Paleonews

Il blog dedicato ai Paleontologi !!!!

2009-05-06 Germania: spettacolare mostra di dinosauri argentini (Argentinian Dinosaurs in Germany – Dinosaurier Argentiniens in Deutschland)

Dinosaurier-Ausstellung Giganten Argentiniens in Bayern

Eine einzigartige Dinosaurier-Schau zeigt 26 Urzeitechsen, die größte davon 37 Meter lang. Drei der Tiere waren noch niemals zuvor ausgestellt.

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Giant Dinosaurs of Argentina in Bavaria, Germany
A singular dinosaur exhibition shows 26 dinosaurs, the largest of them is 37 meters long. Three specimensvwere still never issued before .

Argentinosurus

Argentinosurus

for full article in german language (with more pictures) click here.

Annunci

maggio 6, 2009 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, An. Vertebrates, Mostre & Fiere, Paleontology / Paleontologia, Places | , , , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

2009-04-08 – Goseong, CHINA: 2nd Dinosaur Expo

Goseong Holds 2nd Dinosaur Expo

The city of Goseong is holding its second World Dinosaur Expo until June 7. Along the southern coast is an area where dinosaur fossil sites formed in the Cretaceous Period of the Mesozoic Era and where scientists from around the world come to study them.Bin Yong-ho, chief administrator of the expo, said, “Goseong is one of the world’s top three locations for fossilized dinosaur footprints, as well as having the highest concentration of tracks in the world. So we wanted to use this natural property to boost tourism. And to acknowledge the importance of the dinosaur fossil footprints, we are holding the World Dinosaur Expo.”

Visitors look at dinosaurs at the Goseong Dinosaur Expo on Mar. 27.

Visitors look at dinosaurs at the Goseong Dinosaur Expo on Mar. 27.

The expo is held every three years, with the first in 2006 attracting over 1.5 million visitors. Supported by the Korean government, it offers several activities to learn about the prehistoric creatures.

While the fossils are certainly the biggest draw, visitors can also be entertained by a variety of attractions, including a dinosaur parade, as well as educational opportunities.

And the city has been waiting since 2005 for its dinosaur footprint fossils to be listed as a World National Heritage by UNESCO. The fossil footprints could be listed in July.

Arirang News

source: http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200904/200904070028.html

aprile 8, 2009 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, Mostre & Fiere, Paleontology / Paleontologia, Places | , , , , , , | 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

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Sauropod dinos kept a level head

Anna Salleh
ABC

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.

source: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/04/01/2530800.htm?site=science&topic=latest

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Other links:

Long-necked dinosaurs ‘kept their heads down’

Telegraph.co.uk – ‎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

2009-03-17 – Trappola mortale per i piccoli dinosauri (Sinornithomimus herd)

Sulla rivista “Acta Palaeontologica Polonica”

Trappola mortale per i piccoli dinosauri

I resti suggeriscono che gli individui ancora immaturi venissero lasciati badare a loro stessi mentre gli adulti erano occupati nella costruzione del nido o nella cova delle uova

Un branco di giovani dinosauri simili a uccelli hanno trovato la morte nei fangosi margini di un lago circa 90 milioni di anni fa, secondo quanto annunciato da un gruppo di paleontologi cinesi e statunitensi che hanno scavato in un sito del Deserto del Gobi, nella parte occidentale della Mongolia interna.

L’improvvisa morte degli animali in una trappola di fango fornisce una rara istantanea del loro comportamento sociale. Composto soltanto da esemplari giovani di una singola specie di dinosauri ornitomimidi (Sinornithomimus dongi), il branco suggerisce che gli individui ancora immaturi venissero lasciati badare a loro stessi mentre gli adulti erano occupati nella costruzione de nido o nella cova delle uova.

“Non c’erano adulti intorno, questi cuccioli scorrazzavano da soli”, ha spiegato Paul Sereno, professore dell’Università di Chicago ed esploratore del National Geographic e coautore dell’articolo apparso sulla rivista “Acta Palaeontologica Polonica”.

