Science Art: Sinocalliopteryx gigas as a stealth hunter feeding on the primitive bird Confuciusornis, by Cheung Chungtat

Scientific illustration by Cheung Chungtat of Chinese feathered dinosaur Sinocalliopteryx gigasClick to embiggen

An Easter Sunday lunch is served: an early bird!

This is the Chinese feathered dinosaur Sinocalliopteryx gigas, chomping the bird Confuciusornis – something we know happened because we’ve actually found a fossil with the bones of one inside the stomach of the other. That discovery was the subject of this PLOS One article, which is where the illustration came from. I like the way the illustrator made it look both like a scientific illustration and a classical Chinese draw…

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SONG: "Math" (a penitential cover)

SONG: Math” (a penitential cover)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: This has no scientific source; it’s a penitential cover for being late for March’s song (which I still haven’t done yet). It’s originally by the 1990s “spacewave” pop-punk band Supernova. They toured with the Aquabats and shared a member with Servotron, and why they never became just a little bit bigger is a mystery.

ABSTRACT: I’ve loved this song since I heard it on a sampler CD I picked up in 1996 or 1997. It spent a year or tw…

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Science Art: Chandra X-ray Observatory close-up of the core of the M87 galaxy, by NASA/CXC/Villanova University/J. Neilsen

Scientific illustration of M87 black hole taken by Chandra X-ray ObservatoryClick to embiggen
This is not the famous Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) black hole image that you’ve probably seen by now. It’s a visualization of some of the data that helped make that image.

This is a picture of the center of the M87 galaxy taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, a telescope that “sees” X-rays. It’s showing, among other things, a jet of energy emerging from the area around the black hole – basically spewing from the pole of the black hole near the speed of light.

From …

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Science Art: Verge Watch Escapement, from The Cyclopaedia, or Universal Dictionary, Vol. 2, 1820.

Scientific illustration of a watch escapement

A horological device called a “verge escapement” (on the bottom) with a balance wheel (on the top) from a pocketwatch.

An “escapement” is the thing that makes a watch tick – it advances in set intervals, then pauses, then advances, then pauses again.

From the image description on Wikimedia Commons:

The verge escapement, the oldest mechanical escapement, was used from the 13th century, and was the first escapement used in clocks and watches. It consisted of a vertical rod, the “verge”…

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Science Art: Plate LIL, Fig 3: Cepheus bifidatus Nymph, from British Oribatidae, 1884

A scientific illustration of a mite. Click to embiggen

Mm. Mighty mite.

From a this book of mites.

Luckily for us, these mites (the Oribatidae) aren’t parasitic. They live in dirt (which they turn, like earthworm), and eat lichens and fungus. They do serve as a host for tapeworms, so try not to eat them when you meet them.

As far as I can tell, this specific mite, Cepheus bifidatus, hasn’t been studied very much. At least, it’s sort of hard to find descriptions online. People do get very excited to find some of their…

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Science Art: Ichneumon Fly, from the USDA's Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, 1941

Ichneumon Fly, a scientific illustrationClick to embiggen

“Lays eggs on larva boring in wood.” Add just one comma and that comes across as harsh criticism, but it’s really meant as a compliment.

This is from an illustrated fact-sheet of Beneficial Insects that I found in the Biodiversity Heritage Library. It’s a poster from the WWII era that might as well be labeled “THESE ARE YOUR FRIENDS. DO NOT ATTACK THESE INSECTS.”

As propaganda, I suppose it’s still pretty effective. At least I found them all rather handsome – but none…

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Time. And an OTHER time.

16 October 2007 grant b 0

Feeling pressed for time? A New Scientist interview reported by the Telegraph posits that we have more time than you think: Time is no longer […]

Sensitive Spice.

11 October 2007 grant b 0

Like it hot? Sure you do. Nature reveals how hot peppers can make anaesthetics work more potently – and more selectively – by “opening the […]


6 October 2007 grant b 0

Scientific American toasts the bountiful benefits of beer drinking as a brain booster: “There are human epidemiological data of others indicating that mild [to] moderate […]

Your printer is bad for you.

5 October 2007 grant b 0

That’s what Science Daily says. They’re reporting on the discovery by Lidia Morawska of the University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, that particles given off […]

It’s a costeroid!

4 October 2007 grant b 0

New Scientist talks about a… thing in space. It’s not an asteroid. It’s not a comet. It’s somehow both: It has been officially designated as […]

Vatican Astronomy

3 October 2007 grant b 0

Pope Benedict XVI is hosting the Vatican’s second astronomical conference in seven years, reports the BBC: Father Jose Funes, the head of the Vatican Observatory, […]

Songbirds see the way

2 October 2007 grant b 0

Nature unveils the unseen world of songbirds: They injected one tracer into the part of the forebrain known to be the only active area when […]