Il blog dedicato ai Paleontologi !!!!

2009-09-03 – Australia: 3 nuovi dinosauri (Australia, 3 new dinosaurs)

Fossili di 3 grandi dinosauri scoperti in Australia

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Fossili di tre nuove specie di dinosauri sono stati scoperti in Australia, di cui quello di un carnivoro più grande del Velociraptor dei film di Jurassic Park, lasciando intendere che l’Australia potrebbe avere un passato preistorico più complesso di quanto si pensi.

I tre fossili, due di erbivori e uno di un carnivoro — i primi resti di grandi dinosauri rinvenuti dal 1981 — sono stati trovati nel Queensland e risalgono al Cretaceo, 98 milioni di anni fa.

“Questa scoperta ci fa conoscere non solo due affascinanti giganti dal collo lungo del continente australiano antico, ma anche il nostro primo grande predatore” ha detto oggi il paleontologo John Long, del Museo Victoria.

Il paleontologo Ben Kear dell’Università La Trobe di Melbourne ha detto che la scoperta apre la strada a nuovi studi sui dinosauri australiani e il loro habitat.

“L’Australia è una delle grandi risorse poco sfruttate per la comprensione della vita nel periodo dei dinosauri”, ha detto Kear. “Questo … farà sicuramente crescere l’interesse nelle finora incomplete ma rilevanti scoperte in questo continente”.



Triple Fossil Find Puts Australia Back On The Dinosaur Map

ScienceDaily (July 3, 2009) — Scientists have discovered three new species of Australian dinosaur discovered in a prehistoric billabong in Western Queensland.

Artistic representations of the three new Australian dinosaur taxa: Australovenator (top); Wintonotitan (middle); Diamantinasaurus (bottom). (Credit: Artwork by: T. Tischler, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History / Scott A. Hocknull, Matt A. White, Travis R. Tischler, Alex G. Cook, Naomi D. Calleja, Trish Sloan, David A. Elliott. New Mid-Cretaceous (Latest Albian) Dinosaurs from Winton, Queensland, Australia. PLoS ONE, 2009; 4 (7): e6190 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006190)

Artistic representations of the three new Australian dinosaur taxa: Australovenator (top); Wintonotitan (middle); Diamantinasaurus (bottom). (Credit: Artwork by: T. Tischler, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History / Scott A. Hocknull, Matt A. White, Travis R. Tischler, Alex G. Cook, Naomi D. Calleja, Trish Sloan, David A. Elliott. New Mid-Cretaceous (Latest Albian) Dinosaurs from Winton, Queensland, Australia. PLoS ONE, 2009; 4 (7): e6190 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006190)

Reporting on July 3 in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal, PLoS ONE, Scott Hocknull and colleagues at the Queensland Museum and the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History describe the fossils of three new mid-Cretaceous dinosaurs from the Winton Formation in eastern Australia: two giant, herbivorous sauropods and one carnivorous theropod, all of which are to be unveiled in Queensland on July 3. The three fossils add to our knowledge of the Australian dinosaurian record, which is crucial for the understanding of the global paleobiogeography of dinosaurian groups.

Australia’s dinosaurian fossil record is extremely poor, compared with that of other similar-sized continents, such as South America and Africa. However, the mid-Cretaceous Winton Formation in central western Queensland has, in recent years, yielded numerous fossil sites with huge potential for the discovery of new dinosaurian taxa. Between 2006 and 2009, extensive excavations have yielded many well-preserved dinosaur fossils, as well as the remains of other contemporaneous fauna.

In a single, comprehensive, publication, Hocknull and colleagues describe the remains of three individual dinosaur skeletons, found during joint Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum and Queensland Museum digs in two different sites in the Winton Formation. They represent three new genera and species of dinosaur: two giant herbivorous sauropods and a carnivorous theropod.

The carnivore, named by the authors on the paper Australovenator wintonensis (nicknamed “Banjo”) is the most complete meat-eating dinosaur found in Australia, to date and sheds light on the ancestry of the largest-ever meat-eating dinosaurs, the carcharodontosaurs, a group of dinosaurs that became gigantic, like Giganotosaurus.

