Psittacosaurus (p-sit-taco-saurus) may sound like an awesome dinosaur made out of tacos, but is instead a weird turkey sized, plant eating sized dinosaur. Maybe one to miss at Jurassic Park. However, it has made headlines this week as a reconstruction of Psittacosaurus was hailed as the most accurate dinosaur reconstruction ever. Bob Nicholls of Paleocreations based in Bristol worked with researchers at Bristol University to analyse well-preserved fossils of Psittaco and create a hyper-realistic reconstruction of what Psittaco would have looked like. The specimen can be seen in the photo below in all its cheek-horn googley-eyed glory.
Ever have the feeling that you are living in a computer simulation so realistic that it appears as though it is true reality? Well, Bank of America do and this week they informed their clients that they reckon there is a 20-50% chance that were living in the matrix. Bank of America cited leading scientists and philosophers, such as Elon Musk, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and even 16th century philosophers such as René Descartes. It sounds crazy but once you think about it, actually, it’s not that crazy. The basic idea is that we run computer simulations all the time and – as computing power increases – these simulations become more and more complex. There will be a time when we run realistic simulations of historical events. The theory goes that some future civiliasation is already doing that and we are the simulation. It really makes you think twice about playing The Sims.
Dolphins are way smarter than you think they are. Researchers in Karadag Nature Reserve in Ukraine identified two dolphins called Yasha and Yana holding a conversation in a pool. The dolphins would string a series of ‘words’ together to form a sentence to which the other dolphin would listen to, without interruption, before replying. It is known that dolphins have a complex language of thousands of ‘words’ but this is the first time that they have been shown to hold conversations. Dolphins have previously been shown to ‘discuss’ the best ways to solve a problem and clicks and whistles have been translated into ‘hurry up’ and ‘there’s food over here’. Researchers now want to break down the translational barrier between humans and dolphins and hold the first inter-species conversation. So to all of our dolphin readers: click-click whistle click-whistle-whistle click whistle-click. Additionally, this article has been translated into dolphin and can be found here.
Written by: Jake Howden