Blogs about dinosaurs

Skeleton of the Thescelosaurus neglectus nicknamed Willo (Photo J. Spencer)

An article published in the journal “Scientific Reports” offers new information on the sensory capabilities of the Thescelosaurus neglectus, a small dinosaur that lived just before the great extinction that wiped out non-avian dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period. Paleontologists David Button and Lindsay Zanno submitted a Thescelosaurus skull to a CT scan to reconstruct its interior to create a 3D representation of its brain and inner ear. The conclusion is that this species had some very developed senses, useful for living in burrows.

The fossils of Repenomamus robustus and Psittacosaurus lujiatunensis with insets showing some magnified details of their interactions that are considered among the evidence that they died during a fight

An article published in the journal “Scientific Reports” describes what appears to all intents and purposes a fight in which a mammal of the species Repenomamus robustus attacked a dinosaur of the species Psittacosaurus lujiatunensis. A team of researchers examined fossils discovered in today’s China dating back to about 125 million years ago, in the Jurassic period, which offer the first evidence of a mammal hunting a dinosaur. The two animals engaged in a mortal fight became entangled in a flow of volcanic mud similar to the one called lahar in jargon, leaving evidence of that fight.

The available bones of Yuxisaurus kopchicki together with its skeleton reconstruction

An article published in the journal “eLife” reports the identification of a new species of armored dinosaurs that lived between 192 and 174 million years ago, at the beginning of the Jurassic period, in today’s China. A team of researchers named it Yuxisaurus kopchicki and assigned it to the group of thyreophorans (Thyreophora), which includes the many armored dinosaurs such as the famous stegosaurs and ankylosaurs. The new species is the first of this group to be described thanks to early Jurassic fossils discovered in Asia. This confirms this group’s quick spread and diversification.

Artist's reconstruction of Australotitan cooperensis (Image courtesy Vladislav Konstantinov / Scott Hocknull)

An article published in the journal “Peer J” reports the identification of the largest dinosaur species that lived in today’s Australia. A team of researchers named Australotitan cooperensis this dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous period, between 92 and 96 million years ago, and included it in the group of titanosaurs, the giant long-necked herbivores that include the largest animals that lived on land. The identification represents the culmination of a long task on the scattered bones of various specimens.

Reconstruction of Llukalkan aliocranianus head

An article published in the “Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology” reports the discovery of a carnivorous dinosaur that lived about 80 million years ago in today’s Argentina. A team of researchers led by paleontologist Federico Gianechini of the National University of San Luis named it Llukalkan aliocranianus after examining a partial skull discovered in the Bajo de la Carpa Formation. The new species and the new genus have been attributed to the Furileusauria group, part of the abelisaurid family, widespread in the ancient subcontinent Gondwana. The examination of the uncovered bones suggests that it had better hearing than the other abelisaurids.