We've had a bit of an extended holiday so lots of dinosaur web stuff to catch up on:
Fossil bone tissue provides new insights into the lives of Australia’s polar dinosaurs: Growth rings in bones have been used to age dinosaurs in the same manner as the use of tree rings.
Dinosaur tail to be auctioned for Mexico quake reconstruction.
A bony-crested Jurassic dinosaur with evidence of iridescent plumage highlights complexity in early paravian evolution: Examination of nanostructures interpreted as melanosomes suggest possible iridescence in the feathers of a Jurassic theropod.
10 Fascinating New Things We Learned About Dinosaurs In 2017
New turkey-sized dinosaur from Australia preserved in an ancient log-jam.
Tooth scratches reveal new clues to pterosaur diets: Microscopic wear textures on the teeth of pterosaurs were examined by Leicester University to derive new insights into their diet, proving some previous assumptions incorrect.
Found: A New Species of Lizard in a Dinosaur’s Stomach: A re-examination of a Victorian era fossil from Germany has revealed a new species of lizard.
What's wrong with these dinosaurs? Some amusingly incorrect reconstructions published in the 1960s in proving the maxim that palaeoart images of dinosaurs are only ever as accurate as the fossil evidence available.
The giant brachiosaur cervical of Arches National Park: Amazing photos of huge cervical sauropod vertebrae in situ.
A bit of reading for the holidays:
Spinosaurid Dinosaurs from the Early Cretaceous of
North Africa and Europe: Fossil Record, Biogeography and Extinction:
Re-evaluation of the Haarlem Archaeopteryx and the radiation of maniraptoran theropod dinosaurs:
Late Campanian theropod trackways from Porvenir de Jalpa, Coahuila, Mexico:
A redescription of the ichnospecies Koreanaornis anhuiensis (Aves) from the Lower Cretaceous Qiuzhuang Formation at Mingguang city, Anhui Province, China:
How has our knowledge of dinosaur diversity through geologic time changed through research history?
A new phylogeny of ichthyosaurs (Reptilia: Diapsida):
Ticks That Fed on Dinosaurs Found Trapped in Amber
New Dinosaur Named for Yeti of Mongolian Mythology:
Visitors ‘dig’ new exhibit on fossils, dinosaurs at Cranbrook Institute of Science:
Nanotyrannus, a new genus of pygmy tyrannosaur, from the latest Cretaceous of Montana:
Utah Tyrannosaur Discovered After 76 Million-Year Slumber
Feathered dinosaurs were even fluffier than we thought:
A busy week for papers relevant to dinosaurs - this lot will keep you busy:
'Spectacular' Dinosaur Fossil Collection Donated to Denver Museum
A collection of more than 6,000 bones from the ancient Edmontosaurus of eastern Wyoming has been donted by the Hankla family of Danville, Kentucky to Denver Museum. They were collected on private land and are one of the largest collections of specimens from a single bone bed, most likely representing a sudden flood event nearly 67 million years ago. The mixed bones and skulls will allow the study of many single individuals and will give valuable insights into the development of this duck-billed herbivore throughout its lifespan. The extraordinary collection will join other Cretaceous dinosaur remains at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science - including those recently found at a work site in Thornton.
Hundreds of pterosaur eggs help reveal the early life of flying reptiles
A new study published in Science describes a remarkable recent chinese find of hundreds of well preserved, 3 dimensional eggs of the Cretaceous species Hamipterus tianshanensis. 16 of the eggs were found to contain embryonic remains which may indicate the youngt were flightless and less developed than previously thought. The find suggests colonial nesting behaviour.
Feathered dinosaurs were even fluffier than we thought
An exceptionally-preserved fossil of the dinosaur Anchiornis has given scientists an extraordinary opportunity to study aspects of a dinosaur species. The feathers revealed an extinct, primitive feather form that lacked the modern interlocking vanes seen in birds feathers. They are thought to have been less effective at weatherproofing and also less aerodynamic, with increased drag when Anchiornis glided. To compensate, paravians like Anchiornis packed multiple rows of long feathers into the wing.
The osteoderm microstructure in doswelliids and proterochampsids and its implications for palaeobiology of stem archosaurs:
Osteology of a New Specimen of Macrocnemus aff. M. fuyuanensis (Archosauromorpha, Protorosauria) from the Middle Triassic of Europe: Potential Implications for Species Recognition and Paleogeography of Tanystropheid Protorosaurs:
A tyrannosauroid metatarsus from the Merchantville Formation of Delaware increases the diversity of non-tyrannosaurid tyrannosauroids on Appalachia:
An exceptionally preserved armored dinosaur reveals the morphology and allometry of osteoderms and their horny epidermal coverings:
A large and distinct skin impression on the cast of a sauropod dinosaur footprint from Early Cretaceous floodplain deposits, Korea:
Late Triassic sauropodomorph and Middle Jurassic theropod tracks from the Xichang Basin, Sichuan Province, southwestern China: First report of the ichnogenus Carmelopodus:
See dinosaurs with some of the feathers and frills they once wore:
Weekly round-up of dinosaur related news courtesy of @PLOSPaleo:
Osteology of the dorsal vertebrae of the giant titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur Dreadnoughtus schrani from the Late Cretaceous of Argentina:
A well-preserved fossil giant titanosaurian from southern Patagonia, Argentina provides an invaluable reference in the study of giant sauropods that are generally only found as fragments.
