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Paleontology

Uncovering information about hadrosaur teeth

1000pa (Oct. 11, 2012) — An unusual collaboration between researchers in two disparate fields resulted in a new discovery about the teeth of 65-million-year-old dinosaurs.

With the help of University of Florida mechanical engineering professor W. Gregory Sawyer and UF postdoctoral researcher Brandon Krick, Florida State University paleobiologist Gregory Erickson determined the teeth of hadrosaurs -- an herbivore from the late Cretaceous period -- had six tissues in their teeth instead of two. The results were published in the journal Science Oct. 5.

"When something has been in the ground 65 million years, by and large we pick it up and we look at it and say, 'oh, look at what has been preserved.' But we don't...

New fossils suggest ancient origins of modern-day deep-sea animals

 A collection of fossil animals discovered off the coast of Florida suggests that present day deep-sea fauna like sea urchins, starfish and sea cucumbers may have evolved earlier than previously believed and survived periods of mass extinctions similar to those that wiped out the dinosaurs.

 

The full results are published Oct. 10 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Ben Thuy and colleagues from the University of Göttingen, Germany.

Previously, researchers believed...

Unique ancient spider attack preserved in amber

Researchers have found what they say is the only fossil ever discovered of a spider attack on prey caught in its web -- a 100 million-year-old snapshot of an engagement frozen in time.

 

The extraordinarily rare fossils are in a piece of amber that preserved this event in remarkable detail, an action that took place in the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar in the Early Cretaceous between 97-110 million years ago, almost certainly with dinosaurs wandering nearby.

Aside from showing...

New fanged dwarf dinosaur from Africa ate plants

With tiny 1-inch long jaws, a new species of plant-eater has come to light in rocks in South Africa dating to the early dinosaur era, some 200 million years ago. This “punk-sized” herbivore is one of a menagerie of bizarre, tiny, fanged plant-eaters called heterodontosaurs, or “different toothed reptiles,” that were among the first dinosaurs to spread across the planet.

 

The single specimen of the new species was originally chipped out of red rock in southern Africa...

Clam shells yield clues to Atlantic’s climate history

 Two Iowa State University graduate students are just back from the Gulf of Maine with another big catch of clam shells.

 

Shelly Griffin and Madelyn Mette recently boarded a lobster boat, dropped a scallop dredge into 30 meters of ocean water and pulled up load after load of Arctica islandica.

“These are the clams that end up in clam chowder,” said Alan Wanamaker, an assistant professor of geological and atmospheric sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and...

New clues about ancient water cycles shed light on U.S. deserts

Monument Valley, Utah. (Credit: © Beboy / Fotolia)

1000pa (Sep. 27, 2012) — The deserts of Utah and Nevada have not always been dry. Between 14,000 and 20,000 years ago, when large ice caps covered Canada during the last glacial cooling, valleys throughout the desert southwest filled with water to become large lakes, scientists have long surmised. At their maximum size, the desert lakes covered about a quarter of both Nevada and Utah. Now a team led by a Texas...

Dinosaurs extinction

How did the dinosaurs become extinct?  What happened over 65 million years ago to kill a species that had survived for 150 million years? This is a question that has stumped scientists ever since dinosaur fossils were first discovered. Whatever caused the death of the dinosaurs also caused the death of about 70% of all of the species on the Earth. There are many theories as to how the dinosaurs became extinct. This page presents some of the most popular thoeries. Keep in mind that...

How to survive mass extinction

It is impossible to predict exactly which species would or would not survive a global catastrophe, but it is understood what attributes will contribute to their fate That the last of the non-avian dinosaurs died out some 65.5 million years ago is not controversial. That this occurred largely owing to a dirty great asteroid smashing into the sea off of Mexico is also not in doubt. What remains the subject of much discussion, however, is why they went and other animals did not, or, more...

Prehistoric rocks contain clues for future climate

For most of the past decade, Dr. Wan Yang has spent his summers in the Bogda Mountains in northwest China, collecting rock samples that predate dinosaurs by millions of years in an effort to better understand the history of Earth's climate and perhaps gain clues about future climate change.

"The formation of rocks has everything to do with climate," says the associate professor of geological sciences and engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. "Different climate...

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Evolution

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Biggest Dinosaurs

The 10 Biggest Dinosaurs

Fossils 

Fossil Formation: How Do Fossils Form?
 

Book review

Dinosaurs Encyclopedia

Book Review

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages ... WRITTEN BY A PROFESSIONAL paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed...