fossil news from issue 59
I'm sure we all had a dinosaur toy whilst growing up, the only issue being that your rubber/plastic toy might have led you astray and mis-educated you, however I'm sure coming across a dinosaur in the wild you may recognise it however research has shown that school children and older students (not studying science topics) believed that T-rex was upright with his tale on the ground. We're all aware that Trex now has a more bird type posture with his tale in the air and head leaning forward.
Luckily images, references, exhibitions and toys are now reflecting this however older toys, comics and media references to dinosaurs are still guilty of portraying dinosaurs incorrectly.
a collection of fossil snippets from around the world
a regular feature
A study of ancient mammal relatives called synapsids has discovered that the creatures developed nocturnal activities probably 100 million years early than once thought. Finding and examining fossils from 315 - 200 million years ago researchers focused on scleral ossicles the tiny bones involved with eyesight. Even the infamous Dimetrodon is now thought to have been a night stalker.
You’re a four legged invertebrate lived on land but walked about in water laden areas, now you’re currently a favourite of palaeontologists
‘everywhere’ and they call you a tetrapod! You’re popular because you’ve left you’re footprints all-over and they’re easy to find!
Early tri-assic reptiles were well suited to the delta systems and there were fewer creatures, (probably due to the recent ‘largest mass
extinction event’) to stir up sediment and interrupt the swim track forming process, providing enthusiasts of sedimentological and
stratigraphic processes lots of data to analyse.
fossil news from issue 60
Horned dinosaurs seem to gain a new relative quite often, in fact every 1-2 million years states a researcher in the Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History who has found the latest - Judiceratops tigris. This species lived approximately 12 million years before the commonly known Triceratops & Torosaurus adding up to 75 millions ago. This tri-horned dinosaur had a different frill arrangement which was possibly used in mating rituals and or aggressive acts. The cerotopsids evolved rapidly so we can expect to hear about another species soon.
Eggs for tea, Genyornis newtoni would’ve produced huge eggs the Australian flightless bird reached 7 ft. tall 50 000 years ago. Researchers
used luminescence dating of the quartz grains enclosed in the ancient shell material to determine the age. Subsequent opinions are that
humans led to the distinction of the bird due to the impact of feeding on their eggs!
a collection of fossil snippets from around the world
Recent skeleton studies from the 17th-18th century in Warsaw Poland suggest that six bodies were buried with stones under their chins and sickles across their bodies, folklore traced to the 11th century says that this is a preventative measure because the first person(s) to die from a disease were likely to become a vampire and this would prevent them from biting the living. Health research of the area suggests that this was a time of repeated cholera epidemics in the region and a lack of understanding resulted in the community turning to supernatural explanations & preventions.
fossil news from issue 61
An example of a giant fish named Leedsichthys after it's first discoverer Alfred Leeds in 1889 existed from approximately 165 million years ago has been found relatively intact, previous remains haven't presented researchers with any evidence regarding it's physical dimensions. Researchers suggest it was the first of the giant plankton eaters that we know today similar in size to the modern day whale shark. Growing from 8-9m at approximately 20 years up to an estimated length of just over 16m at an age of 38 years old.
On the Indonesian island of Flores parts of 6 teeth and jaw found in an ancient riverbed have led university researchers to believe that they are hominins from the Homo floresiensis family often referred to as ‘hobbits’, its thought that being isolated with few natural predators they actually ‘shrunk’ both in size and brain(..)
Dr. Joseph Hannibal, curator of invertebrate palaeontology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History was the lead author researching millstones in Ohio, a study looking at the geology of the stones and the stone trade of the era. Hundreds of stones were examined over a 5 year period, finding charophyte’s (algae family) was a keen indicator to determine if the stones were local or from further afield. Results show that millstones were imported from France in the 18th & 19th century due to their superior cutting ability, the stones contained freshwater fossil material where a similar looking local stone contained seawater fossil evidence.
The installation of a natural gas pipeline in Enid, Oklahoma USA leads to the discovery of a mammoth fossil; researchers will now excavate and reconstruct the 50,000 year old fossil.
Fancy a pair of Duelling Dinosaurs to add to your collection? Well the Montana Duelling Dinosaurs first discovered in 2006 will be appearing at Bonham's auctions, one thought to be a plant eater similar to a triceratops the other a relative of tyrannosaurus.
After studying approximately 2000 fossils Swedish, Brazilian & Swiss researchers have determined that the introduction of ‘big cats’(felids) to North America from Asia had a major impact on the native ‘Dog family’(canid) species.
From its peek the number of canid species dropped drastically to only the 9 species seen today.
The results suggest that the felids were superior predators in comparison to the extinct dog species.
If only for examining nearly 500,000 “10,000 year old” fish bone remains we have to mention Simon Fraser University staff that commenced a project in order to help with the future management of fisheries. Studying predominately herring bones, the study has shown a sizeable depreciation of herring stocks available in the Pacific.