Greetings!

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!

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 http://www.geosociety.org/science/timescale/timescl.pdf.

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.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wildlife Photography

One of the things I love to do most is get out into nature.  And since you can't (and shouldn't, really) always bring nature home with you, I love to take pictures.  Plants, critters, landscapes; they're all waiting to get captured by the lens.  And with the advent of digital photography, huge memory cards, and the ability to auto-focus, I find myself with lots of photos of wild things and wild places.  They usually get dumped in a folder on my computer, and that's about it.  But recently, I grabbed a few Recoup (like Groupon, but supporting a cause) vouchers for hardcover photo books from a company called PhotoBin, and spent a pretty fair amount of time looking for some of the better shots to print in coffee table style books.  They came out pretty well, and I'm looking forward to sharing them with guests as they drop by the house.  But now that I've gotten some of my photos sorted, I figure the Interwebs would be a pretty good place to share them as well.

A male osprey (Pandion haliaetus carolinensis) faces off against a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).  More of this story to come.