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Keyword: paleontology

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  • 'Skin Bones' Helped Large Dinosaurs Survive for a Time, Study Finds [ osteoderms ]

    12/09/2011 4:36:01 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    University of Guelph ^ | November 29, 2011 | Matthew Vickaryous
    Bones contained entirely within the skin of some of the largest dinosaurs on Earth might have stored vital minerals to help the massive creatures survive and bear their young in tough times, according to new research by a team including a University of Guelph scientist. Guelph biomedical scientist Matthew Vickaryous co-authored a paper published today in Nature Communications about two sauropod dinosaurs -- an adult and a juvenile -- from Madagascar. The study suggests that these long-necked plant-eaters used hollow "skin bones" called osteoderms to store minerals needed to maintain their huge skeletons and to lay large egg clutches. Sediments...
  • Ancient meat-loving predators survived for 35 million years

    12/07/2011 8:43:17 PM PST · by decimon · 17 replies
    A species of ancient predator with saw-like teeth, sleek bodies and a voracious appetite for meat survived a major extinction at a time when the distant relatives of mammals ruled the earth. A detailed description of a fossil that scientists identify as a varanopid "pelycosaur" is published in the December issue of Naturwissenschaften - The Science of Nature. Professors Sean Modesto from Cape Breton University, and Robert Reisz from University of Toronto Mississauga provide evidence that a group of ancient, agile predators called varanopids survived for more than 35 million years, and co-existed with more advanced animals.
  • New dinosaur species discovered in museum storage

    12/07/2011 7:49:16 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 40 replies
    Digital Journal ^ | Tuesday, December 6, 2011 | Leigh Goessl
    Nearly 100 years after a set of fossil remains were uncovered, an international team of scientists has discovered a new species of dinosaur. The new discovery, a horned dinosaur named Spinops sternbergorum (pronounced "SPIN-ops stern-berg-OR-uhm"), roamed the Earth approximately 76 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous period, in southern Alberta, Canada, according to a press release. Spinops sternbergorum is named after its spiny face, and combines with the name of the original discoverers, a father and son fossil collecting team. The duo, Charles H. and Levi Sternberg, found the prehistoric remains back in 1916. The Telegraph reports the fossils...
  • Watery secret of the dinosaur death pose (Simplest explanation of Dino extinction: They drowned)

    11/26/2011 6:26:37 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 157 replies
    New Scientist ^ | 11/23/2011 | by Brian Switek
    Recreating the spectacular pose many dinosaurs adopted in death might involve following the simplest of instructions: just add water. When palaeontologists are lucky enough to find a complete dinosaur skeleton – whether it be a tiny Sinosauropteryx or an enormous Apatosaurus – there's a good chance it will be found with its head thrown backwards and its tail arched upwards – technically known as the opisthotonic death pose. No one is entirely sure why this posture is so common, but Alicia Cutler and colleagues from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, think it all comes down to a dip in...
  • Whales in the desert: Fossil bonanza poses mystery

    11/20/2011 1:41:13 PM PST · by Daffynition · 68 replies
    AP via Phys.org ^ | November 19, 2011 | EVA VERGARA and IAN JAMES
    Maybe they became disoriented and beached themselves. Maybe they were trapped in a lagoon by a landslide or a storm. Maybe they died there over a period of a few millennia. But somehow, they ended up right next to one another, many just meters (yards) apart, entombed as the shallow sea floor was driven upward by geological forces and transformed into the driest place on the planet. Today, they have emerged again atop a desert hill more than a kilometer (half a mile) from the surf, where researchers have begun to unearth one of the world's best-preserved graveyards of prehistoric...
  • Tyrannosaurs were power-walkers

    11/15/2011 8:02:49 AM PST · by Winstons Julia · 31 replies
    www.nature.com/news ^ | 7 November 2011 | Matt Kaplan
    But Heinrich Mallison of Berlin's Museum of Natural History is challenging that view. He argues that the structure of dinosaur hind limbs is markedly different from that of modern mammals and birds, meaning the stride formula isn't a good indicator of what dinosaurs can really do.
  • First Long-Necked Dinosaur Fossil Found In Antarctica

