Paleonews

Il blog dedicato ai Paleontologi !!!!

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 Pubblicato da | - 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

2008-11-06 – Torino (Pinerolo), ITA: Mostra, Marocco – Sahara: Dai dinosauri alle kasbah

Mostra Internazionale

Marocco – Sahara: Dai dinosauri alle kasbah

Sabato 29 Novembre 2008, ore 17 Chiesa di S. Agostino – Pinerolo

mercoledì 5 novembre 2008 di Dario Seglie

Presentazione della Mostra Internazionale:

MAROCCO – SAHARA Dai dinosauri alle kasbah

PARCO NAZIONALE DI JBEL SARHRO – MAROCCO Natura e cultura tra Atlante e Sahara

Curatori della Mostra:

· CeSMAP – Centro Studi e Museo d’Arte Preistorica, museo Civico di Archeologia e Antropologia – Pinerolo, Italia · INSAP – Institut National des Sciences de l’Archéologie et du Patrimoine Ministère de la Culture, Rabat, Maroc

Chiesa di S. Agostino – Pinerolo

Inaugurazione Sabato 29 Novembre 2008, ore 17

Dal 30 Novembre 2008 al 28 Giugno 2009 Orari: Sabato 15 – 18 / Domenica 10,30 – 12.30 e 15 – 18 Visite guidate per Scuole e Gruppi: tutti i giorni, su prenotazione Tel. 0121 794382 – Fax. 0121 75547 e-mail: didatticacesmap@alice.it Sito web: www.cesmap.it

Parte dell’articolo (link)

Il progettato Parco Nazionale di Jbel Sarhro, nel Sud – Est del Marocco, inserito tra la catena montuosa dell’Atlante ed il deserto del Sahara, in una zona arida a quote mediamente elevate, comprende la regione delimitata dalla strada nazionale Ouarzazate – Boumalene – Tinrhir – Errachidia – Boudnibe a Nord ed a Sud dalla strada nazionale Ouarzazate – Agdez – Mhamid. Occorre sottolineare che la zona è ben servita dall’aeroporto internazionale di Ouarzazate e da quello di Errachidia in quanto queste infrastrutture sono importanti per il futuro sviluppo del turismo culturale previsto nell’area del Parco.

L’area del Parco Nazionale di Jbel Sarhro è costituita da un elevato numero di differenti ambienti naturali cioè di ecosistemi.

Dal punto di vista morfo-strutturale il territorio del Parco di Jbel Sarhro si distingue in tre parti: · la parte settentrionale è rappresentata dal lato meridionale dell’Alto Atlante; · la parte centrale è costituita dall’altopiano bordato da una cornice di roccia vulcanica; · la zona meridionale è caratterizzata da una struttura a canyon che permette di osservare imponenti strutture sedimentarie che si protendono poi verso il deserto del Sahara vero e proprio. E’ in queste terre che la Missione CeSMAP – INSAP ha scoperto importantissimi giacimenti fossiliferi di giganteschi dinosauri giurassici, sauropodi risalenti a 150 milioni di anni fa.

novembre 6, 2008 Pubblicato da | Lang. - Italiano, Mostre & Fiere, Paleontology / Paleontologia, Parchi tematici | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

2008-10-24 – Thailandia: nuovo sito con resti di Dinosauri giurassici (Thailand, Jurassic, Dinosaurs)

In Thailandia un contadino scopre nuovo sito con resti fossili di dinosauri (sauropodi e teropodi) datato 150 milioni di anni fa.

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Second big fossil site unearthed at Kalasin

A new site rich in dinosaur fossils has been found in Kalasin province, with some of the fossils estimated to be 150 million years old. The new site is the second fossil discovery in the area after the find at Phu Kum Khao.

The new discovery was made in tambon Din Chee in Kham Muang district near the Phu Phan mountain range.

The fossils were found on land owned by Seethan Saengsit, 62, who made the discovery while working on her land.

Thida Saneyamoon, the chief of the geological survey unit of the Mineral Resources Department, said an initial dig had turned up several types of dinosaur fossils – sauropods and theropods – which were estimated to have roamed the area at least 150 million years ago.

There are also a number of fossils of crocodiles and fish, also estimated to be 150 million years old.

