Welcome to Superoceras, a blog about science and natural history, slightly biased towards paleontology and zoology, but inclusive of all sciences. Started in October of 2009, my goal is to communicate scientific knowledge (and the occasional piece of nonsense) in an informative and entertaining manner. Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, concerns, or criticism at superoceras(at)gmail(dot)com, and follow me on Twitter @Superoceras for all that and more in 140 characters or less!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Interweb Science of the Week #6

Another Friday, another "Interweb Science of the Week". I love it. And this time, not only will it stimulate the mind, but also tug at the heart strings a little. Meet Riley, the "first grade paleontologist". This kid is awesome. He breaks out his dinosaur toy collection, gets in front of the camera and... well wait, why am I talking about it. Just watch!

Riley the Paleontolgist Show 1 "Carnivores". Check out Rileytalk's YouTube channel for more videos.

In all seriousness, if this kid keeps it up, he's going to go places. He's on the right track, and at his rate, he'll have his Ph. D. before I do! Riley provides the perfect example of kids doing what kids do best: retaining information about the world around them as they explore it. In this particular case, the information is about dinosaurs, and while he might need to polish up some of the finer points, he's already starting to throw his weight around and question the established view of things. Why do paleontologists generally say theropods only have three toes on their feet, when they very clearly have four? Only a child would ask a question this obvious - one I admit I've never even thought of. If you tell me a synapomorphy of Theropoda is a three-toed foot, I'm going to accept it. But he's absolutely right in pointing out that, although the pes is functionally tridactyl, digit I, also known as the hallux, is still present in "three-toed" dinosaurs. What a brilliant kid.

Best of luck to Riley as he continues on his journey, and happy Friday everyone!


  1. Very impressive! Though I'm not sure where the scavenger Allosaurus comes from, especially since he mentions how it "hunted" in packs in the next bit. And, of course, parroting a lot of baseless claims from "documentaries". But I'm being too harsh. At the rate he's going, he'll learn soon enough.

  2. Postscript: I'm sure that, at that age, I mindlessly parroted the things I watched in documentaries, too.

  3. Oh, I know I did. I wish I could remember half of that information now (although a lot of it is probably outdated).