“The cheetah of his time, Banjo was light and agile,” said lead author Scott Hocknull. “He could run down most prey with ease over open ground. His most distinguishing feature was three large slashing claws on each hand. Unlike some theropods that have small arms (think T. rex), Banjo was different; his arms were a primary weapon.

“He’s Australia’s answer to Velociraptor, but many times bigger and more terrifying.”

The skeleton of Australovenator solves a 28-year-old mystery surrounding an ankle bone found in Victoria, which was originally classified as a dwarf Allosaurus, although this classification remained controversial until the discovery of Australovenator—the researchers are now able to confirm that the ankle bone belonged to the lineage that led to Australovenator.

The two plant-eating theropods, named Witonotitan wattsi (“Clancy”) and Diamantinasaurus matildae (“Matilda”), are different kinds of titanosaur (the largest type of dinosaur ever to have lived). While Witonotitan represents a tall, gracile animal, which might have fitted into a giraffe-like niche, the stocky, solid Diamantinasaurus represents a more hippo-like species.

All three dinosaurs are nicknamed after characters from a world-famous, Australian poet. Banjo Patterson composed Waltzing Matilda in 1885 in Winton, where the song was also first performed (and where the fossils were discovered). Waltzing Matilda is now considered to be Australia’s national song.

In a quirky twist of fate, the song Waltzing Matilda describes the unfortunate demise of a swag-man, who steals a jumbuck (sheep) but is driven to leap into a billabong (an Australian word for a small oxbow lake) to avoid being captured by the police. He ends up drowning in the billabong alongside the stolen sheep.

Banjo and Matilda were found buried together in what turns out to be a 98-million-year-old billabong. Whether they died together or got stuck in the mud together remains a mystery; however, echoing the song, both predator and possible prey met their end at the bottom of a billabong, 98 million years ago. This shows that processes that were working in the area over the last 98 million years are still there today. “Billabongs are a built-in part of the Australian mind,” said Hocknull, “because we associate them with mystery, ghosts and monsters.”

The finding and documentation of the fossils was a 100% Australian effort. Both Matilda and Banjo were prepared by Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum thanks to thousands of hours of volunteer work and philanthropy.

“This is the only place in Australia where you can come off the street and be taught to be a palaeontologist and find, excavate and prepare your own part of Australian natural history,” said Hocknull. The dinosaurs will now be part of a museum collection and this effort will enable future generations of scientists to be involved in a new wave of dinosaur discoveries and to bring the general public in touch with their own natural heritage.”

This collaborative effort links closely with PLoS ONE’s philosophy of making science freely accessible to the general public. “One of my major motivations for submitting to PLoS ONE was the fact that my research will reach a much wider community, including the hundreds of volunteers and public who gave their time and money to the development of natural history collections,” said Hocknull. “They are the backbone of our work (excuse the pun) and they usually never get to see their final product because they rarely subscribe to scientific journals.”

All three new taxa, along with some fragmentary remains from other taxa, indicate a diverse Early Cretaceous sauropod and theropod fauna in Australia, and the finds will help provide a better understanding of the Australian dinosaurian record, which is, in turn, crucial for the understanding of the global palaeobiogeography of dinosaurian groups.

The authors agree that even though hundreds of bones have already been found at the site, these fossils are just the tip of the iceberg. “Many hundreds more fossils from this dig await preparation and there is much more material left to excavate,” they said. Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum and Queensland Museum staff and volunteers will continue to dig at this and other sites in 2010.

The fossils will be unveiled at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History in Queensland, Australia, July 3 by Anna Bligh, the Premier of Queensland. Stage 1 of the museum, a non-profit, volunteer-driven, science initiative that aims to bring Australian dinosaurs to the world, will also be opened by Ms Bligh on July 3.

Journal reference:

  1. Scott A. Hocknull, Matt A. White, Travis R. Tischler, Alex G. Cook, Naomi D. Calleja, Trish Sloan, David A. Elliott. New Mid-Cretaceous (Latest Albian) Dinosaurs from Winton, Queensland, Australia. PLoS ONE, 2009; 4 (7): e6190 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006190



luglio 3, 2009 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, - Sauropodi, - Teropodi, 1 Cretaceo, America Northern, An. Vertebrates, Articolo sc. di riferimento, FREE ACCESS, Lang. - Italiano, Mesozoic, P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , | Lascia un commento

2009-04-03 – I Sauropodi “aspirapolvere” (Sauropods “vacuum cleaner”)

Uno studio di un iologo evoluzionista australiano pubblicato Biology letter supporta la teoria dei Sauropodi aspiravolvere. Secondo tale studio i sauropodi non potevano sollevare la testa (la pressione sanguigna da sopportare per inviare sangue al cerevello), tuttavia la loro stazza gli permetteva comunque di arrivare a raccogliere foglie da rami inaccessibili ad altri erbivori mentre il lungo collo gli permetteva di sostare in luogo e di agire appunto come un aspirapolvere agendo tutto intorno



Sauropod dinos kept a level head

Anna Salleh

Long-necked sauropod dinosaurs would had to have used far too much energy to hold their neck upright and browse tall trees, says an Australian evolutionary biologist.

Dr Roger Seymour of the University of Adelaide reports his findings in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

Sauropods were about as heavy as a whale and had necks nearly five times the length of a giraffe’s.

The animals have generally been reconstructed with upright necks and it was assumed they grazed on tall trees.

But Seymour has calculated that to do this the dinosaurs would have needed to use 50% of the energy they consumed just to support their long necks.

“I think most people would agree that if you spent half of your energy pumping the blood around the body it would be an enormous cost,” says Seymour, who studies blood pressure in animals.

Seymour says the longer an animal’s neck, the higher the blood pressure it requires to pump blood to the brain.

“The giraffe’s blood pressure is twice that of other mammals,” he says.

While a human has a blood pressure of around 100 millimetres of mercury, a giraffe has a blood pressure of 200, says Seymour.

He says a sauropod with an upright 9-metre neck would have had to have a blood pressure of 700.

“That is exceptionally high,” says Seymour.

Seymour says to produce such a high pressure, the sauropod would need a heart with a 2-tonne left ventricle, which would be a challenge to fit in the animal.

And his most recent research has calculated that 50% of the energy it consumed would be used just to circulate the sauropod’s blood.

“Even though they may have had access to a larger amount of food, it would have cost more than the gain, basically,” says Seymour.

He says a giraffe with a 2-metre neck uses around 20% of its energy to circulate blood and humans use about 10%.

The ‘vacuum cleaner principle’

Previously, it was thought that sauropods must have been semi-aquatic or amphibious to support their enormous bulk.

When palaeontologists decided the animals were terrestrial, they assumed the neck was used like a giraffe’s, says Seymour.

But, he says, the sauropod’s enormous size meant the animal would have had many options for feeding even without having to lift their long neck vertically.

“Even without raising the head, these animals could browse higher than a giraffe,” says Seymour.

Seymour says feeding with a horizontal neck meant the animal could keep the bulk of its body in one place while using its long neck to graze in numerous places.

“It’s the vacuum cleaner principle,” he says.



Other links:

Long-necked dinosaurs ‘kept their heads down’ – ‎1-apr-2009‎
Long-necked dinosaurs kept their heads down and did not raise them to the trees to graze, according to a new study. By Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent

aprile 3, 2009 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, - Sauropodi, Articolo sc. di riferimento, Bl - Top posts, Italiano (riassunto), Lang. - Italiano, P - morfologia funzionale, P - Paleoetologia, Paleontology / Paleontologia, X - Riviste e Multimedia | , , , , | Lascia un commento

2008-11-23 – Portogallo: polemiche per la vendita all’asta di un dinosauro (Portugal, Dinosaur tail sale)

Un macchinista di escavatore ha scoperto casualmente resti di un Sauropode e si è rifiutato di cederli ad un museo nazionale, anzi le ha messe all’asta su internet ….


Dinosaur tail sale sparks anger in Portugal

A Portuguese bulldozer driver who is selling a dinosaur fossil he found online has been criticised by experts for refusing to hand the bones over to a museum.

Last Updated: 12:08AM GMT 22 Nov 2008

Gonsalo Ribeiro, who has refused to reveal where exactly in western Portugal he discovered the bones, decided to cash in on his lucky find by offering it up for sale on the internet.

“For sale, dinosaur spine 90 per cent intact,” reads his advertisement, posted in the antiquities section of a website.

“I own an excavation business, and one day when we were out digging, we came across some stones. But when I took a closer look, I noticed they were not stones,” said Mr Ribeiro.