    11/07/2011 11:15:17 PM PST · by Altariel · 12 replies
    LiveScience.com ^ | November 4, 2011 | Stephanie Pappas
    It's official, long-necked sauropod dinosaurs once roamed every continent on Earth — including now-frigid Antarctica. The discovery of a single sauropod vertebra on James Ross Island in Antarctica reveals that these behemoths, which included Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus, lived on the continent in the upper Cretaceous Period about 100 million years ago.
  • Dinosaur poop shows grass is older than it seems

    12/06/2005 9:03:21 AM PST · by flevit · 34 replies · 1,249+ views
    seattlepi.com ^ | Friday, November 18, 2005 | By LAURAN NEERGAARD
    It's a big surprise for scientists, who had never really looked for evidence of grass in dinosaur diets before. After all, grass fossils aside, those sauropods -- the behemoths with the long necks and tails and small heads -- didn't have the special kind of teeth needed to grind up abrasive blades. "Most people would not have fathomed that they would eat grasses," noted lead researcher Caroline Stromberg of the Swedish Museum of Natural History.
  • Dinosaurs in India may have fed on grass

    11/18/2005 1:24:59 PM PST · by glow-worm005 · 17 replies · 591+ views
    Washington, Nov 18 : Fossilized dinosaur droppings found in central India show sauropod dinosaurs may have fed on grass between 65 million and 71 million years ago, refuting the theory that grasses emerged long after the dinosaur era, a study said Friday. An international team of researchers, including Vandana Prasad of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany in Lucknow, India, studied the dinosaur coprolites, or fossilized droppings, of 65 million years ago. The researchers sent some photographs and samples to Caroline Stromberg of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, who spotted tiny particles of silica called phytoliths that have come...
  • Dung Reveals Dinosaurs Ate Grass

    11/17/2005 4:01:41 PM PST · by Nasty McPhilthy · 74 replies · 1,255+ views
    LiveScience/Yahoo ^ | 11/17/05 | Bjorn Carey
    Grass existed on Earth at least 10 million years earlier than was known, based on a new discovery in fossilized dinosaur dung. It's also the first solid evidence that some dinosaurs ate grass. While dissecting fossilized droppings, known as coprolites, researchers found tiny silica structures called phytoliths. They are short, rigid cells that provide support to a plant. This type is found exclusively in grasses. The discovery shows that five types of grass related to modern varieties were present in the Gondwana region of the Indian subcontinent during the late Cretaceous period about 71 to 65 million years ago. Museum...
  • World's largest dino dung -

    09/07/2003 4:36:54 PM PDT · by UnklGene · 47 replies · 2,385+ views
    Ottawa Citizen ^ | September 6, 2003 | Jacob Berkowitz
    World's largest dino dung T. rex left an ancient calling card, writes Jacob Berkowitz. Jacob Berkowitz The Ottawa Citizen Sunday, September 07, 2003 Mountains, beavers and the Maple leaf. And with a recent paleontological discovery Canada could soon gain international recognition for another natural wonder -- tyrannosaurid turds. A team of Canadian and American scientists recently identified an Albertan fossil as the world's largest dinosaur dropping, stealing the title from a T. rex turd found in Saskatchewan in 1995. While stool size is notable, what's really exciting scientists about this latest find is what it contains: Incredibly well-preserved dinosaur muscle...
  • Dinosaur-Bird Flap Ruffles Feathers

    10/11/2005 4:07:11 AM PDT · by mlc9852 · 330 replies · 11,487+ views
    Yahoo!News ^ | October 10, 2005 | E.J. Mundell
    MONDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Head to the American Museum of Natural History's Web site, and you'll see the major draw this fall is a splashy exhibit on dinosaurs. And not just any dinosaurs, but two-legged carnivorous, feathered "theropods" like the 30-inch-tall Bambiraptor -- somewhat less cuddly than its namesake. The heyday of the theropods, which included scaly terrors like T. rex and velociraptor, stretched from the late Triassic (220 million years ago) to the late Cretaceous (65 million years ago) periods.
  • Did Dinosaurs Flirt?

    11/04/2011 3:28:50 PM PDT · by Winstons Julia · 36 replies
    History ^ | 11/4/11 | staff
    Oviraptor tails were also extremely muscular, and, according to fossil impressions, had a fan of feathers at the end. In Persons’ view, oviraptors could very well have used their muscular, flexible tails to wave their feathers in order to impress potential mates, just as peacocks use their magnificent jewel-toned feathers in courtship displays today.
  • 'Sabre-toothed squirrel': First known mammalian skull from Late Cretaceous ...

