Ask any 8-year-old what a dinosaur is, and she’ll eagerly rattle off her favorite of the prehistoric celebrities. And by the time we’re adults, dinosaurs feel utterly familiar; they’re the rockstars of prehistory, more famous and enduring then any Hollywood A-lister. They loom large in our imagination as big, toothy, and, above all, bizarre animals that have been carving out a life for themselves on Earth for the past 235 million years. But what is a dinosaur, really?
Earlier this week paleontologists Mark Witton and Michael Habib published a new study in PLoS One on how pterosaurs—particularly large forms such as Quetzalcoatlus—took to the air. Rather than pushing off the ground with their legs, pterosaurs used their arms in a pole-vault type of motion to launch themselves skyward. Interesting stuff, but I quickly became irritated by some of the popular coverage of the new research.
Last year, David Willetts hit a sour note when he unveiled his vision of improving science education in Great Britain. “The two best ways of getting young people into science” the Minister of State for Universities and Science said, “are space and dinosaurs. So that’s what I intend to focus on.”Researchers, writers and science fans quickly jumped on the comment. And rightly so. Space and dinosaurs are popular, but they don’t appeal to everyone.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used). For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".