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Dinosaur Discoveries

Dinosaur Discoveries

One of the simplest characteristics of dinosaurs that paleontologists still know little about is how they slept.

New studies have shown that when some smaller dinosaurs slept, they curled up much like birds do today. Though most dinosaur fossils are found in the dinosaur “death pose,” some dinosaurs (who have died while they were sleeping) have been found in a roosting position, similar to the sleeping position of most modern birds.

For more on this discovery, visit Smithsonian.com.

For years, scientists have been disputing about the timing of the first appearance of rodents on Earth.

Recent discoveries of two new fossils are evidence that the earliest rodent species began about 57.7 to 58.9 million years ago. Being one of the most diverse species on earth, this rodent discovery is monumental for scientists to continue to determine the first origins of placental mammals.

For more on this discovery, visit the Examiner.

Researchers are now discovering that giant plant-eaters, such as Hadrosaurids or a Corythosaurus, may have had teeth with grinding surfaces much like a modern day horse or bison. Their teeth were complex, combining up to six types of tissue, and all varying in hardness. Scientists speculate that this is due to their diets, including tough, tooth-gouging particles from plants.

Researchers believe the complex nature of the herbivores teeth is reason that they were so common.

For more on this discovery, visit NBC News.

Porcupine quills, big fangs, and a parrot-like beak are only three of the strange qualities that this newly discovered plant-eating dinosaur, known as the Pegomastax africanus, possesses.

This tiny Dino, measuring in at about 2 feet tall, is a newly discovered species of heterodontosaur. It is about the size of a housecat and used its giant fangs for self-defense and for attracting mates.

For more on this discovery, and to check out the making of this Dinosaur model, visit National Geographic.

Fossils discovered in northeastern China of a previously unrecognized huge dinosaur reveal that it was the largest known feathered creature to exist, living or extinct.

The new species, which was at least 30 feet long, was a distant relative of the scaly Tyrannosaurus rex.

The species has been named Yutyrannus huali, which means “beautiful feathered tyrant.”

For more on this discovery, including an artist’s impression of this species, visit The New York Times.

Two Sinocalliopteryx gigas, which are carnivorous dinosaurs about 6 feet long and covered in hair-like fuzz, were discovered in Liaoning, China with evidence of their last meals remaining in their stomachs.

One of the paleontologists working with the specimens stated that stomach remains are “…extremely rare in the fossil record”, so this discovery gives scientists evidence of interaction between dinosaurs. Though it is still unknown whether or not these dinosaurs hunted or scavenged the prey found in their stomachs, it gives scientists a look into their diets.

For more on this discovery, visit the Huffington Post.

A dinosaur foot print was found in the backyard of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center campus in Maryland, measuring in at 12-inches wide. The footprint is believed to belong to a Nodosaur, a plant-eating, armor studded dino that roamed the area about 110 million years ago.

Several other smaller dinosaur footprints were also discovered in the backyard of NASA, most likely from theropods.

For more on this discovery, and to see the image of the footprint, visit NBC News.

Several remains of primitive shark’s teeth, with at least three of the teeth dating back from 270 million years ago, were discovered in what is known as the Kaibab Formation of northern Arizona. It is believed that the three sharks range from about 3 feet to 20 feet long, and that Arizona was home to a very diverse shark population in the Cretaceous period.

For more on this discovery, visit Discovery News.

About 75 million years ago, duck-billed and horned dinosaurs flourished in Canada, while only a few of these species emerged in the United States.

Scientists believe that this diversity among dinosaurs caused a dinosaur boom when the Rocky Mountains were formed, creating geographic and ecological barriers between species. This not only rapidly increased the population of certain dinosaur species, but it in turn reduced the pace at which new species evolved.

For more on this discovery, visit Fox News.

The non-profit science and education group the Australian Age of Dinosaurs has found an exciting new discovery in Queensland, Australia.

Among the remote site, they discovered 15 fragile bones as well as very unusual fossils that have never been seen before.

Scientists have yet to confirm what type of ancient reptile that the bones are from, but they believe they are those from a dinosaur.

For more visit ABC News.


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