Tag: Dinosaur

According To Scientists, Winged Archaeopteryx Dinosaur Flew In Short Bursts Like A Pheasant

Archaeopteryx flapped its wings but was not capable of long distance flight. Nor could it soar like birds of prey.

Instead, the feathered Jurassic creature probably made short bursts of ­limited low-level flight to escape danger, say experts in Grenoble, France, after X-ray analysis of fossil bones.

Pheasants fly in a similar way to avoid predators or human hunters.




Archaeopteryx – which means “ancient wing” – lived in the Late Jurassic period in what is now southern Germany.

The first fossil skeleton of one of the creatures, known as the London Specimen, was unearthed in 1861 near Langenaltheim and is housed at London’s Natural History Museum.

Similar in size to a magpie, it shared characteristics of Earth-bound dinosaurs and modern birds, including winged feathers, sharp teeth, three fingers with claws, and a long bony tail.

However despite being thought of as the first bird, experts now view Archeopteryx as a flying dinosaur.

Nor was it a direct ancestor of modern birds. Despite sharing a common dinosaur ancestor with birds, Archaeopteryx represents a “dead end” side branch on the evolutionary tree.

Present day birds are generally believed to have evolved from a group of small meat-eating dinosaurs known as maniraptoran theropods.

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Over 200 Pterosaur Eggs And Embryos Has Been Found At A Site In China

An ancient site containing more than 200 fossilised eggs belonging to ancient flying reptiles known as pterosaurs has been found.

The eggs belong to a species called Hamipterus tianshanensis, which soared over what is now north west China about 120 million years ago.

The palaeontologists who made the discovery note both the “extraordinary quantity of eggs”, and the fact some of them contain “the first pterosaur three-dimensional embryos”.

This level of preservation allows researchers to learn more about the behaviour of these prehistoric creatures.

Previous evidence of pterosaur reproduction has been rather lacking, limited to a handful of eggs from Argentina and China identified in 2004.

Prior to this, there was no evidence at all these reptiles laid eggs.

But the new discovery, which consists not only of eggs but the bones of adults as well, paints a vivid picture of a nesting colony.




The findings were published in a paper led by Dr Xiaolin Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the journal Science.

Dr Wang and his collaborators outline how they used CT scans to look inside the eggs, 16 of which contained embryos that were somewhat intact.

From these embryos, the scientists could see that the structures supporting the pectoral muscles – crucial for flight – were noticeably underdeveloped.

This allowed the scientists to infer that when these animals hatched, they were unable to fly. The newly hatched pterosaurs would therefore have required care and attention from their parents if they were to survive.

The fossils also reveal more secrets about pterosaur lifestyles.

“The find reinforces the view that pterosaur eggs were soft-shelled and needed to be buried,” said Dr Charles Deeming, a biologist at the University of Lincoln who was not involved in the study.

This draws comparison with modern day lizard eggs, and suggests that while the pterosaurs may have cared for their offspring, they didn’t incubate them like birds. Instead, they relied on the earth to keep their eggs warm.

The rarity of such a fossilisation event makes this discovery, and the knowledge gained from it, all the more precious.

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‘World’s Largest Dinosaur’ Discovered In Argentina

Fossilised bones of a dinosaur believed to be the largest creature ever to walk the Earth have been unearthed in Argentina, palaeontologists say.

Based on its huge thigh bones, it was 40m (130ft) long and 20m (65ft) tall.

Weighing in at 77 tonnes, it was as heavy as 14 African elephants, and seven tonnes heavier than the previous record holder, Argentinosaurus.




Scientists believe it is a new species of titanosaur – an enormous herbivore dating from the Late Cretaceous period.

A local farm worker first stumbled on the remains in the desert near La Flecha, about 250km (135 miles) west of Trelew, Patagonia.

The fossils were then excavated by a team of palaeontologists from the Museum of Palaeontology Egidio Feruglio, led by Dr Jose Luis Carballido and Dr Diego Pol.

They unearthed the partial skeletons of seven individuals – about 150 bones in total – all in “remarkable condition”.

By measuring the length and circumference of the largest femur (thigh bone), they calculated the animal weighed 77 tonnes.

dino bone

Given the size of these bones, which surpass any of the previously known giant animals, the new dinosaur is the largest animal known that walked on Earth,” the researchers said.

Its length, from its head to the tip of its tail, was 40m. Standing with its neck up, it was about 20m high – equal to a seven-storey building.

This giant herbivore lived in the forests of Patagonia between 95 and 100 million years ago, based on the age of the rocks in which its bones were found.

But despite its magnitude, it does not yet have a name.

It will be named describing its magnificence and in honour to both the region and the farm owners who alerted us about the discovery,” the researchers said.

There have been many previous contenders for the title “world’s biggest dinosaur”.

The most recent pretender to the throne was Argentinosaurus, a similar type of sauropod, also discovered in Patagonia.

Originally thought to weigh in at 100 tonnes, it was later revised down to about 70 tonnes – just under the 77 tonnes that this new sauropod is thought to have weighed.

Argentinosaurus was estimated from only a few bones. But the researchers here had dozens to work with, making them more confident that they really have found “the big one”.

Dr Paul Barrett, a dinosaur expert from London’s Natural History Museum, agreed the new species is “a genuinely big critter. But there are a number of similarly sized big sauropod thigh bones out there,” he cautioned.

Without knowing more about this current find it’s difficult to be sure.

One problem with assessing the weight of both Argentinosaurus and this new discovery is that they’re both based on very fragmentary specimens – no complete skeleton is known, which means the animal’s proportions and overall shape are conjectural.

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