Dinosaur News

Up to the minute dinosaur news articles.

We haven't posted for a while so there's plenty to read this weekend:

Fossilized skin reveals coevolution with feathers and metabolism in feathered dinosaurs and early birds.


How much poop did Argentinosaurus produce in a day? Answer, quite a lot.


Semi-aquatic adaptations in a spinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Brazil.


Perinatal specimens of Maiasaura from the Upper Cretaceous of Montana (USA): insights into the early ontogeny of saurolophine hadrosaurid dinosaurs.


A Tiny Reason for Big Dinosaurs to Gather Together. Transmission of essential bacteria might have given herbivorous dinosaurs an additional reason to form herds.


Dinosaurs of Appalachia.


Sauropod neural canals are weird, part 1c: unfused Giraffatitan dorsal.


Assemblage-level structure in Morrison Formation dinosaurs, Western Interior, USA.


Reconstruction of the diapsid ancestral genome permits chromosome evolution tracing in avian and non-avian dinosaurs.


Fossil Friday – Triceratops Teeth.


Why we think giant pterosaurs could fly.


Redescription and affinities of Hulsanpes perlei (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia.


The smallest biggest theropod dinosaur: a tiny pedal ungual of a juvenile Spinosaurus from the Cretaceous of Morocco.


Paleontology, taphonomy, and sedimentology of the Mygatt-Moore Quarry, a large dinosaur bonebed in the Morrison Formation, western Colorado—Implications for Upper Jurassic dinosaur preservation modes.


Bird and Turtle Chromosomes Help Identify Dinosaur DNA.


'Spectacular' discovery gives rare view of walking dinosaurs.


Carnivorous-dinosaur auction reflects rise in private fossil sales.


In addition to the evolutionary innovation of feathers, bird skin has complex adaptations. Here, McNamara and colleagues examine exceptionally preserved skin from feathered dinosaurs and ancient birds from the Cretaceous and show the early acquisition of many skin attributes seen in modern species.

Latest updates:

These Are the Dinosaurs That Didn't Die: More than 10,000 species still roam the Earth. We call them birds.


Puncture-and-Pull Biomechanics in the Teeth of Predatory Coelurosaurian Dinosaurs: Theropods used puncture-and-pull feeding movements, based on microwear analyses.


Growth patterns, sexual dimorphism, and maturation modeled in Pachypleurosauria from Middle Triassic of central Europe.


Morphometric assessment of pterosaur jaw disparity.


A second specimen of Citipati osmolskae associated with a nest of eggs from Ukhaa Tolgod, Omnogov Aimag, Mongolia.


The systematic position of the enigmatic thyreophoran dinosaur Paranthodon africanus, and the use of basal exemplifiers in phylogenetic analysis.


A new phylogeny of Stegosauria.


Fossil Focus: Thalattosuchia


Ichthyornis and the evolution of the avian skull.


A new large-bodied thalattosuchian crocodyliform from the Lower Jurassic (Toarcian) of Hungary, with further evidence of the mosaic acquisition of marine adaptations in Metriorhynchoidea.


Titanosaurs in time and space.


Sauropods in the Shallows: Tracks in Scotland record Jurassic strolls along a lagoon.


More than 10,000 species still roam the Earth. We call them birds.

The Lyme Regis Fosslil Festival is on this weekend, 5th to the 6th of May, 2018


A little light reading:

These are the seven places in Kent where dinosaurs have been found.


Taxonomic reassessment of Clevosaurus latidens Fraser, 1993 (Lepidosauria, Rhynchocephalia) and rhynchocephalian phylogeny based on parsimony and Bayesian inference.


A walk in the maze: variation in Late Jurassic tridactyl dinosaur tracks from the Swiss Jura Mountains (NW Switzerland).


Structural, functional, and physiological signals in ichthyosaur vertebral centrum microanatomy and histology.


High-resolution computed tomographic analysis of tooth replacement pattern of the basal neoceratopsian Liaoceratops yanzigouensis informs ceratopsian dental evolution.


A case study of developmental palaeontology in Stereosternum tumidum (Mesosauridae, Parareptilia).


Evidence for survival in a Middle Jurassic plesiosaur with a humeral pathology: What can we infer of plesiosaur behaviour?


New Crocodyliform specimens from Recôncavo-Tucano Basin (Early Cretaceous) of Bahia, Brazil.


Dinosaur diversification linked with the Carnian Pluvial Episode.


Morphometric assessment of pterosaur jaw disparity.


Esri UK have published a UK wide map detailing the locations

More up-to-date Dinosaur related links:

World's biggest dinosaur footprints found in north-western Australia. Scientists have discovered the world's biggest sauropod footprints, measuring a whopping 1.7 metres.


Huge Dinosaur Footprints Discovered on Scottish Coast


A giant Late Triassic ichthyosaur from the UK and a reinterpretation of the Aust Cliff 'dinosaurian' bones.


India’s paleontologists fight destruction of its fossil riches.


A giant Late Triassic ichthyosaur from the UK and a reinterpretation of the Aust Cliff ‘dinosaurian’ bones


Apendicular remains of an ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaur from the lower Barremian of Villa de Leiva, Colombia (Spanish).


The evolutionary history of polycotylid plesiosaurians


Nest substrate reflects incubation style in extant archosaurs with implications for dinosaur nesting habits.


Postcranial skeletal anatomy of the holotype and referred specimens of Buitreraptor gonzalezorum Makovicky, Apesteguía and Agnolín 2005 (Theropoda, Dromaeosauridae), from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia.


