Cryptozoology, BioForteana, and Remarkable Species
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Another Jurassic Park Trilogy
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
Buy a Tyrannosaur
Monday, March 23, 2009
Ivan T. Sanderson's Cryptofiction
Long before Jurassic Park, cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson had his own vision of a world where dinosaurs and other fossil saurians came back to battle with mankind. In a short novella (or better, a long short story), Report on the Status Quo, published as a stand-alone book, Sanderson (under his fiction-writing pseudonym, Terence Roberts) offers an alternate history of a post-WWIII world that finds itself under siege by monstrous creatures from the past.
Sanderson's fiction is not well-known; he wrote a trio of military espionage stories set in the Caribbean and a children's adventure book or two, but despite his wide interest in both cryptozoology and Fortean subjects, this appears to be his only foray into speculative fiction. (I'd be interested in hearing about any that I've not seen.)
Report on the Status Quo is one story (with full illustrations by Sanderson) now collected in my latest cryptofiction-oriented anthology: Sauria Monstra: Dinosaurs, Pterosaurs, and Other Fossil Saurians in Classic Science Fiction and Fantasy. Further details, contents, and more samples of Sanderson's accompanying sketches at Coachwhip Publications.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Psittacosaurus "Feathers" Debate
A researcher has more to say in the "feathered dinosaur" fray, arguing for the collagen side. From the news:
"Prof Theagarten Lingham-Soliar at the University of KwaZulu Natal, claims today to have 'refuted' a suggestion that primitive bristle-like structures that adorn the tail of Psittacosaurus are prototype feathers, as claimed by those seeking evidence to back the widely accepted idea of avian origins." ...
"But Prof Lingham-Soliar, who attacks this interpretation of the Chinese fossil in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences, tells The Daily Telegraph: 'Scientists must really now choose - belief in the nebulous idea of protofeathers or the reality of collagen, the dominant protein in vertebrates.
"'I am convinced from the nonsense spouted by many of the people who denounce collagen in favour of protofeathers that they have never actually seen collagen in its natural or decomposing state.'
"He adds that, thanks to a quirk of preservation, the fossil provides a 'remarkable, unprecedented' insight into the structure of dinosaur skin.
"'What is highly significant in the present study are the masses of collagen fibres found - over 40 dermal layers seen for the first time in a fossil animal, which shows how vitally important collagen was in providing support and protection of the enclosed body mass of dinosaurs per se.'"