Biggest dinosaur ever discovered


This video from the American Museum of Natural History in the USA says about itself:

14 January 2016

Measuring 122 feet, the Museum’s new exhibit, The Titanosaur, is big–so big that its head extends outside of the Museum’s fourth-floor gallery where it is now on permanent display.

This species of dinosaur, a giant herbivore that belongs to a group known as titanosaurs, is so new that it has not yet been formally named by the paleontologists who discovered it. The Titanosaur lived in the forests of today’s Patagonia about 100 to 95 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous period, and weighed 70 tons. It is one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered.

The fossils on which this cast is based were excavated in the Patagonian desert region of Argentina by a team from the Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio led by José Luis Carballido and Diego Pol, who received his Ph.D. at the American Museum of Natural History.

In this video, Dr. Mark Norell, chair and Macaulay Curator in the Division of Paleontology, describes how such a massive animal could have supported its own weight and why the Titanosaur is one of the more spectacular finds during what he describes as “the golden age of paleontology.”

Learn more about the Titanosaur here.

Then, this dinosaur had no official name yet. Now, it has: Patagotitan mayorum.

It was about 40 meter long, making it the biggest land animal ever.

The discovery was by scientists of the Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio (MEF) in Argentina.

From Proceedings of the Royal Society B:

A new giant titanosaur sheds light on body mass evolution among sauropod dinosaurs

José L. Carballido, Diego Pol, Alejandro Otero, Ignacio A. Cerda, Leonardo Salgado, Alberto C. Garrido, Jahandar Ramezani, Néstor R. Cúneo, Javier M. Krause

Published 9 August 2017

Abstract

Titanosauria was the most diverse and successful lineage of sauropod dinosaurs. This clade had its major radiation during the middle Early Cretaceous and survived up to the end of that period. Among sauropods, this lineage has the most disparate values of body mass, including the smallest and largest sauropods known.

Although recent findings have improved our knowledge on giant titanosaur anatomy, there are still many unknown aspects about their evolution, especially for the most gigantic forms and the evolution of body mass in this clade.

Here we describe a new giant titanosaur, which represents the largest species described so far and one of the most complete titanosaurs. Its inclusion in an extended phylogenetic analysis and the optimization of body mass reveals the presence of an endemic clade of giant titanosaurs inhabited Patagonia between the Albian and the Santonian. This clade includes most of the giant species of titanosaurs and represents the major increase in body mass in the history of Titanosauria.

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Troodon dinosaurs, new research


This video is called Troodon: Dinosaur Genius.

From the University of Alberta in Canada:

Dino hips discovery unravels species riddle

Finding opens door for dozens of new species to be discovered

August 8, 2017

New research from University of Alberta paleontologists shows one of North America’s most broadly identified dinosaur species, Troodon formosus, is no longer a valid classification, naming two others in its stead. The discovery by graduate student Aaron van der Reest leaves North America’s paleontology community in upheaval.

In June 2014, van der Reest discovered an intact troodontid pelvis in Dinosaur Provincial Park, leading him to take a closer look at previously collected troodontid cranial bones from southern Alberta.

“That’s when everything fell together and we were able to confirm that there were in fact two different species in the Dinosaur Park Formation, instead of just one,” said van der Reest.

He named one of the new species Latenivenatrix mcmasterae and resurrected another, Stenonychosaurus inequalis.

Setting the record straight

Up until then, the vast majority of troodontid specimens found in North America had been classified as Troodon formosus.

“Troodon formosus has been found from Mexico all the way to Alaska, spanning a 15 million year period — a fantastic and unlikely feat,” explained van der Reest, a graduate student of paleontologist Philip Currie.

“The hips we found could ultimately open the door for dozens of new species to be discovered,” said van der Reest. “Researchers with other specimens now have two new species for comparison, widening our ability to understand the Troodontid family tree in North America.”

Aside from being a new species, Latenivenatrix is in a league of its own.

“This new species is the largest of the troodontids ever found anywhere in the world, standing nearly two metres at the head and close to 3.5 metres long,” van der Reest said. “It’s about fifty per cent larger than any other troodontids previously known, making it one of the largest deinonychosaurs (raptor like dinosaurs) we currently recognize.”

Personal connection

For van der Reest, naming a new dinosaur species has been an especially powerful experience. He has named his discovery Latenivenatrix mcmasterae, or L. mcmasterae, in honour of his late mother, Lynne (McMaster) van der Reest, whose encouragement was essential for his pursuit of paleontology.

“Having brought my first find full circle, from discovery to publishing my research three years later, has been really incredible,” he explained. “I can’t think of a better way to honour her memory.”