Revised geochronology, correlation, and dinosaur stratigraphic ranges of the Santonian-Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous) formations of the Western Interior of North America:
This study presents a high-resolution stratigraphic chart for terrestrial Late Cretaceous units of North America, combining published chronostratigraphic, lithostratigraphic, and biostratigraphic data. Important changes are made to the proposed correlations of the Aguja and Javelina formations, Texas, and recalibration corrections in particular affect the relative age positions of the Belly River Group, Alberta; Judith River Formation, Montana; Kaiparowits Formation, Utah; and Fruitland and Kirtland formations, New Mexico.
The stratigraphic ranges of selected clades of dinosaur species are plotted on the chronostratigraphic framework, with some clades comprising short-duration species that do not overlap stratigraphically with preceding or succeeding forms. This is the expected pattern that is produced by an anagenetic mode of evolution, suggesting that true branching (speciation) events were rare and may have geographic significance.
Forelimb muscle and joint actions in Archosauria: insights from Crocodylus johnstoni (Pseudosuchia) and Mussaurus patagonicus (Sauropodomorpha):
Many of the major locomotor transitions during the evolution of Archosauria were shifts from quadrupedalism to bipedalism (and vice versa), occurring within a continuum between more sprawling and erect modes of locomotion and involved drastic changes of limb anatomy. This study presents biomechanical models of two locomotor extremes within Archosauria in an analysis of joint motion and the moment arms of the major forelimb muscles in order to quantify biomechanical differences between the two modes of forelimb function.
Can we predict the horn shapes of fossil animals? A thought experiment starring Triceratops
An interesting paper on the extent to which head ornamentation in extinct species can be inferred from the growth of horns in current species, both by palaeoartists when trying to be scientifically accurate and palaeobiologists trying to reconstruct entire animals from partial remains. The topic is discussed with reference to Triceratops.
Functional anatomy of a giant toothless mandible from a bird-like dinosaur: Gigantoraptor and the evolution of the oviraptorosaurian jaw:
This study presents the first in-depth description of the giant toothless mandible of Gigantoraptor, the only well-preserved stemward caenagnathid mandible. Inferences regarding paleoenvironment are made using morphological features including relative beak depth.
New perspectives on pterosaur palaeobiology
With abundunt new finds in China, the study of pterosaurs has undergome a renaissance in recent years. Difficult to study due to their fragile and transitory nature, recent investigative techniques have helped the new science unlock some of the secrets of the first vertebrates to take flight.
Including the largest animals ever to take flight, pterosaurs ruled the skies for 160 million years before being wiped out, along with the dinosaurs. This recent paper published by David Hone, Mark Witton and David Martill details the state of knowledge regarding these fascinating animals:
The paper linked above is free to access - you can see a list of more papers (not free) included in a Lyell Collection on the subject below:
The National Geographic have also published some good stuff recently:
Some articles relevant to the group courtesy of PLOS Paleontology Community:
Xenoposeidon is the earliest known rebbachisaurid sauropod dinosaur: Represented by a single partial dorsal vertebra, this fossil is still sufficiently unique to represent the earliest known rebbachisaurid by some 10 million years. Electronic 3D models were invaluable in the study.
Stable Isotopes Reveal Rapid Enamel Elongation (Amelogenesis) Rates for the Early Cretaceous Iguanodontian Dinosaur Lanzhousaurus magnidens: The study suggests rapid amelogenesis evolved among iguanodontians that was later exapted for the evolution of the hadrosaurian feeding mechanism. The subject of the study, a fossil from China has the largest known herbivorous dinosaur teeth.
Site of asteroid impact changed the history of life on Earth: the low probability of mass extinction: This study postulates that the location of the Chixulub impact was crucial to the subsequent extinctions. The high carbon and sulphur content in the sediments involved is relatively rare in global terms therefore the effects would have been much reduced if the impact had occured elsewhere.
Several open source articles related to dinosaurs and vertebrate paleontology have been published this week including:
The Evolution of Ornithischian Quadrupedality: Ornithischian dinosaurs were primitively bipedal, but reverted to quadrupedality on at least three occasions. Postulated causes include Increased head size influencing the position of the centre of mass. Its also possible that the evolution of herbivory played a role.