Le prime ossa vennero scoperte da un geologo cinese nel 1978 alla base di una piccola collina in una desola regione del Deserto del Gobi e circa 20 anni fa un gruppo sino-giapponese estrasse i primi scheletri, battezzando il dinosauro Sinornithomimus (“che somiglia a un uccello cinese”).

Sereno e colleghi hanno seguito lo scavo di uno scheletro dopo l’altro fino a penetrare in profondità nella base della collina. Complessivamente, sono stati estratti 25 individui di età compresa tra uno e sette anni, come determinato dagli anelli di crescita annuale delle loro ossa.

Il gruppo ha poi registrato in meticolosamente la posizione di tutte le ossa e i dettagli degli strati di roccia per cercare di comprendere in che modo cosi tanti individui di una stessa specie siano periti nello stesso luogo. Gli scheletri mostrano un ottimo stato di conservazione e il fatto che siano tutti nella stessa direzione fa supporre che siano morti anche entro un arco temporale molto breve.

I dettagli forniscono le prove di una piccola tragedia. “Gli animali hanno subito una morte lenta in una trappola di fango, e la loro agitazione è servita solo ad attrarre predatori o animali che si nutrivano di carogne”, ha concluso Sereno. Di solito gli eventi atmosferici, l’azione di altri animali o il trasporto di ossa cancellano qualunque prova diretta delle cause di morte. Perciò questo sito è unico per ricchezza di dettagli sugli animali e sulla loro morte.” (fc)

fonte: lescienze

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Photo: “Teen” Dinosaurs Roamed in Herds, Mass Grave Suggests

Young Sinornithomimus dinosaurs may have wandered in packs (illustrated at top), fending for themselves while adults were busy nesting, according to a recent report.
Two juvenile Sinornithomimus skeletons (photo at bottom) died when they were a little over one year old. In their rib cages are stomach stones and the carbonized remains of the last plants they consumed.

Illustration by Todd Marshall, courtesy Project Exploration; photograph by Mike Hettwer, courtesy Project Exploration

Illustration by Todd Marshall, courtesy Project Exploration; photograph by Mike Hettwer, courtesy Project Exploration

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MSU paleontologist authors paper on social behavior among adolescent dinosaurs

March 16, 2009 — By Michael Becker, MSU News Service

BOZEMAN — A Montana State University researcher is the lead author of a recently published paper that sheds new light on the behaviors of dinosaur families and gives a rare glimpse into the social life — and death — of a herd of dinosaurs.
David Varricchio, an assistant professor and paleontologist in the Department of Earth Sciences, and colleagues from the University of Chicago and China wrote the paper after a 2001 expedition to the Gobi Desert. It was published in December in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.
The paper describes the team’s work at a 90-million-year-old dry lake bed in western Mongolia. Over the past decade, paleontologists have recovered more than two dozen fossilized skeletons of the dinosaur Sinornithomimus.
All of the skeletons belonged to animals between one and seven years old and were well-preserved. Most of skeletons were facing the same direction, suggesting that they died together in a short period of time, Varricchio said.
“Normally there are a lot of post-mortem effects that transpire between when a dinosaur died and when it was buried,” he said. “This site really provides, in my mind, better evidence than any other dinosaur locality of how the dinosaurs perished, and that’s pretty rare for any fossil vertebrate.”

Varricchio believes that the dinosaurs probably became mired in the mud around a partially dry lakebed during the Cretaceous Period. During times of drought, as were common in the region at the time, these oases likely attracted many animals, he said.

Many of those animals were probably weak from starvation and dehydration, which could explain why so many of them became trapped in the mud. It’s a phenomenon that’s still seen around dry desert lakes today, he said.

The fact that so many young dinosaurs of the same species died at roughly the same time and in the same place tells paleontologists something about the social behavior of the animals, Varricchio said. It may be that young dinosaurs — too old for the nest but not yet old enough to fend for themselves — roamed together in social herds, he said.

“We get a snapshot-like view of what a herd of these animals looked like back in the Cretaceous Period,” Varricchio said. “That snapshot gives us a glimpse into their biology and their behavior.”

