Posts tagged dinosaurs
Claw marks on a 100-million-year-old riverbed in China reveal how some dinosaurs doggy-paddled over long distances, scientists say. “What we have are scratches left by the tips of a two-legged dinosaur’s feet,” study researcher Scott Persons, of the University of Alberta, said in a statement. “The dinosaur’s claw marks show it was swimming along in this river and just its tippy toes were touching bottom.”
Birds Descended from Gliding Dinosaurs:
“The oldest known feathered dinosaurs would be Anchiornis (155 million years ago) and Epidexipteryx (between 152 million and 168 million years ago),” Yale University paleontologist Nicholas Longrich told Discovery News. “Feathers seem to have appeared initially for insulation. Basically they start out as down, and later are used to make wings.”
dude, was “Predator X” not a cool enough name? high standard *scoff*
wait, they’re calling it funkei?! that’s pretty damn cool.
i feel a science rap coming on…
It’s official: A giant, marine reptile that roamed the seas roughly 150 million years ago is a new species.
The animal, now named Pliosaurus funkei, spanned about 40 feet (12 meters) and had a massive 6.5-foot-long (2 m) skull with a bite four times as powerful as Tyrannosaurus rex.
In 2006, scientists unearthed two massive pliosaur skeletons in Svalbard, Norway, a string of islands halfway between Europe and the North Pole. The giant creatures, one of which was dubbed Predator X at the time, looked slightly different from other pliosaurs discovered in England and France over the last century and a half.
“They were the top predators of the sea,” said study co-author Patrick Druckenmiller, a paleontologist at the University of Alaska Museum. “They had teeth that would have made a T. rex whimper.”
“It’s not just that we found a new species, we’ve been discovering a whole ecosystem,” Druckenmiller said.
Fossilized skulls of dome-headed dinosaurs retain signs of injuries from violent head butting or head shoving.
The dinosaurs, known as pachycephalosaurs (meaning “thick-headed lizards”) have long puzzled paleontologists, who wondered why the heads of these dinosaurs looked to have built-in football helmets.
i will now have the jurassic park soundtrack in my head the rest of the day.
In “Jurassic Park,” scientists extract 80-million-year-old dino DNA from the bellies of mosquitoes trapped in amber.
DNA’s half-life at 521 years, meaning half of the DNA bonds would be broken down 521 years after death, and half of the remaining bonds would be decayed another 521 years after that, and so on.
Thus, 65 million year old dinosaur DNA would have decayed to essentially squat.
John Hammond will never say (twice), “We have a T-Rex.”
A new study may explain many mysteries about dinosaurs, such as why enormous species had such small offspring, why non-flying dinos went extinct, and why today’s birds fly.
The paper, published in the journal Biology Letters, emphasizes how mammals and birds — but not non-avian dinosaurs — were able to persist beyond a major extinction 65.5 million years ago. The large body size and egg-laying ways of dinos may have helped to do them in, along with hungry mammals.
“The most successful (dinosaurs) were the very large ones that were able to escape the competition trap and replenish their numbers. After the mass extinction, they again tried to evolve large size, but to escape the competition trap they had to become multi-ton animals,” lead author Daryl Codron told Discovery News.