Friday, October 19, 2012

Life before the dinosaurs

Work on the online rockhounding adventures continues.  I have worked hard all week with more hours on the computer than I thought was possible.  I am almost done with the last segment and then will complete the tasks required to launch the pilot.  There are a lot of logistics with setting up the subdomain pages, payment buttons, etc.

UPDATE: I realize that when I was working on and editing this blog posting that I mistakenly left off the most important paragraph.  Somehow it was chopped off the end of the posting so now I'm putting it up front:

I chose to do this posting to pat on the back an eight year old named Art who has a terrific blog.  If you like dinosaurs, this is the blog to check out.  In today's blog update I have included a few examples of his postings just to wet your appetite.  I have also paraphrased some of the information researched and written by Art.  Given the quality of the blog produced by someone so young, I think that Art has an extremely bright future.  If you want to learn more about Life Before Dinosaurs please check out Art's blog at

Yesterday I was working on the pages that not only document the geologic changes to the earth, but also some of the biologic changes.  So for today's blog posting I would like to share some photos of ancient life.  These are pictures that are not included in the online rockhounding adventures, but still document how bizarre life was before the dinosaurs.

Hurdia had a one-and-a-half foot that was used to push itself through the water to catch prey. Hurdia had a pointed head structure, but the use for this structure is unknown. The head shield was hollow, which may have been used to move Hurdia up and down like a submarine.

Walliserops is a weird genus of lower-to-middle Devonian trilobite that had a mysterious appendage that stuck out of its head called a trident. The use for the trident is unknown. Scientists think it may have been used for defense, for detecting food under the sand, or maybe for defence.

This weird shelled creature called Odontogriphus was had vicious fangs, which were probably for scraping algae off rocks. Odontogriphus was covered in s hard shell that it could bend. Odontogriphus could live in all layers of the ocean because it could swim like an eel on its side, or use its carpet-like foot to move along on rocks. It had short hair-like gills that dangled from its sides.

Diania cactiformus had strong armored legs with spines. This creature had a rattle-shaped head with no eyes and a soft body. Some of its twenty legs could extend upwards, possibly to grab prey. It was 2.4 inches long.

Pteraspis was a Devonian animal with a beak and wing-like appendages that extended from the back of its head armor. It had a protective spine pointing backwards that probably discouraged predator. Pteraspis was only about 8" and was jawless, so it had to suck in plankton through its mouth.

Pamdelurion was an eyeless, crawling bottom-dweller with eleven pairs of swimming lobes along with eleven pairs of legs. When it hunted it pulled its claws backwards and then when it found prey, it would reach out to grab it.

Wiwaxia was an extremely odd ancient animal. It had a foot like a snail and an exterior shell that was covered with scales. It also had twelve glowing spines that extended from its back that probably served to confuse predators. Wiwaxia was about one inch long.

Anomalocaris was a fierce hunter that used its jaws and huge claws to crunch shells. It was six feet long and was one of the top predators in the Cambrian seas.

Ottoia was a strange worm that lived in tunnels in the bottom of the early oceans and would ambushed prey that happened to swim nearby.

Hallucigenia was a strange lobopod that probably fed on sponges. It is not clear which end of Hallucigenia was the head. It is also not known whether this animal swam or crawled. The spines were used for defensive purposes.

1 comment:

  1. I discovered myself the blog of Art one year ago. Have you some news about him, he has no made new posts since several months, so I feel a bit anxious ( I sent to him some ideas of subjects about marine extincts creatures to deal with, I hope that he will answer to me soon ).