    11/03/2011 1:42:52 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 29 replies · 1+ views
    http://www.physorg.com ^ | 03 NOVEMBER 2011 | Provided by University of Louisville
    Paleontologist Guillermo Rougier, Ph.D., professor of anatomical sciences and neurobiology at the University of Louisville, and his team have reported their discovery of two skulls from the first known mammal of the early Late Cretaceous period of South America. The fossils break a roughly 60 million-year gap in the currently known mammalian record of the continent and provide new clues on the early evolution of mammals. Details of their find will be published Nov. 3 in Nature. Co-authors are Sebastián Apesteguía of Argentina's Universidad Maimónides and doctoral student Leandro C. Gaetano. The new critter, named "Cronopio dentiacutus" by the paleontologists,...
  • Hunters present in North America 800 years earlier than previously thought: DNA analysis

    10/20/2011 12:18:28 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 51 replies
    http://www.physorg.com ^ | 20 OCT 2011 | Provided by Texas A&M University
    The tip of a bone point fragment found embedded in a mastodon rib from an archaeological site in Washington state shows that hunters were present in North America at least 800 years before Clovis, confirming that the first inhabitants arrived earlier to North America than previously thought, says a team of researchers led by a Texas A&M University archaeologist. Michael Waters, director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans in the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M, and colleagues from Colorado, Washington and Denmark believe the find at the Manis site in Washington demonstrates that humans were...
  • Perfect fossil could be most complete dinosaur ever

    10/16/2011 7:07:25 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 68 replies
    New Scientists ^ | 13 October 2011 | Jeff Hecht
    Dinosaur fossils don't come much more impressive than this. With 98 per cent of its skeleton preserved, this young predatory theropod from southern Germany may be the most complete dinosaur ever found. Oliver Rauhut, curator of the Bavarian State Collection for Palaeontology and Geology in Munich, announced the find yesterday. Although Chinese bird and dinosaur fossils are famed for delicate details such as their feathers, they don't match this 72-centimetre-long theropod in terms of clarity and completeness of preservation. The young dinosaur has been dated at 135 million years old, putting it in the early Cretaceous, but it has yet...
  • Giant Kraken Lair Discovered

    10/10/2011 6:55:25 AM PDT · by decimon · 54 replies
    Geological Society of America ^ | October 10, 2011 | Unknown
    Boulder, CO, USA - Long before whales, the oceans of Earth were roamed by a very different kind of air-breathing leviathan. Snaggle-toothed ichthyosaurs larger than school buses swam at the top of the Triassic Period ocean food chain, or so it seemed before Mount Holyoke College paleontologist Mark McMenamin took a look at some of their remains in Nevada. Now he thinks there was an even larger and more cunning sea monster that preyed on ichthyosaurs: a kraken of such mythological proportions it would have sent Captain Nemo running for dry land. McMenamin will be presenting the results of his...
  • 'Dinofuzz' Found in Canadian Amber

    09/15/2011 10:55:17 AM PDT · by Renfield · 19 replies
    Sciencemag.org ^ | 9-15-2011 | Sid Perkins
    Fluffy structures trapped in thumbnail-sized bits of ancient amber may represent some of the earliest evolutionary experiments leading to feathers, according to a new study. These filaments of "dinofuzz" are so well preserved that they even provide hints of color, the researchers say. The oldest bird, Archaeopteryx, lived in what is now Germany about 150 million years ago, and the oldest known feathered dinosaur, Anchiornis huxleyi, lived in northeastern China between 151 million and 161 million years ago. Both creatures had modern-style feathers, each of which had a central shaft; barbs, which made up the feather's vane; and substructures called...
  • Newborn Dinosaur Discovered in Maryland

    09/14/2011 8:49:08 AM PDT · by Pharmboy · 13 replies
    Johns Hopkins ^ | 09/12/2011 | Ray Stanford
    Fossil of the baby nodosaur. No, this isn't Jurassic Park. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with help from an amateur fossil hunter in College Park, Md., have described the fossil of an armored dinosaur hatchling. It is the youngest nodosaur ever discovered, and a founder of a new genus and species that lived approximately 110 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous Era. Nodosaurs have been found in diverse locations worldwide, but they've rarely been found in the United States. The findings are published in the September 9 issue of the Journal of Paleontology. "Now we...
  • Oldest spider silk preserved in amber