The fossils are to undergo a thorough examination by officials from the department. Ms Thida said the newly discovered fossils would be kept at the Sirindhorn Museum in Sahatsakhan district in Kalasin, where a number of rare fossils of crocodiles and replica skeletons of dinosaurs found in the region have been put on display.

Decha Tantiyawarong, the governor of Kalasin, said he had been told by the Mineral Resources Department that more than 100 fossils had been found.

The discovery was the second in the province following the find at Phu Kum Khao, which has some of the largest fossil deposits in Southeast Asia.

The governor said he had ordered the area to be guarded around the clock to prevent people digging up more fossils to supply illegal fossil traders.

The province bans the removal of fossils from the area without permission.

Based on the new Paleontological Research Protection Act of 2008, effective in August, anyone caught exporting rare fossils without permission could be jailed for up to seven years, or face a fine of up to 700,000 baht, and those trading in fossils without a licence face a one-year prison term or a 100,000 baht fine.

Any fossil discoveries have to be reported to the authorities within seven days, and those wanting to trade in fossils need to obtain a licence.

Anyone in possession of fossils needs to inform the Mineral Resources Department, either in writing or verbally within one year – by Aug 9, 2009 – or face a fine of up to 10,000 baht.

source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/241008_News/24Oct2008_news16.php

ottobre 24, 2008 Pubblicato da | - R. Dinosauri, - Teropodi, - uova / eggs, 2 Jurassic / Giurassico, Asia, Italiano (riassunto), P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

2008-10-17 – Corea del Sud: 5 paleo-siti potrebbero entrare a far parte della lista Unesco (South Korea, dinosaurs, geo-site)

In Corea del sud è cominciato l’iter che potrebbe portare 5 aree con resti di Dinosauri ad essere inserite nella lista dei luoghi “patrimonio dell’umanita” UNESCO:

Haenam: il primo luogo al mondo dove sono tate trovate insieme impronte di Pterosauri e Uccelli (e di numerosi artropodi).

Hwasun: 1.550 impronte incluse quelle appartenenti a ben 60 teropodi

Su un isola presso Yeosu: 3500 impronte di dinosauri compresa una pista appatenente a un ornitopode lunga 85 metri.

Goseong: maggior concentrazione di impronte al mondo (con un gruppo con imponte di 410 individui) e con abbondanza di impronte di sauropodi (139) e ornitopodi. 

Boseong: 200 uova di dinosauro con diametro variabile da 60 a 180 mm e appartenenti a Sauropodi e Ornitopodi’. Presenti pure ossa di dinosauri e ossa e uova di tartarughe.

vedi pure precedente post del 2008-05-16: Impronte di baby Sauropodi in Korea

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10-17-2008 18:52  

‘Dinosaur Coast’  Seeks UNESCO Listing

 

 
Prof. Huh Min, from Chonnam National University, inset photo, has initiated a campaign to have five areas of the southern coastline with thousands of dinosaur footprints listed on the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Natural Heritage list. As seen in the photo, Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, one of the five areas, has an 85-meter-long ornithopod track. / Courtesy of Chonnam National University

By Bae Ji-sook
Staff Reporter

A campaign has been started to have five areas of the southern coastline where thousands of dinosaur footprints are to be found listed on the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Natural Heritage list.

The five are Haenam, Hwasun, Boseong, and Yeonsu in South Jeolla Province, and Goseong in South Gyeonsang Province.

If successful, the move will follow the 2007 listing of Jeju Island.

Haenam was the first place in the world where dinosaur, pterosaur and bird tracks were found together. It also has numerous large arthropod tracks. The 7.3-meter long tracks made by a flying reptile are visible at the center of the fossil site, which is listed as Natural Treasure No. 394.

In Hwasun, there are about 1,500 footprints, including those belonging to more than 60 theropods.
On an island off Yeosu are a total of 3,500 dinosaur footprints, including an 85-meter-long track made by an ornithopod. The large number of footprints is thought to show that the southwestern area was primarily covered with mesic forests.

Boseong has 200 fossilized eggs, ranging from 60 millimeters (mm) to 180 mms in diameter, from sauropods and ornithpods. Well-preserved dinosaur bones, and turtle bones and eggs are also at the site.

Goseong has the highest concentration of tracks in the world, including the footprints of 410 individuals in one group. It also has the most abundant ornithopod footprints as well as 139 sauropod footprints.

