The First Dinosaur Tail Found Preserved in Amber is Covered in Feathers 

Photo by R. C. McKellar, Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Courtesy National Geographic.

Photo by R. C. McKellar, Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Courtesy National Geographic.

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A micro-CT scan reveals the delicate feathers that cover the dinosaur tail. Photo by Lida Xing, courtesy National Geographic.

The first known dinosaur tail preserved in a piece of amber was recently discovered by paleontologist Lida Xing while collection samples in Myanmar last year. Dating back to the mid-Cretaceous Period some 99 million years ago, the roughly apricot-sized piece of amber contains a 1.4-inch appendage of 8 vertebrae unmistakably covered in primitive feathers. Scientists ruled out the possibility of the tail belonging to a bird, and based on its structure believe it came from a juvenile coelurosaur, a group of dinosaurs that includes tyrannosaurs. Via National Geographic:

While individual dinosaur-era feathers have been found in amber, and evidence for feathered dinosaurs is captured in fossil impressions, this is the first time that scientists are able to clearly associate well-preserved feathers with a dinosaur, and in turn gain a better understanding of the evolution and structure of dinosaur feathers.

The findings were first published today in a report co-authored by Ryan McKellar in Current Biology and you can read more on National Geographic.

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New Cavernous Murals by German Street Artist ‘1010’ 

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German street artist 1010 (previously here and here) paints murals that seems to disappear within the walls on which they are painted, each work an optical illusion with brightly ringed shapes. The effect is a 3D cavern on a solid surface, produced by 1010 layering 6-10 warm or cool shades on top of a dark background or center. He has recently applied this technique across the globe, including a mural for the Backside Gallery in Marseille, France and a work on a large public building for this year’s POW WOW Hawaii Festival in Honolulu. You can see more of his recent pieces on his Facebook and Instagram.

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Clusters of White Balloons Photographed Invading Landscapes and Homes by Charles Pétillon 

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Photographer Charles Pétillon (previously) captures arranged configurations of balloons in a variety of environments—trapping the illuminated organic shapes momentarily in his photographs. The huddles of balloons are metaphors for Pétillon, a nod to the objects, buildings, and structures we often pass by in our busy lives without taking the time to really notice them. Last year he produced a 177-foot-long installation for London’s Covent Garden, a work that he titled Heartbeat.

“Each balloon has its own dimensions and yet is part of a giant but fragile composition that creates a floating cloud above the energy of the market below,” explained Pétillon about his 2015 installation. “This fragility is represented by contrasting materials and also the whiteness of the balloons that move and pulse appearing as alive and vibrant as the area itself.”

Pétillon’s words can also be applied to his current oeuvre, a selection of which is currently on display in a solo exhibition titled Invasions. The works are featured at Magda Danysz Gallery in Paris through January 14, 2017, and also includes a site-specific installation of balloons to mirror those within his photographs. You can see a behind-the-scenes shoot below, as well as more final images of his balloon series on his website and Instagram. His work is also seen in the book Public Art Now.

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INVASIONS

SOUVENIRS DE FAMILLE

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New Twisted Sculptures Carved from Pine Wood by Xavier Puente Vilardell 

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Sculptor Xavier Puente Vilardell (previously) carves blocks of pine wood into twisted screws and ribbons, redefining the solid material into one that appears both light and pliable. Some of the final works are varnished with a deep, glossy coat, while others are left to look more natural. Despite this differentiation in finish, all of Vilardell’s works showcase the natural grain of the original blocks of wood, at once expressing their similarity and originality. You can see more of Vilardell’s recent sculptures on both his Behance and website.

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Precisely Stacked Coin Towers That Defy Gravity 

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Using common household props, Twitter user @thumb_tani stacks gravity-defying towers that rely on precise and calculated balance. Coins, toothpicks, and silverware are positioned to play off of each others’ weight in ways that might crumble with the slightest of touch. The sculptures go beyond experiments many might have seen before, ranging in shape from thick twirling cylinders to horizontal pieces that balance coins at the very edge of a knife’s blade. You can see more of his feats of balance, and incredible patience, posted to his Twitter. (via My Modern Met)

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