Past studies have theorized that dinosaurs had strong and complicated parenting relationships with their young, Varricchio said. Female — and even male — dinosaurs were tied to a nesting spot for the breeding portions of the year while they took care of their eggs, he said.

The fact that the parent dinosaurs were busy with the eggs could explain why a group of adolescent dinosaurs was roaming together without adult supervision, Varricchio said. These and most dinosaurs would take several years, at least, to fully mature. Groups of juveniles would consist of those individuals too old to be cared for by parents, but too young to breed, he said.

“This site argues that this might be a general trend among dinosaurs,” and is further evidence of the theory that dinosaurs were dedicated parents, he said.

Varricchio’s collaborators include Paul Sereno from the University of Chicago, Tan Lin from he Department of Land and Resources of Inner Mongolia and Zhao Xijin from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Also on the team were Jeffrey Wilson from the University of Michigan and Gabrielle Lyon from Project Exploration.

The work was funded by the National Geographic Society and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

 

 

 

 

Contact: David Varricchio at 406-994-6907 or djv@montana.edu.
 
 Hi-Resolution Image or PDF Available:
[View or Download] 1. MSU’s David Varricchio examines fossils in his laboratory in the basement of Traphagen Hall. (MSU photo by Kelly Gorham)

source: http://www.montana.edu/cpa/news/nwview.php?article=6951

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Teen dinosaurs hung out, got into trouble

MSNBC – ‎17 ore fa‎
Like teenagers today, some juvenile dinosaurs used to hang out together, according to research announced today. Also like teens, the dinos sometimes hung
Boston Globe

 

Frozen in time: Dinosaur herd’s mass grave unearthed

ABC Online – ‎5 ore fa‎
In the rocky desert of Inner Mongolia, an international team of palaeontologists has unearthed a mass grave of young dinosaurs. The 25 birdlike dinosaurs
Montana State University

marzo 17, 2009 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, - Teropodi, 1 Cretaceo, An. Vertebrates, Asia, Bl - Top posts, Mesozoic, P - Paleoetologia, P - Preservazione eccezionale, P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

2009-02-17 – Panphagia Protos: il primo dinosauro onnivoro (earliest onnivore dinosaur)

go to the free access scientific article:

 A Basal Sauropodomorph (Dinosauria: Saurischia) from the Ischigualasto Formation (Triassic, Carnian) and the Early Evolution of Sauropodomorpha

vei appofondimenti sui blog:

Theropoda: Panphagia protos (Martinez & Alcober, 2009), Eoraptor e l’origine dei theropodi

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ARGENTINA: SCOPERTO DINOSAURO ‘ANELLO MANCANTE’ EVOLUZIONE

(ANSA) – BUENOS AIRES, 16 FEB – Nel parco naturale argentino di Ichigualasto e’ stato ritrovato lo scheletro di un dinosauro di piccole dimensioni, identificato come il primo ‘dino’ onnivoro ad aver vissuto sulla terra ed anello mancante, affermano gli archeologi di Buenos Aires, tra i bipedi carnivori e i colossi erbivori a quattro zampe. E’ stato battezzato Panphagia Protos (‘il primo a mangiare tutto’), e’ di dimensioni piccole (misura circa un metro e mezzo di lunghezza) ed il suo scopritore, Ricardo Martinez, lo definisce quale l’anello mancante grazie al quale la scienza potra’ completare le tappe evolutive che portarono all’avvento sul pianeta di ‘erbivori mostruosi’ di dimensioni enormi, capaci di consumare tonnellate di alimenti vegetali al giorno. Il Panphagia, che presenta una dentatura adatta a consumare sia carne sia piante, dimostra che l’evoluzione di animali grandissimi, come per esempio il brontosauro, incomincio’ molto prima di quanto si fosse ipotizzato finora, ossia circa 225 milioni di anni fa, praticamente in corrispondenza con l’avvento dei dinosauri stessi sulla Terra. La scoperta e’ stata effettuata qualche tempo fa all’interno parco naturale argentino di Ichigualasto, nella provincia di San Juan, un luogo soprannominato ‘la culla dei dinosauri’ per la sua ricchezza di reperti ossei: e’ infatti lo stesso luogo in cui nel 1991 fu ritrovato l’Eoraptor Lunensis, secondo vari scienziati, il piu’ antico dinosauro mai recuperato. (ANSA). JFC-RIG
16/02/2009 20:02

fonte: http://www.ansa.it/ambiente/notizie/notiziari/natura/20090216200234826092.html

