Swarthmore is interested in showing interest

All the news on dinosaur interest since 2000

29.03.2019

First evidence one Lambeosaurinae discovered in northern Alaska
SHORT MESSAGE:

In northern Alaska, in the so-called Liscomb Bonebed, researchers have found the part of a skull that they have given to one based on its anatomy Lambeosaurinae assign. This counts as the first proof of a Hadrosaurs from the group of Lambeosaurinaethat was found here. Other Hadrosaurs from the group of Hadrosaurinae have already been found here several times - along with other dinosaurs such as Dromaeosauridae, Troodontidae, Tyrannosaurs and Ceratopsidae.

Similarities to Canadian Lambeosaurinae confirm the already existing assumption of an intensive migration between the northern and southern latitudes, which was already indicated by the presence of the other dinosaur species.

That more often Hadrosaurinae-Fossils were discovered, mainly those of the Edmontosaurus, indicates, according to the researchers, that here the Hadrosaurinae were numerically more represented than that Lambeosaurinae. Since this is a former coastal area, this find confirms the observation, which has already been made several times, that in the vicinity of seas there are more Hadrosaurinae stayed while in inland areas rather the Lambeosaurinae dominated, as suggested by localities in Russia and China.

Although it was warmer in the Upper Cretaceous than it is today, extreme weather conditions are likely to have prevailed in the Arctic region at that time, which made it necessary to adapt to the adverse environmental conditions. Presumably there were recurring floods and a fluctuating water level at this point.

29.03.2019

"Death Bed" in North Dakota tells of the first hours after the meteorite hit the Yucat'n
SHORT MESSAGE:

66 million years ago, a meteorite impact in an inland sea created a tsunami-like wave that killed and buried fish, mammals and insects - the first victims of mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period. An unprecedented find has now been made in North Dakota (USA) that reflects this death scene:

It started with tremendous tremors that caused a huge wave in an inland sea in what is now North Dakota. Then tiny glass beads fell from the sky like shotgun pellets, setting much of the vegetation on land on fire. In the water, the glass beads clogged the gills of the fish, which gasped for breath. Then a 30 meter high wave sloshed ashore and swept hundreds to thousands of freshwater fish from the inland sea, which were pierced by the falling glass beads with a diameter of up to 5 millimeters. After 10 to 20 minutes, during which the glass beads continued to sink and a torrent of rocks and fine sand continued to affect the fish washed ashore, a second wave reached the land and buried the fish that had previously been left behind under a new load of gravel, sand and fine sand Sediment, sealing the scene of the tragedy for the next 66 million years.

This unique, petrified cemetery, showing the fish stacked on top of each other, mixed with burnt tree trunks, conifer branches, dead mammals, Mosasaurus bones, the carcass of one Triceratops, Insects and various other small creatures, has been excavated by researchers in the Hell Creek Formation near Bowman, North Dakota, over the past six years. When it was discovered in 2013, the paleontologist Robert DePalma suspected that this was a death bed that was directly related to the meteorite impact from 66 million years ago, which was ultimately responsible for the extinction of 75 percent of all species .

In a study to be published next week, DePalma and his colleagues explain how this place, called "Tanis", and the meteorite impact on the Yucatán Peninsula are related.

In 1979 Walter Alvarez and his father discovered a narrow layer of iridium that can be found all over the world and for the first time combined it with an asteroid impact that occurred at the so-called K-Pg boundary (chalk-paleogene boundary).

The impact of a large asteroid - so the thesis - would have melted the rock, pulverized the asteroid and sent dust and molten rock into the stratosphere. With the help of the wind, the dust would have been carried around the whole planet and covered it in such a way that the sun's rays would have been kept away from the earth for several months, if not years. The clouds of debris would then have rained down all the dirt, including remnants of the continental crust and stone melted into glass beads. In the end, the iridium-containing dust from the powdered asteroid would have fallen to earth and deposited as a thin layer on the disaster.