The paper “Troodontids (Theropoda) from the Dinosaur Park Formation, Alberta, with a description of a unique new taxon: implications for deinonychosaur diversity in North America” is published in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.

Dinosaur age snails discovered near Prado museum, Spain


This video says about itself:

1 August 2015

Concavenator” is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 130 million years ago during the early Cretaceous period. The type species is “C. corcovatus”. “Concavenator corcovatus” means “hump backed hunter from Cuenca”. The fossil was discovered in the Las Hoyas fossil site of Spain by paleontologists José Luis Sanz, Francisco Ortega and Fernando Escaso from the Autonomous University of Madrid and the National University of Distance Learning.

“Concavenator” was a medium-sized primitive carcharodontosaurian dinosaur possessing several unique features. Two extremely tall vertebrae in front of the hips formed a tall but narrow and pointed crest on the dinosaur’s back. The function of such crests is currently unknown. Paleontologist Roger Benson from Cambridge University speculated that one possibility is that “it is analogous to head-crests used in visual displays”, but the Spanish scientists who discovered it noted it could also be a thermal regulator.

Additionally, the forelimb of “Concavenator” preserved evidence of what may be quill knobs or homologous structures, an anatomical feature so far known only in animals with large, quilled feathers on the forelimb.

“Concavenator” had structures resembling quill knobs on its forearm, a feature known only in birds and other feathered theropods, such as “Velociraptor“. Quill knobs are created by ligaments which attach to the feather follicle, and since scales do not form from follicles, the authors ruled out the possibility that they could indicate the presence of long display scales on the arm. Instead, the knobs probably anchored simple, hollow, quill-like structures. Such structures are known both in coelurosaurs such as “Dilong” and in some ornithischians like “Tianyulong” and “Psittacosaurus“.

If the ornithischian quills are homologous with bird feathers, their presence in an allosauroid like “Concavenator” would be expected. However, if ornithischian quills are not related to feathers, the presence of these structures in “Concavenator” would show that feathers had begun to appear in earlier, more primitive forms than coelurosaurs. Feathers or related structures would then likely be present in the first members of the clade Neotetanurae, which lived in the Middle Jurassic. No impressions of any kind of integument were found near the arm, although extensive scale impressions were preserved on other portions of the body, including broad, rectangular scales on the underside of the tail, bird-like scutes on the feet, and plantar pads on the undersides of the feet.

Some amount of skepticism exists among experts about the validity of the interpretation that the ulna bumps represent quill knobs, though a more detailed analysis has not yet been published. Darren Naish of the blog Tetrapod Zoology speculates that the bumps would have been unusually far up and irregularly spaced for quill knobs. He additionally pointed out that many animals have similar structures along intermuscular lines that act as tendon attachment points among other things. This dissent has been supported by Christian Foth and others.

From FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology:

Cretaceous snails conceal themselves in monuments in Madrid

August 3, 2017

The fountains standing next to the Museo del Prado are built using a sedimentary rock full of gastropod shells from the time of the dinosaurs. These fossils have revealed the origin of the stone: forgotten quarries in Redueña, in the province of Madrid, where the building material for the Fountain of Apollo and the Palacio de las Cortes also came from.

In the Fountain of Apollo stone (shown in the image) and the four fountains facing the Museo del Prado, the Trochactaeon lamarcki fossils, a species of gastropod which lived around 85 million years ago, are easily seen. Credit: D.M. Freire-Lista /IGEO

In the Fountain of Apollo stone (shown in the image) and the four fountains facing the Museo del Prado, the Trochactaeon lamarcki fossils, a species of gastropod which lived around 85 million years ago, are easily seen. Credit: D.M. Freire-Lista /IGEO

The tourists who visit the Museo del Prado can take the opportunity to see fossils of snails that lived alongside dinosaurs millions of years ago. They are embedded in the stone of four small fountains designed by the architect Ventura Rodríguez in the 18th century, which stand next to the art gallery.

Now, researchers from the Institute of Geosciences (IGEO, a CSIC-UCM joint centre) have discovered the old quarries where the rock was extracted in order to sculpt these fountains and other monuments in Madrid. The study was published in the journal AIMS Geosciences.

“These quarries, lost over a century ago, are located in Redueña in the province of Madrid,” according to David M. Freire-Lista, one of the authors: “Here the geological formation of the dolomite (a sedimentary rock similar to limestone) known as Castrojimeno presents characteristic features, such as a layer containing fossils that do not appear in other areas.”

Specifically, numerous gastropod fossils (measuring up to 2.5 cm) of the species Trochactaeon lamarcki, which lived in the Upper Cretaceous approximately 85 million years ago, were identified in the fountain stone, which has proven key for dating and tracing the origin of the rocks.

