Saturday, January 30, 2010
Let's say you're Haplocheirus sollers. You've got two gangly legs, stubby arms and feathery adornments that look similar to something even a third-class figure skater wouldn't wear. On top of that, you have the ragged claws of a horror film monster, and a tail that seems like something from an overgrown rat.
As Dinosaurs go off, you're an odd bird -- even though you're not a bird at all.
According to a paper in the most up-to-date issue of the journal Science, the newly discovered Haplocheirus is the oldest known member of a group of dinosaurs called alvarezsaurs.
For years, researchers have debated whether alvarezsaurs come down from dinosaurs or birds. The majority accepted that they were dinosaurs, but gaps in the Fossil record -- especially a lack of any alvarezsaur fossils predating birds -- left the issue open to debate.
The discovery of Haplocheirus by a team of paleontologists from George Washington University widen the fossil record of alvarezsaurs back in time by 63 million years -- a good 15 million years before the first birds appeared.
With this innovative evidence that alvarezsaurs existed before birds, there's little room to argue that they could be anything other than dinosaurs. Strange-looking dinosaurs, but dinosaurs, nonetheless.
Friday, January 29, 2010
A sedentary lifestyle is often liable for causing obesity among humans.
Actually, the same thing happened to certain birds 65 million years ago.
The vanishing of Dinosaurs from earth at that time made the flying ancestors of the emu, cassowary and the ostrich lazy, new Australian research has found.
Instead of soaring away from gigantic beasts, they fattened up and turn into flightless, the study by Canberra's Australian National University (ANU) found.
New Zealand's now extinct flightless moa birds descended from a small, South America flying fowl, the examination of mitochondrial genome series found.
Earlier, scientists believed flightless birds, also known as ratites, shared a common flightless ancestor.
Dr Matthew Phillips the Study director said that as dinosaurs died out, natural selection favored the fatter birds.
“The Extinction of the Dinosaurs likely lifted predation pressures that had previously chosen for flight and its necessary constraint, small size,” he said.
Lifting of this pressure and added abundant foraging opportunities would then have selected for larger size and consequent loss of flight.
Dr Phillips said-“The ancestors of flightless birds originally flew to other parts of the world from the northern continents.”
Thursday, January 28, 2010
The researchers say that the very small carnivore had a Mohican of feathers running along its head and back. It also had a stripy tail.
The team revealed details of the Dinosaur's colored feathers in an article published on Nature's website.
The team began by studying the fossilised ruins of a bird, Confuciusornis, which also lived during the premature cretaceous period.
Confuciusornis' featherswere preserved in very complete Fossils that were lately discovered in northern China.
Using a powerful electron microscope to look in the interior feathers, researchers were capable to see microscopic structures called melanosomes, which, in life, include the pigment melanin.
Melanin is what gives color to human hair and animal pelt, said Professor Mike Benton from the University of Bristol, UK, who led this study. They are also the most general way that colors are [produced] in feathers.
Professor Benton explained that differently shaped melanosomes produced dissimilar colors, with blacks or greys produced by sausage-shaped melanosomes, and reddish or russet shades found in globular ones.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
DANVILLE — Local dentist Dr. John Jack Hankla is delighted as schoolchildren file into the grand hall of the Community Arts Center and marvel at the hefty collection of replica dinosaur skeletons.
I just enjoy seeing the children 'ooh' and aah, Hankla said. When they first come in through the door and they see the splendor of these specimens, and they say Wow! I understand that we have done our job.
That Wow! factor, as Hankla calls it, fueled the curiosity that he and his son, John, shared to obtain the collection over the last 20 years.
The collection which includes a 40-foot Tyrannosaurus rex does not include innovative fossils. Rather, the specimens in the display are cast replicas of the bones. The ground floor has completely assembled skeletons, while an upstairs room has skulls and feet.
The inventive fossils were found in China, Brazil, Germany, North Africa and elsewhere around the world. The skull of a duck-billed dinosaur was found on a site close to Lusk, Wyo., where the Hanklas one time owned the fossil rights for digging specimens.