The site that has now been discovered shows: at least twice after the meteorite impact, the water spilled ashore in huge waves at this point, leaving behind a layer of deposits almost one and a half meters thick.

"And now we have this great and completely unexpected site that Robert DePalma excavated in North Dakota. There you will find detailed information about what happened as a result of the effects," says Walter Alvarez enthusiastically and sees his theory confirmed, especially as it does For the first time, shocked quartz and glass balls were found together with the animals killed immediately after the impact. For the first time, it was possible to detect glass beads in the gills of fish. Amber, which had enclosed some of these glass beads, was also found. The special thing about it is that these glass beads remained unchanged due to the inclusion. So the find could be dated to an age of 66 million years. Finding one Triceratops- and one Hadrosaurus-Cadavers continue to show that non-avian dinosaurs existed at the time of the tsunami wave.

This find is so far unique and a sensation. Above all, Alvarez and his colleagues, who for 40 years have argued the hypothesis of an asteroid impact as the trigger for mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous, feel confirmed and see the find as a gift at the end of their careers.

28.03.2019

Kaijutitan: Remains of a previously unknown titanosaur discovered in Argentina
SHORT MESSAGE:

In the province of Neuquén (western Argentina), a previously unknown, basal Titanosaurs-Art from the Middle Upper Cretaceous that discovered the name Kaijutitan maui received - roughly translated as: "Monster Titan from M (unicipal) A (rgentino) U (rquiza)" (The Municipal Argentino Urquiza, whose abbreviation MAU is the species name, is a museum in Rincón de los Sauces in the Argentine province of Neuquén.)

An incoherent partial skeleton, including the skull, was found over an area of ​​20 square meters. However, since only a few vertebrae and an incomplete femur were found, the size can only be determined by comparing it with others Titanosaurs to be appreciated. However, the researchers suspect that it is between in size Giraffatitan and Notocolossus is to settle, which would mean that it came to a length between 25 and 30 meters and reached a weight that was over 38 tons but under 60 tons.

What was striking about the skeleton were its cervical vertebrae, which have bidentate neural spines. Apparently, the cervical spines had developed several times under the sauropods, as the researchers suspect in their study.

22.03.2019

Lingyuanosaurus, Beipiaosaurus and Jianchangosaurus: small therizinosaur discovered in northeast China
SHORT MESSAGE:

In northeast China, in Liaoning Province, more precisely near the city of Lingyuan and the associated Sihedang district, the remains of a new, small one were found Therizinosaurus-Type found from the Lower Cretaceous, the name due to the locality Lingyuanosaurus sihedangensis received.

Although the skeleton was only partially preserved, it could Lingyuanosaurus nevertheless as Therizinosaurus can be identified, especially since in its anatomy it has properties of both earlier and later ones Therizinosaurs shows. Lingyuanosaurus, which is thus seen as an intermediate stage, helps researchers to develop the Therizinosaur to understand better.

Therizinosaur apply - even though they have the Theropods be attributed - as herbivores. Therefore, they differ from others primarily in that they have a much wider pool Theropods. They also had leaf-shaped molars in their beak-like snouts, elongated necks and legs that weren't particularly good for hunting.

By comparing with others Therizinosaurs the new find suggests that the pelvic girdle has not adapted linearly to the plant-based diet, but that different parts of the pelvis have been modified at different speeds, which has led to different TherizinosaurSpecies also had differently adapted pelvic girdles. The researchers speak of a mosaic distribution.

In the course of evolution, the hind legs also adapted to the search for plant-based food, so that the ability to run quickly and with endurance decreased: the bones became stronger and the shinbone became shorter in relation to the thigh bone.

Lingyuanosaurus however, still had the longer shins of the early one Therizinosaur, but already the straight thighbones of the later forms with a reduced trochanter (thickened point at the end of the thigh where the muscles attach).

In the same region where Lingyuanosaurus was found, two more were found earlier Therizinosaur discovered: Jianchangosaurus and Beipiaosaurus. Surprisingly, all three species have a similar body size, which is rather unusual for an occurrence in one region.