UNESCO is to start a field study there from Saturday.

Prof. Huh Min, from Chonnam National University and director of the Korea Dinosaur Research Center, is initiating the campaign. He stressed that having a natural heritage is somewhat different from having a cultural site. Korea has eight cultural sites, including old palaces.

“Unlike cultural sites featuring their comparative value to different cultures, the natural sites have to be the `only one’ valuable to the world. It has to be academically, culturally, and in every way the best in the world,” he said.

To receive the UNESCO Natural Heritage listing, support from local residents and the administrations is critical. The preparation committee has established safe and protective pathways for visitors as well as straightened roads to preclude any possible destruction of the sites. “We have streamlined the region,” Huh said.

Preparation has been underway for more than three years, and he expects UNESCO inspectors to recognize the value and importance of the “Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast.”

“We have seen dinosaurs in Western movies such as Jurassic Park and picture books. But here, we also had flying reptiles, and all kinds of dinosaurs walking, drinking, laying eggs and living just like any other creature,” he said.

Huh was selected as one of the 100 top scientists in the world by the International Biographical Center of Cambridge, England, in 2005; one of the 2,000 Outstanding Scientists of the 21st Century by the same institution in 2003; and one of the Great Minds of the 21st Century by the American Biographical Institute; for his pioneering studies on dinosaurs.

bjs@koreatimes.co.kr

source: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/10/117_32881.html

see also previous post: 2008-05-16: Impronte di baby Sauropodi in Korea

ottobre 17, 2008 Pubblicato da | - Pterosauri, - R. Dinosauri, - Rettili, Asia, Italiano (riassunto), P - Geositi, P - Impronte, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Lascia un 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.

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‘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.

thomas.maugh@latimes.com

source: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-dinosaurs18-2008oct18,0,3414909.story

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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
istockAnalyst.com (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 Pubblicato da | - 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.

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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.

source: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/10/12/bc-sauropod-tracks.html

(see the source also for comments)

 

ottobre 13, 2008 Pubblicato da | - 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.

source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/10/081009-dinosaur-big.html

SOURCES AND RELATED WEB SITES

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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 …

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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: martin.sander@uni-bonn.de

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 Pubblicato da | - R. Dinosauri, - Sauropodi, Articolo sc. di riferimento, Bl - Top posts, Lang. - German, P - Paleoetologia, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

Un nuovo “giacimento” di dinosauri scoperto nello Utah

Dal sito del National geographic (link)


“Amazing” Dinosaur Trove Discovered in Utah



Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News

June 17, 2008

 

Crowded with dinosaurs, petrified trees, and other prehistoric treasures, an ancient riverbed in Utah is surprising scientists.

The discovery sheds new light on a Jurassic landscape dominated by dinosaur giants that lived 145 to 150 million years ago (prehistoric time line).


In just three weeks of work on federal land near Hanksville, Utah, paleontologists say they unearthed at least two meat-eating dinosaurs, a probable Stegosaurus, and four sauropods—long necked, long-tailed plant-eaters that could reach 130 feet (40 meters) long, making them the largest animals ever to have walked the Earth.

“So far [the paleontologists] have found not only scattered bones but partial and complete skeletons. It’s really amazing,” said Scott Foss, a paleontologist in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Salt Lake City office.

Big Sexy Dinosaurs

Some BLM employees and many locals had known that there were dinosaur bones to be found near Hanksville. But the recent dig led by scientists from the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois, was still a shocker.

“Nobody anticipated the scale or the scope of what was there. Once they started excavating, they realized that the magnitude was far more than they had expected,” Foss said.

“About two weeks ago they notified us that this was pretty big and we’d better come and take a look.”

The site, now known as the Hanksville-Burpee Quarry, is part of the Morrison formation. “[The formation is] where all the big sexy dinosaurs that we grew up learning about are most commonly found,” Foss said.

Matthew Bonnan, of Western Illinois University, said, “In the late Jurassic you had the largest animals that ever walked the Earth.

“The sauropods sort of reached their zenith of size at this point,” added Bonnan, who had just returned from the dig site.

(Related: “Giant Duck-Billed Dino Unearthed in Utah” [October 3, 2007].)


Riverbed Graveyard Uncovered


Though the Hanksville-Burpee Quarry today is high and dry, it appears to have once been at a bend in a large, long-gone river.