It was at that site that Jack and John Hankla first got eager about dinosaurs when John was about 8 years old. Hundreds of duck-billed dinosaurs had drowned there in a few sort of water hazard.
They were all washed into one smooth lagoon, Jack Hankla said. The carnivores then came and feasted on all these carcasses, and it was nicknamed the T. rex Café, because we discover all these broken teeth of carnivores like T. rex and raptors and lesser dromeosaurs, where they had been there munching.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
A hand-built model of an early flying dinosaur may explain precisely how the four wings of Microraptor gui helped it glide down from trees.
Basing their work on a cast of a very fresh-looking fossil, University of Kansas scientists created a model airplane-like mock dinosaur made out of plywood, balsa, and carbon fiber. Then, they attached one of three sets of test wings of dissimilar configurations to the body with rubber bands. The wings even featured real bird feathers whittled into likely shapes.
We went rear and forth. We thought, maybe we’ll do 3-D graphics and it’ll look actually cool. But it’s more precise to do the modeling directly from the specimen, said Dave Burnham, a paleontologist at the University of Kansas and co-author of a new paper on the work in the actions of the National Academies of Sciences.
Microraptor gui was a little dinosaur species that lived about 120 million years ago. About two dozen specimens have been recovered from close to Liaoning, China. The Kansas team was lent one well-preserved fossil, from which they began their rebuilding efforts.
With the model in hand, they were capable to test how the animals might have glided, by attaching them to a catapult that imparted a reliable amount of thrust to send them flying through the air. By measuring the distances that the dissimilar wing configurations allowed the model dinosaurs to fly, they were able to determine which wing type would have been most competent.
The biomechanical reconstruction of flying creatures not seen today is a tricky business. Burnham and his collaborator, University of Kansas paleontologist David Alexander, argue that the birds most likely glided with their legs splayed out — not unlike a flying squirrel.
Others argue for a dissimilar wing configuration, in which both sets of wings are parallel to each other, what they call a biplane configuration. Sankar Chatterjee, a paleontologist at Texas Tech, and R. Jack Templin, an independent scholar, say that as an alternative of splaying out like a squirrel, the animal would have tucked its legs below itself.
Monday, January 25, 2010
They escaped custody when they appeared before Norwich courts.
Prosecutor Lisa Britton said: They broke into the Ice Age indulgence hut and stole sweets, fizzy drinks and other confectionary to the value of £100. Some of these items were afterward found strewn around the park in plastic bags.
They also smashed the hut as they broke in and some of the dinosaurs had been moved out of place.
Wayne Gray, 26, of Catton Grove highway, Norwich, and Paul Sillis, 18, of Berners Close, Norwich, both admitted two counts of theft after they returned to the park and carried out the matching offence.
Richard Harvey, 22, of Julian highway, Spixworth; Jody Newton, 25, of St Leonards Road, Norwich; and Kirsty Gray, 20, of West Acre Drive, Norwich, every one admitted one count of theft.
The court heard that none had been in serious problem before. In mitigation James Burrows said their behavior had been brainless but not malicious and amounted to tomfoolery.
He added: It seemed like a excellent idea and was fun at the time but it has led to these five young people appearing before the court on some quite grave charges.
Magistrate John Nicholls said that the cases of Wayne Gray and Sillis were provoked by the fact they returned and repeated their offense.
Wayne Gray and Sillis were sentenced to 180 hours amateur work for the community with £105 in compensation and costs. Harvey and Norton were sentenced to 120 hours amateur work with £75 compensation and costs. Kirsty Gray was given a 12 month conditional discharge with recompense and costs of £75.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
About 77 million years before the juvenile duckbill dinosaur was attacked on the plains of what is now known as Montana, US, by a pack of Jurassic predators.
Fatally wounded, the young Brachylophosaurus struggled to the border of an inland sea, where he sank into the soft sand and died.
