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Posts Tagged "dinosaurs"

Expeditions

How does one measure eggshell thickness in dinosaurs?

Editor’s Note: MSU China Paleontology Expedition is a project led by Frankie D. Jackson and David J. Varricchio, professors in the Department of Earth Sciences, Dinosaur Paleontology at Montana State University and Jin Xingsheng, paleontologist and Vice Director of the Zhejiang Natural History Museum in Hangzhou, China. This is the second year this program sent [...]

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Guest Blog

Art in the service of science: You get what you pay for

Last week, a very prominent artist in the paleontology community somewhat publicly blew a gasket. His tirade started a conversation that has been sorely in need of attention for some time now. At issue is a fundamental conflict of interests: between science and its tradition of cumulative knowledge, and the rights of the artists who [...]

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Guest Blog

How to name a dinosaur

You had no reason to expect a good weekend as you began a long-dreaded yard project. Come Monday morning’s office discussions of sporting events and parties, you would be nursing an aching back. But with a single strike of your shovel, your yard gave you a story to top any tale of drunken debauchery recounted [...]

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Guest Blog

Breaking our link to the “March of Progress”

It never fails. Whenever scientists announce the discovery of a hitherto unknown fossil species intermediate between two already known forms there is always one newspaper or magazine that calls it a "missing link". Score another point for evolutionary science—another gap in the fossil record has been filled in. I hate the phrase "missing link". It [...]

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Guest Blog

Don’t leave it to the experts: Why scientists have a few people to thank!

Hanny Van Arkel is a 25-year-old school teacher who lives in Holland with her German Shepherd, Janey. She enjoys playing the guitar and loves Brian May. She also found the first-ever voorwerp. Hanny is a citizen scientist. Hanny’s voorwerp (meaning object in Dutch), is a weird green blob spotted by Hanny in 2008. It is [...]

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Guest Blog

The explosion of Iguanodon , part 3: Hypselospinus, Wadhurstia, Dakotadon, Proplanicoxa …. When will it all end?

Welcome to the third (and final) article in my little series on the dinosaur(s) once known as Iguanodon. As we’ve seen in the previous parts, Iguanodon of traditional usage – Iguanodon sensu lato – has recently been blasted into numerous separate genera. As we’ll see here, while some of these taxonomic changes are likely to [...]

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Guest Blog

The explosion of Iguanodon , part 2: Iguanodontians of the Hastings Group

Iguanodon of tradition (or Iguanodon sensu lato, if you will) was a huge, sprawling monster, containing numerous species spread across about 40 million years of geological history. Welcome to the second article in this series (part 1 here). In the previous article we looked at the Purbeck Limestone iguanodontian Owenodon – originally named as a [...]

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Guest Blog

The Iguanodon explosion: How scientists are rescuing the name of a “classic” ornithopod dinosaur, part 1

One of the most familiar and historically significant of dinosaur names is Iguanodon, named in 1825 for teeth and bones discovered in the Lower Cretaceous rocks of the Cuckfield region of East Sussex, southern England. Everyone who’s ever picked up a dinosaur book will be familiar with the legendary – yet mostly apocryphal – tale [...]

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Image of the Week

The 500-lb. Chicken From Hell

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Source: 500-Pound “Chicken from Hell” Dinosaur Once Roamed North America by Kate Wong at Observations Illustration credit: Mark Klingler, Carnegie Museum of Natural History Nothing you could find in any hen house could prepare you for the 11.5-foot tall, 500-lb. behemoth that roamed the landscape 66-million years ago in what is today North and South [...]

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Observations

Diminutive Dinosaur Bore Beak, Bristles and Fangs [Video]

fanged, quilled dinosaur

Move over platypus, a recently discovered dinosaur may have bested you for the strangest combination of physical features. Two hundred million years ago, a two-foot- long, beaked biped covered in quills scampered about an area that is now part of South Africa. The dinosaur’s discoverer is paleontologist Paul Sereno, of the University of Chicago. Sereno [...]

