Tony the Tiger asks:

You like old stuff, right? What are your thoughts on fossil pokemon?

In general archaeologists take pains to point out that we do not study fossils (it’s a surprisingly common mistake).  Not all “old stuff” is similarly old (unless you listen to certain ill-advised religious sects); I deal in the hundreds/thousands of years range, not millions/tens of millions.  Fossils are about as much my professional area of expertise as the moons of Jupiter are an airline pilot’s.

…as it happens, though, I am independently a layman dinosaur nerd with a basic knowledge of evolutionary biology, and I was a sufficiently weird kid that, when I started school, I wanted to be not a fireman or an astronaut but a palaeontologist.  So LET’S TALK FOSSILS.

Continue reading “Tony the Tiger asks:”

Tirtouga and Carracosta

7f208-tirtougaI need to be up-front with you about this one.  I really like Tirtouga and Carracosta.  These turtle Pokémon are two of the fossil species of Black and White (the other two are Archen and Archeops, whom I talked about ages ago and allowed to live – perhaps a little generously) and the latest in a long line of prehistoric Pokémon resurrected by the miracle of SCIENCE.  I think the artistic designs for Tirtouga and Carracosta are superb; Tirtouga is cute but also clearly strong enough to take care of himself, and Carracosta practically dares you to try attacking him.  Both channel the “ancient” quality fossil Pokémon are supposed to possess exceptionally well.  As well as having typical sea turtle qualities, like being able to safely dive to tremendous depths, they seem to be part-way through evolution into terrestrial turtles and can hunt prey on land as well.  Continue reading “Tirtouga and Carracosta”