The salt water mummified him, preserving the wrinkles and scales on his skin and even his final meal of conifers and magnolia-like plants.
He remained buried until he was noticed north of Malta, in central Montana, in 2000.
Named after graffiti carved in a nearby rock, Leonardo is now a worldwide palaeontological star and a foremost attraction at the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum in Malta, one of the stops along Montana's so-called Dinosaur Trail.
The Dinosaur Trail links collectively a series of dinosaur-related museums, laboratories and archaeological sites including the Great Plains Museum.
The idea of a dinosaur trail was daydream for local tourism authorities who wanted to capitalize on the state's wealth of Fossil resources.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Dinosaur Footprints shaped 165 million years ago on an ancient shoreline in north Oxfordshire are to be given special protection by the Government’s conservation experts, Natural England.
The fossilized tracks of dinosaurs together with the Brachiosaurus, a vegetarian, and the carnivorous Tyrannosaurus are in a working quarry at Ardley, near Bicester, close to the M40. It is to be designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest — the first to be sheltered for its geological features alone.
The Fossils originate in the rocks include a variety of sea urchins, clams, molluscs, lamp shells, snails, horseshoe worms, corals and very rare ammonites and nautiloids.
“Geological sites of this quality and significance are few and far between and we are delighted to give this important window on our past the protection that it so clearly deserves.” said Helen Phillips, the chief executive of Natural Englan.
The site is to be protected from exposure to the elements and damage from erosion. Experts will work with the site owners to ensure that the track ways are preserved to permit scientific study.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Alligators breathe like birds owing to a Dinosaur ancestor they share in common, scientists have discovered.
Researchers investigated that, just as it does in birds, air flows in one direction as it loops through the lungs of alligators.
The breathing method is supposed to have first appeared in ancient reptiles called archosaurs which dominated the Earth 251 million years ago.
In contrast, mammalian breath flows in and out of branching cul-de-sacs in the lungs named alveoli.
Archosaurs evolved along two different paths, one of which gave up to the crocodilian ancestors of alligators and crocodiles.
The other produced the flying pterosaurs and ultimately birds.
The researches on alligators propose that birdlike breathing probably evolved earlier than previously thought, before the archosaur split. It may explain why archosaurs turn into dominant in the Early Triassic Period which followed a devastating mass extinction known as the ''Great Dying''.
Prior to the Extinction event, which destroyed 70% of all land life and 96% of sea life, reptile-like mammals called synapsids were the largest animals on Earth.
After it, mammals were outshined by reptiles in the form of archosaurs and, later, dinosaurs.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
JUST like being on a actual archeological dig, the Queensland Museum’s school holiday program I Dig Dinos will give kids the experience of hunting for Dinosaur bones and Discovering Fossils.
Queensland Museum Sought Bank acting director Bernadette McCormack said through its relationship with the community-based Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum and the Outback Gondwana Foundation, the museum would showcase some amazing fossil finds, including one of Australia’s newest Dinosaur Discoveries.
Wintonotitan wattsi, nick-named Clancy, was one of the three new species of dinosaur named for the first time this year after being unearthed close to Winton in the centre of the state.
The program comprise viewing of real dinosaur bones, children’s activity zone and talks from paleontologists Dr Scott Hocknull and Dr Alex Cook. And be on the lookout for T-rex junior - a 4m juvenile who will be raiding around the museum.
The program “I Dig Dinos” will be at Queensland Museum South Bank until January 24 from 9.30am-4pm daily.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Dinosaurs are set to wander on the big screen another time with Hollywood bosses planning to bring a second trilogy of the hit sci-fi franchise Jurassic Park.
The original 1993 film that won 3 Oscars, starring Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum, was a massive victory, grossing USD 914 million worldwide and spawning two sequels, Box Office online reported.
Now, nine years after Jurassic Park III hit cinemas in 2001, Joe Johnston, who directed the third installment, confess a new movie is on the cards which will be closely followed by two more.
