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Posts Tagged "Mesozoic dinosaurs"

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

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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Tetrapod Zoology

The Jehol-Wealden International Conference, 2013

Jehol-Wealden-2013-banner-600-px-tiny-Sept-2013

This Friday and Saturday (20th and 21st September, 2013), the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, is hosting the Jehol-Wealden International Conference. This event – titled Celebrating Dinosaur Island – features an impressive list of talks and events relating to the Lower Cretaceous biota of Europe and Asia. More info (and booking advice) here. Items [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

21st Century Dinosaur Revolution

Primary achievement of the 21st Century: MEMES. This from John Conway's series on Hypsilophodon.

A recent tour of the Natural History Museum (London) bookshop reminded me that my 2009 book, The Great Dinosaur Discoveries (A & C Black in the UK, University of California Press in the USA), is still on sale and in demand. Buy it here on amazon and here on amazon.co.uk. Thoughts on this book (including [...]

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