Paleontology

Fossil of Dollocaris ingens (Photo courtesy Jean Vannier, University of Cologne)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” describes the extraordinary study on the eyes of fossilized specimens of Dollocaris ingens, a crustacean that lived about 160 million years ago, in the middle Jurassic. In the deposits of La Voulte, in the southeast of France, fossils were found in which various soft tissues were also well preserved and this allowed to reconstruct their eyes, giving us an idea of ​​how they saw and indirectly of the environment in which they lived.

Outline of Dracoraptor haniganis skeleton with the bones found in green (Image David M. Martill, Steven U. Vidovic, Cindy Howells, John R. Nudds)

An article published in the journal “PLOS ONE” describes the analysis of the partial skeleton of a new species of dinosaur found on a beach near Cardiff, Wales. The fossils date back about 200 million years ago, at the beginning of the Jurassic period. This makes them even more interesting because just a few dinosaur fossils from that period were found so far. According to Dr. David Martill from the University of Portsmouth and his colleagues, the dinosaur found belongs to a genus previously unknown and was named Dracoraptor hanigani.

Some of the dorsal vertebrae that made up Morelladon beltrani's sail (Image José Miguel Gasulla, Fernando Escaso, Iván Narváez, Francisco Ortega, José Luis Sanz)

An article published in the journal “PLOS ONE” describes a dinosaur with a “sail” on its back that lived about 125 million years ago in today’s Spain. Its skeleton isn’t complete but according to the team of the National Distance Education University (NDEU) in Madrid and the Autonomous University of Madrid (AUM) who examined it its characteristics are sufficiently distinctive to create a new genus called Morelladon. The species was named Morelladon beltrani.

Skeleton of Chasmosaurus belli

An article published in the journal “Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology” describes a research on a juvenile Chasmosaurus, one of the rarest discoveries among dinosaurs, occurred in 2010. For the first time a nearly complete skeleton of a young specimen belonging to the ceratopsids family, the same as the more famous Triceratops. These fossils give us an idea about how a Chasmosaurus appeared at a young age.

A Galápagos tortoise or Galápagos giant tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra)

An article published in the journal “Journal of South American Earth Sciences” describes a research that connects the discovery of fossils, mostly of turtles and tortoises as well as other organisms, in the Andes of southern Bolivia to the geological changes of the area. According to the researchers, 13 million years ago these mountains were high less than a kilometer above sea level.