The researchers cite three possible scenarios that could explain this unusual constellation:
  1. Since the place of discovery cannot be categorized one hundred percent in time and the rock layers have been deposited over a period of at least eight million years, these three could be Therizinosaur lived at different times and would not have got in each other's way.

  2. The three finds were found in geographically slightly distant areas, possibly separated from one another by a geographic barrier.

  3. Despite being the same size, the three could Therizinosaur have occupied different ecological niches, especially since there are slight anatomical differences between them: So possessed Jianchangosaurus teeth differently shaped in the middle and rear dentition than the other two Therizinosaurwhich suggests another food while Beipiaosaurus has a shorter thigh bone compared to the other two, which indicates a different mode of locomotion.

21.03.2019

Enantiornithes-Chicks were more developed than today's nests and could possibly fly directly
SHORT MESSAGE:

Last year, the 127-million-year-old fossil was newly hatched, just under five centimeters tall and probably weighing around 85 grams EnantiornithesChick found more than ten years earlier in the Las Hoyas formation in Spain. Despite a thorough examination, the researchers could not see any feathers and therefore did not want to comment on whether the animal was a nestling or a nest-fledger. (see message from February 2018)

(The Enantiornithes were a sister group of the modern birds, but differed from them by a toothed beak and claws on the fingers. At the end of the Cretaceous Period, they died out along with all non-avian dinosaurs.)

Now researchers have reported that they were able to detect feathers on the Spanish fossil using what is known as laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF). So they recognized feather residues all over the body and an approximately three centimeter long flight feather on the left wing. On the neck the feathers were striped light and dark and arranged rather bushy.

The researchers therefore now see this chick as a nest curse - less as a nest seat, since the latter are usually born naked.

In addition, the researchers originally suspected that the chick was not yet capable of flight, as its sternum was still made of cartilage and so could not have developed enough resistance for a flight. The fully developed flight feather that has now been discovered, however, gives the impression that this nest escape may very well have been able to fly with its wings. Thus, the chick seems to have hatched much more developed than today's fledglings, who see the light of day, although feathered, but not yet able to fly.

In addition, this finding allows a connection to the 121 million year old fossil of a Enantiornithes-Manufacture embryos that were found in China and introduced back in 2004. This embryo seemed to be about to hatch, but it was also more developed than today's nests. (see message from October 2004)

21.03.2019

"Scotty" from Canada was the oldest, largest and heaviest Tyrannosaurus rexthat has been found so far
SHORT MESSAGE:

As early as 1991, the first 66 million year old remains became one Tyrannosaurus rex-Skeletons found in Saskatchewan, Canada, excavated in 1994. The sandstone in which this specimen was embedded. was so tough it took researchers over a decade to expose the bones. Well, after careful studies of the relatively complete skeleton (65 percent), this one could T.rex, which was named "Scotty", will be presented to the public.

Accordingly, it is a full-grown specimen that is larger than all found so far Tyrannosaurs and - according to the researcher - also larger than any previously found Theropods was: This one Tyrannosaurus rex brought it to a length of 13 meters and - according to analysis of the thigh bone - probably to a weight of 8,800 kilograms. In addition, "Scotty" is also considered the Tyrannosaurus rex, which of all specimens has so far reached the highest age: Based on the bone rings, it is concluded that he was just over 30 years old at the time of his death.

The previous record holder among the Tyrannosaurs was the famous skeleton nicknamed "Sue". However, it "only" brought it to a length of 12.3 meters and a weight of 8,600 kilograms. In addition, she was probably only 28 years old.

Like "Sue", "Scotty" also suffered from various painting meals during his lifetime. An infection in the jaw and various broken ribs were diagnosed. Bite wounds on the tail could also be found, which probably came from conspecifics.

The researchers have not yet been able to determine whether "Scotty" was a male or a female. The nickname goes back to the celebration when the first remains were found - the only alcoholic beverage available was a bottle of scotch.

You can read a funny interview with Scotty (but in English) here.

21.03.2019

Avimaia: Enantiornithes-The female may have died of egg shortage 110 million years ago
SHORT MESSAGE:

In northwest China, researchers were already working on a bird fossil from the group of around 110 million years old in the mid-2000s Enantiornithes that had a strange membrane-like structure in it. However, they never got around to investigating this fossil.

In 2018, a postdoc began working at the Chinese Institute for Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) and, while searching for a research project, discovered this previously forgotten fossil in the institute's archive.

After careful analysis, the membrane-like structure turned out to be an eggshell. The bird was probably about to lay its eggs when it died. The researchers therefore suspected that tubular bone marrow should also be found in this specimen, a calcium reservoir that today's mother birds create to produce the calcareous eggshells. This tubular bone marrow is only temporarily available - just when a female bird lays its eggs. And the researchers found what they were looking for.

Mary Higby-Schweitzer had this long bone marrow on one person back in 2005 Tyrannosaurus- Detect a skeleton and thus identify this specimen as a female.The newly discovered bird is now in her honor Avimaia schweitzerae (translated as: "(Mary Higby) Schweitzer's mother bird") called, which she commented with the words: "Isn't that the coolest thing ever? I was so surprised - I feel very honored."

Avimaia is the first fossil bird to be discovered with an unlaid egg. However, this egg had several layers of shell in some places. If a female bird is unable to lay the egg for whatever reason, the egg shell continues to grow and becomes so thick that the embryo in the egg suffocates. This laying trouble, that of the female bird Avimaia was diagnosed by the multi-layer eggshell, according to researchers, possibly leading to an early and excruciating death.

20.03.2019

Iberodactylus: Lower Cretaceous pterosaurs from Spain show similarities to those from China Hamipterus
SHORT MESSAGE:

In northeastern Spain, near the village of Obón, the fragmentary remains of a pterosaur from the group of toothed short-tailed pterosaurs (Pterodactyloidea) found. The newly discovered pterosaur that lived in the Lower Cretaceous (more precisely in the Barremium) was given the name Iberodactylus andreui (translated roughly: "Andreus Iberian finger" - Javier Andreu is a local fossil collector who discovered the remains at the end of the 1980s - the ending "dactylus = finger" is often used in pterosaur names).

It is at Iberodactylus a pterosaur from the group of Annexueria, but it shows little resemblance to other European pterosaurs from this group, but seems to be related more closely Hamipterus tianshanensis from China to stand. Hence were now Iberodactylus and Hamipterus reunited in a new family, the Hamipteridae is called and as a sister taxon of Annexueridae applies.

(Closer family relationships of animals from the Lower Cretaceous also occur in other tetrapods, e.g. in Titanosauriformes or Crocodyliformes, but also with the Orntithomimosauria: So shows Pelecanimimimus E.g. a family relationship to Harpymimus and Garudimimus.)

Iberodactylus Presumably lived in a coastal environment as many marine fossils have been found in the immediate vicinity. Despite the extremely fragmentary state of the fossil, the researchers suspect - by making comparisons with Hamipterus and others Pterosaurs - that Iberodactylus had a wingspan of about four meters.

18.03.2019

Did the dinosaurs make neural sound maps to represent the location of sounds?
SHORT MESSAGE:

Hearing studies in birds, alligators, and mammals found that birds and alligators create what are known as neural sound maps to help locate where a sound is coming from. This ability could not be demonstrated in mammals.

Up until now it was assumed that the ability to orientate oneself in a room based on noises was related to head size and shape. Since birds and alligators have very different head sizes and shapes, but use a similar strategy for hearing, this ability is very likely already developed in archosaurs, the common ancestors of alligators and birds and thus also in the ancestors of dinosaurs have been.

In this respect, the researchers assume that the dinosaurs also created these neural sound maps for the orientation of noises.

14.03.2019

The first known hard-shell eggs appeared at the Sauropods 195 million years ago in the Lower Jurassic
SHORT MESSAGE:

An international team of researchers has examined the oldest egg finds. They come from four to eight meters long Sauropodswho traveled 195 million years ago in what is now Argentina, China and South Africa, land masses that at that time still formed a huge continent: Pangea.

