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Showing blog posts tagged with "Paleontology"

New Research Points to Dinosaurs’ Colorful Past

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There’s new evidence that dinosaurs, once thought to resemble scaly lizards, were in fact fluffy, colorful animals. In the video below, Curator Mark Norell, who is chair of the Museum’s Division of Paleontology and studies important feathered dinosaurs from Liaoning, China, shares his thoughts on the significance of two new studies about fossilized feathers reported in the current issue of Science magazine.

If you missed the live Twitter chat with Dr. Mark Norell about fossilized feathers on Friday, Sept. 16, click here to read the discussion. Add your own comments using the hashtag#DinoFeathers.

Tags: Dinosaurs, Paleontology

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NPR Traces History of Barnum Brown’s First T. Rex Skeleton

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It’s a story more than a century in the making. Barnum Brown’s extraordinary fossil-hunting career—which took him from a frontier farm to the world’s top fossil sites and to the halls of the American Museum of Natural History—included the discovery of the first complete skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus rex.

The priceless fossil—the one used to describe the carnivorous species now synonymous with “dinosaur”—was displayed in the Museum for more than 30 years beginning in 1906. Then the story took a twist, which is traced in a recent NPR piece “Bone To Pick: First T. Rex Skeleton, Complete At Last.”

Tags: Dinosaurs, Paleontology

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Curious Collections: True Blue Fossils

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Nestled deep within the Museum’s vertebrate paleontology collection are several gloriously blue bones.

They are vertebrae of the long-extinct Champsosaurus, a crocodile-like creature that lived between about 60 and 45 million years ago, straddling the non-avian dinosaur extinction. They were found in 1882 in the San Juan Basin, New Mexico.

Tags: Paleontology

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From the Field: Wrapping Up a Terrific Season

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Nairobi, Kenya, July 19, 2011

So we’re finally back in Nairobi, having packed up camp and driven back the 300-odd miles from Rusinga to the nation’s capital. It was a terrific field season, in many ways the best we’ve had. We had a really fun and motivated field crew and found a lot of wonderful fossils. What more could one ask?

Now begins the hard work of sorting out everything we found. In our case this means working in the National Museums of Kenya’s exquisite paleontology collections in Nairobi. Any fossils found in the country are reposited here, making it an ideal place to conduct comparative work. We’ve been here about a week, and it is still an overwhelming task. I’m not complaining though. It’s a fine position to be in; I’d rather we had too many than too few fossils.

Tags: From the Field, Paleontology

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Titanosaur Nest from The World’s Largest Dinosaurs

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They are some of the rarest of rare artifacts: fossil dinosaur eggs with the embryo still inside. And they are prized for what they can tell paleontologists about the adults that laid them.

The exhibition The World’s Largest Dinosaurs features a scale model of a nest found at Auca Mahuevo, Argentina, one of the largest known dinosaur nesting sites in the world. While it isn’t always possible to figure out which dinosaur laid a particular egg, in this case, an embryo within an egg found at Auca Mahuevo site allowed scientists to identify these eggs as those of titanosaurs, a group of sauropods that included such species as Ampelosaurus and Saltasaurus. Herds of female titanosaurs are thought to have laid the thousands of eggs — 15 to 40 at a time — in shallow nests dug out with their huge feet in dry mud and sand over miles of ground at Auca Mahuevo.

Tags: Dinosaurs, Paleontology

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