    08/06/2003 1:25:16 PM PDT · by Pokey78 · 17 replies · 408+ views
    Ananova ^ | 08/06/03
    The world's oldest known spider silk has been found in a 130 million-year-old piece of amber. The discovery, which dates from the Early Cretaceous period, was made in amber beds located near Jezzine in Lebanon. The fibre is 90 million years older than the thread that previously held the record for the oldest preserved silk, according to the report in the journal Nature. The Lebanese silk strand is four millimetres in length and has tiny glue droplets spaced out along it. The diameter of the thread, and the size, density, arrangement and shape of the droplets, closely match those in...
  • Dinosaur Breath - Cretaceous Atmosphere Sample obtained and Studied.

    02/17/2003 4:37:53 PM PST · by vannrox · 15 replies · 822+ views
    Analog Science Fiction & Fact Magazine ^ | Published in the July-1988 issue | John G. Cramer
    Dinosaur Breath The largest flying creature alive today is the Andean condor Vultur gryphus. At maximum size it weighs about 22 pounds and has a wingspread of about 10 feet. But 65 million years ago in the late cretaceous period, the last age of dinosaurs, there was another larger flying animal, the giant pterosaur Quetzalcotalus. It had a wingspread of over 40 feet, the size of a small airplane. Other pterosaurs were also quite large. The pteranodons of the late jurassic period, the classic flying dinosaurs of magazine illustrations, had a maximum wingspan of about 33 feet. This presents a...
  • Dino-Era Feathers Found Encased In Amber (100 Million Years Old)

    03/12/2008 5:37:43 PM PDT · by blam · 51 replies · 1,982+ views
    National Geographic News ^ | 3-11-2008 | James Owens
    Dino-Era Feathers Found Encased in Amber James Owen for National Geographic NewsMarch 11, 2008 Seven dino-era feathers found perfectly preserved in amber in western France highlight a crucial stage in feather evolution, scientists report. The hundred-million-year-old plumage has features of both feather-like fibers found with some two-legged dinosaurs known as theropods and of modern bird feathers, the researchers said. This means the fossils could fill a key gap in the puzzle of how dinosaurs gave rise to birds, according to a team led by Vincent Perrichot of the Museum für Naturkunde-Berlin in Germany. The find provides a clear example "of...
  • Light Shed On South Pole Dinosaurs

    08/12/2011 9:02:20 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    Science News ^ | August 5, 2011 | Montana State University
    Dog-sized dinosaurs that lived near the South Pole, sometimes in the dark for months at a time, had bone tissue very similar to dinosaurs that lived everywhere on the planet, according to a doctoral candidate at Montana State University. That surprising fact falsifies a 13-year-old study and may help explain why dinosaurs were able to dominate the planet for 160 million years, said Holly Woodward, MSU graduate student in the Department of Earth Sciences and co-author of a paper published Aug. 3 in the journal PLoS ONE. "If we were trying to find evidence of dinosaurs doing something much different...
  • Giant fossil shows huge birds lived among dinosaurs

    08/10/2011 5:21:06 PM PDT · by Renfield · 31 replies
    BBC News ^ | 8-10-2011
    An enormous jawbone found in Kazakhstan is further evidence that giant birds roamed - or flew above - the Earth at the same time as the dinosaurs. Writing in Biology Letters, researchers say the new species, Samrukia nessovi, had a skull some 30cm long. If flightless, the bird would have been 2-3m tall; if it flew, it may have had a wingspan of 4m. The find is only the second bird of such a size in the Cretaceous geologic period, and the first in Asia. The only other evidence of a bird of such a size during the period was...
  • Full Dinosaur Skeleton Found in Alaska, Plus Photos of Rare Dinosaur Fossils

    07/30/2011 7:44:38 AM PDT · by Daffynition · 16 replies
    IBTimes San Francisco ^ | July 29, 2011 | staff reporter
    A 200 million year old reptilian fossil was discovered by Alaskan scientists along the shores of Tongass National Forest. It was the low tide that made the discovery possible as a rare marine creature called Thalattosaurs was submerged in water and rocks. The last Thalattosaurs to survive was after the Triassic period, roughly 200 million years ago. An almost complete skeleton was recovered along with an outline of the body embedded onto surrounding rocks. The creature is usually between 3 to 10 feet long with padded limbs and flat tails. The snout turns downward and contains both pointy teeth for...
  • How early reptiles moved

