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Found 61 results

  1. Placement of terrestrial formations in the late cretaceous of North America as been constantly evolving and in October 2016 Denver Fowler a Paleontologist at the Museum of the Rockies published a very extensive paper on the subject and updated most units. This is very important when it comes to understanding dinosaur evolution and aids in describing species. This paper is in the process of going through peer review so is subject to change. Fowler DW. (2016) A new correlation of the Cretaceous formations of the Western Interior of the United States, I: Santonian-Maastrichtian formations and dinosaur biostratigraphy. PeerJ Preprints 4:e2554v1 The paper is pretty technical but all of the data is found in this excel file (supplemental information) which is a massive high-resolution stratigraphic chart for all of the formations from the late cretaceous of North America. It's nice to see it all laid out and a great reference source. To make it easy I've broken the chart apart so you can easily see most important dinosaur formations Texas The biggest change came with our understanding the Aguja and Javelina Formations of Texas part of the Tornillo group. The study indicated that the Aguja Formation deposits are only Campanian in age and that the Javelina Formation does not extend into the end of the Cretaceous. Very important when trying to describe species in those formations. Sellers have been comparing the Aguja to the Judith River in Montana well there is a correlation but its deposits are much younger that JR. Eastern Montana, N. Dakota, S. Dakota and Wyoming What I found interesting is that the Hell Creek is much older in Montana than in the adjacent states. The other interesting observation that can been easily be seen on these charts is that the how short a time frame the deposits of the Hell Creek/Lance formation are compared to the other major dinosaur formations. Central Montana Two Medicine and Judith River Formations are the two key formations in this locality Utah and New Mexico Utah depicted on the left and NM on the right Head North to Canada Alberta and Saskatchewan
  2. The family tree was announced back in February but the paper was just published. Abstract: For 130 years, dinosaurs have been divided into two distinct clades—Ornithischia and Saurischia. Here we present a hypothesis for the phylogenetic relationships of the major dinosaurian groups that challenges the current consensus concerning early dinosaur evolution and highlights problematic aspects of current cladistic definitions. Our study has found a sister-group relationship between Ornithischia and Theropoda (united in the new clade Ornithoscelida), with Sauropodomorpha and Herrerasauridae (as the redefined Saurischia) forming its monophyletic outgroup. This new tree topology requires redefinition and rediagnosis of Dinosauria and the subsidiary dinosaurian clades. In addition, it forces re-evaluations of early dinosaur cladogenesis and character evolution, suggests that hypercarnivory was acquired independently in herrerasaurids and theropods, and offers an explanation for many of the anatomical features previously regarded as notable convergences between theropods and early ornithischians Paper it's paywalls publication
  3. From the album Cretaceous

    Hadrosaurus foulkii (partial dinosaur tooth) Upper Cretaceous Wenonah Formation Big Brook Colts Neck, N.J.
  4. Its Spring. A glorious day. prairie Crocus are in bloom, the Meadowlarks are singing and the sky full of migrating waterfowl. First outing this year into the badlands. Headed out just north of Jenner, Alberta and then a trek east along the Red Deer River. Age is Campanian ( Late Cretaceous) about 72 million mya. All terrestrial deposits. A 6 km cycle ride in and then hike another couple. About 3 hours looking for fossils. Its feast or famine. Some hoodoos sterile and then an area dripping with vertebrate fossils. This area also yields a few 'unknowns' All fossils catch and release.
  5. Hello! Everyone has probably heard someone say here and there that they have found a dinosaur egg!! Although most eggs are very rare to find and you are very lucky if you do have the pleasure of finding one. I found this along with lots of other fossils in the same area. Just curious to know if you all think it is real or just a rock that is a look alike. This was found in Missouri in a small town of Fairdealing.
  6. This new analysis of dinosaurs and their near relatives, published today in the journal Nature, concludes that the ornithischians need to be grouped with the theropods, to the exclusion of the sauropodomorphs. It has long been known that birds (with their obviously ‘bird-like’ hips) evolved from theropod dinosaurs (with their lizard-like hips). However, the re-grouping of dinosaurs proposed in this study shows that both ornithischians AND theropods had the potential to evolve a bird-like hip arrangement- they just did so at different times in their history.