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Missing dinosaur link found in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) — Scientists have found fossil remains of an omnivorous dinosaur in Argentina — a missing link to the carnivores, a researcher said Monday.

“It is an omnivore — in other words it ate everything (plants and meat) — which is the missing link between carnivorous dinosaurs and giant four-footed herbivores,” said Oscar Alcober, also director of the Natural Sciences Museum in San Juan, 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) west of Buenos Aires.

“This is a very important piece of the puzzle on the origin of dinosaurs,” said Alcober.

Alcober and Ricardo Martinez, chief of the museum’s paleontology division, found the remains three years ago in the Ischigualasto-Valle de la Luna park, north of the provincial capital San Juan. They released their findings Monday in the online journal of peer reviewed science PlosOne.org.

Argentina has earned fame as a bit of a Jurassic Park in the 1980s with discoveries including fossils in Neuquen of the Argentinosaurus Huinculensis, the largest known herbivore, at over 40 meters (131 ft) long.

Later, in 1993, scientists found remains of the Giganotosaurus Carolinii, the largest known carnivorous dinosaur amid dozens of fossil fields still being explored.

source:  http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jIDsA9kMjE-ZKmBcZ5hmtlToPjqw

A Basal Sauropodomorph (Dinosauria: Saurischia) from the Ischigualasto Formation (Triassic, Carnian) and the Early Evolution of Sauropodomorpha

Ricardo N. Martinez, Oscar A. Alcober

febbraio 17, 2009 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, 1, 3 Triassico, America Southern, Articolo sc. di riferimento, Bl - Top posts, Blogs, FREE ACCESS, Lang. - Italiano, Mesozoic, P - Evoluzione, P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia, Theropoda | , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

2009-02-13 – Peloroplites cedrimontanus: a new nodosaurid ankylosaur

Researchers discover bones of armored dinosaur

College of Eastern Utah researchers have located the largest nodosaur ever, according to a December 2008 article in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The Nodosaur is an armored dinosaur that is part of the a group known as ankylosaurs.

The article written by Kenneth Carpenter of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science with the assistance of Jeff Bartlett, John Bird and Reese Barrick of the CEU Museum, reports that bones of a partial skull and post-cranial skeleton of a new large nodosaurid anklylosaur were found in the Cedar Mountain Formation southeast of Price.

source: http://www.ecprogress.com/index.php?tier=1&article_id=7541

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Ankylosaurs from the Price River Quarries, Cedar Mountain Formation (Lower Cretaceous), East-Central Utah 

Kenneth Carpenter, Jeff Bartlett, John Bird, Reese Barrick – pg(s) 1089–1101

Abstract

A new large nodosaurid ankylosaur, Peloroplites cedrimontanus, is described from a partial skull and postcranial skeleton found at the PR-2 Quarry located at the base of the Mussentuchit Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation in central Utah. The specimen is about the same size as the contemporary nodosaurid Sauropelta edwardsorum from the Cloverly Formation of Montana, and is of an individual approximately 5–5.5 m long. The skull of Peloroplites differs from that of Sauropelta in the vertical orientation of the suspensorium, non-domed cranium and broad, square premaxillary beak. The quarry is near and roughly at the same level as the CEM Quarry that produced the holotype of the ankylosaurid Cedarpelta bilbeyhallorum. The postcrania of Cedarpelta is described and illustrated based on the paratype and new material. These elements clearly establish that Cedarpelta is closer to Ankylosaurus than to Sauropelta. As a primitive ankylosaurid, there is no a priori reason to assume that the tail club was present. Based on recent finds in China, a hypothesis is presented that the tail club is a derived feature in non-shamosaurine (i.e., ankylosaurine) ankylosaurids.