    07/27/2011 9:19:08 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 7 replies
    http://www.physorg.com ^ | 07-27-2011 | Staff + Provided by Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet Jena
    Jena (Germany) Modern scientists would have loved the sight of early reptiles running across the Bromacker near Tambach-Dietharz (Germany) 300 million years ago. Unfortunately this journey through time is impossible. But due to Dr. Thomas Martens and his team from the Foundation Schloss Friedenstein Gotha numerous skeletons and footprints of early dinosaurs have been found and conserved there during the last forty years. "It is the most important find spot of primitive quadruped vertebrates from the Perm in Europe," says Professor Dr. Martin S. Fischer from the University Jena (Germany). The evolutionary biologist and his team together with the Gotha...
  • Oldest pregnant lizard fossil discovered

    07/22/2011 5:55:54 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 21 replies
    http://www.physorg.com ^ | July 22, 2011 | by Deborah Braconnie
    A new paper published in Naturwissenschaft reveals a fossil from 120 million years ago that proves that some lizards were not laying eggs but rather giving birth to live young. The fossil was discovered by Susan Evans, a professor from the University College London Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, in the Jehol region of Northeast China. This area has revealed hundreds of dinosaur, amphibian, reptile, fish, bird, mammal, invertebrate and plant fossils. The lizard in this case has been identified as Yabeinosaurus which scientists believe to be similar to the gecko. Evans did not pay much attention to the...
  • Yale Scientists Discover the Last Living Dinosaur

    07/16/2011 4:39:22 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 130 replies
    CTV ^ | Sat Jul. 16 2011
    A fossil discovered in Montana has given new momentum to the hypothesis that dinosaurs were thriving right up until a devastating meteor hit Earth 65 million years ago, causing their extinction. Scientists from Yale University have found what is believed to be the youngest dinosaur fossil ever found, thought to be from just before the mass extinction took place. The discovery, described in a study published in the online edition of the journal Biology Letters, contradicts the theory that the dinosaurs slowly went extinct before the cosmic impact. The fossil -- a 45-centimetre horn believed to be from a triceratops...
  • Last dinosaur before mass extinction discovered

    07/12/2011 5:54:31 PM PDT · by decimon · 35 replies
    Yale University ^ | July 12, 2011 | Unknown
    New Haven, Conn.—A team of scientists has discovered the youngest dinosaur preserved in the fossil record before the catastrophic meteor impact 65 million years ago. The finding indicates that dinosaurs did not go extinct prior to the impact and provides further evidence as to whether the impact was in fact the cause of their extinction. Researchers from Yale University discovered the fossilized horn of a ceratopsian – likely a Triceratops, which are common to the area – in the Hell Creek formation in Montana last year. They found the fossil buried just five inches below the K-T boundary, the geological...
  • Dorset pliosaur: ‘Most fearsome predator’ unveiled

    07/11/2011 12:55:09 PM PDT · by Renfield · 27 replies
    BBC News ^ | 7-8-2010 | Rebecca Morelle
    A skull belonging to one of the largest "sea monsters" ever unearthed is being unveiled to the public. The beast, which is called a pliosaur, has been described as the most fearsome predator the Earth has seen. The fossil was found in Dorset, but it has taken 18 months to remove the skull from its rocky casing, revealing the monster in remarkable detail. Scientists suspect the creature, which is on show at the Dorset County Museum, may be a new species or even genus. ~~~snip~~~ "It was probably the most fearsome predator that ever lived. Standing in front of the...
  • Image of ancient mammoth or mastodon found on bone (Florida 13,000bc)

    06/23/2011 8:06:42 PM PDT · by Islander7 · 16 replies
    AP ^ | June 23, 2011 | RANDOLPH E. SCHMID
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Some of the earliest Americans turn out to have been artists. A bone fragment at least 13,000 years old, with the carved image of a mammoth or mastodon, has been discovered in Florida, a new study reports. While prehistoric art depicting animals with trunks has been found in Europe, this may be the first in the Western Hemisphere, researchers report Wednesday in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
  • Rare seal fossils spark murder mystery