Scientists publish details of the world's biggest dinosaur footprints — sauropod prints measuring a whopping 1.7 metres.

A plethora of dinosaur related links of interest from late March 2018:

Archaeopteryx flew like a pheasant, say scientists: After scanning Archaeopteryx fossils in a synchrotron, researchers found its wing bones matched modern birds that flap their wings to fly short distances or in bursts.


Dinosaur Horns Were For Making Love, Not War: The growing number of horned dinosaur species discovered, together with the elaborate nature of some extreme examples suggests that impressing mates was more likely the evolutionary advantage in going to the effort.


Patterns of divergence in the morphology of ceratopsian dinosaurs: sympatry is not a driver of ornament evolution.


A tiny Triassic saurian from Connecticut and the early evolution of the diapsid feeding apparatus.


A new caenagnathid dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Wangshi Group of Shandong, China, with comments on size variation among oviraptorosaurs


Possible bite-induced abscess and osteomyelitis in Lufengosaurus (Dinosauria: sauropodomorph) from the Lower Jurassic of the Yimen Basin, China.


The systematic position of the enigmatic thyreophoran dinosaur Paranthodon africanus, and the use of basal exemplifiers in phylogenetic analysis.


First thyreophoran dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic (Bajocian) of Luxembourg.


Western Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists Annual Meeting 2018 Program with Abstracts.


Stepping Out: New Ornithomimosaur from Arkansas Described.


The famous winged dinosaur Archaeopteryx, once thought of as the first bird, could fly, research shows.

Some dinosaur related links of interest from this week:

The earliest evidence for a supraorbital salt gland in dinosaurs in new Early Cretaceous ornithurines. Salt glands are most pronounced in marine and desert-dwelling taxa in which salt regulation is key. This study reports the first specimens from lacustrine environments of the Jehol Biota that preserve a distinct fossa above the orbit, where the salt gland fossa is positioned in living birds.


Fossil Friday - crocodilian teeth


Archaeopteryx may have been too fat to nest


The pneumatic tail of the Field Museum apatosaurine, FMNH P25112


BIBE 45854, the giant Alamosaurus cervical series from Big Bend, Texas


Vintage Dinosaur Art: Dinosaur Encore


How would today’s animals fare if introduced to Mesozoic dinosaurs? It’s a scenario that’s been posited a number of times in print, sometimes with hilarious results. Fortunately, …
Contributed by Michael Hsieh I've had the privilege of writing a few manuscripts in my research career to date, and helping trainees write them. It's hard work, but planning and organization helps. Here's some thoughts on how to approach writing manuscripts based on original biomedical research. Get...

Its been quiet of late in the way of Dinosaur news so this week's post covers last week too:

Kulindadromeus, the feathered ornithischian: the first example of a plant-eating species to show feathers and scales has been found in Siberia, suggesting that feather-like structures were likely widespread in dinosaurs, possibly even in the earliest members of the group.


The influence of speed and size on avian terrestrial locomotor biomechanics: Predicting locomotion in extinct theropod dinosaurs.


How has our knowledge of dinosaur diversity through geologic time changed through research history?


First Occurrence of a Tyrannosauroid Dinosaur from the Lower
Campanian Merchantville Formation of Delaware, USA


On the Dentary in the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum of
Gorgosaurus Libratus from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada


The first record of dinosaur eggshell from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Maastrichtian) of Alberta, Canada


Eggs for breakfast? Analysis of a probable mosasaur biting trace on the Cretaceous echinoid Echinocorys ovata Leske, 1778


Vertebrate Diversity of the Early Cretaceous Tetori Biota
from Japan, The State of the Art


Merging cranial histology and 3D-computational biomechanics: a review of the feeding ecology of a Late Triassic temnospondyl amphibian


Baby bird fossil is 'rarest of the rare'


Latest list of reading should keep you busy over the weekend:

Found: Evidence That Archaeopteryx Evolved Like Darwin’s Finches: these bird-like dinos may have specialized by island when southern Germany was an archipelago.


Huge Dinosaur Found in Egypt Is First of Its Kind: A Cretaceous titanosaur 10 metres long and weighing 5 tonnes.


How Trump's cuts to public lands threaten future dinosaur discoveries: due to a reduction in the size of Bears Ears national monument.


Spectacular dinosaur stomping grounds discovered just outside D.C.: the largest and most diverse assemblage from the dinosaur age found in the Mid-Atlantic region — and it ranks among the best fossil trackways in the world.


Fantastic fossil find: a dinosaur with swan-like neck and crocodile teeth that walked like a duck and swam like a penguin


Dinosaurs reveal the geographical signature of an evolutionary radiation: dinosaurs spread rapidly initially, followed by a significant
continuous and gradual reduction in their speed of movement towards the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary.


Evidence for a semi-aquatic lifestyle in the Triassic diapsid reptile Tanystropheus.


Fossil Footprints Are Oldest Traces of Lizards Running on Two Legs.


When southern Germany was an archipelago, these bird-like dinos may have specialized by island.

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.


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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:


Tiny fossils preserved in Cretaceous resin include one parasite that was engorged when it died.

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:


A University of Bristol-led study has revealed new details about dinosaur feathers and enabled scientists to further refine what is potentially the most accurate depiction of any dinosaur species to date.

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.


Triceratops horridus with some crazy long and curving brow horns. Just speculation, right? Surprisingly, maybe not... For palaeoartists,...

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: