Tag Archives | Dinosaurs

Prehistoric Marine Reptile Fossil Found With Embryo Inside

PlesiosaurIt’s been a widely accepted fact that reptiles lay eggs. But did they always? New findings in a pleiosaurs’ fossil revealed that this marine reptile gave birth to live young. Via New Scientist:

Think less sea monsters, more doting parents: the long-necked plesiosaurs that roamed the seas during the dinosaur era gave birth to live young. They probably cared for their offspring and may even have lived in large social groups, like modern-day whales.

Plesiosaurs were reptiles, which as a group tend to lay eggs rather than giving birth. Other prehistoric marine reptiles were known to be exceptions to that rule, but until now fossil evidence that plesiosaurs did the same has been frustratingly elusive. “People have looked and looked,” says F. Robin O’Keefe of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

Last year O’Keefe was called in to help prepare a fossil plesiosaur for display in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

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Two New Dinosaurs Discovered in Utah

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Illustration from Utah Museum of Natural History

The two new dinosaurs found in Southern Utah are said to have more horns on their head than any known dino. Now the only question is whether they were functional or just fashionable? From National Geographic:

Two newly discovered horned dinosaur species from an ancient “lost continent” are some of the most surprising and ornate yet found, paleontologists say.

The new dinosaurs are members of the ceratopsids, the group of dinosaurs that includes Triceratops. The animals were generally four-legged herbivores with horns and bony frills rising from the backs of their heads.

The larger of the two dinosaurs, Utahceratops gettyi, had a 7-foot-long (2.3-meter-long) skull, prompting study co-author Mark Loewen of the University of Utah to compare the animal to “a giant rhino with a ridiculously supersized head.”

The other new dinosaur, Kosmoceratops richardsoni, is “one of the most amazing animals known, with a huge skull decorated with an assortment of bony bells and whistles,” study leader Scott Sampson, also of the University of Utah, said in a statement.

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A Third Of Texans Say Dinosaurs And Humans Coexisted

Does a third of the population believe that “The Flinstones was a documentary”? In a poll, one out of three Texans say that humans and dinosaurs lived together at one point. Oh, and, the majority say that humanity did not develop from an earlier species. The Texas Tribune reports:

Nearly a third of Texans believe humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, and more than half disagree with the theory that humans developed from earlier species of animals, according to the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

[Professor David] Prindle recall[s] a line from comedian Lewis Black. “He did a routine a few years back in which he said that a significant proportion of the American people think that the ‘The Flintstones’ is a documentary,” Prindle says. “Turns out he was right.”

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‘Object X’ Likely Related to Prehistoric Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid

David Perlman writes in the SF Chronicle:

A puzzling object that seemed to be a comet flying inside the solar system’s asteroid belt is no comet at all, but the remains of a violent collision between two fossil rocks that populate the belt, astronomers say.

Captured in images by the Hubble Space Telescope, the crash of the asteroids provides scientists with their first opportunity to see clear evidence of the violent activity that has constantly churned the asteroid belt since its formation, probably when the planets themselves were forming about 4.5 billion years ago.

ObjectX

The object was first sighted in early January by astronomers at the Air Force LINEAR project telescope in New Mexico, who reported it as a comet that must have flown into the asteroid belt from the solar system’s outer reaches, as all comets do. It was the fifth presumed comet to be reported in the unlikely region, they said, and they gave it the code name P/2010 A2.

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Thousands Of Dinosaur Footprints Uncovered In China

From PhysOrg.com:

A mound strewn with dinosaur bones is seen October 2009 in Zhucheng, in northeast China’s Shandong province. Paleontologists in China have uncovered more than 3,000 dinosaur footprints, state media reported, in an area said to be the world’s largest grouping of fossilised bones belonging to the ancient animals.

Archaeologists in China have uncovered more than 3,000 dinosaur footprints, state media reported, in an area said to be the world’s largest grouping of fossilised bones belonging to the ancient animals.

The footprints, believed to be more than 100 million years old, were discovered after a three-month excavation at a gully in Zhucheng in the eastern province of Shandong, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The prints range from 10 to 80 centimetres (four to 32 inches) in length, and belonged to at least six different kinds of dinosaurs, including tyrannosaurs, the report said Saturday.

Wang Haijun, a senior engineer at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the prints faced the same direction, Xinhua said.

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