Although the ancestors of today's reptiles and mammals are known from the Carboniferous, or to be more precise, they appear in the fossil record 316 million years ago, there are no remains that suggest eggs or nests. Egg fossils first appear in the Lower Jurassic in connection with dinosaurs.

The researchers cannot yet provide an answer to the question of why the dinosaurs suddenly laid hard-shelled eggs, even if the shells could not yet be compared with those of bird eggs. They were as big as today's goose eggs, had a spherical shape and were extremely thin-walled, so that they broke easily. Nevertheless, the curvature of the fossil shells was retained over the course of millions of years.

The team examined the shell thickness of the eggs, the membrane, the mineral content and the pore distribution and came to the conclusion that the hard-shelled eggs developed quite early in the dinosaur family tree, but that several groups of dinosaurs laid eggs with a thicker shell independently in the course of evolution. The researchers suspect that this was done to protect the embryos, to protect them from predators or from animals that burrowed through the nest. The increase in oxygen in the atmosphere may also have contributed to this development.

The researchers also want to get to the bottom of another question in their study: Why didn't the dinosaurs, like mammals, give birth to live cubs instead of letting them mature in hard-shell eggs?

12.03.2019

Convolosaurus: Remains of 29 individuals of a putative Hypsilophodontidaethat turns out to be Iguanodontia emerged from the Lower Cretaceous, found in Texas
SHORT MESSAGE:

34 years ago, more precisely in May 1985, various remains of a previously unknown were discovered near Proctor Lake in northern Texas (USA) Ornithopods-Art discovered from the Lower Cretaceous, which has now finally been described.

A total of 488 fossil bones were discovered from this new dinosaur, derived from at least 29 individuals of different ages. Due to the large number of finds, almost every region of the body is represented by a bone.

Since so many individuals were found in one place, the dinosaur, which was described as "small" (but without specifying the size), was given the name Convolosaurus marri (translated as: "Dr. Ray H. Marrs swarm lizard or herd lizard"). Based on the find, the researchers assume that this dinosaur lived in herds - possibly for its own protection.

For a long time, this new species of dinosaur, estimated to be around 125 million years old, was unofficially listed as the "Proctor Lake Hypsilophodont", but closer analysis now revealed that this dinosaur was not one at all Hypsilophodontidae acts, but a Iguanodontia, with close relatives too Tenontosaurus. Convolosaurus is therefore considered a sister taxon to the Hypsilophodontodae.

11.03.2019

Galleonosaurus: Remains of a Labrador-sized ornithopod from the Lower Cretaceous discovered in Australia
SHORT MESSAGE:

Ten years ago, near the cities of Inverloch and Wonthaggi in the extreme southeast of Australia, five upper jaws of a previously unknown, herbivorous dinosaur species were found that have now been described compared to the size of a wallaby - small to medium-sized kangaroos) Ornithopoda, which got the name because of the upper jaw reminiscent of a galleon Galleonosaurus dorisae (translated approximately: "Doris' Galleonenechse" - Dr. Doris Seegets-Villiers wrote her doctoral thesis on the paleontological history of this region - galleons were Spanish sailing ships that were often used in the 16th century in the war).

Galleonosaurus lived here about 125 million years ago in the Lower Cretaceous and was likely close to another Ornithopoda related to the Diluvicursor pickeringi, which was described last year, but about 12 million years later than Galleonosaurus lived. According to researchers, this age difference suggests that this group of Ornithopoda could thrive here magnificently.

Another closer relationship can be seen to the Ornithopoda from Patagonia (Argentina), which speaks for the busy land bridges on the giant Cretaceous continent Gondwana, which connected the land masses of Australia, South America and the Antarctic today.

With Galleonosaurus have now become five different Ornithopoda found in the state of Victoria. The palates found come from animals of different ages.

