Tuesday, 27 January 2009

In Search of Ancient BC - Volume I

In Search of Ancient BC - Volume I by Barbara Huck, Heidi Henderson & Philip Torrens

"Once, parts of British Columbia lay on the far side of the Pacific. Once, its ancient seacoasts were inhabited by creatures on the threshold of evolution. Once it was populated by some of Canada's first peoples.

Today, B.C. is one of the world's most geographically varied places. But clues to its ancient past are everywhere, in its mountains and arid valleys, along its lakeshores and seacoasts.

For the first time, the geological, paleontological and archaeological wonders of southern B.C. are gathered in one place. With hundreds of color photographs, maps and drawings, In Search of Ancient British Columbia presents an accessible, route-oriented approach for today's time travellers, creating an indispensable guide to the forces that have shaped the spirit of the land."

Heartland Books is a Winnipeg-based publisher of history, heritage, travel and non-fiction. I look forward to Volume II covering the northern regions. - review of In Search of Ancient BC

Wednesday, 21 January 2009


Paddling in the rain, I notice bits of mica in the water, playing in the light and the rock change here to greywacke, argillite, phyllite and schist. Past Lanezi, we continue onto Sandy Lake, where old growth cedars line the south-facing slopes to our left and grey limestone, shale and dolostone line the shore. Mottled in with the rock, we sneak up on very convincing stumps posing as large mammals. Picking up the Cariboo River again, we follow it as it flows into Babcock Lake, an area edged with Lower Cambrian limestone, shale and argillite. At the time these rocks were laid down, the Earth was seeing our earliest relatives, the first chordates entering the geologic scene.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Friday, 9 January 2009

Thursday, 1 January 2009


Pterosaurs took flight using all fours, a discovery that flies in the face of previous research on the ancient reptiles, a new study says.

Two of the giant creatures' "legs" were extremely strong wings, which when folded, created "knuckles" that allowed the animals to walk and jump (above left, the pterosaur known as Hatzegotpteryx in an artist's rendering).

The way a bird lifts off—using two legs—doesn't make sense for pterosaurs, which would have had to heave their 500 pounds (227 kilograms) airborne using only their hind legs, the study says.

Instead, the "remarkably strong" animals apparently made a leaping launch in less than a second from flat ground, with no aid from wind or ledges.

"Most people are familiar with images of pterosaurs as very skinny, almost emaciated-looking things—basically a hang glider with teeth," study author Michael B. Habib, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told National Geographic News. "They're actually built a lot more like Arnold Schwarzenegger than Urkel."

Habib compared bone strength in 20 species of modern birds and 3 species of pterosaurs to develop the new model, announced yesterday by the journal Zitteliana.

The finding is also consistent with the idea that bigger animals require more overall brawn to power their movement, Habib added.

"We put V8 engines in our biggest, heaviest cars, not V4s, like the one in my Camry."

— Story sourced from National Geographic, Christine Dell'Amore