Pre- Historic Archive Mansion!

WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

Posted: 13 November 2007 at 4:51am | IP Logged

All prehistorical and historical topics here. Details will be here.

Edited by Pensacola.S_02 - 13 November 2007 at 5:01am

WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

Posted: 13 November 2007 at 5:06am | IP Logged

The science of natural history

Scientist looking at a specimen

In some ways, biological science has remained unchanged – we still use the same method of classifying living things that originated in the eighteenth century. In other ways, we have made unbelievable progress, right down to unravelling the secrets of DNA. Find out how the Museum's scientists collect the information they need, the history of scientific discovery and why the information affects every single one of us.

e of us.

Science at the Museum
Museum research

Discover the innovations, implications and inspirations behind the Museum's research.

Taxonomy and systematics
Taxonomy and systematics

How do we name, rank and classify organisms? And what other ways are there to examine wildlife? Explore the Museum's extensive resources to discover the answers.

Expeditions and collecting
Expeditions and collecting

Read about the early voyages of discovery and find out why the Museum's collections are so vital to our knowledge of the past, present and future.

Natural history biographies
Natural history biographies

Learn about the life and work of revolutionary scientists, explorers and artists who have opened our eyes to the natural world.

Forensic sleuth
Forensic sleuth

Insects can provide vital clues about a murder. Find out how and investigate some of the scientific approaches used at crimes scenes, and in revealing fake antiquities. y/index.html

Edited by Pensacola.S_02 - 13 November 2007 at 5:10am
WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

Posted: 13 November 2007 at 5:11am | IP Logged


Ladybird on flower  

Flying through the air, swimming the ocean's depths or preserved as fossils, the diversity of life is astonishing. From whales to worms, DNA to dinosaurs, discover the secrets of our own evolution, and how scientists at the Museum work to understand the amazing forms on our planet, past and present.



From tiny shrews to enormous whales, mammals are the most diverse group of animals ever to live on our planet. Equipped with wings, fins, horns and spines – they have evolved to fill many niches and roles. Discover more about this complex group, which of course, includes us. Are big cats living wild in Britain? Why do whales strand? And just how closely related are we to other apes?


Robin, Erithacus rubencula

Birds are thought to come from a dinosaur lineage, and still retain features of their scaly ancestors today. With over 9,000 species, discover how they helped to shape the world's most significant evolutionary theory, and take a look at British birds of the past, immortalised in the Museum's collections of paintings. Find out how the fossilised link between dinosaurs and birds has revealed the mysterious origins of flight.

Reptiles, amphibians and fishes


Scaly, slimy and slippery, these cold-blooded vertebrates are often overlooked in favour of the more charismatic and well-known birds and mammals. But reptiles, amphibians and fish are just as interesting. Take a look at some monsters of the deep blue sea, and discover a fossil that 'came back to life'. Stealth, camouflage, speed and ambush – compare the hunting habits of today's reptiles with the dinosaurs.

Insects and spiders

Honey bees

There are more species of insect in the world than any other group, representing about 80 percent of the world's species . Their distant relatives, the spiders, are also a diverse and fascinating group. These creepy crawlies are often feared and disliked by humans, but discover how many of them have important roles to play in medical and forensic science, or by preying on insect pests.

Other invertebrates

Blue swimming crab, Callinectes sapidus

Invertebrates (animals without backbones) make up the majority of animals on Earth, with many millions of species exploiting the sky, sea, land…and even the insides of other animals. Find out about the good, the bad and the ugly, as we reveal the little-known worlds of some of these fascinating creatures.

Dinosaurs and other extinct creatures

T.rex skull

Dinosaurs were several types of extinct prehistoric reptile that lived 230–65 million years ago. But did they completely die out or do they live among us today in the form of birds? And could scientists recreate a T. rex from fossilised amber? Find out the answers to these and many other questions in our collection of articles, fact files and webcasts. Plus discover the secrets of other extinct species, such as the dodo and the giant sloth.

Plants and fungi


Without plants and fungi, we wouldn't exist. They clean the air that we breathe, and provide us with food, materials and medicine. Find out if there is any truth in old wives' tales of herbal remedies, and attract bees, butterflies and bats to your garden by choosing local species of plants.

Edited by Pensacola.S_02 - 13 November 2007 at 5:24am
WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

Posted: 13 November 2007 at 5:25am | IP Logged

Age of the dinosaurs

Dinosaur contents

The dinosaurs were among the most successful animals ever to live on the Earth. Their reign lasted over 100 million years - and if birds evolved from the dinosaurs, then their descendents are still alive today.

Rise and fall of the dinosaurs

A herd of Iguanadon from the series Walking with Dinosaurs 
Rise and fall of the dinosaurs contents

T. rex would not have recognised the world that the first dinosaurs lived in. In this series of articles, Dr Jo Wright explores how the dinosaurs evolved as the world around them changed.

New Blood - Life in the late triassic

The late triassic - image from Walking with Dinosaurs

At the dawn of the age of the dinosaurs, the world was very different. Dr Jo Wright, scientific advisor to the BBC One series Walking with Dinosaurs describes life in the late triassic, in the first of eight articles about the age of the dinosaurs.

When dinosaurs first appeared about 230 million years ago the world was very different. There were very few of the animal groups we recognise today - no mammals, no birds and no lizards. But there were some lizard-like reptiles.

What? No grass?

The difference was also apparent in the plant kingdom. Plant life would have seemed very drab, just green and brown in colour. There were no flowering plants, so nothing like most of the common trees and shrubs today. What trees there were would have looked different, though some were relatives of modern day ferns and podocarps. There was no grass. Instead, low ground cover would have been ferns and mosses.

The Triassic world was unusual for another reason. About 20 million years before the appearance of the first dinosaurs, the biggest extinction the world had ever known had occurred. Over 90% of all plant and animal species then alive on land and in the sea had died out at this time. Even in the Late Triassic the world was still recovering, and there was not the usual variety of life normally found on earth.

It took more than 10 million years before ecosystems recovered and complex systems and larger animals took even longer. Most of the dominant land animals that were around when dinosaurs evolved were products of long and established lines of descent.

A giant desert

The continents of the triassic Earth were configured differently to today. All the land masses on the planet were joined together into one huge continent called Pangaea. This stretched from pole to pole and its central region was a vast inhospitable desert. We know this because the type of rocks that were deposited at this time have sedimentary features characteristic of a dry harsh climate.

As all the continents were connected, the animals and plants found in the fossil record from that time are very similar all over the world.


Peteinosaurus caught insects in its pin-like teeth.

New life

The Late Triassic was an innovative time in the animal kingdom. By the end of the period not only the dinosaurs had appeared but also pterosaurs (flying reptiles), various kinds of marine reptiles, the first crocodiles and turtles, and the earliest true mammals.

Towards the end of the Triassic, 220 million years ago, there was another extinction, which wiped out many of the non-dinosaurs including the dicynodonts such as Placerias and primitive archosaurs such as Postosuchus. It was after this that dinosaurs really started to radiate and diversify.

Dinosaurs gain the edge

It was often assumed that the dinosaurs survived due to their superior speed and agility. We now think they were simply fortunate because they were not hit as hard by extinction. After the extinction at the very end of the Triassic, the dinosaurs were the only large land animals left.

Edited by Pensacola.S_02 - 13 November 2007 at 5:43am
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