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Tag: dinosaur

World's smallest dinosaur tracks reveal new sparrow-sized raptor

World's smallest dinosaur tracks reveal new sparrow-sized raptor

Science
Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Scientist's have traced a trail of tiny dinosaur footprints to a diminutive raptor. Researchers found the tracks of the sparrow-sized dinosaur inside a dried lakebed in South Korea. "They are the world's smallest dinosaur tracks," Anthony Romilio, researcher at the University of Queensland, said in a news release. The 110-million-year-old tracks date to the Cretaceous period, a time when dinosaurs shared the planet with mammals and birds. Researchers described their discovery this week in the journal Scientific Reports. "The diminutive sizes of these new tracks are extraordinary; the tracks were made by tiny dinosaurs about the size of sparrows," Romilio said. "Raptors placed only two of their toes on the ground, while the third toe was retracted like a cat's claw."[embe...
Fossilized dinosaur proteins and burnt toast feature similar chemical compounds

Fossilized dinosaur proteins and burnt toast feature similar chemical compounds

Science
Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Under the right conditions, a dinosaur's soft tissue can be transformed and preserved, enabling fossilization. The process features chemical transformations similar to those that characterize browned or burnt toast. Scientists have long debated whether soft tissue can be preserved within dinosaur bones. While hard tissue -- bones, eggs, teeth, scales -- can survive for more than 100 million years, most studies suggest the proteins that form blood vessels, cells and nerves are fully degraded after 4 million years. And yet, paleontologists have regularly found organic structures similar to cells and blood vessels inside 100-million-old dinosaur bones. To better understand this paradox, researchers at Yale, the American Museum of Natural History, the University of Brussels an...
Newly named dinosaur species named largest land animal of its time

Newly named dinosaur species named largest land animal of its time

Science
Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Paleontologists have discovered a new giant dinosaur species in South Africa's Free State Province. The plant-eating dinosaur weighed 12 metric tons and stood more than 13 feet tall at the hip, roughly twice the size of an African elephant. Scientists named the species Ledumahadi mafube, Sesotho for "a giant thunderclap at dawn." The Sesotho language is indigenous to the region where the species was discovered. "The name reflects the great size of the animal as well as the fact that its lineage appeared at the origins of sauropod dinosaurs," Jonah Choiniere, a professor of paleontology at South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand, said in a news release. "It honors both the recent and ancient heritage of southern Africa." The proportions of the newly named species r...
Dinosaur DNA clues unpicked by researchers at University of Kent

Dinosaur DNA clues unpicked by researchers at University of Kent

Science
British scientists say they have pieced together what dinosaur DNA looks like.Researchers at the University of Kent say their work uncovers the genetic secret behind why dinosaurs came in such a variety of shapes and sizes.This variation helped the creatures evolve quickly in response to a changing environment - helping them to dominate Earth for 180 million years.But the researchers behind the DNA work say they have no plans to recreate dinosaurs, Jurassic Park style.Of course, there was one final challenge the dinosaurs could not overcome - a massive asteroid impact 66 million years ago that wiped out all dinosaur groups except the flying ones that developed into birds.Recently, Prof Darren Griffin's team used mathematical techniques to identify the pos...
Coral reefs 'weathered dinosaur extinction'

Coral reefs 'weathered dinosaur extinction'

Science
Corals may have teamed up with the microscopic algae which live inside them as much as 160 million years ago, according to new research.The two organisms have a symbiotic relationship, meaning they need each other to survive.But this partnership was previously thought to have developed about 60 million years ago.The new findings suggest that reef algae may have weathered significant environmental changes over time.This includes the mass extinction that wiped out most of the dinosaurs.Algae's resilience to temperature changes has been of concern to scientists recently, as warming events on the Great Barrier Reef have seen the coral "bleached" of its algae. The study, conducted by an international ...