Abstract & References : Full Text : PDF (2257 KB) : Rights & Permissions 

febbraio 13, 2009 Posted by | - Ornitopodi, - R. Dinosauri, 1 Cretaceo, America Northern, An. Vertebrates, Articolo sc. di riferimento, Bl - Top posts, Mesozoic, P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia, X - J.Vert.Paleo. | , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

2009-02-12 – Perù: Impronte di Dinosauri (Dinosaur footprints, Dinosaurier)

Dinosaur footprints, fossils found in central Peru

Lima, February 10, 2009
Hundreds of footprints and the fossilised remains of various prehistoric animals, probably dinosaurs that lived 120 million years ago, have been discovered in the Ancash region of central Peru.

The find came when the Antamina mining company, which is owned by BHP Billiton and Xstrata, among other partners, was building a road from its camp at Yanacancha to the Conococha crossroads, in Huari province, some 400 km northeast of Lima.

The company confirmed that a preliminary examination of the site, which is 4,600 metres above sea level, revealed more than 100 footprints made by at least 12 different types of ancient animals, including marine species, demonstrating that in the distant past the site lay at the bottom of an ancient ocean.

According to calculations by the paleontologists in charge of these finds, the site could date back to the Early Cretaceous Period about 120 million years ago.

Some of the fossils discovered there, the daily El Comercio reported, are from large marine reptiles known as sauropterygians, complete skeletons of which were found.

Other fish-like reptiles called ichthyosaurs were also found there, along with extinct species of crocodiles, flying reptiles called pterosaurs, tortoises and fish, not to mention very well-preserved specimens of assorted invertebrates.

The paleontological work in the area dates back to 2006, when construction on the road began and exposed potentially fossil-bearing layers of sediment, according to an analysis conducted by the Ornithology and Biodiversity Centre, known as Corbi.

The excavations performed to date at the site, which is called Cruz Punta, at Kilometer 80 of the highway, revealed a rocky wall-like formation several dozen metres in length on which there were clear indications of fossilised animal tracks, according to the Corbi study.

source: hindustantimes

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The footprints of a prehistoric animal are clear to see in a rock layer in Peru

The footprints of a prehistoric animal are clear to see in a rock layer in Peru

from: metro.co.uk

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20minuten

Dinosaurier auf 4600 Metern gefunden
20minuten – 15 ore fa
Dabei stiessen die Strassenbauer auf über hundert fossile Abdrücke und Knochen von Dinosaurier-Arten, die vor etwa 120 Millionen Jahren gelebt haben. Bei den Funden konnten zwölf verschiedene Arten unterschieden werden, darunter fleischfressende

febbraio 12, 2009 Posted by | - Plesiosauri, - Pterosauri, - R. Dinosauri, - Rettili, 1 Cretaceo, America Central, An. Vertebrates, Lang. - German, Mesozoic, P - Impronte, P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , | 2 commenti

2009-02-10 – Steve Sweetman e la paleo-fauna dell’isola di Wight (Britain’s Jurassic Park)

«Jurassic Park» nell’isola di Wight

Scoperte le tracce fossili di un Velociraptor e di altri dinosauri dove suonò Bob Dylan nel 1969

DAL NOSTRO CORRISPONDENTE – LONDRA – I più giovani, forse, ne hanno sentito parlare di quell’ultimo giorno di agosto del 1969, ben 40 anni fa, quando su un prato dell’Isola di Wight migliaia e migliaia di ragazzi della beat-generation si ritrovarono ballare e cantare con Bob Dylan, vestito di bianco, e la sua «Band». Un concerto-festival entrato nella storia della musica e del costume. Bob Dylan non piacque a molti, ci fu chi scrisse su una pietra: qui giace il grande Bob. Fra la folla c’erano un certo John Lennon e un certo Paul Harrison.

