Archive for dinosaur

Just for fun — dinosaurs are the American Thanksgiving meal …

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 24, 2011 by Dr. Matt Bonnan

No podcast for this — just a quick bit of fun:

  1. Birds are dinosaur descendants, so today on U.S. Thanksgiving you are consuming a derived dinosaur called a turkey.  So, we know that at least some dinosaurs were delicious.
  2. Because birds inherited a relatively inflexible back from their dinosaurian ancestors, bird back meat is usually not very well-developed, so you baby-back bird ribs tend not to be on the menu.
  3. The most delicious part of your turkey tends to be pectoralis muscles which pull down the wings and the supracoracoideus muscle that pulls up the wing — both on the chest.  When you cut into your Thanksgiving bird, you can see the difference in these muscles: the pectoralis is the big one on the outside, and you can see the supracoracoideus as the triangular wedge separated from the large muscle mass inside.
  4. Happy derived dinosaur eating!

P.S. Can you imagine how delicious a giant sauropod feast would be?

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Episode 7: Hands Down, or, Why Velociraptor Could Not Open Doors

Posted in Individual Podcasts and Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2011 by Dr. Matt Bonnan

This podcast was chosen by popular demand by the followers of this blog.  Thanks for your continued interest in Along the Backbone.

The ability to open doors depends on two things: 1) being able to grip the door handle and 2) being able to rotate the hand so that the door handle turns.  Could a hungry Velociraptor turn a door handle to get at you, the delectable human in hiding?

Podcast Teaser:  In the science fiction story Jurassic Park, the predatory dinosaurs known as Velociraptor are able to use their hands and arms to open doors behind which delectable people hide.  My students often ask me if this could actually happen, and more generally, how much I liked Jurassic Park.  My responses are, “no,” and “it was good science fiction!”

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