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Latest Gregory M. Erickson Stories

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2009-10-09 12:25:00

Experts say new research reveals that the Archaeopteryx, which has long been viewed as the archetypal first bird, was actually a lot less "bird-like" than scientists originally thought. Archaeopteryx (from the Greek for "ancient wing"), lived 150 million years ago during the Late Jurassic period in what is now Germany. New microscopic images of the ancient cells and blood vessels inside the bones of the winged, feathered, claw-handed creature show unexpectedly slow growth and maturation that...

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2008-12-18 16:47:02

Sure, they're polygamous, but male emus and several other ground-dwelling birds also are devoted dads, serving as the sole incubators and caregivers to oversized broods from multiple mothers. It is rare behavior, but research described in the Dec. 19 Science found that it runs in this avian family, all the way back to its dinosaur ancestors. Scientists had long wondered about the origins of polygamy and paternal care patterns among modern-day Paleognathes -- an ancient avian lineage that...

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2006-07-14 18:30:00

WASHINGTON -- Even the powerful tyrannosaurs seem to have encountered a midlife crisis. Once they made it to about age 2 they could take on just about any other predator and had very little mortality until they reached sexual maturity in their teens, researchers report in Friday's issue of the journal Science. "Survivorship stabilized at between two and four percent per year until midlife at which point they went through an honest-to-God midlife crisis," Gregory M. Erickson, who teaches...


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