Mar 22nd 2018 by matthewkeys • 13 Questions • 76 Points
I am part of an international team that studies Archaeopteryx with microtomography using synchrotron light. Archaeopteryx is a feathered dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of Bavaria in Germany. We just found out that the cross cuts of its wing bones look remarkably like those of modern birds and interpreted this as evidence for active flight. However, we also recalled that the skeleton of Archaeopteryx was not equipped with the advanced flight adaptations that all present-day flying birds share. Furthermore, the recent years have uncovered evidence for various previously unrecognised aerial strategies that were adopted by early bird-like dinosaurs. This led us to the conclusion that Archaeopteryx, which remains among the oldest of them, must have represented one of many such evolutionary experiments of dinosaurian flight that ultimately went extinct, leaving only the flight of living birds today. Tomography in general - and synchrotron microtomography in particular - continues to unlock new possibilities for non-destructive and three-dimensional visualisation of important fossils. This promises much for the future of studying the past!
EDIT: Thank you all very much for having joined me here to talk about Archaeopteryx! I will have to return to finishing my preparations for my defence later this week but hope to have sufficiently addressed your interesting questions!
Been following your work since the Aurora theater shooting in 2012. Must say that my Twitter feed has been really quite for the last 2 years so I'm certainly glad you're back.
My question: What are your plans for the future? Will you continue with your freelance work in the social media world or do you see yourself working back at a big company like you did before with Reuters?
Hi Dennis, I also like bones! I practice orthopedic surgery - many patients suffer degenerative conditions around their joints, but they differ in weight bearing and non-weight bearing joints (ie- knee vs. shoulder). Both get arthritis, but for different reasons. When deciding if a particular species could fly, do you look for degenerative bony sequela related to the stresses of attempted/achieved flight?
Thanks for the compliment! I’m glad to be back too.
You’ll probably remember how tenacious my social media activity was years ago. I plan on being present, but I don’t plan on throwing myself into it as much as I did before. Being online constantly was good for my audience, but bad for my health. I’m more interested in finding a balance between the two now, and that means unplugging when I can.
I’ve already made a personal policy of not going on social media during the weekends. Obviously, that policy comes with some degree of flexibility depending on what’s happening in the world, but it’s one I’m not going to break often if I can help it.
There’s a lot of people who move fast on social media these days, but instant reaction is not always good when it comes to really understanding what’s going on. Slowing down will be better for me and for my audience. It means delivering better coverage to followers by thinking critically about what’s going on and looking at stories with more depth.
Hello fellow bone enthusiast! Limb bones evolve to cope with the stresses and demands they are subjected to and can even remodel themselves to a certain degree during life, depending on how they are used. We did not find signs of degeneration but really aimed at interpreting these evolutionary and adaptive modifications in comparison with understood archosaurs to explain what they signify.
was prison like Orange Is The New Black?
ever hang with the Rolling Stones or throw a TV out a hotel window?
isn't it kind of uncool to share the password to your employer's computer in a hacker forum?
Prison was not like Orange is the New Black. For one, there was a significant deficit of female inmates.
No, I did not hang out with The Rolling Stones (context to this question: my great uncle was the sax player for the band).
It is completely uncool, and that’s why I’ve never done it. As I said earlier, the full story hasn’t come out, but it will soon.