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.