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Observations

Giant Dino exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, or why I should not be a photojournalist

As the Blog Editor at Scientific American, I come to New York City about once a month to work in the office, attend editorial meetings, and prepare the blog network for launch some time in the near future. This week, I was in town at just the right time to join our intrepid team of [...]

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Observations

New exhibit reconstructs the very biggest dinosaurs–inside and out [Video]

Fitting fossils together to assemble massive dinosaur skeletons is certainly no small feat. Fleshing one out—inside and out—from tooth to tail is an even more challenging undertaking, especially when the subject is an 18-meter-long sauropod. Experts in animal nutrition, sports medicine, biomechanics and materials science joined paleontologists to re-create a full-sized model of Mamenchisaurus that [...]

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Observations

What was a South American herbivore doing with saber teeth?

saber-toothed herbivore from south america

Some extinct animals have anatomical oddities that seem destined to be confined to the marginalia of history. Questionable characters, such as the single-fingered dinosaur and the flightless, club-winged bird, ultimately died off despite—if not because of—their idiosyncratic adaptations. Now, researchers have described a perplexing, long-extinct creature, this time with some dubious dental assets: large saber [...]

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Observations

How land mammals evolved to be so massive

Indricotherium

Although today’s awe-inspiritng African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana) might seem a mighty beast, it’s a fraction of the size of ancient mammals that roamed the Earth 37 million to 2.7 million years ago. The Eocene and Oligocene’s Indricotherium measured in at more than five meters tall, and the Miocene and Pleistocene’s Deinotherium likely weighted some [...]

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Observations

Large, double-clawed raptor stalked Europe’s Cretaceous creatures

two large extendable claws on new stocky raptor from europe

Researchers have pieced together a set of puzzling fossils from a stocky dinosaur discovered in Romania. The newly described predator helps to flesh out the spotty fossil record of carnivorous animals from Europe’s Cretaceous. The dinosaur, Balaur bondoc, was a sharp-clawed theropod that lived among small island creatures when sea levels were high and the [...]

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Observations

Feathers developed differently in dinosaurs’ life cycles than in those of modern birds

dinosaur feather evolution development birds

A rare fossil find of two young feathered theropods has revealed that these animals sprouted a much wider range of plumage as they matured than contemporary birds do. Researchers, led by Xing Xu of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, have described the specimens as Similicaudipteryx [...]

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Observations

Volcanoes killed with global warming, 200 million years ago

north-american-basalt

When Pangaea finally broke up, some 200 million years ago, the result was a lot of heat. Specifically, volcanism, as enormous flows of basalt burst to the surface, ultimately covering more than nine million square kilometers. It wasn’t just the death of a supercontinent; it was also one of Earth’s five major extinction events—and the [...]

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Observations

Breathtaking: Alligators breathe like birds, underscoring an ancient link–and possibly a survival strategy

alligator bird dinosaur breathing lungs

Avian dinosaurs—aka birds—have a streamlined way of breathing. Instead of sending air in and out of tiny sacs in the lungs like some other animals do, their breath flows in a single direction through a series of tubes. A new study reveals that birds are not alone in this adaptation: alligators also rely on this [...]

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Observations

Are Torosaurus and Triceratops one and the same?

triceratops skeleton

A rare horned dinosaur known as Torosaurus may not be a distinct species, after all, according to a presentation given Friday at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Bristol, England. Researchers have long recognized similarities between Torosaurus and Triceratops, the main distinctions being that Torosaurus is larger and has an expanded [...]

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Symbiartic

Looking Back on 30 Science Artists in 30 Days

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For three years now we have been celebrating science artists here on Symbiartic. Every September we have stepped it up a notch to feature a different science artist each day in our September SciArt Blitz. In case you missed any of them, here is a visual summary of the 2014 SciArt Blitz artists (click on [...]

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Symbiartic

The Marvelous Flying Sauropods of Puttapipat

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There are two kinds of illustrators. Those, like myself who bend fine art and other forms into the service of illustration – and then there are illustrators like Niroot Puttapipat (a.k.a. Himmapaan) who follow in the rich tradition of book illustrators like Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac. In the handling of his art materials and [...]