    03/18/2011 6:16:53 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | Wednesday, March 16, 2011 | Donna Hesterman
    The seals met their demise more than 3 million years ago. Bobby Boessenecker, a graduate student at Montana State University, has conducted field research in Santa Cruz County since 2005, and according to his article published in last month's edition of the scientific journal Palaios, the seal bones appear to have been bitten by another mammal. Boessenecker said that fact makes them a rare find. There are only two other examples in the world's fossil record of mammal on marine mammal violence, Boessenecker said... The fossils appear to be an upper arm bone and a forearm bone of different seals...
  • Fossils Record Reveals Ancient Migrations, Trilobite Mass Matings

    03/18/2011 5:47:00 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 42 replies
    Science News ^ | St Patrick's Day, March 17, 2011 | Reuters
    In a quest that has taken him from Oklahoma to Morocco and Poland, Brett has analyzed multiple examples of mass trilobite burial. A smothering death by tons of hurricane-generated storm sediment was so rapid that the trilobites are preserved in life position. These geologic "snapshots" record behavior in much the way that ancient Roman life was recorded at Pompeii by volcanic ash. Burial was rapid, Brett said, but also somewhat delicate. Trilobites, like other arthropods, shed their hard exoskeletons from time to time. "We find molted pieces lying immediately adjacent to each other," he said. "This is proof that the...
  • 'Thunder-Thighs' Dinosaur Discovered

    03/09/2011 10:40:36 PM PST · by Immerito · 24 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | February 23, 2011 | Unknown
    'Thunder-Thighs' Dinosaur Discovered: Brontomerus May Have Used Powerful Thigh Muscles to Kick Predators ScienceDaily (Feb. 23, 2011) — A new dinosaur named Brontomerus mcintoshi, or "thunder-thighs" after its enormously powerful thigh muscles, has been discovered in Utah, USA. The new species is described in a paper recently published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica by an international team of scientists from the UK and the US. A member of the long-necked sauropod group of dinosaurs which includes Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus, Brontomerus may have used its powerful thighs as a weapon to kick predators, or to help travel over rough, hilly...
  • T. Rex More Hyena Than Lion

    03/09/2011 10:34:09 PM PST · by Immerito · 15 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | February 22, 2011 | Unknown
    T. Rex More Hyena Than Lion: Tyrannosaurus Rex Was Opportunistic Feeder, Not Top Predator, Paleontologists Say ScienceDaily (Feb. 22, 2011) — The ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex has been depicted as the top dog of the Cretaceous, ruthlessly stalking herds of duck-billed dinosaurs and claiming the role of apex predator, much as the lion reigns supreme in the African veld. But a new census of all dinosaur skeletons unearthed over a large area of eastern Montana shows that Tyrannosaurus was too numerous to have subsisted solely on the dinosaurs it tracked and killed with its scythe-like teeth. Instead, argue paleontologists John "Jack"...
  • Rare 89-Million-Year-Old Flying Reptile Fossil from Texas May Be World's Oldest Pteranodon

    03/09/2011 10:26:34 PM PST · by Immerito · 11 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | March 1, 2011 | Unknown
    ScienceDaily (Mar. 1, 2011) — Fossilized bones discovered in Texas from a flying reptile that died 89 million years ago may be the earliest occurrence of the prehistoric creature known as Pteranodon. Previously, Pteranodon bones have been found in Kansas, South Dakota and Wyoming in the Niobrara and Pierre geological formations. This likely Pteranodon specimen is the first of its kind found in Texas, according to paleontologist Timothy S. Myers at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, who identified the reptile. The specimen was discovered north of Dallas by an amateur fossil hunter who found various bones belonging to the left...
  • Breakthrough gives 3-D vision of life’s dawn

    08/09/2006 2:40:31 PM PDT · by TChris · 14 replies · 598+ views
    MSNBC ^ | Augut 9, 2006 | MSNBC News Services
    A new technique allowing virtual dissections of half-billion-year-old fossil embryos is producing the first three-dimensional images of the dawn of life. It reveals a universe of detail impossible using previous methods, and researchers said it was pushing back the frontiers of science much as the scanning electron microscope did half a century ago. [SNIP] In contrast to those methods, synchroton-radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy, or SRXTM, leaves the tiny fossils untouched but gives graphic details of their structure.
  • Thunder Thighs: New Dinosaur Had A Colossal Kick

