75. Coyote skull
Tumblr tells me this is my 100th post! Yayyy! Although this is only my 75th art post so apparently I have made 25 text posts??? Weird. Maybe I forgot to number something.
Getting a little early painting done today, on a piece is actually list for a while! Glad I found it!
But seriously, how quickly could a giant sauropod dinosaur react to an attack on a body part 150 feet from its brain? The excellent blog SV-POW! has the answer:
… sauropods really did have individual sensory nerve cells that ran from their extremities (tip of tail, soles of feet)–and from the rest of their skin–to their brainstems. In the longest sauropods, these cells were probably something like 150 feet long, and may have been the longest cells in the history of life. We haven’t found any fossils of these nerves and almost certainly never will, but we can be sure that sauropods had them because all vertebrates do, from hagfish on up. That’s just how we’re built. So how long does it take to send a nerve impulse 150 feet? The fastest nerve conduction velocities are in the neighborhood of 120 meters per second, so a signal from the very tip of the tail in a 150-foot sauropod would take about half a second to reach the brain…[continue reading]
Cartoon by Ed McLachlan, Punch magazine, 1981
This is one of my favorite drawings I did at the Field Museum. ”The Ostrich and The Emu.” Birds are so gratifying to draw with their many textures and beautiful grace. You can find more of my scientific illustrations, live figure studies, paintings, and animations at my website, which I just updated!