Sawfish from dinosaur age discovery


This video is called How the sawfish uses its saw.

Translated from Dutch news agency ANP:

Fossil sawfish snout, a unique discovery

Thursday, December 19, 2013 11:11

In the marl quarry of ENCI in Maastricht the fossil snout, called a rostrum, of a sawfish has been found. To our knowledge this is the first discovery in the world of the rostrum of the species Ganopristis leptodon, Brabants Dagblad daily reports.

The fish lived 66 million years ago.

See also here.

Good Dutch smooth snake news


This is a smooth snake video.

The RAVON herpetologists in the Netherlands report that for the first time since fifty years, smooth snakes have been seen on the Sint Pietersberg mountain near Maastricht.

Compared to other Dutch provinces, there are amphibian species in Limburg which lack elsewhere. On the Sint Pietersberg are also wall lizards not found elsewhere in the Netherlands; and slow worms, which do occur elsewhere. However, there are not as many snakes as in other provinces. Only in the extreme east of Limburg there are a few smooth snakes and grass snakes. To which we can now add the Maastricht smooth snakes, which reproduce.

Dutch mosasaur discovery news


Lower jaw details of the newly discovered mosasaur, photo ANP/Marcel van Hoorn

Translated from L1 regional radio in the Netherlands:

Researchers at the Natural History Museum in Maastricht have unearthed approximately one-third of the mosasaur which was discovered last week.

The rest of the skeleton had probably already been excavated during the marl extraction in the ENCI quarry and so, it disappeared.

The scientists are pleased that most of the head has been recovered. In addition, they found, inter alia, the collar-bone and a so-called bud tooth of a few millimeters in size.

This is a new tooth hidden in the jaw which only emerges as an old tooth falls out.

Daily De Telegraaf again makes the mistake of calling the fossil a dinosaur. While mosasaurs are much closer related to, eg, monitor lizards of today then to dinosaurs.

Mosasaur discovered in Maastricht


Mosasaurus hofmanni

Yesterday, the natural history museum in Maastricht in the Netherlands did not yet want to say which huge fossil animal from the age of dinosaurs they had discovered near the local ENCI factory.

Today, at a press conference, there was more clarity.

They said it was a big mosasaur, probably a Mosasaurus hofmanni, or a closely related species.

Mosasaurus hofmanni was the first mosasaur ever discovered amidst much publicity in the eighteenth century, also in Maastricht. The original fossil was stolen from Maastricht by French soldiers, and brought to the Paris museum where it still is.

The fossil is 13 meter long, 68 million years old, and is called Carlo, after the ENCI worker who first discovered it.

A twitter message from the museum says that the skull of the newly discovered mosasaur (the only part of the animal recovered completely so far, though an important part) is about 10% bigger than the Paris specimen’s.

Dutch NOS TV says that probably, after the death of the mosasaur, scavenging sharks dispersed its remains. The search for other parts of the skeleton is still continuing.

Dinosaur age Dutch fossil discovery


This video is about mosasaurs.

Translated from Dutch news agency ANP:

Gigantic fossil found in Maastricht

19.09.12, 19:04

In the marl quarry near cement factory ENCI in Maastricht a huge fossil has been found. The monster is from the age of dinosaurs. The local Natural History Museum and the ENCI said so in Maastricht this Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the museum refused to say on Wednesday which prehistoric animal this concerns. She referred to a press conference Thursday in the ENCI quarry.

The museum says this is a “special find”. It is unclear yet whether this is a finding comparable to the mosasaur, found in Maastricht many years ago.

Maastricht was 65 million years ago covered by a shallow sea, the habitat of this ‘Tyrannosaurus of the sea’.

UPDATE: the fossil turned out to be a mosasaur. See here.

Wall lizards and mosasaur discovery


This video says about itself:

This is the first episode of the online video series from The Herparazzi.

Follow the Herparazzi team as they explore De Hoge Fronten, a collection of battlements that were built in the 17th and 18th century for the defense and protection of Maastricht, The Netherlands.

There, they found the last remaining and most northern natural population of wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) in The Netherlands.

The video also has information on prehistoric mosasaur lizards.

Wall lizard photo: here.

From the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada:

March 12, 2012 11:11 am

Mosasaur fossil found in Korite Mine

Drumheller… The 75-million-year-old fossil of a mosasaur, (MO-sa-sore) an extinct, flipper-bearing prehistoric marine reptile, was discovered at the Korite Mine near Lethbridge on February 16, 2012. Staff from the Royal Tyrrell Museum, led by palaeontologist Dr. Donald Henderson, are currently at the mine working on removal of
the fossil.

Originally it was thought that only the tail was present, but further investigation has revealed a full specimen, six to seven metres long, as well as a well-preserved skull, 60 to 70 cm long, with an impressive set of teeth. The discovery is significant as it is one of the most completely preserved mosasaur fossils discovered in Alberta.

The Korite Mine produces ammolite, a rare and valuable opal-like organic gemstone popular in jewelry. Ammolite is formed from fossilized, shell-bearing sea creatures called ammonites, which lived among the mosasaurs and other marine reptiles in the Bearpaw Sea that covered Alberta 75-73 million years ago.