The evolution of the manus of early theropod dinosaurs is characterized by high inter- and intraspecific variation: The origin of the avian hand, with its reduced and fused carpals and digits from the complex wrists of early dinosaurs represents one of the major transformations of manus morphology among tetrapods. This paper looks at the early stages of this evolution, the five- to four-fingered transition among early dinosaurs
Spinosaur taxonomy and evolution of craniodental features: Evidence from Brazil
A new rhynchocephalian (Reptilia: Lepidosauria) from the Late Jurassic of Solnhofen (Germany) and the origin of the marine Pleurosauridae
The Dinosaur Society T-Shirts featuring the artwork of Bob Nicholls (@paleocreations) have arrived. We're chuffed with the result - they are awesome :D.
You can buy them online on the Dinosaur Society website - we'll start sending them out next week.
If you pre-ordered, please pm or email us through the website to receive a discount code.
Bob Nicholls' lovely artwork featuring Sinosauropteryx prima in its newly postulated favoured habitat of the open plain (feeding on a lizard as discovered in the belly of one of the fossils used in the study) is featured on the latest front cover of Current Biology.
The paper entitled "Reconstruction of Sinosauropteryx prima from the Jehol Biota" examines the remarkable preservation of pigmentation within the proto-feathers of fossil specimens allowing for the recognition of striping on the tail and countershading, as well as a “bandit mask” band of pigmented feathers along the eye.
The sharp distinction in the countershading is taken as evidence of a palaeoenvironment in the open sun, rather than in shaded forest as previously thought.
A new pterosaur found by members of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences had a 32-foot wingspan and likely feasted on baby dinosaurs.
The partial fossil was found in the western Gobi Desert, as detailed in The Journal of Vertbrate Technology.
The find may prove to be larger than Quetzalcoatlus, found in Texas in the 1970s, and Hatzegopteryx, found in Romania in the 1990s, both with estimated wingspans of 32 to 36 feet and about as tall as a large giraffe.
Originally discovered in 2006, the fossil fragments were so broken that they took years of work to interpret.
A remarkable new Dinosaur fossil possibly the size of a T-Rex has been found on the Isle of Skye by scientist from the University of Edinburgh and the National Museum of Scotland. This follows another recent discovery on the Isle of Eigg.
Palaeontologist Elsa Panciroli said that previous discoveries in Scotland had mostly amounted to some individual bones and tracks but they had now uncovered something much bigger which is currently undergoing investigation.
This follows the discovery 2 years ago of numerous large sauropod and smaller possibly theropod footprints, also on Skye.
Full details of both the Skye and Eigg fossil discoveries have yet to be released due to funding stipulations but the news is expected to be published in National Geographic in the future.
This is an awesome video of the fun to be had as a vertebrate palaeontologist - features scientists at the Burke Museum gradually revealing the exquisitely preserved teeth of a T-Rex skull found in the Hell Creek formation, Montana.
Just a reminder that The Dinosaur Society will be attending the Geologists Association Festival of Geology tomorrow at UCL, London. Unfortunately our T-shirt printers have not yet completed our order so we will not have any for sale on the day.
However, we will be selling exclusive prints of works by the artists who exhibited at Dinosaurs at Barnes last year. One of those was Bob Nicholls who will be attending, running several Dino art activities/workshops through the day.
The weekend will be full of fun so come along and take a look if you are in town.
Programme is as follows:
DISCOVERY ROOM: Full of activities for children including, fossil making, shifting sharks teeth, microfossil activities and dinosaur workshops.
Lectures in the Darwin Lecture Theatre
11.30–12.15 Dr Susannah Maidment: How to weigh a dinosaur
12.30–1.15 Professor Chris Jackson: Hot Rocks Under Our Feet: What can we learn about Volcanism from X-raying Earth?
2.00–2.15 Presentation to the Winners of the Photographic Competition by the GA President. Entries on display all day in the Haldane Room.
2.15–2.00 Professor Iain Stewart: Hot Rocks: The Fall and Rise of UK Geothermal Energy
3.15–4.00 Professor Lidunka Vocadlo Core! What a scorcher! Hot and squashed in the centre of the Earth
A Guided Walk 11.00 - 12.00 The Geology of UCL around the Bloomsbury Campus - led by Dr Wendy Kirk
SUNDAY 5TH NOVEMBER
Field trips to Riddlesdown Quarry, Building Stones Walk Central London, Route of HS2 Misbourne Valley
These two books are currently on sale on Siri Scientific Press:
British Polacanthid Dinosaurs by William T. Blows
Dinosaurs of the British Isles by Dean Lomax and Nobumichi Tamura