SCAVATE TRE TONNELLATE DI TERRA – Oggi l’isola di Wight, al largo di Southampton nella Manica, fa parlare ancora di sé. Ma per ben altre ragioni. Steve Sweetman, dell’università di Portsmouth, ha ritrovato in quattro anni di ricerca le tracce fossili di un velociraptor, il Predatore Veloce del Cretaceo, di un pterosaurus, di tre sauropodi e di almeno quattro dinosauri erbivori, oltre a tre coccodrilli giganti e 48 specie sconosciute di animali. Il paleontologo ha dragato tre tonnellate mezzo di terra partendo da un minuscolo indizio: la mandibola di una salamandra. Che l’Isola di Wight avesse ospitato cento milioni di anni fa una piccola colonia di dinosauri gli scienziati lo avevano già accertato. Ma la scoperta, annunciata ieri, è sorprendente. Se non altro per la quantità del «tesoro» venuto alla luce. Jurassik Park è davvero esistito.

Fabio Cavalera
10 febbraio 2009

fonte: corriere.it

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Dinosaur hunter unearths nearly 50 new species in Britain’s own Jurassic Park

Some 48 new prehistoric species have been unearthed by a British expert from Britain’s own Jurassic Park, including dinosaurs similar to the deadly velociraptor and giant flying pterosaurs.

 

 By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent – Last Updated: 10:49PM GMT 09 Feb 2009

febbraio 10, 2009 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, - Rettili, 1 Cretaceo, An. Vertebrates, Bl - Top posts, Europa, Mesozoic, P - Impronte, P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

2009-01-29 – Dinosauri ed evoluzione (Dinosaur fossils fit perfectly into the evolutionary tree of life)

Studi statistici confermano che la nostra conoscenza sui dinosauri è molto avanzata (cioè conosciamo molto riguardo la loro diversità e le loro linee evolutive)

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Dinosaur fossils fit perfectly into the evolutionary tree of life

Press Release – 26 January 2009

A recent study by researchers at the University of Bath and London’s Natural History Museum has found that scientists’ knowledge of the evolution of dinosaurs is remarkably complete.

Evolutionary biologists use two ways to study the evolution of prehistoric plants and animals: firstly they use radioactive dating techniques to put fossils in chronological order according to the age of the rocks in which they are found (stratigraphy); secondly they observe and classify the characteristics of fossilised remains according to their relatedness (morphology).

Dr Matthew Wills from the University of Bath’s Department of Biology & Biochemistry worked with Dr Paul Barrett from the Natural History Museum and Julia Heathcote at Birkbeck College (London) to analyse statistical data from fossils of the four major groups of dinosaur to see how closely they matched their trees of evolutionary relatedness.

The researchers found that the fossil record for the dinosaurs studied, ranging from gigantic sauropods to two-legged meat eaters such as T. rex, matched very well with the evolutionary tree, meaning that the current view of evolution of these creatures is very accurate.

Dr Matthew Wills explained: “We have two independent lines of evidence on the history of life: the chronological order of fossils in the rocks, and ‘trees’ of evolutionary relatedness.

“When the two tell the same story, the most likely explanation is that both reflect the truth. When they disagree, and the order of animals on the tree is out of whack with the order in the rocks, you either have a dodgy tree, lots of missing fossils, or both.

“What we’ve shown in this study is that the agreement for dinosaurs is remarkably good, meaning that we can have faith in both our understanding of their evolution, and the relative completeness of their fossil record.

“In other words, our knowledge of dinosaurs is very, very good.”

The researchers studied gaps in the fossil record, so-called ‘ghost ranges’, where the evolutionary tree indicates there should be fossils but where none have yet been found. They mapped these gaps onto the evolutionary tree and calculated statistical probabilities to find the closeness of the match.

Dr Wills said: “Gaps in the fossil record can occur for a number of reasons. Only a tiny minority of animals are preserved as fossils because exceptional geological conditions are needed. Other fossils may be difficult to classify because they are incomplete; others just haven’t been found yet.

“Pinning down an accurate date for some fossils can also prove difficult. For example, the oldest fossil may be so incomplete that it becomes uncertain as to which group it belongs. This is particularly true with fragments of bones. Our study made allowances for this uncertainty.

