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Paleo-news archive: April–June 2011





T. Rex skeleton
Dinosaur temperatures from teeth
(Jun 28, 2011)


Researchers at the California Institute of Technology claim to have accurately measured the body temperatures of dinosaurs by examining their teeth. Chemical analysis of the Jurassic period fossil teeth from two sauropods – long-necked dinosaurs that were among the largest land animals ever to roam the Earth – showed they were about as warm as most modern mammals.

Read more. Source: Reuters

Baryonyx
Dinosaur fossil in Australia mirrors earlier find in UK
(Jun 15, 2011)


A neck bone from a newly found dinosaur in Australia is almost identical to one of the famous British crocodile-like dinosaur Baryonyx walkeri. The discovery suggests that northern and southern hemisphere dinos had a lot more in common than previously thought.

Read more. Source: BBC

Hadrocodium brain (right)
Better sense of smell spurred brain evolution
(May 20, 2011)


An improved sense of smell in the ancestors of mammals living about 200 million years ago was an important factor in the evolution of modern mammalian brains, fossil data suggest. The tiny skulls of Hadrocodium wui (on the right in the image here) and Morganucodon oehleri reveal an enlargement of the olfactory bulbs probably associated with the need for an acute sense of smell in order to hunt at night.

Read more. Source: BBC

Nephila jurassica
Biggest known fossil spider found
(Apr 20, 2011)


Paleontologists have discovered the biggest known spider in rocks from China dating back 165 million years. The monster archnid, called Nephila jurassica, is female, has a leg span of about 15cm, and belongs to the family of golden orb weavers. The previous oldest Nephilid, a much smaller male from the Cretaceous Period about 35 million years ago, was found in Spain.

Read more. Source: BBC

Juravenator starki
Dinosaurs were active both day and night, study claims
(Apr 15, 2011)


Studies of the eyes of existing birds and reptiles with different daily activity patterns were compared with similar parts in dinosaur fossils. The results suggests that small, meat-eating dinosaurs were nocturnal; large, plant-eating dinosaurs tended to forage both during the day and at night. The Science study also challenges the notion that mammals' nocturnal nature evolved to avoid day-active dinosaurs.

Read more. Source: BBC

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