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Your bite or mine?

This was originally posted at:  It rises from the dark waters like some behemoth from the deep, and lets out a blood-curdling roar. It’s feeding time. One of the most iconic scenes from Jurassic Park III is where the long-snouted, sail-backed giant theropod dinosaur Spinosaurus emerges from underwater to try, yet again, to eat our […]

Is Torosaurus Triceratops? The debate rages on!

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1138 For some time now, there has been much debate about whether our beloved dinosaur, Triceratops, is a distinct species, or a younger version of a bigger ceratopsian, Torosaurus – the great Toroceratops’ debate. Proponents of both sides of the argument have made detailed quantitative and qualitative points, and there doesn’t […]

How do the chemical ghosts of dinosaurs help their preservation?

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1093 For some years now, Mary Schweitzer and her team have been researching the idea that organic molecules can be preserved for millions of years, specifically within dinosaurs. They have used a plethora of chemical and biotechnological techniques to demonstrate that, within animals like Tyrannosaurus rex, it is possible to find […]

Where did all the mammoths go?

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1037 Let’s go meta. Recently, ecologist extraordinaire Dr. Jacquelyn Gill (or is it Professor cos of that weird American system?) wrote a wonderful review article on the extinctions that affected many large mammal species during the last 50-10,000 years. This period is known as the Quaternary, and was a time when […]

Your poop or mine?

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1023 Back in the Mesozoic, lavatories probably didn’t exist. In fact, dinosaurs and other animals were probably pretty poorly mannered and just pooped wherever they felt like. But what or who cleaned up after them? In modern biomes, poop is decomposed by insects and bacteria of all breeds, and actually forms […]

To bird or not to bird..

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=963 In 2012, the controversial case over whether or not Archaeopteryx lithographica, perhaps the most iconic dinosaur species of all time, was a bird was settled. Apparently. (free pdf) This was an important analysis for two reasons. Firstly, it countered a previous study showing that Archaeopteryx was more closely related to dinosaurs like Velociraptor […]

Was the diversity of feeding styles in giant turtles a key to their suckcess?

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=883 ­Sometimes, it can be difficult to figure out how ancient organisms used to eat. Part of the problem is that we can never actually see extinct animals eating (until we invent time-travel.. *taps fingers impatiently at physicists*), and often it can be hard to work out how something ate based […]