New iguanodon relative revealed

A new species of iguanodontian dinosaur has been discovered on the Isle of Wight. Researchers from the Natural History Museum and University of Portsmouth, UK, described the new genus as part of the iguanodontian group, which includes iguanodon and Mantellisaurus – but this is the first of this genus described on the 390 square kilometre … Continue reading New iguanodon relative revealed

John Long: The life of a fossil hunter

Australian palaeontologist Professor John Long has spent a lifetime expanding knowledge of ancient animals, especially fishes from the Devonian age, about 400 million years ago. He’s worked around the world and made ground-breaking discoveries that have contributed to understanding of how reproduction evolved, and the reasons behind global mass extinctions. He’s written more than 20 … Continue reading John Long: The life of a fossil hunter

New dinosaur species uncovered in frozen Greenland

Some 25 years after its bones were first uncovered in the frosty wilds of east Greenland, a new species of dinosaur, Issi saaneq, has been described by palaeontologists, who have revealed it to be the region’s oldest-known plant-eating dinosaur. The creature, closely related to the Plateosaurus commonly found in Germany, is named after the local … Continue reading New dinosaur species uncovered in frozen Greenland

Meet the new dinosaur: Horned, crocodile-faced hell heron

British palaeontologists have unearthed two new species of dinosaur on the unassuming, 380 square kilometre Isle of Wight, off England’s south coast, according to a new study out today in the journal Scientific Reports. The two new creatures appear to be types of spinosaurids, predatory theropod dinosaurs related to the giant Spinosaurus. The haul of … Continue reading Meet the new dinosaur: Horned, crocodile-faced hell heron

Forget about dogs: Dinosaurs wagged their tails too

Dogs wag their tails when they are happy, but dinosaurs wagged their tails when they walked, according to new simulations. Researchers from the Queensland Museum and colleagues created simulations to show how a Coelophysis – a 210-million-year-old theropod, weighing around 15 kilograms – would walk. Computer simulation of extinct theropod dinosaur Coelophysis running at maximum … Continue reading Forget about dogs: Dinosaurs wagged their tails too

Two new dinosaur species identified

Three dinosaur fossils have been identified by researchers in Northwest China – with two of them discovered to be brand new species. The researchers, led by Xiaolin Wang of Chinese Academy of Sciences, analysed spinal vertebrae and rib structure fossils discovered near Turpan-Hami Basin in Xinjiang, China, and found that they belonged to sauropods that … Continue reading Two new dinosaur species identified

Dinosaur dung is the new amber

Palaeontologists have found a 230-million-year-old beetle species, with legs and antennae intact, preserved within fossilised dinosaur poo. The discovery, published in the journal Current Biology, opens up the possibility that fossilised dinosaur droppings – known as coprolites – could be a rich new source of information about ancient insects otherwise inaccessible to science. The most … Continue reading Dinosaur dung is the new amber

Chicken-sized dinosaur hunted at night

A little dinosaur called Shuvuuia may have hunted in the dark using night vision and super hearing. This chicken-sized therapod lived in the deserts of what is now Mongolia. Its skeleton has a seemingly fragile bird-looking skull and brawny arms with only a single claw. It also had long roadrunner-like legs. The team of researchers, … Continue reading Chicken-sized dinosaur hunted at night

How did T. rex break bones with its bite?

The Tyrannosaurus rex might be known for its ferocity and its mouth full of serrated teeth, but how did it actually bite? New research suggests the T. rex might have crunched like an alligator. Similar to modern day reptiles, dinosaurs had a joint in the middle of their lower jaw called the intermandibular joint. Palaeontologists … Continue reading How did T. rex break bones with its bite?

How fast was a T. rex?

Walking speed of a T-rex. Credit: Rick Stikkelorum, Arthur Ulmann & Pasha van Bijlert The Tyrannosaurus rex may have walked at a leisurely speed of 4.6km/h, according to 3D tail reconstruction. Researchers from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands built a biomechanical model to estimate how much a T. rex’s tail affected its stride. “The … Continue reading How fast was a T. rex?

World’s smallest stegosaur footprint

First dog-sized dinosaurs, and now a cat-sized stegosaur? An international team of paleontologists has discovered a single footprint of a tiny stegosaur, left 100 million years ago in what is now the Xinjiang Province in northern China. “This footprint was made by a herbivorous, armoured dinosaur known broadly as a stegosaur – the family of … Continue reading World’s smallest stegosaur footprint

Dinosaurs take a hike

A new paper pinpoints the date that a large group of dinosaurs made it to Greenland, suggesting that climatic changes may have determined dinosaur migration patterns. It was previously known that sauropodomorphs – a clade of herbivorous dinosaurs that later evolved into Brontosaurus and Brachiosaurus, among others – first emerged in modern-day South America and … Continue reading Dinosaurs take a hike