He says that what he thought were stones are a 11.8-foot- long sauropod’s tail.

The archaeological find is between 146 and 152 million years old and of “huge scientific value”, according to palaeontologist Octavio Mateus.

But Mr Ribeiro has refused to hand over his treasure to a museum, claiming “the figures they offer are far off the mark.” He has already turned down an offer of 100,000 euros (£84,000).

Mr Mateus, who works at a museum specialising in the Jurassic period in central-west Portugal, published a note on the website denouncing what he called the “sale of our heritage as if it were a car or a pair of shoes”.

Mr Mateus is calling for his government to introduce a law, like those of Argentina, China and Mongolia, making it illegal to sell on “public heritage”.

novembre 23, 2008 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, - Sauropodi, Aste, Collezionismo, Commercio illegale, Europa, Italiano (riassunto), P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

2008-11-14 – Diplodoco all’asta !!!! (Diplodocus on bid)

Diplodoco in vendita su ebay. Si tratta di uno scheletro completo lungo circa 20 metri con un 50% di ossa reali (provenienti dagli USA) e per il resto ricostruito in poliuretano.

Visto il prezzo (per altro pienamente giustificato) difficilmente sarà venduto ……. .






Item number: 200264020882

US $170,000.00 



a Diplodocus skeleton  with 50 % real bones

– : LISTEN : its from a museum in switzerland : it was showed in francfurt germany in the Dino world

it’s a original diplodocus dinosaurier : when finished its ca 20 meters long !!

IN THE AUCTION are the real BONES = 50 % – THE rest you can get also to complete it ( just the missing bones copies or from another REAL Dinosaurier  with more paying.

novembre 14, 2008 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, - Sauropodi, Aste, Collezionismo, Ebay, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , , , , | 1 commento

2008-10-17 – Utah, Usa: Nuovo “cimitero di dinosauri” (“Dinosaur graveyard”, tracks, “Gnatalie”, Deltapodus)

Nel nuovo cimitero dei dinosauri nello Utah meridionale, studiato da Luis Chiappe, sorprendentemente vi sono impronte e resti fossili sia del Giurassico che del Cretaceo.

Tra i primi, datati intorno a 145 milioni di anni fa, vanno annoverati un nuovo sauropode chiamato informalmente “Gnatalie”, e impronte di Stegosauro finora rinvenute solo in Europa (Deltapodus).

Tra i resti del Cretaceo vi sono invece impronte di Sauropodi, Teropodi e Ornitopodi.


‘Dinosaur graveyard’ found in southeast Utah

A 150-million-year-old sauropod skeleton is the centerpiece of the finds from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, discovered by a Los Angeles team.
By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
9:25 AM PDT, October 17, 2008
Los Angeles researchers have discovered a “dinosaur graveyard” in southeastern Utah that is yielding a wealth of fossilized animals and footprints from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

The centerpiece of the new finds is the well-preserved skeleton of a 150-million-year-old sauropod — a long-necked herbivore — that researchers have named “Gnatalie” because the scientists were “eaten alive” by gnats while they were excavating it earlier this year.

The team has so far excavated only part of the fossilized skeleton, which they estimate to be about 50 feet long. “It’s big and takes a lot of time,” said paleontologist Luis Chiappe, director of the Dinosaur Institute and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Gnatalie was found in the remains of what was once a big riverbed and is now a light-colored stratum on the face of an exposed cliff. Nearby in the bed were the disarticulated remains of other sauropods and meat-eating dinosaurs, including the five-foot-long femur of a brachiosaur.

On the ridgeline of the cliff, the team found a large number of footprints preserved in sandstone. Surprisingly, one set of prints from the Jurassic era, which ended about 145 million years ago, prints of a sauropod were found near tracks of carnivorous theropods and herbivorous ornithopods from the early Cretaceous period, which ended about 65 million years ago.

Most stunning of all, to Chiappe, were the three-toed prints of a European stegosaur, named  “Deltapodus tracks have never been found in North America,” he said.

Chiappe and his staff, led by Doug Goudreau and Aisling Farrell, expect to spend at least another decade excavating the site.

The finds will be the centerpiece of an exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County that will open in 2011, he said.

A renovation of the dinosaur exhibit is part of the museum’s $84-million project to restore and seismically strengthen its original 1913 Beaux-Arts-inspired building.



other links (updated on 2008-10-18 11:48 Italy):

‘Dinosaur graveyard’ found in southeast Utah
Los Angeles Times – 44 minuti fa
A 150-million-year-old sauropod skeleton is the centerpiece of the finds from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, discovered by a Los Angeles team.
No visas required for six countries
Boston Globe – 3 ore fa
President Bush, trying to eliminate a major source of contention with allied nations, announced yesterday that the United States is rescinding visa
UPI NewsTrack Health and Science News
United Press International – 6 ore fa
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 17 (UPI) — Researchers said a dinosaur graveyard discovered in Utah holds a wealth of fossils from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
Sauropod found in dinosaur graveyard
United Press International – 8 ore fa
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 17 (UPI) — Researchers said a dinosaur graveyard discovered in Utah holds a wealth of fossils from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
Willow Plants Cleaning Up Contamination (press release) – 6 ore fa
(Source: United Press International)Researchers said 23000 willow plants are helping clean up a 164000-gallon underground fuel leak at a US Army base.

ottobre 17, 2008 Posted by | - Ornitopodi, - R. Dinosauri, - Sauropodi, - Teropodi, 1 Cretaceo, 2 Jurassic / Giurassico, America Northern, Italiano (riassunto), Musei, P - Impronte, P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

2008-10-14 – Canada: Impronte di sauropodi (Sauropod,dinosaur tracks)

Un nuovo ritrovamento di impronte di dinosauri rappresenta la prima testimonianza della presenza di Sauropodi in Canada.


B.C. paleontologists seek clues in rare dinosaur tracks


Last Updated: Monday, October 13, 2008 | 8:31 AM ET  – CBC News

Paleontologists in northern B.C. are poring over rare evidence that the largest dinosaur that ever lived once roamed the province.

In August 2008, a group of coal miners discovered ancient sauropod tracks at a mine near Sparwood, B.C., in the province’s southeastern tip near the Alberta border.

Sauropods are a group of giant, plant-eating reptiles that roamed the Earth approximately 150 million years ago in the late Jurassic period.

Until the summer of 2008, there had been very little evidence of the giant dinosaurs in B.C., and paleontologist Rich McCrea said that’s what makes the discovery of a path of sauropod tracks so rare and valuable.

“It’s one of the major groups of dinosaurs that there was no record of until recently, and it was always a mystery as to why sauropods were not found in Canada,” McCrea said. “We’ve been doing paleontology for over 100 years and not a bit of bone or scrap of tooth, and now we have a track-way.”

Cast made of tracks

McCrea, the curator of the Peace Region Paleontology Centre in Tumbler Ridge, B.C., made a cast of the dinosaur’s metre-long tracks, impressed upon a vertical slab of rock nestled in the Rocky Mountains.

He and a team of experts are studying the cast in the hopes of learning more about the movements of the ancient creatures. They also plan to revisit the track site to complete more detailed mapping, measuring and photography of the tracks.

Alberta paleontologist Phil Curry said the Sparwood track-way fills in knowledge gaps about the movement of sauropods.

“Now, we have things like this track, which indicate dinosaurs definitely lived in this part of the world. We’ve just never had bones and skeletons of the animals,” Curry said.

After the cast has been studied, it will be on display at the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery in Tumbler Ridge. The public will be able to view the rare specimen when the museum reopens at its new location in 2009.


(see the source also for comments)


ottobre 13, 2008 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, - Sauropodi, America Northern, Lang. - Italiano, P - Impronte, P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

2008-10-10 – L’assenza di masticamento é il segreto dei grandi Sauropodi (Dinosaurs, Sauropod, not chewing)

Biggest Dinosaurs Grew Huge by Not Chewing Their Food

Kate Ravilious
for National Geographic News
October 9, 2008

Dinosaurs known as sauropods—the largest land animals that ever lived—grew huge and were an evolutionary success in part because they didn’t bother to chew their food, new research suggests.

Sauropods weighed up to 88 tons (80 metric tons)—ten times more than an African elephant—and measured as high as 23 feet (7 meters).

The group of dinosaurs, which included the brachiosaurus and diplodocus, loomed over the animal kingdom for more than 140 million years until the late Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago. (See a brachiosaurus herd.)

