Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dinosaur Round-up 4

Over the holidays this season, remember ...

... even though you're hanging out with your family, you can discover dinosaurs.

Gabrielle, who came to the park from her Annandale, Va., home with her parents and 7-year-old sister, hadn't found anything more unusual than rocks and pieces of trees in nearly an hour at the park. The vast majority of people don't, park manager Donald Creveling said. [...]

Gabrielle said that after a half-hour or so of hunting she found "a lot of tree stuff . . . but then I was really excited and happy" when she discovered the fossil.

The bone is less than an inch long, but it is likely a vertebrae from a small meat-eating dinosaur, said Peter Kranz, a geologist and president of the Washington-based Dinosaur Fund.

The bone will head to the Smithsonian, where it will be subject to further study and could go on display, Kranz said.

PETA, check this out - you've got work to do ... filmmakers in the old days apparently figured that putting a Komodo Dragon and a Crocodile in crappy makeup and then pitted to fight against each other was a good idea.

I think I'm digging Japanese ... I really think so.

This is a really special discovery - the first dinosaur found in Japan!

"The find is a precious resource for studying the evolution of dinosaurs in East Asia," said Haruo Saegusa, chief researcher at the museum. The fossils will be put on display at the museum from Saturday through Dec. 27.

The unearthed fossils are those of three jaw bones, including an upper jaw bone (42 millimeters long) with teeth and a front jaw bone (29 millimeters long). They were found almost in their entirety and bear such features as muscles on the surface of teeth.

The dinosaur is presumed to have walked on two legs and had short frills behind its head. It was likely to be a young dinosaur, with its body measuring an estimated 60 centimeters long. Fossils of similar types of dinosaurs have been discovered in five other places including China, and the latest find is close to the fossils of Archaeoceratops that were found in China's Gansu Province in 1992.

The Sasayama group geological layer, which straddles the Hyogo Prefecture cities of Sasayama and Tamba, is home to fossils of the nation's largest herbivorous dinosaur named Tambaryu, Tyrannosaurs and the nation's oldest mammalian fossils -- all unearthed since 2006.

"I had initially thought the fossils may be those of shellfish, such as shrimps or crabs, but I'm surprised to learn that they are of dinosaur bones," said Kiyoshi Adachi, 66, a former high school teacher who is one of the discoverers of the Tambaryu fossils and the latest find.

[Here's a picture of the animal - archaeoceratops, which probably means "primitive horned face" or something like that. ]

That means there's still hope for Ontario, where the stupid Canadian Shield is a giant piece of bedrock and apparently there is no sedimentary rock for dinosaurs to be preserved in. There are a lot of kids out there digging in their back yards looking for dinosaur bones who will be devastated to learn that dinosaurs can't be found on the Canadian Shield.

But they used to think you wouldn't find them in Japan, too - so ... keep diggin'.

New blog to follow?
Every once in a while the GoogleAlerts email I receive on "Dinosaurs" will turn up something that holds more potential than just a scoop on an article - but rather a new perspective window on the world of dinosaurs. This happened years ago when I found the Dinosaur Mailing List (which is totally awesome) or Dr. Michael J. Ryan's Paeloblog.

so, presenting Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs
Why dinosaurs matter? Granted, the author of the blog is quoting another blog, Archosaur Musings, but ... here's the excerpt:
...dinosaurs offer an exceptional access point into the Great Story—our story. They can help us forge links between the distant past and the present day (e.g., modern birds as living dinosaurs) and insert us back into the flow of deep time (Tyrannosaurus lived closer to you in time than to Allosaurus or Stegosaurus). These ancient creatures can be used to demonstrate that every ecosystem on Earth, whether in the Mesozoic or the present day, is the culmination of millions upon millions of years of co-evolution between and among life forms.
Imagine that - we actually live closer in time to the Tyrannosaurus than the Tyrannosaurus does to the Allosaurus. What an interesting perspective.

No comments: