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  • Originally published 07/30/2013

    Dinosaur skeletons headed to auction, not museum

    Many paleontologists agree that two fossilized dinosaur skeletons found in the Hell Creek formation in Montana might be a major discovery.The fossils apparently show two dinosaurs locked together in mortal combat in a Cretaceous-era grave, an example of fighting that could provide a rare window into dinosaur behavior.Perhaps more important, each of the skeletons may be a new kind of dinosaur — a Nanotyrannus lancensis, a type of pygmy T. rex, and a Chasmosaurine ceratopsian, a close relation of the Triceratops.But scientists may never know for sure. Going against the hopes of many paleontologists, these two nearly complete skeletons, found by commercial prospectors on a private ranch, are not going directly to a museum for further study. Instead, billed as the “Montana dueling dinosaurs,” they will be auctioned in November by Bonhams in New York, for a projected price of $7 million to $9 million, which would be one of the highest prices ever paid for dinosaur fossils....

  • Originally published 07/15/2013

    T. rex tooth found embedded in prey

    Threats to the fearsome reputation of Tyrannosaurs rex appeared to have been seen off on Monday by fresh evidence unearthed in the US.The dinosaur's feeding habits have long been debated by academics, with some claiming that T rex was less a ferocious hunter and more a lumbering slowcoach that scavenged the carcasses of beasts that had died at the claws of others.The latest evidence comes from palaeontologists who found remnants of a prehistoric skirmish in a slab of rock at the Hell Creek Formation in South Dakota. The clash, which occurred around 66m years ago, involved a T rex and a large, plant-eating hadrosaur, and ended with the tooth of the former lodged firmly in the spine of the latter.Scans of the tooth and two surrounding tail vertebrae showed clear signs of bone healing around the wound, taken as proof that the hadrosaur was alive at the time of the attack and survived for several months or even years afterwards....

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Smuggled dinosaur skeleton returned to Mongolia

    NEW YORK — It may be the first time a dead dinosaur is flying for free.U.S. authorities in New York are returning a 70-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus skeleton to the Mongolian government this week.The artifact will be flown to its native land free of charge via Korean Air, U.S. and Mongolian officials said Monday while announcing the repatriation of the priceless artifact."We are very pleased to have played a pivotal role in returning Mongolia's million-dollar baby," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. "Of course, that million-dollar price tag, as high as it is, doesn't begin to describe the true value of an ancient artifact that is part of the fabric of a country's natural history and cultural heritage."...

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