Real life cowboy Clayton Phipps rides the Montana Badlands with a shovel and a GPS device hunting for dinosaur fossils. Along with his partner, former flooring salesman Mark Eatman, he has made some of the biggest amateur finds in recent years.
A T. rex tooth worth $10,000.
A Stygimoloch (that he calls a horned, ‘freaky critter’) that went for $100,000.
And the famous dueling dinosaurs which are expected to fetch $7 million at auction in Manhattan.
He credits his success to his keen fossil hunter’s eye, honed over the years to spot anomalies in the Hell’s Creek landscape. He can pick out a lump of black rock that turns out to be a piece of ankylosaur armor and in his home dino-lab he spends hours using X-Acto knives, debonder and a dentist’s microblaster to remove the rock and dirt around the specimen.
Whether you’re a former ranch-hand or a flooring salesman, keep your eyes open when you’re in the field—that next big find could be at your feet.
Check out the full story at: http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/the-dinosaur-cowboy-20140224
(Photograph by Jose Mandojana)
Recent research at Lund University in Sweden has revealed the true colors of several marine dinosaurs. Since soft tissue usually isn’t fossilized we don’t often catch a glimpse of the colors that ancient reptiles displayed. But new techniques involving chemical traces in the rocks surrounding fossils, high-energy particles and electron microscopes have brought the prehistoric rainbow to life. Researchers studied the remains of a giant turtle, a mosasaur and an ichthyosaur and found ovoid pigments that suggest the lizards were black—perfect camouflage for the lightless depths of the ancient oceans.
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In this wildest and weirdest of winters, storms have battered much of the UK creating massive floods. And the rising waters have brought some odd-ball things to light. Workers at a Welsh golf course found a three-foot long Cod lying on the third green. Bombs dropped into the sea by the Germans during WWII were washed ashore on the giant tides. And in the most incredible reveal of all a complete ichthyosaur skeleton was revealed by storms along the Dorset Coast.
Check out the rest of the strange sightings in this article:
The asteroid that likely wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was big enough that its impact sent fragments flying into space—some as far as Mars and even Jupiter’s moon, Europa. And scientists believe that those fragments were large enough to carry life—at least of the microscopic variety.
Enough big chunks were thrown from the Earth that astrobiologist Prof Jay Melosh, of Purdue University even says, “I sometimes joke that we might find ammonite shells on the Moon from that event.”
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A two-ton dinosaur covered in heavy armor is making paleontologists rethink how the ancient world looked. Europelta carbonensis lived more than 110 million years ago and examples have now been found in both Utah and in a cave in Spain. Trouble is, we used to think that the two continents split apart much earlier than that—like 80 million years earlier.
So either Europelta walked between the two continents much later than thought or it is much older than previously thought. Scientists think it’s the first.
Check out this article for more info:
(Image: Black Hills Institute of Geological Research Inc and Katie Busch/CK Preparations)
Two Late Cretaceous dinosaurs—a tryannosaurid and a triceratops relative—that died while locked in mortal combat were fossilized together in the same piece of Badlands rock. And recently they were put up for auction to private collectors by Bonham’s Auction House. Dubbed perhaps the most complete skeletons ever found in North America, the two fossils were expected to sell for between 7 and 9 million dollars—but the bids topped out at $5.5 million.
That turns out to be great news because rather than going into private hands and perhaps never being seen again, the fossils will now be offered for sale to “scientific homes.”
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In recent years bandits on motorcycles have been descending on dig sites in Asia to steal ancient and important finds while paleontologists sleep. The dinosaur fossils are hastily removed and carried off into the night.
Through an underground network of fences and middlemen the fossils are smuggled out of the country and sold to private collectors.
The cost to science and our understanding of prehistory is incalculable.
Check out this great look at the burgeoning Jurassic crime spree: