Dinosaurs: New Findings & Theories

Jim

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Info on the evolution of amphibians in the Carboniferous and Permian periods. During these time periods amphibians were often the dominate predators of swamps, rivers and even the costal areas.. Typically dinosaurs, mammals, etc. receive more attention than that given to the lost era of prehistoric amphibians. Prionosuchus the largest amphibian to ever live was a predator that reached ~9 meter in length. Kryostega collinsoni at 5 meters in length had enormous head and very large teeth.It was the top predator of the time.

 
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Kept cuckoos out of the nest as well.

How do you sit on your nest of eggs when you weigh over 1,500kg?

Carefully - according to a new study from an international team of researchers in Asia and North America.

Dinosaur parenting has been difficult to study, due to the relatively small number of fossils, but the incubating behaviour of oviraptorosaurs has now been outlined for the first time.

Scientists believe the largest of these dinosaurs arranged their eggs around a central gap in the nest.

This bore the parent's weight, while allowing them to potentially provide body heat or protection to their developing young, without crushing the delicate eggs.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44071223
 

EnolaGaia

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This newly published study overturns some longstanding assumptions about pterosaurs' movements / motions relating to their flight. The joint mobility assessment approach used here may have broad applicability to analyzing the motions of other extinct animals.

Pterodactyls didn't fly like bats, new research shows
Pterosaurs are key figures in the story of the evolution of flight. But new research suggests the flying reptiles didn't take to the air like bats, as has been previously suggested.

"Most of the work that's being done right now to understand pterosaur flight relies on the assumption that their hips could get into a bat-like pose," Armita Manafzadeh, a doctoral student at Brown University, said in a news release. "We think future studies should take into account that this pose was likely impossible, which might change our perspective when we consider the evolution of flight in pterosaurs and dinosaurs."

Ligaments dictate a joint's range of motion, but soft tissues are rarely preserved by fossilization. How are paleontologists to determine the movements allowed by the joints of long extinct species?

... Using a dead bird, Manafzadeh carved away at the muscle surrounding joints. She recorded X-ray videos as she manipulated the bird's joints, pausing to get detailed images of the positions in which the ligaments prevented further movement.

Next, Manafzadeh cut out the ligaments and repeated the process, contorting the bird's limbs into all sorts of positions, stopping only when bone touched bone or when further movement caused a bone to pop out of its socket.

Her experiment -- detailed in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B -- showed that 95 percent of the movements and positions achieved without ligaments were not possible with ligaments.

Next, Manafzadeh and her research partner ... had to figure out how a quail's hip joint compared to the hip joint of a pterosaur.

Because bat limbs look a lot like those of pterosaurs, paleontologists have assumed the wings of flying reptiles worked a lot like those of bats. Bats' wings are attached to their hind limbs, so splaying their back limps helps to achieve helpful aerodynamics.

Manafzadeh's analysis showed such a position would have been impossible for pterosaurs to achieve. While the quail model was able to achieve a bat-like position without ligaments, the bird's ligaments prevented its hind legs from being stretched so far apart. The ligament that prevents such a motion is found in a majority of birds and reptiles related to pterosaurs.

More important than discrediting a common assumption about the flying positions of pterosaurs, the new research offers a blueprint for more accurately characterizing the motions allowed by the joints of extinct species. ...
SOURCE: https://www.upi.com/Science_News/20.../?utm_source=sec&utm_campaign=sl&utm_medium=3

ABSTRACT for the published paper: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/285/1879/20180727
 

Jim

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This newly published study overturns some longstanding assumptions about pterosaurs' movements / motions relating to their flight. The joint mobility assessment approach used here may have broad applicability to analyzing the motions of other extinct animals.



SOURCE: https://www.upi.com/Science_News/20.../?utm_source=sec&utm_campaign=sl&utm_medium=3

ABSTRACT for the published paper: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/285/1879/20180727
Interesting read, unfortunately it leaves out a trump card how did pterosaurs theatrically fly (it suggest ongoing research here)? From what I gather (per article) pterosaurs were more bird hipped, as were many dinosaurs. Yet pterosaurs wings more closely resembled bats. We may never know.
Paleontology is a difficult and theoretical science working primarily with w only ancient bones (often fragmented -incomplete), and very rare bits bit's of skin, scales, feathers. Attempting to at times to model them after existing reptiles and birds whose appearance, habits, mobility that may have been different.
 
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Did it carry it's lunch?

The world’s oldest pterosaur may have had a pouch like a pelican

In a patch of Utah desert no larger than a living room, scientists working a decade ago discovered a late Triassic treasure trove: 18,000 bones from nine unusual species of reptiles, all victims of a watering hole that dried up some 201 million to 210 million years ago. Now, they’re reporting on the most interesting find to date: the oldest ever pterosaur. The find is especially unusual because ancient flying reptiles of that era were thought to live in coastal areas.

Caelestiventus hanseni, whose genus name is Latin for “heavenly wind,” had a wing span of about 1.5 meters (similar to modern-day ospreys) and a flange of bone suggesting it sported a fleshy wattle under its chin—or possibly a small pouch like today’s pelicans. The discovery—which included bits of the skull, jawbone, and a finger bone from its wing—pushes back the record of desert-dwelling pterosaurs a whopping 65 million years, the researchers report online today in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018...ly_2018-08-13&et_rid=394299689&et_cid=2254918
 

Swifty

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We were in the Little Gems rock shop in Cromer this morning when I spotted a small dinosaur fossil named a Chickenosaurus, a quirky name and the price tag was £800 .. this picture isn't great quality, the head was also intact although hard to see in this pic ..

achickenosaurus.jpg

A little bit of research shows there's plans to 'bring them back' using modern chickens ..

http://www.dinosaurculture.com/chickenosaurus/
 
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Enough to take your breath away.

In the oxygen-poor air of the Mesozoic era, nothing should have been able to move very fast. But Velociraptors could run 64 kilometers per hour. Their secret weapon: superefficient, birdlike lungs, which would have pumped in a constant supply of oxygen, according to a new study. This unique adaptation may have given all dinos a leg up on their competition.

Biologists have long known that birds, which descend from one branch of extinct dinosaurs, have an unusual, sophisticated respiratory system that enables powered flight. But paleontologists have long debated whether those superlungs arose only in birds or earlier in dinosaurs.

Unlike humans and other mammals, whose lungs expand and deflate, bird lungs are rigid. Special air sacs alongside the lungs do the heavy lifting instead, pumping air through the lungs, where the oxygen diffuses into the bloodstream. The lungs are attached to the vertebrae and ribs, which form the “ceiling” of the rib cage—all of which helps keep the lungs stationary. A connector called the costovertebral joint, where the ribs and vertebrae meet, provides further support. That setup allows for a continuous stream of oxygen and requires less energy than inflating and deflating the lungs. It also allows paleontologists studying fossils to learn a lot about the lungs by examining the bones around them.

To find out when these superlungs evolved, paleobiologists Robert Brocklehurst and William Sellers of The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and biologist Emma Schachner of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans turned to computer models. They compared the shapes of skeletal features like vertebrae and ribs in a range of bird and nonavian dinosaur species.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/201...ly_2018-10-24&et_rid=394299689&et_cid=2448407
 

kamalktk

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There is no Dana, only Zuul Crurivastator.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/...led-zuul-ghostbusters-ankylosaur-paleontology

Fearsome bony spikes jut from the skull of Zuul crurivastator, one of the most complete armored dinosaurs ever found. Zuul's demonic looks inspired researchers to name it after a monster from the film Ghostbusters—but the animal thirsted for buds, not blood; Zuul was an herbivore.
 

Jim

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There is no Dana, only Zuul Crurivastator.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/...led-zuul-ghostbusters-ankylosaur-paleontology

Fearsome bony spikes jut from the skull of Zuul crurivastator, one of the most complete armored dinosaurs ever found. Zuul's demonic looks inspired researchers to name it after a monster from the film Ghostbusters—but the animal thirsted for buds, not blood; Zuul was an herbivore.
BTW good shot of that nasty tail club. Ankylosaurs were amazing beast. Members of the Ankylosaur and Ceratopsians had to be the most formidable herbivores to have ever lived.
 
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Our first feathered flying friends.

Scientists have long known that many early dinosaurs, the ancestors of today’s birds, were covered in feathers, likely for warmth and to attract mates. But no one knows exactly when—and how—these feathered dinos took flight. Now, molecular evidence from feathered dinosaur fossils reveals how the key proteins that make up feathers became lighter and more flexible over time, as flightless dinosaurs evolved into flying ones—and later, birds.

All modern land animals with backbones have keratins, proteins that make up everything from fingernails and beaks, to scales and feathers. In humans and other mammals, α-keratins form the 10 nanometerwide filaments that make up hair, skin, and nails. In crocodiles, turtles, lizards, and birds, β-keratins form the even narrower, more rigid filaments that build claws, beaks, and feathers.

Using the whole genomes of dozens of living birds, crocodiles, turtles, and other reptiles, scientists have built over the past decade a family tree of these animals based on how their β-keratins changed over time. Among the revelations: Modern birds have lost most of their α-keratins, but β-keratins in their feathers have become more flexible, thanks to a missing swath of glycine and tyrosine amino acids that make claws and beaks rigid. This suggests that the transition to flight required both changes to take place.

Now, researchers have shown this directly by analyzing the α- and β-keratins in a handful of exceptionally preserved fossils from China and Mongolia. The researchers, led by paleontologists Pan Yanhong of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Mary Schweitzer of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, designed separate antibodies to bind to identifying segments of various α- and β-keratin proteins preserved in the fossilized feathers of five species that lived between 160 million and 75 million years ago. The antibodies were labeled with fluorescent tags that light up whenever they bind to their targets.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/201...ly_2019-01-28&et_rid=394299689&et_cid=2624586
 

Jim

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There is no Dana, only Zuul Crurivastator.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/...led-zuul-ghostbusters-ankylosaur-paleontology

Fearsome bony spikes jut from the skull of Zuul crurivastator, one of the most complete armored dinosaurs ever found. Zuul's demonic looks inspired researchers to name it after a monster from the film Ghostbusters—but the animal thirsted for buds, not blood; Zuul was an herbivore.
Just read this ankylosaurs were formidable beast. The only one apex predators a large a Tyrannosaur could defeat it. It was the only dinosaur group that had the jaw strength and structure to penetrate the ankylosaurs armor, not an easy task. By that time it may have been beaten with the ankylosaurs formidable club which could break leg bones. These battles likely occurred quite often.
The armoring on some of cretaceous herbivores was formidable. The ankylosaurs (armored dinosaurs) and the ceratopsian's (horned dinosaurs) were the most well armored (and likely dangerous) herbivores of all time.
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/...ed-zuul-ghostbusters-ankylosaur-paleontology/
 

EnolaGaia

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This cute little goofus represents the latest hypothetical reconstruction of a young T. Rex's appearance ...

aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzEwNC82NDQvb3JpZ2luYWwvdC1yZXgtbmV3LWxvb...jpeg
Baby T. Rex Was an Adorable Ball of Fluff
It may be hard to imagine towering Tyrannosaurus rex as tiny, but the toothy Cretaceous giant didn't spring from an egg fully grown. In fact, T. rex hatchlings were about the size of very skinny turkeys, with "arms" that were longer in proportion to their tiny bodies than in adults. And each baby T. rex was covered in a coat of downy feathers.

What's more, T. rex's feathers likely grew along the animal's head and tail into adulthood, according to new reconstructions that represent the most accurate models of the dinosaur to date. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/64936-t-rex-new-look-exhibit.html
 

GNC

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I'm sure I've had one of those pecking at the seeds in my garden.
 

Ladyloafer

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Aww.
Although something the size of a turkey with teeth still sounds pretty scary
 

blessmycottonsocks

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EnolaGaia

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That's not a beak - it's simply the bare snout.

This is far more apparent if you go to the linked Live Science webpage and check the animated GIF at the top of the article. It illustrates the latest reconstruction of an even younger T. Rex hatchling.
 

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That's not a beak - it's simply the bare snout.

This is far more apparent if you go to the linked Live Science webpage and check the animated GIF at the top of the article. It illustrates the latest reconstruction of an even younger T. Rex hatchling.
This surely has to be one of the most astounding publications...
 

Jim

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This cute little goofus represents the latest hypothetical reconstruction of a young T. Rex's appearance ...


FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/64936-t-rex-new-look-exhibit.html
The thing is that with some of the larger theropods the verdict is still out as to whether they were covered with scales or feathers. Excuse the adds but this article brings up some points of interest on this.
https://www.safariltd.com/blog/tyrannosaurus-rex-feathered-or-scaly
 

blessmycottonsocks

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The thing is that with some of the larger theropods the verdict is still out as to whether they were covered with scales or feathers. Excuse the adds but this article brings up some points of interest on this.
https://www.safariltd.com/blog/tyrannosaurus-rex-feathered-or-scaly
Quite a lot of words (and adverts) before they reach the conclusion that "nobody knows".

Quite clever that they sell models of T-Rex both with and without feathers. I'm surprised they didn't mention that, if T-Rex didn't have feathers to keep himself warm, then maybe he wore clothes instead - so you'd better buy this one wearing a natty suit to be sure. Or no-one knows for sure that T-Rex didn't scoot along on a giant skate-board and wore sunglasses and a propellor-beanie....
 
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