Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dinosaurs in Slate

You don't get too many dinosaur stories in the webzine Slate, but it happened on Friday, in an entry of the Explainer column titled "Will we ever run out of dinosaur bones?" The answer in part:
Since humans started searching for dinosaur bones in 1824, it's estimated that we've found remnants from 29 percent of these types, mostly in the last 20 years (a jump largely attributable to increased manpower and discoveries in Argentina and China). If we keep at the current pace of new discovery, it's likely that we'll hit something like "peak dinosaur," with 50 percent of all dinosaur genera discovered, by 2037. Within the next 100 to 140 years, we will have found 90 percent.
I didn't find much in the piece that seemed wrong to my layman's eyes, though I think it's a little weird to say that "paleontologists are always stumbling across new skeletal remains." From what I've read, they usually pick promising or proven sites for digs, and it's usually a rancher or hiker or other everyday bloke who "stumbles" across a bone.

Bad joke time! With a name like Slate, you think they'd have a lot more paleo-content.

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