  7. A paleontologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature is countering decades of studies that assert that some dinosaurs can be identified as male or female based on the shapes and sizes of their bones. A study was conducted on non-avian dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus fragilis, Stegoceras and Stegosaurus to determine if sexual dimorphism existed. The study included tests and concluded that no evidence for sexual dimorphism was found in any of the examined taxa, contrary to conventional wisdom. This is not to say that dinosaurs were not sexually dimorphic, only that the available evidence precludes its detection. So what are we to about the gender names given to T rex's and most other mounted dinosaurs Is Sue a He? Do we need gender neutral names Pretty technical paper recognizing_sexual_dimorphism_in_the_fossil_record_lessons_from_nonavian_dinosaurs.pdf
  8. I was looking at the latest news and this popped up which I thought was very cool that something like this exists "A group of paleontologists from the University of Queensland and James Cook University has documented the most diverse assemblage of dinosaur tracks in the world on the north-western coast of Western Australia." The paper is part of SVP memoir series #16. Not sure if one can purchase this journal, it's pretty nice and if this interest you a hard bound copy is the way to go. Here are a few highlights Of the tracks examined, 150 could be identied and are assignable to a least eleven and possibly as many as 21 different track types: ve different types of theropod tracks, at least six types of sauropod tracks, four types of ornithopod tracks, and six types of thyreophoran tracks. Eleven of these track types can formally be assigned or compared to existing or new ichnotaxa, whereas the remaining ten represent morphotypes that, although distinct, are currently too poorly represented to confidently assign to existing or new ichnotaxa. Unfortunately the trackways are in a tidal area and will eventually disappear Here are some of the tracks found with descriptions
  9. Interesting new theroy. Major shake-up suggests dinosaurs may have 'UK origin'
  10. Hey everyone! I want to know your favorite extinct animal and why. Theropods, ornithischians, artiodactyls, cetaceans, carnivores, plesiosaurs, pterosaurs, gastropods!!! Megatherium, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Anzu Wyliei, Leedsichthys, Stegosaurus, Megalodon, Glyptodon, Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, Punk Rock! (just kidding) ANYWAYS, there are no limits here. Even if its coral. Get specific! Do you have a fossil from your favorite creature? If not, is it even possible to acquire one? Have any interesting discoveries been made about your creature as of late? Just looking to learn and start some interesting discussions. GO! ------ Cheers! Lauren
  12. Hi everyone! So I've recently gotten into the Early Cretaceous coastal environment of what was the extended Gulf of Mexico in what's now Texas after finding out about the numerous dinosaur trackways in my area of the state. I've been combing various databases, and I've already visited the trackway up at the South San Gabriel River twice (A very beautiful group of tracks I might add). This morning, I came across something that surprised me. On the database site ( a very useful and interesting site that shows various fossil finds on a map), I found that there were supposedly tracks from some sort of theropod (probably the large sort found around a lot of Texas that have been attributed to Acrocanthosaurus atokensis if I was to put my money on one) were found as close to home as Jonestown. Would anyone happen to know any more about this set of tracks? Unfortunately, there is nothing about exact location on the site like GPs coordinates, so all I have to go off of is the specimen number it provides and a name "TMM 43007, Sandy Creek". Thanks for any help anyone can provide!