Scientists think the animals evolved to be so large to discourage big predators, like Tyrannosaurus rex, from eating them. But how they maintained such massive body sizes has remained mysterious.

The herbivores, or plant-eaters, had hardly any teeth and are thought to have swallowed their food whole—an entire bush in one gulp, for example. They browsed large areas, barely moving and consuming vast quantities in short periods of time.

So they needed long necks to reach food high in trees and a huge gut to process and break down their unchewed meals, said Martin Sander, a palaeontologist at the University of Bonn in Germany and co-author of the study, published tomorrow in the journal Science.

“You can only have this long neck if you don’t chew your food, otherwise your head would be full of teeth and too heavy to support,” he said.

Paul Upchurch, an expert on sauropods from University College London, said that “most palaeontologists agree that feeding is the key to understanding sauropod gigantism.”

(Related: “Bizarre Dinosaur Grazed Like a Cow, Study Says” [November 15, 2007].)

Survival Strategies

To outgrow their predators, sauropods didn’t just need lots of food. They also needed to develop fast, so they could attain their full size before being eaten, experts said.

Sauropod bones show that they did indeed grow swiftly. A 22-pound (10-kilogram) hatchling could become a 220,000-pound (100,000-kilogram) grown-up in about 20 to 30 years—quick by dinosaur time.

“This tells us that they must have been warm-blooded and had a high metabolic rate compared to cold-blooded creatures,” said the University of Bonn’s Sander.

Like all dinosaurs, sauropods laid nestfuls of eggs. By producing so many young at a time, “a population could recover quickly, even after a big catastrophe,” Sander said.

Large modern mammals, such as elephants, give birth to far fewer offspring, raising their chances of extinction should a disaster occur.

So why don’t we see gigantic elephants and crocodiles roaming around today?

Experts think that reptiles, such as crocodiles, still maintain the egg-laying advantage, but their cold blood prevents them from growing fast enough to reach a great size.

Mammals have warm blood, but can’t grow as big as sauropods due to their slow reproductive strategy and the need to chew their food.




Other links:

A mystery to chew on
Globe and Mail – 3 ore fa
It is a colossal mystery, one an international team of researchers has been trying to solve for four years. Why did some dinosaurs get so big?
The Press Association – 9 ore fa
An inability to chew may be one reason why giant long-necked dinosaurs such as Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus got so big, scientists believe. …
and in German:
Paläontologie: Wachstum ohne Grenzen
Die Presse – 13 ore fa
Größe garantiert Überleben, das zeigen die Sauropoden, die mächtigsten aller Landtiere. Ihr Geheimnis: Hinunterschlingen, was geht.
Der Gigantismus der Dinosaurier
FOCUS Online – 14 ore fa
Sauropoden waren die größten Landtiere, die je die Erde bevölkerten. Jetzt erklären Wissenschaftler, wie die Tiere so riesig werden konnten. …

Dinosaur giants ‘could not chew’
The Press Association – 9 ore fa
An inability to chew may be one reason why giant long-necked dinosaurs such as Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus got so big, scientists believe. …

Super-sized dinos had super-sized stomachs
MSNBC – 10 ore fa
By Jeanna Bryner Brachiosaurs and other long-necked giants of the dinosaur world weighed as much as 10 African elephants. Researchers now think they know …


Article on Science links:


Sauropod Gigantism

P. Martin Sander1 and Marcus Clauss2

1Division of Paleontology, Steinmann Institute, University of Bonn, D-53115 Bonn, Germany. E-mail:

Science 10 October 2008 322: 200-201 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1160904] (in Perspectives)

……Triassic (about 210 million years ago), sauropods diversified into about 120 known genera…current geological survival time. Thus, sauropods were not only gigantic but also, in evolutionary…their unusual biology (see the figure).Sauropods had an elephantine body supported by……

Summary »   Full Text »   PDF »  



ottobre 10, 2008 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, - Sauropodi, Articolo sc. di riferimento, Bl - Top posts, Lang. - German, P - Paleoetologia, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

2009-09-22 – Pleurocoelus o Paluxysaurus jonesi ?

