Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Salamanders (Michelle)

A distressing dearth of whimsy on the blog of late. Without the random firing of neurons, where would creativity be?

I am trying to rectify this with a completely random article on an ancient and huge salamander-like creature that took bites by lifting its upper jaw instead of dropping its lower jaw. I still remember the first time I realized I couldn't move my upper jaw --- I felt utterly paralyzed.

More salamander/amphibian facts:
  • In the Renaissance it was believed that salamanders lived in fire. Cool, no? I'll try to dig up the Thomas Browne reference to this for a future post.
  • At the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in D.C., there is a much-neglected room in the dinosaur section devoted to ancient amphibians, petrified wood, eggs, and seeds. (I'm not exactly sure what all of these have in common.) They have a little display in the floor of dozens of fossilized amphibian heads in situ. It's surreal.

1 comment:

  1. As I read about the jaw anomaly, I immediately tried to do this, and yes, I too immediately felt paralyzed!



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