‘Jurassic Park IV is going to be presented. And it's going to be distinct anything you've seen. It breaks away from the first three - it's really the beginning of the second Jurassic Park trilogy. It's going to be finished in a completely different way, ‘Johnston said.
If you think of the first three as a trilogy, number four would be the starting of a second trilogy. We just want to make them accepted in their own right. We don't want to create sequel after sequel just because there's a market for it.
We want to tell unusual, interesting stories," he added.
Monday, January 18, 2010
There have been millions of dinosaur sightings worldwide in the past 2 1/2 years, and this weekend they’ll be seen wandering through the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.
“Walking With Dinosaurs — The Arena Spectacular” will take viewers back in time. Life-size dinosaurs that breathe ,blink and roar as they fight for dominance will interrelate with each other and the two paleontologists who serve as guides through the 200 million-year History of Dinosaurs on Earth.
Six shows are programmed Friday through Sunday and resident director Lynda Lavin said the educational story line, the stirring music recorded by the Australian Symphony and the sheer Size of the Dinosaurs offer an unforgettable experience for all ages.
“From 3 to 93, we enclose something for you,” she said.
Parents should know if their young children would be scare of the dark arena, the lights and the noises made by the dinosaurs, and prepare accordingly.
“The dinosaurs,do get very close to the audience,” Lavin said.
Lavin describes the 15 huge dinosaurs as life-size puppets that are part Animatronics, part mechanical and completely realistic in their appearance and the way their heads and tails move.
They have to be, she said, because kids might be familiar with their dinosaurs.
“Walking With Dinosaurs” is based on a BBC television series and brings to modern times the dreadful Tyrannosaurus rex, a baby T. rex and the more calm omnivores.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Combining colourful panels with real and cast Dinosaur teeth ,bones and footprints, this touring exhibition from the geology buffs at National Museum Wales plans to prove the surprisingly close link the unassuming garden bird holds with the decidedly more threatening Tyrannosaurus Rex and Velociraptors.
Scientists are usually in agreement that most of the birds we know and love have evolved from feathered dinosaurs, based on evidence initially surmised through the innovation of a single fossil feather in Southern Germany in 1860.
A year after, the near-complete skeleton of the oldest known bird – dating from 150 million years ago – was found with impressions of feathers conserved in fine mud rock.
They may be widely regarded as friends rather than foes, but today’s birds also bear behavioral traits which are uncannily related to their fiercer ancestors.
Parallel track ways have exposed that dinosaurs moved in herds and packs, nested and built their homes in colonies and, according to fossil sites in Montana and Argentina, built nests and laid eggs.
The meeker breed, though, eventually enjoyed the last laugh. When dinosaurs suddenly became Extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period 65 million years before, the birds survived.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Mesozoica: The Age of Dinosaurs is the former exhibition to
be featured in the Gallery of the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. The exhibition features laboratory cast specimens of significant Fossil Discoveries and various dinosaurs. It is on display through March 31 for the benefit of patients and family members and their visitors during their reside in the hospital. Gallery hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Mesozoica: The Age of Dinosaurs is curated by the International Museum Institute of New York and was recently on display in the entrance hall of the Mulroy Civic Center.
“We’re enchanted to make our inaugural exhibit this exciting presentation of these prehistoric creatures and other important discoveries,” said Leola Rodgers, associate administrator for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Rodgers said that the gallery will host exhibitions throughout the year. Upcoming exhibitions may attribute artwork from area schools and colleges.
”We have a wonderful space that permits patients and their families to leave the clinical setting and enjoy a intriguing art exhibit or other kinds of displays.”
Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, which opened in September 2009, features large private patient rooms, with a two-story treehouse enclosing a gallery, solarium, performance space and chapel.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
South Florida Science Museum presents "Diggin' Dinosaurs: An Adventure Millions of Years in the Making"
Something big is coming to the South Florida Science Museum starting January 16th through May 2nd, 2010. Diggin' Dinosaurs: An Adventure Millions of Years in the Making features many of the most feared terrestrial carnivores including the gigantic Giganotosaurus, a genus of carcharodontosaurid Dinosaur that existed 98 to 96 million years ago, to other larger-than-life predators including, the Monolophosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor. This hands-on exhibit allows visitors to experience dinosaurs by handling an Oviraptor egg, excavating a skeleton, or taking a turn at the Wheel of Dinosaur Misfortune.
