Tag Archives: dinosaurs

Ancient reptile fossils claw for more attention

Newly recovered fossils confirm that Drepanosaurus, a prehistoric cross between a chameleon and an anteater, was a small reptile with a fearsome finger. The second digit of its forelimb sported a massive claw. (more…)

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Yale’s legacy in ‘Jurassic World’

On a summer evening in 1993, Professor John Ostrom, a paleontologist at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, had a chance to see one of his discoveries spring to life.

“Jurassic Park,” Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of Michael Crichton’s bestselling novel, was setting box-office records. Both the filmmaker and the novelist had consulted Ostrom. The tale’s primary dinosaur antagonists, the vicious Velociraptors, were based on Deinonychus — a Cretaceous predator whose fossilized remains Ostrom discovered in Montana in 1964. (more…)

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Meteorite That Doomed Dinosaurs Remade Forests

The impact decimated slow-growing evergreens and made way for fast-growing, deciduous plants, UA researchers say, and that provides an explanation for those fall colors.

The meteorite impact that spelled doom for the dinosaurs 66 million years ago decimated the evergreens among the flowering plants to a much greater extent than their deciduous peers, according to a study led by UA researchers. The results are published in the journal PLoS Biology. (more…)

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Extinctions during human era worse than thought

The gravity of the world’s current extinction rate becomes clearer upon knowing what it was before people came along. A new estimate finds that species die off as much as 1,000 times more frequently nowadays than they used to. That’s 10 times worse than the old estimate of 100 times.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — It’s hard to comprehend how bad the current rate of species extinction around the world has become without knowing what it was before people came along. The newest estimate is that the pre-human rate was 10 times lower than scientists had thought, which means that the current level is 10 times worse. (more…)

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Were Dinosaurs Cold-Blooded or Warm-Blooded? Neither, Study Finds

A study that originated in the lab of UA biologist Brian J. Enquist with UA alum John Grady suggests dinosaurs had a metabolism that was neither warm- nor cold-blooded, but somewhere in between.

Dinosaurs dominated the Earth for more than 100 million years, but all that remains today are bones. This has made it difficult to solve a long-standing and contentious puzzle: Were dinosaurs cold-blooded animals that lumbered along or swift warm-blooded creatures like those depicted in “Jurassic Park”?  (more…)

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