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Dinosaur Skin Found, Possible Soft Tissue

A mostly-complete duck-billed Edmontosaurus dinosaur has been found in Montana, reported the Discovery Channel.  A patch of skin from the hip was recovered.  The team from North Carolina State University and Museum of Natural Sciences was very careful.  They wanted to preserve any possible soft tissue, using techniques developed by Mary Schweitzer that last year […]

Dinosaur Bone Soft Tissue Questioned, Defended

The subject of soft tissue in dinosaur bones came up at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Meeting earlier this month, reported Science.1  Mary Schweitzer was there, defending her spectacular claim that she had discovered both medullary bone (06/03/2006) and soft, pliable blood vessels and cartilage in a T. rex leg bone (03/24/2005).  Doubters, however, brought […]

Dinos Not Killed Off by Meteor, but by Worms

Confident speculations that a big meteor hitting southern Mexico caused the mass extinction of the dinosaurs appear to be unraveling.  Gerta Keller [Princeton, 09/25/2003], a doubter of the story that has been a leading contender for years with its smoking-gun crater called Chicxulub in the Yucatan, has been getting a receptive hearing among geologists with […]

Sea Monster Fossils Found in Arctic

The BBC News reported the discovery of over two dozen plesiosaurs, pliosaurs and ichthyosaurs (see 04/20/2005) north of Norway.  Skeletons of the large marine reptiles, completely assembled, were found buried in fine-grained sedimentary layers of black shale.  “Everything we’re finding is articulated,” said Jorn Harald Hurum, co-director of the dig.  “It’s not single bones here […]

Record Dino Trove in Mongolia

67 dinosaurs in a week: that’s what diggers from Montana State University found in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.  The team effort was led by veteran dinosaurologist Jack Horner.  Most skeletons were Psittacosaurs, thought to be predecessors of the horned ceratopsids, like Triceratops.  Seeking to understand the developmental biology of dinosaurs, the team was less […]

Dinosaur Bone Hunting Looks Promising

With probably less than a third of dinosaur types known, prospects are good for a new generation of young people to find one of their own, reports News@Nature.  New finds in Mongolia, South America and China over the last fifteen years indicate the vast majority of dinosaurs are still waiting to be discovered.  The authors […]

Meanwhile, Back on the Dinosaur Ranch

Sid Perkins went on a dinosaur hunt in Montana this past July, and wrote up his experiences for the cover story of the Aug. 26 issue of Science News.  It was more personal diary than science.  Perkins talked about the teamwork, hard work, and the occasional thrill of finding a fragment of bone that the […]

Opal Plesiosaurs, Flashy Pterosaurs and Hot Titanosaurs Inspire Stories

Paleontologists continue to dig up bones of fascinating species of long-lost animals.  When it comes to extinct species, the line between observation and interpretation becomes fuzzy, since there is no way to be absolutely sure how they behaved and what they were doing when they died.  This does not prevent scientists from freely speculating on […]

Mini-Dinos Found in Marine Sediments

Sauropods were not all the lumbering giants we think of; they could be the size of a pet dog (images of Deeno in the Flintstones come to mind).  This came to light from recent discoveries announced in Germany (see BBC News and LiveScience) of adult sauropods smaller than human height, ranging five to 20 feet […]

Dinosaur Boneyard: Dying Together Implies Living Together, Not Much Else

(Guest article)  CNN reported in an article from Associated Press that scientists have uncovered a small cache of dinosaur bones that contains bones from no other animals, and in their excitement have concluded that this means they must have hunted in packs. One expert called the discovery the first substantial evidence of group living by […]

What Use Is Half a Wing?

Ken Dial is at it again, trying to explain bird flight from the ground up with his own version of a Darwinian story (see 01/16/2003).  The title of his paper in BioScience1 harks back to an old criticism of Darwin’s theory: “What use is half a wing?”  Well, half a wing could be a half […]

Sea Monster Found Under Davy Yone’s Locker

The deepest dinosaur bone ever found, a part of a Plateosaurus, has been found by Norwegians 1.4 miles under the North Sea floor.  This sets a new depth record for a dinosaur fossil.  According to LiveScience, “Researchers said it’s quite possible there are many more fossils down there.”  More on National Geographic News, News@Nature and […]

Step Aside, T. Rex: Bigger Dino Found

A cache of dinosaur bones, meat-eaters bigger than Tyrannosaurus rex, has been uncovered in South America.  National Geographic News says the new species, Mapusaurus, exceeded the former heavyweight carnivore in size and agility.  All the bones in a river deposit were 100% from this one species, so “the chances they had been deposited randomly are […]

Imaginary Feathers Found on “Turkey” Dino

Last month, we reported on announcements of a dinosaur fossil with imaginary feathers (02/08/2006); at least, all the news stories mentioned feathers and some had pictures of them, but the original paper said nothing about feathers.  Now, National Geographic has done it again: “Giant Turkey-Like Dinosaur Found in Utah,” the title reads, with a picture […]

“This Is a Problem”: Dino-Feather Story Gets Scaly

Just when proponents of dinosaur-to-bird evolution were getting agreement on their story, along came Juravenator.  Announced in Nature,1 this new dinosaur fossil from Germany is dated later than the earliest alleged “feathered dinosaur,” but had no feathers.  The finely-preserved specimen, in the same Solnhofen limestone that preserved Archaeopteryx (dated 2-3 million years later), had clear […]
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