The South Florida Science Museum is hosting "Diggin' Dinosaurs" as part of the celebration commemorating the finding of Suzie, the Ice Age mastodon currently on display at the Museum. The skeleton was found in superb condition during an excavation project in West Palm Beach in 1969. Suzie was a juvenile mastodon, a type of pre-historic elephant that wandered Florida and much of North America during Earth's most recent Ice Age.
The South Florida Science Museum has been a resource for scientific information for almost a half century with the mission of exciting curiosity and furthering the understanding of science and technology. Through a strong partnership with the School District of Palm Beach County, the Museum serves as a resource for exploring which compliments and supplements formal educational environments. Diggin' Dinosaurs: An Adventure Millions of Years in the Making is a paleontology based exhibition that is expected to welcome school students, as well as residents and visitors from Palm Beach County and beyond.
"Diggin' Dinosaurs" will be open daily to the public January 16, 2010 to May 2, 2010.
Monday, January 11, 2010
BUENOS AIRES: A Species of Dinosaur that existed 190 million years ago has been found in Argentina, a researcher said.
No discoveries with these uniqueness had been made in the region. “It's an significant discovery because it helps us understand the environmental diversity of the period," researcher Santiago Bessone of the Museum Egidio Feruglio, an institution based in the Argentine Patagonian city of Trelew that was accountable for the expedition, told EFE.
The experts exposed on Bayo mountain , some 80 km from the Patagonian town of Gastre, fossils of at least two dinosaurs that actually lived during the Jurassic period and about which little is known, museum experts said.
The scientists suspected that in the area there could have been Dinosaur Skeletons from the herbivorous sauropod family, which measured between 15-20 meters long and had a small head, big feet ,long neck and a powerful tail.
These dinosaurs roamed the Earth at a time when mammals did not yet survive and when the climate and flora were very different from what they are today, the scientists said.
Bessone, a member of the team,said:The expedition, which took place last month, "lasted about 20 days and now we are fully into the stage of studying and investigating the fossils in detail".
During their explorations, financed by German scientific institutes, the researchers found numerous bones, many of them embedded in heavy blocks of stone that still have not been moved from the place they were found, some 1,400 km south of Buenos Aires.
The skeletons are not complete, but it was likely to gather bones from the front and back legs, hips and spine.
The researchers also found "fossils of very primitive flying reptiles" of the pterosaur family that measured more than a meter long and were agile in flight, supported by wings with hollow bones.
Friday, January 8, 2010
A book of dinosaur fossils found out on the Korean Peninsula was published on Tuesday, a rare photo guide to the reptiles that left their last footprints on southern coasts 80 million years ago.
The publication by the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, a state-run preservation agency, tracks a series of landmark discoveries in the country last year, including the fossil of a horned dinosaur that scientists say is an unknown species, and footprints of a baby dinosaur that are the smallest of their kind found so far.
Paleontologists say dinosaurs existed in Korea from 120 million to 80 million years ago, throughout much of the Cretaceous period, the last stage of the Mesozoic era and the heyday for dinosaurs. Their fossils, relatively well-preserved and discovered in a richly diverse spectrum across the southern South Korean coasts, at present registered on a tentative list of the World Heritage site, en route to gaining major recognition.
"Many of them were only known in academia, and the major merit of this book is that it comes with photographs and effortless texts so that they can be known to ordinary people. Our idea was that people can use it as a guide when they go observe the footprints," said Lim Jong-deock, chief curator at the institute and one of the seven co-authors of the book, "Dinosaur Fossils of Korea." Lim stressed the book is the primary full collection of Korean dinosaur fossils designated as a natural heritage here. Its English edition is expected later on this year.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
WILLIAM H. ''Billy'' May, the theatrical producer who produced the Walking with Dinosaurs arena show, died in St Vincent's Hospital on New Year's Eve, aged 56, due to complications from pneumonia.
A showman who trained at the New York High School of presenting Arts, May moved to Australia in 1972 at the age of 19 to be with his life partner, producer Malcolm Cooke. Together, the two men worked on more than 40 productions in London,Australia and New York, including the Arts Centre's 2002 production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a 1983 Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn - a Fable) and a 1997 West End musical, Always, about the love affair between Edward VII and Wallis Simpson.
May had his share of challenges as well as victories, says Cooke. Always was believed to be the pinnacle of May's theatrical career, but savage reviews closed the show.
They sold May's Skippy film script to Rupert Murdoch at 20th Century Fox, only to have the deal discarded by studio executive Barry Diller, aghast that his boss wanted to greenlight ''a kangaroo movie''.
May was inspired to create his enduringly profitable 2007 touring arena show Walking with Dinosaurs by watching the cranes working overnight to construct the Southern Cross Station.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Newly found out raptor may have employed venom to subdue his prey -- as if fangs and claws weren't enough.
And has powerful jaws, razor-sharp teeth, sickle-shaped claws, and can cut you down silently .The Sinornithosaurus — a birdlike raptor — that is, if you were unfortunate adequate to run across him 125 million years ago.
If that deadly arsenal wasn’t enough to make this dinosaur a ferocious predator, the latest discovered venom that was delivered with his bite surely was. The New York Times reports that a group of paleontologists have found evidence to propose that this birdlike raptor was indeed venomous.
Don’t get the Sinornithosaurus confused with his famous cousin, the Velociraptor, made famous in the original Jurassic park movie — and definitely not with his meme-like brother-in-law, the Philosoraptor— because this avian predator can do harm on the ground and in the air.
Enpu Gong of Northeastern University in Liaoning, David A. Burnham of the University of Kansas, and colleagues recognized Sinornithosaurus was venomous after examining fossils found in 1999 in the Liaoning Quarry of northeastern China. The fossil leftovers showed typically unusual features for that of a dinosaur — grooves in the teeth and a duct running along the base of the teeth.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
“Walking with Dinosaurs” is coming back to Roanoke, and on Monday we got a different sneak peek.
The baby T-Rex came to Hotel Roanoke to perform for few local boy scout troops in the Blue Ridge Mountains Council as they celebrated the Centennial Anniversary of Boy Scouts of America.
The Dinosaur looks extremely realistic, but it’s a man in a costume.
The international show took 6 years to produce and cost $20 million.
The show takes the viewers back 150 million years.
“I believe there’s this fascination .What occurred to them, what was it like when they were roaming the earth and dominating the entire globe. Now you get to notice them as best we can tell, what it was like,“ said Matthew Rimmer.
“Walking with Dinosaurs,“ is programmed to perform at the Roanoke Civic Center this weekend.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Scientists have long known that carnivorous dinosaurs used claws and teeth to kill prey. Now there is evidence that some of them may have used venom, too.
In a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences during the week before Christmas, Chinese and American researchers announced that a fossilized individual from the dinosaur genus Sinornithosaurus had depressions on the side of its face that could have housed poison gland.
The researchers also observed in a fossilized skull a long depression above the dinosaur's teeth that, in their view, may well have delivered venom into a number of long, grooved teeth on the animal's upper jaw.
The teeth would have permitted the dinosaur to grab prey and hold onto it long enough for the venom to take effect.
This structure is commonly found in modern venomous birds and reptiles.
Sinornithosaurus is a genus of the dromaeosauridae, a Family of Dinosaurs that were ancestors of current birds. The dromaeosaurs also included raptor species recognized for a long and sharp claw used to slice open prey.
Animals within the genus would have been about 3 feet long and lived about 125 million years ago in forests within the northeastern region of China.