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Latest Mesozoic Stories

Exceptional Fossils Of 160 Million Year Old Doahugou Biota
2014-03-05 10:02:18

Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Over the last two decades, huge numbers of fossils have been collected from the western Liaoning Province and adjacent parts of northeastern China, including exceptionally preserved feathered dinosaurs, early birds, and mammals. Most of these specimens are from the Cretaceous Period, including the famous Jehol Biota. However, in recent years many fossils have emerged from sites that are 30 million years earlier, from the Middle-Upper Jurassic Period,...

2014-03-03 15:21:05

A failed Saharan Atlantic Ocean rift zone Break-up of the supercontinent Gondwana about 130 Million years ago could have lead to a completely different shape of the African and South American continent with an ocean south of today's Sahara desert, as geoscientists from the University of Sydney and the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences have shown through the use of sophisticated plate tectonic and three-dimensional numerical modelling. The study highlights the importance of rift...

Ichthyosaur Birth Preserved In Fossil
2014-02-13 11:23:09

PLOS Ichthyosaur fossil may show the earliest live birth from an ancient Mesozoic marine reptile, according to a study published February 12, 2014 in PLOS ONE by Ryosuke Motani from the University of California, Davis, and colleagues. Ichthyosaurs were giant marine reptiles that evolved from land reptiles and moved to the water. Scientists report a new fossil specimen that belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles that lived...

Giants Of Earth's History Still Pose A Wealth Of Riddles
2014-01-14 10:32:20

Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz Sauropods, the largest land animals in Earth's history, are still mightily puzzling the scientists. These plant-eating dinosaurs with their long necks and small heads could reach a height of 10 meters or more and dominated all other land vertebrates in terms of size. They could weigh up to 80 tons, more than any other known land vertebrate. One question that has been intensely debated is how these giants of the animal kingdom regulated their own body...

New Hell Creek, Montana Raptor Species Named, Described
2013-12-16 14:43:30

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new species of dinosaur recently discovered in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana has been described as the youngest known dromaeosaurid and was a close cousin of the Velociraptor. The dinosaur, called Acheroraptor temertyorum, was approximately nine feet tall and weighed about 90 pounds when it was alive. The naming and description of this raptoran, which lived in what is now western North America some 66 to 67 million years...

King Of Gore: Super Predator Cousin Of T. Rex Found In Utah
2013-11-07 14:47:55

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online You may have noticed your local paleontologist has had an extra bounce in his step this week. That might have something to do with a monumental find of a new super-predator dinosaur in the Wahweap Formation within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in south-central Utah. Known as Lythronax argestes, this super predator lived 80 million years ago and is a distant, older cousin to the larger Tyrannosaurus rex. Measuring...

Mammal Diversity Faltered When Flowering Plants Arrived
2013-10-02 16:02:24

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online As mammals were trying to emerge from the shadows of dinosaurs 100 million years ago, there was a dramatic proliferation of flowering plant species. However, instead of early mammals benefiting from new food and shelter opportunities that would have been provided by the plants, they experienced a decline during the mid-Cretaceous. Using a morphological analysis, two researchers were able to provide these new insights about mammalian...

Ancient Crocodile Diversity
2013-09-11 12:31:02

[ Watch the Video: Crocodiles Thrived During Prehistoric Times ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Ancient relatives of crocodiles had a wide range of habitats and ecosystems, with some species built like domestic dogs and others built for swimming through the open seas. Using a combination of morphological and biomechanical metrics to analyze these ancient crocodilians, a new study from researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK identified distinct trends...

Earliest Known Scorpion Fossil Discovered In South Africa
2013-09-03 12:41:53

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists publishing a study in the journal African Invertebrate say they have discovered a 350-million-year-old fossilized scorpion. The specimen, discovered in rocks from the Devonian Witteberg Group near Grahamstown, is a new species of scorpion called Gondwanascorpio emzantsiensis. Dr Robert Gess, from the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University, discovered the specimen, which is said to be the oldest known land-living...

End-Permian Mass Extinction Paved Way For Modern Mammals
2013-08-28 16:19:55

Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Mass extinction certainly sounds like it would be the end of the line, and perhaps even evokes images of the end of the world. However, new research conducted by the University of Lincoln, the National Museum in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and the University of Bristol suggests that the end can also be the beginning. This research, which was published this month in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, noted that the ancient closest...


Latest Mesozoic Reference Libraries

2014-04-22 14:52:09

Edwin Harris Colbert (September 28, 1905 – November 15, 2001), known as “Ned” to his friends and colleagues, was a distinguished American Paleontologist. He helped popularize the study of dinosaurs through his prolific research, writings, and 40 years of work as a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Colbert was born in Clarinda, Iowa, but moved to Maryville, Missouri during infancy. Like many young children, and most of his predecessors and contemporaries,...

Othniel Charles Marsh
2013-10-14 09:50:48

Othniel Charles Marsh (October 29, 1831 – March 18, 1899) was an American paleontologist, specializing primarily in vertebrates. He is highly renowned as one of the most prominent scientists of his time, having discovered and described dozens of new species. Marsh is also credited with developing what is currently the most widely accepted theory of the origin of birds. Marsh was born in Lockport, New York, to a family of moderate means. Thanks to the generosity of his uncle, George...

Styracosaurus
2013-04-29 14:54:48

Styracosaurus, meaning “spiked lizard” from the Ancient Greek styrax “spike at the butt-end of a spear-shaft” and sauros “lizard” was a genus of herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaur from the Cretaceous Period, about 76.5 to 75 million years ago. It had four to six long horns, stretching from its neck frill, a smaller horn on each cheek, and a single horn jutting out from its nose, which may have been up to 2 feet long and 6 inches wide. The function/functions of these horns and frills...

Thescelosaurus
2013-04-28 18:48:11

Thescelosaurus, meaning “godlike”, “wondrous”, or “marvelous” and “lizard” was a genus of small ornithopod dinosaur that appeared at the very end of the Late Cretaceous period in North America. It was a member of the last dinosaurian fauna before the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event around 65.5 million years ago. The completeness and preservation of many of its specimens illustrate that it might have preferred to live near streams. This bipedal ornithopod is known from...

Daspletosaurus
2013-04-28 18:27:18

Daspletosaurus, meaning “frightful lizard” is a genus of tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur that resided in western North America between 77 and 74 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period. Fossils of the only named species were found in Alberta, although other possible species from Alberta and Montana wait for description. Daspletosaurus is closely related to the much larger and more current Tyrannosaurus. Like most of the known tyrannosaurids, it was a multi-ton bipedal...

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Word of the Day
holluschickie
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'
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