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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

One-Syllable State of Maine Rocks: Underappreciated Silurian Age Stones

     
      Take a close look at these exquisite Silurian rocks from the state of Maine, USA. (How did I just realize Maine is our only monosyllabic state?) The Silurian, an underappreciated time period, without the cachet of say, the younger Jurassic, is part of the Paleozoic era between the Ordovician and Devonian. Silurian rocks are 443 million years to 416 million years old.




     
A significant evolutionary milestone during the Silurian was the diversification of jawed and bony fishes. 



   
       Life also began to appear on land during the Silurian in the form of moss-like, vascular land plants that grew beside bodies of water. Small terrestrial arthropods also began to appear.




       These Maine rocks of the Kittery Formation are old. They show the results of millions of years of deposition, igneous activity, faulting, tectonics, and metamorphism. 





      However, in researching this week's topic, I discovered the "Silurians," a fictional race of reptile-like humanoids in the long-running British science fiction tv series Doctor Who? Those first Silurians are depicted as prehistoric and scientifically advanced sentient humanoids who predate the evolution of man.





      The creatures were called Silurians, after their supposed origins in the Silurian period. However, author John Pertwee claims that "properly speaking", the Silurians should have been called the "Eocenes" (part of the much more recent Cenozoic era.)
     Perhaps Dr. Who needed a geologic consultant to the tv show. E. O. Seen and heard? Background music by Diana Ross and the Eocenes?!

Just call me,
Silurian Steph

Bonus question: without googling or duck duck going, name all current countries of only one syllable.



19 comments:

  1. Spain...uh...hmm...Spain...Chad!...Guam isn't a country, is it?...Laos(?)...oh, for Pete's sake, Greece, for cryin' out loud...uh...

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    Replies
    1. [After Googling] How about Wales?

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    2. By George, er, Paul, I think you've got it. Yes, to Wales, no to Guam (territory) and Laos seems to be with 1 or 2 syllables depending on whether one pronounces the 's.' The "correct" pronunciation rhymes with "cow" so I'd add Laos.

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    3. And I think your pronunciation of Laos is lousy, Paul.

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    4. Caption: Having a whale of a time!

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    5. Caption: What's the Car diff? Wales!

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    6. Good one!

      Corollary: where's the Pon Tiff? Arguing Mother Teresa sainthood.

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    7. Paul for the win! I hope you send it in.

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  2. Possible signs of life at 3.7 billion years ago in GREENLAND STROMATOLITES

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    Replies
    1. Greenland again!

      But that last paragraph, along with some of the links I followed from that xkcd cartoon last week about identifying meteorites ("No."), got me thinking, about how if there are martian meteorites on Earth, there are probably terran meteorites on Mars, and if evidence of life is ever found on Mars, how hard would it be to determine whether it came from Earth, more or less recently? Sounds like a can of worms. Might as well skip Mars altogether, and just head for Callisto. Or Proxima Centauri.

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    2. Very difficult, I'd imagine, jan. I think I'd rather have that can of worms (at least fishing is a possibility!).

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  3. The first image of Silurian rock looks a tad "agatey" to me. Is there any relation. Steph?

    New Yorker caption:
    "I did't realize this car model had tail fins."

    LegoRealizesThatPeopleUnderAge40Won'tUnderstandThatCaption

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    Replies
    1. Great caption, Lego.

      The rocks are most likely phyllite and quartzite, which can include metamorphosed agate-y rocks, Lego. Your instincts are right on!

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  4. OK, you know where I stand on mosquitoes (on mosquitoes, preferably), but this is ridiculous. How stupid!

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  5. New post on "Quiescence: Not Just for Popsicles Any More; A Nicaraguan Volcano Goes Quiet Just Before Eruption" is now up.

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