    02/24/2011 4:05:30 AM PST · by edpc · 8 replies
    Live Science via Yahoo News ^ | 24 Feb 2011 | Charles Q. Choi
    Anyone who's ever thought they had a big butt had nothing on a dinosaur literally named "thunder thighs." Among the sauropods, the largest creatures to have ever walked the Earth, Brontomerus — "thunder thighs" in Greek — probably had the biggest thighs of them all, scientists revealed. Its unusually powerful back legs might have been used for super-kicks against rivals or would-be predators, they added. [Illustration of Brontomerus] Partial skeletons of Brontomerus mcintoshi were recovered in 1994 in a quarry in eastern Utah. (The dinosaur's species name, mcintoshi, is meant to honor of John "Jack" McIntosh, a retired physicist and...
  • New 'thunder-thighs' dinosaur discovered

    02/23/2011 6:54:46 AM PST · by decimon · 25 replies
    University College London ^ | February 23, 2011 | Unknown
    LONDON – A new dinosaur named Brontomerus mcintoshi, or "thunder-thighs" after its enormously powerful thigh muscles, has been discovered in Utah, USA. The new species is described in a paper recently published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica by an international team of scientists from the U.K. and the U.S. A member of the long-necked sauropod group of dinosaurs which includes Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus, Brontomerus may have used its powerful thighs as a weapon to kick predators, or to help travel over rough, hilly terrain. Brontomerus lived about 110 million years ago, during the Early Cretaceous Period, and probably had...
  • New 'thunder-thighs' dinosaur discovered (w/ Video)

    02/23/2011 10:25:26 AM PST · by Red Badger · 35 replies
    PHYSORG.COM ^ | February 23, 2011 | STAFF
    Brontomerus mcintoshi is a newly discovered dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of North America. The name Brontomerus means "Thunder thighs" -- a name chosen because the peculiar shape of the hip bone shows that it would have had enormously powerful thigh muscles in life. (PhysOrg.com) -- A new dinosaur named Brontomerus mcintoshi, or "thunder-thighs" after its enormously powerful thigh muscles, has been discovered in Utah, USA. The new species is described in a paper recently published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica by an international team of scientists from the U.K. and the U.S. A member of the long-necked sauropod...
  • Test shows dinosaurs survived mass extinction by 700,000 years

    01/27/2011 11:05:42 AM PST · by decimon · 57 replies
    University of Alberta ^ | January 27, 2011 | Unknown
    University of Alberta researchers determined that a fossilized dinosaur bone found in New Mexico confounds the long established paradigm that the age of dinosaurs ended between 65.5 and 66 million years ago. The U of A team, led by Larry Heaman from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, determined the femur bone of a hadrosaur as being only 64.8 million years old. That means this particular plant eater was alive about 700,000 years after the mass extinction event many paleontologists believe wiped all non-avian dinosaurs off the face of earth, forever. Heaman and colleagues used a new direct-dating method...
  • CSI: Manchester -- University team gets forensic on dinosaurs (TV series)

    01/25/2011 12:53:45 PM PST · by decimon · 3 replies
    University of Manchester ^ | January 25, 2011 | Unknown
    A new TV series featuring dinosaur detectives from The University of Manchester looking at how dinosaurs once lived, looked and functioned begins in the UK this week. Presented by University of Manchester palaeontologist Dr Phil Manning, the series will be aired on the National Geographic Channel, starting in the UK on Thursday February 3rd, before being transmitted to many countries around the world. It is the first ever series on dinosaurs commissioned by National Geographic, as previously documentaries have only aired as one or two-hour specials. Jurassic CSI will for the first time provide a detailed forensic look at dinosaurs...
  • Dating sheds new light on dawn of the dinosaurs

    01/24/2011 2:55:25 PM PST · by decimon · 18 replies
    University of California, Davis ^ | January 24, 2011 | Unknown
    Careful dating of new dinosaur fossils and volcanic ash around them by researchers from UC Davis and UC Berkeley casts doubt on the idea that dinosaurs appeared and opportunistically replaced other animals. Instead -- at least in one South American valley -- they seem to have existed side by side and gone through similar periods of extinction. Geologists from Argentina and the United States announced earlier this month the discovery of a new dinosaur that roamed what is now South America 230 million years ago, at the beginning of the age of the dinosaurs. The newly discovered Eodramaeus, or "dawn...
  • Ancient 8-Foot Sea Scorpions Probably Were Pussycats