07.03.2019

210 million year old dinosaur footprints discovered in Valley Forge National Historical Park, Pennsylvania
SHORT MESSAGE:

At Valley Forge National Historical Park in the US state of Pennsylvania, visitors have walked dinosaur footprints for decades without realizing that prehistoric animals once wandered around here.

Now these fossilized footsteps from the Triassic period, around 210 million years old, of which dozen are found here, have been discovered by a representative of the park. The exact location is kept secret, however, so that no vandalism takes place.

The longest footprint is just under 23 centimeters long and possibly comes from a two to three meter long and around 1.5 meter high predatory dinosaur.

According to the coordinator of the National Park Service's palaeontology program, the park official is considering whether the best tracks should be excavated and secured. As an educational subject, they would certainly have some value.

06.03.2019

Exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York: "T. rex: The Ultimate Predator "
SHORT MESSAGE:

In the American Museum of Natural History in New York (USA) there will be an exhibition starting next week with the title "T. rex: The Ultimate Predator "("T.rex, the ultimate hunter). It will be on display until August 20th next year.

In this exhibition, according to the museum, the entire tyrannosaur family is brought closer to the visitors with the help of fossils and casts, as well as life-size models and through interactive activities and "virtual reality".

This involves questions such as: How long has T.rex lived, and how fast did it grow? What survival strategies did a young man have T.rexbefore he became the ultimate predator as an adult? And what discoveries have paleontologists made with new fossils and breakthrough technology?

So in the exhibition are also the reconstruction of a fluffy, helpless T.rex-Cubs and those of a four-year-old teenager T.rex ' be visible. When it comes to fletching, the researchers assume that at least the feathers on the head and tail continued to grow into adulthood.

In the reconstruction of the young animals, it will be noticeable that the arms were relatively long compared to their adult relatives and that they were therefore much better suited for grasping prey than the short arms of the adults.

Recent finds even suggest that the arms of the adult T.rex were even shorter than previously shown. However, one should not assume that this made them completely unusable. The bones of the arms were too robust and the joints too flexible for that.

The researchers even suspect that the arms had quite strong muscles. Possibly the arms and claws were used to tear apart the carcass of the hunted animal, although with a biting force of 34,500 Newtons (a biting force only that of the also extinct ancient crocodile Deinosuchus was exceeded and is not reached by any species living today) the use of the arms should have been rather marginal.

06.03.2019

Alleged decline in dinosaur numbers at the end of the Cretaceous Period is related to poor fossil record
SHORT MESSAGE:

The argument continues to be made that the dinosaurs decreased in number at the end of the Cretaceous Period and that the asteroid should not have contributed much to the final destruction of the non-avian dinosaurs.

This statement contradicts a new study that focuses on the dinosaur finds in North America. Accordingly, the rumor mentioned above goes back to an inaccurate fossil record.

At that time, at the end of the Cretaceous Period, North America was divided into a western and an eastern half by a longitudinal sea, the Western Interior Seaway. While to the west of this sea (on the landmass "Laramidia") the conditions for fossilization of dead animals were very good, the conditions on the eastern side (on the landmass "Appalachia") were rather bad. It is therefore not surprising that not so many dinosaurs are found to the east.

In their study, which has now been presented, the researchers worked with what is known as "ecological niche modeling". Here it is analyzed which environmental factors different species need to survive and where they occurred geographically and temporally.

According to their results, the appropriate environmental conditions were more widespread and longer than expected. However, the good environmental properties often occurred where the conditions for fossilization were rather low. On the other hand, the areas with good fossilization conditions were rather small in size, so that not too many dinosaurs stayed here. In both cases, only a few dinosaurs were found, so that the impression was given that only a few dinosaurs had ever lived.

In this respect, it is a fallacy to infer the number of dinosaurs from the findings alone. According to the researchers, the number of dinosaurs had by no means decreased and the dinosaurs were in full bloom when the Chicxulub asteroid struck, which started the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period.

