Horned dinosaur discovery in Utah, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

New big-nosed, horned-face dinosaur discovered in Utah

July 18, 2013

Researchers in Utah announced they had discovered a new dinosaur on Thursday. Known as Nasutoceratops, or ‘big-nose horned face’, it is unusual in its oversized nose and exceptionally long, curved horns over the eyes and its low, narrow blade-like horn above the nose.

Scientists said Nasutoceratops was a herbivore and would have fed on plants in its tropical, swampy surroundings. The fifteen foot-long beast is a smaller cousin of the Triceratops. The fossilized remains were found in 2006 in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument near the border with Arizona. Nasutoceratops is one of several species that have been found in this region of North America.

That was two years ago. And now …

By Lee Speigel in the USA:

New Horned Dinosaur Species Unearthed In Utah

The two-ton plant-eater Machairoceratops cronusi had four horns and lived 77 million years ago.

05/18/2016 07:53 pm ET

A new species of horned dinosaur has been unearthed by scientists in southern Utah.

Remains of the animal, named Machairoceratops cronusi, suggest it was about 26 feet long, weighed two tons and ate plants. The first traces were found a decade ago in an area rich with the remains of centrosaurines — large-bodied, plant-eating dinosaurs that roamed North America and Asia 77 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous period.

According to a scientific paper about the discovery in the PLOS ONE journal, “the specimen consists of two curved and elongate orbital horncores, … [and] a nearly complete, slightly deformed braincase.”  …

The new species was discovered by an international team of scientists conducting paleontological and geological surveys in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument of southern Utah.

It can take years for this kind of discovery to find its way to the public.

“The first parts of the specimen were discovered on the surface in 2006, but the full excavation was completed over two additional field seasons (in 2007 and 2009). Then, the process of doing the careful laboratory preparation took another couple of years,” study co-author Patrick O’Connor, a professor of anatomical sciences at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, told HuffPost in an email.

Professional excavators and volunteers from Ohio University and the Natural History Museum of Utah helped the team unearth the horncores and various other skull pieces. …

“An effort like this underscores both the necessity and excitement of basic, exploratory science in order to better understand the history of the world around us,” O’Connor said in a statement.

“Even in a place like western North America, where intense work has been conducted over the past 150 years, we are still finding species new to science,” O’Connor added. …

As it turns out, Machairoceratops is one of two new horned dinosaurs announced on Wednesday. A second one, found in Montana 10 years ago by an amateur fossil collector, was finally identified. Its name is Spiclypeus shipporum, or spiked shield.

Eric Lund, a member of the Utah team that discovered Machairoceratops, remarked on the unrelated announcement horning in on his group’s news.

“It’s true,” Lund told HuffPost in an email. “Today is the day of new horned dinosaurs. Still very exciting for the world of paleontology.”

New dinosaur species discovered ‘accidentally’


This video says about itself:

Judith’s Discovery—New Horned Dinosaur

18 May 2016

Once a dinosaur fossil is found, it’s quite a process to get the bones out of the ground and then prepare them for research and display. See how this was done for the horned dinosaur identified in 2016 at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Its scientific name is Spiclypeus shipporum. Its nickname is Judith, although we don’t know if it was female or male.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Novice fossil collector in Montana ‘accidentally’ discovers a new dinosaur species

A retired nuclear physicist made the ‘accidental’ discovery in 2005

Feliks Garcia, New York

An amateur Montana fossil hunter stumbled across a major discovery more than a decade ago when bones he found turned out to be a new species of dinosaur, researchers announced.

Retired nuclear physicist Bill Shipp discovered the leg bone for “Judith”,  known to scientists as Spiclypeus shipporum, after he hired an amateur paleontologist to teach him how to search for fossils, The Associated Press reports.

Judith, named for the Judith River rock formation near where it was found,  is believed to be a close family member of the more well known horned dinosaur, the triceratops, researchers said in a report published in the PLOS ONE scientific journal. It lived in what would become Montana nearly 7million [sic; about 76 million] years ago.

“I found it accidentally on purpose,” Mr Shipp told the AP. “I was actually looking for dinosaur bones, but with no expectation of actually finding any.”

Researchers found evidence of infection in the 15-foot, four ton plant-eater’s leg, that research[er] Jordan Mallon said would have left the animal vulnerable to predators.

“It’s an exciting story, because it’s a new species, and yet we have this sort of pathetic individual that suffered throughout its lifetime,” Mr Mallon, a paleontologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, said.

“If you’re hobbling along on three limbs, you’re probably not going to be able to keep up with the herd.”

Pre-dinosaur footprint discovery in Spain


This video about Spain is called Hiker gets the shock of his life after stumbling across 230 million-year-old [pre-]dinosaur footprint.

By Lee Moran:

Hiker Happens Upon Prehistoric Footprint Of 230-Million-Year-Old Reptile

The fossil features details of the dinosaur-like creature’s claw and skin.

05/03/2016 08:38 am ET

It’s a trek that they’ll never forget.

A hiker walking in hills near Barcelona, northeastern Spain, stumbled upon a fossilized footprint believed to belong to a reptile-like ancestor of the dinosaurs. The extinct creature, called Isochirotherium, roamed the Earth during the Middle Triassic period some 230 million years ago.

It’s the “best preserved print ever found in the Iberian Peninsula,” reports the Spanish news agency EFE.

Catalonia’s autonomous regional government confirmed the find on Monday. It was discovered near Olesa de Montserrat, 25 miles north of Barcelona, on Apr. 22.

Olesa de Montserrat town council made a plaster cast of the print, according to the local newspaper La Vanguardia. The regional Department of Culture’s archaeology and paleontology service is examining the fossilized print.

