Amazing Number of Dinosaur Footprints Discovered in Utah

Amazing Concentration of Prehistoric Animal Tracks Discovered

The use of all terrain vehicles (ATVs) in the countryside can be a thorny issue. There are the drivers and enthusiasts who love the thrill of pitching themselves and their machines against what Mother Nature has to offer, whilst on the other side there are those folk who consider them to be noisy, intrusive beasts; leaving a trail of destruction wherever they go. Certainly, in parts of Southern England, such as the historic, ancient Ridgeway track on the South Downs; such vehicles have damaged the countryside, but in America, a popular off-roading area has provided scientists with a fascinating glimpse of life from the early Jurassic.

A Lucky Find of Prehistoric Footprints

Mummified Hadrosaur Remains - Unlocks Duck-Billed Dinosaur Secrets

Amazing Duck-Billed Dinosaur From Dakota A Mummified Fossil

Dinosaur bones are rare, well-preserved ones are exceptionally rare and for some palaeontologists the discovery of fossilised bones in association with each other or bones in articulation are the find of a life-time. However, for one young, American scientist, Tyler Lyson, his discovery of a remarkably well-preserved duck-billed dinosaur, complete with fossilised skin, ligaments and tendons is a discovery to beat most other discoveries.

Lucky Find by PhD Student in Dakota Badlands

Tyler, who is currently completing his Doctorate in Palaeontology at Yale University, found the amazing fossil whilst on a fossil hunting expedition in a remote part of North Dakota.

New Dinosaur Discovery - In a Museum's Vaults

New Dinosaur Species Discovered In Museum

The romantic notion of an earnest young palaeontologist exploring the base of a cliff away from the rest of the dig team and uncovering their very own brand new genus of dinosaur is a bit fanciful, but these occasions do occur. However, sometimes amazing discoveries can be made by simply re-examining earlier finds in museum collections.

This is precisely what happened to Mike Taylor, a PhD student from the University of Portsmouth who has discovered a brand new type of sauropod (long-necked dinosaur) whilst studying at the Natural History museum - London.

The Strangest Dinosaurs of All - The Therizinosaurs

The Most Bizarre of All the Dinosauria - "Scythe Lizards"

Looking back over various text books, journals and papers from the 1960s, 70s and 80s you can get an impression of how our knowledge of dinosaurs has changed over time. New fossils and new techniques used to study existing specimens have yielded much more data, whhch when interpreted has provided palaeontologists with a great deal of information about these prehistoric animals. However, the Mesozoic fossil record is still full of surprises and the emergence of the Therizinosaurs, this bizarre group of meat-eaters turned plant-eaters illustrates this point nicely.

A Dinosaur Designed by a Committee?

Are Some Human Gene Sets More Adapted For Thermal Stress and Greater Extremes?

Species must adapt to their environment or they become former species, extinct. They either adapt or die even if the changes are abrupt they must cope, reproduce, and survive or else. Guess what? Humans are no different in this regard. Whereas, humans can modify their environment - heating, air-conditioning, etc. they still have to deal with the outside conditions, unless they wish to go live in caves in the future, or underground. Of course, then they must adapt to those new conditions, you see the point?

One of the biggest issues is thermal or heat stress. In fact, in the Journal of Ergonomics (volume 16, issue 5, 1973) there was an interesting paper titled; "Thermal Stress and Thermal Comfort" by RK MacPherson with an abstract which stated;

Spanish Scientists Report on Dinosaur Bone-Bed Discovery

Iberian Discoveries Show Thriving Dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous

Spanish scientists have announced the discovery of a large dinosaur bone-bed containing the remains of numerous dinosaurs, so far eight species of dinosaur have been identified amongst the eight thousand fossils unearthed.

The site, near the city of Cuenca in western Spain is being heralded as one of the largest dinosaur bone-beds found in Europe, although it will have to go a long way to beat the amazing Plateosaur bone-beds discovered recently on the Swiss/German border. It certainly is one of the most remarkable fossil discoveries to date on the Iberian peninsula.

Evidence of Dinosaurs Hunting in Packs

Chinese Fossilised Track Ways Provide Evidence of Dinosaur Pack Hunting

For many years scientists have speculated that the speedy, carnivorous raptors (more appropriately termed Dromaeosaurs), such as Velociraptor and Deinonychus were pack hunters. Movies such as "Jurassic Park" popularised theories about these animals, making them out to be vicious, ruthless, yet intelligent killers.

