Paleontology

Chilesaurus diegosuarezi specimen

An article published in the journal “Biology Letters” describes a research on Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, a dinosaur that caused perplexity among paleontologists because it looked like a T.rex’s vegetarian cousin and had other characteristics that made it a kind of jigsaw puzzle of various species. According to Matthew Baron and Paul M. Barrett this dinosaur that lived in today’s Chile about 145 million years ago is a missing link that shows how carnivorous theropods have evolved into herbivorous long-necked ornithischians.

Extract of sedimentary rocks (Photo courtesy Stuart Hay / ANU)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research that provides an explanation for the rise of animals on Earth. According to a team of researchers led by the Australian National University (ANU), animals evolved at the height of a series of events. There was the end of the glacial period known as Snowball Earth and the spread of algae, which became together with simple substances a crucial source of nutrients that allowed more complex organisms to emerge.

The digging of Patagotitan mayorum's bones (Photo courtesy Museo Egidio Feruglio)

An article published in the journal “Proceedings of the Royal Society B” describes the study of the most massive titanosaurus discovered so far. Called Patagotitan mayorum, it was about 37 meters long (122 feet), about 6 meters (20 feet) tall and its weight was estimated at 69 tons, which make it the largest animal that ever lived on the mainland. It lived in the late Cretaceous, between 95 and 100 million years ago, in today’s Patagonia, Argentina.

Nyanzapithecus Alesi's skull (Photo courtesy Fred Spoor)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery in Kenya of a skull belonging to an infant of a species of ape called Nyanzapithecus Alesi. About 13 million years ago, the specimen died at an estimated age of only 16 months but it’s not possible to determine its gender. The skull is the earliest found so far belonging to an ancestor of hominids and apes.

Part of Borealopelta markmitchelli fossils (Image courtesy Royal Tyrrell Museum)

An article published in the journal “Current Biology” describes the study of the exceptionally preserved fossils of an armored dinosaur that was named Borealopelta markmitchelli. Classified as part of the nodosaurid (Nodosauridae) family, according to researchers at MIT, Newcastle University, University of Bristol and Royal Tyrrell Museum that examined it despite its armor it was being hunted by predators.