Hey folks decided to give you a brief paleontology run down all in one post for us.
Largest Dinosaur Graveyard Discovered
Big news up in Alberta, Canada back on the 22nd of this month. Discovery News reports that a very large dinosaur graveyard has been located and now being studied actively. Here's a snippet:
The Vancouver Sun reports that the massive dinosaur bonebed is 1.43-square miles in size. Eberth says it contains thousands of bones belonging to the dinosaur Centrosaurus, which once lived near what is now the Saskatchewan border.
Although the Alberta dinosaur graveyard is noteworthy for its size, Eberth told The Vancouver Sun that it "is really ugly looking. The bonebed is actually exposed, it's very patchy and exposed in outcrops along the beautiful landscapes along the South Saskatchewan River." A journal paper outlining details about it is expected later this month.
Alberta has yielded many well-preserved dinosaur remains in the past, but paleontologists have never quite been sure why. It's hoped that this latest find may help to clarify what geological conditions, or series of events, help to produce such pristine fossils.
The bone bed, according to the article found here, is the largest of dinosaur bone beds located featuring predominately Centrosaurus apertus fossils. Very exciting I'll say because I happen to be a fan of Centrosaurus.
Polygonal Dinosaur Skin
Who would have thought dinosaurs had a high polygon count? Another article from Discovery News discussing a recent find on none other than dinosaur skin.
The new skin texture is what appears to "micro-polygons" within the impressions of reptilian scales, say the South Korean researchers, who have published their discovery in the upcoming September issue of the Journal of Asian Earth Sciences.
"Fossil skins with similar features to that found in the Haman Formation are interpreted to represent the skin of a hadrosaur or sauropod dinosaur," reports In Sung Paik, a geology professor at Pukyong National University in Busan, South Korea and lead author of the paper. "The development of micro-polygons..is a new feature of dinosaur skins, reported here for the first time."
At least this gives all of the aspiring paleoartists out there something to add in to their drawings of hadrosaurs. Be sure to read the full article.
A Case of Mistaken Identity
At least that is the case with this Ceratopsian. Originally considered a Torosaurus for more than thirty years this dinosaur was re-examined recently and found to be different, in fact vastly so.
The Ojoceratops fowleri is the apparent ancestor of the more famous and common Triceratops and Torosaurus that lived at the end of the reign of dinosaurs 65 to 70 million years ago.
The key to discovering the new species, pieces of which had been mistaken for a Torosaurus for more than 30 years, was fossil evidence of the frill on the beast's head, explain paleontologists.
"Ojoceratops is important because the horned dinosaurs (and indeed, all dinosaurs) have been so elusive," said paleontologist Andy Farke of the Alf Museum of Paleontology in Claremont, Calif. "We've only had bits and pieces up to this point, which has frustrated any attempts to determine how the animals in New Mexico at this time related to those from other parts of North America."
"We were all calling it Torosaurus for the horned dino that was known to have lived in the area," explained paleontologist Spencer Lucas of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. Triceratops fossils have only been found further north, in Colorado and beyond, he said.
What was needed to clear up the matter were more pieces of the dinosaur's skull that revealed who this animal really was. Those were found in the summer of 2005 in the Bisti/De-na-zin Wilderness of northwest New Mexico by Denver Fowler, who is now a PhD student at Montana State University.
"What he found was this big honking bone in front of the frill," said Lucas. "We really had this breakthrough."
Welcome Ojoceratops fowleri to a valid scientific status. You can read this last article from Discovery News, once again. That about wraps it up for our venture into Paleontology Corner for this article. Happy hunting folks!
First JP: Redemption Review Available
Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 9:48 AM (Eastern Time)
Primary Ignition has posted the first ever review of JP: Redemption, the new comic being made by IDW. Here's a bit of a snippet. I cut out the spoilers for those that are avoiding them:
The book is very much in the spirit of the movie, but I’m not quite convinced we’ve got a good miniseries on our hands. This issue set the tone and put the rising action in motion, and it caught my interest. But issue 2 may make or break the whole story. Much like a lot of revisited movie franches (Toy Story, Rocky, Indiana Jones) I’m looking for good storytelling with a touch of nostalgia here. We’ve got a solid start. But a start is all it is.
If you want to read the full article, you may go here. It does actually suggest something interesting about these dinosaurs on a question that a lot of people have asked.