Through historical documents and direct observation, the researchers then confirmed that they are the same quarries which supplied the stone used to construct the jambs, lintels and mantelpieces in the Palacio de las Cortes, where the Spanish Parliament sits.

The same material was also used to build the Fountain of Apollo, located in the Paseo del Prado between the most famous fountains, Neptune and Cybele, whose terrazzo stone was also from Redueña -according to the original plans drawn up by Ventura Rodríguez-, although over time it was replaced by another.

“The dolomite from Redueña containing gastropods was highly used in monuments dating back to the 18th century due to its light colour, ease of carving, and the proximity to Madrid,” points out Freire-Lista. “Its petrographic and petrophysical properties, being of particular note its low solubility and porosity, lend it an excellent quality and durability for use in places where water is present, such as these fountains,” he adds.

Nevertheless, the researchers warn that the passage of time affects even the most resistant stones, and they consider it necessary to carry out petrophysical studies, using non-destructive techniques, to determine the degree of deterioration of the monuments and to take measures for their successful conservation.

200 million years of geological history in the Trinitarians

In another study published in the journal Ge-conservación, the same authors analysed the material used to construct the Convento de las Trinitarias Descalzas de San Ildefonso in Madrid, where the remains of Miguel de Cervantes lie, and they have also found Cretaceous dolomite (in this instance Tamajón-Redueña stone, without gastropods) in the coats of arms and low reliefs on the church’s façade.

“This convent is constructed using the four traditional building stones most representative of the capital: flint, granite, Cretaceous dolomite and Miocene limestone, and the presence of these four on its façade makes it a showcase of the last 200 million years of geological history of the region of Madrid,” concludes the researcher.

Dinosaur bone discovered at Colorado, USA bike trail


This video from the USA says about itself:

Part 1: Triceratops femur excavation, Baker, Montana

29 July 2014

On a private ranch, purchased from owner.

These two videos arte the sequels.

From KUSA-TV in the USA:

Man planning bike trail finds dinosaur bones instead

Miles Moraitis, KUSA

4:33 PM. MDT August 02, 2017

Imagine hiking on a trail and stumbling upon dinosaur bones. Well that’s exactly what happened to a Colorado land management official when he was walking and planning out the new Palisade Plunge bike trail near Grand Junction.

In April, Chris Pipkin of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was surveying the new Palisade trail. He saw something strange in a boulder about five feet off the trail. Curious, he took a photo and sent it to his colleague Eric Eckberg. He confirmed it was indeed a dinosaur bone.

Eckberg is a geologist and paleontology coordinator for the BLM in Grand Junction. Upon receiving the photo, he mobilized a group of local paleontologists and even some BLM interns to help excavate the bone.

“It’s in remarkably good shape for something that’s roughly 80 million years old,” Eckberg said.

The bone is two feet long and about two inches around.

Eckberg says it likely belonged to a hadrosaur — a group of dinosaurs known for their duck-bills. Their bones have been found before in this area.

“It’s kind of one of those career defining moments for me in a way,” Eckberg said. “You don’t get to go and extract a dinosaur bone that often.”

The bone will now head to the Museum of West Denver. Experts will take a look at it and try to determine exactly what dinosaur it came from. They could even figure out how the dinosaur died.

That process takes a while though. The museum doesn’t expect the bone to go on display for at least a couple months.

Little boy corrects museum’s dinosaur mistake


This video from England says about itself:

Boy spots Natural History Museum dinosaur gaffe – BBC News

28 July 2017

The Natural History Museum has admitted one of its dinosaurs was “wrong”, after a 10-year-old boy spotted the error.

Charlie Edwards, from Canvey Island, Essex, noticed an incorrect image on a sign about Oviraptors.

His mother Jade Edwards said that due to his Asperger syndrome, he “will try and find out everything” about a subject when he likes it.

The museum was “very impressed with Charlie’s knowledge,” a spokesman said, and the sign will be corrected.

New dinosaur species discovered in Alberta, Canada


This video says about itself:

‘Stalker’ Velociraptor Relative Sported Feathers, Serrated Teeth

17 July 2017

About 71 million years ago, a feathered dinosaur that was too big to fly rambled through parts of North America, likely using its serrated teeth to gobble down meat and veggies, a new study finds.

The newly named paleo-beast is a type of troodontid, a bird-like, bipedal dinosaur that’s a close relation of Velociraptor. Researchers named it Albertavenator curriei, in honor of the Canadian province where it was found (Alberta), its stalking proclivity (venator is Latin for “hunter”) and Philip Currie, a renowned Canadian paleontologist.

