Sunday, April 16, 2006

Dinos On Radio Netherlands

Photo of Chasmosaurus irvinensis © M. Ryan. I snapped this earlier today in front of the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Radio Netherlands recently did a piece on “Palaeontology of the Third Millennium”.
Palaeontology has come a long way since the ancient Greeks discovered the fossilised skeletons of huge beasts and interpreted them in a way they could understand.

These new methods weren't invented by the palaeontologists themselves. Usually, they are 'borrowed' from other sciences. Chemistry is an important tool, as is molecular biology or anatomy; even virtual reality might help. No longer are fossilized bones stored carefully in glass cases, never to be touched again. Instead, they are cut in slices, ground into powder, dissolved in acids, analysed in mass spectrometers, and scrutinized at the molecular level under an electron microscope.
You can listen to the broadcast HERE.