Entries by John Good

Massive Volcanic Eruptions Triggered Earth’s “Great Dying”

smithsonianmag.com The world’s worst mass extinction has been a great whodunit for decades. Some 252 million years ago, 75 percent of land species and 90 percent of those in the oceans disappeared. But what caused trilobites, Eurypterid “sea scorpions” and all those other species to go extinct? READ MORE

Utah Has the First Tar Sands Mine in the U.S.

smithsonianmag.com The Book Cliffs in eastern Utah are named for caps of Cretaceous sandstone that look like shelves of books. The remote area is also rich in mineral, oil and gas deposits — a fact that has led a Canadian company to open the first tar sands mine in the United States. READ MORE

These 20 Epic Mountains in Utah Will Drop Your Jaw

onlyinyourstate.com We get pretty jaded here in Utah, surrounded by all these mountains. Go off to the midwest for awhile, then fly back into the state and you might have a newfound appreciation for just how jaw-dropping our mountains really are. Here are 20 reminders that we live in a pretty great state. READ MORE

Fossilized Poop is Rare, Fossilized Poop Inside a Fossilized Dinosaur is Even Rarer

smithsonianmag.com Paleontologists get really excited when they find poop — or at least, fossilized feces, called coprolites. They are not alone in the research world in this regard. Finding coprolites still within the animal that created it is rare indeed, but that may be exactly what a newly discovered specimen of Rhamphorhynchus, a winged reptile, […]