A bar or other river feature likely collected the corpses of dinosaurs and other animals that died upstream and were washed down during high-water events over several centuries. The result is a logjam of fossilized bones.

The site’s sandstone also encases freshwater clams, petrified trees, and other preserved matter. “There is potential that there could be burrows that contain fossil mammals. We have petrified logs—a whole group of things that I think are going to tell us something very detailed about this environment,” Bonnan said.

(Related: “Ancient Mammal Relative Dug Burrows in Antarctica?” [June 9, 2008].)

The late Jurassic has been studied intensively for more than a century, yet some key questions linger.

“The big open question that remains is the environment in which the Morrison fauna and flora existed,” said Hans-Dieter Sues, associate director for research and collections at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Sues has received funding from the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration.

Early geologists imagined the Morrison-formation region as a vast swamp, the imagined prime real estate for all those sauropods.

“But later geologists argued that the Morrison was deposited in a dry environment with just some large bodies of water,” said Sues, who is not involved with the Hanksville-Burpee dig.

New Look at Familiar Dinos?

Whatever mysteries the new site may hold, it is unlikely to produce any new dinosaur species, Sues said.

“Except for some really small dinosaurs—including possible bird relatives/precursors—or a good skeleton of the giant Brachiosaurus, there is going to be little that is newsworthy regarding Morrison dinosaurs,” he said.

“The big discoveries to be made lie with other groups of Morrison animals, such as flying reptiles and mammals, which are still mostly known from very fragmentary remains.”

But team member Bonnan hopes the Hanksville-Burpee will eventually rival Utah’s other major Jurassic fossil troves—Dinosaur National Monument and the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry.

“Even if we don’t find anything new in terms of species, we’re looking at old bones with new eyes and new technologies,” he said.

“In the old days it was more about finding the ‘biggest, baddest, bestest’ dinosaurs, and a museum might have just cherry-picked those best specimens.

“Now there is more interest in the fossil assemblage—what does it tell you about the environment?”

The site will close for the season on Friday. But scientists are already anxiously awaiting the resumption of excavations next summer.

“It will take years to understand the real potential, or how big this site really is,” BLM’s Foss said. “But there is something there worth taking a really good look at.”

giugno 18, 2008 Pubblicato da | - R. Dinosauri, - Sauropodi b, 2 Jurassic / Giurassico, America Northern, P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

Tracce di dinosauri nello Yemen

 

 

Articolo tratto da Le Scienze:

Tracce di dinosauri nello Yemen

Finora quest’area rappresentava una vera “macchia bianca” sulle cartine dei paleontologi

Le tracce di un grande ornitopode e di 11 sauropodi che camminavano in branco sono state rinvenute in un sito vicino al villaggio di Madar, nello Yemen. Si tratta, come riferiscono gli scopritori in un articolo pubblicato sulla rivista on line PLoS ONE, della più importante testimonianza fossile di dinosauri in tutta la Penisola Arabica.

“Finora nessuna pista di dinosauro era stata trovata in quest’area, che rappresenta una vera macchia bianca sulle cartine dei paleontologi”, ha detto Anne Schulp del Museo di storia naturale di Maastricht, che ha condotto la ricerca in collaborazione con Nancy Stevens dell’Università dell’Ohio e Mohammed Al-Wosabi dell’Università di Sana’a, nello Yemen.

La scoperta rappresenta anche un raro esempio di comportamento di branco di dinosauri. Il sito infatti conserva le tracce di undici sauropodi di dimensioni piccole e medie che camminano insieme alla stessa velocità. “E’ raro vedere un esempio così notevole di un branco di dinosauri. Si tratta di un interessante comportamento sociale per dei rettili”, ha osservato la Schulp.

Le rocce che portano impresse le tracce risalgono al tardo Giurassico, circa 150 milioni di anni fa e sono passate inosservate probabilmente perché coperte dalla sabbia.

I pochissimi fossili di dinosauro ritrovati nella Penisola Arabica, erano costituiti da alcune ossa isolate rinvenute in Oman e in alcuni possibili frammenti nello Yemen. (gg)

 

maggio 31, 2008 Pubblicato da | - R. Dinosauri, 2 Jurassic / Giurassico, Asia, FREE ACCESS, P - Impronte, P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

   

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