Hollywood's depiction of these swift hunters stretched the truth to say the least, the likes of Velociraptor became a man-sized predator when in truth it stood about one metre tall. Even the sickle-shaped foot claw on the second toe was blown out of proportion to some extent.

New Dinosaur Extinction Theory - Blame the Deccan Trappes

New Study Points Finger at Deccan Traps for Extinction Event

In 1980, American scientists Luis and Walter Alvarez published their theory regarding an extra-terrestrial body impacting with the Earth, causing the mass extinction event that marked the end of the Age of Reptiles. The discovery of the Chicxulub crater in the Gulf of Mexico, the "smoking gun" evidence in the 1990's added credence to this theory put forward by the father and son team.

Recent studies of the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and the outer planets had led one group of scientists to deduce the fate of the dinosaurs was sealed back in the Jurassic when an impact between huge asteroids sent one immense lump of space rock on a collision course with Earth.

Important Australian Dinosaur Fossil Site Threatened by Developers

Rare Australian Dinosaur Fossils Threatened Desalination Plant

One of the widely publicised impacts of global warming and climate change has been the very severe drought suffered by much of Australia in the last couple of years. Many scientists claim that global climate change was one of the causal factors in the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago and now climate change is indirectly threatening the excavation of rare dinosaur fossils down under.

Desalination Plant to be Built on Dig Site

In East Gippsland, south-east Victoria, the demands for drinking water have grown rapidly as the population increases.

Nigersaurus - The Dinosaur That Thought It Was a Lawn Mower

Nigersaurus - A Bizarre African Sauropod

As Dinosaurs dominated life on Earth during the latter part of the Mesozoic they diversified into many varied forms, each genus adapting to a specific way of life and filling an ecological niche.

Further research has just been published (November 2007) on a particularly bizarre looking sauropod from Africa - Nigersaurus.

Nigersaurus was first described in 1976 but little was known about this Diplodocoid sauropod as although many isolated bones and fragments of fossils had been recovered very few were found in any form of association or articulation, so piecing together a complete picture of this animal was proving difficult.

New Giant Meat-Eating Dinosaur From Africa

New Species of Carcharodontosaurus Discovered in Niger

Dinosaur fans, especially collectors of dinosaur models can look forward to a number of new meat-eating dinosaurs being made after it was confirmed that a new type of huge predatory dinosaur has been found in Africa. Fossils found many years ago by a student have formally been described and a new meat-eating dinosaur discovery announced.

For graduate Steve Brusatte, a palaeobiologist at the University of Bristol, England, the long wait for the naming and describing of his 1997 fossil find is finally over. Elements of the skull, including the premaxilla (part of the upper jaw) and cervical vertebrae (back bones) discovered in an expedition to Niger (Africa) have been described in the scientific publication "The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology" out this week.

Long-Necked Dinosaur Fossils Found in Antarctica

Lower Jurassic Fossils Found on Antarctic Mountainside

Scientists from the Field Museum in Chicago in co-operation with palaeontologists from Argentina (Museo Paleontologico - Chubut); have named and described a new genus and species of dinosaur that once roamed the Antarctic portion of Gondwanaland 190 million years ago.

A New Sauropodomorph

The animal was a Sauropodomorph, an early long-necked dinosaur, although only partial remains were excavated (a femur and an incomplete ankle plus some foot bones); scientists estimate that this animal was 8 metres long and weighed 4 tonnes. It has been named Glacialisaurus hammeri (Hammer's glacial lizard), in honour of Dr. William Hammer who led the expedition.

Why Did Baby Diplodocus Dinosaurs Have a Short Neck?

The Joys of Working with Baby Dinosaurs

Ask any young dinosaur fan to draw a Diplodocus, an Apatosaurus and even a Brachiosaurus and they will most likely produce a picture of a big animal with a large body, a long tail and of course a very long neck, just the way these animals are depicted in books, CDs and television programmes. These dinosaurs, known as Sauropods, are also commonly called long-necked dinosaurs as one of their distinguishing features is of course their elongated, muscular necks.

Baby Dinosaurs Looked Very Different

However, when it comes to working on a museum exhibits that depict a baby Diplodocus, our thoughts about the typical long-necked dinosaur shape have to be discarded.

Palaeontologists Take Steps to Protect Dig Sites

Field Workers Attempt to Protect Fossil Dig Sites

Following a number of incidents of fossil thefts and deliberate vandalism from Canadian vertebrate fossil sites, scientists are taking steps to try to protect the precious fossils that they find. Dinosaur fossils can take many months or even years to be excavated and removed from a dig site. In many cases, each fragment of bone or piece of a tooth has to be carefully excavated and then protected with glues and resins before they can be taken from the location. This painstaking process can take many hundreds of man hours to complete and as a result many fossils are only partially mapped and prepared in each season. The site is often carefully covered over so that palaeontologists can return to the area to complete their work later on that year or even in subsequent years.

Duck-Billed Platypus Lived Alongside Duck-Billed Dinosaurs

The Duck-Billed Platypus - One of the Oldest Type of Mammals

The Platypus is a bizarre looking Australian mammal, one of the few monotremes left in the world - a mammal that lays eggs. When this strange-looking creature, which can grow up to 50 centimetres long, was first studied by western scientists they thought the bill had been glued or sewn into place, few could believe that this animal was real and many dismissed drawings as total folly or an elaborate hoax. However, this highly specialised freshwater mammal rather than being an oddity might just have remained unchanged for 120 million years. This would make the humble Platypus one of the oldest kinds of mammal on the planet, with its origins now traced back to the middle of the Cretaceous. Animals similar to the duck-billed platypus and ancestral to the species now found in Australia may have shared their environment with dinosaurs, ironically even duck-billed dinosaurs.

Carbon Nanotubes: Pros and Cons

Carbon nanotube or CNT is not a new term in the present scenario actually it is the allotrope of carbon sharing a cylindrical nanostructure. The length-to-diameter of nanotubes lies in between 132,000,000:1 and have very fascinating properties to be used in nanotechnology, optics, material science, electronics and other fields of science. Due to their extraordinary thermal conductivity, mechanical and electrical properties carbon nanotubes are used as additives for various structural materials for example, in baseball bats, car parts and golf clubs nanotubes form a very tiny fraction of the material. Nanotubes are members of fullerene family which also includes the buckyballs and the ends of these nanotubes may be capped with the hemisphere of buckyballs. Their name has been derived from their long, hollow structure with walls formed by one-atom thick sheets of carbon known as graphene. These sheets are then rolled at specific and dicrete angle and the combination of rolling angle and radius decides the properties of these nanotubes. Nanotubes are either single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs) or multi-walled nanotubes (MWNTs).

Trying to Trace the Dinosaur Family Tree

Assessing Taxonomic Relationships Amongst the Dinosauria

Trying to organise Dinosauria into clades or family groups has kept many palaeontologists burning the midnight oil. Unfortunately, unlike extant animals; when it comes to organising the family tree of extinct animals such as dinosaurs, a new fossil find, or some new research into existing specimens can throw everything into confusion.

What were once accepted relationships are often questioned and new fossils provide tantalising glimpses into the true nature of the relationship between different types of prehistoric animal.

Two Great Groups Classified

More Prehistoric Turtle Remains From a Columbian Coal Mine

Giant Turtle with a Rounded Shell - Reptiles Ruled When Dinosaurs Died Out

Palaeontologists and field workers have been marvelling at the latest discovery of huge reptile fossils from Columbia's Cerrejon coal mine. After the dinosaurs died out, there were many gaps in ecosystems, these were rapidly filled by animals that had survived the Cretaceous mass extinction event that saw the demise of the Dinosauria. In the geological time period that followed the Cretaceous, known as the Palaeogene, global temperatures soared and planet Earth became a paradise for those reptile genera that survived.

Sixty Million Year Old Giant Turtle

The research team have uncovered the carapace of another enormous freshwater turtle from the coal mine.

Why Did Spinosaurus Have a Sail on Its Back?

Theories on Spinosaurus - The Sail-Backed Dinosaur

Spinosaurus was one of the most spectacular looking meat-eating dinosaurs. Like most of the big carnivores, fossils of this bizarre animal are extremely rare. As animals move up the food chain, their numbers become smaller and they make up an ever decreasing proportion of the ecosystem, which means it is less likely for any of them to be preserved as fossils. For example, scientists in Canada and the western United States can conduct studies on duck-billed dinosaurs (herbivores) that involve hundreds of skeletons, yet in contrast there are only about 30 known fossils of Tyrannosaurus rex.

Spinosaurus is even less well-known, this is because a number factors have conspired to leave us with little fossil evidence of this dinosaur.