Thursday, September 25, 2014

Awesome Dead Shit: Glyptodonts

Amy saw an armadillo last week so she is now inspired to write about some of their extinct cousins, the glyptodonts.
Awesome art by NachoSammich

Glyptodonts were crazy cool mammals that lived during the Pleistocene Epoch from 2.58 Ma until they went extinct about 10,000 years ago, possibly from climate, disease, or from people over-hunting them and using their shells as emergency shelters. Talk about a fulfilling meal! They lived in South America and migrated as far north as Arizona and Texas during the Great American Biotic Interchange about 2 million years ago along with some other South American fauna, like our old friend Thylacoleo. This biotic interchange was the first time South America had come into contact with another continent since the breakup of Gondwana back in the Mesozoic, meaning that the South American fauna had ~63 million un-interrupted years of evolution all to themselves, which is why those endemic species are so flippin' WEIRD. Glyptodonts are no exception to that rule and belong in the superorder Xenarthra along with sloths, anteaters, and armadillos, which of course means they are phylogenetically awesome.

Monday, September 8, 2014

An Ode to the Paleo Road

Recently Amy and her boyfriend Kelly completed a 32-day road trip from Juneau, Alaska to Austin, Texas. Considering they both suffer from Paleo/Geo Nerd Syndrome they made many stops along the way to admire the rocks of geological and/or historical significance, as well as a few stops to visit their nerdy friends like Meaghan! To recount this thrilling 7,000 mile opportunity to discuss regional tectonics and ancient seas we're bringing back our favorite form of poetry: Limericks.