    01/03/2011 10:07:49 AM PST · by Silentgypsy · 29 replies
    Live Science ^ | 12/30/2010 | Charles Q. Choi
    Ancient sea scorpions included the largest and arguably most frightening bug-like creatures known to have lived on Earth, but despite their fearsome claws, these giants might actually have been creampuffs, scientists think.
  • Rodents Were Diverse and Abundant in Prehistoric Africa When Our Human Ancestors Evolved

    01/01/2011 5:35:14 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | December 29, 2010 | adapted from materials by Margaret Allen of S Methodist U
    odents get a bad rap as vermin and pests because they seem to thrive everywhere. They have been one of the most common mammals in Africa for the past 50 million years. From deserts to rainforests, rodents flourished in prehistoric Africa, making them a stable and plentiful source of food, says paleontologist Alisa J. Winkler, an expert on rodent and rabbit fossils... Rodents can corroborate evidence from geology and plant and animal fossils about the ancient environments of our human ancestors and other prehistoric mammals, says Winkler, a research professor at Southern Methodist University... Rodents -- rats, mice, squirrels, porcupines,...
  • Fossilized Bird Brains May Yield Secret of First Flights

    01/01/2011 5:28:01 PM PST · by decimon · 16 replies
    Live Science ^ | January 1, 2011 | Charles Q. Choi
    By reconstructing the brains of extinct birds, researchers could shed light on when birds evolved into creatures of flight. Overwhelming evidence suggests birds evolved from dinosaurs some 150 million years ago, but one of the missing pieces to the evolutionary puzzle is how such birds took to the air. Scientists in Scotland are focusing on changes in the size of a part of the rear of the brain. This part of the cerebellum, known as the flocculus, is responsible for integrating visual and balance signals during flight, allowing birds to judge the position of other objects in midflight. [3-D Image...
  • Help needed identifying fossils (Vanity)

    01/01/2011 6:51:30 AM PST · by Hotmetal · 57 replies
    I found all of these on my first outting in one creek. I was told the large teeth are from a mastodon but they don't look like the ones I've seen on the web. The vertabra I was told, are maybe from a mosasaur.
  • Oldest fossils found in Cordillera Betica mountain range

    12/13/2010 10:48:40 AM PST · by decimon · 19 replies
    Spanish researchers have found fossils of Ordovician conodonts dating to between 446 and 444 million years ago for the first time in the western Mediterranean. The discovery of these very primitive marine vertebrates has helped scientists to reconstruct the palaeogeography of the Cordillera Bética mountain range. Their study shows that the mountain system in the south of the Iberian Peninsula was located alongside the Alps at that time. In 2006, a group of Andalusian geologists found the oldest fossils in the Cordillera Bética, dating from the late Ordovician period between 446 and 444 million years ago, in the Maláguide Complex...
  • Snails with shells coiling to the left survive snake attacks (w/ Video)

    12/12/2010 1:22:49 PM PST · by JoeProBono · 11 replies · 1+ views
    physorg ^ | December 10, 2010 | Lin Edwards
    Snail shells can spiral to the left (sinistral) or to the right (dextral), as determined by a single gene, and a new study has found the advantage of being in the minority sinistral group: they survive predation by snakes much better than dextral snails. The effect of this advantage is so great they could separate into a distinct species. Mating between sinistral and dextral snails is almost impossible because their genitals are on opposite sides of their bodies. In the large Satsuma snails, for example, mating takes place face-to-face. All snails have both male and female reproductive organs, and when...
  • Crocs dispel 'living fossil' myth

    12/08/2010 7:57:19 PM PST · by decimon · 13 replies
    BBC ^ | December 8, 2010 | Ella Davies
    Crocodiles can no longer be referred to as "living fossils", according to scientists.Members of the crocodilian family have previously been thought to have changed little since prehistoric times. However, new fossil analyses suggests that modern crocodilians actually evolved from a very diverse group. Recently discovered ancient ancestors include small cat-like specimens, giant "supercrocs" and a pug-nosed vegetarian species. Body structureModern crocodilians are adapted to aquatic environments with long snouts, strong tails and powerful jaws. Yet contrary to popular belief, scientists now suggest that the basic body structure of crocodiles, alligators and ghariels evolved from a diverse group of prehistoric reptiles...