A team of researchers, including University of Edinburgh paleontologist Stephen Brusatte and Swarthmore College Associate Professor of Statistics Steve C. Wang, cataloging 853 skeletal characteristics in 150 dinosaurs and analyzing the rate at which these characters change, and they found that "there was no grand jump between nonbirds and birds in morphospace.
" In other words, birds didn't suddenly come into existence, but evolved, bit by bit, or characteristic by characteristic. But when birds were finally a thing, they went crazy. "Once it came together fully, it unlocked great evolutionary potential that allowed birds to evolve at a super-charged rate.
A gigantic fish-eater (Bigger than a T. rex!
) with a crocodile snout and a large sail on its back, Spinosaurus aegyptiacus has always been
a strange and enigmatic creature. It may have just become something stranger: a semiaquatic, quadrupedal theropod dinosaur. [more inside]
Scientists at Drexel university have discovered and described
the most complete
supermassive dinosaur ever found. According to paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara, the titanosaur
"weighed as much as a dozen African elephants or more than seven T. rex
. Shockingly, skeletal evidence shows that when this 65-ton specimen died, it was not yet full grown. It is by far the best example we have of any of the most giant creatures to ever walk the planet." It's name? Dreadnoughtus .
Dinosaurs were lumbering, stupid, scientifically boring beasts—until John Ostrom rewrote the book on them.
Dimetrodon is not a dinosaur!
Sorry to ruin your childhood yet again, but it's not even a reptile. It's a synapsid, which makes it one of our cousins. [more inside]
is a source for "dispatches from the American ancient West." Posts are sorted into three main categories: Dinosaurs & Ancient Life
(Paleontology, split into Dinosars
, The Ice Age
and All Fossils
), Prehistoric Americans
(Archaeology, split into Ancient Southwest
and The Mississippians
]), and Modern Artifacts
(Historic Archaeology, including the subset The 20th Century
). If you're not sure where to start reading, here are Western Digs’ Top 5 Paleontology Stories of 2013
and Western Digs’ Top 5 Archaeology Stories of 2013
Settling in for a long winter's nap? In need of a memento mori to guard against the unbridled jollity of the season? Just want to explore the wonderful world of 3D scans, osteology, and bioarchaeology on the internet a little further? Sad that Santa probably isn't bringing you a T-Rex for Christmas
? Well, just peak inside... [more inside]
is a blog devoted to exposing dinosaurs for the murder oriented monstrosities they were, promoting preparations for the likelihood of their return, and outing those people who support the dinosaur agenda."
On May 20th, the fossil remains of a Tarbosaurus
(aka, Tyrannosaurus bataar
) were sold for $1,052,500
. The auction was carried out despite objections from the President of Mongolia
and a court order
. The problem? The remains may have been poached.
- a kids podcast about dinosaurs, by a kid.
From August 2 to 18 there are fourteen Norwegian reptile hunters doing field work at the foot of the Janus Mountain in Svalbard, digging for remains of prehistoric sea monsters from the Jurassic period.
And it's all being streamed live
, via four webcams. [more inside]
In 1916, Bone War
veteran (and poet
) Charles H. Sternberg
loaded 22 crates of fossils from the Alberta Badlands onto the SS Mount Temple
, intending to ship them to the British Museum of Natural History. They never made it.
[via Dinosaur Tracking
The Strange Lives of Polar Dinosaurs
: How did they endure months of perpetual cold and dark?
See also Taking A Dinosaur's Temperature
: Polar species heat up one of paleontology's great debates.
And Bones To Pick
: Paleontologist William Hammer hunts dinosaur fossils in the Antarctic.
From Smithsonian Magazine.
John Updike writes about bizarre dinosaurs
for National Geographic. "How weird might a human body look to them? That thin and featherless skin, that dish-flat face, that flaccid erectitude, those feeble, clawless five digits at the end of each limb, that ghastly utter lack of a tail—ugh. Whatever did this creature do to earn its place in the sun, a well-armored, nicely specialized dino might ask. " Besides the Updike essay there's a image gallery
, an interview
with John Updike [audio starts automatically]
, a dino IQ test
, an audio critique
of the way dinosaurs have been depicted in the latter half of the 20th Century [audio starts automatically]
, a closer look at the odder features of some of the stranger dinosaurs
, an examination of the nigersaurus
) as well as dinosaur wallpapers
and jigsaw puzzles
. [via MeFi's Own ed]
Tracks of Swimming Dinosaur found in Wyoming
The tracks of a previously unknown, two-legged swimming dinosaur have been identified along the shoreline of an ancient inland sea that covered Wyoming 165 million years ago, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder graduate student.
is an educational game that "simulates the process of creating a scientific hypothesis and testing it against new data
" (A good thing to teach kids with people like these guys
running around). The game is based on the legendary Cope/Marsh feud
: a conflict that caused one Dinosaur to be classified twice
and could make for a really cool movie someday.