Telltale taking a "Serious Approach for JP"
Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 11:00 AM (Eastern Time)
To those, like me, you're a bit concerned any time new JP merchandise comes out. Unlike myself you don't worry that it's going to be canon, you're more worried if it's going to be good (in my case that implies both though). Joystiq has posted a bit of information regarding Telltale's acquisition of the JP license and their plans with it.
"... in the case of Jurassic Park, we've wanted to kind of step out and do something that's cinematically much more serious than the kind of.... you know, we feel like we're getting pigeonholed a little bit as a company that makes funny cartoon games about talking animals, whereas really what we think of ourselves as is a company that makes games about cinema," Grossman said. "And so we want to explore some different territory. How is the gameplay supporting the tension of the scene, and what kind of tension is it? How is the game paced? And so you're going to find all of that stuff in the Jurassic Park series."
While Jurassic Park will feature adventure mechanics deemed "appropriate," it seems its focus won't necessarily be on laid-back lateral thinking. "I don't want to have it be a game about hanging around and solving thinky puzzles at your own pace," Grossman explained. "It just doesn't seem like the right thing to do for that." And while that might seem to suggest an action-oriented approach, Grossman wasn't willing to characterize it to such a simple degree. "You can definitely expect tension elements, let's say. Whether they're action or, well, there are a lot of ways to do that. I think there'll be a liberal mix of stuff in that game."
Whatever they're planning, it sounds like it may actually be good. Recently we were treated to the preview pages of JP:Redemption showing some issues and confusion over Lex and Tim being on Isla Sorna instead of Isla Nublar and two islands having dinosaurs on them, when Nublar was destroyed. I hope that such oversights do not make it past Telltale's Department and we get a quality follow up that is not only fun, but canon as well. For those interested, you may read the full article with a Raptor in a suit here.
JP:Redemption Preview Pages
Date: Monday, June 21, 2010 - 10:14 AM (Eastern Time)
Daspletosaurus 5000, a JPLegacy Staff Member, has posted news on the forum regarding Jurassic Park: Redemption. Diamond Comics has posted a small preview for us for this exciting new comic series! Check out pages 17-21 here.
Date: Saturday, June 19, 2010 - 21:27 PM (Eastern Time)
I had recently stumbled upon this video browsing the internet, and found within it a new theory as to how the dinosaurs died. Keep in mind that this is an episode from NOVA's ScienceNOW of 2009, but the information could be a breakthrough concerning dinosaurs and their unfortunate end.
The subject matter of the video is of new research on insects fossilized in amber, and the possibility of disease contained within. Click Dinosaur Plague to view this video.
Marine Reptiles Could Maintain A Constant Temperature
Date: Sunday, June 13, 2010 - 12:19 PM (Eastern Time)
A remarkable discovery has lead Paleontologists to believe that Marine Reptiles such as Ichthyosaurs and Plesiosaurs could maintain a constant body temperature well above the temperature of the surrounding water. In a study includes measuring oxygen isotopes in fossil teeth to estimate the body temperatures of extinct animals and it was through this extraordinary technique that paleontologists found that Ichthyosaurs and Plesiosaurs had body temperatures higher than their surroundings.
Professor Ryosuke Motani of the UC Davis Department of Geology had this to say:
"These [sea reptiles] all came from land reptiles, who we're pretty sure were so-called cold-blooded, and it was probably the same when they started swimming. But over time it looks like homeothermy evolved, and so we need to figure out when that happened and why,"
The study also shows us that Mosasaurs had a body temperature equal to the water temperature.
The mysterious Typothorax has remained just that for around a century since its discovery by E.D Cope but due to the discovery of two complete skeletons in new Mexico paleontologists now have the answers to questions that they couldn’t answer before. Paleontologists are now able to answer questions such as what Typothorax really looked like, how it walked around plus many more paleontologists have been clueless about for more than a century.
The lead author of the study Dr. Andy Heckert of Appalachian State University explains how important the discovery is:
‘‘We now know that some previously established ideas about these animals were mistaken,” said Heckert. “For the first time we can get a realistic estimate of the size of these animals, and at only 2.5m [~7 feet) and about 100kg (225 lb) they are not as large as previously thought.’’
It is exciting news for many fans and followers of vertebrate paleontology alike.