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Latest Lawrence Witmer Stories

Beaks Were Functionally Important In Protecting Dinosaur Skulls
2013-12-03 08:20:52

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online One typical hallmark of modern birds that comes in a huge variety of shapes and sizes is the beak. While this is common knowledge, it is less well known that during the Cretaceous Period keratin-covered beaks had already evolved in different groups of dinosaurs. A international team of scientists, composed of Dr Stephan Lautenschlager and Dr Emily Rayfield of the University of Bristol with Dr Perle Altangerel of the National...

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2011-07-28 04:55:00

Archaeopteryx, once believed to be the world's earliest bird, may actually have been just another feathered dinosaur, according to a report published Wednesday in the journal Nature. Researchers in China, led by Xing Xu of Linyi University, carried out a phylogenetic analysis combining a newly discovered fossil with other similar dinosaurs and early birds, and concluded that the species should no longer be considered a fully developed bird. If confirmed, the controversial hypothesis would be...

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2011-05-10 07:50:00

A new study from an international team of scientists suggests juvenile and adult predatory dinosaurs had a range of hunting and feeding strategies. While adult tyrannosaurs wielded size and power to take down large prey, juveniles relied on their agility to hunt smaller game. "It's one of the secrets of success for tyrannosaurs"”the different age groups weren't competing with each other for food because their diets shifted as they grew," said Ohio University paleontologist Lawrence...

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2010-08-19 12:10:00

According to a new study, 90-pound birds that once lived in South America used their giant, sharp beaks like a boxer giving their opponent a quick jab. Researchers reported in the online journal PLoS ONE that the creatures, officially known as Andalgalornis, were built to strike forward, attacking their prey with sudden jabs. "These guys were not sluggers, they couldn't go in and grapple with prey. They had to stand back and dance around and make hatchet-like jabs," Lawrence Witmer of the...

2008-12-08 13:25:56

U.S. scientists using computerized tomography scanning have found dinosaurs had much larger air cavities in their heads than had been thought. Ohio University Professor Lawrence Witmer and research associate Ryan Ridgely examined skulls from two predators, Tyrannosaurus rex and Majungasaurus, as well as two ankylosaurian dinosaurs, Panoplosaurus and Euoplocephalus. For comparison, the scientists said they also studied scans of crocodiles and ostriches, which are modern day relatives of...

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2008-12-08 15:30:00

Paleontologists have long known that dinosaurs had tiny brains, but they had no idea the beasts were such airheads. A new study by Ohio University researchers Lawrence Witmer and Ryan Ridgely found that dinosaurs had more air cavities in their heads than expected. By using CT scans, the scientists were able to develop 3-D images of the dinosaur skulls that show a clearer picture of the physiology of the airways. "I've been looking at sinuses for a long time, and indeed people would kid me...

2006-02-16 19:00:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - New methods of analyzing fossils have scientists arguing more than ever about whether Tyrannosaurus rex was a lumbering scavenger or a swift and agile predator. A CAT scan study of Tyrannosaurus rex skulls shows it had the inner ear of a much smaller, swifter predator. But a close look inside its thigh bone shows it had the ungainly body of a heavier creature. "I think what we have to do now is re-model dinosaurs," said...


Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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