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Category: Life: Paleontology

Newly Discovered Dinosaur Is Named After Ghostbuster’s Zuul

Researchers have named a newly discovered dinosaur species after the Zuul monster from the original Ghostbusters movie. The dinosaur’s full name is ‘Zuul Crurivastator’ and was an armored dinosaur with a 10 foot-long tail (3 meters) covered in armor. It and other Ankylosauridae walked around on Earth about 75 million years ago. The dinosaur was …

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American Museum of Natural History: 2017 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: De-Extinction

The 2017 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate at the American Museum of Natural History with host Neil deGrasse Tyson and a panel of experts for a lively debate about the merits and shortcomings of a provocative idea: de-extinction. Biologists today have the knowledge, the tools, and the ability to influence the evolution of life on Earth. …

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Paleontologists Discovered the Largest Ever Dinosaur Footprint in Australia

Image Courtesy of Steven Salisbury

A team of Australian paleontologists from the University of Queensland has found the largest-ever dinosaur footprint in an area entitled “Australia’s Jurassic Park.” The findings were published in the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology on March 24. Here, lead author Dr. Steve Salisbury of The University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences discusses the diversity of …

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Collecting the World: Inside the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has over 144 million different objects in its collections. A sample of these collections are on display to the public, but 99 percent of the Smithsonian’s treasures remain behind the scenes. Scientists work with these objects to study and decipher the world we live in, each specimen offering …

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VOX: How saber-toothed cats grew their mouth swords

The saber-toothed cat Smilodon fatalis roamed America during the Pleistocene before going extinct about 10,000 years ago. A top predator, Smilodon seemed to use its sabers to slit the throats of its prey (terrifying!). A new paper published in the journal PLoS ONE investigates how the sabers developed — and found the sabers grew almost …

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American Museum of Natural History

AMNH scientists use genetic testing and advanced imaging techniques to “dissect” the tiny, rare, and fragile pocket shark. To learn about its mysterious behaviors, however, researchers will have to observe a living pocket shark in its natural setting.

American Museum of Natural History: Science Bulletins: Sea Creatures Face the Acid Test

An AMNH scientist digs into the fossil record to discover why ammonites, a highly successful group of mollusks, perished after an asteroid strike 65 million years ago, while their cousins the nautilids became unlikely survivors. The answer—ammonites’ vulnerability to ocean acidification—highlights the unpredictable nature of mass extinction events. When an environment changes dramatically, winners and …

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TED-Ed: How do we know what color dinosaurs were?

The microraptor was a four-winged carnivorous dinosaur with iridescent black feathers. But if our information about this dinosaur comes from fossils, how can we be certain about its color? Len Bloch shows how making sense of the evidence requires careful examination of the fossil and a good understanding of the physics of light and color. …

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University of Michigan: Mammoth Excavation Near Chelsea, Michigan

An ancient mammoth unearthed in a farmer’s field southwest of Ann Arbor this week may provide clues about the lives of early humans in the region.  

Florida State University: Research Team Discovers ‘Lost World’ of Cold Weather Dinosaurs

A collaborative team between Florida State University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks has spent the last five years digging in a remote bone-bed of dinosaur remains in the remote Prince Creek Formation in Alaska. FSU Professor Gregory Erickson is excited for the new species of duck-billed dinosaurs uncovered in the dig and believes it …

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Nature Video: Hallucigenia: The worm with the missing head

Two centimeters tall, with giant thorns sticking out from its body. Hallucigenia has been described one of the most bizarre animals that ever lived in the sea. The remains of an ancient worm species called ‘Hallucigenia’ were so bizarre looking that scientists originally reconstructed it upside down and back to front. Now Martin Smith reveals …

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Long Now Foundation:Stewart Brand, Ben Novak, and Revive & Restore

In “Waking the Dead: Bringing Extinct Species Back to Life” Time.com interview Stewart Brand (Long Now co-founder and President of Revive & Restore) and Ben Novak (lead researcher on Revive & Restore’s passenger pigeon de-extinction efforts). The Tasmanian tiger, pyrenean ibex, and more.  

Nature: A new dinosaur | Flying without feathers

Birds evolved from dinosaurs – but it wasn’t a smooth transition. Plenty of creatures tried different ways to get into the air – like this newly discovered dinosaur species, Yi qi, unearthed in China. This pigeon-sized creature had elongated fingers that held a membrane wing, more like a bat than a bird. In this Nature …

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Motherboard: The Mission to Resurrect the Woolly Mammoth

Right now, in the 21st century, South Korean scientists are actually working to resurrect the prehistoric woolly mammoth using cloning technology and the flesh of perfectly preserved specimen once buried in Northern Siberia. The hope is that if they can find an active cell from the meaty leg of a 40,000 year old frozen mammoth, …

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Thomas Holtz: The Life and Times of Tyrannosaurus rex

Recent discoveries reveal new clues about the evolution of T. rex from a small fuzzy carnivore to one of the largest predators ever to walk the Earth. Studies of the tyrant king’s eyes, nose, brain, claws, jaws, teeth, and legs create a clearer picture of how T. rex lived, fed, and fought. We can now …

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NHMLA: Woolly Rhino Fossil w/ Xiaoming Wang

A paper published on September 2, 2011 in Science reveals the discovery of a primitive woolly rhino fossil in the Himalayas, which suggests some giant mammals first evolved in present-day Tibet before the beginning of the Ice Age. The extinction of Ice Age giants such as woolly mammoths and rhinos, giant sloths, and saber-tooth cats …

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Michael Archer: How we’ll resurrect the gastric brooding frog, the Tasmanian tiger

FILMED MAR 2013 • POSTED JUN 2013 • TEDxDeExtinction TED presents paleontologist Micheal Archer who talks about resurrecting existent animals.  Archer makes a case to bring back the gastric brooding frog and the thylacine, commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger.  

Hendrik Poinar: Bring back the woolly mammoth!

FILMED MAR 2013 • POSTED MAY 2013 • TEDxDeExtinction TED presents Hendrik Poinar who who gives an informative talk on the next big thing: The quest to engineer a creature that looks very much like our furry friend, the woolly mammoth. The first step, to sequence the woolly genome, is nearly complete. And it’s huge. …

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Stewart Brand: The dawn of de-extinction. Are you ready?

FILMED FEB 2013 • POSTED MAR 2013 • TED2013 TED presents Stewart Brand who says that we now have the technology to bring back species that humanity wiped out. And we sure have been good at doing just that, examples are the passenger pigeon, the Eastern cougar, the dodo etc. With the capacity to bring …

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Adam Savage: Dodos, Maltese Falcons, and the Art of Obsession

Fora TV presents Adam Savage and his obsession of Dodos. MythBusters co-host gives a fast-paced presentation on personal obsessions. Savage explains how his fascination with dodo bird skeletons eventually led to his designing of an exact bronze-cast replica of the titular statue from the 1941 Humphrey Bogart movie, “The Maltese Falcon.”