together," he stated. "but as long as you're hung up on that carnivore throw back, you'll never live up to your potential."

i didn't say anything, i was desperately fighting off my own theropod temper tantrum...

"just look at yourself man," norman instructed me. "you're a step away from pulling a larry on me here. all because of lillian."

i still didn't say anything, i was literally biting my lips to keep from howling in anger myself. though i'm pretty sure i was throwing a pretty good death glare at him.

"seriously traum, she might be the only one of your 'kind' not to be in the pack, but she isn't that much better than them," norman concluded. "if it were me, i'd be glad to be alone, than mated to something that held me back as much as she would you. you are a one of kind tyrannosaur, my old friend. until you realize you deserve a one of a kind mate to match you, you'll never be happy."

norman started to walk off. "please think about it traumador. is she trying to impress you? or is it still like always you trying to impress her... because these days what does she have that you don't?"

once norman was out of sight, i let off my rage. for the next few minutes i was a trembling huffing mess.

than as my nerves calmed and my temper calmed i had a good think about what he'd said. you know he was right...

norman had always been good at analyzing us vivus dinosaurs, and the roles we tried to play in the modern world (despite the fact we were displaced from these roles by tens of millions of years). in some ways he was right. not just about lillian's discriminations, but how i'd always been trying to impress her.

really these days she was as homeless, displaced, and without purpose as me. only i wasn't so lonely. lillian was so busy trying to be a strong independent albertosaur, that she'd driven away all the potential allies she could have now. the only reason lillian was getting anywhere these days was because of me... i was her only friend, but she certainly wasn't my only one these days!

so the question was should i lose my crush on her, like norman suggested? or was she redeemable? could i make her see the error of her ways, and the benefits of not "being" a tyrannosaur? or was she a lost cause, no better than a member of the pack?

what do you think people of the web wide world?


oh man, my hatching day ALREADY!

as if losing the team canada's first hockey game weren't bad enough, now i've learned another annoying thing. i'm getting older!

i can't believe it is my hatching day again! it seems like just yesterday since my last! (though i'm glad a year has passed since then. that adventure was really stressful!!!)...

it feels like i get less and less done between them. (that can't be though can it?)... come to think of it, i still haven't figured out who gave me that h-day present 2 years ago that landed me here in canada!

anyways today i was reminded of my 7th hatching day by my special talent agent peter bond who had taken me for a dinner to try and stop the hockey defeat from bringing me down. "well there killer, i figured i'd treat you to, well, a treat. so that you won't always associate august the 15th with this game."

"no problem," i rationally replied, not thinking about why he listed the date. "that's my hatching day. i won't over write that with the game."

"wait, today's your hatching day?" peter asked in a panic.

"i guess it is," i realized out loud. "weird, as the game feels like it was a few... hmmm."

peter suddenly had one of his excited idea moments (which happen all the time i've noticed). "well of course i knew that!" he exclaimed. "which is of course the OTHER reason i brought you out for dinner! that and you're present!"

"present?!?" i exclaimed.

"oh yes," he said almost unconvinced. suddenly he grabbed and ripped a wooden panel off the wall. are you allowed to do that? "i just need to make a couple quick fixes..."

next thing i knew peter had a paint brush. which would have been weird from anyone else, but this was peter we were talking about!

next thing i knew he presented me with a picture of me.

i have to say, this may not be a plane ticket home, but it sure is one sweet hatching day present!

cheers peter!

fossil of the weekend #77

a lovely ammonite at the royal british columbia museum.


i have a blogroll again!

i finally got a blogroll again!

check it out here. it is desperately in need of updating.

so please bear with me as i head through my current reading list and add all the modern palaeo-blogs that have evolved since last i was compiling this list.

fossil of the weekend #76

a fossil salmon, THE modern fish of british columbia (well their not fossils these days :P). like the peanut brained fool i am, i forgot to write down the exact identity of this (or any of the other fossils i saw at the royal british columiba museum)... so that's all i can tell you.
the post on the royal british columbia museum coming soon (for real this time!)


hockey night in canada...

despite all the build up and commotion my special talent agent peter bond has been placing on the the dinosaur winter games they hadn't been a huge success thus far...

that was till today... wholly smokes!

today's event, the first round of a whole tournament, has become an instant hit. we sold out every round!

the event, canada's single obsession... ice hockey!

the event i feared more than anything has just begun here in vancouver...

Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to this special by demand recap of today's Channel 299 point 5's previous coverage of the Ice Hockey tournament here in Vancouver...

I'm Peter Bond, good evening Canada!

and I'm Gus Richards welcoming the rest of the world, that Peter just rudely neglected!

Oh right. Sorry about that!

Due to the flood of calls from people who missed our original broadcast of the event, Channel 299.5 proudly brings you this recap of today's ice hockey games!

Brought to you by Meaties, breakfast of Canines!

Breakfast of Canines? That doesn't even remotely sound like champions!

Don't question the sponsors on the air...

Today saw the beginning of the round robin tournament that will determine which prehistoric country or super-continent can claim dominance in the hockey rink.

That's right after a five game circuit only the top 4 teams will make it to the championships.

Peter there are only 5 teams, its hardly suspenseful!

Uhuh think of how devastating it will be for the one eliminated team!

Face it Peter, as the organizer, you couldn't think of anything else to do with such a small team pool.


Anyways today saw two very interesting games, with very unexpected outcomes!

Yes with that in mind let's take a look at everything that happened today...

The first match of the day was between the two overall leaders in these Dinosaur Winter Games so far, Australia and the USA.

Anyone watching the Olympics so far will know that both these teams have dominated the overall competition.

Australia in particular entered today undefeated.

Yeah stupid cheating convicts! Who knew that in the Cretaceous they were a polar continent?!?


Oh right, sorry to all our Aussie viewers. I meant to say NON cheating convicts...

*Sigh* How did I let him talk me into commentating with him again?!?

The United States have been on the Aussie's tail in every event, just narrowly coming in second at the end everytime. The question today was would this trend continue, or would the States finally find a way to come out on top?

Indeed Peter, today's initial match could have been a preview of the potential final gold medal game...

While team Australia entered seeking its third straight victory, the Americans were ready to give them a fight. Literally.

Indeed today's opening games was an interesting clash of strategies. Australia fielded a fast agile team, with Boom and Rang Leaellynasaura as their forwards. opting for their larger heavy weight Hogan the Muttaburrasaur to be goalie. The Americans on the other hand went for a much more powerful and physical offense with Dollie the Stegosaur and Bronko the Stygimoloch on the frontline, leaving Elinor Einiosaurus in net.

At first we thought that perhaps speed could be a deciding factor, as the Leaellynasaura skated circles around the Americans. However no amount of puck ballet could save Australia.

The combination of Bronko's physical play, and Dollie's offense eventually knocked the Leaellynsaura not only off the puck but their game as well.

Not to mention their feet Gus.

I think I kind of covered that Peter.

However, despite Broncho's hard headed checks, team America's greatest weapon has turned out to be Dollie's thagomizer slap shot!

Thaga-what?!? You just made that word up!

No. I looked it up in this book. That is the technical name for a Stegosaurs spiked tail. See...

*Mumble mumble* Oh so it is...

Despite Hogan Muttaburrasaur's valiant efforts, I doubt there are many goalie's who'd be able to stop a puck going 150 mph! That is a good 30 miles faster than the hardest ever recorded human shot!!!

By the beginning of the third period the score was 4-1 for the Americans. Despite overall control of the puck by the Australians for most of the game, their lack of physicality kept them from scoring. Where as every time Dollie got the puck in the Australian zone the US was guaranteed a point! Hogan was only able to stop 3 of her shots, and these were taken essentially directly at him. They looked like very painful stops too...

It was at the mid point of the third period that the game took a very unexpected turn. Stealing the puck from Dollie, the Australians looked poised for a break away, which in the second period was the source of their only goal. However Broncho surprised Rang with a particularly aggressive check to the side.

That's right we barely could believe the brutality of the hit. Here is our response at the time...

Oh boy oh boy!

Rang is down, and looks pretty injured! The ref has called a halt to play. There must be a penalty coming up to team USA...

There go the medics... Now I'm wishing I'd hired proper vets and not just some guys from my first aid course...

What the ref is signalling that was a legal hit?


Peter we're supposed to impartial.

How can that be considered a legal check though?!?

Let's watch the instant replay *watches replay* Well I guess I can see it. The hit occurred while Rang had the puck, and it was below the shoulders. Technically that was a legitimate hit by the rules of the game.

Those rules weren't meant for a boneheaded battering ram!

Than a certain event organizer should have changed the rules before letting Dinosaurs play the game...


Rang's injuries are clearly pretty bad, here as he skates off the ice.

Tell me about it, he is wearing a cone of shame!

Looks like he is not just out of this hockey match, but we're getting word he is likely out for the rest of the Winter Games.

Oh man, and he had been the big star of the games so far!

Team Australia's coach is calling for the Americans' to default this game, as her team is effectively out of the Ice Hockey Tournament.

What?!? America is refusing to forfeit the game, citing the check as perfectly legal!?!

I guess that is within their rights, but seriously?

*End Replay*

That was the unexpected end to the first match of the Ice Hockey. We see Team Australia dropping out of the Ice Hockey tournament altogether.

This injury also puts Australia's current overall lead in the Olympics in jeopardy.

America in the meantime moves on with a victory point, not that they really matter now. Every team will now be making it to the playoffs as a result.

If you'd been watching our broadcast earlier today you'd have had a big unplanned 20 minute break between games due to this outcome. In good news I was able to provide some filler entertainment! Which went something a bit like...

NO!!! I will walk out right now if I subjected to another second of you country yodelling the hits of U2 whilst trying to, unsuccessfully, juggle goslings!

What you didn't like it?

I'm not alone either, I have over two thousand emails from our new large audience demanding you never do that on air again!!!

Oh, and I just went through my ipod looking for more songs to cover...

Anyways with the first game over, there was still a second one this afternoon. This being the match between China and Canada.

Yes the long awaited debut of my team!

Peter we're on the air... why do I have to keep saying that... you can't go on about "your" team.

Right. Well then, Team Canada's coach in a moment of brilliance...


Decked out his star player in a lovely Team Canada jersey!

Here was Team Canada as they skated out on the ice for the first time!

Well I have to say that jersey is rather smart isn't it. Why isn't the rest of the team in them?

Have you seen how much a Tyrannosaur sized jersey costs?!?

I thought that was your Tyrannosaur in the jersey...

Errr, well yes, but you know what I mean! A full grown Tyrannosaur, Albertosaur, which is a Tyrannosaur but not AGHH!...

Well led by their captain Staff...

How many times have I told you today that is Tyrannosaur. Traumador THE Tyrannosaur!

That's not what his jersey says!

I tell Traum to go get his jersey embroidered with his name, and he comes back with Staff written on the back...


He said it was the only thing he could imagine ever being on the back of any of his shirts.


It's a long story...

And the number zero?

*Sadly admits* He thought it would be cheaper than a bigger number...

Well with both teams on the ice it was game on.

The game was exciting from the get go!

As of the puck dropping, Lillian Albertosaur looked to be this match's star.

That is till she was continually foiled by Lao-Gui Meng the Pinacosaur.

Quite right, Peter. The armoured Dinosaur kept the Chinese net as protected as her hard hide.

Nothing Lillian did could beat Lao-Gui either.

Leading to the natural question, where was Team Canada's other forward Staff?

Traumador THE Tyrannosaur!

Well Traumador the Staff was unable to skate in any real capacity throughout the whole match, and though occasionally getting the puck and passing it to Lillian, he had no real impact on the game. Which would lead one to ask what Team Canada's coach was thinking putting him on the ice?

Hahahahaha I imagine if you "could" ask him, he'd say he'd hoped the pressure of the game would get Traumador to grow his ice legs.

Clearly this "common" coaching strategy didn't pay off, for some reason...

Despite Lillian's valiant efforts to score, and her overwhelming control of the puck for most of the match, the Chinese naturally had breaks in the Canadian onslaught. Especially given their effective one Dinosaur advantage.

It was in one of these breaks that Norman A. Centrosaur found himself beat by Hua Yingwu the Psittacosaurus.

It should be pointed out that poor Norman actually put up a good game himself. However with the ongoing Chinese power play he just couldn't stop all the cross ice plays.

