Animated Extinctions

I saw this animation posted to Imgur by user Waffurur, showing the five biggest mass extinction events in Earth’s history (as far as we know, really):

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Most people are familiar with the Cretacious-Tertiary mass extinction about 65 million years ago, which killed off the last of the dinosaurs. Well, except for birds, which are totally still dinosaurs.

Some people know about the Permian mass extinction, which left only about four percent of species alive. That’s also the one that finished off the trilobites, which is a bummer because they seem pretty cool.

"Kainops invius lateral and ventral" by Moussa Direct Ltd. (Moussa Direct Ltd. image archive) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

On the other hand, it also brought an end to the eurypterids—a/k/a sea scorpions that reached eight feet or more in length (but were generally harmless)… Continue reading


Westerosi Geology (or, Someone Else Is a Bigger Game of Thrones Geek Than You)

Gabridelca [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This isn’t really the Vale of Arryn, but it plays it on TV.

At times, I feel like I have a better handle on the history of Westeros and Essos (which I obviously need to follow the Game of Thrones storyline), than the history of our actually-existing world. It never even occurred to me, though, to wonder if the Narrow Sea is a geologically-recent development, resulting from the separation of the two continents about 25 million years ago.

A group of (mostly) Stanford geologists, however, have been wondering about that, and their ideas are collecting in the form of a geological history of Westeros at their blog, Generation Anthropocene.

I have been out-geeked, and I yield.

Photo credit: Gabridelca [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.