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Movie Stars and Stolen Dinosaurs—Update

Eight years after purchasing a Tyrannosaurus bataar skull from L.A. art gallery, I.M. Chait, actor Nicholas Cage has returned the stolen find to its native Mongolia.

Cage outbid fellow star and fossil buff, Leonardo DiCaprio for the skull back in 2007, paying $276,000. Cage received a certificate of authenticity from the gallery, and, at the time, all seemed cool.

But then the Department of Homeland Security came knocking. And suspicions were raised that perhaps the skull had connections to infamous fossil thief, Eric Prokopi—who has since served a stretch in the big house for the theft of another Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton from Mongolia.

Once he was advised of that his bataar had been illegally smuggled out of Mongolia Cage agreed to give it back to its country of origin.

Way to do the right thing, Mr. Cage!

Check out the details here:

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/dec/22/nicolas-cage-returns-stolen-mongolian-dinosaur-skull-he-bought-at-gallery

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Nessie Makes Tracks

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(Image from Reuters)

Researchers recently uncovered 170 million-year-old fossilized tracks made by a heard of colossal sauropods crossing Scotland’s Isle of Skye.

The tracks, some as much as two feet across, indicate these were massive beasts—maybe 50ft in length and weighing up to 20 tons. Perhaps they were early cousins of brontosaurs or Diplodocii?

Although recent finds suggest sauropods were able to support their own terrific weight on land, this pack had been wading through the depths of the lagoon. Maybe feeding? Maybe avoiding predators?

It’s too soon to say.

But, huge reptilian beasts trekking across prehistoric Scotland…makes you wonder what’s hanging around that loch all these years later…

Check out the article at: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/12/04/giant-footprints-in-scotland-reveal-the-dinosaurs-that-once-roamed-there.html

 

Siberian dinosaur: fuzzy or feathered?

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A very weird dinosaur found in Siberia reveals that it’s possible that more dinosaurs than previously thought had both scales and feathers—not just the ones who ended up evolving into modern-day birds.

Several hundred of the 140 million-year-old weirdo dinos died and were quickly buried in the sediments on the bottom of a lake. The unique conditions excellently preserved their remains—even their skin. And paleontologists say that the skin is made up of three different types of scales as well as three kinds of feathers.

Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus was part of the dino family that includes more famous names like about stegosaurus, ankylosaurus, and triceratops. All of them were previously believed to be scalely. But now scientists have to reevaluate.

The Kulindadromeus was one and half metres long, walked on two feet and had feathers…. maybe his relatives had a little bird in them as well.

Check out the full story at: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/07/24/incredible_fuzzy_siberian_dinosaur_rekindles_feather_debate.html

 

Mary Anning – the Dorset Dinosaur Hunter

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Mary Anning – the Dorset Dinosaur Hunter

The greatest fossil hunter the world has ever seen was a woman who lived more than two hundred years ago in Dorset, England. Mary Anning, also known as the monster hunter, was responsible for discovering ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and the first recognized pterosaur fossil in England. She got her start combing the beaches of the Dorset coast with her father—and though he died when she was only eleven, she got her passion for the strange beasts captured in the rock of her native county from him.
Check out her fascinating story here:

http://www.strangescience.net/anning.htm

What Color is Your Dinosaur?

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What Color is Your Dinosaur?

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.
Check out the full story here:

http://news.sciencemag.org/paleontology/2014/01/true-color-ancient-sea-creatures

Former Microsoft CTO Says Paleontologists are Wrong

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Former Microsoft CTO Says Paleontologists are Wrong

The gloves are off!
Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, mathematician, physicist, amateur fossil hunter and former chief technology officer at Microsoft says research on dinosaur growth and lifespans done more than ten years ago was flawed. He reviewed and applied new statistical methods to the original data used by Dr. Gregory Erickson professor of anatomy and paleobiology at Florida State University. And Myhrvold says, Erickson’s work contains major mistakes. To Myhrvold the data shows that dinosaurs grew much slower than Erickson suggested, and they lived a lot longer.
Check out the article here: http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/18/5226082/nathan-mythvold-says-dinosaur-researchers-made-serious-errors

Tank-like Dinosaur Makes Us Rethink World Map

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Tank-like Dinosaur Makes Us Rethink World Map

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:

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57209899-78/europe-utah-coal-kirkland.html.csp