In May of this year, the Museum’s new exhibit, “Alberta’s Last Sea Dragon – Solving an Ancient Puzzle” will feature a new species of elasmosaur, (ell-AZ-mo-sore) also found at the Korite Mine, in 2007. “It’s been almost five years since we’ve found a marine reptile at the Korite Mine,” says Andrew Neuman, Executive Director of the Royal Tyrrell Museum. “The Korite Mine and the Museum maintain a very positive relationship, which has led to the recovery of a number of significant fossils.”

It is expected that it will take five days to remove the fossil and ready it for transport to the Royal Tyrrell Museum for further study and research.

Operated by Alberta Culture and Community Services, the Royal Tyrrell Museum is located six kilometres northwest of Drumheller and is Canada’s only institution devoted exclusively to the science of palaeontology.

Restoration of an important biodiversity area: La Montagne Saint-Pierre (Belgium, near Maastricht): here.

Rare wallcreeper in the Netherlands


This video is called Videoscoping Wallcreepers (Tichodroma muraria) at nest in Tirolean Alps, Austria.

Wallcreepers are birds of high mountains in Europe and Asia.

Only rarely, they come to countries like the Netherlands.

Today, a wallcreeper is reported on the (not so high) Mount Saint Peter near Maastricht in the Netherlands (one of very few places in the Netherlands where eagle owls nest).

Photos are here.

See also here. And here. And here. And here.

Wallcreeper at the same spot in March 2012: here.

American-European land bridge for dinosaurs and mammals


Prosaurolophus, a duck-billed dinosaur

From the Google cache.

The ‘big’ cache looks like exhausted. However, I still can find some old logs using keywords (not that those keywords are necessarily in the lost and found logs …)

US-European land bridge for dinosaurs and mammals

Date: 12/30/05 at 7:36PM

Mood: Thinking Playing: I’m a little dinosaur, by Jonathan Richman

From the Contra Costa Times (USA):

Fri, Dec. 30, 2005

Marsupial tooth find bolsters land bridge

By Jackie Burrell

MORAGA – The recent discovery of a 66-million-year-old marsupial tooth in the Netherlands provides fresh proof that a land bridge connected the North American and European continents during the age of dinosaurs.

St. Mary’s College dean of science Judd Case and his colleague James Martin say the 2-millimeter fossil, which belongs to a newly discovered, extinct species similar to an opossum, suggests that dinosaurs and small marsupials not only lived in Europe at the same time, but also traveled the same trans-Atlantic migration route from South Dakota to the Netherlands.

“Wow,” said Case. “It changes what we know.”

Taken together with other, recent finds of North American-type duck-bill dinosaurs and certain types of snakes in Northern Europe, it appears that animals used temporary land bridges to travel across the high polar latitudes 10 million years earlier than paleontologists had thought.

The tooth may be tiny, said Case, but it will have a major impact on scientists’ views of Cretaceous climate, geography and life.

Amateur collectors Roland Meuris and Frans Smet were looking for shark tooth fossils in a quarry near Maastricht, Netherlands, in 2002 when they came across an intriguing rock sample from the Cretaceous period.

When Smet spotted what he thought were mammal teeth, he contacted the nearby Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht, which specializes in fossils.

His timing was perfect. James Martin was researching marine reptiles in Maastricht when the museum’s fossil experts asked his opinion of the small, odd tooth.

The South Dakota paleontologist had collaborated frequently with Case on dig projects.

The pair made headlines last year with a spectacular Antarctic dinosaur find.

And last January, Case published a paper on a startling new North American find — 75-million-year-old opossum-like marsupial fossils that were 20 million years older than expected.

Martin knew exactly what he was looking at in Maastricht.

“He said, ‘Wow!’” Case remembered.

“He told me where it’s from and when it’s from, and I said, ‘Wow!’”

Maastrichtidelphys meurismetiThe Netherlands discovery — dubbed Maastrichtidelphys meurismeti to honor collectors Meuris and Smet — fills an intriguing gap in the fossil record.

Scientists have long known that dinosaurs and small mammals co-existed during the so-called Dinosaur Age, but fossilized mammal skeletons are rare.

Most primitive mammal studies rely on teeth.

Using scanning electron microscopy to examine surface details, scientists can identify species with a single tooth.

In this case, the upper molar belonged to the new marsupial species found in Canada, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota — and now, the Netherlands.

But how did a mouse-sized creature cross the Atlantic Ocean?

Earth’s geography was very different back then, said Case.

The Atlantic was only half as wide. Sea levels were lower — and significantly lower at two points, around 71 and 67 million years ago.

And continents were connected. Case and Martin believe animals hopped from land mass to land mass above the 70-degree latitude line.

“Eastern Canada was attached to Greenland,” said Case.

“The Faroes were stuck on top of Great Britain and Great Britain was connected to the rest of Europe.

It had been felt that North American dinosaurs had made a one-time only entry into Europe — but no.”

The discovery of a North American marsupial and duck-billed dinosaurs in Maastricht indicates that the polar crossing was no chilly experiment, but a temperate migration path in a world filled with new, flowering plants.

“While the dinosaurs were munching on leaves, these little guys were probably eating insects and these new flowers,” said Case. “It’s co-evolution.”

Mien Minis-van de Geijn, ex director of the Maastricht museum, studied fossil sharks’ teeth.

THE ORIGIN OF AFRO-ARABIAN ‘DIDELPHIMORPHMARSUPIALS: here.

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