Updated dinosaur exhibit set for science museum



About 112 million years ago, in the early Cretaceous, Fort Worth and the land stretching out to the West was home to dinosaurs. Pleurocoelus, a huge four-legged herbivore with a long neck and tail, was about 50 feet long and could weigh 10 tons and more.

Pleurocoelus was well known in Texas for its washtub-sized footprints, visible around Glen Rose, Texas. In 1997, the 75th Texas Legislature named the dinosaur the state dinosaur.

There’s just one problem.

More research and new fossils being discovered by scientists, including professionals from the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, have discovered that the bones thought to belong to Pleurocoelus really belong to another species of dinosaur, Paluxysaurus jonesi.

The newly-discovered bones and the updated knowledge about Texas’ dinosaurs will be an integral part of the new museum building, slated to open in fall 2009. The new museum will cost $75 million, including a new planetarium and an operating budget, but about $1.5 million is budgeted specifically for a new dinosaur exhibit.

The new exhibition, which has the working title of “Mysteries of the Texas Dinosaurs,” will bring back parts of the previous exhibit, named “Lone Star Dinosaurs,” as well as more hands-on components.

The $1.5 million to be spent on dinosaur-centered exhibits is a reinvestment of a $1.2 million grant that the museum received in 1999 from the National Science Foundation, said Charlie Walter, chief operating officer. That grant, awarded through a competitive process, allowed the museum to build an exhibit that placed visitors in the role of scientists, finding fossils and then using clues to prompt questions and learn more about where the animals came from and the life they led.

“It wasn’t dinosaurs just for the sake of dinosaurs, it was using dinosaurs for the sake of the scientific process,” Walter said.

The new exhibit and its fossils will be the result of a collaboration between local and national organizations. The Robert Reid Studio, based just outside Fort Worth, previously helped in the articulation of a dinosaur for the museum and is contributing again to the articulation of the Paluxysaurus. Design Island, from Orlando, also is helping with the exhibit, which will be the only exhibit in the world to show an articulated Paluxysaurus skeleton, Walter said.

The Paluxysaurus bones were found, as the name might imply, near the Paluxy River in Hood County. The last part of the species’ name refers to the Jones Ranch, where the bones were found. The recent find has researchers excited, and they are thinking of revisiting the topic of Texas’ state dinosaur to update the information with the new knowledge, said Aaron Pan, curator of science for the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

Researchers from the museum and Southern Methodist University worked for several weeks a year over eight years to unearth the new dinosaur skeleton fragments, said Walters.

“In Jurassic Park, when you see them brushing off a whole animal — that’s Hollywood,” Pan said.

Instead, parts of a skeleton are found, jacketed with plaster to protect them, then large portions of the surrounding rock are broken out of the ground with the bones inside. Labor-intensive work in labs results in the bones being either set free or exposed for exhibition.

Walter said working with a local studio and SMU made sense economically.

“You can imagine what it might take to ship several thousand pounds of dinosaur bones back and forth across the country,” he said.

After the bones are ready for articulation they are sent to Reid Studios, said owner Robert Reid. There he puts them together in a giant framework to support both the real bones, which make up a portion of the displayed skeleton, and the fiberglass or cast bones, which fill in where real bones are missing, he said.

“We’re supplying the engineering and, you might say, the artistry,” Reid said.

Paluxysaurus now is believed to be the animal that left the giant washtub-sized footprints in Glen Rose, and so the famous tracks will be paid tribute in the new exhibition.

“We’re going to mount that animal in a track way that mimics the Glen Rose tracks,” Reid said.

Recognizing the dinosaur remains throughout Texas at the museum is important, Walter said, because the museum is one of the few places in the world to have easy access to such rare fossils. In fact, Pan said, between dinosaurs and marine fossils, Fort Worth is a fantastic place both to find and see fossils, and the general public frequently alerts the museum staff to fossil finds. After a museum determines whether a find is actually a fossil and not just a curious rock, staff can recover it from the ground and store it until it can be further researched, he said.

“There are so many fossils that some of them are still jacketed,” Pan said.

The new exhibit will reflect the most recent knowledge about local dinosaurs, and perhaps in the future more will be invested to re-imagine the ancient Texas landscape.

“It’s sort of the emerging story of science — the more things change, the more you learn,” Walter said.


settembre 22, 2008 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, - Sauropodi, America Northern, Mostre & Fiere, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento