Jurassic World, Rhino Comeback, Uranus Collision. July 6, 2018, Part 2 | WBEZ
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Science Friday

Jurassic World, Rhino Comeback, Uranus Collision. July 6, 2018, Part 2

It’s the 25th anniversary of the debut of Jurassic Park. And with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom currently at the top of the summer movie food chain, its progeny continue to dominate the box offices. But even as the original Jurassic Park gave viewers the latest in paleontological science in dino looks, the research has progressed to include feathers and wildly different body shapes for old favorites like Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor. Even newer research into dinosaur vocalization suggest they would have sounded more like modern birds than roaring lions. Paleontologists Julia Clarke and Ken Lacovara join John Dankosky to discuss.

After the death of the last surviving male northern white rhino, the future looked dim for the endangered subspecies, which now numbers two infertile females. But scientists have been working on a number of methods to rescue the rhino after all. Collections of sperm and DNA could allow southern white rhinos, which are a closely related but a separate subspecies, to carry lab-created embryos to term.

The icy planet Uranus is an odd place. It spins on an axis almost perpendicular to its orbit, with one pole pointed straight at the sun for much of the year. It’s also colder than expected and has an unusually-shaped magnetic field. One theory for how Uranus became such an oddball in our space neighborhood involves a massive impact strong enough to tip a young planet onto its side. A group of researchers ran the numbers on such a collision and simulated what the results might be if a planet one, two, or three times the size of the Earth were to strike Uranus in the early days of our solar system. 

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