News That Matters

Tag: dinosaur

Scientists publish 3D-printing plans for 200-million-year-old dinosaur skull

Scientists publish 3D-printing plans for 200-million-year-old dinosaur skull

Science
Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Anyone with access to a 3D printer can now create a replica of a 200-million-year-old dinosaur skull.Scientists at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, used advanced CT scanning technology to image and digitally reconstruct -- bone by bone -- a detailed 3D model of the skull of Massospondylus, a sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic.The researchers published their rendering of the ancient dino skull this week in the journal PeerJ."This means any researcher or member of the public can print their own Massospondylus skull at home," Kimi Chapelle, a PhD student at the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits, said in a news release.Massospondylus is one of the most famous dinosaurs in South Africa. Its fossil record is rich. But the lates...
Turkey-sized dinosaur found caught in an ancient logjam

Turkey-sized dinosaur found caught in an ancient logjam

Science
Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Paleontologists have discovered a new dinosaur species preserved in an ancient logjam in Australia. The turkey-sized dinosaur offers new insights into the diversity of ornithopods during the Cretaceous period.The newly named species, Diluvicursor pickeringi, was a bipedal herbivorous dinosaur. The small species was found among 113-million-year-old rocks in southwestern Australia."Diluvicursor shows for the first time that there were at least two distinct body-types among closely related ornithopods in this part of Australia," Matt Herne, a researcher at the University of Queensland, said in a news release. "One was lightly built with an extraordinarily long tail, while the other, Diluvicursor, was more solidly built, with a far shorter tail. Our preliminary reconstruction ...
Well-preserved Canadian fossil reveals dinosaur armor like no other

Well-preserved Canadian fossil reveals dinosaur armor like no other

Science
Aug. 3 (UPI) -- One of the most well-preserved dinosaur fossils ever recovered has revealed a set of scales unlike any sported by armored dinosaurs.The newly discovered dinosaur species, Borealopelta markmitchelli, was the Humvee of the Cretaceous period. Despite the tank-like species' impressive size, the dinosaur's scales also served as camouflage, suggesting it hid to avoid predation.Spectral analysis of the 110-million-year-old herbivore's scales revealed the presence of pigmentation. The dinosaur was darker on top and lighter on the bottom, a camouflage strategy known as countershading."Color patterns can be used for sexual display, thermoregulation, communication and many other reasons," researcher Jakob Vinther told BBC. "But, today, countershading is used for camouflage and we thin...
Frog evolution linked to dinosaur asteroid strike

Frog evolution linked to dinosaur asteroid strike

Science
The huge diversity of frogs we see today is mainly a consequence of the asteroid strike that killed off the dinosaurs, a study suggests.A new analysis shows that frog populations exploded after the extinction event 66 million years ago.It would appear to contradict earlier evidence suggesting a much more ancient origin for many key frog groups.The work by a US-Chinese team of researchers is outlined in the journal PNAS.Frogs became one of the most diverse groups of vertebrates, with more than 6,700 described species. But a lack of genetic data has hampered efforts to trace their evolutionary history.The new study shows that three major lineages of modern frogs - which together comprise about 88% of living frog species - appeared almost simultaneously.This impressive diversification of spec...