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You may be wondering what’s so special about Jupiter’s moon Europa.  NASA is very interested in this moon as a potentially habitable part of our solar system.  NASA’s second look of the returned data from the Saturn/Cassini mission shows massive water vapor plumes that may indicate a massive ocean under the icy surface of Europa.  A soft landing of a tiny submarine (a tool already in development) could help NASA search the oceans of Europa and search for life in what many scientists are calling the best chance for harboring life beyond Earth.

Check out some additional amazing facts about Europa in this infographic provided by space.com.

jupiter moon europa

Jurassic World Dinosaur Facts Top Dinosaur Myths

Thanks to movies like Land Before Time and Jurassic Park (and its most recent installment, Jurassic World), Dinosaurs have been front and center in the public eye and are being exposed to a wider audience than ever before. Hollywood’s portrayal of dinosaurs has consequently lead to a host of misconceptions.  There is much debate (even among paleontologists) regarding even basic Dinosaur facts partially due to the fact that what remains are fossils that are millions of years old. This puts several limitations on how much accurate information we can gather. Still, there is also quite a bit that we are grounded in thanks to evidence and study. Many dinosaur facts have been rejected by the scientific community and yet have managed to live on due to public perception.

Brontosaurus Two-Piece Zip Pillow Covers 18" x 18" by Geo Evolution

Brontosaurus Two-Piece Zip Pillow Covers 18″ x 18″ by Geo Evolution

Brontosaurus is a favorite among many, but he actually has a bad case of mistaken identity. During the early period of paleontology, there was a bitter war between two paleontologists. O.C Marsh from Yale and Edward Drinker Cope of Philadelphia were known to have a mutual distaste for each other. They competed ruthlessly to outdo each other in discovering and naming Dinosaurs into publication. There are even rumors that they would encourage their fossil collectors to smash dinosaur skeletons that remained in the ground just so the other could not claim them.

In 1877, Marsh discovered the partial remains of a long-necked, long tailed dinosaur he named Apatosaurus. The skeleton was missing a skull, and so Marsh published a reconstruction of Apatosaurus using the head of another dinosaur to complete the skeleton. He thought he discovered another dinosaur two years later when his fossil collectors brought him a more complete skeleton of Apatosaurus, dubbing this one Brontosaurus. This mistake was spotted by scientists in 1903 but still Brontosaurus lived on.

Apatosaurus was even displayed with the wrong skull in 1932 and remained there for nearly 50 years! It wasn’t until two Carnegie researchers revisited the controversy in the 1970s that Brontosaurus finally met its end. Brontosaurus still managed to be immortalized by movies and popular media after this discovery was made. The reason? Presumably Brontosaurus is just a better name. According to Matt Lamanna, curator at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, “Brontosaurus means ‘thunder lizard,'” he says. “It’s a big, evocative name, whereas Apatosaurus means ‘deceptive lizard.’ It’s quite a bit more boring.”

Teal Dinosaur Modern Wall Art

Minimalist Dinosaur Wall Art Teal T-Rex Poster

Tyrannosaurus Rex and Brontosaurus are often the most recognized dinosaurs and it is believed they existed at the same time. In reality, there is over an 80 million year gap between the two Dinosaurs. T-Rex, the unofficial king of Dinosaurs, ruled around 66 million years ago. Brontosaurus, or rather Apatosaurus, roamed North America about 150 million years ago. There is less of a gap between us and the almighty T-Rex. That means we would have sooner been prey for a T-Rex than good old Brontosaurus!

A dinosaur that did co-exist during Apatosaurus’ reign is Stegosaurus. Stegosaurus lived 150 to 145 million years ago during the late Jurassic period. Stegosaurus often gets a bad rap about having a brain the size of a walnut. In reality, his brain was actually twice the size of a walnut. While this may not seem much better, it considerably increases his intelligence by 100%! Kenneth Carpenter, director of the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum in Utah, comments that a Stegosaurus brain is more aptly compared to “the size and shape of a bent hot dog.” Considering Stegosaurus was approximately 30 ft long and 14 ft tall, though, this still doesn’t amount to much brain power, unfortunately.

Dinosaurs are often depicted with limp, drooping tails when in fact researchers have restored dinosaurs with spines held parallel to the ground. This means that their tails would actually be lifted above the ground and also parallel to the ground. Osteology has shown support structures such as strengthening ossified tendons that contradict the limp perception of dinosaur tails. Another damning piece of evidence is a lack of tail drags in track ways that would be expected from dinosaurs that dragged their tails. This leads us back to Tyrannosaurus Rex, and his popular depiction as standing straight up.

T-Rex facts

Tyrannosaurus Rex Claw Replica | Small

Standing upright could have possibly weakened and could have even dislocated several joints in the hips or skull, thanks to the sheer weight of the dinosaur. In reality, a T-Rex stood much more parallel to the ground, making his arms useful to hold on to prey. His relatively small arms are also not as fragile as they appear. It is believed T-Rex would have been able to carry in excess of 450 pounds – per arm!  Each arm also had deadly claws that you did not want to be on the other end of.  Unusually strong for such a small limb, indeed.

Many of these misconceptions live on to this day because what we know of dinosaurs is largely taught to us by entertainment outlets.  Movies like Jurassic World bring back to life creatures that existed millions and millions of years ago.  They are meant to be exhilarating and captivating, and at the forefront truly entertainment.  Creative executive decisions were made and are now immortalized for mass human consumption.  Despite inaccuracies in their depictions, however, Dinosaurs undoubtedly remain one of the most fascinating groups of creatures from planet Earth.

For more information on the extinction of Dinosaurs, head over here.

faceted wildebeest skull wallpaper 2560X1440

Free High Resolution Desktop Wallpapers

Download these free high resolution desktop wallpapers designed by the Geo Evolution staff exclusively for you! Each of these wallpapers are high quality and created with a natural history feel in mind.  This set includes the Agate Arrowhead/American Indian Wallpaper, the whimsical Faceted Gemstone Wallpaper, and the stylized Faceted Wildebeest Wallpaper.  To use a wallpaper simply click on the image and save, then right click and select ‘set as desktop background.’

Check back often for more free high resolution desktop wallpapers and other freebies!

agate arrowhead wallpaper 2560X1440

Agate Arrowhead/American Indian Wallpaper

faceted gems wallpaper 2560X1440

Faceted Gemstone Wallpaper

faceted wildebeest skull wallpaper 2560X1440

Faceted Wildebeest Skull Wallpaper

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Shop all Fossils & Bones HERE.

Hoplophoneous Replica SkullIf you are looking for real or replica skulls, fossils or bones, we have an amazing selection for you to choose from.  From replica Tyrannosaurus Rex skulls to genuine gorgeous Ammonite fossils, we have something for everyone. Some of our favorites include the Saber Tooth Tiger Replica Skull and the Polished Goniatite Ammonite Fossils.

For some people, fossils are a way to connect to the natural world.  There is something so awesome about holding a genuine piece of natural history in your hand.  Trilobites are one of the most collected types of fossils and can usually be found at reasonable prices.  Trilobites (and Ammonites) make a great gift for a child who is interested in science and the natural world.

We are also very proud to offer some of the highest quality contemporary and prehistoric skull and fossil replicas.  Our Saber Tooth Tiger Replica Skulls and our Tyrannosaurus Rex Replica Skulls are near museum quality and hand crafted by skilled artists.  They make a stunning show piece for an office or even a bedroom.  They are crafted with the utmost attention to detail and are sure to draw attention.

We offer a nice mix of affordable and more expensive fossils and bones that are a must in any collection.  Whether you are just starting a fossil collection or are a seasoned pro, we have something for everyone.  We are constantly adding to our offering of fossils and bones so check back often!  If you are looking for a fossil or bone that we do not currently offer please message us and we may be able to help you locate it.

 

Shop all Fossils & Bones HERE.

Shop all Gems & Minerals HERE.

Natural Brazilian Agate SliceGeo Evolution sells a wide variety of gems and minerals including rough, tumbled and carved stones.  Our gems and minerals can be used for a number of purposes including metaphysical, scientific study, jewelry making, artwork or display.

Don’t forget to check out our Carved Skull section and check out the detailed craftsmanship that goes into each amazing piece.

A customer favorite and by far our best selling items are our 30+ varieties of Carved Stone Hearts.  They make excellent gifts or palm stones.  Or buy a few and put them in a jar or decorative vase for a unique piece of art.

Another one of our best sellers are our “break your own geode” which is a fun and educational activity for kids (but adults love them too!).  Crack open one of these geodes to reveal the gorgeous crystals inside!  Check back often for great new items!

Shop all Gems & Minerals HERE.