|In your mind, superimpose that spine-tingling T-Rex roar from Jurassic Park.|
I have lots of interests, but a good way to figure out what some of them are would be to grab a small boy and ask him what he finds interesting: space is a surefire hit, but so are dinosaurs, and that's the subject of today's Interesting Thing.
My friend Victoria is a seismologist*. She works in the Geology department at the University of Leicester, which has its very own pet Tyrannosaurus Rex**. They are actively encouraging schools to send groups of students to visit Jane (and to see some other things in the department- they have an extensive collection of rocks and fossils on show, including some meteorites!), but Victoria kindly arranged for myself and my other half, Emma, to come in and meet Jane without a gaggle of kids in tow. She was doubly-kind and arranged for us to meet Dr Jan Zalasiewicz***, senior lecturer in Palaeobiology, who knows all about Jane (as well as everything else dinosaur-related) who talked to us about her (and palaeobiology in general) and answered all of our questions.
|Jane is a young adult T. Rex, standing 2.3m tall, and 6.4m long. Double these figures, and you'll get an idea what mummy and daddy were like.|
|There are other fossils on display, arguably the most impressive of which are these well-preserved dinosaur eggs.|
|Part of the internal workings of a water-damaged seismometer.|
* Yes, that has very little to do with dinosaurs, but keep with it.
** Unfortunately she's**** been dead for around 66 million years, but looking good for it, despite the lack of skin, flesh, internal organs, etc.
*** I recognised him, but my memory wasn't being very helpful until later in the day when I remembered seeing one of his lectures at the Space Science themed 2010 University of Leicester Homecoming. I blogged about that (and the other lectures) here.
**** Actually, they don't know whether Jane was male or female: sexing dinosaurs is tricky.
|Ja(y)ne can be a boy's name too...|