“We are excited that our data show an almost perfect agreement between the evolutionary tree and the ages of fossils in the rocks. This is because it confirms that the fossil record offers an extremely accurate account of how these amazing animals evolved over time and gives clues as to how mammals and birds evolved from them.”

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Sytematic Biology, was part of a project funded by the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) that aimed to combine different forms of evolutionary evidence to produce more accurate evolutionary trees.

source: http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/2009/1/26/dinosaur-fossils.html

Journal reference:

  1. Wills et al. The Modified Gap Excess Ratio (GER*) and the Stratigraphic Congruence of Dinosaur Phylogenies. Systematic Biology, 2008; 57 (6): 891 DOI: 10.1080/10635150802570809

gennaio 29, 2009 Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, An. Vertebrates, P - Evoluzione, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , | Lascia un commento

2009-01-28 – Triceratops in combattimento (Horning In on Triceratops)

In un nuovo articolo scientifico free access su PLOS descritte evidenze di combattimento per i Triceratopi

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January 28, 2009 in Archaeology & Paleontology

Horning In on Triceratops
In a study published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers conjecture that the three horns of Triceratops were often used for fighting–because museum specimens show much more scarring than in the horns of a related species. Cynthia Graber reports

Triceratops, as the name suggests, were huge dinosaurs adorned with three horns on their heads. Scientists now say those horns may have been a sort of battle bludgeon. Andrew Farke is a curator at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology in California. He became curious about that headgear. Farke and colleagues wanted to investigate whether Triceratops fought each other with their horns. Which posed a problem: obviously, we can’t go back in time to watch the animals interact. So the researchers resorted to some techniques out of a Cretaceous CSI.

They examined more than 400 museums specimens of Triceratops and another closely related one-horned dinosaur called Centrosaurus. They scanned the skulls for injuries around where Triceratops might have locked horns and wrestled. Their assumption was that if the horns were just for display, both species would show few scars.

But the Triceratops had 10 times more skull injuries than their Centrosaurus cousins. The most likely explanation is that they probably jabbed each other in the head while fighting. The researchers published their findings in the journal Public Library of Science ONE. They also caution that the horns could have served more than one purpose—perhaps fighting and flaunting.

—Cynthia Graber

http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=horning-in-on-triceratops-09-01-28

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Telegraph.co.uk

Raquel was right not to lock horns with Triceratops
Times Online – 9 ore fa
The three-horned dinosaur Triceratops used its spectacular headgear to charge and wrestle with other members of its species in a similar way to modern deer and antelope, according to research.
Triceratops tête à tête Nature.com (subscription)
Horning In On Triceratops Scientific American
The Press Association – FOXNews – Wired News – Science News
e altri 25 articoli simili »

In german:

 


Wissenschaft aktuell Nachrichtendienst

Triceratops benutzte Hörner als Waffen
Spiegel Online – 2 ore fa
Auch die These, die Dinosaurier hätten damit Fressfeinde wie den Tyrannosaurus rex abgewehrt, ist verbreitet – ebenso wie die Annahme, Triceratops habe die Hörner im Kampf gegen Artgenossen benutzt und mit dem Nackenschild gegnerische Stöße abgewehrt.
Duell mit drei Hörnern wissenschaft.de
Nicht nur Zierde, sondern auch Waffe Wissenschaft aktuell Nachrichtendienst
Tagesspiegel – WELT ONLINE – derStandard.at
e altri 10 articoli simili »

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Scientific article:

Evidence of Combat in Triceratops

Andrew A. Farke, Ewan D. S. Wolff, Darren H. Tanke

Download: XMLPDFCitation

gennaio 28, 2009 Posted by | - Ceratopsidi, - Ornitopodi, - R. Dinosauri, 1 Cretaceo, America Northern, An. Vertebrates, Articolo sc. di riferimento, FREE ACCESS, Italiano (riassunto), Lang. - German, Mesozoic, P - Paleoetologia, Paleontology / Paleontologia, X - Riviste e Multimedia | , , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento