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Showing blog posts tagged with Paleontology

Morphobank common ancestor

March Mammal Madness: Enter Our "Name Your Ancestor" Tournament

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This month, a team of international researchers led by the American Museum of Natural History and Stony Brook University determined in unprecedented detail what the earliest ancestor of placental mammals—the widely diverse group of animals ranging from whales to bats to humans—looked like.  The Museum is teaming up with WNYC’s Radiolab to sponsor a tournament to name this early ancestor. Want to enter? 

Tags: Paleontology, Our Research, Tree of Life, Mammals, March Mammal Madness


Newly Discovered Dinosaur Implies Greater Prevalence of Feathers

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A new species of feathered dinosaur discovered in southern Germany is further changing the perception of how predatory dinosaurs looked. The fossil of Sciurumimus albersdoerferi, which lived about 150 million years ago, provides the first evidence of feathered theropod dinosaurs that are not closely related to birds. The fossil is described in a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers at the Museum and at the Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie and Ludwig Maximilians University, both in Germany.

Tags: Paleontology, Dinosaurs


Graduate Student Links Dino Eggshells and Ancient Climates

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Fourth-year Richard Gilder Graduate School (RGGS) doctoral student Shaena Montanari uses her geology training and subtle clues left by dinosaurs to reconstruct the environment of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert as it was 70 million years ago. Based on an innovative approach that takes cues from the geochemistry of dinosaur eggshells, Montanari’s latest findings—that late in the Mesozoic “age of the dinosaurs” the Gobi desert was a much wetter and warmer place than today—were presented this week at a poster session of the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

Tags: Paleontology


Curious Collections: A Single Dino Toe

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This specimen from the Museum’s paleontology collection is a single dinosaur toe covered with lichen.

Most likely collected in 1912 in Alberta, Canada, the toe is thought to belong to a hadrosaur (duck-billed) or ceratopsian (horned) dinosaur. The toe is the terminal phalanx, or the one that supported the hoof. The lichen growth, which occurred on the two damaged parts of the bone, shows that the bone was exposed on the surface of the ground for many years before being discovered.

Tags: Paleontology, Dinosaurs


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