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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 […]

Another clue to the origins of dinosaurs

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1222 Often the early evolution and radiation of the first dinosaurs is an overlooked part of their tale, in favour of the more dramatic but arguably no less important tales of their later radiations and extinctions. It is actually a fairly poorly understood part of their evolution too, with the timing, […]

The greatest mass extinction in the history of life

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1204 In palaeontology, there are so many things more important than dinosaurs. For example, the study of large-scale patterns in the history of life on Earth, commonly known as macroevolution, is all about uncovering patterns of speciation and extinction. We are currently about to enter the sixth mass extinction within the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Were dinosaurs the masters of social integration?

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=996 Back in the Late Cretaceous, the USA was divided. Not politically, but by a vast continental sea called the Western Interior Seaway, splitting the continent into two separate landmasses. The western one of these, known as Laramidia, played host to some of the popular dinosaurs like Parasaurolophus, or ‘Elvis’ in […]

The underworld thief returns from the dead

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=942 So I don’t normally blog whenever a new dinosaur pops out the pages, but a new one, Acheroraptor temertyorum received quite a welcome back to the living world with this exquisite illustration by Danielle Dufault. I’ve asked for her permission to post on here, and it’ll appear on the front cover […]

So you want to be a palaeontologist..?

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=792 Well, according to Sesame Street, all you need to do is sing the palaeontologist theme song! So forget studying, research, and years of training. Actually, it is pretty cool – it does show this; all you need to do to become a palaeontologist is have a fascination for the natural […]

‘Meat was so sixty million years agAAAGHH…’

This was initially posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=760 Some dinosaurs were utterly bizarre. You may have heard of them before, but one particular group called therizinosaurs belonged to the meat-eating theropod dinosaurs (those that led to birds), were really awesome. However, they actually at some point made a conscious evolutionary decision to stop being badasses, and become Cretaceous-cauliflower* […]