  13. This contains,I believe,useful information. Regional interest:Iberia,Europe oolo
  14. Diatoms are monocellular organisms which contain chlorophyll, and manufacture their own food in the same manner as plants, through the process of photosynthesis. They are one of the major producers of the Earth's oxygen. Their long geological history makes them very useful in the correlation of sedimentary rocks, and they are of equal value in reconstructing paleoenvironments. They are remarkably common everywhere there is any water at all! I have studied fossil marine diatoms for many years, as they are my primary interest in the microfossil world. Many of them are quite beautiful, and they are a favorite subject with many persons who enjoy photomicrography. My primary interest is in diatom taxonomy and evolution, not photography, so I'm afraid my images don't really do them justice. Centric diatoms exhibit radial symmetry, from circular to triangular, and all points between. Oval shapes are not uncommon. The oldest specimens of essentially modern diatom types are from the Cretaceous, and one of the very best localities is the Moreno Shale, which crops out in the Panoche Hills of California. Many diatomists have worked on this flora, and it is fairly well understood. Here we see two of the common taxa from this source. (The bar across the top of the Azpeitiopsis is a sponge spicule, not part of the diatom!) Diatom frustules are composed of secreted silica -- hence they are brittle, but can be virtually indestructible by chemical or diagenetic change in the right sort of environment. (One exception is a highly alkaline environment, which corrodes and ultimately dissolves biogenetic silica.) Other siliceous microfossils include some types of sponge spicules, silicoflagellates (another blog entry coming up perhaps), radiolarians, and ebrideans. At least one family of the foraminifera uses siliceous cement to form their tests. Diatom floras changed radically across the KT boundary, but they are still abundant in the Paleocene. Arguably the world's most famous locality for fossil diatoms is the region around Oamaru, New Zealand, and all collectors have many specimens from there. The age is Late Eocene - Early Oligocene. Somewhat earlier are the many great localities in Russia. Here is a Paleocene specimen from Simbirsk, Ulyanovskaya, Russia. Note that it deviates from pure centric form in that it is slightly ovoid. My own specialty is the diatoms of the Miocene. The United States is blessed with superb Miocene localities on both coasts, many well-known to members of this forum, because most of them can also produce superb shark teeth. The earliest known Miocene flora in the US comes from sites in Maryland: near Dunkirk, Nottingham, and other lesser known localities along the Patuxent River. All of these sites began to be explored in the mid-19th Century, because the diatoms are so perfectly preserved, to say nothing of abundant! These sites are in the lowest part of the Calvert Formation; indeed, there is an unconformity above them that lasted for a considerable period of time, and the diatom flora exhibits considerable changes across it. This part of the Miocene section belongs to the Burdigalian Stage, and age-equivalent diatoms are found also in bore holes and artesian wells at Atlantic City, New Jersey. An index fossil for the East Coast Burdigalian is the following taxon: This species of Actinoptychus evolved relatively quickly, and became extinct at the end of the Burdigalian. It is remarkably beautiful under the microscope, especially in color images, as fine structures in the silica serve as diffraction gratings. I regret that I have no color image in my photo library: I need to make a few! The Calvert Cliffs are rich in fossil diatoms, also, from the later, Middle Miocene. The above is but one example of the many marvelous specimens that can be found in the Calvert. If you're walking the beach for shark teeth, and have access to a microscope such as that used in microbiology or pathology labs, or even the type used in high school biology labs, grab a sample of the sediment. Soak it in water until it disaggregates into mud, let it settle until the water is just a bit cloudy, and put a drop on a microscope slide with a coverslip. A magnification of 100X should reveal diatom frustules (or fragments thereof) among the remaining, unsettled particles of silt. Diatomists all have their own protocols to get such specimens almost perfectly clean, and permanent slides made with a mountant of high refractive index can be utterly gorgeous. I am currently working most intensely on samples from the somewhat later Choptank Formation, that outcrops at Richmond, Virginia. This is another locality that produces excellent specimens: This is one of the most enduring taxa in the geological record, appearing from the early Paleogene right up until the present day, and it can be very abundant. A common triangular form. There are many genera of triangular centric diatoms. And other radial shapes are possible, too: So far as I am aware, this unique specimen is the earliest known example of this taxon, which is still found today in tropical waters. The breakage in the top "arm" is unfortunate, but what can I say: the specimen is, thus far, unique. One might expect modern contamination of the sample, were it not for the fact that the Richmond localities occur far from the contemporary ocean coast -- they are not "watered" by modern waves! That's it -- the 3.95 MB limit..............................
  15. Mongolia seeks to crush fossil black market Ben Dooley, AFP, January 9, 2017: 2 Smugglers Ravage Gobi Desert Dinosaur Treasures Transitions Online, January 12, 2017 Disappearing dinosaur fossils in the Gobi desert Matt Bracken, The Baltimore Sun U.S. Returns Stolen Dinosaur Eggs and Fossils to Mongolia. Newsweek, April 6, 2016. Yours, Paul
  16. Hey everyone! Last August I took a trip to Chicago and, of course, went to The Field Museum. It's quite impressive and absolutely worth visiting. All exhibitions I was able to see were awesome. My favorite part was the dinosaur room, though the most famous skeleton is in the main hall. Let's start with some pictures of Sue - the most complete T-Rexskeleton ever found. The skull mounted to the bod, isn't the actual skull found with the skeleton. The original skull is exhibited on the first floor and wasn't add to the body, because it was kinda squeezed (you can read all about it at the museum). There's also another bone section of Sue displayed on first floor, right next to the fossil lab, where you see paleontologists working (it's like staring at animals at the zoo, but very interesting haha). Scientists still try to figure out, how these bones match to Sue's skeleton. Close to the displayed shown above, is the entrence to the dinosaur room. While making your way to the hall, you're passing several exhibits, arranged in a timeline. To me themost interesting exhibt was the Dimetrodon skeleton. My first ever dinosaur book, contained a picture of it, so it wasawesome to see it in person after so many years. Once you entered the room, you see impressive exhibts of several herbivores. To your left you find a Stegosaurus: In the middle of the room is a huge Apatosaurus: On the opposite you have Triceratops: Sorry, forgot the name of this boy, eating a Edmontosaurus: Next to the shown exhibit, you can see a Parasaurolophus: AND there's also a juvenile Edmontosaurus:
  17. Hey ya all! I was wondering if anyone has gone on a tour with Paleo Prospectors and is willing to share their experience?
  18. Please help identify this possible foot/toe fossil find. Found in near Edwards Plateau in Texas.
  19. Tags say it all. Intriguing,to say the least
  20. Dinosaurs ruled the earth for at least 165 million years. During this period they evolved into a whole menagerie of wonderful and fantastical forms, and are survived today by the birds that flit from branch to branch in your garden. But when they first emerged from the evolutionary tree is a murkier story. It now seems that they may have evolved up to 20 million years earlier than thought. The results come from a study published in Biology Letters, in which researchers from the Natural History Museum, London, have created the most detailed dinosaur tree ever formed. Using two separate methods, they created a massive phylogenetic tree that includes close to 1,000 different species of dinosaurs, enabling them to trace the animals right back to their roots. Both methods came up with strikingly similar results, indicating the validity of the outcome. They both showed that while the oldest dinosaur fossil to have ever been dated, known as Nyasasaurus, is thought to be 240 million years old, the data from the trees suggest that dinosaurs may have evolved at least 10 million years earlier, and potentially up to 20 million years earlier. This is possibly not too surprising. The dating of such ancient fossils comes with some leeway, as well as considering just how patchy the fossil record from this long ago for dinosaurs is. For example, while Nyasasurus is the best contender for the oldest dinosaur discovered so far, there is a full 12-million-year gap before the next one pops up. What is interesting, however, is how researchers are able to use phylogenetics to help fill in these blanks, and predict where there are fossils to be found that could potentially predate the known one. It also means that if the dates are to be believed, the direct early ancestors to dinosaurs may already have been around before the dramatic Permian extinction event that occurred 252 million years ago, and so were one of the few lineages that managed to survive. Also known as the Great Dying, it is thought that up to a staggering 95 percent of all species alive at the time bit the dust, in what was the largest mass extinction event that has ever occurred. Not only that, but the data also shows that the branch that includes all known birds may have split off between 108 and 69 million years ago, meaning that they may have already been flying, or at the very least gliding, around before the asteroid that killed off all their other relatives hit.
  21. ...well, forgot to post here that is I guess 2 years later I finally remembered haha! I guess that eliminates any chance of posting my finds to the VFOTM heh Anyways, it's great to be back in the forum I usually come here once every few months, so it's great to see all these new features on the website! Shoutout to the admins for the great work, love it! 2 years ago, I went to the Gobi Desert in northwestern China on an annual hunt for Dinosaurs in cooperation with some of the leading dinosaur paleontologists of the country, along with international paleontologists from the U.S and Canada for a few trips. This is the long overdue report for the 1 month expedition into the Mazongshan desert ranges of northwestern China, in search for the ancestral forms of many famous dinosaurs we know today (such as T.rex, Triceratops, Edmontosaurus, Parasaurolophus etc). Many flat tires met us on our journey to the Early Cretaceous time portal, and we witnessed some of the most beautiful of Earth's scenery, as well as the most terrifying of nature's storms with nothing but a tiny tent for each person's protection. Cut off from civilization as well as the ever-hated internet of our modern day, I was glad to be able to come out relatively unscathed and with the bonus of bountiful fossil finds, all the while standing side by side with pioneers of Chinese dinosaur paleontology, and with the hard working excavation team that accompanies them. Below are some basic stats of the trip Time Period: Early Cretaceous (Aptian - Albian), +-120 million years ago Dinosaur Occurrences: Neoceratopsians Tyrannosauroids Unidentified Dromaeosaurs Hadrosauroides Titanosaurs Therizinosauroides Other Vertebrates: Fish Crocodiles Turtles Birds Pictures coming soon, hang tight!
  22. this is pretty new,as things go
  23. I'll start this trip report with a little back story. About 5 years ago, my daughter, who is 8 years old now, started watching the PBS show "Dinosaur Train". She became very interested in dinosaurs. We took a trip to the Smithsonian, and watching her look up at the dinosaur skeletons in awe was amazing. Later, my son who is 6 years old now, would follow in the love of dinosaurs as well. When I got home from Washington, I decided to see if it was possible to put together a little collection of dinosaur fossils together for her 4th birthday the following year. I looked at a a popular auction site, and saw that there were many for sale. I started with a Nanotyrannus tooth, and it slowly grew from there. I was always trying to win fossils from a seller in Powder River County, Montana. I didn't have much success, as I was always outbid at the last minute. One Saturday night when the auctions ended, I hit the jackpot! I won a Thescelosaurus metatarsal, and a beauty at that! The rancher's wife, who also does an outstanding job preparing the fossils, was very concerned, and sent me inquiring about where the fossil would land up. She said it was very rare, and that she didn't want it sold to someone who wouldn't appreciate it. I sent her an email, telling her that the fossil would be in good hands, along with photos of my kids at the Smithsonian, and we've become good friends over the years. She is like the sister that I never had. We write to each other every day, with most of our conversations not even involving fossils. Fossils brought us together as friends, but we have so much more in common. I would later learn that the reason she was so concerned about where the metatarsal was going, was because I outbid someone who was building a Thescelosaurus foot. I am happy to report that the metatarsal in question has made it to it's rightful owner 5 years later, and is now part of the foot that it was always meant to be a part of in the first place. In April, member Troodon convinced me to ask the ranchers if I would be able to come out for a dig in September. He's known them longer than I have, and has collected on their land many times. I was thrilled that the dates I had available fit into their schedule as well, and that they were happy to have me. . A few months later, Troodon decided to join in the dig as well! It would turn out to be the trip of a lifetime. Not only did I get to dig for dinosaur fossils in the Hell Creek Formation, which so few people get to do, but more importantly, I got to meet some great friends! I left from Lehigh Valley Airport in Pennsylvania on September 13. I had a 3 hour layover at O'Hare, and then continued my journey into Rapid City, South Dakota. From there, it was onto Hill City, South Dakota, where I would meet member Troodon the following morning. While in O'Hare airport, I was surprised to see a kiosk for the Field Museum, with a Brachiosaurus cast. Perhaps a sign of things to come, although not in Hell Creek I met Troodon the following morning, and we headed to Rapid City for provisions, and then started on hour 3.5 hour journey to the ranch in Powder River County, Montana. The last 45 minutes of the drive was all on dirt roads. If you ever get the opportunity to dig on private land on the Hell Creek Formation, I suggest you rent a 4x4 truck, not an all wheel drive SUV. For example, here is the road, and that dust bowl up ahead is Troodon. He had to pull over several times for me to catch up! Sorry Troodon! I might have been taking pictures with my phone. . As we got to the rancher's property, some locals came out to greet us. I arrived at the ranch about 2:00pm, finally met my friends for the first time, and headed out to the dig site. The site is a channel or microsite on the Lower Hell Creek Formation. The site had two sides, one with mostly sand matrix that is easy to dig through, and one that has a lot of sand, but heavy clay areas as well. The rancher had been finding quite a few T.rex teeth on the side with the sandy matrix, so that's where we started. Here, I was able to get my feet wet, and learn what to look and feel for while digging. If I had a dollar for every time I put glue on a concretion.....:). I learned how to start with a shelf, and dig straight down to the bottom of the fossil bed. I didn't find much the first day, just a couple of Gar scales, and bottom half of a Nanotyrannus tooth. Still had an awesome time! More to come!
  24. Fossils of TWO 180 million-year-old dinosaurs unearthed beneath road in China I looked at the pictures included in the article and the arrangement of the bones looks fake to me. The articulation is too perfect and straight, at least for the back half. The rib area looks more authentic to me. I am likely wrong, and I have not seen many dinosaur fossils in situ, but this just looks plain weird!