04.03.2019

Hadrosaurus-Tail vertebrae with bite marks of a young person T.rex
SHORT MESSAGE:

On a caudal vertebra of a partial Hadrosaurus- Skeleton discovered in Montana, USA, bite marks were found, probably from a teenage boy Tyrannosaurus rex come.

In the late Cretaceous period, in addition to the various herbivores, some larger predators lived here Dromaeosaurs, Crocodiles and the Tyrannosaurus rex. Since the found impression pattern of the teeth neither to Dromaeosaurs still matches crocodiles, there is a high probability that it will be T.rex come.

However, the punctures of the bone caused by the teeth are too close together for them to be from an adult T.rex could come from. However, they show extremely great similarity to bite marks that were discovered on various juvenile Tyrannosaurus skeletons and that were attributed to rank fights among juveniles of the same species (see: News from Nov. 2009).

The researchers suspect that the one found in Wyoming Hadrosaurs at the time of the bite had already died and the juvenile T.rex, estimated to be 11 to 12 years old, peeked at the carcass that had already been eviscerated by other predatory dinosaurs. They conclude from observing today's predators, who usually take the tail last. According to researchers, this shows that the youngsters Tyrannosaurs already preferred a food spectrum similar to that of the adult animals, even if they did not yet have the ability to bite.

Had an adult T.rex bitten into the vertebra would have broken apart. The youthful one Tyrannosaurus on the other hand, he had the strength to drive his teeth into the bone, but this was not enough to bite it into pieces.

04.03.2019

Isn't volcanism more responsible for the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous than the Chicxulub impact?
SHORT MESSAGE:

A research team led by Gerta Keller and Blair Schoene from Princeton University in the US state of New Jersey has tried to date the Deccan Traps in India, which go back to the volcanism at the end of the Cretaceous period and are suspected of mass extinction, in which around 75 percent of all animal and plant species on earth died out, to have been causally involved.

To do this, the researchers analyzed uranium-containing zirconium crystals that they found in small amounts of fossil ash between the lava flows.

According to the analyzes, there were four spurts in which the volcanoes erupted, throwing huge amounts of sulfur and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. While sulfur gases help cool the atmosphere, carbon dioxide has a warming effect. The result was extreme climatic fluctuations that alternated between cold and warm periods.These were difficult conditions for life on earth.

According to the researchers, two of the four thrusts occurred before the mass extinction, with the second occurring "only" a few tens of thousands of years before the impact of the Chicxulub meteorite. Keller, who has always been of the opinion that volcanism played a more significant role in extinction than impact, concludes from the findings: "The Deccan volcanism is the most likely cause of the mass extinction of dinosaurs. The Chicxulub Impact could perhaps lead to their downfall have contributed, but the timing and environmental impact of this impact still need to be investigated in more detail. "

For Pincelli Hull, assistant professor of geology and geophysics at Yale, who was not involved in the research, the result is not so clear. She explains that this study would contribute a lot to the timing of the volcanic eruptions. Nevertheless, the connection with the time of the outgassing has not yet been clarified and therefore it is not yet possible to conclusively clarify which role volcanism and impact had played in the mass extinction.

01.03.2019

Leptocleidus: Cervical vertebrae of a plesiosaur about three mater long discovered in Spain
SHORT MESSAGE:

In northeastern Spain near Morella, Castellón was a large number at Plesiosaurs-Fossils consisting of teeth and various vertebrae (cervical, thoracic, dorsal and sacral vertebrae) were found, which could not be assigned to a single group. However, underneath it was an almost complete cervical vertebra, that of a small one Plesiosaurs-Art that was previously only known from England, Australia and South Africa: the Leptocleidus.

Leptocleidus With a length of three meters, it is one of the smaller ones Plesiosaurs and is characterized by a relatively short neck and a relatively large triangular head.

Those found in Spain Plesiosaurs-Fossils come from rocks that are dated to an age of 125 million years, and thus come from the Lower Cretaceous. At that time there was a large delta that ran along the coast.

In contrast to others Plesiosaurs inhabited the Leptocleididae rather shallow seas and could probably survive even in the brackish water of such a delta.