November 25, 2017
While commonly known as Pterodactyls, winged reptiles from the age of the dinosaurs are actually called pterosaurs. So far, scientists have been able to identify at least 130 different kinds of pterosaurs. The pterosaurs did live among dinosaurs, and many people do consider them to belong to the same species. However, these were not dinosaurs as such.
Pterosaurs were first discovered in 1784 by Cosimo Collini, an Italian scientist. In 1801, Georges Cuvier put forth the theory that these animals could fly, and the term Pterodactyl was coined for the first pterosaur that was discovered.
These animals were originally thought to have been cold-blooded. This meant that they were more likely to have glided their way across the world rather than flying actively. Later, it was discovered that some varieties actually had furry coats which suggested that they were actually warm-blooded.
In a study in 2010, it was revealed that these animals had very powerful muscles for flying. These muscles also allowed to walk on all fours, unlike smaller birds. They propelled themselves into the air with the use of these muscles and then stayed airborne, reaching speeds over 100 kilometers per hour.
While the physical characteristics of different animals of this kind varied, pterosaurs usually had long necks. Some of them had pelican-like pouches in their necks as well. Their skulls were long and their teeth were like sharp needles.
One of the most characteristic features of a Pterosaur’s anatomy was the crest on their head. However, there were many different kinds of crests amongst the different species. Some had bony crests that were big and strong while others had very fleshy ones. Some even had crests consisting of membranous structures. The purpose of these crests is still unknown, but scientists have proposed that they may have been used for regulating heat or to help with maneuvering during flight.
Pterosaurs were really interesting animals that went extinct along with the dinosaurs a long time ago. Learning about these animals, discovering new things about them is very important for our understanding of the word and the nature that existed before us. While we still don’t know everything there is to know about these magnificent animals, there is a lot being uncovered slowly but surely.
September 10, 2017
What’s better for a photographer who loves history to get their hands on some prehistoric fossils? Fossils are amazing. They hold within themselves stories that are countless years old. They tell us about things we could never otherwise even imagine. So when it comes to taking photos of these prehistoric fossils, it needs to be done right.
You can’t just place a fossil somewhere random and start taking photos. You have to be careful with it. Bring it to your studio, create a black background, and then shoot. A black backdrop is important because it will not affect the actual colors or tones of the fossil and will let the details come through in the photos.
A lot of photographer forget to take care of their camera’s white balance when shooting something like a fossil. In order to record the fossil as close to its actual form as possible, your white balance needs to be very precise. If you don’t know how to set the white balance on your camera, just shoot in RAW (which you should be doing anyway) so you can alter this later on.
Many fossils have colors and minerals in them. A soft flash will go a long way in bringing these details out. Be careful not to use flash directly on the fossil as this will likely wash out all details and ruin the colors. Use a diffuser and make the light softer and experiment with what works best. These kind of little tweaks will help you a lot in taking realistic photos prehistoric fossils.
July 28, 2017
If you’ve ever had the chance to visit some of the best dinosaur museums in the U.S., chances are you’ve seen a huge skeletal dinosaur roaring in the central lobby. These massive animals once probably once thrived right where these museums stand today. Ironic right? Anyway, have you ever wondered why and how these animals, and so many others from the prehistoric era, got so big? Let’s find out.
(By the way, if you ever want to photograph these majestic skeletons, you can use the HDR functionality of your camera to produce some really detailed images, or visit this website to learn how to make HDR photos manually.)
Generally Accepted Explanations
Not before long, there were two simple explanations that hoped to answer this question. One of these stated that the larger sizes of the animals were due to environmental factors, like a higher rate of oxygen in the air and larger land masses. Another widely accepted theory, known as Cope’s Rule, stated that these animals had evolved such long periods of time that they grew bigger and bigger. This Rule basically said that animals keep growing larger the longer they evolve. So when the dinosaurs perished, newer and smaller animals took their place.
Other theories suggested that the herbivorous dinosaurs evolved to be so large because the flora of that time was extremely tough, so a larger frame was needed to involve more bacteria in the longer digestive tract to break down the food. Bulky bodies would also have been an asset to the dinosaurs in colder climates, so that can also be a reason for their larger sizes.
Recent Theories Differ
After recent studies of various fossils, it has been found that dinosaurs of different sizes coexisted, and many species actually grew smaller as time passed, not larger. After these evidences put the previous theories in doubt, scientists came up with a newer idea that related to the bone and lung structure of the large prehistoric animals.
This new theory suggest that large animals, like the Supersaurus that might have weighed as much as 45 tons, had bones with pockets of air inside them. These air pockets helped them from collapsing as their sizes grew over time. Another factor that contributed to their larger sizes was the efficiency of their respiratory systems.
Our Own Massive Animal
However, when we take into account the might blue whale, it puts even the Supersaurus to shame. The whale is between 89 and 98 feet long, weighing around 150 tons. It’s the largest animal that has ever lived on this planet, which is a very clear indication of the fact that such massive animals were not only confined to the prehistoric times. The whale can get so heavy without collapsing because of the buoyancy that helps it in the water.
No one really knows why exactly the prehistoric animals got so big, but whatever the answer is, you cannot help but get awestruck by the presence and size of these animals every time you visit a museum that showcases their history and anatomy.