Have I accumulated enough taxonomy-related links for another roundup? Am I too exhausted/lazy from field work to do any proper blogging? Yes and yes.
First, and most importantly, the NCSU Insect Museum has announced the winners of its awesome annual Hexapod Haiku contest. My favourite among the runners-up:
all the insects
in the other world
A short collection of goofy scientific names. I don’t understand why so few people want to do taxonomy. Think of the power you’d have, naming tiny primitive insects after Tolkien characters!
Random, related thought: describing a new species is like developing a DnD character. Except that you’ve lost your set of dice and your Player’s Handbook. (Actually, I think someone’s already indirectly made this parallel, viz. the Phylo, formerly Phylomon, card game.)
I’ve saved the best for last. This list of dinosaurs that “aren’t what they were” is frakking great. When I was just starting to be obsessed with dinosaurs, the idea that they were warm-blooded and related to birds was just becoming widely accepted. My childhood collection of dinosaur books was thus a mixture of those with illustrations of plodding stupid heavy-tailed brutes and those with lean and nimble, even graceful, beasts. But by the time I was in high school, things had changed even more: people had found fossil feathers. A lot of them. Now virtually every theropod (the predatory dinosaurs from which birds evolved), and even many non-theropods, is illustrated with at least a proto-feathery covering. The quill-like things on Psittacosaurus and Triceratops are pretty wicked. (A funny thing to note is that the Jurassic Park movies have always tended to be ahead of the mainstream idea of dinosaurs, first with the warm-bloodedness, then with the feathers and badass Spinosaurus.)
Okay, one more link, because the last one reminded me of it: T. rex trying, my favourite thing on the internet these days.