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Symbiartic

ScienceArt Exhibits Heat Up This Summer

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Take a break from the heat this summer to step into some cool galleries exhibiting scienceart. If the exhibits keep pouring in at this rate, I’ll have to split up this post by region. There are five scienceart exhibits in New York alone! But for those of you who are not in the NY-region, don’t [...]

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Symbiartic

The ScienceArt Exhibit Roundup for Spring

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This is the dish on the latest exhibits combining science and art around the country. This time the prize for the most bumpin’ scienceArt scene goes to the Northeast, amirite? Lucky you if you live there: EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION JESSICA DRENK: An Allegory of Algorithms and Aesthetics April 12 – May 12, 2014 Adah Rose [...]

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Symbiartic

Original Gifts for Science and Art Geeks

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Looking for a knock-out gift for the science geek in your life? Look no further. If you like art and you like science, these artists, all featured on Symbiartic at one point, have gifts that will impress even the most jaded gift recipients… Made With Molecules Jewelry by Raven Hanna, PhD. Raven Hanna, PhD. left [...]

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Symbiartic

Look into the Eyes: paleoart by Stevie Moore

suchomimus-stephen-moore-mi

I think it’s the eyes. There is a lot of paleoart out there, and we feature a lot of it here on Symbiartic. Something about dinosaurs attracts some of the very best nature and science illustrators out there. I suspect some kind of love of science plus childhood nostalgia drives all of the dinophilia images [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt on the Scene in Nov/Dec. 2013

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Ahhh, fall. Time to look for more indoor activities. And aren’t you lucky? Here’s a list of sciart exhibits that will warm your heart while you warm your toes. EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION CLIMATE CHANGE IN OUR WORLD: Photographs by Gary Braasch October 16, 2013 – July 6, 2014 Museum of Science 1 Science Park Boston, [...]

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Symbiartic

A Mosaic of September SciArt Glory

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How many times do you have to do something before it is considered tradition? Last year, Glendon had the excellent idea to post a different #sciart image each day in the month of September. This year, we did it again and called it a blitz. In case you missed anything, here is a handy recap. [...]

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Symbiartic

Are You A Mammal? Standardized Test

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Hannah Bonner is an illustrator who is creating an empire of informative, entertaining kids’ books about paleontology. They remind me of The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole: real science conveyed with a wacky sense of humor. Take, for example, Bonner’s “Are You A Mammal?” standardized test. It opens with the following instructions: Instructions: [...]

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Symbiartic

Skeletal Drawing Has Never Looked So Good

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Dinosaur fossil mounts can be breathtaking in their grandeur. It’s rare that illustrations of the fossils can have that affect. Scott Hartman has been illustrating dinosaur fossil skeletons for years, and is one of the clearest, most detail-oriented illustrators we are lucky to have describe our favourite, dynamic, prehistoric beasties. And now with his revamped [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

The changing life appearance of dinosaurs

Jurassic dinosaurs as illustrated by Peter Zallinger: these are svelte, lightweight animals typical of the late 1970s and 80s. Hat-tip to LITC for the scan.

Anyone who knows anything about Mesozoic dinosaurs will be – or certainly should be – familiar with the fact that our view of what these animals looked like in life has changed substantially within the last several decades. The ‘dinosaur renaissance’ of the late 1960s and 70s saw the flabby-bodied, tail-dragging behemoths of earlier decades [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

50 million years of incredible shrinking theropod dinosaurs

Theropod dinosaurs encompass a huge range of body sizes. This illustration shows a Broad-billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris) in front of a tooth of the giant allosauroid Carcharodontosaurus. Images courtesy of Terry Sohl and Christophe Hendrickx.

Some time round about 165 million years ago, the group of small, feathered dinosaurs that we call birds evolved from within the theropod radiation (theropods are the so-called ‘predatory dinosaurs’: the great group that includes animals like Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor as well as the birds). As anyone reasonably familiar with recent palaeontological discoveries will know, [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Katrina van Grouw’s The Unfeathered Bird, a unique inside look

Katrina, Great bustard skeleton, and her drawing of it. You may recognise that the bustard has been posed in its characteristic display posture. This image comes from Tim Birkhead's site Bird Sense.

If you pay any attention to the world of zoological research (as you will do, given that you’re reading a blog called Tetrapod Zoology), you’ll know that the study of anatomy has very much come to the fore in recent years. Previously bemoaned as a Victorian pursuit that had had its day and was inferior [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Passerine birds fight dirty, a la Velociraptor

Battling Great tits (Parus major). I don't know the name of the photographer but will add it when I find out.

No time to finish anything new, gah. In desperation, here’s a classic article from the Tet Zoo archives, originally published in March 2009. It has some minor updates. I used to receive random unsolicited emails from an individual who strongly promoted the idea that birds could not not not not be dinosaurs, that the entire [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Ostrich dinosaurs invade Europe! Or do they?

Hastily 'updated' version of a Wessex Formation scene, now with ornithomimosaurs! 'Angloposeidon' in the background, Eotyrannus (with an Ornithodesmus) on a buttress root. Image by Darren Naish.

Regular readers of Tet Zoo might know that I’ve published extensively on the theropod dinosaurs of a famous and much-studied Lower Cretaceous rock unit known as the Wealden Supergroup. Wealden rocks range in age from Berriasian to Aptian (that is, they were deposited between about 145 and 120 million years ago) and are most famous [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Announcements from the TetZoo-sphere

TetZooCon-2014-banner-600-px-tiny-May-2014-Darren-Naish-Tetrapod-Zoology

This isn’t a normal scheduled blog post; instead, it concerns some announcements. Firstly, TetZooCon – the first ever Tetrapod Zoology Convention – is go. It will be held at the London Wetland Centre (UK) on Saturday 12th July and you can now book for attendance. Our schedule is pretty much sorted: we have a series on [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Bird behaviour, the ‘deep time’ perspective

Composite cladogram of Avialae - topology and names based mostly on Yuri et al. (2013), and with many lineages excluded for reasons of space – showing where the fossil record gives us key insights into behaviour. From Naish (2014): this diagram is a much-updated version of the tree published in Naish (2012).

The behaviour of long-extinct animals remains an area of major public and scientific interest – the great perennial problem being that we’re always massively constrained, if not crippled, by a frustrating lack of data. Think of all the things we want to know, versus the things that we actually do know. In a paper recently [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Flight of the Microraptor

Our Microraptor in picturesque settings. The hindlimbs are shown here in near-maximum sprawl. Photo from Dyke et al. (2013).

Some weeks ago now, myself and a team of colleagues (Gareth Dyke, Roeland de Kat, Colin Palmer, Jacques Van der Kindere and Bharathram Ganapathisubramani) – all of whom are based at the University of Southampton – published the results (in Nature Communications) of our study on the aerodynamic performance of Microraptor, a small, long-winged dromaeosaurid [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Coelophysoid theropods 101

Thorax of one of the famous AMNH Coelophysis specimens that has a crocodylomorph (NOT a juvenile Coelophysis) preserved within. Neck at top of image, left forelimb projecting to left. Image by smokeybjb, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Due to the usual frustrating inability of being unable to finish any of the in-prep Tet Zoo articles (and… I’ve been away), I give you the following short article. Coelophysoids are best known for Coelophysis from the Upper Triassic of the USA; extremely similar (perhaps congeneric) forms are known from the Lower Jurassic of Zimbabwe, [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

All Your Yesterdays, our new book

All Your Yesterdays is here. The cover art (featuring juvenile troodontids) is by Alvaro Rozalen.

Last year, John Conway, Memo Kosemen and myself published All Yesterdays (it also features skeletal reconstructions by the brilliant Scott Hartman), a book that focused specifically on the more speculative aspects of palaeoart: follow the links below for more on this project. If you liked All Yesterdays, you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s a sequel, [...]

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