Hopefully Team Canada performs better next game.

I would certainly hope so. A three to nothing defeat is not a great start. Even if Lao-Gui Meng is by far the best Saurian goalie we've seen thus far.

So your thoughts after the day Gus?

I think Team America and China will be battling for the gold. We'll have to see if the physical play of the American's can beat the armoured defenses of Lao-Gui Meng's goal tending.

How do you think Team Gondwana will effect things as they enter the tournament next round?

While it is true that we haven't seen Gondwana due to their bye in this round, but I can't help but think that the domination we saw on both the parts of the US and China today will carry on. Though who knows, maybe the giants of the South may topple our first round expectations.

Finally Team Canada's chances?

Unless Staff...


Unless, Traumador, somehow miraculously learns to skate in the next couple days i think they're dead in the water. No matter how good Lillian or Norman play.

Oh man...

Peter don't even start!

So stay tuned hockey fans, as this is but only the first round of the 2010 Dinosaur Winter Games Hockey Tournament... uh that's copyrighted by the way.

*Sigh* Peter that comes up in the credits, you don't need to tell people that!

I just wanted to make sure...

I am SO done for the night!

backyard dinosaur #6 a quick tale...

today's backyard dinosaurs started off as a random bird snap shoot, and turned into an epic tale of life and death and more life...

i spotted a mother mallard duck and her cute little chicks, and was trying to snap some nice shots of them. however mommy duckie did not want me anywhere near her babies. fair enough i guess, but this would lead to the upcoming drama... for despite all the other stuff around us, momma duck decided i was the scariest thing around even though i was just taking pictures from a distance (i love my new 20x zoom camera!), so she missed the greatest threat to her ducklings...

a minute or two after i started following the ducks, a magpie showed up, and started hovering VERY close by mamma duck and her ducklings. the magpie (i think a female as well... my reasoning for this will be clear at the end) was acting very predatory. i would know too... if you don't believe me just look at its stance in my picture here, not too hard to imagine a raptor looking the same way before a kill!
moments after i took this picture (seriously a second at most!) the magpie pounced one of the ducklings, grabbed it by the neck and flew off with it. mamma sort of tried to defend it, but because she'd been so busy worrying about me, she was in the wrong spot and couldn't really do anything.
my first reaction was shock. then i felt sorry for the poor duckling, and by extension its mother who was now clearly very stressed and confused.
i quickly came to see the magpies as evil, and watching around me the villains were everywhere. the commotion caused by the ducknapping had empowered every magpie in the area, and half a dozen of them were now making plays to try and grab their own baby birds.
less than a minute after the duckling incident i snapped this picture of a canadian goose warding off a probing magpie (the gooslings can be seen just behind the goose). the blighters were everywhere.

i was beginning to really side with all the poor water fowl, when wandering around the bend of the pond i encountered the cause of the magpies actions...
the magpies had their own chicks. they to were mammas and their offspring themselves needed food. despite the ducklings and gooslings not being nicest source, they were providing for these baby magpies...

i suddenly had a new respect for the event i had witnessed. there was no good guys or bad guys. the duck wasn't necessarily a victim. both sides had needs and wants, and though these may infringe on the others, they were both entitled to try and meet them.

so despite the poor duckling giving up its life, its death had allowed the next generation of magpies to carry on (at least for now...).

the cycle of life, i think one might call this.


another of my friends famous!

the royal tyrrell museum just put up on their youtube channel a video all about my friend tony!

it's all about a day in his life at the museum, though i don't think it really conveys his job well (having done a similar one myself for a time), but it does really bring tony across!

i think they should have done a video about an untypical day in his life... like this one or this one... in those cases he really was a superhero of sorts!

oh well. it is good to see the museum recognizing some of its top talent, and awesome to see tony doing what he does best (well at least sort of see it)...

[also i'm back... so comments will be immediately moderated and i can talk to people]


fossil of the weekend #75

yes much like everything else on this blog, i've been negligent on my fossils of the weekend (again).

as a sort of reboot, i offer a different take on my first ever fossil of the weekend...

a much better lite picture of my aunt black beauty, who prowls the "lords of the land" hall at the royal tyrrell museum.