Welcome to Superoceras, a blog about science and natural history, slightly biased towards paleontology and zoology, but inclusive of all sciences. Started in October of 2009, my goal is to communicate scientific knowledge (and the occasional piece of nonsense) in an informative and entertaining manner. Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, concerns, or criticism at superoceras(at)gmail(dot)com, and follow me on Twitter @Superoceras for all that and more in 140 characters or less!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Survival or Extinction?

"Extinction is the rule.  Survival is the exception." 
Carl Sagan, The Varieties of Scientific Experience

I am ashamed to say that it's been over a year since I've posted to this blog.  That's pitiful, and I'm ready to do something about it.  For a while, I wasn't sure what that something was.  Maybe I'm still not. But Superoceras will be undergoing some changes in the next few months, and as I get some content created and lined up, I look forward to sharing it with anyone who is still out there reading this. So much is happening right now in the world of science and natural history, it'd be silly to stay out of the conversation. 

In the meantime, there are a number of great bloggers out there who have kept that conversation going, and I encourage you to check out the links to the right and see the amazing things they are doing.  I'll be back with you all shortly.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Deep Time

Another semester has started, which means back to the books for me.  But three weeks in, I'm pretty excited about the course I'm taking, the material I'll be learning, and the discussions I'll be a part of with my class and professor.  Last week we talked a little about deep time (in relation to some other topics I'm going to be covering in greater detail soon), and I realized how difficult of a concept it can be to wrap your head around, even for someone like myself who spends a great deal of time thinking about it.  I know the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years old, but what does it mean when we all live in a timescale of years, hours, or even minutes? When most people think about time, this is probably not what comes to mind.
The GSA Geologic Time Scale, not actually to scale, from

All those numbers and colors can be intimidating, so I find it's helpful to try and explain deep time to people in a way they can relate to.  Some use a 12 or 24 hour clock as an analogy.  Others use a calendar year.  I swear one time in ELT we used a role of receipt paper.  But my favorite analogy is one I always have on hand...

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Birds Over the Bay

A nesting pair of osprey,  reunited after separating for the winter and living it up down ol' South America way.
It's no secret that I love the Chesapeake Bay.  And while nothing beats getting out on the water, sometimes there are a lot of exciting things happening right above it as well.  Back in March while on an Alternative Break trip with the University of Maryland, I was lucky enough to catch a brief encounter that took place over Parrish Creek in Shady Side, Maryland.  The resident osprey (Pandion haliaetus) pair had returned from their winer roost, and taken up in their regular nesting platform. Lucky for me, they weren't the only raptors around that day.