Scientists solved the mystery of the mass Allosaurus grave

The Cleveland-Lloyd dinosaur bone bed has been a puzzle for paleontologists for many years. It’s home to the densest collection of Jurassic era dinosaur fossils, which includes numerous Allosaurus fossils. Since the bone bed’s discovery in the 1920s, numerous hypotheses have been proposed to explain its origin—including theories of a mass poisoning event, drought, or even dinosaurs […]

Surprising discovery places Triceratops-like dinosaurs in eastern North America

For the first time ever, researchers have evidence of horned dinosaurs roaming eastern North America near the end of the Age of Dinosaurs. Researchers discovered a tooth fossil dating 68 million years back, with unmistakable features pointing to its owner, a Triceratops-like dinosaur. Until recently, it was thought that ceratopsids—horned dinosaurs—were only found in western North America. […]

The first complete ankylosaur fossil gets its name from Ghostbusters

Ankylosaurs were among the last non-avian dinosaurs; they walked on four legs and had wide armoured bodies and large horns. But much of what we know of ankylosaurs has been reconstructed from incomplete skeleton fragments. In a recently published paper, ROM researchers describe the most complete ankylosaur skeleton ever found in North America. The 75-million-year-old […]

“Baby Louie” fossilized dinosaur embryo finally finds its family

The identity of a dinosaur found in a huge egg clutch in China in the 1990s is described in a new paper. The embryo became known in the paleontology community as “Baby Louie”; it’s now identified as a new species of bird-like oviraptorosaur. The species has been named Beibeilong sinensis, which translates as “Chinese baby […]

Newly discovered feathered dinosaur sheds light on the evolution of flight

A newly discovered troodontid species is the earliest example of a bird-like dinosaur with asymmetric feathers—a physical trait associated with the evolution of flight. The new species, named Jianianhualong tengi, was described from a nearly complete skeleton with preserved feathers. The fossil dates from the Early Cretaceous period— approximately 100-145 million years ago—and was found in north-eastern […]

Fossil leads to recognition of birdlike reptiles that preceded early dinosaurs

Certain physical traits previously thought to be unique to dinosaurs evolved much earlier, a new study suggests. Fossil analysis of a newly described species, named Teleocrater rhadinus, places this carnivorous animal in a new spot on the evolutionary tree, directly after the split between birds and crocodilians. Teleocrater marks the first of an entirely new clade […]

Evidence of earliest life on Earth found in northeastern Canada

The earliest living organisms on Earth are thought to have lived in hydrothermal vents underwater. Researchers analyzed jasper rocks from the Nuvvuagittuq belt in Quebec that may have originated from such submarine vents, and found evidence of structures similar to other bacterial life in Earth’s early oceans. Authors say there are additional signs of biological activity […]

First evidence of a Middle Triassic dinosaur that gave birth to live offspring instead of laying eggs

A new discovery offers proof that an ancient relative to birds and crocodiles gave birth to live young. New research from an international team of paleontologists describes a fossil of a pregnant Dinocephalosaurus – a long-necked, aquatic reptile from the Middle Triassic. The 245- million-year-old archosauromorph carried an embryo inside its rib cage, facing forward. […]

Oldest protein found in a 195-million-year-old dinosaur bone

A new discovery beat the record for the oldest preserved protein by over 100 million years. Researchers used a new technique to examine a 195 million-year-old bone of a Lufengosaurus dinosaur without risking contamination. Their analysis showed traces of preserved collagen in parts of the bone where blood would pass through. Typically, soft tissue in […]

Distant relative of the iguana found in Montana

The geographical origin of Pleurodonta, one of the two subdivisions of the Iguania suborder, has been unclear for many years. The oldest representative of the prehistoric iguanas was thought to come from Brazil; but a recent analysis removed it from the iguana’s evolutionary tree altogether. Two skeletons of giant herbivorous lizards found in Montana, US, […]

Extinct shelled fossil finds its true niche

Hyoliths, extinct sea creatures from the Cambrian period known for their cone-shaped shell and unusual appendages, have long been mistaken for a type of mollusc. However, a recent discovery by a U of T undergraduate student revealed that hyoliths belong to a group called lophophorates. The main trait that defines living lophophorates, such as brachiopods […]

Feathered dinosaur tail discovered in a piece of amber

Scientific discoveries often come from unexpected places – like a Myanmar amber market, which is where a researcher from Dexu Institute of Palaeontology found an item that offers unique insights into feather evolution in dinosaurs. Browsing through the goods of an amber vendor, researcher Lida Xing found what turned out to be a part of […]

Dinosaur population doomed millions of years before the asteroid

The dinosaurs were on their way out before the asteroid hit, researchers say. It seems the big lizards’ numbers were gradually declining for at least 40 million years before the final extinction event. This decrease in dinosaur population likely favoured the rise of mammals, which began flourishing in ecological niches previously occupied by dinosaurs. Using […]

Proving paleontology wrong

Researchers have found what they believe is definitive evidence that brains do fossilize. In 2012 Nicholas Strausfeld co-authored the first ever report of a fossilized brain in an edition of Nature, however the findings were widely doubted as only one sample was found. Strausfeld and his team have now found seven fossil of the same […]

Brontosaurus did exist

While previously studies had suggested that Brontosaurus were the same species as Apatosaurus, a recent analysis has raised doubts about this. Paleontologists applied new statistical approaches to fossils to calculate the differences between species and genera of similar dinosaurs such as the Diplodocus, the Apatosaurus and the Brontosaurus. The differences were large enough reinstate Brontosaurus […]

Colossal fossil: 26 meter dinosaur discovered

International scientists have found a new species of dinosaur in Argentina, named Dreadnoughtus, which may represent one of the most complete examples of gigantic titanosaurian sauropod dinosaurs ever discovered. It lived in the southern continents over 66 million years ago, and was one of the biggest creatures ever to walk the Earth. Dreadnoughtus was the most massive land […]

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