Eudald Mujal, a paleontologist at Barcelona’s Autonomous University, said it was “exceptionally well preserved” and even “retains details of claw and skin.”

He told The Local that the now Isochirotherium was part of the archosaur group of animals. They were “similar to crocodiles, of quadrupedal gait, but with longer limbs,” and a more erect posture Mujal, said. 

Mammoth fur, excrement in Dutch museum


This is a 29 April 2016 video from Naturalis museum in Leiden, the Netherlands. It shows pieces of woolly mammoth fur and excrement arriving in the collection, all the way from the permafrost in Siberia.

Extinct whale’s tooth discovery on Australian beach


This video says about itself:

19 January 2015

In this short animation, produced for primary school children by Green.TV, supported by the Wellcome Trust, we look at the remarkable evolution of the whale from a land-based dog-like animal to the marine mammal that became the world’s largest ever creature.

From the Times of India:

Extinct whale’s 1 foot long tooth found on Australian beach

Subodh Varma | TNN | Apr 22, 2016, 04.21 PM IST

NEW DELHI: An Australian fossil enthusiast discovered a giant tooth of an ancient sperm whale that used to roam the seas five million years ago, munching up fish and even other whales. Murray Orr discovered the tooth at a beach at Beaumaris Bay near Melbourne, known for its vast trove of fossils. Orr immediately donated the fossil to Museum Victoria for further study.

The fossilised tooth is 30 centimetres (one foot) long and weighs three kilograms. This makes it larger than that of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

“After I found the tooth I just sat down and stared at it in disbelief,” Murray Orr said after the find was announced on Thursday by Museum Victoria, reports AFP.

“I knew this was an important find that needed to be shared with everyone.”

After studying the giant tooth, Museum Victoria said that it came from an extinct species of “killer sperm whale” which would have measured up to 18 metres (60 feet) in length and weighed some 40,000 kilograms.

“Until this find at Beaumaris all fossils of giant killer sperm whales were found on the west coast of South and North America,” Erich Fitzgerald, a paleontologist at the museum, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The museum said the tooth dates from the Pliocene epoch of some five million years ago and it was larger than those of sperm whales living today.

It is thought that these extict killer sperm whales deployed their massive teeth to munch on large animals, including fellow whales, unlike today’s sperm whales that eat a diet of squid and fish.

“If we only had today’s deep-diving, squid-sucking sperm whales to go on, we could not predict that just five million years ago there were giant predatory sperm whales with immense teeth that hunted other whales,” Fitzgerald said in a statement, AFP reported.

“Most sperm whales for the past 20 million years have been of the whale-killing kind. So, the fossil record reveals the living species to in fact be the exception to the rule, the oddball of the sperm whale family.”

‘Dinosaur decline already before mass extinction’


This video from Britain says about itself:

Dinosaurs in decline BEFORE asteroid apocalypse

18 April 2016

Dinosaurs were already in an evolutionary decline tens of millions of years before the asteroid impact that finally wiped them out, scientists from the University of Reading and University of Bristol have found. Read more here.

Dr Manabu Sakamoto and Dr Chris Venditti, University of Reading, explain more.

This research was published on 18 April 2016 in the journal PNAS.

Filming took place in the Cole Museum of Zoology, University of Reading.

Asteroid animation courtesy of NASA.

See also here.

North American mammoths, new study


This video says about itself:

1 December 2014

Woolly Mammoth: The Autopsy

Science Documentary hosted by Steven Mackintosh, published by Channel 4 in 2014 – English narration

The 2013 discovery in Siberia of the best-preserved mammoth yet has quickened the pace of one of the most ambitious and controversial projects in science: the cloning of the woolly mammoth. This one is unlike any mammoth found before; when it was dug out of the permafrost, a dark red liquid oozed from the frozen body. Speculation is rife: could the liquid be mammoth blood? And does the freshness of the mammoth’s flesh mean that a clone is now achievable?

This documentary follows an international team of mammoth specialists and cloning scientists as they carry out a historic autopsy in Siberia, and follows those who strive to bring these iconic giants of the Ice Age back from extinction. As the animal is carefully dissected and its tusks are examined, the programme reveals the life story of this mammoth in forensic detail.

From Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution:

Mammuthus Population Dynamics in Late Pleistocene North America: Divergence, Phylogeography and Introgression

06 April 2016

After evolving in Africa at the close of the Miocene, mammoths (Mammuthus sp.) spread through much of the northern hemisphere, diversifying morphologically as they entered various habitats. Paleontologically, these morphs are conventionally recognized as species.

In Pleistocene North America alone, several mammoth species have been recognized, inhabiting environments as different as cold tundra-steppe in the north and the arid grasslands or temperate savanna-parklands of the south. Yet mammoth phylogeographic studies have overwhelmingly focused on permafrost-preserved remains of only one of these species, Mammuthus primigenius (woolly mammoth).

Here we challenge this bias by performing a geographically and taxonomically wide survey of mammoth genetic diversity across North America. Using a targeted enrichment technique, we sequenced 67 complete mitochondrial genomes from non-primigenius specimens representing M. columbi (Columbian mammoth), M. jeffersonii (Jeffersonian mammoth), and M. exilis (pygmy mammoth), including specimens from contexts not generally associated with good DNA preservation.

While we uncovered clear phylogeographic structure in mammoth matrilines, their phylogeny as recovered from mitochondrial DNA is not compatible with existing systematic interpretations of their paleontological record. Instead, our results strongly suggest that various nominal mammoth species interbred, perhaps extensively.

We hypothesize that at least two distinct stages of interbreeding between conventional paleontological species are likely responsible for this pattern – one between Siberian woolly mammoths and resident American populations that introduced woolly mammoth phenotypes to the continent, and another between ecomorphologically distinct populations of woolly and Columbian mammoths in North America south of the ice.