Oviraptor dinosaur discovery in China


This video from China ays about itself:

10 November 2016

A newly discovered species of dinosaur has been identified from an extraordinarily complete fossil almost destroyed by dynamite.

Preserved raising its beaked head, with feathered wings outstretched, in the mud it was mired in when it died 72 million years ago, it was one of the last surviving dinosaurs in Asia.

From Science News:

Dragon dinosaur met a muddy end

Feathered oviraptorosaurs surged at the end of the age of dinosaurs

By Meghan Rosen

9:00am, November 10, 2016

A bizarre new birdlike dino was part of an evolutionary extravaganza at the end of the age of dinosaurs. And it was a real stick-in-the-mud, too.

Construction workers blasted Tongtianlong limosus out of the Earth near Ganzhou in southern China. “They very nearly blew this thing to smithereens,” says paleontologist Stephen Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

The find is one of six oviraptorosaur species discovered from roughly the same place and time — around 72 million to 66 million years ago. Like its feathered cousins, Tongtianlong walked on two legs and had a sharp beak. But each species had distinct skeletal quirks.

Tongtianlong, for one, had a bony, domelike crest on its skull. Oviraptorosaurs were churning out lots of new species during the last stage of the Cretaceous Period, Brusatte says. Tongtianlong was part of “the final wave of dinosaur diversification before the asteroid came down and ended everything.”

This particular fossilized animal lies in a bed of reddish-purple mudstone, preserved in an unusually awkward position: head stuck out, neck arched, wings outspread. It may have died after a desperate struggle to free itself from mud, researchers suggest November 10 in Scientific Reports. That’s actually how the dinosaur gets its name: Tongtianlong limosus is a mix of Chinese Pinyin and Latin meaning “muddy dragon on the road to heaven.”

First ever dinosaur’s brain found on English beach


This video says about itself:

First Ever Dinosaur Brain Has Been Found In The UK

27 October 2016

A brown pebble found in Sussex 10 years ago is actually the fossilised brain of a dinosaur thought to have lived 133 million years ago, scientists have revealed.

It is the first time anyone has seen what a dinosaur brain looked like as no other fossils have been found.

And the researchers said the discovery raised the tantalising prospect that the creature, believed to be a species similar to an Iguanodon, may have had an unexpectedly large brain.

Read more here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Petrified dinosaur brain found on beach

Friday 28th October 2016

A “PEBBLE” picked up on a Sussex beach 10 years ago has been confirmed as the first known example of a dinosaur’s brain.

An analysis by Cambridge University’s earth sciences department believes that the petrified brain — which retains impressions of blood vessels, collagen and the outer layer of the cortex — came from a large plant-eating dinosaur, possibly Iguanodon, the first dinosaur to be named.

It was found by fossil hunter Jamie Hiscocks, who initially tried to bag £750,000 for it from London’s Natural History Museum, which turned him down.

Dr David Norman, who worked on the brain, says it was “pickled” in an acidic low-oxygen environment such as a swamp.

He says it cannot tell us much about how clever dinosaurs were but hopes it will be “the first of many such discoveries.”

Read more here.

The scientific description of this discovery is here.

Valdosaurus dinosaur, well-preserved fossil found in England


This video says about itself:

2 September 2015

Dryosaurus” is a genus of an ornithopod dinosaur that lived in the Late Jurassic period. It was an iguanodont. Fossils have been found in the western United States, and were first discovered in the late 19th century. “Valdosaurus canaliculatus” and “Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki” were both formerly considered to represent species of “Dryosaurus”.

“Dryosaurus” had a long neck, long, slender legs and a long, stiff tail. Its arms, however, with five fingers on each hand, were short. Known specimens were about 8 to 14 feet long and weighed 170 to 200 pounds. However, the adult size is unknown, as no known adult specimens of the genus have been found.

“Dryosaurus” had a horny beak and cheek teeth and, like other ornithopods, was a herbivore. Some scientists suggest that it had cheek-like structures to prevent the loss of food while the animal processed it in the mouth.

A quick and agile runner with strong legs, “Dryosaurus” used its stiff tail as a counterbalance. It probably relied on its speed as a main defense against carnivorous dinosaurs.

The teeth of “Dryosaurus” were, according to museum curator John Foster, characterized by “a strong median ridge on the lateral surface.” “Dryosaurus” subsisted primarily on low growing vegetation in ancient floodplains.

A “Dryosaurus” hatchling found at Dinosaur National Monument in Utah confirmed that “Dryosaurus” followed similar patterns of craniofacial development to other vertebrates; the eyes were proportionally large while young and the muzzle proportionally short. As the animal grew, its eyes became proportionally smaller and its snout proportionally longer.

By Pete Buchholz in Britain:

A specimen of the dryosaurid Valdosaurus has been discovered on the Isle of Wight

The most complete specimen of the poorly known dryosaurid Valdosaurus canaliculatus has been discovered in Lower Cretaceous rocks on the Isle of Wight. This new discovery helps flesh out the anatomy of this dinosaur and is one of the most complete dinosaur specimens known from England.

The Isle of Wight off the south coast of England is a fossil-hunter’s paradise. Rocks of the Wessex Formation, deposited during the Early Cretaceous, approximately 130 million years ago, are exposed in numerous locations across the island. The Wessex Formation preserves numerous fish, turtles, crocodilians, and pterosaurs. It also has a rather famous dinosaur fauna, including the spinosaurid Baryonyx, the early tyrannosaur Eotyrannus, a number of fragmentary sauropods, and the ornithopods Iguanodon, Mantellisaurus, Hypsilophodon, and Valdosaurus.

Psittacosaurus dinosaur’s camouflage colours discovered


This video from Germany says about itself:

3D camouflage in an ornithischian dinosaur

16 September 2016

We sat down in the Senckenberg Museum, Frankfurt, with Dr Jakob Vinther, University of Bristol, to examine the colour patterns of Psittacosaurus. This exquisite fossil has its skin preserved intact and so we’re able to make inferences about the environment in which it used to live.

Paper available here.

From Current Biology, 26 September 2016:

3D Camouflage in an Ornithischian Dinosaur

In Brief

Countershading camouflage uses a dark-to-light gradient from back to belly to counter the light-to-dark gradient created by illumination. The body appears flatter and less conspicuous.

Vinther et al. use 3D reconstruction and radiance modeling to show that the dinosaur Psittacosaurus was countershaded and cryptic in a forested environment.

Highlights

Preserved pigments in the dinosaur Psittacosaurus suggest countershading camouflage

We predicted the optimal countershading camouflage for different light environments

The dinosaur’s patterns would have been cryptic in a forest, but not open, habitat

We can also infer that dinosaur predators used shape-from-shading cues to detect prey

See also here.

Tyrannosaurus rex in Dutch museum, video


This 9 September 2016 Dutch video shows Tyrannosaurus rex fossil Trix, which arrived recently in Naturalis museum in Leiden in the Netherlands.

Tyrannosaurus rex Trix in Dutch Naturalis museum


This 9 September 2016 video shows Tyrannosaurus rexTrix‘ after her arrival in Naturalis museum in Leiden in the Netherlands.