Monday, April 4, 2011

Dinosaur Laffs on Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

Two episodes ago, the saber-toothed therapsid Tiarajudens made an appearance on the popular science and skepticism podcast The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe. During the "Science or Fiction" game, in which one panelist tries to stump the others by mixing one fake story in with a group of strange-but-true reprorts, Rebecca Watson chose to use the bizarre, decidedly non-dinosaurian anomalodont as one of her stories. Unfortunately, the media reportage she had read was less-than-accurate, misidentifying Tiarajudens as a dinosaur.

The most recent episode corrects this little taxonomic snafu. Watson cops to the mistake up front and regrets that had she realized what was wrong with the reporting, she would have had the perfect item to stump the panelists. Host Dr. Steven Novella takes it one delightful step further by playing a game of "Is It a Dinosaur?" Starting on the easy side with Tyrannosaurus rex and pterodactyls, Dr. Novella pitches them a series of curveballs. No one gets Iguanodon or Diplodocus, but Bob Novella does pretty well by getting Archaeopteryx, Dimetrodon, and Ambulocetus correct. Tune in to hear the rest of the game, as well as coverage of the Kachina Bridge "sauropod" petroglyph and a great interview with archaeologist Kenny Feder about the new evidence for pre-Clovis habitation of North America.

2 comments:

  1. Reminds me of the time I was sketching in Harvard and overheard the following spoken by a dad to his very young son:

    "Wow, look at the dinosaur!"

    We were all looking at a *horse* skeleton...

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  2. I was thinking that they should throw a (modern) bird in there, and they did! XD

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