Paleontology 

Sphenodontian Fossil from Ancient Gondwana Found in Brazil

A Clevosaurus hadroprodon fossil, recently discovered in Brazil, is the oldest known sphenodontian from Gondwana, the ancient supercontinent. By Jacqueline Mattos A new reptile fossil was recently discovered in Brazil, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports and describes the species Clevosaurus hadroprodon, which has turned out to be the oldest fossil of its kind from what was formerly Gondwana—the ancient supercontinent that split up into Africa, South America, Australia, Antarctica, the Indian subcontinent, and the Arabian Peninsula. The…

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Paleontology 

Did Plant-Eating Dinosaurs Have Cheeks?

By Ali Nabavizadeh (@Vert_Anatomist) Above: Comparison of previous head muscle reconstruction (on left, showing hypothetical “cheek” muscle) and new head muscle reconstruction (on right) in the horned ceratopsian dinosaur Triceratops. Modified from Nabavizadeh (2018). An animal’s anatomy can tell us a lot about how it lived, including how it moved, how it ate, how it breathed, and just about any other physiological process involving morphology. In studying modern vertebrates, performing dissections is essential for understanding anatomical similarities and differences between various species and what these comparisons can tell us about…

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Dinosaurs of Ghost Ranch Paleontology Science Videos Zoology 

Shelf Life Video: The Dinosaurs of Ghost Ranch

Dinosaurs’ fossils have attracted paleontologists to the Badlands of Ghost Ranch, NM, since 1881. Here, they have found the best place to find early carnivorous dinosaurs in the world. This video is another in the Shelf Life series from the American Museum of Natural History.   After being unearthed, dinosaurs’ bones are very delicate, and paleontologists need to take really good care of them. Once they are safely brought to the Museum of Natural History, they are ready to be analyzed. By looking at dinosaurs’ fossils, researchers can figure out…

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Velociraptor © Emily Willoughby Paleontology 

Velociraptor Needs Your Help

By Emily Willoughby @eawilloughby Velociraptor! The name strikes excitement into the hearts of dinosaur enthusiasts far and wide, just as the coyote-sized predator’s fearsome visage would’ve excited its contemporaries. Oviraptor, Protoceratops, Pinacosaurus and many others lived alongside this dromaeosaur in the windswept deserts of Mongolia in the late Cretaceous period, about 71 to 75 million years ago. Its ecosystem occupied a region of today’s Gobi Desert known as the Flaming Cliffs, a veritable hotbed of fossils valuable to local markets and to science alike. Thanks to the little fellow’s charisma…

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The Art of Scientific Illustration Paleontology 

Discovering Dakotaraptor Steini

By Featured Guest David Blagic David is a young, amateur paleontologist and student of vertebrate paleontology. He lives in Mladenovac, Serbia. At 14 years old, he enjoys writing on the behavior, morphology, phylogeny, and evolution of dinosaurs, particularly Theropods such as Maniraptorans and Carnosaurs. Connect with him on Google Plus or YouTube. Dakotaraptor steini Dakotaraptor steini is a newly discovered species of dromaeosaurid dinosaur. First remains of this species were discovered in 2005, in the Hell Creek Formation, but it has officially been named only this year. Dakotaraptor steini was about 6…

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The Art of Scientific Illustration Paleontology Science and Art Zoology 

Dakotaraptor: Giant Raptor Straight Out of Hell Creek

By Emily Willoughby For centuries, dinosaurs have captured the public’s imagination through their massive proportions and power, and their ancestral connection to birds has more recently brought a new fascination to paleontology. But when a newly discovered dinosaur is both huge and covered in feathers, it becomes the stuff of legend—a true dragon shaped by evolution instead of mythos. Meet Dakotaraptor steini, one of the largest “raptor” dinosaurs known to science. This 17-foot-long predator was described by Robert DePalma, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Palm Beach Museum of Natural…

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Dinosaur fossils: The entrance to New Mexico’s Ghost Ranch in 1947, the year Edwin Colbert discovered the Coelophysis quarry. ©AMNH Paleontology Science Videos 

Dinosaur Fossils of Ghost Ranch

In more than a century of fossil collecting, paleontologists from the American Museum of Natural History have unearthed fossils from every corner of the globe. But there are some sites so fruitful in dinosaur fossils that they are visited again and again by the Museum’s fossil hunters, with each generation turning up new and unexpected finds. One of those sites is New Mexico’s Ghost Ranch, home to four quarries that paleontologists from the Museum have excavated for decades. The remains of animals from the Triassic era, including dinosaurs, reptiles, and…

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