“The delicate bones of these small feathered dinosaurs are very rare,” lead study researcher David Evans, the senior curator of vertebrate palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum, said in a statement. “We were lucky to have a critical piece of the skull that allowed us to distinguish Albertavenator as a new species.”

From the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada:

New species of dinosaur named after Canadian icon

Dinosaur species from Alberta

July 17, 2017

Summary: A new species of troodontid theropod dinosaur identified, Albertavenator curriei, named after renowned Canadian palaeontologist Dr. Philip J. Currie. Palaeontologists initially thought that the bones of Albertavenator belonged to its close relative Troodon, which lived around 76-million-years-ago. This new species of troodontid in the Late Cretaceous of North America indicates that small dinosaur diversity in the latest Cretaceous of North America is likely underestimated due to the difficulty of identifying species from fragmentary fossils.

Scientists from the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Philip J Currie Dinosaur Museum have identified and named a new species of dinosaur in honour of renowned Canadian palaeontologist Dr. Philip J. Currie. Albertavenator curriei, meaning “Currie’s Alberta hunter.” It stalked Alberta, Canada, about 71 million years ago in what is now the famous Red Deer River Valley. The find recognizes Currie for his decades of work on predatory dinosaurs of Alberta. Research on the new species is published July 17 in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.

Palaeontologists initially thought that the bones of Albertavenator belonged to its close relative Troodon, which lived around 76-million-years-ago — five million years before Albertavenator. Both dinosaurs walked on two legs, were covered in feathers, and were about the size of a person. New comparisons of bones forming the top of the head reveal that Albertavenator had a distinctively shorter and more robust skull than Troodon, its famously brainy relative.

“The delicate bones of these small feathered dinosaurs are very rare. We were lucky to have a critical piece of the skull that allowed us to distinguish Albertaventaor as a new species.” said Dr. David Evans, Temerty Chair and Senior Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum, and leader of the project. “We hope to find a more complete skeleton of Albertavenator in the future, as this would tell us so much more about this fascinating animal.”

Identifying new species from fragmentary fossils is a challenge. Complicating matters of this new find are the hundreds of isolated teeth that have been found in Alberta and previously attributed to Troodon. Teeth from a jaw that likely pertains to Albertavenator appears very similar to the teeth of Troodon, making them unusable for distinguishing between the two species.

“This discovery really highlights the importance of finding and examining skeletal material from these rare dinosaurs,” concluded Derek Larson, co-author on the study and Assistant Curator of the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum.”

The identification of a new species of troodontid in the Late Cretaceous of North America indicates that small dinosaur diversity in the latest Cretaceous of North America is likely underestimated due to the difficulty of identifying species from fragmentary fossils.

“It was only through our detailed anatomical and statistical comparisons of the skull bones that we were able to distinguish between Albertavenator and Troodon,” said Thomas Cullen, a Ph.D. student of Evans at the University of Toronto and co-author of the study.

The bones of Albertavenator were found in the badlands surrounding the Royal Tyrrell Museum, which Dr. Currie played a key role in establishing in the early 1980s. The rocks around the museum are the same age as some of the most fossiliferous rocks in the area of the newly erected Philip J. Currie Museum, also named in Dr. Currie’s honour. Although Dr. Currie has also had several dinosaurs named after him, this is only the second one from Alberta, where he has made his biggest impact.

The fossils of Albertavenator studied by Evans and his team are housed in the collections of the Royal Tyrrell Museum. This is another example of a new species of dinosaur being discovered by re-examining museum research collections, which continually add to our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth. This study suggests that more detailed studies of fragmentary fossils may reveal additional, currently unrecognized, species.

Spinosaur dinosaurs, new study


This 2015 video says about itself:

Today we talk about my favorite dinosaur: Spinosaurus! We will talk about topics like: Who would win in a fight, Spinosaurus or T-rex? and What did the real spino look like?

From Acta Geologica Sinica in China:

A Century of Spinosaurs – A Review and Revision of the Spinosauridae with Comments on Their Ecology

June 2017

About the first author: HONE David William Elliott: Male; born in 1978 in London, UK; PhD; Lecturer in Zoology, Queen Mary University of London. He is interested in the study of sexual selection and behaviour in the fossil record.

Abstract

The spinosaurids represent an enigmatic and highly unusual form of large tetanuran theropods that were first identified in 1915. A recent flurry of discoveries and taxonomic revisions of this important and interesting clade has added greatly to our knowledge. Spinosaur body fossils are however generally rare and most species are known from only limited skeletal remains. Their unusual anatomical adaptations to the skull, limbs and axial column all differ from other large theropods and point to an unusual ecological niche and a lifestyle intimately linked to water.